Baptism and church membership

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Plain Old Bill, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    I might not have this right in my thinking so feel free to correct me.
    Baptism.A person MUST be Saved to be baptized.
    Church Membership. A person must be saved and baptized to request membership.

    Now I beleive a person should have some fundamental knowledge before they become a church member.They should know what it really means to belong to a local New Testament Church.They should know what the church would expect from them as well as what to expect from the church and church family before being accepted as a member.My reason for thinking this way is to many are saved baptized and automacally made a member of a church and have no idea what that churrch membership truly entails.Now we have created a possible church hopper until properly indoctrinated.What do you think?
     
  2. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Right on, Bill. If we do not convey any expectations to a prospective member, we have no right to moan and complain when they just warm a pew or hop over to the next church.

    By letting people know what is to be expected of them, you will have a few choose to not join. But those who do will come into the fellowship armed and ready to serve.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    When a person is saved, they are "baptized" into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

    When a person is immersed in water, they are "baptized" into a local "body" or church.

    They should be well-instructed about the meaning of baptism (that they become part of the local church at that time, too) so that they will not be left spiritual orphans.

    In my last church, I was asked to baptize believers, but membership was not involved. I followed the guidelines of the congregation, but was not MY policy.
     
  4. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    Dr. Bob.
    "They should be well instructed about the meaning of baptism".
    Do you mind if I ask what all that entails?
    I guess the thing that most concerns me is the number of inactive members we have along with the numbewr of pew potatoes.

    I think it is sad when someone shows up to church on Sunday bows their head while someone else prays,sings a couple of songs,listens to the sermons and thinks they have done their duty to God and the church for the week.
     
  5. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Want to raise some eyebrows just start preaching on real discipleship and then ask people personally to start doing ministry with you. Some will be blessed by larninmg and see God uses them to bless others. But others will did their heels in and will not be moved. They will most likely give you trouble and gossip about you. The church will change one way or the other.

    But what else can we expect if we don't invest our lives in the lives of others teaching them to folow Christ in a practical and theologically proper way consistent with scripture. It is convenient to preach at people but a lot of hard personal work to lead others to do ministry by taking them with you. But the rewards are so great that there is no comparison.

    If we keep doing what we've always done we will keep getting what we've always got.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Sure. When someone is hearing about salvation, we don't do a "quickie" and have them pray some little ditty without understanding what they are doing. I've seen SO MANY folks who THINK they are going to heaven but really don't have a clue about salvation.

    So we talk and teach. Repentance and sin and Law, then grace and regeneration and Gospel. Then assurance and other truths, so they see it all of God. It takes time, but when the person is converted, they truly ARE a "new creation".

    Then we take MORE time to thoroughly instruct them in what baptism entails, our heritage in the church, what being part of a church means (a whole lot more than just coming twice a year or giving God a "tip").

    I have six weeks of instruction - 4 sessions one-on-one with the person, then 2 with a group (including some elders of the church). At this point they are presented for baptism/church membership - all one deal.

    And they stay and grow. Exciting to see genuine salvation and genuine growth and watch the babies mature in the Word.
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    Dr. Bob,
    I like the way you do that.
     
  8. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Many years ago I was travelling through San Jose, CA and heard a preacher on the radio being interviewed. In the church he pastored nobody became a member until a person came forward and the person who led them to Christ came forward with them. The person who led them to Christ is the one who could become a member. At the time the church was exploding with growth. I cannot remember the name of the church though. It was about 20 years sgo.
     

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