The Journey is a course in discipleship for those that would like to become members or baptized. The goal of the course is to bring focus or refocus to the understanding of discipleship so that following after Jesus becomes an all-encompassing life purpose.
If you would like to learn about baptism and membership at WMBC, you are welcome to attend the 6 week Journey course starting April 3. Classes will be held on Sundays at 11:00 am in the Upstairs Assembly Room. The baptism and membership service will take place on June 19 at the Winkler Bible Camp as part of our church picnic.
Why do we baptize?
We baptize because Christ commanded us to do so. In His final words to His followers before ascending into heaven, Jesus said,
His apostles also taught that followers of Jesus should be baptized. (Acts 2:30; 10:47-48) Under their leadership, the early church practice baptism; for example, 3000 on the Day of Pentecost, (Acts 2:41), the Samaritan believers (8:12,13), the Ethiopian Eunuch (8:35-39), Paul (9:17,18), Cornelius and other Gentiles (10:44-48), Lydia and her household (16:14,15), the Philippian jailer (16:32,33), Corinthians (18:8), and some Ephesians (19:1-5).
What does baptism signify?
The word “baptism” comes directly from the Greek language of the New Testament. It was two related meanings, one literal, and the other figurative. Literally, the word refers to dipping or immersion, but figuratively, the word means identification. One interesting usage of the word, which combines these two meanings, was in the production of the cloth. When a piece of cloth was dipped into a vat of dye, it was said to have been “baptized”. Not only was the cloth literally “immersed” in the dye, it was also “identified” with the new colour.
For the Christian, baptism in water signifies the spiritual reality of being “placed into” and “identified with” Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5) and places him into Christi’s body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:13). Being baptized in water visualizes this inner work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, baptism is the outward physical testimony of an inner spiritual reality.
Why do we encourage membership?
We believe that membership is an important way for you to identify your commitment and involvement to WMBC. It is also one of the important ways that you can acknowledge your commitment to our mission and direction. In doing so, it helps us to clarify the church’s responsibility to you as a follower of Jesus Christ.
At WMBC we ask you to commit to membership for four reasons:
A Biblical Reason: Christ is committed to the church. The New Testament shows us that from its earliest days the church was an organized community. They had identified members, leaders, and even roles. They also had clear requirements for what a person must believe and do to join this community, to be a leader in it and to remain a part of it.
A Cultural Reason: It is an antidote to our society. We live in a selfish culture that teaches us to avoid commitment. This attitude has influenced the church by producing a generation of “church shoppers.” Membership swims against the current of North America’s “consumer religion.” It is an unselfish decision that challenges us to realize our part in the much bigger community.
A Practical Reason: Accountability. Every team must have a roster. Every school must has an enrollment. Membership identifies who can be counted on to share in the work of ministry.
A Personal Reason: It produces spiritual growth. The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christ-followers to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. You cannot be accountable when you’re not committed to any specific church family.
At WMBC we ask you to commit to five covenant pledges:
• Do you embrace Jesus Christ as the center of your convictions?
• Do you commit to using the Bible as God’s inspired Word?
• Will you advance God’s Kingdom by projecting an outward focus through the power of the Holy Spirit?
• Do you commit to celebrating communion with God in all that you do?
• Do you commit to cultivating life lived in community with others?