Membership at Shenandoah Baptist Church
Throughout those years that would be considered the times of Old Testament history, God dealt directly with a select group of people. This was the Jewish nation, often called the Israelites, and God called them His "chosen ones" (Psalm 33). As seen in the Old Testament scriptures, God granted this Jewish nation wonderful privileges and blessings, but also required of them specific responsibilities to each other and Him.
The New Testament teachings of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, clearly indicate God’s desire to extend the privilege of being a "chosen one" to people outside the Jewish nation (John 10). Additionally, the death and resurrection of Jesus established for every man and woman the opportunity to experience a unique relationship with God. Along with this privilege and opportunity came specific responsibilities.
The book of Acts, as recorded by Luke, documents the establishment and early history of the church whose leader is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The "local church" thus had its beginning in Jerusalem, with membership granted to those people who believed in the teachings of Jesus, who were baptized, and who then devoted themselves to learning, teaching, worshipping, and serving (Acts 2). Membership at Shenandoah Baptist Church is based on the understanding of these Scriptures.
The clear and undeniable teaching of the Scriptures is that God places the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ into local assemblies. Through the local church the believers:
- May grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ
- Participate in corporate worship
- Fellowship with other believers
- Cultivate spiritual gifts
- Serve Christ and others under protection of spiritual authority
Believers in Jesus Christ are commanded not to forsake assembling together as a church body (Hebrews 10:25). Faithful involvement in the local church is thus a solemn obligation for the true follower of Christ. Membership in a local church affords not only privileges but also responsibilities. As that member successfully fulfills his responsibilities, both he and the church grow and function as Jesus intended. Church members should realize that execution of these responsibilities is absolutely vital to the healthy life of the church.
The responsibilities of church membership include:
- A regular time of personal prayer and Bible study
- An acceptable pattern of attendance at worship services of the church
- A willingness to grow spiritually mature in order to take on a position of leadership or service
- Joyful financial giving to the church
- Giving feedback to the church concerning personal needs
Membership at Shenandoah is open to anyone who:
- Professes personal faith in Christ as Savior and Lord: God created us, and He wants us to live harmoniously with Him. But sin separates us from God. Sins are those things we do or think that are violations of God’s laws and Christ’s teachings. As sinners, we acknowledge that we have committed sins, have broken our fellowship with God, only Christ can be our Savior from the punishment necessitated by our sin. We confess these sins, repent of them, and call upon God to save us. We can then state our faith in Christ.
- Has had water baptism by immersion: Baptism is a symbol of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:4-6). Our baptism identifies us with Christ. Baptism is the physical expression of the union of Christ with the repentant sinner. We should be baptized as soon as possible after salvation.
- Has had an interview with a Pastor or Elder and has submitted a membership application (see the form below):
In certain situations, a candidate may be asked to have a more extensive interview with representatives of the Pastors or Elders. If the candidate holds membership in another church, a proper letter of recommendation must be received from that church. This requirement may be waived in some situations.
Two categories of membership exist at Shenandoah. Most people are considered active members who have accepted all privileges and responsibilities. Associate membership is also available for those temporarily living in the Roanoke area, but desire to maintain membership at their home church to which they will return.
If the member should ever decide to leave Shenandoah, it is also his responsibility to notify the church leadership of this decision, preferably before a final decision has been reached.
Occasionally, someone may be removed from membership at Shenandoah as a result of church discipline. Please contact the church office for a copy of this policy. Decisions to do so are made by the Elders. Reasons for dismissal include: continuous sinful conduct, erroneous teaching, and inappropriate absenteeism from the life and ministry of the church. Just as a new member is introduced to the church family by way of announcement from the pulpit or in the bulletin, so may the church family be notified when a member is removed from the church.
New or prospective members are asked to attend the connect@sbc class. This course explores our church's history, leadership structure, Statement of Faith, and ministry opportunities. Information regarding the course may be obtained by contacting a pastor or by calling the church office (540-366-2431).
Since membership at Shenandoah can be a very real blessing, we encourage you to consider joining the Shenandoah family. May God guide you in your decision. Prepare to receive His blessings as a chosen one at His local church!
To apply for Membership:
- Please notify a member of the pastoral staff or an Elder of your desire to join by completing the form below.
- Following this notification, a Pastor or Elder will visit with you.
- Complete the application for membership and return it to a Pastor or Elder.
- If you have not already done so, make plans to enroll in the connect@sbc class.
- If you have not already done so, discover your area of service at Shenandoah.
- Appointment as a member occurs after your interview with the Pastor/Elder and your submission of an application for membership.
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