Unlike membership in most organizations, membership in a local church does not carry with it a lot of rights and privileges. In fact, joining a local church is an act of submission, commitment, and acceptance of responsibilities. It is little wonder that many Christians today don't feel the need to become a member of a local church because it goes against the current mindset to "shop" for the church that best serves our needs and interests.
At Lakeland Baptist Church, however, we encourage church membership because of its importance in the life of the believer. When you join a church it is essentially an act of humility; it's a willingness to come under the spiritual leadership of a pastor-shepherd and a body of believers who will hold you accountable to your commitment to Christ. Joining a local church is not like a contract where you get something in return for upholding your end of the deal. Instead it's a covenant where you are committing to fulfill your calling in community by being focused on others.
You are certainly always welcome to worship without becoming a member, but we encourage you to pray and seek God's will about the matter. We believe that the commitment made by becoming a member of a local church is a vital part of your own growth and maturity as a Christian.
The Membership Process
We invite you to begin the membership process at Lakeland in one of four ways:
Profession of Faith and Baptism
This involves receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and then being obedient to him through believer's baptism.
Transfer of Letter
If you are a Baptist whose membership is at another Baptist church, you may join our church by letter. Just tell us that you are coming from another Baptist church and we will take care of the details of transferring your membership to Lakeland.
If you have previously received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior but have not been baptized by immersion, you may join Lakeland by receiving biblical baptism.
Statement of Faith
If you were not previously a member of any church (or are coming from a church that does not utilize membership letters), you may join by Statement of Faith if you have received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and have been biblically baptized in a church of like faith.
The Connect Class is available to those exploring or pursuing membership, as well as our new members. In the Connect Class, you will learn about the history of Lakeland Baptist Church, what we believe, how the church is structured, and about the various ministries that make up Lakeland. The Connect Class is a vital aspect of the membership process as you will grow in your understanding of the beliefs, ministries, and mission of Lakeland Baptist.
The Connect Class is offered at various times during the year; for times and more information, email Mitchell Martin, Associate Pastor of Pastoral Care, at .
We invite you to begin the membership process in one of two ways:
- By speaking with a minister at the close of a worship service when the Pastor offers the public invitation.
- By emailing Mitchell Martin, Associate Pastor of Pastoral Care, at .