In another thread discussing when the local New Testament church was established, a verse kept coming up that I believe defines a Baptist distinctive. Here is Acts 2:41-46, NIV: 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. There are many denominations that have requirements for membership that are beyond belief in Jesus Christ and Baptism. The Catholics have a multi-month indoctrination course to learn whatever it is they believe. The Presbyterians have a six week communicant's class that basically memorizes one of the catechisms, questions like "what is the chief end of man/" Other churches require a waiting period. Some require the either reading or memorizing the local church bylaws or Constitution. Some even require signing of documents. This all adds up to man made nonsense. In the Baptist faith, each local church sets their own policy, but personally I would never belong to a church that created such a requirement. Verse 41 makes it quite clear the believers were added immediately. If there was learning, growing, or maturing to be accomplished, that took place after joining the local assembly as stated in verse 42. Verse 43 to 46 is how we wished all church members devoted themselves. Aside from Scripture, this is how I look at it. Changing church membership is a very profound and serious decision. It should be rare and well thought out. It is the responsibility of the INDIVIDUAL to investigate every aspect of the local church before belonging. That would mean understanding their doctrine, bylaws and Constitution. It would mean being devoted to the ministries of that church in time, talent and money. One should even be aware of things like cliques and the local church gossip. The perspective member who fails to do this is probably the one that switches churches every year because of carpet color or not enough pot lucks. There is a direct proportion between the service the new member will put out to how well they investigated the church. I have changed churches once in 61 years. The new member investigates the church, the church does not put entrance requirements on the new member, other than believing and Baptism. A local church cannot create a devoted church member by a series of silly hoops to jump through. It reminds me of a frat hazing. Besides that, it is contrary to the model in Acts.