A church member is somebody who, whether by a signature or a word of commitment or promise, says, "I am committed to a people, a people who hear the Word of God preached, a people who perform the ordinances that Jesus gave to his church (baptism and the Lord's Supper), and a people who commit to the 'one another' commandments (love each other, exhort each other, admonish each other, hold each other accountable)."

Those commitments are what membership is.

The reason for even using the word "member" is because of 1 Corinthians 12-14, where Paul uses the word "member" in a body analogy. 

The local church—not just the global church, but the local church—is a body. The reason we know it is local and not just global is because, while in Ephesians 1 and Colossians he talks about Christ as the head of the body, in 1 Corinthians 12 he is talking about a head with eyes and ears that are members of the body.

So, the body analogy has one global meaning, and it has one local meaning. There's global membership in the body universal, and there's local membership in the body where I am a finger or an eye or an ear or a foot. And everybody is a member.

There is no sentence in the Bible that says, "There is church membership, or thou shalt be a church member." We believe it is implied in the nature of the church and of Christian discipleship that everybody should, by a covenant commitment of some kind, put their name on the membership line saying, "I'm here in Ocala. While I am in Ocala, and until God leads me otherwise, these are my people and I'm committed here."


Download the membership application and return to the church office or email it to John@livinghopeocala.org

Membership Application