At Riverside, we believe the Scriptures teach us it was God's intention for believers to be connected in the form of a local body known as the Church. Membership with that local body is a way to express your desire to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and to be accountable to His Church under godly leadership. It is unfortunate that we live in a time where it is common for people to prefer to not be accountable to anything. Independence tends to be highly valued from the world's perspective. The Church, however, is a place where God's people can express and experience their desire for godly accountability and have the opportunity to live out the Gospel in the setting of a corporate group. Why Membership? Many believe Church membership is not that important - that it is simply a product of culture, not a biblical concept. We strongly encourage you to ask if that is the case, and to search the Scripture for guidance. We believe you will find several indications that point to a connection in the Body of Christ through membership.
Some key passages pointing to the importance of membership in the local Body:
- If there is no membership it is difficult to be accountable to leadership. Hebrews 13:17
- If there is no membership it is just about impossible to do Church discipline. Matthew 18:15-18
- If there is no membership it makes it more difficult to live out the "one anothers" in the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:32
- If there is no membership how do we "join" the Church? In Acts 5:13, the word "join" communicates the idea of associating or uniting together. This implies that becoming a part of the early Church involved commitment and strong association.
At Riverside there are five steps to become a member:
- It is required that one be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. John 1:12
- Follow in obedience to Jesus' call to be baptized. Matthew 28:18-20
- Attend one of our Discovery classes to get acquainted with us and what Riverside is all about. This also allow us to get more acquainted with you.
- Share your testimony with one of our Elders.
- Be presented to our Church Body at Riverside.