Our Membership Process & Requirements:
- Step 1: Sign up for Soma DNA classes (3)
- Step 2: Complete Spiritual Gifts Inventory
- Step 3: Baptism (if applicable)
- Step 4: Complete Membership Profile
- Step 5: Elder Interview
- Step 6: Sign the Covenant (as seen above)
Does it really matter if I’m a member or not? Why do I have to take a class to even become a member? Why do I have to sign anything? People often ask these questions about our membership process, skeptical as to why there seem to be so many “hoops” to jump through. It’s true. We take membership seriously and with a lot of gravity. Committing yourself to a body of believers is weighty. But it’s also wonderful. When Covenant Members join, they commit to a spiritual family that provides encouragement and support. They are called to a biblical degree of responsibility, service and sacrifice to their brothers and sisters. Our elders and leaders also pledge to assist our Covenant Members with care, counsel, prayer and teaching.
While we do not find explicit texts in Scripture commanding membership in a local church, the New Testament Scriptures are saturated with texts that imply formal membership within local churches. A few examples include: The Commands in Scripture for elders of local churches to oversee and shepherd local churches (see Acts 20:28-30 and 1 Peter 5:1-4). In order for the elders to be faithful to these commands and held accountable for them (Hebrews 13:17), they must have had a listing of who the individual members within their local church were. Paul commanded the local church in Corinth to formally remove a man from their congregation (see 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). Formal exclusion presupposes formal inclusion. The early church kept a list of widows (1 Timothy 5:9). If widows were listed and kept track of, it is likely that other lists were kept and tracked within the church, possibly including a list of the individual members who formed the local church body. We believe that some sort of formal membership within local churches was understood and present in the early church. In the Bible, to be a part of the universal church meant that you were part of the local church as well.
A covenant is generally defined as “a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performace of some action.” Within the Scriptures, we find a number of examples of covenants; some between God and man (Genesis 6, Genesis 9, Genesis 15, Ezekiel 20, Hosea 2, Jeremiah 31, and Matthew 26), while others are solely between men (1 Samuel 18, 2 Samuel 5).
The primary purpose of the covenant is to serve as a teaching document with three functions: To clarify the biblical obligations and expectations for both the leaders of Soma and the individual members to body of Soma. To establish teaching and doctrinal guidelines for the body of Soma. To serve as a tool for reflection and growth toward holiness. There are many benefits that come from signing the covenant: It provides a spiritual family to support and encourage you in your walk with Christ (Ephesians 2:19-20). It gives you a place to discover and use your gifts of ministry (1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4). It places you under the care of spiritual leaders (1 Peter 5:1-4). It provides you with the accountability to grow in the grace of God (Hebrews 13:17)