First off, I want everyone to understand and know that they are loved and valued even if they are not formal members of the church. We consider many people "members" who are not officially members. They walk in unity and serve along side us. They are members of the Body of Christ (The Church) even if they aren't formal members of a local church. But, I think it is valuable and meaningful to enter into a covenant of membership with the church and people you worship with.
It is my intent to start the membership information class on March 13. We will meet in my office during the Sunday School hour. You do not have to become a member if you attend the class, but it gives you the basic ideas of what it means to be a church member in general and a member in The Free Methodist Church specifically. I am not sure how long the class will take. I try not to drag it out, but I want everyone to feel as though they know what membership means.
After the class or sometime between the start and finish of the class, I will talk to each person individually. I hope you will consider being part of this class. It is a good way to meet with other newer people also.
I [am linking] a list of core values that we are working on as a church. Beyond that, I will be using excerpts from our Book of Discipline (basically a book about how the church interprets certain Scriptures and how we are organized to accomplish the work of Christ).
Don't worry if you don't agree 100% with everything taught. Quite frankly no one really does, but we agree to walk in unity and submission to one another out of love. For the most part we simply need to agree in principle and covenant together not to promote anything that is contrary to the essential doctrines of the church. But the bottom line is that the Bible alone is our final source of authority and it takes priority over all other materials or man made doctrines.
Thanks again for being such great people to work with.
Peace and joy in the Lord,
P.S. - I would also invite those who are already members to join the class. It is a great refresher.