As individual Christians we are all members of Christ’s body. We believe this spiritual connection to Christ ought to be visible, which means joining with other believers in a church. The corporate nature of the church is stressed in the Bible, so we believe a church should have church membership.
Elders and Deacons, our ordained servants, give themselves to particular roles regarding the care and oversight of the members of the congregation. All members, young and old, are to build each other up in the truth and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Infants and very young children, who are baptized, are received as non-communicant members of the visible church. Non-communicants do not participate in communion at the Lord’s Table, but they are members and have the rights and privileges of being a member. These children receive nurture and training in the covenant family in the Christian faith and life. Children are part of the life and testimony of the church’s Sunday worship, edification, witness and service.
Children, youths, and adults who profess or re-affirm their faith, usually participate in classes that are designed to prepare for communicant membership. The session interviews all persons, even those who transfer from other churches, for communicant membership. These questions make-up the vows that members take at their public reception:
(1) Do you believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, and its doctrine of salvation to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation?
(2) Do you believe in one living and true God, in whom eternally there are three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—who are the same in being and equal in power and glory, and that Jesus Christ is God the Son, come in the flesh?
(3) Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, that you repent of your sin, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone?
(4) Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your sovereign Lord, and do you promise that, in reliance on the grace of God, you will serve him with all that is in you, forsake the world, resist the devil, put to death your sinful deeds and desires, and lead a godly life?
(5) Do you promise to participate faithfully in this church’s worship and service, to submit in the Lord to its government, and to heed its discipline, even in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life?