Baptism & Membership
Baptism & Membership
(and a little bit on child dedication)
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that, as Baptists, we believe that the act of baptism is an essential step in following Christ. If you haven’t taken this step, here’s more on what we believe about baptism and why we think it’s important.
- It’s an act of dedicating oneself to following Christ, just as Christ underwent baptism at the outset of his ministry (Mark 1:9-11).
- It symbolizes a person dying to sin and being raised to new life in Christ (Romans 6:3-4).
- Symbolizing death and resurrection through baptism is best communicated through baptism by immersion.
- Baptism is a step taken by a person after choosing to follow Christ—hence what is known as “Believer’s Baptism” (Acts 8:12).
- It’s integral to our discipleship, since Jesus commanded that his followers be baptized (Matthew 28:19).
We really don’t push membership too strongly at Unity, and you’ve probably noticed that there’s not much a non-member can’t do around here. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need members or don’t think membership is important. We do!
Our church needs both your opinion and your vote. Baptist church government is based on the belief that the Spirit speaks through the corporate body, and if we don’t have people who can vote, we can’t discern how God’s leading our church.
Occasionally someone will say that membership doesn’t show up in the Bible. Yes, and no—but regardless, just because it isn’t mentioned in the New Testament doesn’t mean it’s unbiblical. Membership is a means of belonging to, participating in, and stewarding what God’s doing among us. Those seem like biblical principles!
Here’s a brief outline of our procedure for accepting people into membership.
- Indicate interest to a pastor or council member
- Read and sign our church covenant and statement of faith
- Meet with pastor or council member to share about your relationship with Jesus and experience of believer’s baptism
- Pastor or council member will then make a recommendation to Council
Some parents wish to acknowledge publicly that a child is a gift from God and that they’re committing themselves to raising their child in a manner that would please God. From time to time we have child dedications for this purpose, and several different things are bound up in it:
- giving thanks to God for the gift
- offering the child to God and his purposes
- committing to raise the child in Christian home
- seeking the support of the wider community
If you're interested in learning more about baptism, membership, or child dedication please talk to Ben.
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