PREVIEW: “Church Membership” Series Overview
Teaching | by Pastor Adam Sinnett
For those of you that are interested in the direction we will be heading for the next two months in our “Church Membership” series, beginning this Sunday, this post is for you.
Q: What is this series all about?
This series is created to be the first point of connection for those considering Downtown Cornerstone as their church home, for a season or a lifetime. This series will serve as the first round of our ongoing church membership process, which will take place as a class going forward. As you can see, we’ll cover everything from key doctrinal issues to an overview of the vision, mission and values of Downtown Cornerstone. Consider it an “Introduction to Christianity” meets “Downtown Cornerstone 101.”
Q: Who is this series for?
This series is for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned follower of Christ or still considering his claims. However, this series will be required for all who desire to become a member of DCC to ensure you are aligned with our doctrinal and philosophical distinctives. The content over the course of the series is designed to enable you to make a wise, informed and prayerful choice to become part of Jesus’ family here.
Q: What if I have questions along the way?
If you have any questions along the way, feel free to post them here (on the City), speak with your community lead or contact me directly. There are several books that I also recommend, including: Church Membership: How the world knows who represents Jesus, by Jonathan Leeman; Those Who Must Give an Account, ed. Hammett & Merkle; What is a Healthy Church Member, by Thabiti Anyabwile; To Be or Not to Be a Church Member? by Wayne Mack
During the first week we will introduce the series and provide an overview of church membership. What is it? Is it biblical? Why does it matter? We’ll take time to unpack what it means to believe (i.e. doctrine, theology, and truth), be (i.e. identity in Christ) and belong (i.e. to God and others) as a follower of Jesus. We’ll also discuss the process for becoming a member of Downtown Cornerstone Church and what you can do to get started.
The second week we’ll look at the Bible. What is it? How do we know we can trust it? How did we get it? Why do need it? What do we do with it? What role should it play in our daily lives? This should be a very practical week and serve to boost your confidence in God’s Word. We start with the Bible because it is here that we learn about who God is, what he is like and how we can know him.
The third week we’ll discuss God. Who is God? What is he like? How many gods are there? How can we know that God exists? Where do we see the trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in the Bible? What has the church historically believed about God? Understanding God biblically is the starting place for being in relationship with him and his people.
After discussing our God and our Bible we will move on to explore God’s redemptive plan through the person and work of Jesus Christ (aka the gospel). We’ll look at the gospel from Genesis to Revelation through the lens of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. We will also discuss how the gospel applies to both believers and unbelievers, giving shape to our daily lives and decisions.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is intended to take root in specific local contexts. For us, that’s the city of Seattle. This week we’ll discuss our missional context. Why are we here? Why are cities important? What are the unique challenges and blessings of the city? How do we best take the unchanging truth of the gospel into our ever-changing culture? We’ll also review the history of Christianity in Seattle and our role in Jesus’ continuing story today.
As the good news of Jesus Christ goes into the city, sinners are saved, lives are changed and, inevitably, a church is planted. This week we’ll dig into what Jesus’ local church is intended to be and do, including issues related to leadership, structure, governance, discipline, and more. We’ll also discuss the history, vision, mission and values of Downtown Cornerstone.
What then is our mission? Why do we exist? How do we measure success? The Bible is clear that we are saved to be sent across the street, and around the world, with the life-changing news of the gospel of Jesus. But, how do we do that? We’ll also talk about our local and global mission of planting churches in our city and the cities of the world.
In light of all this, what does it practically look like to follow Jesus Christ? This week we’ll talk about how our identity in Christ gives shape to our daily lives, including our location (family, homes and neighborhoods), vocation (work, career, finances), recreation (rest, play, leisure), restoration (mercy, justice, brokenness), and multiplication (stewardship, growth, others). We’ll also examine discipleship pathway and what it looks like to go from “lost” to “leader”.