Jesus Christ has ordained that His people become part of a local assembly or local church where such exists, for the purpose of worshipping and serving Him together, receiving Instruction In His Word and being accountable to one another. Church membership has been well-defined as "a voluntary, openly expressed, earnest commitment to obey Christ's directives regarding church life In reference to a specific congregation." We find In the N.T. that churches had a recognizable, countable, openly committed membership and each member Is directed not to forsake the stated meetings of the church of which they are a part (Heb. 10:25). The local church is represented as a distinct group that could be counted, added to and joined, called upon to select leaders from among Itself, be officially gathered together for worship, exercise discipline, and be assigned to the care of pastors (Acts 2:41-47; Acts 5:11-13; Acts 6:1-3; Acts 14:27; 1 Cor. 14:23-25; Mt. 18:15-17, 1 Cor.5; Acts 20:28;
1 Peter 5:1-3).
We warmly welcome any person who trusts and loves the Lord Jesus Christ and desires to follow Him to consider whether this may be the church of which they should become a member. Church membership is a great privilege but it is also a serious commitment not to be entered into lightly.
Questions to Ask Yourself before Applying for Membership
1. Am I Christian?
Church membership is not for everyone. It is for those who are born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ask yourself, "Have I, by the gracious working of God's Spirit in my heart, repented of sin and put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation and acceptance with God?" If you have never been converted, or are unsure whether you are a Christian, one of our pastors, at your request, would be happy to set up a time to speak with you about your soul and to try to help you with this most important of all questions.
2. Am I Sufficiently Acquainted with EBC to be Sure that this is the Local Church I Want to Commit Myself to?
While church membership brings with it many wonderful benefits, it also Involves responsibilities. It is more than having your name on a church roll. It involves a commitment to faithful attendance and active involvement in the life and fellowship of the body. Therefore church membership is not something to rush into thoughtlessly and carelessly. Have you familiarized yourself enough with EBC to be sure that you are ready to make such a commitment to this particular congregation?
Steps Involved in Applying for Membership
1. Inform one of the pastors of your Interest In becoming a member of EBC.
2. You will be given the following literature to read in preparation for a membership interview:
1) What's a Healthy Church, by Mark Dever.
2) The constitution and by-laws of EBC.
3) A brief three page summary of the doctrinal beliefs of EBC.
These are to be read before the next step in the process is taken. You will l also be given a copy of the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) which is a much more detailed expression of the church's understanding of the major doctrines of the Bible. You will also be asked to begin working your way through this within a reasonable period of time, though it is not necessary to finish reading it before the membership interview or before becoming a member.
3. After you have finished carefully reading the three things required in pt. 2 inform one of the pastors and a membership interview will be scheduled.
The interview involves a brief meeting with one or more of the pastors to give you an opportunity to share your testimony and profession of faith. The pastor(s) may also ask various questions related to your testimony and your desire to become a member as well as seek to answer any questions you may have. Depending on the circumstances, if you are coming from another congregation they may want to contact your former church to let them know of your desire to become a member here. Once the pastor(s) are satisfied that you are ready to be introduced to the church for membership, they will move to the next step.