Why Be A Member Of A Church - Especially This One?
The word "church", as used in the Bible, did not originally mean a building somewhere. The Greek word used was ecclesiastes and it means "called out ones". The church is the whole of all the believers in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, who separate themselves from the ways of the world by manifesting His word and works in their lives.
In Ephesians 2:19, it states, "so then you are no longer strangers and aliens but you are fellow citizens with the saints and are of God's household."
And in Romans 12:5, we read, "So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." Here at Great Hope Christian Fellowship, we exist for the purpose as stated in Ephesians 4:12-13, "for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ."
The driving force of any church, of course, needs to be biblical. The strength of Great Hope will not be built on the pastors or any ministries or programs. The strength of this church is built on the eternal purposes of God. As author Rick Warren so aptly put it in his book, The Purpose Driven Church, there are five New Testament purposes given to the church by Jesus. In Matthew 22:37-40 and Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus said for His church to:
love the Lord with all your heart;
love your neighbor as yourself;
go and make disciples;
teaching them to obey.
We at Great Hope implement these purposes by inviting people to join us in fellowship (membership); building them up in the ways of God (maturity); training them in the specifics of service (ministry) and sending them back out to live and teach these precepts to others (mission); all the while magnifying God.
Our church's end product is changed lives ... Christ-like children, youth and adults. We accomplish this by God's Spirit in:
the worship and teaching services at our church;
the community teaching/outreach ministry of Piercing the Darkness Ministries.
This is an exciting time to live and be involved with our church. We must face the challenges of living a Christ-like life in a very un-Christ-like world. We can, by God's grace, help you do this. God has a plan for each one of us, and scripturally, we can see that God has set five goals for every believer:
God wants each of us to be a member of His family, not just someone believing, but belonging. 1 Peter 1:3-4 tells us that we are born again to a living hope, to receive His inheritance. God has given us the church as a spiritual family for our own benefit.
God wants each of us to be a model of His character. 1 Peter 2:21 says we are called for this purpose - to follow in His steps. 1 Timothy 4:12 tells us to set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
God wants each of us to be a minister of His grace. We are to use the gifts, talents and opportunities that He has given us to benefit others. 1 Peter 4:10, "as each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
God wants each of us to be a messenger of His love. We need to become messengers of the Good News to others. In Acts 20:24, Paul states his reason for living was to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. Testify with your life. It may be the only Bible people read.
God wants each of us to be a magnifier of His name. Each of us has a personal responsibility to worship God. Psalm 34:3 says, "O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together."
What Do I Get If I Am A Member Of Great Hope Christian Fellowship?
So you say, "What's in it for me to be a member of this church?" By being a member, you are not just an attender or consumer, but one who has ownership in our vision, mission and purpose. Being a member here doesn't mean you sign up, pay up, obey silly rules and keep your name on a list gathering dust in the church files. This church is a living part of the body of Christ. Joining here is becoming a vital part of a living entity.
Each one of us is important, and we will not function fully as a church body unless all the parts are in place, remain in place, and grow into what it was created to be. Romans 12:5-6, "So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly ..."
1 Corinthians 12:14-20, 25-27,"For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body', it is not for this reason any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body', it is not for this reason any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. ... There should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it."
We are a family here, not some institution. Here at Great Hope:
You will find worship, which will help you focus on God to help you meet the physical and spiritual demands of the coming week.
You will find fellowship with some of the sweetest people on the planet, who will provide you with support and encouragement.
You will find discipleship in the teachings, special classes and lessons offered to help build up your faith in God.
You will find a place of ministry to discover and develop your talents to use them in the service of others.
You will find a place of accountability that you will need in order to grow in the ways of God.
How Do I Become A Member Of This Church?
A personal profession that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior is the first requirement for becoming a member of Great Hope Christian Fellowship.
Living and expressing a willingness to incorporate the directions of God from the Word of God into your life.
Completion of our membership class. If you would like more information, please contact us.
Sign a commitment to abide by Great Hope's Membership Covenant.