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Membership: FAQs


Is Membership A Biblical Concept?

From one point of view, there is nothing biblical about membership, but from another there is everything biblical about it. It is true that the phrase "church membership" is not directly addressed in the Bible. But, in the Bible we read, "so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others" (Romans 12:5 NIV). After Christ's ascension, His early followers expressed their commitment to Him and to each other by partaking in the Lord’s Supper (Communion). We still do that today. Church membership is an intentional way to express affinity with a particular people of God and a way to invite others to be God's community with you. Through church membership we publicly declare our commitment to one another and place ourselves under the care and discipline of the local church.


Why Should I Become a Member of First Pres?

There are many benefits to becoming a church member.  First, it is a way of intentionally identifying with us and placing yourself in the care of the church. Second, it is a way for joining in the mutual encouragement and accountability that is part of being the people of God and making spiritual growth more likely. Third, members play a vital role in the government of the local church through helping to select Elders and Deacons, extending a call to a Pastor, and being able to serve in lay leadership as an Elder or Deacon.


Can I Become A First Pres member and Retain Membership In Another Congregation?

Yes, as an Affiliate Member. College students and seminarians who plan to return to their home congregations and want to retain their membership there, might want to express their ongoing commitment to the local church while they are in the Chicago area. The way to do this is to become an Affiliate Member of our congregation. As Affiliate Members in our congregation, they have have all the rights and responsibilities of our full Members, except they cannot stand for a church office or select those who do. They maintain full membership in their home congregation.


What Are The Requirements of Church Membership?
Each person applying to become a member of First Pres should:
  • profess faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord
  • have been (or be) baptized
  • complete our Inquirer' Class
  • meet the the Church Session (Elders who are the governing board of the congregation) to give personal testimony
  • affirm the Membership Vows (during the meeting with the Church Session).

Can I Transfer My Membership From Another Congregation?

Yes. That congregation should send us a Letter of Transfer showing that you are a member in good standing and releasing you to our care. You are still required to attend our Inquirers' Class.


What If I Am Not A Member Of Another Church?

That's fine. If you've recently become a follower of Jesus Christ, you may join by Profession of Faith. If you have been a Christian for a long time, but have never been (or are not now) a member of a particular local church, you may join by Reaffirmation of Faith

Last Published: October 1, 2018 3:40 PM
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