At Gloria Deo we believe the church is not to be primarily an organization (although it is organized) but primarily relational. The body of Christ is called (in the Bible) to relate to each other in many different ways. Therefore, at Gloria Deo, we covenant together as members to strive to please Christ by relating to each other in these ways.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I joyfully and thoughtfully enter into a bond of mutual edification,1 fellowship,2 and accountability 3 with the other members of this body. I have repented of my sin, 4 trusted in Christ as my Savior and Lord,5 and been baptized in accordance with His command.6
I will faithfully participate with this church in worship, prayer, study, fellowship, and the ordinances of baptism and communion.7 I will use my spiritual gifts for the common good.8 Through my involvement, and even sacrifice, I will seek to illustrate to my family and a watching world the immense significance of life in the body of Christ.9
In addition to the regular meetings of the church and in the spirit of a true disciple of Christ, I will diligently train myself and my family in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, seeking to develop Christian character, knowledge, and skills.10
I will work toward doctrinal unity with a humble and teachable spirit.11 For this reason, I am willing to be taught according to the statement of faith which this church believes to be an accurate summary of biblical truth. 12 Where there is disagreement or a lack of understanding regarding doctrinal convictions, I assume the liberty to ask questions and engage in edifying discussion. I will reject all heretical beliefs and practices, using Scripture as the final authority.13
I will accept and fellowship with all members, regardless of age, race, gender, background, social status, or level of education, since all are of equal value in Christ.14
I will pursue peace with all people, especially with other believers, always being slow to take offense and eager to reconcile. 15 I will shun gossip and divisive words, knowing that they are destructive to Christian fellowship. 16
I will seek to live a life that is above reproach. I will be just and honest in my dealings and faithful in my responsibilities and commitments. I will abide by the standards of sexual purity and ethical integrity as taught in the Bible. 17
I will seek the preservation of marriage, knowing that God hates divorce, and I will submit to biblical regulations regarding divorce and remarriage.18
I will watch over the other members in love as they watch over me.19 I will remember them in prayer,20 help them in sickness and distress,21 promote their spiritual growth,22 restrain them from sin,23 and stir them up to love and good deeds.24
I will submit to the church's discipline upon myself and lovingly assume my responsibility to participate in the discipline of other members, as taught in Scripture.25 If I am offended in connection with a disciplinary matter, I will seek resolution within the church. I will never initiate or pursue civil legal action against the church or any other Christian.26
I will contribute cheerfully and regularly to this church for its general ministry and expenses, the relief of the poor, the cause of reformation and revival, and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. I will dedicate myself, my money, and my possessions to the cause of Christ as a faithful steward, avoiding all forms of greed.27
I will seek the salvation of my family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, and people of all nations. 28
I promise to remain faithful to this church in membership. I will consult with the elders in advance if I sense that God is directing me elsewhere. If I must leave, I will unite with another true church.29
In summary, I will love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I will love others as Christ loves me.30
I will not allow my weaknesses and failures to deter me from my intention to abide by these Christian standards. I will pursue holiness through genuine repentance and persevering faith in the One to whom I owe all obedience for time and eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ.31
1 Romans 14:19; 1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:26; Ephesians 4:16, 29; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
2 Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:1-3; Philippians 2:1-4
3 Proverbs 27:17; Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; James 5:16; 2 John 8
4 Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:1-5; Acts 2:38; 17:30; 26:20; 2 Corinthians 7:10
5 John 3:16; Acts 4:12; 16:30-31; Romans 10:9-10
6 Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; 8:36-38; 10:47-48
7 Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:14-20; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Hebrews 10:24-25
8 Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 18-27; Ephesians 4:11-16
9 Matthew 6:19-21, 24-26; 16:24; Hebrews 10:24-25; James 4:1-5; 1 Peter 2:9-10; 1 John 2:15-17
10 Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 5:13-14; 1 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Peter 1:5-11; 3:17-18
11 Psalm 133:1; Romans 15:5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:1-6; Philippians 2:2
12 Ephesians 4:11-14; 1 Timothy 4:16; Titus 1:9; 2:1; Hebrews 13:17; James 3:1
13 Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 Timothy 1:3-4; 3:15; 6:3-5, 20-21; 2 Timothy 2:15-18; 4:3-4; Hebrews 13:8-9; 2 John 9-11; Jude 3
14 Romans 10:12; Galatians 3:26-28; James 2:1-5
15 Matthew 5:23-24; Romans 12:18; 14:19; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Colossians 3:12-15; Hebrews 12:14; James 1:19-20
