"Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." 1 Corinthians 12:27
The New Testament generally assumes that every Christian is a part of a local church. There are exceptions to this general rule (such as missionaries), but that is precisely the point: they are exceptions. Even missionaries in the New Testament seem to have strong relationships with their sending churches. For example, the Apostle Paul had a strong relationship with his supporting church, Philippi. The point is this: sheep (a term the Scriptures often use to describe Christians) are meant to be in a sheepfold. We are meant to be together laboring to bring glory to God. For God’s glory and the good of your soul, the pastors at Arlington Baptist would encourage all Christians to partner with a local church in membership.
To join Arlington Baptist Church, we have a 4 step process:
Repentance and Faith – First, if you have not already done so, you must turn from your sins and place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Visit The Gospel for more information on how to become a Christian.)
Membership Course – Second, you must attend the membership course. In this course we want to more fully introduce you to what it means to partner with Arlington Baptist in membership and ministry. The class covers our church's mission and ministry, statement of faith, church covenant, leadership, worship philosophy, and much more. It is offered every Sunday morning as a five-week Sunday School class. Our hope is to slow you down just enough to help you understand our church with greater depth and what is expected of you as a member. After you complete the membership course, you would then fill out a membership application.
Membership Conversation with the Pastors – Third, you must meet with the pastors for a membership conversation. The pastors want to get to know you better, hear your understanding of the gospel, hear about how God has worked in your life, and answer any questions you may have about the church. You would then sign the statement of faith and church covenant. Then, at a regularly scheduled elders' meeting, the elders will review your testimony. Upon receiving their collective approval, your application proceeds to the next step: congregational affirmation.
Congregational Affirmation – Fourth, during our bimonthly members' meetings, an elder briefly describes how you have come to know the Lord. Questions are fielded, a vote is taken, and with a majority agreement, the congregation will welcome you into membership. If you have not been baptized, you must obey Jesus Christ’s command and be baptized upon your profession of faith as the final step of membership.