Belonging to the family

Why membership?

There are many wonderful churches in our city and we are thrilled that you would consider joining us. Our passion is to see Jesus’ kingdom expanding and we know that it will take many churches to see that happen. We also know that each church has its own personality – its own way of doing things.

We hope this will help you understand how we do things and what we’re about.

Why do we believe in ‘joining’ a church?

We believe that a Christian’s life only makes complete sense in the context of God’s Church, expressed through a local church. The local church is “plan A” for pursuing the mission that Jesus gave to his disciples.

As Phil Moore says:

When Jesus told them to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ Paul and Barnabas planted local churches. Whichever way you look at it, that’s got to make a difference to the way you invest your life. They didn’t simply work for large numbers of conversions. They didn’t simply establish a collection of Christian ministries. They didn’t even form a network of high-quality Christian meetings. They were satisfied with nothing less than planting vibrant and self-supporting churches like the ones in Jerusalem and Antioch.

 The Church (with a big C) consists of every born again follower of Jesus in every era and every nation. But it is expressed through local churches (small c). God’s plan, ever since the Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, has been for every believer to be meaningfully added to a local church and become a functioning part of His body (Acts 2:41 & 47; 1 Cor 12; Eph 4).

Terry Virgo, the founder of Newfrontiers, the network of churches of which Trinity Central is a part, writes:

Individuals who have never experienced the joy and delight of belonging to a loving and vital Christian body have missed one of the thrills of the Christian life. Mere ‘church-going’ was never in God’s plan for you. He wants you very closely knit with a group of dear friends with whom you can share your life.

Why are we are convinced every Christian should join a local church?

Here are some Biblical reasons:

The New Testament’s structure: The epistles are written to local churches on the assumption that all believers would be joined to local churches.

It is stated in the Bible: “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number…and the Lord added to their number daily” (Acts 2:41&47).

It is implied in the Bible: The descriptions of life among the early believers imply an up-close-and-personal local church community (e.g. Acts 2-4). Furthermore, when writing to the church in Corinth Paul describes the church using the ‘body’ as a metaphor – referring to an intimate and functioning local body, not just a worldwide body.

New Testament language of leadership and followership: The Bible cautions church leaders that they will be held to account for how they lead and followers are similarly instructed to obey their leaders (1 Cor 3; Heb 13:7&17). This obviously presupposes a situation where you know who is leading and who is following!

New Testament discipline: Paul instructed his churches that in cases of ongoing unrepentance they should finally resort to putting people out of the church (1 Cor. 5:3-5, 9-13; 1 Tim 1:20). This indicates that these unrepentant people were in or joined to the church.

Becoming a Member

If you’re thinking about joining Trinity Central we’d encourage you to review our Membership booklet and our Doctrine booklet which discuss membership and what we believe in more depth. Our hope is that this material will give you a better sense of how we are seeking to understand God through the Bible, and to work out faith in our everyday lives. It acts as a reference to some of our beliefs and ways of operating. 

You can also listen to our three Membership Talks:

Part 1: Family on Mission

Part 2: Family Values

Part 3: Life in the Family