Within the wider Presbyterian Church structure, there are two types of membership that exist within a local church:
· An “adherent member” is someone who calls Grafton Presbyterian their church and meets regularly with us without taking formal membership.
· A “communicant member” is someone who has taken formal membership, calls Grafton Presbyterian their church and meets regularly with us.
There are two important differences between adherents and communicants, is that:
· Only a Christian can become a communicant.
· Only communicants can have a role in determining who the minister and elders are.
Membership is recorded on a church roll. When someone starts regularly attending our church their name is added to the adherents roll. Both adherents and communicant members are invited to share communion, our remembrance of the Lord’s Supper.
An adherent may become a communicant member by indicating their desire to do so and by demonstrating a genuine belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are a Christian person, who is committed to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, then we encourage you to become a communicant member.
Sometimes people have a misunderstanding of what communicant membership is and what it involves, which we will now look at.
What Membership does not mean:
• That somehow you become more of a Christian.
You become a Christian by believing in Jesus Christ and the truth that His death and resurrection on your behalf has made you right before God. This is the ultimate act of grace and you cannot add anything to this, such as baptism or membership to “guarantee” your Christianity.
• That you will be treated differently.
Everyone who calls St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Grafton their church home is treated the same.
• That you have to give a certain amount of money.
There is no membership fee. The amount of money you contribute to gospel ministry in the collection is between you and God.
• That I am a Presbyterian for the rest of my life.
In becoming a member of Grafton Presbyterian you are formalising your commitment and belonging to our local church more than joining the Presbyterian denomination. If you ever leave Grafton we would encourage you to join a church that faithfully relies upon and teaches God’s Word whether they are Presbyterian or not.
So what does membership mean?
• That you have an important physical and spiritual role in determining the Bible ministry composition at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Grafton.
Only communicant members can have a say in who are elected as elders in the congregation. They are also the only ones who have a say when it comes to calling a minister.
These are two very important decisions in the life of our congregation.
So if I become a church member,
What promises do I have to make?
There are basically two:
First and foremost you must publicly profess that you believe in Jesus Christ, relying on His death and resurrection alone to make you right with God.
The second promise you are asked to make is that you will be actively involved in the life of the congregation, that you will support the work and functioning of the church with your time and offerings.
If you want to know more about becoming a member please speak to:
Pastor Michael Eleveld
Growing a Christ Centred Community