You might be wondering: “What is church membership all about?” Or even, “How do I become a member of First Hamilton CRC?”
In our culture, membership is often about gaining special privileges or benefits. Often times this means paying an annual fee to become a member. Essentially in this model of membership, we are consumers purchasing access to something you value. But membership in the church is different.
When we talk about church membership, we’re inviting people to make commitments about how they will live in community with each other in response to what God has done in Jesus Christ.
At First Hamilton, we ask four primary questions of everyone who wants to become a member here.
- Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God sent to redeem the world, do you love and trust him as the one who saves you from sin, and do you, with repentance and joy, embrace him as the Lord of your life?
- Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God revealing Christ and his redemption, and that the teachings of this church faithfully reflect this revelation?
- Do you accept the gracious promises of God sealed to you in your baptism, and do you affirm your union with Christ and his church, which your baptism signifies?
- Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church in a spirit of Christian love and participate in its worship, fellowship, and mission?
These questions orient us in relationship to God, to the Bible, to the church, and to each other. If you’ve not made these commitments publicly before, we’d love to talk with you about why we believe they are important commitments to make. From our perspective, membership is more than just saying yes to these questions. Membership is a way of life within a community that is seeking to faithfully follow Jesus Christ.
Membership involves learning how to live out these commitments on a daily basis with other Christians in our church. And these commitments stretch into all the different areas of our lives: relationships, money, play, work. Though we gather at the church building for worship and other events, membership doesn’t start and stop at the church doors. We remain members with each other wherever we go.
In one sense, when we become members of First Hamilton, we are committing ourselves to do life with each other in all its beauty, all its messiness, and even in the dull routines.
If you’re interested in hearing more about membership at First Hamilton, please reach out to one of our pastors. We would love to connect with you as you explore becoming a member.