Being a Member at Gladstone Church of Christ
People from various church backgrounds attend our fellowship. The congregation is made up of both regular and casual attenders who share together in a unique blend of christian service. We welcome people of all ages, from different walks of life, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Our position on Attendance and Membership is detailed below.
We praise God for the fellowship we enjoy through the church, and we are glad for every opportunity we have to share with others the life we have in Christ Jesus. We also praise God for others who have an interest in our church family. It is a privilege to worship and have fellowship together. We also have a responsibility to serve Him together. With this in mind, we wish to detail some aspects of these responsibilities.
We accept that some folk may choose to meet with us on a casual basis – to come to some of the services at their convenience – but are not able or willing to be fully involved, especially in personal service and/or financially. We are happy to welcome and include such people in our Church Family, and for prayer and support.
However, we do believe that the Bible teaches that it is God’s intention that Christians become “members” of a local church, which is an expression of the body of Christ in that place. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Romans 12:3-5).
To help in understanding this, the next paragraph (“Membership”) presents an outline of what is expected of those who wish to move from simply attending (even regularly) to publicly identifying with, and committing to support the ministry and mission of this church.
If you are considering formalizing your church membership, or have some questions, please discuss the matter with one of the Ministry Team.
We encourage those who personally identify with and share a commitment to the mission of this church to consider “formal” membership. Some people may not wish to “formalize” their membership but they are always welcome and accepted at Gladstone Church of Christ.
For such purposes, a formal member (at Gladstone Church of Christ) is someone who:
- has repented and confessed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and their personal Saviour;
- subscribe to the basic doctrines outlined on the Beliefs page of this site
- has been obedient to Him in baptism;
- has chosen to identify with this Church by fully supporting and committing to the vision and mission of the Gladstone Church of Christ;
- and has remained active in this capacity.
Our understanding of New Testament teaching and practice is that membership to the church was attained through baptism by immersion. People who have been members of Christian churches which do not follow this practice may become members by application to the Elders.
Expectations of Membership
The following is an outline of what is expected of those who seek membership of this church, and of those who desire to serve here in any leadership position. There are privileges in being part of God’s family. There are also responsibilities to be accepted if we are members of the ‘body of Christ’, the church.
Members at Gladstone Church of Christ are expected to:
- Acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and to give evidence of this in their daily lives. ( 1 John 5:1-5, Ephesians 2:8-10).
- Agree with our beliefs and values or to refrain from teaching or influencing to the contrary. (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
- Be faithful in attendance at the weekly services of the church. (Acts 2:41-47; Hebrews 10: 24-25 ).
Demonstrate a commitment to the work of Christ by participation in, and support of, the activities of the church in reaching out to the unsaved world and caring for those in need. (Matthew 28:18-20; Galatians 6:10).
- Contribute regularly to the financial needs of the church, and so further the work of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
- Recognize the authority of the Elders of the church as those responsible for the spiritual well-being and direction of all the members and of matters relating to the church fellowship. (Hebrews 13:17).
Leadership at Gladstone Church of Christ
Leaders are defined as those who have a clear and defined responsibility for a particular Team or Ministry Area. Leadership also has a corresponding personal accountability to the Ministry Team Leader, Elders and the Church for their Team or Ministry Area.
Prospective leaders are members who have demonstrated an active involvement in the life of the Gladstone Church of Christ for at least six (6) months.
Church members may suggest or nominate individuals to the Elders and or the Minister(s) for consideration for any leadership positions, however all leadership positions are filled by a process that is described in the church’s Functional Guidelines – a document the church has adopted that provides some expected guidelines about how the business of the church should be conducted.
Member Status at Gladstone Church of Christ
At the individual level, “member” status at the Gladstone Church of Christ simply permits “having a say” and provides eligibility for appointment to leadership positions.
At the corporate level, adopting formal “membership” provides a mechanism to help ensure that the strategic direction, control, and leadership of the Gladstone Church of Christ remains in the hands of those committed to its mission and vision.