What is the Church?
You may have a clear idea of what the church shouldn't be, but how would you describe a church that looks Biblical. The Bible paints a varied picture of what it means to be the church, but there are a couple of guiding principles in considering what it means to be a church.
They are found in 2 primary passages:
Read Acts 2:42-47. This passage describes what happens when conversion takes place and people are filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit. We relate differently, have different priorities and there is a dynamic in the way we relate to God and each other.
Read Ephesians 4:1-16. This passage describes a church that is under the leadership of Jesus Christ. The people respect one another - are gifted and called to serve in the church and society - and are becoming more Christ-like as they achieve this.
The church is God's people in community,
reflecting God's presence and priorities.
This describes the church that we desire to be at Riccarton Baptist.
Riccarton Baptist Church
Six Reasons to Join
- Membership says, "I belong here," and God says that believers belong together. (Hebrews 10:23-25) You sense that God wants you here with the people of Riccarton Baptist Church at this time in your Christian life, and you want to make a public declaration that you are committed to God's work through this church.
- Membership says, "We share the same ministry goals," and God says that believers are to be committed to one another for the sake of spiritual impact. (Ephesians 4:16) You believe that Jesus has a work for you to do in Riccarton and Christchurch and further afield, and you're willing to join with others to see it done.
- Membership says, "I accept responsibility for a group of fellow believers in the family of God," and that's God's plan as well. (Galatians 6:1-2,10) You want to be a part of a caring network of people, sharing one another's joys and sorrows, and helping one another grow through worship, Bible application, fellowship, mission and ministry.
- Membership says, "I am accountable to mature brothers and sisters in Christ for my walk with God," and God warns against spiritual autonomy. (Hebrews 13:17; Matthew 18:15-20) You don't want to go it alone in standing for Jesus Christ, and do want to receive the guidance, equipping and assistance necessary to remain on target.
- Membership says, "I accept responsibility for how things are done here," and God says that's how it should be. (1 Corinthians 12:20-27) Every member has a say and part to play in shaping our church's direction and ministry goals. Members elect Elders as well as call the Senior Pastor as our spiritual leader. They approve and carry out the Annual Ministry Plan and Budget and can be appointed as Ministry Leaders.
- Membership keeps us legal. (1 Peter 2:13-17) The Baptist Union of which we have a formal membership is recognized by the New Zealand Government under an Act of Incorporation. We also have a legal Constitution outlining our rules and practices and membership. We seek as a church to be a credible witness as we adhere to New Zealand laws as responsible citizens with a desire to serve our society.
Mission, Vision, Values
What is our vision?
Living out our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his transforming power through overlapping diverse communities.
What is our mission?
To be a place of grace; to be a people of grace
What are our values?
Riccarton Baptist Church
Membership Pledge From Constitution
- To live at all times such a life as reflects a follower of Jesus and a member of the church.
- To take an active part in achieving the Vision and upholding the Values of the church through supporting and encouraging the leadership and participating in the decision making process.
- To discover and use my spiritual gifts and participate in the community and ministry of the church.
- To do all in my power to deepen and enrich the spirit of fellowship in the church, always seeking to develop authentic relationships in this fellowship of Christ's people.
- To share by my life, deeds and words in the supreme task of the church, namely by witnessing to the saving power of Jesus Christ our Lord.
- To be faithful in prayer for the church and its witness in the community.
- To share conscientiously in resourcing the church using my money, talents, time according to my means.
So how do I become a member of Riccarton Baptist Church?
If you believe that Riccarton is the place you belong and where you want to make a contribution, then all you need to do is:
- Know Christ as your personal Saviour - that is, by his death on the Cross for your sins, you've accepted his free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. You believe that Christ is God's Son and have committed your life to him.
- Be baptised as a believer professing your faith in Christ publicly.
- Be in agreement with our Mission, Vision and Values and commit to the Membership Pledge.
If you have met these requirements, you are invited to complete the attached response form and arrange to speak to a Pastor. New members will be welcomed into the Riccarton Baptist Church during a worship service convenient to you.