We are sometimes asked these questions:
While the New Testament has no membership process, it also does not recognize a Christian living outside the context of a local church. To be a Christian in the early church was to be “added to their number” (Acts 5:14; 16:5) and to be committed to the local church through active service. Therefore, the practice of being ‘committed’ to a local church is not debatable in the New Testament. The challenge for us is that the early church had only one option: the local expression where each person lived. In the greater El Paso area there are hundreds of churches from which to choose. Because of this fact, we have adopted a membership process to enable us to know those who are aligning themselves with this body of believers at GBF.
Furthermore, as Elders of GBF, God commands us and holds us accountable to “shepherd the flock of God among us.” (I Peter 5:1) Numerous demands occur on our time as Elders; however, we believe that a commitment to church membership is an effective way to assist us in identifying those among us whom we should be shepherding.
As John Piper has appropriately said about his own church, “We don’t want membership in the local church to be more difficult than membership into the universal church.”
This means local church membership should not require more than being a Christian. We affirm that wholeheartedly. As a result, we have structured our membership process with that in mind.
If you would like to pursue membership at GBF each individual (16 years and older) will need to complete and submit a written application (found below) to one of the elders. Once your application is received one or more of the Elders will meet with you to hear your salvation testimony, discuss any questions you might have about the church and how God has gifted you to be a part of the body of Christ. If it is clear that your trust is firmly planted in Jesus Christ, then one of the Elders will introduce you as a member of GBF to the congregation on a Sunday morning.
Praying for God’s richest blessings upon you, The Elders of Grace Bible Fellowship Ben Dowdy, John Tibberts, John Gardea and Russ Shute
Download the GBF Membership Application