ABOUT BETHEL MEMBERSHIP
The Bible uses many pictures to describe Christians as a community: a household (Eph. 2:19), a human body (1 Cor. 12:12-31) and a temple made up of “living stones” (1 Pet. 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.
STEPS TO MEMBERSHIP
If you are a regular, local attendee of Bethel in Redding, California and are interested in becoming an official member, here are the steps to membership. These steps do not have to be completed in any particular order. For any questions, please contact us at email@example.com. Please note that graduating from BSSM Redding First Year counts for doing steps 1-4.
1) INTRO TO BETHEL LIFE: CONNECTED TO THE VISION
Intro to Bethel Life is a one-time class to help you connect to Bethel's unique purpose, vision, mission, and core values. It provides an introduction to our Senior Leadership Team and how we operate, an overview of Bethel's history and faith, and a look into our strategic plans for the future. Click here to see the next available class date.
2) DEEPER LIFE: COMMITTED TO GROWTH
Deeper Life is a 12-week course designed to explore our faith, the unique opportunities and challenges of being in a revival culture, and how to daily live a life empowered by the Spirit. Click here to learn more about Deeper Life.
3) SERVANT LIFE: COMMITTED TO MINISTRY
God didn’t design ministry for just a few—He made each one of us a minister. All believers are called to serve and impact the lives of others. Servant Life is a one-time class that provides an opportunity to learn key principles for serving the body of Christ, to connect with God’s plan for your life as you commit to serving Him and others, and to learn about the unique ministry opportunities at Bethel. Click here to see the next available class date.
4) FIRM FOUNDATIONS WORKBOOK OR MEMBERSHIP TRANSFER
This step requires that you either complete the "Bible Studies for a Firm Foundation" workbook (available for purchase in the Bethel Bookstore) or submit a letter of membership transfer from your previous church.
The Firm Foundations workbook is a series of Bible studies on foundational tenets of the Christian faith, including atonement, repentance, baptism, the authority of the Bible, and more. Please treat the workbook as an independent study. You do not need to memorize or write out the memory verses. Couples may share a book and do it together, as long as both are really doing it. The answers to all workbook questions are found in the back of the book; please refer to them to correct your lesson, or for clarity if you are confused about what the question is asking. Note that, occasionally, a question might seem unclear because the book is based on the New American Standard translation of the Bible, which might not be the translation you’re using. Once you’ve completed the workbook, submit a completion form that is available in the Deeper Life class.
If your previous church membership had a study component and you feel grounded in the major teachings of the Bible, you may ask them to send us a letter of membership transfer on their church letterhead asking to transfer your membership to Bethel. Letters can be received by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5) APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP
Once you have completed all the classes, carefully read and pray about the membership commitment. If you feel led to make this commitment, complete the membership application online or on paper (see links above). If your application is approved, you will receive a welcome letter and a signed membership certificate, and be welcomed as a new member into the Bethel family.
The application will ask these questions that you will need to be able to answer in the affirmative.
• Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (born again)? — Acts 2:41a
• Have you been baptized in water following salvation? — Acts 2:41b
• Are you in agreement with our Statement of Faith and Statement of Purpose? (We have included them on the membership application so you can read them prior to submitting. Please save them for your records.)
• As your leaders, we will foster a trustworthy leadership team that submits to the authority of the Word of God (1 Timothy 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” (Ephesians 4:12-13).
• We will seek to set an example in speech, life, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12) and accurately teach the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 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 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 (Ephesians 2:4-10).
• I have been baptized in water at some point in my life, signifying my conversion and new life in God (Matthew 28:19; Colossians 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; Ephesians 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 (Hebrews 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 (Matthew 15:19, Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20).
• I will follow the wisdom of the Lord by refraining from intoxication with alcohol and/or drugs (Romans 13:13; Galatians 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 will not abandon this commitment but will speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:25) and work through conflict with gentleness, grace, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:1-3).
• I will be thankful (Colossians 3:15) and live humbly and honorably in all my relationships with both Christians (Ephesians 4:1-6) and non-Christians so as to be a faithful ambassador of Christ’s kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20).
• I will be accountable to keep these commitments and welcome correction in my life and doctrine if needed.
• 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. Bethel will transfer membership to other congregations when requested to do so.