Membership Ethos

By Stephen Wilson

This resource is also available in PDF format.

Open Bibles, Open Hearts:
To be a family of God nurturing Christ-likeness in our lives – glorifying God by upholding His truth in love and proclaiming His gospel to the world

God, through His word, speaks of His church in two senses: the universal church, which is synonymous with the sum of all those people reconciled to God in Jesus Christ (i.e. children of God, Galatians 3:26-29); and the local church, which is God’s primary provision for the fellowship of His children through voluntarily cooperating and working together to promote spiritual growth and ministry (cf. Acts 2:41-47). The God who redeems us is a relational God (Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We are saved in and for relationship … with God and one another (cf. Matthew 22:36-40)

Becoming a Christian is to begin developing a cross-shaped-life, a life conforming to Jesus’ own sacrificial example of obedience to the Father, following the way of the cross and incarnation through self-less discipleship (Matthew 16:24-25; 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-18; 8:29; 12:1-2; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 2:1-6). It is to patiently and in a disciplined way develop characteristic virtues of godliness (cf. Galatians 5:22-25; 2 Peter 1:2-11). And we grow these virtues in God’s new social order – the church – where an unworldly (Your kingdom come … Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven), Spirit empowered ethos prevails. Through the sanctifying power of God’s indwelling Spirit and the direction of His inspired word, we place ourselves under God’s discipline and experience His training in righteousness which is applicable to every aspect of our life.

In the local church we develop and exercise ministry (service) by becoming a vital and active member of a living body (Ephesians 4:11-16; Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Ministry or service intersects with a congregation’s spiritual ethos – the characteristic purpose, attitudes and behaviour of the community towards God and one another. Because God expects these things of His people in community, the following biblical principles and commands are vital to pursuing our vision of becoming a church of God’s dreams. In choosing to become a member of The Point Church, you are therefore committing yourself to pursue and develop, with God’s help and grace and the support and encouragement of all other members, the following biblical ethos…

I will protect the unity of my church

… by acting in love toward other members

A member of a church of God’s dreams will consciously endeavour to be humble, long-suffering, empathetic, forgiving, and act unselfishly in the interests of others (Romans 14:19; Ephesians 4:32; Philippians 2:1-4)

… by refusing to gossip

A member of a church of God’s dreams will talk graciously with people rather than about them (Ephesians 4:29-32). If they have a grievance with someone, they will follow Jesus’ instructions outlined in Matthew 18:15-17

… by following the congregation’s leaders

A member of a church of God’s dreams will respect the congregation’s leaders and their responsibility to lead as instruments in God’s plan for that individual’s spiritual growth and welfare, as well as that of the church collectively (Ephesians 4:11-12; Hebrews 13:17)

I will share in the responsibility of my church to nurture spiritual growth

… by praying for our growth and spiritual health

A member of a church of God’s dreams will commit time to personally pray for God’s blessing upon the church’s members, their outreach into the community, and for the church’s spiritual soundness and vitality (Acts 4:23-31; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; James 5:16)

… by growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ and His will

A member of a church of God’s dreams will commit time to be equipped by the church through studying, discussing and applying God’s word in community (Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Peter 2:2)

… by serving in the ministry of my church

A member of a church of God’s dreams will commit time to be equipped for ministry and to use their gifts in service to God through the church (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11)

I will support the public testimony of my church

… by attending church gatherings regularly

A member of a church of God’s dreams will welcome and take advantage of opportunities to actively encourage their brothers and sisters in Christ and to be encouraged by them (Hebrews 10:24-25). Chief among these opportunities is the gathering of the saints on the first day of the week to proclaim the Lord’s death till he returns (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; cf. 16:2; Acts 20:7; Matthew 26:26-29)

… by committing to living a godly life

A member of a church of God’s dreams will take seriously her or his relationship with God by trying to honour Him at all times through their behaviour and relationships (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 1:3-4; Philippians 1:27)

… by sharing the gospel with others

A member of a church of God’s dreams will seek to positively influence non-Christians through genuine friendship and godly example, and to verbally share with them the good news of salvation in Christ (Acts 8:4; 1 Peter 3:15-16)

… by making regular financial contributions

A member of a church of God’s dreams will be committed to financially supporting the church’s mission and work in accordance with new covenant principles (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7)

I will accept and support my church’s responsibility to discipline its members

A church of God’s dreams is a church that cares enough to correct and protect its members. The Point Church cares about each member’s personal spiritual welfare, and we care about the doctrinal and moral purity and unity of the congregation. In the interests of any member’s spiritual well being, a member of a church of God’s dreams will accept and support biblical discipline [e.g. instruction, encouragement, admonition – and as a last resort – disfellowship in cases of deliberate and unrepentant rejection of God’s gospel, immorality or divisiveness] (Romans 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Titus 3:10-11; 2 John 5-10).

We encourage you, brothers and sisters, to instruct those who are not living right, cheer up those who are discouraged, help the weak, and be patient with everyone

1 Thessalonians 5:14, GW

The Point Church makes no claim or pretence to spiritual perfection. We simply and humbly desire to be authentic and committed in our relationship with God and one another in the pursuit of our vision to become a church of God’s dreams. The apostle Paul said it well:

I’m not saying that I have it all together, that I have made it. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision – you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it

Philippians 3:12-16, The Message

At this point you may wish to review the material outlining The Point Church’s current strategic plan. Because we have a constitution as a legal expedient, prospective members may also wish to view that document.

“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). If you share our vision, we hope you will choose to unite and work together with us as we seek to become a church of God’s dreams.

Please prayerfully consider your decision

Inform the elders when you reach a decision and retain this membership ethos for your own reference. If no indication is given to the elders beforehand, your continued fellowship with The Point Church for three months after undertaking this ethos study will be taken as an indication that you wish to be regarded as a member of this congregation and that you desire to support and pursue our vision, mission and ethos.