Why Become a Member?
Formal membership in the church is important for at least four reasons.
- A Biblical Reason: Christ is committed to the church. He literally died for the church. We must not be casual about our commitment to the church. "Christ loved the church and gave himself for her" (Ephesians 5:25, NIV)
- 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. Commitment always builds character.
- A Practical Reason: It defines who can be counted on. Every team must have a roster. Every school must have an enrollment. Every business has a payroll. Every army has an enlistment. Even our country takes a census. Membership identifies our family.
- A Personal Reason: It produces spiritual growth. The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. You cannot be accountable when you're not committed to any specific church family.
What Are the Steps to Becoming a Member?
- Decision: You must decide to be committed to Jesus Christ and to His people, the church. Your decision will first be a private one, between you and God. We then ask you to make that decision public by coming forward during the Hymn of Decision at the end of the worship service. The pastor will welcome you and then introduce you to the congregation.
- Discovery Class: You must attend Discovery Class. Some attend Discovery Class after they have already made their decision to follow Jesus Christ and join the church. Others attend before, using the class as part of their decision making process.
- Baptism: It is the privilege of every believer to profess their faith openly through the experience of Believer's Baptism. All believers need to experience "Believer's Baptism", which is the complete immersion in water of your entire body. You must attend Discovery Class prior to baptism.
What Is Discovery Class?
Have You Ever Wondered..
- Why is baptism such a big deal to Baptists?
- Do you have to be baptized to be saved?
- What's the difference between what we teach about baptism and what others, like Catholics, Methodists and Lutherans, teach?
- How can you know for sure you're saved?
- What does the Lord's Supper mean?
- What do the Great Commandment and Great Commission have to do with First Baptist?
- How is the church structured?
- What's the difference between merely attending church and being a member?
- What's expected of me as a member?
If So, Come To Discovery Class. This one-session, two-hour class
is for new members and those considering membership. It is led
by our Senior Pastor, Dr. Steven Kimmel. Children's Discovery Class,
led by Minister to Children Susan Shay, is designed for children
through grade 6. For more information about Discovery Class, please
contact the church office at 770-435-3231.
How Do You Join First Baptist?
New members are received in one of four ways:
- By Profession of Faith and Baptism. If you will receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord and follow Him in baptism by immersion, "Believer's Baptism", we will joyfully receive you into our family.
- By Letter. If you have already accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord and have experienced "Believer's Baptism", and are a member of another church, we joyfully receive you into our family. We will gladly take care of the details of transferring your membership.
- By Baptism from Another Denomination. If you know that you are saved and have been a member of a church in another denomination, but have not experienced "Believer's Baptism", we invite you to join our family by baptism. This gives testimony of your salvation and obedience to Christ's example of baptism.
- By Statement. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, have experienced "Believer's Baptism", and are a member of another church, but your church membership records are not available, we joyfully receive you into our family upon your statement of your salvation and baptism.