On Thursdays we will be publishing a series of articles that highlight the mission and values of The Bridge Church. We will take time to talk about who we are and why we do things the way we do them- from both a biblical and practical perspective.
Over the next few weeks- we will be looking at what it means to be a member of The Bridge Church by walking through our Membership Covenant.
Our Membership Covenant is broken down into four distinct parts:
What is the Church?
What is a Covenant?
Obligations of the Elders to The Bridge Church
Obligations of the Members to The Bridge Church.
This week let’s start with section one:
What is the Church?
The church is not merely a building people attend to worship on a weekly basis. Although we may use the word that way. The church is a gathering of God’s people.
There are two distinct ways we may define this gathering.We may speak of it as the universal church or the local church.
The universal church is made up of every true believer of Jesus Christ that has ever lived, is living or will ever live. This church is the result of the redemptive purposes of God in the world as He works to save His chosen people through the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. This church is described as the household of God (Ephesians 2:19), the bride of Christ (Revelation 21:2,9) and the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31) in the scriptures. This body is made up of many different individual members that are providentially fit together by God’s design for the utmost display of His glory. Each member is valuable to the body and is called to sacrificial and responsible service to the other members of the same body. One member cannot say to another “You are unnecessary.” Each member bears distinct gifts of the Holy Spirit that are complimentary of the rest of the body.
The Local Church
The local church is a particular group of believers in a particular locale. It is a smaller gathering of the church universal. It is a microcosm of the larger body. It is how the larger body of Christ expresses itself in a certain time, place and culture. Being a member of the local church is to identify yourself with Christ Himself, the church universal and to commit to living out the unity of the body of Christ with specific individuals. The local church becomes your immediate spiritual family. Its members are to be united to Christ and thus also united to each other. Being a member of a local church provides us a place to engage in God’s kingdom plans and purposes. The Bridge is a local church of members that are to also be members of the larger universal church.
Being a member of a church is more than joining a club or an organization of like minded people. It is a covenant. Next week we will take a quick look at what a covenant is and how it relates to us as a local church.