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What is Church Membership

What is Church Membership

You do not need to become a member of the Church of the Nazarene to attend Lewis River Fellowship.  You can participate in all parts of the church life except serve on the church board and vote during elections and church business meetings.

If you do want to explore membership, we have sessions for all attendees to check out what it’s all about.

The following essay gives a description of church membership as a covenant with each other.

Church membership is a covenant involving:

  • a common faith,
  • a common agreement,
  • a common grace and
  • a common mission.

There are probably other parts to this covenant we could add to the list, but these in particular are commitments that we agree together to pursue as members of a local Church of the Nazarene.

First, church membership shares a common faith.  Our faith is in Christ alone by grace, not by human works. Before submitting ourselves to Church membership, we share this common faith with Christians throughout the generations and we share the same early church history and later church tradition. As we follow the particular tributary of the Historic Church that leads to the Church of the Nazarene we have our particular traditions and interpretations of Christian Scriptures and Doctrine. These are documented in our Articles of Faith.

Second, church membership shares a common agreement. The agreement starts with the Nazarene Articles of Faith and extends to the doctrines, polity, and Christian character that we agree to follow as we unite and associate with the Church of the Nazarene.  We might have uncertainties or questions about some of the matters related to Christian practice but uniting in church membership signifies that we are willing to hold to these matters and vow to uphold them in the local church.  Examples of this for me are alcohol and tobacco. I believe that a person can be Christian and engage in these practices (in moderation). If I were somehow drawn to want to add these habits to my life, I would choose not to since I committed to abstain to them when I became a member of the Church of the Nazarene.  If I wanted to still be associated with the Church of the Nazarene and practice these habits, I would ask to be removed from the membership role and still attend and be an active participant in all I could.

Third, church membership shares a common grace. This grace is from God, through the Holy Spirit, and it leads us in the process of spiritual formation all of our lives.  We share this path of following Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to continually work within us. As we continue to pursue a life of piety and obedience, we travel along with others seeking the same things for their lives. This shared grace is lived out as we learn and grow and serve each other in the local church community of faith.  We live life together as those early believers did in Jerusalem and throughout the surrounding regions.

Fourth, church membership shares a common mission. As we unite with the global Church of the Nazarene through our membership in a local church, we come along side others who have gone before and who are working today to fulfill our part of the Great Commission of Christ.  We support with money, energy and prayers the Church of the Nazarene global missionary efforts around the world (including the good ole USA). We are involved in this mission locally, in our zone and district, in our region and world area, and throughout the world. Even though anyone attending our churches can be equally a part of these missionary efforts, as church members we have a stronger commitment to take leadership roles and train younger generations in this work.  Another foundational mission of the Church of the Nazarene is higher education. As members we should support the integration of faith and learning at all levels of educational preparation.

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