No Official Church Membership?
The church I serve as pastor, CrossHope Chapel, does not have an official sign on the dotted line type of local membership. You can’t sign anything that says you want to be a member of CrossHope Chapel or you can’t sign any commitment to be a member of CrossHope Chapel.
One becomes a member of CrossHope Chapel by being a member of the larger universal body of Christ, by being in Christ in faith and in salvation and by being involved in attendance at our fellowship.
The Apostle Paul introduces us to the concept of the church being the body of Christ in Romans 7:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, Ephesians 4:12., and Colossians 1:18.
We frequently talk of joining the body of Christ, the church, but at CrossHope Chapel we see that happening with our local body as it does with the universal body — by believing and following Jesus as Savior and Lord.
This means that one can come to CrossHope Chapel and not worry about being pressured into joining. There is no process available to join CrossHope Chapel as a local body of Christ. But don’t think that we don’t care about you joining the larger body of Christ because we do.
We think that joining the local body of Christ shouldn’t be in conflict with joining the universal body of Christ.
When I was a minister with the Adventist denomination, we had 27 fundamental beliefs that everyone had to sign off on before they could join the local Adventist church. The problem with that was that it communicated that joining the universal body of Christ was based on 27 fundamental beliefs and not on Jesus alone.
At CrossHope Chapel we take a different approach and maintain our fundamental beliefs as a guide for our discipleship and leadership not as a means to clear a candidate for local church membership. As we see it, every lost soul is a candidate for the universal body of Christ but none of them get in by their works or what fundamental beliefs they adhere.
We believe we are saved by grace through faith and not by works because the atonement of Christ is sufficient and we think joining the local body of Christ should communicate the same as what’s required for salvation.
In case you are wondering, our church ByLaws define a different requirement for those who may be placed in leadership at CrossHope Chapel. Our pastors, elders, and those in leadership roles are required to be in agreement with our church Statement of Faith and Governing Values.
If you have any questions about membership and CrossHope Chapel, please ask.