What Does It Mean To Be A Member Of Upwards Church?
When an individual is saved, he becomes a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Because he is united to Christ and other members of the body in this way, he is therefore qualified to become a member of a local expression of that body.
To become a member is to formally commit oneself to an identifiable local body of believers who have joined together for specific, divinely ordained purposes. These purposes include receiving instruction from God's word (1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:2), serving and edifying one another through the proper use of spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11), participating in the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42), and proclaiming the gospel to those who are lost (Matthew 28:18-20). In addition, when one becomes a member, he submits himself to the care and the authority of the biblical qualified elders that God has placed in that assembly.
Living out a commitment to the church involves many responsibilities: exemplifying a godly lifestyle in the community, exercising one's spiritual gifts in a diligent service, contributing financially to the work of the ministry, giving and receiving admonishment with meekness and in love, and faithfully participating in corporate worship. Much is expected, but much is at stake. For only when every believer is faithful to this kind of commitment is the church able to live up to her calling as Christ's representative here on earth. To put it simply membership matters and expresses love and obedience to Jesus.