You may belong to a wholesale discount store or a particular grocery chain’s frequent buyer’s club. You may belong to a homeowners association, a softball team, or even the board of a major organization. While those memberships might seem to use similar terminology, they are nothing like what it means to belong to this church. Joining WBC is very different from the other memberships. The Bible describes the church both as a family and as the Body—pictures that help us understand what it means to be part of the church and what it means to publicly affirm that relationship by becoming a member of Wheaton Bible Church.
Galatians 6:10 speaks of the “family of believers,” sometimes translated as “household of faith.” As children of God by faith in Christ, we belong to one family—one household. In that context, membership in a local church is an affirmation of a relational connection to the brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we worship and share life. This family of believers is commanded by God to love one another, and to make it our goal to particularly concern ourselves with “doing good” to those who belong to the family of believers—encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Scripture also tells us that as believers we are members of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5), connected together as our thumbs are to our hands, and our neck is to our head—a vital and life-giving interdependence. “The body is a unit,” 1 Corinthians 12:12 tells us, “though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.” When we officially join a church, we are making a public commitment, what the Bible calls a covenant, to the others who are part of that local church. We are joining together as a band of believers who are seeking to live out together what it means to be the Body of Christ.
As you learn more about our church, you will discover that the key distinctives of Wheaton Bible Church are captured by our mission statement. It reads simply: We exist to love God, grow together, and reach the world. This is the mission on which we stand. We invite fellow Christ-followers to join us in this mission by becoming members of the church.
While the process of truly knowing and being known within this church family happens over time, our membership class is an effort to share, in a relatively short time, a broad understanding of who we are, how the Body of Christ functions within this church, what we believe, and how God can use you—as a conduit of His love—in the ministry of encouraging, teaching, building up one another, and reaching out to share the grace and hope we’ve found in Christ with a broken and hurting world. At BELONG you will hear engaging talks presented by members of the Pastoral Staff. Each talk will focus on an important part of what it means to be a member.