interesting church membership process

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by mont974x4, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    My bride and I are in the process of joining a local evangelical free church. I have not experienced a process like this before.

    Step 1:
    They had a membership class. This was a chance to learn all about their doctrinal stances and polity.

    Step 2:
    Meeting with the pastor and 2 other elders. This was an opportunity to give our testimonies.

    Step 3:
    Wait. The names of those wanting to members are put in the bulletin for 2 weeks. This is an opportunity for current members to voice concerns.

    Step 4:
    Vote.
     
  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Can you find that process in scripture? I don't think so. If a person had a known past as a heretic but claimed to have gone through a transformation then it might have a Biblical precedent. John wouldn't baptize the Pharisees until they manifest fruit of repentance (Mt. 3:6-8) and the church at Jerusalem refused to receive Saul of Tarsus until it was confirmed by another member (Barnabas). Did you have that kind of public record? If not, just another unbiblical congregation manifesting unbiblical fruits.
     
  3. Salty

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    Monty,
    I like it! Execpt I would reverse # 1 & 2
     
    #3 Salty, Dec 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2012
  4. Salty

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    Can you provide scripture that prohibits such action?
     
  5. annsni

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    That's very similar to how we do it.

    Membership class - Basic info on the church, questions answered, etc.

    Meeting with the pastor/elder - Most people have already met with a pastor, elder, deacon or small group leader so we don't have an "official" requirement for this. But if there is any question, a pastor will usually meet with the person seeking membership.

    Names printed - We put the names in the bulletin and they are announced at church. A vote is held right then and if it is a go, they will be welcomed in the following week.

    Welcome - We have the new members come forward, be introduced to everyone and they are given a membership certificate with a verse that the pastor is giving to that person or family. It's been amazing how the verses have been SO appropriate for each new member. :) For our family, the verse was John 4:23-24 " But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” At the time, no one knew my husband was a musician and within the year, he was leading worship - and since then, he was the worship pastor for a number of years and now my daughter is also leading worship. :)
     
  6. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    I agree. I was just posting what their official process has been.
    We have been attending this church since May and have had an opportunity to spend several hours with the senior pastor, his family, and some other families in the church. I tend to ask hard questions of the pastor before we ever think about joining a church.
     
  7. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    I can find nothing in Scripture against this process.

    And yes, I do have a rather public record. I know most of the pastors in town. I have served on staff at 2 of churches in town. I have family and friends in most of the churches in town.
     
  8. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    I can find plenty in scripture against that process. The entire Biblical record is against that process except for two cases I mentioned. The Great Commission is a precept and teaching them comes after receiving them through baptism (Acts 2:41-42) not before receiving them as in their process.

    You may fit the two cases but that hardly warrants a church to treat everyone that way becuase the New Testament example does not.

    It may appeal to human wisdom but it has no scripture behind it and plenty of scriptural examples contrary to it as well as the order found in the precept of the Great Commission.
     
  9. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    ok. Thanks
     
  10. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    BTW you said, "my bride". Did you just get married or is that your way to speak lovingly about your wife. If you just got married then congratulations! If that is just terms of endearment than I can identify with it as I have been referring to my wife by that endearing term for nearly 40 years. A godly and good wife is surely a great blessing that many do not enjoy. I am blessed and I hope you are also.
     
  11. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    I am blessed to have been married to my bride for 15 years. Our anniversary was on the 2nd.
     
  12. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Well, happy anniversary and I hope you will have many more!
     
  13. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    thank you. I am really blessed with a godly and gracious woman.
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    Our Church does same process, except for bulletin listing names!

    Wouldn't this fall under local church atonomy, as each would do the process as they saw fit per the bible not prohibiting the practice?
     
  15. Salty

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    per the bible not prohibiting - being the operative phrase


    B - Just curious what do you do for the folks who refuse to be baptize in the river in the middle of winter.
    I'm sure you agree with me we should not use baptisteries, since John the B only baptized the converts in the river.....
     
  16. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Come on, you are attempting to overthrow the order given in the Great commission which is a precept with the location of baptism which is nowhere defined by precept! Besides more than John baptized (Jn. 4:1-2) and the locations are not stated except that in Acts 2 which was in Jerusalem. Besides the Biblical reason stated for John baptizing where he did is that there was "much water" and so wherever there is sufficient water.

    However, the baptisms in Acts 2 must have been in the large pools inside Jerusalem.
     
  17. Alive in Christ

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    I am probably less interested in "formalities" then most on this website, but I can say that the process put forth on this thread is fine by me.
     
  18. OldRegular

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    Frankly I believe the Church is following a good policy, one that more Churches should adopt. You give two good Biblical examples of why the Church should adopt some practice other than voting those who walk the aisle immediately into membership.

    The following is a true story and happened in a Church attended my older brother near Knoxville, Tennessee.

    On a given Sunday night the men sat in the choir loft as choir. A visitor joined them. When the invitation was given the visitor asked if the Church were Southern Baptist. Given the affirmative he said "That is good enough for me." and offered himself for membership.

    This particular Church has a policy of delaying the vote until the candidate was visited by a couple of Deacons. The address dciven by the visitor was a motel. He was gone and appeared no more!
     
  19. OldRegular

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    Get a sledge and break the ice. Dunk them!

    Haven't you seen these scantily clad folks run into the icy waters in the winter. We don't do that down South!
     
  20. OldRegular

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    I think that all Churches should do this.
     

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