By Greg Simmons
1. Members of the church were first identified by public baptism. Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 8:12; Acts 16:15, 33
2. Members gathered regularly for the Lords Table. Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 10: 14-17; 1 Cor. 11:25-27
3. Members regularly gathered for corporate instruction in the apostles doctrine and the preaching of the Word. Acts 2:42; Acts 14:7; Acts 14:26-28; Acts 15:35
4. Members served and supported one another by loving acts of service and gifts. Acts 2: 44-45; 2 Cor. 8:1-4 2:Cor 16:2-4; Phil 4: 16-18; 1 Pet. 5:5
5. Members submitted to and supported church leaders. Acts 11:30; Heb. 13:17
6. Members gathered together for prayer. Acts 2:42; Acts 12:5; Rom 15:20; Phil 1:19; Col 4:1-3
The biblical model is one of membership in a corporate body where the individual is brought into covenant relationships with other believers. This is a clear obligation for all believers. It cannot be redefined by the whims of culture or by so called leaders of an emerging church. Our membership is in the household of God chosen by him to live as a clearly defined community with clearly defined forms and structures.