10.1 Any individual who wishes to join the Church should be directed to speak jo one of the elders. They will then arrange for the applicant to meet one of them (and, if appropriate, other spiritually-mature members) to discuss the request. The elders shall seek to ascertain:
- whether the individual is a Christian, repenting of all known sin and trusting in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord;
- whether he (or she) is seeking to live a consistent Christian life in dependence on the Holy Spirit’s help;
- whether he (or she) is prepared to commit himself (or herself) to the responsibilities of membership outlined above; and
- his (or her) grasp of Christian teaching, and in particular of the contents of ‘ What We Believe’. (Elders may at their discretion recommend that the applicant has several sessions of instruction before or after becoming a member, so that he (or she) may gain a basic understartding of Christian teaching and lifestyle.)
10.2 The elders will encourage the church to pray specifically for the applicant.
10.3 If the applicant has recently been a member of another Church, commendation shall also be sought from them as an act of fellowship. Individuals who are under the discipline of another Church, or have chosen to resign from it, will not normally be received as members, but will be encouraged where possible to return to their own Church.
l0.4 If the elders are satisfied, at the next Members’ Meeting the applicant shall be invited to testify of his (or her) Christian faith and experience so that the Church may rejoice with him (or her) in what God has done. This testimony may be given in written form if preferred. He (or she) then shall leave the meeting briefly so that the members may ask any relevant questions and hear a report from the elders or other members who have met with the applicant. The elders may then propose that the applicant be welcomed as a member of the Church (subject to baptism if this has not already taken place), and the members shall signify their approval. The applicant shall then return to the meeting and be informed of the Church’s decision. New members will be welcomed formally at the next suitable gathering of the Church.
10.5 Members remain under the pastoral care of the Church when sent out by the Church to engage in Christian work elsewhere, although they are encouraged to join another local Church where possible (on occasion, they may in addition retain their membership with us as the sending Church).
10.6 Members who move home shall be encouraged to join another Bible-based Church as soon as possible. In considering a move, they should guard against the temptation to seek financial, social or other advantage at the expense of spiritual welfare.
10.7 Any member wishing to resign from membership should discuss this with the elders; resignation is not normally accepted, and it is better for the health of the Church and the member that a reconciliation be sought, or an amicable solution reached.