BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH, FERGUS
26 June 2011
PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE:
In the late 1930s, a group of believers were led by the Lord to begin a new gospel work in the Elora-Fergus district. After several years of meeting in homes and rented facilities, they purchased two old church buildings in Howick Township north of Palmerston, which were dismantled to provide materials for a new church building in Fergus. The first Bethel Baptist Church building was constructed at 230 St. Andrew Street East in the winter of 1941-1942, and the first service was held on Good Friday, 1942. Since that time, Bethel Baptist Church has been a continuous witness for Jesus Christ in Fergus and, through the many missionaries supported, around the world.
In affirming this Membership Commitment, we commit before God and to one another to live out our faith in community with one another; to encourage and support one another as we continue in the world, but separate from the world; and to strive to be available, active and useful to the Lord for His Kingdom purposes where He has planted us. It is our hope and prayer that this Membership Commitment will not be a lifeless piece of paper, but a real, living and breathing part of our fellowship together.
God, through the Apostle Paul used the metaphor of “members” or “parts” of a human body to describe the members of a church (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30), stressing the importance of all of the members functioning together in unity, each using their individual Holy Spirit-given gifts for the health, edification and effective ministry of the one body, the church.
Bethel Baptist Church uses a system of formal “Membership” in order to bring honour and glory to God by encouraging unity among the body, encouraging each Member to discover and exercise their spiritual gifts, and encouraging one another to grow and mature in our Christian walk and witness in the world.
Following the model of the New Testament church, we desire to ensure, as far as is possible, that each Member is a genuinely born-again believer in Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, the Son of God, who died a substitutionary death for the forgiveness of our sins, was raised from the dead, who ascended into heaven, who is “the way, the truth and the life” and the only One in whom we have salvation. Each Member will also have made a public profession of that belief by believers’ baptism (John 14:6; Acts 2:41; 47; 5:14; 11:24; Romans 10:8-13).
Church Membership is, in itself, therefore, a profession of faith. Membership in a particular local body of believers is also a public statement that the individual agrees with the Statement of Faith, or professed beliefs of that particular local church, and is committing himself or herself to that body.
COMMITMENTS OF MEMBERSHIP:
The Members of Bethel Baptist Church, Fergus Ontario, make the following commitments to one another:
- We will love one another, as our Saviour Jesus Christ taught us to love (John 13:34-35; 15:9-12; Mark 12:28-41; Luke 10:27).
- “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
- We will pray for one another (Acts 2:42, Romans 8:26; 2 Corinthians 9:14; 13:7-9; Colossians 1:3-12; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; 3:1; Hebrews 13:18; James 5:13-16).
- We will encourage each other to spiritual maturity, to foster unity and peace (Romans 12:9-18, I Corinthians 12:12-26, Galatians 6:1-2, Ephesians 4:1 – 5:21).
- We will devote ourselves to Bible learning. This will occur with regular church attendance, personal Bible reading and meditation, and participation in Bible studies (Acts 2:42; 17:10-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- We will regularly gather together for Worship and the Breaking of bread (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:18-20; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Hebrews 10:19-25).
- We will encourage one another in behaviour appropriate to our calling as Christians (Ephesians 4-5:21, I Corinthians 11, John 17; Romans 6:1-14; 8:1-17; Titus 2:12).
- We will let our light shine in such a way that other’s will see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:21-48, Ephesians 4:1-5:21; 1 Peter 2:1-20).
- We will encourage one another in sharing our faith (the Great Commission) (Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:20-23; Acts 1:8).
- We will seek to be useful to the Lord and to one another in discipling others and being discipled (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:18-21; Matthew 28:18-20; Titus 2; Ephesians 6:4).
- We will encourage one another to seek and to use our spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:11-16).
- We will resolve misunderstandings and conflict scripturally (Proverbs 19:11, Matthew 5:21-26; 7:1-5; 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-2; Philippians 2:1-4).
- We will give cheerfully from the abundance of God’s material blessing to us for the work of His church in our own “Jerusalem, . . . Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” ( Acts 1:8). Though tithing is not spoken of directly in the New Testament, there are no instructions to modify the practice except that enthusiastic giving is encouraged (Matthew 25:31-46; 28:18-20; John 20:20-23; Acts 1:8; Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 8:1-12; 9:6-9).
- We will honour and support the Elders as they serve us as Christ’s under-shepherds (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 5:1-5).
- If the Lord should move us from region of Centre Wellington, we will seek, as soon as possible, to unite with another church that honours the principles of God’s.