Considering Membership

Download the Let’s Get Going Membership Booklet

PROCESS

  1. Attend Considering Membership Class on the last Sunday of the month. (Occurs after church service – Duration 45 minutes)
  2. Complete application form and submit to church office by the following Sunday.
  3. You will be contacted for a chat with a member of the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) of the church – Duration 30 minutes.
  4. Prayer to receive you as a member takes place on the last Sunday service of the following month. (ie approximately 4 weeks after the membership class).

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

But can’t anyone be a member?

Yes and no.  Yes in that the church, like Jesus, should be outrageously inclusive!  Jesus treated everyone as if they belonged, whilst never compromising on beliefs and behaviour.  We desperately want people who may not yet believe or behave to feel a sense of belonging.

However, the biblical concept of membership is one of serious commitment and active involvement in God’s own holy people (1 Pet 2).  Therefore, when we speak of membership, we refer to those who have moved from merely feeling accepted and blessed by the body, to becoming those who are actually part of the body, and involved in the building up of the body.

“From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work”.  (Eph 4v16)

Do I have to be perfect to be a member?

No, there is a difference between being perfect and being yielded to God’s growth process. We expect you to remain yielded to God’s growth process:

Do I have to do the Membership Class to be a member?

Yes, along with a few other things. It is important that everyone hears the “full story” before making such an important step.

How is the church governed?

The Church in its local expression (and it must be remembered that the local expression should be a true representation of the universal expression) is to be autonomous in the sense that it is self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating.

Biblical Eldership – God’s form of government in His house is plurality of elders.  Every local church that has had time to come to stability should be led by a leadership team.  Those who have been given the responsibility of ruling and government in the house of the Lord are referred to biblically as the elders (1 Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:17, 24).   

Non biblical alternatives are: One-man Rule; Democracy; External Control; Deacon Board or Council   

How open is Go Christian Church to stay relevant and change as time goes by?

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money’.  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…instead you ought to say ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’. (James 4v13-16).

Anyone who is a Christian and claims to be part of Christ needs to face the following questions realistically:

  • Who is over me in the Lord (Heb.13:17)?
  • When I was added to the Lord, in what way was I added to the Church (Acts 2:41-   42)?
  • When I gather together with the disciples, with whom do I gather (Acts 20:7)?
  • With whom am I allowing God to perfectly join me (I Cor. 1:10)?
How will I know if God is calling me to join this church?  

You will have an inner ‘witness’ that you should.  You will want to.  You will feel excited by the vision and people of the church.  You will sense the presence of God in the church.  You will feel challenged and stretched.  You will understand that it is not a perfect church!

Is family life important to this church?

“The promise of the Holy Spirit is for you and your children…” (Acts 2:39)

“All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray” (Acts 21:5)

Is it OK to be in two churches or small groups?

Common sense says ‘no’.  You will have split vision and all the tensions of trying to chase two rabbits at the same time!  Possible exceptions might include:

  • Attending church with your family in the morning and coming to us in the evening.
  • If you are a student living away from your hometown, then be a member with us in term time, and your hometown church during the holidays.

My church doesn’t have Small Groups

Can I be in one of your Small Groups but go to my church on Sunday?  Not for long!  You would probably start to feel torn and uncomfortable.

Must I get baptised again if I join your church?

No.  Baptism was never intended as a sign of joining a local church.

What if my previous baptism was not meaningful for me?  

Let’s talk about it.

What if I was baptised as a baby?

According to the Bible, water baptism should follow repentance (Acts 2 :38 & Mark 16:16).  This is why we are uncomfortable with infant baptism.  Furthermore, infant baptism is unhelpful because people assume that if they have been baptised as a child, then they are automatically saved!  Therefore, if you were baptised or sprinkled as a child, we would suggest that you get baptised as a believing adult.

We believe that water baptism is the external sign of the internal work of salvation.  We believe that in accordance with the command and example of Christ, water baptism should follow repentance and conversion.  While recognising the right of other churches to practice infant baptism, the eldership and congregation of Go Christian Church understands believers’ baptism to be what the scriptures teach.  It is a requirement of church membership to be baptised (if you have not already been) as a believer.

What if my parents are not happy about me getting baptised?

Then it is usually best to leave the matter until you have the freedom to make these decisions for yourself.  Let’s chat about it.

What am I joining?

You are not joining a club, an institution or a building.  You are joining people.  To be more specific, you are joining the elders (leadership).  Think about it, the elders of a church actually define the church, i.e. Go Christian Church is that group of people who have voluntarily chosen to follow the elders of the church.  Those who gathered to David at the Cave of Adullam where not joining a cave…but a man!  The 3000 in Acts 2 were added to the 12 apostles and the initial core of 120, not to a place or a logo.  We are a People not an institution.

What are the benefits of membership at GO?

