christ is king and we follow him together
From a modern perspective, membership doesn't make a whole lot of sense. We really value our freedom and feel like life is best when we aren't tied down by anything or anyone. Membership sounds like more meetings and commitments to things we can't fit in.
We don't like the idea of hierarchy or exclusive clubs. We want the church to be an inclusive place for all people while membership seems to set up a divide between normal people and 'super Christians'.
We like it when things are efficient, where we can make decisions and move quickly. Membership reminds us of late nights where everyone had to agree on the colour of the carpet.
It's no wonder that many churches have moved away from the idea.
A Prophetic Act
Despite all of this, or perhaps even because of it, we believe that membership is a prophetic way to embody the kingdom of heaven in our world. Becoming a member flies in the face of the consumerist nature of our time. Membership says we’re committed to each other no matter what, that we’re better together, that deep individual and corporate growth happens when we intentionally choose to hang in there with each other and allow Jesus to grow our character and deepen our relationships .
At its core, it represents the coming together of two relational promises or covenants
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Us with One Another
We try to take Jesus seriously when He said, "Wherever two or three are gathered, there I am also."So as we come together as committed members, these two covenants come together and we know Jesus Himself will be with us.
And if Jesus is with us, it changes everything. Every other leader and structure is levelled as we follow Him.
A New Old Way To Be The Church
What sets Baptists apart is the way we follow Jesus. Rather than waiting for the pastor to come down from the mountaintop to share their vision, rather than waiting for a board of elders to tell us what God is saying,
we believe that we hear Jesus as the community of members gather to pray.
Jesus speaks to us, but not necessarily from the microphone at the front, but from the voices of the community as we gather together to pray. This doesn’t necessarily mean it's from a majority vote either, as Baptists we believe that Jesus’ voice is often found in the minority; from the fringes.
It's not a democracy, but a Christocracy
This process means that there will be questions, disagreement and conflict. But disagreement doesn’t mean disloyalty, and conflict isn't always bad. We think that they are key ways that we become more like Jesus. This process is also slower and less efficient than other ways of leading. It takes time to listen well, and it's a risk to pass around the microphone. But we don't remember many promises in the Bible where we are told that the Gospel was meant to be efficient.
Membership is more inefficient, but perhaps it's more faithful too.
What it means to be a member at GSB
To be a member doesn’t mean you have to be a ‘super Christian’. You don’t have to have perfect theology or live a perfect life. To become a member of our community only requires a commitment to a journey. To walk with God and to walk with us. So for everyone who wants to be a member of our church, we have these promises that we make.
If you feel called to join us on this journey, this is all we ask. Walk with us as we walk with Jesus.
So if you're interested in being a member, click the link below and someone will be in touch with you soon. If you have any more questions, have a look at our resources and FAQ below.
Will you walk in the ways of Jesus, those made known and those yet to be made known?
Will you walk with this community, watching over one another with love?