FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can one become a member of the Church at Tubac
We believe membership is important and desire each prospective member to know the mission and vision of our church. We have three requirements for church membership:
(1) the candidate must be a Christian; he/she must have made a genuine faith commitment to Jesus Christ
(2) the candidate must be baptized by immersion and
(3) the candidate must attend our membership class where we explain who we are and what we believe.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Church at Tubac and have not yet fulfilled one or more of these requirements, Pastor Jeremy would be glad to schedule a time to get together and discuss any or all of these requirements.
Isn’t church membership just a way of shutting people out?
No. We are making a distinction about who can and should be members of Christ’s church as he declares to us. But no, the intent is not to “shut people out,” rather, it is to bring people in. There must be a clear demarcation of the line between the redeemed and those who follow the ways of the world.
“With all the concern we show for security in almost every other aspect of our lives, it is surprising how careless many Christians and even pastors have become about the spiritual security of the local church – the apple of God’s eye . . . many churches often leave the front door of membership unlatched. Now usually the door is left ajar out of sincere love for those who want to come in out of the cold. But the password of the Gospel is often not required, the key of sound doctrine seldom made necessary, the verifying signs of holiness and love left unexamined – and the purity of the church left open to compromise.”1
Does church membership really mean anything?
Yes. Unfortunately, the membership standards of many civic organizations are often higher than those of a great number of churches.
“The typical church in America today has ‘dumbed down’ the meaning of membership to a point where membership means nothing. The phrase ‘inactive members’ is often used as if it were taken from the pages of Scripture. But in reality the only inactive members we see in the history of the New Testament fellowship are Ananias and Sapphira as they are carried out feet first from the Jerusalem church.”
Local Church Membership is nowhere mentioned in the Bible, is it?
The words “local church membership” are not found in Scripture, however, neither are the words “Trinity” or “rapture,” and those are definitely Biblical realities. It would seem that church membership is also a Biblical concept. The evidence for it is in Scripture and it is consistent. 1 Corinthians 5 gives a case of church discipline which assumes a public knowledge of who is in the church and who is not. “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.’” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)
“Expelling makes sense only in the context of visible belonging.”2
In 2 Corinthians 2:6, Paul instructs the church to let the man back into fellowship. “The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him.” The idea of the majority gives a sense of a recognized church membership.
There are other examples that could be given – the list of widows kept in Ephesus (1 Timothy 2:9), for example.
Acts 2:41 – Followers of Jesus were baptized and identified themselves with local believers.
1 Corinthians 12:27 – The church is a body, made up of members.
Ephesians 5:25 – Jesus loved the church and gave himself for it; believers should be committed to the church as well.
Hebrews 10:25 – The Church gathers together regularly.
“You could argue that these texts imply rather than command local church membership, and you would be correct. Churches . . . did not promote joining only as a response to a biblical command; rather, they emphasized joining as an expression of commitment to God and to a particular group of believers. Membership is a public pledge to find our role in the body, work alongside other members, and hold each other accountable to faithful Christian living.”3
The information is both consistent and clear enough for Professor Tim Beougher to declare: “The New Testament church clearly had believers who were committed to ministry through their local fellowship. The Scriptures never hint that their “membership” was taken lightly.