Membership is Biblical Commitment to God's Vision for Mutual Growth
Because we believe membership is a biblical commitment, we press against the spiritual consumerism and perversion of grace that expect personal care and growth without personal commitment and responsibility. To be a church that is truly #ForYou is to hold you accountable for growth. So we approach local church membership as a two-way relationship and mutual commitment between a church and its members for the sake of personal and corporate growth. As we like to say, "You don't stumble across meaningful Christian community; you create it." (For teachings and resources about biblical membership, see this section at the bottom of this page.)
It is Our Commitment to You...
Being a healthy and growing church where you are becoming who God created you to be means ensuring that Godly people and biblical processes maintain Christ alone as Head of His church. So please consider the vision communicated throughout this website as our commitment to implementing a comprehensive churchwide strategy of producing, in you, a community-building producer! By "prayparing" with our hearts and hands, we promise to help you find and follow Jesus by helping you take your Next Steps of growth in Christ!
... and Your Commitment to Us...
Yes, this picture is the same as the previous one. That's because it illustrates the mutual commitment to growth we're talking about. All members of FCC are expected to embody our mission of Helping People Find and Follow Jesus by embodying the 7 Habits in their daily lives. That means taking seriously the idea that "meaningful participation" is how to begin making this commitment to mutual growth work.
... for the Sake of the Mission!
Consumeristic Christianity doesn't change a community, let alone any single person. In the final analysis, this mutual commitment to growth isn't effective for your personal or our corporate growth if it is divorced from the most important goal of communicating the glory and grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world!
Membership has its Privileges...
Frankly, membership indicates commitment to mutual growth that means better care and attention than non-members who may consider us their church home but are not “meaningfully participating.” That may seem unfair or dismissive, but we think it makes us a stronger church, helps protect the flock, is wise stewardship of resources, a more biblical way to make disciples, and a better vision for caring for the souls in our community because it demands more than the consumeristic easy-believism that has come to mark contemporary Churchianity. Here are some of the practical benefits of this greater mutual commitment.
- Active members have the right to vote on Elders once yearly (if 16 years or older. See Article 18 of the FCC Bylaws, fccgreene.org/bylaws.)
- Greater commitment to your spiritual growth and leadership development.
- Better shepherding and accountability from our Elders, Staff, and Leaders.
- Greater voice into our vision.
- Qualifying for leadership roles: Teacher, Serve Team or Small Group Leader, Serve Team Coach, etc.
- Qualifying for tuition-free formal theological training, under our “Church Partner” program with Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary.
... and Here's how you Get 'Em!
Why should churches lower the standards for something with eternal consequences?! These "membership privileges" aren't consumeristic options. We believe they are what is required to become a community-and-people-building producer!
(1) Complete the Next Steps process.
(2) Repent from sin and turn to walk with Christ as Savior and Lord by grace through faith, as evidenced by a Spirit-led lifestyle and meaningful participation in church life through the 7 Habits.
(3) Identify with Christ through baptism by immersion, not necessarily at FCC. – If you have not been baptized, talk to your Next Steps Helper, Serve Team or Small/Life Group Leader, Campus Pastor, or let us know on the Connect Card to begin the process.)
(4) Publicly confess faith in Jesus Christ during a worship service at FCC. – This finalizes the process and formalizes membership by being welcomed by the Campus Pastor (or his delegate), who will lead you through this confession of faith (“Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and my Lord and Savior”) and then introduce you to the congregation. We take completion of this step to mean that you are in alignment with FCC’s Confession of Faith. If you disagree with anything in our Confession, we ask that you agree to not teach against, promote, or practice otherwise within our body and that you identify the area(s) of disagreement in discussion with the Elders before establishing or renewing membership.
Annual Membership Renewal
As a way of reconsidering our commitment and assessing our spiritual health, at the end of every year we take our membership roll down to zero. Then, during each January, we send all FCCers—members and non-members—a 7 Habits-based Spiritual Health survey where those who were active members the year before can also renew their commitment. Just to be clear, every member must renew every year and there is no ongoing active membership status from year to year without renewing one's membership. If you fail to renew one year, you are no longer an active member.
- Document from Elders defining the Membership Process: fccgreene.org/membershiprequirements
- FCC Bylaws: fccgreene.org/bylaws
Teaching & Resources about Biblical Membership
Great Questions Answered: "Is Church Membership Biblical?"
Brown Bags & Bibles: "Why We Should Gather"
Elders Letters (EL) and Scott's Thoughts (ST):
Dec 2021 (EL) – "Membership Renewal"
Nov 7, 2021 (ST) – "Some Thoughts Re FCC Being More 'Confessional' & Requiring Members to Affirm our Confession of Faith"
Oct 24, 2022 (ST) – "Update Re Changes to Membership, Timeline of 3rd Campus Launch" (Look for 'Few Important Updates Are Forthcoming ASAP')
Oct 24, 2022 (ST) – "Why Membership Matters"
Oct 10, 2021 (ST) – "Elders Letter, Membership Requirements, Confession of Faith, Annual Membership Renewal & 7 Habits Survey"Oct 2021 (EL) – "Why Membership Matters," "Annual Membership Renewal," and "The First 3 Habits"
Sep 27, 2021 (ST) – "We Are Designed Such That 'The First 3' Are Essential"