Here at First Baptist Church we believe that membership is vital. This is why we spend time every year teaching through what it means to be a church member. Additionally we ask anyone that is interested in becoming a member at First Baptist Church to read the book "I Am A Church Member" by Thom Rainer. This book is provided by our church free of charge.
WHAT IS MEMBERSHIP? We understand that when looking to becoming a member of the church that there can be many questions. Our desire is to answer any questions one may have concerning church Membership. First one must understand that membership is a commitment a person makes to the church family. This commitment involves a public profession of faith followed by baptism, additionally there should be an agreement with The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 (the church’s statement of faith), regular participation in a small group, regular participation in the instruction provided by the church family, regular participation in service to the church family and community, regular participation in the financial support of the church, and a willingness to hold accountable and be held accountable by fellow church members to follow Jesus faithfully.
DOES MEMBERSHIP MATTER? Membership does indeed matter. Without membership in the local church anyone can have a say in what the church believes, teaches, and does. Local church membership offers a safeguard to the church from doctrinal danger, the deceptiveness of sin, and financial abuse. If a church does not have a committed family of members of one mind and one spirit there is no accountability for teachers who teach false doctrine, no accountability for holy living, and no checks and balances for the use of the church family’s funds.
CAN I COME TO CHURCH WITHOUT BEING A MEMBER? Absolutely! No one is turned away from attending church at First Baptist. Everyone is invited to attend worship with us each week. The best place to seek the Lord, to find answers to your spiritual questions, as well as to find encouragement is in a Bible believing church family. Our hope is that you will begin to see the great benefits of becoming a part of the family of believers and want to join. We see membership as both a privilege and a responsibility. Anyone is welcome to attend at anytime!
DO I HAVE TO BE A MEMBER TO SERVE IN THE CHURCH? That depends. If you are teaching Small Groups, or leading in a ministry then membership is required. If you would like to work alongside of us as we serve our community then we welcome the support! Our desire is to be a blessing to our community in the name of Christ. You are a part of the community and service is the privilege of every community resident. When it comes to the inner functions of the church we do require membership to serve in those capacities.
So perhaps you are wondering what you would need to do in order to become a member of First Baptist Washington. Let’s answer…
How Can I Become A Member?
1. Public Profession. During one of our regular Sunday Services we would ask that you would come forward to publicly declare your faith in Jesus Christ and your desire to become a member of First Baptist Church.
2. Set up a Membership Interview with our membership team. After you have indicated your desire to become a member of First Baptist church and have declare your faith in Jesus Christ publicly a membership interview will be scheduled. The purpose of this interview is to learn how you became a follower of Christ, what you believe, and why you would like to become a member of our church. During this time we will share with you what you can expect from our church and what the church should expect of it’s members. If after this interview you want to proceed with membership we would ask that you.
3. Be baptized. Baptism is required for membership for those who have not been baptized by immersion after becoming a follower of Christ. Your baptism will be scheduled with the pastor in advance so that you can invite family and friends to be a part of this joyous occasion. If you are transferring your membership from another Southern Baptist Church or are joining by a statement of faith (having been baptized by immersion after becoming a follower of Christ in a church of like faith in order) then you will be asked to join the pastor at the exit so the church family can meet you and welcome you.
4. Be voted on by the church family at a regularly scheduled Business Meeting. This is the final step in the membership process. We have business meetings every other month and one of our church members will make a motion to accept you as a member, this motion will be seconded and there will be time for dissuasion allowed, the church will then vote on whether to grant yo church membership.