ABOUT BETHEL MEMBERSHIP
The Bible uses many pictures to describe Christians as a community: a household (Eph. 2:19), a human body (I Cor. 12:12-31) and a temple made up of “living stones” (I Peter 2:4-5, Eph. 2:21). All of these illustrate and mandate our interconnectedness and our need for each other. When a believer joins a particular congregation, he or she is bearing witness to a union that has already happened in the heart.
You don’t need to become a member to thrive and be actively involved at Bethel Church. In fact many of the Bethel Family are not members. But for those who do choose to become members, we believe that there are many joys and benefits in making this commitment.
Our covenant with God and our commitment to one another work to shape our culture and our community. Membership is an outward, formalized sign of the inward mutual commitment we have made with each other and the Lord. This commitment helps to define not only our role, but also the intention of our heart; it affects our decisions and influences our perspective. This commitment is costly, but the payoff is immense. As members, we join together for God’s glory and our mutual benefit; we share the responsibilities and rewards of all that God will accomplish through us. In addition, as outlined in our bylaws, membership is an important component in our relationship with the government and the proper stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to our congregation over the years.
When you become a member you are joining the church of Bethel Redding, regardless of which campus you attend. The membership process and commitments are the same for all campuses.
As your leaders, we will foster a trustworthy leadership team that submits to the authority of the Word of God (1 Tim. 3:1-13 & Titus 1:6-9, 1 Peter 5:1-7). We commit to prepare you “for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13). We will seek to set an example in speech, life, love, faith and purity (1 Tim. 4:12) and accurately teach the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15). We are willing shepherds of “God’s flock” (1 Peter 5:2) holding one another to the expectations written below. We will be approachable and teachable and create a church family full of faith, hope, love, and joy!
Membership at Bethel Church means affirming the following commitments that express our devotion to Christ and to one another. These commitments (described in our membership commitment) keep us all pointed in the same direction as we follow Jesus as members of this local church. By signing this commitment, you acknowledge your need to cooperate with God’s love and power as He establishes righteousness in all of us, which we cannot create on our own.
I affirm the following:
• I have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and boast in Him, not myself (Eph. 2:4-10).
• I have been baptized in water at some point in my life, signifying my conversion and new life in God (Matt. 28:19; Col. 2:12).
• I take responsibility as a disciple of Jesus to continue to nurture my own close, obedient, loving friendship with the Lord (John 15:1-17).
• My life evidences a genuine experience of regeneration – the new birth (John 1:12-13, 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:18-25) – and a commitment to holiness, wholeness, and our church family (Romans 6:4, 8:1-4, 13:13-14; Eph. 4:17-32, 5:1-2, 15; 1 John 1:6-7). Specifically, I affirm the sacredness of sexuality and marriage. In marriage, I will be completely faithful to my spouse (Heb. 13:4). I believe Scripture teaches that sex is a blessing to be rightly experienced only within heterosexual marriage. Therefore I will avoid sex outside of marriage, pornography, living as husband and wife when not married, and/or homosexuality (Matt. 15:19, Rom. 13:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-20).
• As well, I will follow the wisdom of the Lord by refraining from intoxication with alcohol and/or drugs (Rom. 13:13, Gal. 5:19-21). Should I stumble in any of these areas, I will get up again with the help of the Holy Spirit and my church family!
• I have read and am in agreement with Bethel’s Statement of Faith and Statement of Purpose.
• I contribute regularly to the support of the congregation in the form of tithes, offerings, time, and attendance.
• I agree to be governed by the congregation’s bylaws as they pertain to church life.
• If offended, I would not abandon this commitment but would speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:25) and work through conflict with gentleness, grace, and forgiveness (Eph. 4:1-3).
• I will be thankful (Col. 3:15) and live humbly and honorably in all my relationships with both Christians (Eph. 4:1-6) and non-Christians so as to be a faithful ambassador of Christ’s kingdom (2 Cor. 5:20).
• I will be accountable to keep these commitments and welcome correction in my life and doctrine if need be.
• If the Lord seems to be transitioning me to a different church, I will not simply leave, but consider this transition with the community and redefine this commitment with Bethel. We will transfer membership to other congregations when requested to do so.