You’ll notice at MPC we don’t make a whole lot of noise about ‘church membership.’ That’s because we don’t want to give the sense that there are first and second class citizens in the kingdom of God. If you’re a newcomer or a visitor, we value having you with us just as much as a long-time member. You’re not second class at all!
The downside of that, of course, is it can seem like we’re saying ‘membership’ doesn’t matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. We believe people who are committed to Christ should be committed to a local Christ-centred church as well. In fact, when it comes to the key decisions in the life of our church, like voting to appoint a new elder or a minister, you’ll find that you’ll have to be a member to take part. It’s only fitting that those who have formally committed themselves to our church family make such significant decisions.
Becoming a member is easy. While our church leaders affirm the Westminster Confession of Faith as the document that theologically describes the Presbyterian denomination, becoming a member is much simpler. Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ? Have you been baptised? Are you committed to regularly attending and supporting our church? Those are the only questions you’ll need to answer. For more information, email our Session Clerk Matt Lyndon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time for More Emphasis on Membership?
It’s recently been suggested that the time has come to get more serious about promoting the kind of commitment to one another that church membership should involve. Mark E Dever, author of Nine Marks of A Healthy Church, argues that members should take on a membership covenant, in which they clearly promise certain things to one another. “Relying on God’s gracious aid,” they vow, “We joyfully renew our covenant with one another.” Among other things, those who sign the covenant also undertake the following:-
* We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
* We will walk together in brotherly love, exercising affectionate care and watchfulness over one another
* We will faithfully entreat and admonish one another as occasion may require
* We will not forsake assembling together, nor neglect to pray for ourselves and others
* We will do our best to bring up those under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
* We will do our best by our pure and loving example to seek the salvation of family and friends
* We will rejoice at each others happiness, and endeavour with tenderness and sympathy to bear each others burdens and sorrows
* We will seek, with God’s help, to live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, remembering that as people of God’s Spirit there is an obligation on us to lead a new and holy life.
* We will work together for the continuance of faithful gospel ministry in our church
* We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of need, and the spreading of the gospel
* We will, when we move from this place, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can commit ourselves to serving the Lord Jesus and his people.
While we have no formal membership covenant at MPC, we certainly call on all our members to be committed to those same ideals. Will you join us?