Becoming a member of a church is a very important decision. A church is a group of people who have trusted the Lord Jesus as personal Savior and have banded together to carry out his work in the world. When one becomes a church member they are making a covenant with the other members of the church to do their best with God’s help to live a Christ-like life and to cooperate with them in carrying out the Great Commission.
There are three ways Shiloh accepts persons for membership.
First, a person may unite by profession of faith and become a candidate for baptism. This means that they have trusted Jesus as Savior, and are now declaring themselves openly as a believer and are asking for membership in the church. Baptism is immersion of a person by putting them underwater. Baptism does not help a person be saved. However, Jesus told his followers to be baptized. It symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is also a pictorial testimony of what has already taken place In the Christian life-death to their old life, its burial and their resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Church members vote to receive the candidate for baptism. After baptism, a person becomes a member of the church.
If you have received Christ into your life, or want to receive him, go forward at the time of invitation and tell the preacher you are coming by profession of faith and wish to become a candidate for baptism.
Second, a person may unite “by letter.” This means that they are already a member of another Baptist church of like faith and order. When one requests membership this way, the church clerk writes the church where they are a member and requests a letter of recommendation. The candidate is not actually a member of the church until the letter of recommendation is received. Watch care means that the candidate is considered a part of the church fellowship and has the privileges and responsibilities given to a church member.
Third, a person may unite by statement. This means that they were once a Baptist but now is not a part of another Baptist church fellowship. Most Baptist churches will accept a person’s statement about former membership in another Baptist church. When this is the situation, one should present themselves to the preacher and tell him that he is coming by statement. After church members vote to accept the candidate by statement, they are in full fellowship with the church.
If you wish to discuss your own needs with someone, ask the pastor to counsel with you privately. After becoming a member of the church be faithful in attendance and service. A church member should seek to honor Jesus by the way they act and speak every day. In order to do this, study your Bible to find God’s way of living, pray daily, worship in the services of the church, and take part in the church’s ministry.