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Church Membership - Scriptures and Questions

Church Membership - Scriptures and Questions

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Published by Alex S. Leung

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Published by: Alex S. Leung on Apr 23, 2012
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Compiled by Alex S. Leung | aleung@sixsteps.


Church Membership
Key Scriptures
      Matthew 18:15-17 Acts 20:28 1 Corinthians 5 1 Corinthians 12:12–31 2 Corinthians 2:5-7 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17

Key Questions
1. Matthew 18—If there is no church membership, how can you define the group that will take up this sensitive and weighty matter of exhorting the unrepentant person and finally rendering a judgment about his standing in the community? 2. Acts 20—How are the pastors/elders to know who their flock is? Specifically, who are pastors responsible for? For whom will pastors give an account to God? 3. 1 Corinthians 5—How can there be “outsiders”? Who are those “inside” the church? Who is an accountable part of this body, and who is not? 4. 1 Corinthians 12—Who intends to be treated as a hand or foot or eye or ear of this body? How many bodies are the members a part of? How should each member treat one another? 5. 2 Corinthians 2—What is the “majority”? Does there seem to be a definite number of believers here? How can there be such a “majority” if it is not part of a whole? 6. 1 Thessalonians 5; 1 Timothy 5; Hebrews 13—Without membership, who is it that the New Testament is referring to who must submit to a specific group of leaders?     What does church membership signify (meaning)? What should be the criteria (prerequisites) for church membership? o Who can be permitted to be a member of this local church? What are the entailments (responsibilities) of church membership? How can we avoid the dangers of meaningless membership?


To learn how the Lord drew you to himself. By Reaffirmation of Faith in Jesus Christ: It is sometimes the case that persons who previously made a profession of faith and became active members in a particular church are unable to secure a certificate of transfer or other evidence of church membership. This decision is the beginning but not the ending of what it means to follow Christ. If you have not placed your faith in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sins and been baptized by immersion we will assist you with these spiritual decisions. 2. 4. 3. Baptism by Immersion.Summary of Positions Criteria for Membership A Presbyterian Examplei 1. Saving Faith. By Profession of Faith in Jesus Christ: One becomes an active member of the church through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and acceptance of his Lordship in all of life. A Baptist Exampleii Membership is open to anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins and has been baptized by immersion by a body of believers of like faith and practice. you may join First Presbyterian by transferring your letter. We view baptism as being an outward. After instruction and examination by the session. visible demonstration of an inward spiritual transformation which comes about when one trusts in Christ alone for salvation. To confirm that there are no biblically warranted concerns with your joining the church as a covenant member. To confirm you have a good understanding of the meaning of church membership. the church secretary writes to your former church for the letter or other evidence of church membership. Two Requirements for Membership: 1. 2. By Transfer of Letter: If you are active in another Christian church. The day after you join. To answer questions or help you find opportunities to connect at the church. 2. these persons shall reaffirm publicly their profession of faith and their acceptance of responsibility in the life of the church. 3. Trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins. 2 . Baptism and a public profession of faith in Jesus as Lord are the visible signs of entrance into the active membership of the church. Interview with Pastor(s). One or two elders will be assigned to meet with prospective members for a required elder interview. Goals of this interview: 1.

2. pastors/elders. 3 . Lastly. as well as logistical/business requirements. and staff are all required to adhere to these regulations. ethical statement. Such a document describes in detail the church’s operational standards for its weekly gatherings. This may be expressed verbally in an interview with elders. and/or publically before the gathered body. By-Laws/Constitution 1. or the moral principles.Responsibilities of Membership Evangelical churches generally requires its members to personally assent to the following items of church governance: 1.iii 3. Constitution. and biblical standard. Church Covenant 3. deacons. regardless of whether or not they have read the document. Doctrinal Statement/Confession of Faith. professing their commitment to the local body of Christ by way of a promise. Statement of Faith At the minimum. 2. summary of expectations. It summarizes how members promise to live together in the covenant. the church By-Laws or Constitution governs the ways in which the church and members functions. The church covenant is equal parts promise. of our worldview and holds out a biblical standard by which we live. Members. Acceptance of this multifaceted document follows the practice of believers throughout the centuries who have pledged to God and one another to live out the gospel in community. and/or by the signing of a membership application to indicate such doctrinal affirmation. Covenant Subsequently. some churches may additionally require members to covenant with one another. It forms the ethics. affirmation of the church’s doctrinal statement is required by all church members.

htm Houston’s First Baptist Church. Article VII: “[Baptism] Being a church ordinance. church budget.Other Responsibilities Membership Classes. members are thus given the privilege of sharing in the Lord’s Supper. Baptist Faith & Message.org/connect/community-groups i ii Whether or not baptism/immersion should be a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper is a separate issue to be addressed. participation in the local church community is a requirement of each member expressed in the active involvement in a Community Group. regardless of their interest in church membership. Community Groups allow members to connect with others and build closer relationships.org/we-are/governed/covenant/ iv Bethlehem Baptist Church.org/membership iii Capitol Hill Baptist Church.) Business Meetings. http://hopeingod. Groups can also band together throughout the year to serve the needs of the church and community through various projects.” 1 4 . ministry activities. 2000 edition. To provide an informal setting to learn what the pastors. it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper. etc. The Lord’s Supper / Holy Communion. However. 2. They are basic Christian communities where Christians grow (discipleship happens) and where the gospel grows (evangelism happens). church. on decisions regarding membership status. To give an opportunity for potential members to become acquainted with a pastor who can help them connect with one or more of the church's ministries. Community Groups/Small Groups. Cf.v Upon becoming a member of the local church.crpc. Upon membership into the local church.org/membership. the membership class is often a prerequisite/co-requisite for membership in that local church. http://houstonsfirst. How and when these meetings take place depend on the church’s model of governance and constitution.org/about-us/getting-connected/becomingmember v Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. (Non-members may visit a group at any time of the year by invitation of one of the group members or a pastor. and denomination in general believe on various topics. http://www. It is the privilege and responsibility of members to attend all Business/Members’ Meetings and vote on the election of officers.capitolhillbaptist. http://fpcnashville. The membership class has a two-fold purpose. Groups meet in homes and other locations throughout the week to discuss and apply the Sunday sermon/Scripture. TN. staff. 1. 1 First Presbyterian Church of Nashville. and build relationships.iv Churches may have membership classes that are open to all. http://www. so encouraging one another to believe the gospel and become the gospel in the lives of others.

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