Marshall Road is a church, and the Bible uses the metaphor of a body to describe the church: ''For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ'' (1 Cor. 12:12). It's a beautiful illustration of how we're each created to serve different functions, we need everyone to function in order to be a healthy body, and all of us as separate parts find purpose and unity under Jesus, ''the head of the body, the church'' (Col. 1:18). Members are the church (Eph. 2:19-22).
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEMBER AND ATTENDEE?
At Marshall Road, we make a distinction between "members" and "guests." If you're not a member, then you're technically a guest that remains to a certain extent separated from our church family, and separated from the maturity, protection, accountability, and care that comes with being an active part of the church. This may not make much difference for visitors and non-Christians, but Christians who consume rather than commit to a local church do a disservice to Jesus' body (the church) and themselves. Members, on the other hand, participate as the church: sacrificing time, talents, and treasure; committing to the care and community of their fellow members, and submitting to the authority God has established to lead our congregation. In short, the difference between a member and a non-member is that members are "on mission."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE "ON MISSION"?
To be on mission means that you're a Christian, that your identity is founded in Jesus, and that you embody the Marshall Road mission statement by living a life of worship to Jesus, a life of fellowship with other Christians, and a life of mission to non-Christians (Matt. 28:18-20). These expressions are only possible with an identity established in Jesus.
WHY SHOULD I BECOME A MEMBER?
The church of Marshall Road is a family, adopted by God (Gal. 4:6-7; Eph. 1:5). We care for each other, pray for each other, and serve together. If you're already a Christian, you need to take that step of membership. Without making an official commitment, however, we cannot provide the same level of pastoral care and community support, in part because we may not know who you are and we want you to be part of the family. God does not call believers to be orphans. We need each other.
BENEFITS OF BECOMING A MEMBER?
Scripture calls us a body, a family, a household–being a Christian is not a solo effort. Jesus works through the church (Eph. 2:10), the church is Jesus' body (1 Cor. 12:27), and apart from Jesus, you can do nothing (John 15). Again, members are the church. ''So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God'' You don't join for the perks–although members do enjoy greater access to certain volunteer opportunities only available to members. The benefit is that we get to worship Jesus together, serve in His kingdom, and be children of God! We enjoy the guidance that his Word provides, and, when sin comes between us, we enjoy the reconciliation Jesus' blood provides.
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
It's a simple process. Complete the Connect Class where you learn about who Marshall Road is and what God has called us to accomplish, and we will walk you through the next steps.
If you feel God may be leading you to join Marshall Road or just want to know more about us, our Connect Class is the right place to start. During this session, you’ll hear our story, meet some of the staff and leadership and get to know others seeking a church home. You’ll also learn about covenant membership, our mission, core values and foundational beliefs and have the opportunity to ask questions that are important to you.
Childcare is available and since we all learn better on a full stomach, lunch is provided as well. We will announce the date of our next Connect Class!
DO ALL MEMBERS NEED TO BE BAPTIZED?
Since Jesus commands that all of his disciples be baptized, baptism is a requirement for all Marshall Road members If you've already been baptized by immersion since you became a Christian, you don't need to get re-baptized. Marshall Road performs believer baptisms only, which means we don't baptize infants. If you have more questions about baptism specifically, please speak with one of our staff members or read our Baptism FAQ here.