Church Membership is Not What You Think! Church membership is not what you think, as Jonathan Leeman writes in his book Church Membership. Christians have a misguided view because we wrongly think of the local church as another voluntary association, club, or service provider. Associations like a non-profit pregnancy center, charity organization, or soccer club are all voluntary organizations that exist by permission of the state government, and provide some desired service that we might choose to support.
I want to shake up your thinking with this fundamental truth: “The local church does not exist by permission of the state. It exists by the express authorization of Jesus.” Jesus is the authority to which all other authorities will answer, even though they may not know it yet.
While it is true that the local church should submit to the authority of the state when it comes to laws and regulations in areas such as taxes, facility compliance, and staffing, the distinction of ownership is critical to us as believers.
Too often we think of the local church as a club—and “the word ‘membership’ is a club word”—a word not found in Scripture. But the concept of an integral relationship between believer and the local church is deeply rooted throughout all of Scripture.
The local church is not a club, a social gathering, or a weekly religious event but a people radically committed to Jesus and Kingdom! Jesus meant the church to be a new community under His full authority, with a mission to the lost world all around us in our everyday life.
Missio Dei is one such place. A church fully committed to making Jesus known and His kingdom visible through our everyday life. It isn’t a voluntary thing—we all need to become local church citizens somewhere. If not Missio Dei—then wherever God leads you.
Becoming a covenant member of Missio Dei Church means belonging to a family of worshipping servants who are sent on mission by Jesus to make disciples for His glory. It is a commitment to the mission of God as we make Jesus known and His kingdom visible in our everyday life together.
Covenant Membership is about more than attending church gatherings. Members commit to joining a spiritual family that provides encouragement and support and taking responsibility to live out His mission through us. They are called to a higher degree of responsibility, service and sacrifice by gathering, growing, giving, and going. Our pastors/elders and leaders pledge to assist our Covenant Members with care, counsel, prayer and teaching.
If you call Missio Dei your church home, I want to challenge you to pray about membership, and learn more by coming to the Missio Dei Membership Interest Meal typically scheduled on a Saturday from 9am-12pm at our building. We schedule these periodically throughout the year. If you are interested in joining our church please email: firstname.lastname@example.org We hope that, as the Lord leads, you make a covenant to be part of our church family.
There are four steps in becoming a Covenant Family Member of Missio Dei Church:
1. Attend New Membership Interest Meal
This is the first step to becoming a member of Missio Dei Church. We currently offer #WeAreMissioDeiMemphis Membership Interest Breakfast at least two times a year and we are working on an audio series to work through online to accompany a meal together. Let us know you are interested.
#WeAreMissioDeiMemphis Membership Interest Breakfast covers the basics about Missio Dei Church. We talk about the gospel (structure), the community (missional communities), and the mission (Make Jesus Known and His Kingdom Visible) and answer why we do things the way we do, etc. We also walk through our membership covenant. There is also ample time for questions.
Information about upcoming Membership Classes will be given through announcements online or in our gathering.
You will receive an updated primer when you come to the class.
2. Join a Missional Community
The second step to becoming a member of Missio Dei Church is to join a Missional Community. We have MC's that meet at various times and locations around our city. Think of MCs a smaller families within the Missio Dei Family who are on mission together to a specific people in a specific place.
For more information on MCs, click here.
3. Tell Your Story
The third step to becoming a member of Missio Dei Church is to tell your story. This involves telling your story in two different venues: online via a form & to your missional community. When you're ready to share your story (this includes both the story of your life & your faith journey), simply tell your MC leader and arrange a time to share your story during an MC gathering. You also need to tell your story via this form: Tell Your Story Form
4. Sign the Covenant
The final step in the Missio Dei Membership Process is to read and sign the church covenant affirmation. When you are ready we will send you an updated copy of our covenant for you to read through, pray over, and sign to join our family.
Once you fulfill the requirements of membership and sign the covenant, you are considered a Covenant Family Member.