We are delighted that you have been getting to know the Edgington Evangelical Presbyterian Church family and that you are interested in uniting with us! Church membership is a visible, accountable relationship between an individual and a local church. We value membership as being good both for the member and the local church, and are looking forward to answering any questions you may have. At Edgington, we join with the Bible and the breadth of church history in emphasizing the important of membership in the local church.
Our adult new member class is called "Membership Matters" and typically meets in the spring and the fall, for three sessions, on three sucessive Sundays. The next adult classses are: September 10, 17, and 21st from 11:30am-12:30pm. We meet in the lounge off the kitchen on the lower level.
To help you learn more, it's important that you know why Membership Matters. One helpful resource is this article from Kevin DeYoung answering that very point. In summary:
1. In joining a church you make visible your commitment to Christ and His people.
Membership is one way to raise the flag of faith. You state before God and others that you are part of this local body of believers. It’s easy to talk in glowing terms about the invisible church–the body of all believers near and far, living and dead–but it’s in the visible church that God expects you to live out your faith.
2. Making a commitment makes a powerful statement in a low-commitment culture.
Many bowling leagues require more of their members than our churches. Where this is true, the church is a sad reflection of its culture. Ours is a consumer culture were everything is tailored to meet our needs and satisfy our preferences. When those needs aren’t met, we can always move on to the next product, or job, or spouse. Joining a church in such an environment makes a counter-cultural statement. It says “I am committed to this group of people and they are committed to me. I am here to give, more than get.”
3. We can be overly independent.
In the West, it’s one of the best and worst thing about us. We are free spirits and critical thinkers. We get an idea and run with it. But whose running with us? And are any of us running in the same direction? Membership states in a formal way, “I am part of something bigger than myself. I am not just one of three hundred individuals. I am part of a body.”
4. Church membership keeps us accountable.
When we join a church we are offering ourselves to one another to be encouraged, rebuked, corrected, and served. We are placing ourselves under leaders and submitting to their authority (Hebrews 13.7; 1 Peter 5.5). We are saying, “I am here to stay. I want to help you grow in godliness. Will you help me to do the same?”
5. Joining the church will help your pastor and elders be more faithful shepherds.
Hebrews 13.7 says “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.” That’s your part as “laypeople”. Here’s our part as leaders: “They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.” Our Elders take very seriously our responsibility before God to watch care for souls ...but it’s harder when we don’t know who is really a part of this flock.
6. Joining the Church gives you an opportunity to make promises.
When someone becomes a member, they makes promises to pray, give, serve, attend worship, accept the spiritual guidance of the church, obey its teachings, and seek the things that make for unity, purity, and peace. We ought not to make these promises lightly. They are solemn vows. And we must hold each other to them. If you don’t join the church, you miss an opportunity to publicly make these promises, inviting the elders and the rest of the body to hold you to these promises–which would be missing out on great spiritual benefit, for you, your leaders, and the whole church.
- Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God and without hope for your salvation except in His sovereign mercy?
- Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of sinners, and do you receive and depend upon Him alone for your salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
- Do you now promise and resolve ,in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
- Do you promise to serve Christ in His Church by supporting and participating with this congregation in its service of God and its ministry to others to the best of your ability?
- Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and to the spiritual oversight of this Church Session, and do you promise to promote the unity, purity and peace of the Church.
For additional insights into our view of church memebrhsip and gathered worship consider listening to a few of our sermons that cover the topic.
Gathered Together (Hebrews 10:24-25)
The Communion of Saints (Psalm 133)
The Church and Her Leaders (Acts 20:38)
The One Holy Catholic Church - Apostles' Creed Series
The Communion of Saints - Apostles' Creed Series
Please contact our offices with further questions.
To register for the next "Membership Matters" class, please use the QR code below, or register here.