Being a member at Hillside means more than having your name on a list. It means you understand our mission and beliefs and want to be a part of what God is doing through this ministry. It says, “I don’t just attend here; I belong here. I’m part of the team.”
To help you understand our mission and beliefs more deeply, we run a membership class that gives you an opportunity to discuss and learn together with others. In this class, you’ll learn the 16 Fundamental Truths we believe and their basis in God’s Word, as well as our stand on issues such as divorce, remarriage, gambling, alcohol, the role of women in ministry, abortion, tithing, and much more. It is an interactive class that encourages questions and discussion, and finds answers in the Bible.
Why join Hillside? The New Testament teaches several principles that indicate how important it is to be a part of a local group of believers:
1. It was an apostolic precedent (Acts 2:42-47). In the early church, believers met with the apostles daily for teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer. No indication is given that any believers remained separated from the local church. Even the Apostle Paul tried to “join the local disciples” when he relocated to a new community (see Acts 9:26).
2. The first-century believers kept track of each other (Acts 2:42-47). Several times in the book of Acts, the phrase “the Lord added to their number daily” is recorded. The church kept track of who was becoming a part of the body of Christ. Numbers represented believers, and they added those believers to themselves. Other places in Acts reaffirm the first-century church practice of “adding to their number” (Acts 2:47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:1,7; 9:31; 11:21; 16:5).
3. Church membership is an expression of commitment. In a world where commitment is diluted and loyalty is nonexistent, the church serves as a standard of commitment. Jesus is looking for those who will not look back, have counted the cost, and are willing to give up everything to follow Him (Luke 9:62; 14:33). Church membership is a commitment to the Body through the times of blessing as well as times of trial.
4. Church membership models caring. Church members exist to accomplish many functions, including devotion to each other, honoring one another, sharing with each other, and practicing hospitality (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12). The Apostle Paul went so far as to say that the members belong to each other. This model of a caring community can best take place when the individual members of the Body make a commitment to one another. In the Assemblies of God, church membership is considered the best means to accomplish these standards of caring in our pursuit of becoming a Romans 12 church.
5. Church membership shares the burden. We are instructed to carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). The picture here is of a beast of burden (the mule) who can carry ten times more baggage than one man can bear. It is the same with the church. Sometimes we need each other to carry the heavy burdens life hands out. A commitment to church membership says, “I’m willing to share the load and help carry someone else’s burdens. I’ll be available when needed.” This also allows the individual members to rest assured that someday when they need help carrying a burden, someone will be there to help–much as a healthy family functions (1 Corinthians 12:26).
As you pray about and consider becoming a member, feel free to call if you would like to know more information or have any questions. We look forward to joining with you in fulfilling the mission Jesus gave us.