We believe the church is best served by a healthy understanding of church membership. Sadly, church membership is often misunderstood. Church membership is not joining a health club or discount wholesale club. Church membership is submitting oneself to the Christian community and being responsible for a local Christian community. We believe the church and the Christian find encouragement, protection, instruction, and accountability in healthy church membership. This is one reason we encourage members to participate in City Group. We seek to carry out this vision through an ordinarily four-step process by which to join Grace Baptist Church, New Tampa.
1. Membership Application
The first step in becoming a member of this local church is to notify a pastor who will then provide you a membership application. Here you will write out your confession of faith telling us when you repented and placed your faith in Christ.
2. Membership Class:
We ask all membership candidates to read a short book which serves as the content of our membership class. In it you will find the “what” and “why” of our belief about church membership.
3. Meet with an Elder:
It is our practice that membership candidates meet with a pastor. In this meeting we will discuss your membership application and talk about the gospel as found in your written testimony (part of step 1). This meeting provides opportunity for an elder to hear of God’s saving work in your life and understand how he continues to mature your faith as you follow Jesus. You will also have time to ask questions and seek clarification about what it means to be a member of Grace Baptist Church. These meetings are always a blessing as we reflect on the great saving acts of God accomplished for us through Christ.
4. Congregational Affirmation:
With an elders recommendation the membership candidate will be scheduled to give testimony of their salvation to the church family who then votes to receive the candidate into membership. The written testimony that you completed as part of your membership application will prepare you well for this. This step is both celebratory and solemn. Your new church family celebrates your confession of faith and the evidence of God’s grace in your life as a true confessor. This occasion is solemn as you willingly submit yourself to the church leadership and church membership to be a partner in helping one another follow Jesus. Now begins the adventure of deeper serving, loving, studying, praying, and growing together with your church family!