Membership at the Greenhouse can be pursued by going through our Activate class.
How Do I Become a Member?
Becoming a member of the Greenhouse is an easy process that is broken down below:
1. Attend Activate
2. Complete a Membership Application
- Note: You must attend Greenhouse for at least 6 months before filling out an application, even if you have attended the Activate class. The reason for this is so that you can have a better feel for our church and who we are before making the commitment for membership.
- Applications will be handed out at the Activate class
3. Meeting with one of the Greenhouse staff
- After you turn in your application, a staff member will be in touch to schedule a meeting with you.
4. Annual Renewal of Membership
What is an Annual Renewal?
Every January (starting in January of 2018), we have an annual renewal of membership. We believe that membership is not a stagnant, one time decision, but an ongoing lifestyle that you live. A huge part of membership is agreeing to take personal ownership to live out the vision of living in the green and to be willing to be held accountable to not just be a hearer of the word, but a doer.
The annual renewal will ask you to reaffirm your commitment to remain a member with the Greenhouse church and also check in on your commitments to be in community, be regularly sharing your faith, living a lifestyle of abiding and God seeking, giving generously, and serving.
THE PURPOSE OF MEMBERSHIP
Becoming a member is a declaration that you are moving from being a consumer to being an investor; that you are joining not simply the community of Christ, but the cause of Christ. The motivation behind becoming a member is not what can be received but what can be given. And yet on a deeper level, membership is an invitation to genuine intimacy. When people become members, they are saying that they submit their lives to the spiritual authority of this community and welcome genuine accountability in their spiritual journeys.
Covering & Authority
Scripture indicates that each local church body has a governing authority. We notice in Matthew 18:15-17, that “the church” is the final court of appeal for issues that need to be decided. Surely “the church” is some definable group, much more than an abstract spiritual idea. As pastors and elders Hebrews 13 describes a responsibility of watching over the souls of those within their care, “knowing they are accountable to God.”
Every leader should read those words with a healthy dose of sobriety. Exactly who is an elder to cover, oversee, and lead? Those people who have committed to that flock and submitted to that leadership.
Obviously, many of us have experienced the dark side of spiritual leadership when it has been abused. Authorities have used their position for personal gain, control, and self-indulgence. Yet the aberration does not make void a legitimate need: spiritual covering.
Acts 20:28 says to “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit made you overseers.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 describes our need to respect those who labor and lead us. 1 Timothy 5:17 references the elders “who rule well.” Clearly the office of an elder is important. When someone joins a church body, they recognize and affirm the biblical form of organizing and leading. Without membership it is difficult to see the need for eldership.
Accountability to a Body
Lasting spiritual growth always takes place within the context of accountability.
Furthermore, the purity of a community depends upon an accountability structure in place to deal with problems as they arise. We see just such a scenario in 1 Corinthians Chapter 5 regarding an unrepentant brother. Paul asks, “Why haven’t you removed this man from your fellowship?” (5:2) The very possibility of being removed infers that a joining took place.
Notice that Paul appeals to the entire body to hold the man accountable. Later in the same chapter he exhorts the Corinthian believers to withdraw fellowship and contact with believers who walk in willful disobedience to God.
This also suggests the clear need to be a member of a local body of believers. That is, we need people (and leaders) close enough to truly know us.
More Than Just a Verbal Ascent
When looking at Western culture, there are not many universal ideas or tenets that people are more committed to than the concept of personal choice and individual freedom. We like someone as long as they agree with us. We espouse ideology as long as it lines up with what we believe. We are loyal to our boss or spouse as long as he or she gives us what we want.
Consumerism and the choice to walk away in the name of freedom reigns supreme. And this can be dangerous when we let that be the dictating factor in our church’s culture. This type of mentality is the breeding ground for lukewarm Christianity where we attend when we feel like, obey when it feels right, get held accountable when we want (but not when we don’t), etc. We end up living our Christian lives out of convenience instead of consecration.
Membership is not about becoming a part of a special club and reaping the benefits. It is not a method of church control. It is not about privilege or prestige. Here at Greenhouse, we long for the depth of discipleship and relationship that God paints and presents to us in the Bible. We believe that membership means more than simply signing a piece of paper that states that you are willing to attend here with no real commitment or desire as long as it is meeting your needs.
Membership means that you are willing to spend yourself for the vision of disciple making and transforming the world around you through the power of Christ.
Membership means you will make the volitional decision to oppose your natural tendency of asking, “What do I want?” and instead ask the Kingdom question of “What does God want?” and “What can I do to contribute rather than consume?” This is a call to move beyond your comfort zone of doing things your way and doing things instead for the greater good of the body of Christ.
Membership means you respond to the call to live life with other believers, to share your faith with those around you, to give generously to the cause of Christ both locally and globally, and to be unified in both Spirit and in truth with the rest of our body.
Membership means you say with more than just your words that you are all in with the vision and mission of the Greenhouse Church.