Our generation needs to grow in commitment to community and to the church in general. Authentic growth, community and mission do not happen by accident—great possibility awaits us when we intentionally commit to one another as followers of Jesus.
Our generation has been described by many as passionate, raw and action-oriented. We are quick to pick up causes and fight against social injustice. We want to make things happen. On the other hand, our generation can also be described as uncommitted. We tend to hold flexibility of schedule and “freedom” from responsibility in the highest regard, often to the detriment of our church community. People weren't always this way—our parents and those before them had a sense of loyalty and commitment to their families, friends and churches far beyond anything that most of us understand today. We believe we need to get some of that back.
Beyond the biblical reasons for membership (some of which are described below), we believe that our generation needs to grow in commitment to community and to the church in general. We believe that authentic growth, community and mission do not happen by accident, but that great possibility awaits us when we intentionally commit to one another as followers of Jesus.
Why does The Edge have “members”?
The Edge is a church, and the Bible uses the metaphor of a body to describe the church: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ’’ (1 Corinthians 12:12). This is a beautiful illustration of how each person is created to serve different functions; we need everyone to function in order to be a healthy body. All of us as unique and individual parts find purpose and unity under Jesus, ‘’the head of the body, the church’’ (Colossians 1:18). Members are the church (Ephesians 2:19-22).
What’s the difference between a member and somebody who just goes to The Edge every week?
At The Edge, we make a distinction between “members” and “guests.” Non-members are viewed as guests, and remain to a certain extent separated from our church family. While guests are completely loved by our community, they are considered uncommitted to our community. They stand outside of the protection, accountability, care, and favor that come with being an active member of the church. The Bible admonishes us to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). Membership is our public response to this call; it demonstrates our commitment to those around us. Guests are simply attendees that have not yet made this public commitment to The Edge.
It may not make much difference for visitors and non-Christians, but Christians who consume rather than commit to a local church do a disservice to Jesus’ body (the church) and themselves. Members, on the other hand, boldly and unashamedly participate as the church: sacrificing their time, talents, and treasure; committing to the care and growth of their fellow members; and submitting to the authority God has established to lead our community. In short, the difference between a member and a non-member is that members have committed to one another in fulfilling our mission.
What does it mean to be on this “mission” together?
To be on a mission at The Edge means that you’re a Christian who is centered on Jesus and that you fulfill The Edge’s Mission Statement by living for Jesus, loving and relating to other Christians, and by reaching out to and serving the world around you (Matthew 28:18-20). These expressions are only possible when you know the love of God the Father and have an identity that is established in Jesus.
Should I become a member?
The Edge church is a family that has been adopted by God (Galatians 4:6-7; Ephesians 1:5). We care for each other, pray for each other, and serve together. If you’re already a Christian, if you’re already actively taking part in some form of The Edge community, if you’re already giving of your finances and your time, then you’re already fulfilling some functions of a member. Without making a commitment, however, it is difficult for The Edge to provide the same level of pastoral care and community support, in part because we may not know who you are, and in part because the Bible requires that we take care of our family first (Ephesians 2:19 cf. Galatians 6:10).
If you’re not a Christian, don’t worry about membership until you’ve been reconciled to God though Jesus. If you are a Christian who has spent a lot of time at The Edge, however, search your heart and identify your hesitation. There may be valid reasons to abstain from membership at The Edge at this time. But remember, we’re rebels by our cursed nature; so if you scoff at the very idea of becoming a member, ask yourself why—and don’t hesitate to speak with one of the elders.
What are the benefits of being a member?
Scripture calls us a body, a family, a household; being a Christian is not a solo effort. Jesus works through the church (Ephesians 2:10), the church is Jesus’ body (1 Corinthians 12:27), and apart from Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15). This isn’t Blockbuster, it isn’t a country club, and it isn’t a 24-hour gym. Church membership is not like membership at these other places, where we “belong” in the sense that we get to be exclusively served.
Members are the church. “In love [God] predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ … so then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God’’ (Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:19).
You don’t join for the perks—although there are certain opportunities only available to members. The real benefit is that we get to worship Jesus together, serve in His kingdom, and be children of God! We enjoy the guidance that his Word provides, and, when sin comes between us, we enjoy the reconciliation Jesus’ blood provides.
What are the membership commitments?
Our Community Commitments are similar to biblical covenants in which we commit to obligate ourselves to one another in such a way that the obligation of one party is not dependent on the faithfulness of the other (Ezekiel 20:44; 36:22; Psalms 76:11; Hosea 2:19-20; 3:1; 2 Timothy 2:13). We ask our members to sign their commitment so that we know that prospective members understand what it means to be a part of the church and to be faithful to the laws of the state that require proof of membership. The commitments are not legally binding or some sort of cultic rite. They are simply an affirmation, an agreement, and a source of accountability for both the church and its individual members. For more information about membership at The Edge Church, please use the contact form and choose "Membership" as the subject.
Do members have to be baptized?
Since Jesus commands that all of his disciples be baptized, baptism is an expectation for all members of The Edge Church (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; 10:48; 1 Peter 3:21). If you’ve already been baptized since you became a Christian, you don’t need to get re-baptized. The Edge performs believer baptisms only, which means we don’t baptize infants (we do, however, perform dedications). If a prospective member was baptized as a baby and does not want to be re-baptized due to reasons of conscience, that is acceptable as long as this decision remains personal and does not become a divisive issue within the church. If you have more questions about baptism specifically, please contact our Eldership through our contact form.
How do I become a member?
Membership at The Edge is pretty simple—attend our one-time membership class. This class will give you an understanding of who we are, what we believe, the vision God has put in our hearts and how we are together fulfilling His mission as a community. You can use the contact form to let us know you're interested in attending.