Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the New Seasons Church (New Testament Church of God) here in Newport.
New Seasons church welcomes 9 new members to its congregation.
From left to right Ishmael Evans, Preci Bertou, Bladimie Germain, Katina Germain, Donna Spencer, Olufolake Ojo, Dr. Stephen Ojo, Parimala Kirubiah and Raja Benadic. New members were given the right hand of fellowship on Sunday 11th July 2010.
Why become a church member?
The following will explain why we believe church membership is important.
1. The ‘Local’ Church is as important as the ‘Universal’ Church
Some Christians are not too bothered about joining a particular church because they feel that it is more important to belong to ‘The Church’, i.e. being a Christian is more important than belonging to a church. While the head of the church should be Jesus (Ephesians 4:15), the ‘body’ is always expressed in the local church. In Acts the word ‘church’ is used in connection with specific local congregations (e.g. Acts 8:1; 11:22; 13:1; 15:3; 20:17). This is continued in the letters of the New Testament (e.g. 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:1).
2. Church involves reciprocal relationships
It is clear from the NT that church is so much more than simply meeting for a church service. Christians are not to be isolated, but to develop accountable relationships where love can be visibly shown (e.g. John 13:34, 35; Romans 12:5; Colossians 3:12-17; Hebrews 10:24). There is nothing better than the local church when it is working right!!!
3. Church involves mutual ministry
In Romans 12:3-8 Paul describes the church generally, but in particular, the church at Rome, as a ‘body’. In this body all the members belong to one another and the body works by all of them doing their part. Therefore everyone should have a part to play in their local church.
4. Church involves commitment
If we read Romans 12 and only think about ‘me doing what I think I’m gifted to do’, then we have missed a very important point. Paul says that “each member belongs to all the others”. Everyone playing their part only works if there is some level of mutual commitment. Many of us are just “floating believers” – Christians who hop from one church to another without any identity, accountability, or commitment. We must know that the Christian life involves more than just believing – it also includes belonging and commitment.
Think about it… when a couple get married they need to talk about their roles in marriage. It is good to do that, but it does not make for a healthy relationship if on their wedding day the woman makes her vows for life, but the man only promises to play his part while he feels like it! Both on a spiritual and practical level it is not right to expect to be given a role to fulfil in the church if we are not prepared to accept the responsibility and commitment that goes with it. That is why we have formal Church membership.
5. Church involves giving
Along with Church membership, one other way that we demonstrate our commitment to one another is through giving (Hebrews 13:6). Giving is a sign of our commitment to the Lord, and to each other. Here at the New Seasons church we have adopted tithing (10%) of your wage/salary as a historical way of giving from the scriptures. As a church that has no other income other than that given by its members and friends, this is the main income stream for the church but members are always encouraged to give liberally as the Lord blesses them.
6. Church involves submitting to Church government and discipline
Points 1 to 5 make no sense at all unless they are combined with this point. Accountable relationships, mutual ministry and commitment are all impossible without submitting to the authority of the leadership of the church. If each individual member was responsible for deciding what job they did, or what the Bible has to say on all issues, then chaos would result. The leaders of this church are not perfect. However, they have been given a task to do by the members of the church and by God. Our job is to support them and to obey them (e.g. Hebrews 13:7, 17).
Taking the step of church membership means submitting to the authority of the leaders of a particular church. It is impossible to carry out what it says in Hebrews 13:7 without being a member of a Church. Submitting to the authority of our leaders is not a popular concept today. However, it is one that runs throughout the New Testament. Sometimes we may not agree with the decisions that are made but we have to accept our leaders’ decisions. It is always helpful to bear in mind that we will not always be in possession of all the facts. Ultimately we have to trust them, remembering that we are putting our final trust not in them, but in God and in his appointed leaders. If we feel that we cannot trust and obey them, then we cannot be members of this church. However, if we cannot respect the leaders of the church then we need to ask ourselves this question, “Why do I attend a church where I do not respect the leadership?” (Why get on a bus at all, when you don’t even want to go in the same direction as it is heading?)
Benefits of church membership
Membership of the church entitles you, among other things, to:
- Be part of a church that provides the right context for believers to discover and use their spiritual gifts through serving and edifying other members.
- Have the opportunity to pursue and serve in positions of leadership in the body, such as elder, deacon, teacher etc.
- Participate fully in the affairs of the church at local and national level, including the right to attend appropriate meetings and vote in elections.
- Have the right to attend members’ meetings and conferences and to voice your opinion in all matters relating to the church.
- Be able to call upon your Pastor to pray for you and to expect Pastoral care and help where practical.
- Have a Pastor that is duty-bound to ‘watch over your soul’, do visitations and provide advice and assistance wherever and whenever reasonably possible.
- Receive all church information and circulations
- Free use of the sanctuary for weddings, child/baby dedications and many other special services or activities.
What do we require from you?
- We are looking for people to be personally involved in and investing in the work of the church.
- We look for members to be genuinely wanting to follow Jesus Christ in an ongoing way. How? By being disciples, reaching out to others, seeking to grow in God, giving, being accountable to others and using our gifts and abilities to the glory of God.
- We expect every member to be involved in the life of the church and involved in some area of ministry, service or helping. We endeavour to identify each persons ‘passion’ and ‘gifts’ and develop people in their abilities.
- Financial giving is an important part of belonging to the church. We encourage you always to give to the work of the Lord liberally and cheerfully.
Decided that you want to become a member?
Please be aware that membership can only be offered to individuals that have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of their lives.
If you have done this and would like to take the next step we ask that you approach the Pastor, the church secretary or one of the welcome team. They will be happy to speak with you and arrange a time for you to meet with the Pastor or one of the CPC (church and pastors’ council members).
Please fill out the form below to register your interest and a member of our team will contact you.
You will be contacted and invited to attend an induction course where we will share with you the history, doctrine and governance of the New Testament Church of God.
This course will, under normal circumstances, run for a period of four one hour sessions over a given time period. If you decide you want to take up membership, an evening will then be organised for you to receive the ‘right hand of fellowship’ and formal membership of this church.
We want you to be thoroughly acquainted with our beliefs and teachings so that you can make an informed decision about taking up membership of our church.
Please be aware that membership can only be granted to individuals that have fully completed the induction course.
Please feel free at any time to ask any questions of any aspects of which you are unsure and we will do our best to answer to queries.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information. We appreciate you and eagerly wait to hear from you.