Accepting new church members

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,086
    Likes Received:
    218
    From another thread
    I have often seen in churches - that voting in a new member is only a formality - after a person desires membership.

    As Deacon stated - do the Elders, Deacons, pastors, ect actually examine potential members?

    What should be bought up?
    Should the candidate be in 100% agreement with the church doctrine statement.

    What is off the table?

    and let the argument begin....
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    128
    My church is distinctively different from many others.

    I worship at an elder-run church. The teaching pastor has no more authority than any other elder.

    The decisions the elders make are the way the church goes.
    Members vote on the budget and the elders (rotating every two years).

    Potential members must attend a church membership class.

    Also to become a member, they must align themselves with congregational beliefs, we are 'one body' after all.


    Crossing's Membership Commitment
    • I have personally trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior.
    • I have been water baptized since I became a believer.
    • I have read the church doctrinal statement and am in agreement with it
    • I have read the church constitution and will submit to it.
    • I sincerely desire to live for God, according to his word.
    There are various degrees of agreement:

    The degree of examination on doctrinal agreement increases with the responsibilities a member assumes.

    • A teacher requires a more complete examination and background checks.
    • A deacon requires an even more detailed examination. They are voted on by the congregation and serve for an indeterminate period of time at the discretion of the elders.
    • Elders provide a full written examination dealing with various aspects of their spiritual, financial, and other aspects of their personal lives, as well as leadership ability and a propensity towards teaching. Each area is examined separately and they are interviewed with each section. An private interview with their wife is included. Upon completion, the congregation is invited to question them, then a vote is taken. They serve a two year term which may be renewed as long as they and the congregation desire.
    Rob
     
    #2 Deacon, Feb 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2015
  3. Zaac

    Zaac
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,757
    Likes Received:
    220
    Outside of #1 and 5, are any of these BIBLICAL REQUIREMENTS to join a church?
     
  4. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    128
    • Baptism
    • Being in agreement
    • Submission to leadership

    Yeah, I think a case could be made.

    Rob
     
  5. Use of Time

    Use of Time
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    98
    Took a new members class and then signed a pledge that pretty much showed my understanding of what our church represented. Walked the aisle the following sunday and was welcomed warmly. That has pretty much been the practice with every church I've joined.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    Off the bat I tell them I'm Amil and a 5 Point DoG believer.....that generally shuts them up.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  7. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    In the ORB's, if someone gives their hand for membership, whether it's via baptism after salvation or to take membership from another denomination, we do the 'move and second'.
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    I will 3rd that.:thumbs:
     
  9. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    Well, if you go the sunday of your monthly bath, there just might be a chance...:D


    [​IMG]
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    You mean walk the isle and say the prayer?!?
     
  11. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    No ninny....to take membership by recommendation....I am kidding about the 'ninny'...I hope you're not offended....
     
  12. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    10,459
    Likes Received:
    136
    Good question. Truth is, if the church IS the body of Christ, and the born again believers comprise that body, shouldn't our being born-again automatically make us members of His church/body? I see nothing in Scripture telling us we need to join a body of believers. Just like the term rapture is absent from Scripture, so is the instructions tl join a particular body of believers, absent! IMHO, of course.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    And who is going to recommend me? Save Christ who does not operate on this physical and temporal plane.
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    I also agree with this assessment ....IMHO of course.
     
  15. PreachTony

    PreachTony
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    0
    Same at my little independent missionary Baptist church. We don't hold them out for examination or questioning. If someone comes desiring to join with our church, and they are a member at what we calls a "sister church of the same faith and order," then we move and second them into Christian fellowship until we receive their letter of membership from that church. After that, they are welcomed into Church fellowship and have the same legal voting rights as any other member of the church body.

    If a person comes as a candidate for baptism based off their testimony of their experience of grace, we we move and second them into Christian fellowship until we can hold the Baptism at the next earliest occasion. Once baptized, we welcome them into Church fellowship. Of course, we also stress greatly that there is no saving grace within baptism itself. It is merely an outward sign of your inward faith.
     
  16. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,969
    Likes Received:
    128
    So in other words, you examine them too.

    Rob
     
  17. PreachTony

    PreachTony
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    0
    Insomuch as we require they have a testimony, then yes. For our accounting, a letter of membership functions as a testimony, as we only accept members by letter from churches who hold to the same faith, traditions, and doctrines as we do. If a person was to just step up and say they want to be baptized, but they cannot recount an experience of grace, then we would probably pull the brakes and speak with that person first. This situation has never arisen, so we've never had to deal with it.

    When someone uses the word "examine" in a sense of church dealings, I immediately think of Deacon or Pastor Ordination services, where someone is charged with "Examining the Candidate," which means they ask several questions pertinent to our doctrinal beliefs and faith. We don't do that to candidates for baptism.
     
  18. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    Amongst the ORB's and some UB's, those who give their hand for baptism have been coming around our churches for a little while. We preach a 'travail from nature to grace' where that person is convicted and then seek God. We ask them to give their testimony and after a 'move and second' when then take and baptize them. It could be that day or another day, so their family can be present. We leave that part up to them...
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,917
    Likes Received:
    94
    Does that mean that anyone holding to 5P DoG & Amil is prohibited?
     
  20. PreachTony

    PreachTony
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not at all. The fortunate thing in my little neck of the woods is that, while not all churches agree on eschatology, we are by and large in agreement on soteriology. But we would welcome in anyone holding to 5-pt Calvinism, or however-many-point-Calvinism, so long as they recognized that we are still an evangelical congregation where preaching is concerned. I have no qualms at all about sitting in worship service with amils, premils, or pre-trib-dispys. So long as we recognize the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the foundation of our lives, we should be good. (For the record, I'm more "Free Will, Free Grace" Baptist than anything [my Pastor claims the heading of Missionary Baptist] and I have been amil all my life.)

    I realize how my initial post that you quoted, EWF, is a bit unclear. I should have clarified that we tend to use the term "sister church of the same faith and order." That means we don't accept a membership letter from a Church of God, or Lutheran, or Pentecostal. Those folks, if desiring to join with our church, would require baptism into the church. Such is our tradition. That being said, anyone is welcome to join us in worship and to come as often as they like. They just won't have the same input on church dealings and officer elections as a "member in good standing" would have.

    Does that make better sense?
     

Share This Page

Loading...