Find Out About Church Membership
Why do people want to belong to the Church?
There are many different ways in which people feel they are a part of the community of Newport’s Congregational Church.
Many gather together as a congregation to attend regularly at Family Worship on Sundays, mid week for prayers or for discipleship in the form of Bible study.
Some belong because they like to volunteer at the church; some feel a sense of belonging by coming along to regular events such as BBQs to enjoy food and friendship. A further group for believers feel a passion the the spiritual life and growth of the church, they help by looking after the church community, supporting its missionaries, reaching out to the wider Island community and looking after the church building itself.
What’s Membership All About?
Once someone has been worshipping at the church for a while they have the opportunity to explore becoming a church member.
Church membership is a tradition which offers many benefits:
- Membership signifies a commitment to the spiritual life of the church.
- Membership provides a helpful structure for the core group of the church to work under.
- Membership encourages a greater responsibility to care for that to which you belong to.
- Membership offers an opportunity to build relationships and make promises and commitments to one another affirming that feeling of belonging.
- Membership provides a vehicle for people to know they are a part of a diverse family which begins at our church and extends across the Isle of Wight and the world wide Christian Church.
Three Commitments Made by Members
There are three commitments which mark a church member of our Congregational Church
- 1. A commitment to a continuing journey of faith
The way of a member is to continue with their journey of faith and action in the world, and encourage others to do the same. They will have a commitment to engage with the bible and a willingness to share their own life journeys with one another so they can grow and learn from each other.
- 2. A commitment to care
The way of a member is to pray for and care for other church members and the wider Church community. A member will be aware of the overall responsibility to care for the building and will take an active interest in the appointment of members for the board and making wise decisions concerning the future life of our church. A church member will happily subscribe to the values of the church and will always try and work towards protecting and fulfilling those values
- 3. A commitment to share
The way of a member is to have a willingness to share their resources as they are able. Offering some of their time, money and skills where needed. A church member will also have a commitment to attend gathered times of worship and church meetings when they are able to.
What do Church Members do?
- To seek to discover and obey Christ’s will in every part of our lives.
- To endeavour, with Christ’s help, to live lives which are true to the Christian principles of honesty, purity and love.
- To be concerned to serve others in whatever way that Christian love motivates you, to witness by word and deed so that others may be brought to faith in Christ.
- To spend time each day in prayer, Bible reading, study, reflection and action.
- To give importance each week to worship at a church; to join regularly with others in the Lord’s Supper; to join in prayer and the study of God’s word with others.
- To render practical service in the work and witness of our church and its organisations.
- To play our part in the government and administration of our church, being present, whenever possible, at Church Meetings and being loyal to the church’s decisions.
- To encourage love and fellowship among all members and friends of the church.
- To set aside and give regularly, for the work of Christ’s Kingdom in our church, i.e. the money you believe God would have you give back to him in our tithing.
- To help the work of God’s mission at home and overseas.
How to become a Member
- You can begin by having a personal talk with the Minister so together you will be sure you are ready for either Baptism, Membership or both.
- If you wish to proceed, the minister will take your name to the next Deacons’ Meeting. Then a Church Member will be asked to contact you to be your spiritual support.
- Your visitor will then report to the following Church Meeting. (If you want to be Baptised it will be discussed, and encouraged at the Church Meeting, as Baptism is often linked with becoming a Member of the Church – i.e. becoming part of the family of God).
- The Church Meeting will accept the visitor’s recommendation and you will be welcomed into membership.
- The Minister will make this happen during a service including Communion, at a convenient time (after your Baptism if that is relevant).
The Fellowship of the Believers
Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.