The Bethel congregation consists of two groups:
- Adherents: those who have made Bethel their spiritual home
- Members: those who have made Bethel their spiritual home, and who have also undergone a successful membership process and therefore are able to make motions and vote at congregational meetings
It must be noted that both groups are a valued and active part of Bethel church and its ministry. We wish to reiterate that there are no second-class citizens in Christ’s Church, whether one chooses to become a member or not.
When an adherent wishes to undertake church membership, it must be done on the basis of this procedure. Only the “pastoral staff” exception below will be permitted. Thus, letters of transfer from other churches, for example, shall be recognized only as a release of membership obligations to the previous church.
- All candidates for membership shall begin by presenting a written request to the Pastor or one of the Elders using an approved application form illustrated in the membership package.
- Candidates will be provided with a copy of this church’s Constitution and By-Law for their review
- They shall then be privately interviewed by a Pastor or two of the Elders in order to evaluate their endorsement of the conditions and articles of membership.
- They may also be asked to attend a membership class.
- Following a satisfactory interview, the candidates will be recommended to the Elders’ Board for membership.
- After consideration and approval of this recommendation, the Elders’ Board will recommend the candidate by placing their name in the bulletin for two (2) consecutive Sundays with a request to the members to submit any objections.
If no Objection to Membership is Raised:
- If no objection has been received after the candidate’s name has appeared in the bulletin for 2 consecutive Sundays, the candidate shall be considered a member as of the Monday following the second Sunday.
- As a last step, his or her membership shall be confirmed by motion and vote at the beginning of the next congregational meeting.
- It is expected that a member shall endeavour to keep the office apprised of updated contact information, including address, phone and e-mails, so as to ensure the most accurate Membership Roll possible and to facilitate communication between the leadership and the membership.
If an Objection to Membership is Raised:
- Anyone, whether a member or an adherent, may privately register an objection to a candidate, either to the Pastor or to one of the Elders
- In that event, the Elders’ Board will investigate the issue and the candidate will not be accepted into Church Membership until the matter has been resolved.
Exception for Staff in Pastoral Positions:
Provided they were interviewed by the Pastor or Elders, and since staff members in pastoral positions must agree to Bethel’s Statement of Faith and Doctrine in order to work for the church, it is understood that a newly-hired pastoral staff member is deemed to have become a church member in good standing on the start date of their employment. No further process is required.
Furthermore, their membership is deemed to end on the day after they cease to be employed by the church, unless continuing membership is confirmed at a congregational meeting preceding their last day of work.
Note, however, that this does not apply to non-pastoral staff or spouses and family members, all of whom may apply for membership following the process listed above.