Welcome to Grace and thank you for considering what it means to become a member of a local church!
You can download a Membership Application and then give it to one of the Elders if you are desiring to consider membership. You will then be given the additional materials to review before our membership class. Watch here for the next membership class at the GCC Ministry Center.
If you haven’t already, be sure to read about our vision, mission and values under the About GCC menu above.
Why is Church Membership important?
The Significance of Membership
The Bible affirms that those who place their trust in Jesus Christ become uniquely identified with His body, the church (Ephesians 3:6). Believers are described in the New Testament as one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (Romans 12:5). In a very real sense, they become part of a community of believers who are individually gifted and strategically commissioned to serve one another and impact the world.
As much as the Bible emphasizes that believers belong to the universal church, it equally emphasizes the importance of being committed and connected to the local church. In fact, the New Testament teaches that believers consistently identified themselves with and committed themselves to a particular local body (Acts 11:26; Romans 16:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2).
Committed and Connected To a Local Body
We believe membership in a local church provides an opportunity to openly commit and identify yourself with a fellowship of believers. Membership with Grace Community Church means that you not only desire to identify yourself with us, but that you are willing to actively participate in our fellowship and commit yourself to our Statement of Faith, Core Values, and practices.
This is why we believe membership in our church is significant. We do not view membership as empty formalism, but as an indication of a desire to be obedient to the Scriptural principles of commitment and accountability to the body of Christ! In order for membership to be meaningful, it is important to understand how three aspects of the biblical design for the local church reveal the importance of membership.
1) The Function of the Local Church
The Bible describes the church in several different ways. Sometimes the church is described as a human body (Colossians 1:18, 24), sometimes as a family or household (Galatians 6:10, 1 Timothy 3:15), and sometimes as a kingdom (Revelation 1:6). All of these descriptions depend upon an order or structure to function properly. If the local church is to function effectively in the way for which it was designed, it needs to know who is committed to it. Membership effectively testifies to this commitment and enables the local church to provide order to the appointment of leadership (e.g. elders, pastors, and deacons and deaconesses; Acts 6:3), commissioning of missionaries, the exercising of discipline, etc.
2) The Fellowship of the Local Church
The relationship believers are to have with one another in the church must be seen within the concept of community. The Bible describes this relationship as an open commitment that is demonstrated through commands to love (John 15:17), honor (Romans 12:10), accept (Romans 15:7), be patient (Ephesians 4:2), submit to (Ephesians 5:21), encourage (I Thessalonians 4:10), show hospitality to (I Peter 4:9), be devoted to (Romans 12:10b), and be of the same mind with (Romans 15:5) one another. Membership must be seen as a pledge to accept these responsibilities sincerely.
3) The Nature of the Local Church
The New Testament uses the term church in two senses: first, as applying to all who belong to Jesus Christ by faith in His person and work; and second, as applying to any particular group of such believers assembling together in a given locality. If believers are to be regarded as members of the universal church through means of salvation, they should also seek to become members of the local church as a testimony of that commitment.
Steps to Joining Grace Community Church
- Attend all of the “Discovery Classes” to learn about GCC and its ministry vision, values and teachings.
- Complete a membership application and write your personal testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and turn them in to the church office.
- Learn what the Evangelical Free Church believes (this is explained in the Ten-Article STATEMENT OF FAITH and understand the responsibilities of membership. After the Discovery Classes are completed, you will meet with two of our elders, read your personal testimony of faith in Christ and clarify any further questions prior to your acceptance into membership.
- Read and sign the Grace Community Church Relational Commitment, indicating your agreement with its principles and conditions.
- Be formally accepted into membership after a unanimous favorable vote from the
Elder Board (See By-laws) and be introduced to the congregation in a Sunday morning service.
Conditions of Membership
- You must be born again with evidence of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- You must affirm the Ten-Article STATEMENT OF FAITH of the Evangelical Free Church of America.
- You must accept and sign the Grace Community Church Relational Commitment