The Bible teaches that participation through membership in a local church is one of the most basic ways that Christians follow Jesus. In fact, it is so basic that the authors of the New Testament simply assume that every Christian will be part of a local church. The reason for this is simple. The local church is at the heart of God’s plan to save sinners through the gospel of his son, Jesus Christ.
Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a solemn and beautiful symbol that declares our faith in and allegiance to the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, as well as our union with him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Baptism by nature is a public declaration of our faith to the watching world and a commitment to and joining together with the people of God.
Baptism comes at the start of a life of obedience to the commands of Christ. It is an act of faith that joins the individual believer to the many and leads to a life of devotion through membership in the local church.
Membership is the way baptized believers are identified with the local church, which is a community that is set apart by the gospel as a compelling witness of Christ to the world.
Membership involves a serious commitment before God and between members of the congregation. Members commit to believing and living the Christian faith and Gospel, to fellowshipping with one another, to regularly participating in the Lord's Supper, to pursuing holiness and maturity, and exercising their spiritual gifts for the good of the local church.
Our commitment to those who are new to our church is to serve and love you as you learn more about our church and what it means to be a member. Knowing that the idea of membership is often misunderstood, we encourage you to attend our "Understanding Church Membership" class where you’ll learn about what we believe, the type of church community we’re trying to build, why joining a church is essential to your growth as a Christian, and what life at Hope Church is like.
In our Sunday gatherings, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper almost every week. We share bread and fruit of the vine to remember the death of our Lord Jesus Christ for us. The bread symbolizes His body given for us. The fruit of the vine celebrates His blood shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins. We do this because Jesus commanded us to: “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). When we take the Lord’s Supper, we are remembering the central treasure of our faith.
The Lord's Supper is the church's family table - and Christ himself is our host. For this reason, it is believers marked off and made visible through baptism (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38-42) and walking in Christ-likeness with one another (1 Corinthians 11:27–32) who are invited to participate.