At CTK we believe that joining a church is one of the most important decisions you will make. Therefore, we want to help you as you think about joining CTK. If you are a committed follower of Christ and are committed to living the life he has called you to live in the CTK community, we would love to talk to you about joining this church.
The process for joining CTK is simple:
- Complete our Introduction to CTK Retreat (next one is in November).
- Complete the membership application and questions (you can download it here or complete the online application by clicking the tab to the right).
- Complete a membership interview with our church leaders. The interview generally lasts about 45-60 minutes. During the interview, you will get to ask CtK's leaders questions about the church. The leaders will give you a chance to tell them about how Jesus is at work in your life and how you hope to involve yourself in the life of the church. It is often an extremely encouraging time for both the interviewer and the interviewee. (If you don't believe us, ask one of our members.)
Is Church membership necessary? Is it Biblical? Throughout most of the church today, church membership is considered a relic of past ages, a vestige of legalism, a mark of social status, a stepping stone to heaven, a law and so on. We are so much more “enlightened” than our forefathers in the faith (at least the theory goes), that we have stripped away the traditions of men and have a purer, higher form of New Testament Christianity that has no official membership. This may sound pious and liberating, but the real question comes down to whether or not it is biblical. The large abandonment of official church membership is more a vestige of our anti-authoritarian culture than a closer resemblance to New Testament Christianity.
Biblical Evidence for Church Membership:
Language: With only a few exceptions (e.g. Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-23), all the references to the "church" in the New Testament are to a local church. The emphasis in the New Testament is not on the "universal church," but rather the visible manifestation of it in the local assemblies. The clear and logical inference is that when the New Testament writers speak of "members" of the body, they are visible members of a visible, local assembly. To be a member of the visible body is to be one who has formally committed himself to a local body. The Biblical metaphors of a body, a nation, and a family also imply clear lines of distinction between those inside and outside a given local assembly.
Authority: In the New Testament, there is the clear teaching of elders governing the local assemblies (1 Tim. 3:4-5; 5:17; 1 Thess. 5:12; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-3). Christ said to Peter, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). These words were spoken to Peter as representative of all the apostles, upon whom the Church was founded (Eph. 2:20). Through the preached Word and other forms of discipline, the kingdom of heaven is open and shut; forgiveness is directly related to the keys of the kingdom (Jn. 20:23) --and those keys were entrusted to the institutional, visible Church. True Christianity can never be set over against institutional Christianity in a way that undermines that God-given kingdom authority. A "me and Jesus" faith is not Christianity.
Baptism: When the call to repentance is answered, there is a call to be identified with the people of God through baptism. This identification is not simply some vague identification with other believers in general. Baptism is administered by particular individuals at a particular time and place. When God added new people to the church at Jerusalem, at the very outset of this era, He placed them "in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). There was congregational life, centered around official worship.
In conclusion: faith in Christ makes one a member of His body, however, that relationship must now become visible through a formal commitment to a local body. Just as one is baptized into Christ at conversion (Rom. 6:4), the visible manifestation of that union must take place through water baptism (Acts 2:38). Just as there was no such thing as an unbaptized Christian in the NT, the evidence also shows there was no such thing as a Christian who did not join himself to a local body through a formal commitment.
Biblical Reasons for Joining CtK:
- You have the blessing of having spiritual leaders: Every person in covenant with God in a local church is to “obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls” (Heb. 13:17). This command assumes that you have a covenant with certain spiritual leaders. They are responsible for you and you to them. Some people may say, “I am accountable only to God.” Ultimately, only God has authority over you. But he doctrine of sin should sober us about making ourselves the sole judges over our own hearts, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Hebrews 3:13 says we need others to exhort us “daily” lest we become hardened by sin.
- You can vote: Those “in covenant” choose leaders and guide the direction of the congregation. While congregational meetings are open for all to attend, only members may pass resolutions, vote, or recommend the annual budget to elders.
- You are not ashamed to identify with Christ or his people (Mark 8:38)
- You stop being an independent Christian (Matt 18:15-17; Heb 13:17)
- You have greater opportunities to use spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12)
- You openly demonstrate the reality of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12)
- You may become a leader in the body—possible only for those in covenant.
- You may have your children baptized into the covenant family.
For the Membership Application, see tab on right