These days, some say that church membership is an antiquated idea. But the concept is biblical, and it's a natural conclusion when we read various passages of Scripture. For example, in Romans 12 the apostle Paul writes, For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  So we are church members, not like members of a club, but similar to members of the human body, with Christ being the Head. We join by way of our profession of faith in Christ, which is reflected in Matthew 10 where Jesus says, “Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.”  When we becomes members of the local church, we express clearly to the leaders of the church (and boldly before the congregation) that we believe the gospel, we trust in Christ, and we are committed to the believers there. The church leaders are referred to in 1 Peter 5, where the apostle Peter writes, “I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder… shepherd the flock of God that is among you.”  These elders are undershepherds of the Great Shepherd (Jesus), set apart to teach and care for the souls of those who have joined the covenant community. Jesus established leaders in the church and charges them with serving the members and giving them sound spiritual care.

Many other Scripture references inform our understanding of what it means to be a member of the flock -- a member of the local church. Below are the steps to becoming a member of GS.

1. Attend the GS Inquirer’s Class (date TBD)
This two-session class (on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon) allows you to learn about Good Shepherd's values, beliefs, goals, and history. You don't have to join the church after attending the class, but the class is required for membership. Dinner is provided on Friday evening; childcare can also be provided if necessary. Click here to register.

2. Review the Membership Vows
Public vows are biblical and also still relevant today. Over and over in the Scriptures, we see references to a person giving his or her word in the sight of God and others as a pledge that they will do certain things. These are the membership vows of the PCA:
  • Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?
  • Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners as he is presented in the gospel, and do you receive and rest upon Him alone for your salvation?
  • Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will make every effort to live out your faith as a follower of Christ?
  • Do you promise to support the church in its worship and work to the best of your ability?
  • Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of the church, and promise to promote and protect its purity and peace?

3. Visit with the Pastor to discuss any questions you might have

4. Complete the Membership Info Sheet

5. Meet with the Session to become a member
When someone joins the church, they must be received by the shepherds (elders) of the church. The session (elders) of Good Shepherd (Rev. Stacey Severance, Jack Marchette, Tim Bell, and Andy McInville) hears a person’s testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and confirms, as far as they are humanly able, that those who join GS are genuine followers of Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful time to interact with the leaders of our church.

6. Make your public profession of faith and affirm your membership before the congregation
When we take the membership vows, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and His church. While a person is received as a member by the Session, they also affirm the vows in the worship service, making their public profession of faith in Jesus Christ before the congregation and being baptized with water if they have not already received the covenant sign of baptism.