As Pastor David always says, we are Christians first, Baptists second. However; there is great value in being part of a local body of believers within the universal Church, practicing Christianity biblically (belonging to a local church), not just culturally (saying you can serve God without having to belong to specific church).
Our experience has been that many in our congregation have some misunderstanding of what it means to be a “Covenant Member”. We regularly encounter those in our congregation who are surprised to learn they are not actually members of the church, even though they have been attending, serving, and giving their tithes and offerings for many years. So what does being a member really mean, and what’s the importance of “signing on the dotted line” if you’re already “plugged in”? There are at least three aspects of membership.
First, and most importantly, being a member of a local church means that you are a redeemed believer in Jesus Christ. When you join the church, you are affirming that you have genuinely received Christ as your Savior and Lord and obeyed Him through Believer’s baptism. Sure, you can be saved without being a member of the church, but membership is one way of stating publicly, with the church’s affirmation, that you are a child of God.
Secondly, local church membership is important because it means you are committed. If someone regularly attends and is involved in serving in the church but has never joined, the commitment and motivation of that individual could be in question. In a culture that sees commitment as passe’, how important is it for us to be committed to the church of the living God?
Finally, church membership is practical. If you have indeed determined this is the place God has called you to live out your faith and walk with Him, then it certainly helps to be “on the roster” for purposes of communication and connection.
Now, it’s important to note that there is a distinction between church membership and Life Group membership. Life Group membership has no such qualifications as outlined here. If you’re a Life Group member who is not a church member (or you’re not sure), please take care of that right away.
Becoming a Covenant Member is important and easy. Just complete a Covenant Membership card located in your seat back. Once you have completed the card, you may place it in the offering plate or take it to the Response Room at the end of the service, where you can speak with one of our trained counselors should you have additional questions.
Once we receive and process your Covenant Membership card, your next step as a Covenant Member will be to register and attend the Discover First Baptist Orlando class. This one-time, two-hour biblically-based class is designed to specifically help connect you to First Baptist Orlando. If you’ve been visiting and want to learn more about First Orlando, how to get connected, and covenant membership, Discover First Orlando is the next step you need to take.
During the gathering, you’ll get a chance to meet your pastors and learn about what kind of church we are. You will also be able to ask any questions you might have, such as, “What does it mean to be a Christ follower?” “How can I be baptized?” “How can I serve at the church?” or “How do I connect to a small group?”
You can register here for one of our Discover First Baptist Orlando events by clicking on the link below.
Discover First Baptist Orlando