Membership

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Bible Believing Bill, Jan 25, 2003.

  1. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
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    The thread on the voting rights of the church youth has brought to my mind the question of what should be the qualification for membership.

    I stated that my son was considered a member, but not allowed to vote, simply because my wife and I are members. Now I can see how this can and probably does create two classes of members. I also see how it makes my entire family a part of the church family. In response to those statements Sularis wrote the following.

    I think he has given a pretty good definition of what it takes to be a memeber of the church. I would add an age requirement of 18. Number 4 would certianlly weed out those children who are simply claiming to be saved so that can fit into the church family.

    What do you think the minimum requirments for chruch membership should be?

    Bill
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Bill, I would be in basic agreement with what Sularis has said, though I would express the wording slighty differently. I don't think we should have two classes of church members, but I also don't see any participation, leadership, or perhaps even membership on the part of minor children in the New Testament. But I also have a problem setting an age requirement, because I don't find that in the New Testament either. A church actually practicing and enforcing #4 on Sularis' list would certainly alleviate most of the problem. One that is accepted in the church family should be able to give a reason for the hope that is within them. Waiting to accept a child into church membership until he or she is able to express that hope certainly won't undo any work that God has done for them. In the case of Saul (Paul) it even took a corroborating witness before the church at Jerusalem was convinced he actually was a disciple (Acts 9:23-28). That may be an extreme case, but it does validate the right of the church to expect a person they accept into their midst is really a disciple.
     
  3. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Contrary to many of the misconceptions about some of the more contemporary church models, many of them have some strict membership requirements (including participation in a small group Bible study, tithing, and active involvement in Christian service). This "understanding what we are all about before you join" mentality allows them to avoid many of the church discipline problems most churches face. It also helps close the back door and promotes high levels of accountability. This "prerequisites for membership" development seems to be a very positive one in guarding the church's purpose and purity. [​IMG]
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    My "Free" church only requires that a person by saved, attend 6 classes on doctrine and share their testimony with the elders. They are never "voted" on by the congregation and it does not matter if they've been baptized (by any means/mode/time frame) :rolleyes:

    My "Baptist" church requires salvation, baptism by immersion following salvation, and public testimony of faith, voted on by the entire congregation. :cool:

    You can see why I'm a Baptist! :D
     
  5. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Yes Dr. Bob, that explains PERFECTLY why you're a Baptist but gots to preach at the e-free church!
    Gina
     
  6. donnA

    donnA
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    To be a member of our church you must be saved and baptised, your public batism is a testimony of your fsith in Jesus. Without these you can not be a member of the chritian church.
     
  7. Bob Farnaby

    Bob Farnaby
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    To be a member in our church it follows similar steps to those listed before ..
    1 Credible proffession of faith
    2 Baptism by immersion as a beliver
    3 Request for membership from the person involved
    4 Interview by two mature members (usually includes an elder or deacon)
    5 Acceptance voted by existing members at a church meeting
    6 Publicly welcomed into membership at a communion service.

    We have some members who are under 18, but not many. We have no problems with them taking part in the meetings and voting.
    Regards
    Bob

    [ January 25, 2003, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: Bob Farnaby ]
     
  8. Ben W

    Ben W
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    An interesting question. The Jewish answer would be any male who has been through the Bah Mizvah. Or in other words has reached the age of accountability.

    One good principal might be that if you accept money from Teenagers, they have a right to be a part of the descion making process towards the stewardship of it?
     
  9. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    At my synagogue, I have been accepted as a
    member, even though I made no mention of bat
    mitzvah. They accepted me as a member
    because I had been attending for years while
    still a member of the old church, they knew who
    I was and that I was a believer. Wwhen the old
    church booted me, I told my pastors I wanted to
    join, and I was just "in."

    Later, I learned that they require a letter of most
    people--either one from the old congregation or
    if, as in my case, a letter from the member stating
    the situation. I immediately wrote the letter so
    that it could be on file.

    For one my age, they would never demand bar
    or bat mitzvah (nor do they of a child), but many
    adults are bar or bat mitzvahed at their own
    request. I will be bat mitzvahed this July, if I have
    my Hebrew down well enough, and I certainly
    intend to.

    But this is a synagogue of believers in our
    Messiah. Ritual and tradition are not believed to
    save anyone; salvation is only through the
    sacrifice of our Messiah, not the little things we
    can do.
     
  10. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
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    1. Publicly profess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    2. Give satisfactory evidnece of a change of heart by the testimony of a changed life.
    3. Have followed the Lord in Believer's Baptism.
    4. Affirm and agree without reservation in each point set forth in the doctrinal statement and covenant of this Church.
    5. Are not under discipline at another church. (Pastor and Deacons can override with their reccommendation)

    Voters must be 16 years old.
     
  11. Lorelei

    Lorelei
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    This is the only criteria I see in the scripture and is the only criteria at the church I am visiting now.

    I don't think man has a right to ask anything more. It appears to me that the practice in the New Testament was to take in those who professed to be brothers. The New Testament believers would then discipline anyone who professed to be christians but were not in accordance with the gospel. If they refused discipline, then they were expelled, but I don't see any place where we are commanded to give them a litmus test before we trust them.

    ~Lorelei
     

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