Reasons for Membership in the Local Church
The difference between “attenders” and “members” can be summed up in one word: commitment. Membership means commitment.
Our church is a growing, dynamic family. Here in the 21st century, we want to continue doing the things that have ministered to people and brought glory to God in the past. We want to continue equipping our people to do the work of ministry. We strive to reach more and more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, doing things as we have in the past is not enough. We want to continue to break new ground in ministry and do our part as a family to enlarge the kingdom of God and to maximize God’s glory upon the earth. Only by functioning as a family and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit can we accomplish these objectives.
The apostle Paul put it this way: “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” Romans 15:20 (NIV)
Four Reasons to be a Member
At Blue Ridge, we recognize the need for a formal membership. We ask you to commit to membership for four reasons:
1. A Biblical Reason: Jesus Christ is committed to the church
“… Christ loved the church, and He gave His life for it.” Ephesians 5:25
2. A Cultural Reason: It is an antidote to our society
We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything—a job, a marriage, our country. This attitude has even produced a generation of “church shoppers and hoppers.” Membership swims against the current of America’s “consumer religion.” It is an unselfish decision, where your commitment benefits the church by the addition of your unique talents, strengths, and abilities.
3. A Practical Reason: It defines who can be counted on
Every team must have a roster. Every school must have an enrollment. Every army has an enlistment. Membership identifies our church family, putting us all on the battlefield for God’s kingdom together.
4. A Personal Reason: It encourages spiritual growth
The New Testament knows nothing of a “lone ranger” Christian. Instead, it places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other and in relationships with others where spiritual growth can be fostered. You cannot be accountable when you’re not committed to any specific church family.
What is expected of me as a member?
At Blue Ridge, we never ask our members to do more than the Bible clearly teaches. We only expect our members to do what the Bible expects every Christian to do. These responsibilities are spelled out in the Membership Covenant.
What can I expect from Blue Ridge as a member?
Blue Ridge commits to providing an environment in which Christians can grow and exercise their commitment to God in Christ.
Following the challenge in II Timothy 4:2, Blue Ridge will:
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” II Timothy 4:2
Blue Ridge will provide encouragement as you strive to grow in Christ.
“Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25
Blue Ridge will provide opportunities for service.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.” I Corinthians 12:4-6
“So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.” I Corinthians 14:12
Blue Ridge will provide training for ministry and leadership.
“For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Romans 1:11-12
“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” II Timothy 2:2
“And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.” Romans 15:14
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11
Blue Ridge will provide accountability to your calling and commitment.
“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16
If you have more questions please contact us. If you would like to explore membership, take one of our quarterly membership classes. There is no commitment necessary to take the class, and it is a great place to learn about our church in more detail. Contact us and let us know if you would like to attend a class.