16 Proverbs 6:16-19; 10:19; Romans 16:17; Ephesians 4:29, 31; 1 Timothy 5:13; Titus 3:10-11; James 3:6-10
17 Proverbs 10:9; Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:16, 37; Luke 16:10; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Corinthians 6:3; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; Titus 2:6-8; Hebrews 13:4
18 Malachi 2:16; Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7
19 1 Corinthians 10:24; Galatians 6:1-2, 10; Philippians 2:4
20 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; James 5:14-16
21 Matthew 25:34-40; Romans 12:13, 15; Galatians 6:2, 10; Philippians 4:14; 1 John 3:16-18
22 Titus 2:1-15; Hebrews 5:12-14; 2 Peter 3:17-18
23 Proverbs 24:11; Galatians 6:1; 1 Timothy 5:20; James 5:19-20
24 Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:1-10; 3:8, 14; Hebrews 10:24; 13:16
25 Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14-15; 1 Timothy 5:20
26 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
27 Malachi 3:8-10; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 9:6-7; Philippians 4:18
28 Matthew 9:36-38; 28:18-20; Romans 10:14-15; 1 Corinthians 9:19-22; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; 1 Peter 3:15
29 Proverbs 3:5-6; 11:14; 12:15; 15:22; 18:1; 19:20; 20:18; 24:6; 1 Corinthians 12:18; Philippians 2:3-4; Hebrews 10:24
30 Mark 12:28-31; John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3; 1 John 3:16-19; 4:7-21
31 Matthew 5:6; Philippians 3:12-14; Hebrews 12:1-4; 1 Peter 1:14-19
Adapted from Christ Fellowship of Kansas City Membership Covenant
The Process of Becoming a Member at Gloria Deo
At Gloria Deo we believe that local church membership is a necessary and important aspect of our Christian walk. Local church membership is the temporal representation of our membership in the universal church. Local church membership is where we receive the temporal blessings of membership in the universal church and where we practice the commands given to the universal church. Membership in the local church should thus be limited to those who are members of the universal church, that is, those who have been justified by the blood of Christ in true faith and repentance. Therefore, reflecting the significance of membership in a local church, we desire to set out a general path* for becoming a member at Gloria Deo that would both encourage true believers in the meaning and expectations of local church membership and guard against false professors joining our church.
There are three purposes for setting out this path:
- Give the church and the elders a chance to know the prospective members well enough to affirm their professions of faith in Christ.
- Give the prospective members a chance to understand the beliefs and practices of Gloria Deo.
- Teach prospective members what we believe membership in a local church (and thus membership at Gloria Deo) entails.
Therefore, we would ask prospective members to do four things:
- Attend Gloria Deo’s Sunday meetings, and Tuesday and/or Wednesday meetings if possible, for some time. This is an undefined and flexible amount of time, but would generally be about three months, which we believe would give the church and the elders time to get to know prospective members and a chance to knowingly affirm their professions of faith. We believe that this time should neither be too short (enough time to get to know the church and to evaluate professions of faith is needed) nor too long (attending a church indefinitely without becoming a member denies the purpose of membership), but the exact amount of time is very flexible depending on circumstances.
- Read through the Statement of Faith, the T4G Affirmations and Denials, and the Statement of Distinctives of Gloria Deo. In becoming a member at Gloria Deo, we desire for you to substantially agree with these statements. Therefore, we would ask you to discuss any major reservations or questions you have with the elders. When we say, “substantially agree” we do not mean you must agree at every point, or even necessarily understand every point. But we do ask that there are no major issues with which you disagree that would question whether we believe the same gospel. Also, we ask that you be willing to submit to teaching that conforms to this Statement of Faith and not knowingly contradict this Statement of Faith.
- Spend some time with an elder going through the Membership Covenant. We would envision this as joining an elder and his family for one or two meals (although the exact method is flexible) where the membership covenant can be discussed point by point detailing what it means and how it is lived out. This is an excellent chance to ask any other questions or bring up any other concerns about Gloria Deo as well.
- Read the book “Church Membership” by Jonathon Leeman. The church would like to provide a copy of this book to prospective members. We believe that this book sets out a good (although not perfect) explanation of what Church Membership is and how we should view it.
- Once all four of these things have been completed and the church is confidant in affirming the prospective members’ professions of faith, prospective members will be asked/allowed to join the church by taking the membership covenant at one of our Wednesday night meetings. We generally renew our covenant to each other approximately every six months by reciting it together.
*In setting out a ‘general path’ we are not making an inviolable rule. This is how we are generally hoping to proceed, but realize that circumstances may call for many different actions. Our goals will always be the same, although the path to membership may change according to circumstance.