Those who become members of Go Christian Church benefit in the following ways:

  1. A greater sense of spiritual alignment and ownership of the vision of the church.
  2. You become a greater voice in many of the major decisions of the local church.
  3. An opportunity to contribute to the development and implementation of vision.
  4. A securing and formalizing of spiritual covering and accountability.
  5. A greater opportunity to be trained and released into ministry and calling.
  6. An opportunity to become a leader and a care-giver in the church.
What are the Leader Commitments

As the leadership of the church we commit to

  • Watch over you, including  correcting, disciplining and restoring you where it’s necessary
  • Pray for you
  • Feed you a balanced diet of spiritual food
  • Lead you with a servant heart and Christ-like attitude
  • Equip you and point you in the right direction for your God given calling


What are the Member Commitments?

Members commit to

  • working through difficulties when they arise instead of running away from them.
  • blending my personal gifts/talent and ministry goals with the vision of that of the local assembly.
  •  giving myself faithfully to the members of this local church in fellowship and service. (Including Sunday services and other missional activities).
  •  investing my time, talents and financial resources to see the vision of my local church become a reality.
  • faithfully gathering with my brothers and sisters at the corporate assembling times.
  • remaining relationally connected and accountable by being part of a Small Group.
  • taking the preached word seriously and making every effort to put it into practice in my life.
  • only doing those things that will edify and build up the saints to whom I am joined.
  • honouring and responding to those who have oversight in my life as they speak into my life.
  • maintaining a good attitude even when policies don’t keep to my opinions.
  • utilizing personal resources to minister to the needs in the local church that God puts in front of me.
  • nurturing others to facilitate their spiritual growth.
  • being nurtured to ensure my ongoing  maturing in faith and life.
What do you mean by ‘member’?

We refer to the member of a body, such as a hand.  A hand is part of the body because it receives blood and gives blood.  In a car-crash, a person may be ‘dismembered’ and lose a hand.  At this point, the hand ceases to be a member because it is no longer giving and receiving ministry.  So it is with our church: membership is active and functional two-way traffic.

What if I join the church but after a few weeks realise that I have made a mistake?  

No problem.  We will willingly release you from membership.

What is the Rationale behind membership?

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Hebrews 13:17

 

The Rationale behind membership

God has established the local Church family because he wants us to see His three-fold purpose in establishing His Church into families.

God wants us to identify with a specific local church because He desires to develop   character in us.  To do this, God plants us in context with other believers or family members.

God wants us to identify with a specific local church because He desires to develop ministry in us.  1Thess. 5:12

God wants us to identify with a specific local church because He desires to edify or build up the Body of Christ.  We lose our effectiveness to build others up when we are unknown in congregation.  A stranger who exhorts does not have the same effect as a brother who exhorts.  God wants every member to be able to contribute effectively to the edification of the whole body (Eph. 4:16)

Who are we as Go Church?

We are a movement of God-honouring believers progressively  discipling nations by communicating and demonstrating the Kingdom of God.

 

  • Beyond one church
  • Not confined to church building
  • Both Word and Spirit is important to us

Our strategy is to transform the thinking of generations by:

  • Making Disciples
  • Building Families
  • Raising Leaders
  • Transforming Society
  • Establishing Churches
Why are you guys so passionate about planting more and more churches?

The New Testament Pattern: The first church in Jerusalem planted out many times.  Paul spent 11 years travelling around establishing and strengthening new churches.  Church planting is not just for some churches, it is an indispensable biblical value of a church.  Not everyone will leave our church to start another church, but all of us are involved in this mission of church planting.

But aren’t there enough churches already?  No of course not.  In Joburg alone, there are probably about 4 million people who are not yet born again.  Furthermore, many churches are riddled with legalism and dullness, and have ceased to be effective.  There is a great need for new churches to model genuine New Testament church life.

Why do we need to be “interviewed” or have individual meetings with the church leadership before becoming a member?
  • To reinforce and verify understanding of this session.
  • To ensure that the prospective members have left previous ministries properly.
  • To connect you with the right people for Small groups and for areas of service.
  • To ascertain your level of expertise and gifting in area of interest.
  • To ask follow through questions with regards to anything you have mentioned on application form.
  • To verify your foundations with regards to salvation and baptism.
  • To establish any area of your life requiring ministry support or doctrinal input.
  • To establish any grey areas where there might be lack of alignment with our church doctrine or philosophy of ministry e.g. women in ministry or our approach church government.
  • To connect at an emotional and social level by finding out about your family background, children etc. This is an opportunity to establish common areas of interest and perhaps to connect you with others who have similar interests.
  • To find out if you are joining the church for the right reasons. If not, we will admonish you in the right direction. You are not under pressure to join us.
Why do you emphasize giving to the poor and marginalized?

We believe right at the heart of the gospel is “remembering the poor” (Gal 2:10).  The warnings and promises of Isaiah 58 are fully embraced in our church.  To this end, we not only give money and means to the needy, but are determined to be pro-active in setting up initiatives that will benefit the poor.

Why is it important for a member to attend Sunday services?

Although the church is a family not a meeting, meetings are very important.  As the following verses show, a church should prioritise both big meetings and small meetings that function to spur us on in our lives for Jesus:

Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.  (Acts 2:46)

Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb 10v24-25).