Join Grace Pointe
Join Grace Pointe
The handbook (available at the church) has been designed to guide you through the membership process at Grace Pointe. This online portion will provide you with some of the information to understand the why and how of our membership process.
The process is self-paced. You will read the materials and complete all of the studies on your own.
Study materials include the workbook and your Bible. The workbook is divided into five chapters:
The amount of time required to complete this process varies from person to person. When you complete all five chapters you will be ready for the Confirmation Step of the membership process. At that time, if you attend the Naperville campus, you will need to contact Kristi in the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630.637.2069 to schedule an interview session. If you attend the Plainfield campus, you will need to contact Dan Painter at email@example.com or 815.556.8364.
Be sure to pray before you begin your study. Ask the Lord for:
If you have any questions or concerns during this journey, please feel free to contact an elder or a member of the pastoral staff.
Why Church Membership?
You might assume that as long as you profess Christ, there is no need for any further identification with a local church. Isn’t it enough simply to call yourself a Christian and attend services somewhere regularly? What is the point of formal membership? What does God’s Word say about being a part of the body of Christ?
Three Reasons for Formal Membership
First, we believe the concept of membership is a biblical one. While the term “church member” is never used, the concept of individual commitment to the local body is present throughout the New Testament. Believers identified themselves with the local body and were challenged to become devoted participants.
Second, formal membership is valuable to the leaders of the church as they seek to fulfill their God-given task of shepherding. It is important to identify those who truly comprise the “flock” at Grace Pointe – the core that can be counted on to build and sustain the ministry of the church.
Finally, membership benefits the individual. In a culture where commitment is no longer highly valued or encouraged, recognizable membership is an important step that moves each of us out of the vague clouds of our good intentions and into the clear light of committed participation. Church membership also gives the believer a solid support structure for growth. The church member no longer struggles or grows in isolation. Instead, everything that affects the individual affects the church as a whole. The church is the God-ordained support structure for the believer.
For some more thoughts on why you should take the step of membership, read this PDF: WhyJoin?
“Member” vs. “Membership”
At the moment of your conversion, you became a member of the body of Christ and the universal church of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:13-22, 4:3-6; Colossians 1:13-22). This was solely accomplished by God’s grace and is eternal and unchanging. The Bible also urges us to continue to grow by becoming active parts of the church body (Romans 12:4-8; Hebrews 10:24-25).
Although you are a permanent member of the universal church of Jesus Christ, you may have membership in several local churches during the course of a lifetime. We do not see the invisible bond of being a member of the body of Christ, but we can identify those who are committed to membership at Grace Pointe.
We believe that there are three essential biblical characteristics that describe a person who is devoted to Christ and His Church. As such, we believe that these characteristics and their outworking are essential to membership at Grace Pointe and for personal growth of the individual believer.
Devoted to Christ
The individual has experienced the saving work of Christ followed by appropriate public testimony (Ephesians 2:8-9) and is continuing to progress in sanctification and grow in obedience (2 Peter 3:18).
Devoted to His church
The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone, but in community with other believers. We should find joy in serving the body of Christ through service that utilizes our gifts. We also need the body to encourage our sanctification; we need to be connecting to other believers in significant encouraging relationships (Acts 2:46; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:5-7; Hebrews 10:23-25). Participation in the body also includes honoring God with the material gifts He has given us by supporting the local church and other God-honoring ministries (1 Chronicles 29:14; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9).
Devoted to His mission
As believers in Jesus, being ambassadors of Christ and the Gospel should be of the utmost importance in our lives. We should demonstrate the love of God through the power of the Holy Spirit and trust God for the results (Mark 16:15-16).
The main responsibility of every member of Grace Pointe is to participate in the life of the church by following Christ. The only expectation of members of Grace Pointe is that they are true disciples of Christ. In other words, they are devoted to Christ, they are devoted to His church, and they are devoted to His mission and live accordingly.
A farmer has no power to make his crop grow. He prepares the field, sows the seed, fertilizes the soil, and protects the plants from parasites, but he cannot create life. Yet every good farmer cultivates his crop because he knows he must do the RIGHT thing even if he cannot do the most important thing. Most of all, he pays attention to the health of his field. He analyzes it constantly, observing the important indicators of life: seedlings that break through the soil, green color which denotes health, and changes that show growth. If these things are absent, he works to reverse the detrimental effects of whatever threatens his crop. He takes all of this action, yet remains utterly dependent on something other than what he can do to make his crop successful. Such is the life of a farmer.
And such is the life of the church! The apostle Paul said, “You are God’s field” (1 Corinthians 3:9). We are completely dependent on God, yet we must look for the signs of life and combat the presence of what threatens our spiritual health both individually and collectively. We must look for the characteristics of a healthy church, and see if we have them. We must note the symptoms of spiritual blight, and fend it off. We do this with the humble admission that God is in our midst, providing life and growth. We are caretakers, not creators.
What are the signs of spiritual life and health? Specifically, how can we look at our church as a whole and know that these signs indicate we are doing well or that a problem is present that requires a change? We need a diagnostic tool.
Our study of the characteristics of a disciple draws, in broad strokes, the picture of a healthy church. If we are living out these characteristics, we are making progress. If people are not progressing along these lines, something needs to change. As you look into this study, realize it is intended to be used as a tool, not just for our church, but for YOU. The amount of time required to complete this study will vary from person to person depending on the amount of reflecting you do while writing your responses. To maximize the personal benefits, consider completing the study in stages, perhaps using it as a devotional aid during the days you’re working on it.
If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Dan Painter at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know! We will get in touch with you, and give you the workbook ASAP! There are also membership classes throughout the year that you can join. Be watching for more opportunities!