At salvation, we become a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). At that point, we can also become a member of a gathering of other members of the body of Christ - a local church. You can't open up the New Testament and specifically find a story of someone becoming a member of a church. But, the churches of the New Testament did keep lists for membership, widows, orphans, etc. In 1 Tim 5:9, you see the idea of a list of widows eligible for support. In the early church, you see a process where people would repent, believe in Christ, be baptized, and then be added to the church (Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14, 16:5). There is also the universal church that is comprised of all believers, in which we automatically become members we first believe. The local church is comprised of believers committed to a local congregation or assembly. In a sense, committing to a local church is merely living out the commitment we have in the universal church. The New Testament epistles were written to local churches, and they demonstrate an expectation that people would be committed to a local assembly. We even see churches writing letters of commendation when their members left to go to another church (Acts 18:27; Romans 16:1; Colossians 4:10; cf. 2 Corinthians 3:1-2).
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The Commitment of Membership
The idea of joining a church is saying, "I am your responsibility, and you are my responsibility." Even in the exercise of church discipline, according to Matthew 18 and other passages (1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 3:10-11), there is an assumption that the elders of a church know who their members are.
The Process of Membership
To become a member of Denton Bible Church, you are required to attend a four-session class called Membership Matters. In this class, you will learn about the history, doctrine, distinctives, government, giving, discipline, philosophy of ministry, spiritual gifts, serving in ministry, ordinances, and membership process and expectations at DBC. These classes are typically held in four one hour classes on consecutive Sunday mornings or one four-hour class on a Saturday.