Perhaps you have visited Sycamore and desire to be added as a member of this local body of Christ. If so, we would encourage you to speak with one of the elders. The process would include writing out your testimony, which we would distribute to the congregation. This allows others to get to know you and receive you into the fellowship of the church. Likewise, we would ask you to read through our Confession and Constitution so that we may answer any questions that you may have about what our church believes. Lastly, we would ask that you fill out an application for membership that highlights some of the benefits and responsibilities of discipleship in the body of Christ. After this process has been completed, we would formally extend to you the right hand of fellowship and rejoice to be able to invite you to partake with us in the blessing of the Lord’s Supper.
Why should you join a church? We believe that membership is meaningful, whether it is with us or with another Gospel preaching church. Membership gives us opportunity to serve God and His people. It is for this reason that the Scriptures say, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb 10:24-25).
However, we believe that before we can truly minister to others, we must be a part of a church wherein God ministers to us through His Word. Jesus Christ is the Head of the body, “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:16). In other words, it is the Head of the body who supplies every member with what it needs for its growth, which He primarily does through the ministry of the Word. He has given to us “pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph 4:11-13; KJV). Therefore, our growth depends primarily upon the ongoing ministry of Christ through the preaching of his Word. We must not only view the church as necessary for our service to God and to our neighbor, but especially as the context for God’s service to us through the means that He has appointed for this special work. It is only in response to this special work of God that we can respond in faith and gratitude, as active agents of love, serving God and our neighbor.
The Scripture reminds us that disciples are first of all those who have submitted themselves under the teaching of the Word of God (Matt 28:20), the ordinances of Christ (Matt 28:19), and His authority as it is exercised through church discipline (Matt 18:15-20). Our relationship to the body of Christ becomes meaningful, only when we voluntarily submit ourselves to the ministry and authority of a local body. Therefore, as Christ’s disciples, it is necessary that we find a church to which we can be accountable, and is devoted to teaching us to observe all that Christ has commanded.
If you conclude that you are not yet ready for church membership, we would love for you to continue to worship with us. Though we believe we can care for your soul in a more meaningful way as a member, we are happy to continue to serve you and enjoy your friendship with the hope that you will join us someday.