About Church Membership
At NCC, we believe that every man, woman, and child on this planet who places their faith in Jesus immediately becomes a part of his one global family—the Church. Now the word “Church” means “assembly.” It simply refers to a gathering of people. Before God, all Christians everywhere exist as one big family of those who have “gathered” around the risen Lord Jesus for forgiveness from sins and eternal life. Yet this global gathering becomes visible to human eyes as individual Christians get together in local assemblies of believers. In the almost 2,000 years since Jesus Christ ascended to his heavenly throne, the true followers of Jesus have always formed these local gatherings in countless villages and cities around our planet. These local churches meet together regularly under the oversight of men most often called pastors (though in the Bible these men are also called elders and bishops). The pastors lead these Churches to gather regularly to hear the Bible explained through teaching and preaching, to partake in Jesus’s family meal called the Lord’s supper, to sing God’s praises to each-other and to the Lord, to pray, and finally, to mark new members of the family with the sign of baptism.
Now even though it is true that every person who truly places their faith in Jesus is a part of the global Church, the New Testament everywhere assumes that individual believers will be active participants, or “members,” of these local Churches where they 1) Exercise their spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12–14), 2) follow the leadership of pastors who know them and are accountable for their souls (Hebrews 13:7, 17), and 3) Regularly partake of the Lord’s supper with their local family (1 Corinthians 10:16–17).
Now in the letters of the New Testament, it is quite clear that not everyone who claimed to trust in Jesus actually knew who Jesus was, why he came, and what it meant to follow him. There were (and still are) all sorts of wrong beliefs about who Jesus was, and who God was, and why Jesus actually came, and what the Christian life entailed. That’s why it is important for the local churches of our world to baptize into God’s family only those who truly believe in the real Jesus and truly want to follow him.
But many people in our world today have already received the family sign of baptism when they seek to join our gatherings and become active parts of our local families. Some of these individuals are godly men and women who want to obey Jesus by joining his family. Others may want to join, but do not truly know who Jesus is, why he came, or what it means to follow him. Some may even be false teachers who end up spreading error and causing division in Jesus’s family (Titus 3:9–10). Sadly, there are also many individuals who do know the truths about Jesus and what it means to follow him, but they are living in unrepentant sin and not actually following Jesus! (See 1 Corinthians 5). If these individuals do not repent of their sins when confronted, it is the job of the local church to stop treating these individuals as if they were a part of God’s family, since they are living as followers of Satan and not followers of Christ (Matthew 18:15–17).
Membership at New Creation Church
Because of the realities discussed above, we at New Creation Church have deemed it biblically wise to create the following process by which individuals who profess to know the Lord Jesus and choose to attend our Church be properly welcomed into our family.
1. Take our Membership Class
Our membership class is taught by a member of our pastoral team, and covers a) What the Gospel is, b) What our Church believes are the basic essentials of Christian doctrine, c) A summary of what we believe the Bible teaches about living the Christian life, and d) our Church’s mission, and core values.
2. Share your Testimony with our Pastoral Team.
During this time, the pastoral team will listen to your story about how Jesus saved you from your sin and ask you any questions that may come to mind during this time together. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask the pastoral team any questions you might have for them.
3. Publicly Agree to Live in line with our Membership Covenant.
Those joining as members of New Creation Church shall stand before the congregation and promise to their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that they will, with God’s help, seek to live and love like Jesus.
Our Membership Covenant
1. _________________ do you now, before God and before all these earthly witnesses, publicly declare your complete allegiance to the Triune God of the Bible—acknowledging here and now that Jesus Christ is your Savior, Lord and God, that his Father is your Father and that the Holy Spirit is your daily helper and guide? (Yes, with God’s help).
2. And do you resolve, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to turn daily from your sin, to flee every temptation to disobey our savior Jesus, and to love the Lord our God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? (Yes, with God’s help).
3. And do you resolve to love your neighbor as yourself—as Jesus taught us? (Yes, with God’s help).
4. And do you resolve to submit your life to the authority of the Bible in all things—reading God’s word regularly, praying to the him daily, giving your time and resources to his gospel work cheerfully, and meeting with his family faithfully? (Yes, with God’s help).
5. And do you resolve to join with this local church in our labors to help others come to know and follow Jesus? (Yes, with God’s help).
6. And finally, do you resolve to joyfully submit yourself to the authority of this local Church as expressed in our church constitution, our affirmation of faith, our membership agreement, and the policies we have in place for the protection of our children and the stewardship of our resources? (Yes, with God’s help).