There is something powerful (and daunting) about commitment. In taking marriage vows, we are giving up some personal freedoms in order to have an intimate partner on our life journey. When we commit to a contract, we are agreeing to fulfill the requirements in exchange for something - maybe security, money, or work to be completed.
Membership in a local church (like Gretna) is in some ways separate from a commitment to Jesus, and in some ways very connected. It is certainly true that each of us is called to make and steward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Ph 2:12-13) - as those adopted into his family (Eph 3:20). Membership in a local church family is a commitment to worship, work, and grow with a group of your brothers and sisters in Christ - traveling the journey of faith together.
Most of the New Testament is focused on two things: declaring the identity & work of Jesus (the Gospel), and helping his people (the church) understand what it means to live out their faith. The church is God’s chosen mechanism for this two-fold mission (Acts 1:8). Jesus never intended for us to take it on alone; expecting us to encourage, serve, and even challenge one another along the way (Heb 10:24-25). The goal of membership is for each of us to put our God-given gifts to use in helping all of us live out our faith, and - critically - tell the world of our Savior (Rom 12:4-8).
Every family has a set of expectations. Some are written (‘chore list’), some are verbal (a promise), and some are simply part of the DNA of a family (loving each other). There is also no such thing as a “perfect” family - where everyone sees everything the same way, and functions in perfect harmony with each other. Gretna is no exception. We know we are all broken (Rom 3:23), but we are committed to walking our collective faith journeys together.