Sunday School 9:15AM, Sunday Worship 10:30AM

Christ calls His disciples to gather in His name. He gave them authority to represent Him on earth by gathering in local churches. As a local church, we commit to assemble regularly under Christ to hear His Word and observe His ordinances. We recognize that as members of FBC we have become accountable for one another in Christ (Matt. 16:13–18, 18:15–20; 26:26–29; 28:18–20; Eph. 3:10, 21; 1 Tim. 3:15). Our constitution reflects our understanding (and application) of the Bible’s teaching on the purpose, function, and order of a local church.

The Bible takes church membership seriously. This is inferred from many things, including Paul’s example. (1) Paul knows who belongs to each local church, mentioning people by name (Rom. 16:1–16). This implies some sort of formal process whereby members are identified. (2) Paul recognizes elders and deacons in each local church (Phil. 1:1). These church offices are meaningless unless leaders know who is under their charge. (3) Paul speaks of church discipline, culminating in expulsion from the local church (1 Cor. 5:1–7). This makes no sense unless people know who is in the church. (4) Paul encourages the practice of making lists (1 Tim. 5:5–16). Such a procedure is only possible if there’s some understanding of who belongs to the church.

Membership is the formal organization of a community of believers in a particular place. We have received Christ as Savior. We have been baptized as a sign that we are one with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. We recognize that we are one body—a new community and humanity. We recognize that a local church is a particular expression of the one body. We covenant with fellow Christians in a local church to live out the reality of the one body.

Therefore, the function of the local church is pivotal to all believers. We cultivate love for one another (Col. 3:14). We speak the gospel into one another’s life. We believe that God changes people through the gospel, that He transforms people through the gospel, and that He shapes and nurtures people through the gospel. In this context, we use our gifts for mutual edification (Eph. 4:7–16). Christ distributes gifts to all believers (v. 8), “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up of the body of Christ” (v. 12). As a result, the church is edified (vv. 13–16).