WHY IS THE LOCAL CHURCH IMPORTANT?*
Because God plans on using the church to accomplish His purposes for creation.
God created man to reflect his nature in the world. The local church does just that as it creates a tangible expression of God’s love so that the invisible things of God are seen through our interactions with one another.
Because the church provides an opportunity to collectively encourage each other in our great hope.
Many people in our world experience the gap between themselves and God. As such, there are many religions and practices that encourage self-improvement. But Christianity says we have no way of bridging that gap apart from Jesus. As we gather together, not only are we reminded of this truth, but we are able to show the world a better hope.
Because a healthy church can be the greatest platform of evangelism.
We are once-broken people, healed by God and repentant sinners who have received God’s forgiveness. Therefore, as a church, we have the power to draw broken people who desire to be freed from the despair and hopelessness of life apart from Jesus.
WHY BECOME A MEMBER?*
In Genesis 1, for the first five days that God speaks creation into existence, it obeys instantly and each time God proclaims It is good. However, on the sixth day, when God creates man, He does something special. God inputs His image so that man can relate to Him and reflect His nature in the world. However, interestingly, this time God does not stop and proclaim It is good. Here was Adam: no sin, no pain, abundant garden, perfect communion with God; yet, God said it wasn’t good to be alone and thus created Eve. God’s plan from the start was for us to get to know Him better through each other, and we experience something of His nature in community that we don’t experience when we are alone.
Once we have repented of our sin and turned our lives over to Jesus in faith, we are adopted into the family of God.
Our adoption not only gives us a new father, but new brothers and sisters as well. When we put our trust in Jesus, not only is there an identity change, but there is also a community change. We are now a part of a family: God’s family. And to not commit to this family as a member makes no more sense than not committing to our own biological families.
The Bible promotes corporate relationship with God.
The Old Testament is God’s journey of saving a group of people. The book of Acts depicts people following Jesus in community with each other. And all of Paul’s letters are either to pastors of churches, to churches, or to individuals dealing with interpersonal relationships.
It is impossible to fully participate in the kingdom of God if we are not in relationship with one another.
As Christians, one of our primary responsibilities is to love one another, and we can only do that if we are in community. We are also commanded to encourage, help, and build one another up in the faith. These are specific commands in scripture, and we cannot possibly fulfill them if we are isolated.
God’s big plan for our lives isn’t individualistic.
God gives us specific gifts and talents, and if we don’t use them or keep them to ourselves, we are robbing God’s people of those gifts. God does not intend for us to waste those gifts He gives us. His aim is for us to use them for the purpose of building and growing a people for Himself.
Finally, we cannot become mature Christians if we are not in community with other believers.
Trials are the test of our faith, and it is our brothers and sisters in Christ who encourage us when we are in the thick of troubles and sharpen us when we err. It is our privilege to pray and care for each other when we are sick; hold each other up when we are weak; and keep each other accountable when we are tempted to sin. To serve each other in this way is how we not only grow with each other, but it serves as the means for us to grow in our relationship with God.
BECOMING A MEMBER
Ultimately at CTK we believe if the Bible is the cornerstone of our church, then membership is the cement that holds us all together. Both Christ and Paul pointed us toward membership for our encouragement, our protection, and our instruction. We seek to carry out the vision through our four-step process by which to join CTK.
CTK Essentials Class - All prospective members and those who are interested in learning more about CTK must attend our Essentials class which cover various topics concerning our church:
- Who we are
- Mission, Vision, Values, & Beliefs
- Life as a Church
- Why Join a Church?
Upon completion, those who have attended the majority of the classes are able but not obligated to sign up for a membership interview, the second step of the membership process.
Membership Interview - In a 45 minute meeting, the prospective member meets with an elder to provide basic biographical information and recount God's converting work in his or her life. The prospective member would then sign the statement of faith and church covenant, and the application would go to the elders.
Elder Recommendation - At a regularly scheduled elders' meeting, the elder will review the applicant's testimony with the other elders. Upon receiving their collective approval, the candidate's application proceeds to the next step: congregational affirmation.
Congregational Affirmation - Finally, as a sign of our congregation’s unwavering commitment to love, support, and cherish new additions to our family, we (as a gathered congregation) affirm each new member. The reason why we do things this way, as opposed to just having a pastor grant membership, is because when you join a church, you’re not just making a commitment to a pastor. You’re making a commitment to love, care for and serve an entire church community. And that church community is making the same commitment towards you. So, this is our way of reminding everyone of the amazing responsibility and honor that we as the church have to take care of one another.*
*Adapted from Cornerstone Church, Atlanta, GA