So, you have visited our website, and maybe even joined us in some of our services. You may have even started thinking that you and your family would like to become a part of Heritage Baptist Church…So what’s next?
Well, it’s important to understand that Church membership is more than just attending services. It’s about developing connections and relationships. God desires us to be a family. That’s why you will hear us call each other “Brother” and “Sister” here. That being said, let’s take a few moments and talk about the relationships that we should have with God, first; and with others.
The most important relationship that a person can have is with the Lord Jesus Christ. This relationship comes about by salvation. Salvation is necessary because we, as humans, have a sinful nature (Romans 3:10-12, Romans 3:23) that has separated us from God (Romans 5:12). Because of this nature, we are incapable of living a life that is worthy of God’s love (Romans 3:23). Therefore, we are deserving of His wrath and eternal judgment in a place called Hell (Romans 6:23, Revelation 21:8). However, God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, in our place
His death, burial, and resurrection opens up the door to eternal life (John 14:6; John 10:9). We don’t receive His salvation because we earn it, but because of God’s mercy, love, and grace towards us (Ephesians 2:8-9). All He asks is that we repent and believe (Romans 10:9-13).
If you have never trusted Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, we would like to help you. Feel free to ask our Pastor or one of our leaders to show you in God’s Word what it means to be saved. You can call us, or visit us during one of our services. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
After you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, He wants you to confess Him publicly before men. This is why you need to follow Him in Scriptural Baptism (Acts 2:41) . Baptism has nothing to do with your salvation. It is a picture of what happened inside your heart when you got saved. Baptism tells others that you are buried with Christ – I no longer live unto myself, but for the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20). That you have been raised with Him – I am a new person in Christ. Baptism is a demonstration of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ…the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1-4). Baptism is the first commandment given to a new born Christian and starts you on a journey of obedience to Him (1 Peter 3:21). This is demonstrated through Baptism by immersion. The word Baptism means to immerse. Therefore, a baptism is only proper when it takes place by immersion, after a person is saved and performed by a church with proper authority.
If you have trusted Christ as your Saviour and desire to follow the Lord is Scriptural baptism, let the Pastor know. He will ask you a few questions about you salvation and verify that you are a proper candidate. Then our baptism team will help you through the process.
The importance of uniting with a Local Church is demonstrated throughout the New Testament (Acts 2:46-47; Hebrews 10:23-27). The Local Church is the “harbor” in this world where the Christian can find the safety, support, instruction, encouragement, and edification they need to help them serve the Lord; combat the world, the flesh, and the devil; and minister to others (Colossians 1:18-24; 1 Timothy 3:15). By joining a church, the Christian is able to find his or her place in accomplishing the Great Commission (spreading the Gospel) given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His churches (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). A Testimony of Salvation and Scriptural Baptism is the pre-requisite to church membership.
At Heritage Baptist Church, you can join in the following ways:
- By Baptism in our church
- By transfer of letter. When your membership is transferred to us from another Baptist church that believes like ours
- By statement of faith. When a letter transfer is not possible, you can give a testimony of having been saved, and baptized by another Baptist church that believes like ours.
If you would like to unite with us in membership, then let the Pastor or one of our leaders know. The Pastor will ask you a few questions about your salvation, baptism, and previous membership and then help you through the process.
Just as we desire our children to grow: spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally; God desires His people to grow as well (Colossians 2:5-9). However, He focuses on Spiritual Growth. After you have trusted Christ as your Saviour, and have followed Him in Scriptural Baptism and joined the Local Church that He would have you, there are several “markers” of growth that you will find the Lord leading you.
1. Bible Study – Our Heavenly Father desires to speak to us on a daily basis. He does this through His Word, the Scriptures. Reading your Bible daily and studying His Word helps us learn about His will for our lives and how He wants us to live in this present world (2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 119:11)
2. Prayer – Prayer is communicating with God. This is the time that we can go to Him with our hurts, troubles, burdens, praises, thanksgivings, and every desire. He wants to hear from us every day, even though He knows what is going on in our lives (Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
3. Church Attendance – Faithfulness in church services is important because that is the time that God can use to encourage us through others to walk closer to Him; to seek Him more diligently; to help us find answers to questions that we have (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 10:25). In church we learn the principles that God has laid out for us that we might live a successful Christian life.
4. Giving – A part of your spiritual growth is that of learning to give the way God wants you to give. He has several lessons to teach us through His Word. First, He teaches us that we should give at least one-tenth of what He has blessed us with (Malachi 3:10). Secondly, He teaches us to increase in this grace giving through offerings above the tithe (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9). As you grow in the grace of giving you will find that you cannot out give God. It is impossible. The more that you give to Him, the more He will give back to you. We do not give our money with the idea that we will get something back from God. This would be selfish. It is a fact, however, that God will bless us if we put Him first in our lives(Matthew 6:33; Luke 6:38; Philippians 4:19).
5. Witnessing – Witnessing, or telling others about what the Lord has done in our lives through salvation, is another “marker” of Spiritual Growth. As we allow Him to use us as a witness to others, we will see His love for souls (John 3:16). We rejoice when someone else trusts Christ as Saviour (Psalm 126:6). And we see the Lord use us to spread the Gospel to a lost world (Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:18-24).
We encourage all of our members to grow in each of these areas, as they grow in the grace and faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Just as the Lord Jesus Christ died for us, we are called to present our bodies a living sacrifice for the Lord (Romans 12:1-2). That means we should be ready to serve the Lord in the ministry or ministries that He would lead us to serve. True Christianity teaches us that we are not to be focused on our personal wants, but on the needs of others…this is ministry. Heritage Baptist Church members should take on the responsibility for fulfilling the mission of God’s church, according to their abilities, God given gifts, and calling of God (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11-12). As members, we are the church, and the church’s mission is our mission.
We believe that every Member should be in a Ministry, and every Saint should be a Servant.
If you are a member and are finding a desire to serve in some capacity in HBC but aren't sure how, talk to the Pastor. We would love to help all of our members find God's place of ministry here at Heritage Baptist Church.