At Ovilla Road Baptist Church, we believe that God expects believers to join a local church, through which they develop Christian relationships and use their gifts to build the body. A summary of the biblical arguments are listed below. This is not an exhaustive list, but each of the 6 points listed helps illuminate our case for biblical regenerate church membership:
A Biblical Case for Church Membership
- Those who followed Jesus were baptized and identified themselves with local believers, (Acts 2:41);
- The church is a body, and there cannot be a body without members, (1 Corinthians 12:27);
- Jesus loved the church and gave himself for it; believers must be equally committed to the church, (Ephesians 5:25);
- The church must regularly gather together, (Hebrews 10:25);
- Scriptures that address pastoral leadership and oversight imply a recognized congregation, (1 Timothy 3:5; Hebrews 13:17);
- Scriptures that speak of church discipline suggest some type of formal list or association, (Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13).
Qualifications for Membership
- A personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation
- Baptism by immersion as a testimony of salvation
- Completion of the membership class or interview with pastoral staff/Elder
- A commitment to abide by the Church Covenant
What Benefits Are There in Membership?
- Every member is encouraged to use their gifts and abilities to serve the Lord and encourage others in their walk with Christ. Every member of the church is entitled to vote on all matters submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present, is in good standing, is not under any disciplinary action, and is 18 years or older. Every member may participate in the ordinances as administered by the church.
How Can My Membership Be Dissolved?
- Request of the member
- Transfer of membership to another church
- Termination by the Elders
Does the Church Practice Discipline?
- It shall be the basic purpose of the Church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The Elders are available for counsel and guidance in these matters. Redemption rather than punishment is always the goal;
- Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, every reasonable measure will be taken by the Elders to resolve the matter. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance. But, finding that the welfare of the Church will best be served by the exclusion of the member, the Elders may take this action by a majority vote and declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the Church.
What is the Goal of Discipline?
- Dismissed members may be restored by the Elders according to the spirit of 2 Corinthians 2:7-8, when their life-styles are judged to be in accordance with the membership covenant. Restoration of Church membership shall require the vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the Elders.