Who can join your church, and how?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Alcott, Feb 9, 2004.

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A man who is currently an active member of another Baptist church

  1. He should be accepted as a member right away

    72.2%
  2. He should be accepted as a member, 'effective' upon receiving a letter of membership in good standin

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. He should be accepted as a member right away upon his statement of previous membership in a Baptist

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. He should be accepted as a member 'effective' after questioning by a minister or a 'membership commi

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. He should be accepted as a member after again professing his faith and being baptized

    27.8%
  6. His acceptance as a member should be pending upon questioning about Christian doctrine, Baptist doct

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. He should be told by minister in private that presently he does not qualify for membership

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. His request for membership must be publically rejected

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Alcott

    Alcott
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    Consider the list of persons in this poll, all of whom have 'come forward in the invitation' or however your church invites those who request new membership there. It is assumed that almost all Baptist churches consider new members a matter that must be approved by the congregation, even though the "vote" is just 'rubber stamp' or a 'formality'-- that is not the subject of this poll. But upon nominal approval for consideration as a new member, what action should be taken as to that person's request for membership?

    This is somewhat of a followup to a previous thread about rebaptism.
     
  2. Watchman

    Watchman
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    In our Church, if you attend regularly and contribute to the Church (Participation, not just monetarily), you ARE a member.
     
  3. Alcott

    Alcott
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    As a matter of record, this is copied from my church's website under Different Ways People Join....:

    By Profession of Faith in Christ as personal Lord and Savior and as a candidate for baptism and upon their baptism into full membership of the church.

    By Letter from another Baptist church stating that you have been baptized and have been a member of another Baptist church. When you join, our church office will contact your former church to let them know that you have joined here. We will request a “letter” from your former church, which is essentially a record of your membership there. This will allow us to add you to our membership roll and for them to take you off of their roll.

    By Statement of a prior conversion and previous believer’s baptism and membership in a Baptist church.

    By Affirmation of Baptism stating that your profession of faith in Christ as personal Savior followed by immersion baptism was in agreement with the Biblical principles of Believer’s Baptism by immersion as a symbol.

    So, unlike half the respondants so far, we would not request a person who had been baptized in a Bible church ['Bible Fellowship'] to be baptized again; a policy I totally agree with.
     
  4. Ephesus23

    Ephesus23
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    At the IFB church I'm a member of, you must be baptized by immersion to become a member, after making your public profession of faith in front of the congregation. These two can be done at the same time, or seperate. As for me, I publically professed my faith on a Sunday night and got baptized the following Wednesday night.

    We accept members in from other Baptist churches of like faith (Independent ones) by a letter showing they're in good standing. If somebody is coming back to the church after a long time, then a restatement of faith is required, or a 'rededication' to Christ.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Many preach an "easy believism" and "easier membership".

    In this day when many are WOEFULLY IGNORANT of doctrine and baptism and church membership (like saying someone is a member just because they attend, as does our local Church of God), then the option
    seems appropriate in almost EVERY case.

    Even coming from another Baptist church across town, I would want to have a time of instruction and Q/A to make sure we were on the same page.

    BTW, we have a 6-session class. No one becomes a member without going through it, interview with me and interview with two elders/deacons.
     
  6. Alcott

    Alcott
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    I can now see that this poll, although I still believe it to be relevant, is a little too broad-ranging, tying 4 issues together-- 1)the means of salvation, 2)the purpose, and possibly misuse, of baptism and REbaptism, 3)the lack of seriousness of a church in accepting new members, and 4)a congregation voting on motions they are not in position to know enough about.

    It's fortunate that many churches today do seem to be turning the corner from the old practice of, for example, having a new couple in town coming forward in the invitation, filling out a card saying they were members of First Baptist Church, Anytown, USA, shaking hands with the pastor, who they are meeting for the first time, and having him say, "All who, with me, join in welcoming this couple into our fellowship, let it be known by saying 'Aye.'" And about half the assembly moans out a barely audible 'Aye,' and that couple are suddenly members. This trivializes the responsibilities of church membership.

    Nevertheless, how far can a church go in determining if a new member candidate does believe in and support the mission of the church? If someone does have an ulterior motive in desiring to join, they may still know the answers expected when asked, "Who was Jesus Christ?", "Why were (will you be) baptized?", "Where do Baptist beliefs come from?", et al. With extensive 'training sessions' or deeply involved questioning of all new member candidates, it can become more like they are being interviewed by a Deacon Selection Committee, when presently they are only seeking to join the fellowship
     
  7. donnA

    donnA
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    Usually when someone joins our church, they have already spent time talking with the pastor. he is aware of their salvation, baptism, and beliefs. If they are coming from a baptist church we request a letter. If they are coming from another church they talk about salvation and what it means to them, they need to know they are really saved.
     
  8. Wiedertaufen

    Wiedertaufen
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    Chapter and verse?
     

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