Joining the Church

Becoming a member of First Baptist Church takes three steps. adultssmaller.jpg

Step 1.
Attend our membership class which is normally held from 8 AM till Noon on a Saturday morning. Because breakfast and a snack are served and you meet most of the leaders of major ministries in the church, we schedule classes after a handful of visitors express interest. Call Terri at 410-642-6865 or by email at: fbcp1@verizon.net. to place your name on the list of those who are interested in a membership class. After we get several names we schedule a specific date with you.

Attending the class does not obligate you to join. But if you’re considering joining the First Baptist Church family, the class will introduce you to the organization, purpose, ministries, the church covenant, and a few distinctives from our church by-laws. You will also have the opportunity to interact with other visitors as well as the church leaders. It will give you the background helpful to make an informed choice about membership. And should you join, you will already know a fair amount about the church and who to talk with to get involved.

So that joining a church is a meaningful and memorable experience, and so that the new member will not merely be a name on a roll, but also an active and serving member, parents have waited until their children are teens, often fifteen or sixteen years old, before encouraging membership. If a youth has trusted Christ, they should consider joining the church before they graduate from high school so they have roots set down from which to anchor their growing independence.

If after completing the membership class you’re still interested in membership, take the next step.

Step 2
Request a membership interview with the pastor. Membership interviews are opportunities to talk with a pastor, to ask any questions you may have, and to share your story of how you came to faith in Jesus Christ. They provide one other opportunity for you to get to know us and for us to get to know you. If you prefer, you may switch the order of steps 1 and 2.

The interview will review the gospel and see if you have any questions. We want members to have assurance they know the Lord. The pastor will also give a few illustrations you may use to tell others about Christ.

All of our members have followed Christ in water baptism. If you have not been baptized by immersion for what you believe, we will discuss what the Bible says about baptism and see if you desire to declare your faith in Christ by being publicly baptized. For more information, see our post on baptism under ABOUT.

If after the membership interview, you and the pastor are persuaded you should
join the First Baptist Church family, take the next step.

Step 3
Apply for membership. This step is really simple. During the invitation hymn (this is normally the last song we sing) at a morning worship service, meet the pastor at the front of the church. Just walk right up during the singing. If you would find it easier, ask a friend or one of us to walk with you. The pastor will tell the church how you have been to the class and interview and will recommend you to the church family. All active members vote to admit you. You will not be asked to speak in front of the group. Thus far every person recommended for membership by the pastor has been accepted joyfully.

We will ask you afterwards to remain up front so every one can greet you. It is like being in a receiving line with everyone congratulating or welcoming you. We ask that you worship the following Sunday at the other morning worship service so everyone (8:30 and 11 AM worshipers). You will not need to be voted on again. But the part of the church family you have not yet met would also like the opportunity to welcome you. Walk up front during the invitation hymn. The pastor will introduce you as a new member. Those present will line up to welcome you to the church family.

If you were a member of a church of similar faith and practice, tell us their name and address and we will notify them of your decision and ask for a transfer of your membership by letter.

From there, it’s a matter of blending your life with others in the church by serving together, studying together, praying together, and growing together in Christ!

God calls all believers to be part of and worship with a church family. Take a few weeks to make sure this is the right church family. But don’t wait a year and miss out on all God has for you. You and the church where God wants you to be will both be the weaker until you identify with a church family and follow through with commitment.

If after prayer, it seems the First Baptist Church of Perryville is the place where you will learn and grow, we praise the Lord. To sign up for the next membership class, contact Terri at the church office at 410-642-6865 or by email at: fbcp1@verizon.net.