"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." – Romans 12: 1–2
As Christians, we are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19) called to function, participate, and minister in a particular place within the body of Christ. A healthy body requires that each member do its part well. A healthy church requires the same: members that are sacrificially committed and well –equipped to do the works of service that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:12). Missio Dei Church holds its members in high regard. Members function as the primary missionaries of the gospel because they live, eat, and breathe the climate of Chicagoland everyday. God, in His sovereignty, placed us in this city, among these people, in this century, for a reason (Acts 17:26–27).
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” –Romans 12: 3–8
The global church has a blemished track record of allowing members to become observers while an exhausted, burnt out pastor and staff do all the work in the church and the community around it. Members of Missio Dei are to be disciples of Jesus, who are unified by their identity in Christ. This unity is expressed in the way they collaborate in loving God, loving fellow Christians, and loving non-Christians. The people of Missio Dei believe that we are to live out this covenant together in community under the headship and leadership of Jesus Christ by submitting to leadership of the elders and pastors of the church and to one another.
Missio Dei is committed to creating a model that reflects God’s heart for his children, an organic composition of hearts and hands living out the gospel with more than lip service. Being a member is about more than having exclusive access to a website; it is not a status symbol or social club. A member who acknowledges they are a part of the body of Christ and enters into a covenant with their local church is called to a higher degree of responsibility; conversely, the elders and deacons are covenanted to assist their members first and foremost, to provide counsel, service, and aid, as well as to pray, teach, and guide as necessary.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace...” –1 Peter 4: 8–10
Joining a church requires a commitment. It also requires agreement. But that does not mean that everyone in a church is in the same place in their walk with the Lord. To join Christ Church PCA, you must be able to honestly and forthrighly answer the following five questions of membership (or "membership vows") as set forth in the PCA's Book of Church Order: