The Pane: What Does It Mean to Become a Member of UBC?



A few months ago, I became the owner of a professional sports franchise. That’s right. I joined the likes of Gayle Benson of the New Orleans Saints, Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, and Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars in becoming a part-owner of the Green Bay Packers. To be clear, I own 1/2,000,000 of the team, as I possess two shares of the team’s public stock.

Most of us are owners of stock shares in some company or another. We are probably members of some club or organization.

For the most part, our membership is merely a social agreement to seek the betterment of the club or organization. And while we might serve in some official leadership role, such as a board, we go about the rest of our daily living with no direct imprint from the comings and goings of that organization. Lord, I hope I never get voted onto our neighborhood’s HOA board.

But what about membership in a church? What does that mean exactly? What does that entail? What does that require of me? Why do we even need members in the first place?

From a theological standpoint, the local church is intended to be the incarnational expression of God’s good work in the world. As followers of Jesus, we are part of his body, actively seeking to redeem the world through the Gospel message and ministry.

As John Donne so poetically put it, “No man is an island onto himself.” While salvation comes to an individual through faith in and following Jesus, the faith journey cannot be taken alone, for we cannot be the body of Christ unto our lonesome selves.

We exist together because Jesus calls us to bring our best selves to his body, to share our giftedness, strengths, resources, time, and passions while mutually benefiting from others doing the same. Together we worship, are formed to become more like Jesus, serve each other, build relationships, and meet the needs of our community through ministry.

Membership in a local church is an outward symbol of an inward spiritual commitment we are making to God and to God’s people to fulfill all these things. As members of a local church, we commit to the excellence of God’s transforming work in the world.

Not only does becoming a member allow us to flourish from the mutual sharing of our best selves with the church, but it also opens the opportunity to serve in various leadership roles, whether volunteering in key areas or serving on critical committees.

UBC receives members in three main ways:

  1. If you are coming to faith in Jesus and want to be baptized.

  2. If you are transferring your membership from another church.

  3. If you have already been baptized but wish to state your intentions to join the church.

As many participants in the life of UBC come from different denominational traditions and since we have been dealing with an over 24-month pandemic with many people continuing to remain at home, we want to take the opportunity to clarify how to join and extend an invitation to unite with UBC.

At the same time, UBC needs to update its administrative and communication records, allowing participants to help us clarify when they joined the church, update their contact information, and provide an emergency contact.

In the coming weeks, you will have the opportunity to fill out an online form, mail in a physical form to the office, or submit an insert from the worship guide to help us update our records. So be on the lookout for the ways you can update your information by taking five minutes to fill out a form for each member of your household.

If you would like to set up a time to talk with me (Andy Hale, Senior Pastor), please call the office (225-766-9474) or email (andy@ubc-br.org).