What are the expectations for church members?

First, we want to say that as you become a member we are committing ourselves to you! Specifically: to your pastoral care, to helping you to grow spiritually and to use your gifts for the glory of God and the building up of the church. The members all have a responsibility to care for one another!

The Bible’s teaching on church commitment means that we expect members to:

Come to at least one Sunday service a week (unless on annual holiday or unwell!)

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the ore as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

Care for others in the church

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8).

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)

Be involved in a small group midweek

We want SBC to be a community of love and mutual care! For this to become a reality church small groups are vital.

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God. (Acts 2:46-7)

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13).

Every member mutual care is a beautiful and vital reality for the church. It is very important to develop the kind of supportive relationships are part of our vision for church life.

Be involved in at least one ministry in the church

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:7)

We want you to use your gifts for the common good and as part of our different ministries of outreach! In your membership interview, there will be a chance to talk this over with a leader.  Leaders will always be very glad to talk about opportunities for service.

Maintain a lifestyle in line with the ethical teaching of the Bible

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

We are called to live holy lives to please God, to help each other, and to bring honour to Christ. Those unwilling to do so are ineligible for church membership.

Give regularly

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Timothy 6:17-18)

The church relies on the generous giving of our members. The Old Testament pattern of tithing 10% is a great challenge but the New Testament emphasizes cheerful, generous, sacrificial giving rather than any particular percentage and it may well be that with prayerful management we can exceed this! And we strongly encourage and support giving to other needs, whether Christian causes or other good charities.

Submit to the leadership of SBC

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17)

To the elders among you, I appeal… Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must… but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:1-3)

We recognise that all leaders should be shepherds – they should be allowed to lead, but should lead with the servant attitude of Christ who gave Himself for the church.

Keep the peace in the church and resolve relational tensions biblically

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3)

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.(Matthew 18:15-17).

We expect members to live out the gospel in personal relationships with each other – to be those who see their sin more than the sin of others, and be those who forgive because we have been forgiven much.  We long to be a people of Grace.

Pray for the church

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6:18-20)

We hope that church members are praying daily for SBC. There are various opportunities to pray with others: we particularly long that members will be committed to coming to the monthly whole church prayer meetings.