what is Mission Membership
A “mission member” is a disciple of Jesus who has made a commitment to covenant with Aletheia Church, who is commissioned, empowered, and sent out on mission to see a greater worship of Jesus for the glory of God and the good of others. Membership at Aletheia is viewed through the priority of discipleship and a primary way to experience discipleship at our church.
Individuals interested in mission membership will have the opportunity to attend a tri-annual membership interest meeting. Those who wish to engage further with the mission membership process will then be invited to a more formalized mission membership process & cohort. At the end of this period, as each one has been given the opportunity to get to know Aletheia and to be known, they will be now be able to enter into a covenant membership relationship with Aletheia.
Mission Members commit to living and participating as disciples by giving their resources, abilities, time, and energy to this local church body. This covenant affirms unity and solidarity with what Aletheia believers to be true about the Bible, the gospel, and how disciples are to specifically function within God’s Church.
Although we believe that membership is an overflow and natural outworking of discipleship at Aletheia, those who choose not to pursue mission membership are still welcomed to connect to the church in every way possible. The ultimate goal is still discipleship for every individual connected to Aletheia Church.
Why is Membership important?
What is the importance of becoming a member of a church?
The answer is simple. Church membership is Biblical.
Christ’s followers aren’t meant to simply attend church, rather we are called to BE the church. We are called to commit to one local body of believers and begin serving, giving, loving, encouraging, and furthering the Kingdom of God.
God wants us to commit ourselves to a local church. This can be looked at in three ways.
1. 1 Corinthians 12:14 states: “For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” This is where we are introduced to the word “member” in the New Testament as it relates to the church. We know that 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 is specifically talking about not only the global church but also the local church and that we identify ourselves with the head of the church (Jesus Christ – Eph. 1) as members of His body (i.e. feet, hands, ears, eyes, etc…). That is our validation within the body of Christ. That is our identification. A similar implication is held for those who have gym memberships. People become members of a gym in order to identify with that one specific gym. There are many gyms to choose from, each one accomplishing the same objective (to give people the chance to get in shape), but one must become a member of that particular gym in order to identify with it.
2. Acts 2:47 states: “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” This term “added” gives us the sense that there was something to which these numbers were being added to (the church). This is definitely referring to the local body of Christ because we know that it is speaking of the church in Jerusalem. Again, using the above analogy, individual gyms shoot for the goal of adding numbers to their particular gym, just as individual churches should be focused on adding numbers to the family of Christ. And the end result is that these people, upon their commitment, become members.
3. Accountability within the church gives us the third and final example for why church membership is biblical. God’s people are exceptionally loved and valued by Him. The church has the ability to fulfill the requirement of an appropriate measure of care and accountability that we all need. When challenges, difficulties and brokenness experienced by all of us at times transpires, the church will be there to implement Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted,” a loving, compassionate, and sustainable process of restoration. This is the goal, care, oversight and if need be restoration for each member of the body of Christ. This process would not apply for somebody who is not a member. This type of approach within the church is biblical and obviously important but it would not be necessary and would frankly be irrelevant if church membership wasn’t also a valid Biblical concept.