Becoming a Member of Northside Drive Baptist Church
A personal response from Rev. Dr. James Lamkin, Senior Pastor
I believe church membership is vital to a Christian’s spiritual maturity. Spiritual growth happens within an individual through the practical and profound journey of “being church.” If you’re pondering membership in the local Body of Christ called Northside Drive Baptist Church (NDBC)—let me welcome you to a wonderful community of faith. I, personally, would be honored to join you in the journey. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding NDBC:
- Is it OK to ask questions? NDBC welcomes questions. Christian spiritual maturity is a quest. If you are not exploring your doubts and naming your questions, you may not be growing!
- Are you sure this is a Baptist church? We do look and worship differently than a lot of Baptists. The worship service is more "high church" for most Baptists; and we feel called to be progressive. However, we are rooted in traditional, historic Baptist values:
- the separation of church and state;
- the priesthood of all believers;
- the freedom to interpret the Bible as God leads;
- individual responsibility for one’s own relationship with God.
Though these are stated in a somewhat formal way, I’d be glad to have a conversation with you about how we live them out. I like to say, “NDBC is a Baptist church with a pluralistic spirit.” Thus, we claim our deep, passionate roots, while naming a wide appreciation for other faith journeys.
- Is NDBC connected with a denomination? We are aligned with the Alliance of Baptists and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. In March 2001 NDBC voted to discontinue official affiliation with the Southern and Georgia Baptist Conventions. The way I say it is, “Their tent shrunk and we were left out in the rain; and we finally admitted it."
- What is the vision of NDBC? We believe God calls us into Christian community with the challenge to discern and act upon the ongoing revelation of God in our time and place. We live out this vision by being a church rooted deeply in liturgical traditions, where intergenerational friendships are valued, all members can be known by name, open-mindedness is the basis of spiritual formation, resources are shared generously, and where hands-on service is crucial to our own discipleship and the mission of Christ in the world. We celebrate this vision through the intimacy of a loving congregation, the strength of Baptist freedoms, and the reach of an ecumenical and inclusive spirit.
- What does membership at NDBC involve? First, it means a commitment to follow Jesus. Second, it implies a commitment to growing spiritually. For me, this means prayer, Bible study, stewardship, service, and accountability. Third, everyone who joins NDBC has been gifted by God to serve with and among us. Your gift may be singing in the choir, or building a Habitat house, or teaching, or serving in other ways. For all Northside Drivers, “being church” means stewardship of time, talents, money, and joy.
- How do folk join NDBC? Basically, there are two ways. First, there is “profession of faith.” If you’ve never been a Christian, you would join by professing your faith in Christ and requesting “believer’s baptism.” A second way is by moving your membership from another Christian church (Baptist or non-Baptist) to NDBC.
- So if I want to join, what do I do next? First, let Rev. Daniel Headrick or
know. (You can also fill out the form below). We will celebrate, clarify, and prepare to welcome you. Second, please provide the information requested on the back of this leaflet and bring it with you on the Sunday you join. Or, you could just fill-out a membership card when you arrive. Third, during the “Hymn of Dedication,” in a morning worship service, come forward on the first stanza. Rev. Daniel Headrick or I will greet you near the Chancel rail. Following the hymn, we will introduce you to the congregation. Then we, as a congregation, will say:
As members of Northside Drive Baptist Church, we welcome you as you join us in this adventure of faith and faithful community. We offer you our love, our history and our hope. We value your story of faith and invite you to serve with us as stewards of God's grace.
What if I have more questions about membership? I welcome all questions regarding theology and church membership. Please give me a call. Also, you might ask some church members. Many of our people would welcome questions and value theological discussion.
- One more question: what happens after becoming a member? Each new member is assigned a Deacon Family Minister. The Deacon will contact you. You will be placed on the church’s mailing and emailing list. In addition, you’ll want to connect with a small group, like a Church School class or community group or maybe join the choir. Look for ways to serve God. Working on a Habitat for Humanity project is a wonderful place to start and a good way to get to know people. It’s important to get involved—also, be patient and help us get to know you.