Exploring Membership

The Meaning of Membership in the The Body of Christ - Presbyterian

The incarnation of God in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives to the church not only its mission but also its understanding of membership. One becomes an active member of the church through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and acceptance of his Lordship in all of life.

Baptism and a public profession of faith in Jesus as Lord are the visible signs of entrance into the active membership of the church.

Reception of Members

Persons may enter into active church membership in the following ways:

  • By profession of faith,

  • Reaffirmation of faith in Jesus Christ,

  • Transfer of certificate from some other church.

By Profession of Faith (previously baptized)

When persons baptized as infants reach an age when they are ready to make public their profession of faith and accept their responsibility in the life of the church, the session should invite, encourage, and help them prepare for their responsibility as active church members. The age at which young persons should make such public profession is not precisely fixed. It is left to the prudence of the session to judge, after careful examination, the readiness of those who apply for active membership.

By Profession of Faith (not previously baptized)

When persons who have not been baptized desire to profess their faith in Christ and be incorporated in the life of the church as believers, they shall do so by making public their profession of faith and receiving baptism after appropriate instruction and examination by the session.

By Transfer (Certificate) of Membership

Persons who have made a profession of faith and have been received into membership in a particular church may be received by the session upon receipt of a certificate of transfer from the church in which they have been most recently a member.

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