The Early Church gives us an example of membership. The church was different than it is today, but it gives us important principles that guide our practice of church membership.
What is Church Membership?
We see in Acts 2:41-47 that the people of the first church made a decision to follow Christ, to be added to the number of those following Christ, and to be involved in this new community of believers through worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship, mutual care, and witness in the world. This gives us a definition of what church membership is in our day. At Oakwood, we define church membership as the intentional connectedness and contribution of a Christian to a local assembly of believers.
Who is a Member of the Church?
We see in Acts 2:41 that the first church was made up of people who did three things.
First, they received the word Peter preached to them; they received the?message that Jesus Christ brings salvation to those who believe in Him.
Second, they were baptized; they publicly professed their faith in Jesus Christ.
Third, they were added to the church; they were counted among the followers of Christ. They stepped out and joined themselves with the other believers with a commitment to be the church.
The membership of Oakwood is made up of people who have received the message of the gospel and have trusted Jesus Christ alone for salvation. They have been baptized as a public profession of their faith in Christ. They covenant with the church to carry out its mission in the church and in the world.
The Bible tells us that God desires believers to live in covenant with one another, encouraging one another in the faith, and working together to give witness to His grace in the world (Hebrews 10:23-25). Becoming a member of a church is a practical way to carry out the principle of connectedness and contribution.
Why Church Membership?
We believe that children can understand and respond to the gospel message. They are also to be baptized when they trust in Christ as their Savior and understand what baptism means.
Do Children Join the Church?
After visiting Oakwood and believing that God has lead you to enter into a covenant relationship with our Church Family, the first step to membership would be to come forward during our invitation that takes place at the end of the service and express your desire for membership to one of our Pastoral Staff.
How Do I Join Oakwood Baptist Church?
As stated above in the “Who is a Member of the Church” section, Oakwood members must have:
1. Received the whole truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by accepting Christ’s gift of salvation.
2. Publically profess their faith through baptism by emersion.
3. Covenant with the family of Oakwood to carry out the mission of the Church
Are there requirements for Church membership at Oakwood?
We expect you to attend weekly worship services
We expect you to be a part of weekly Bible Study through either a Life Group or small group.
We expect you to biblically tithe to support the ongoing mission of the church.
During the week, we expect you to act in a manner that is both honoring to God and to the family of Oakwood and to share the gospel with those you encounter.
We expect you to discover your spiritual giftedness and use it to serve God in an area of ministry within the church.