If you are someone who is considering the possibility of becoming a member of New Victory Christian Church, we hope that the following list of Frequently Asked Questions will help you get a better sense of what is involved with joining our church.
What is Church Membership?
When an individual is saved, he becomes a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). Because he is united to Christ and the other members of the body in this way, he is therefore qualified to become member of a local expression of that body. To become a member of a church is to formally commit oneself to an identifiable, local body of believers who have joined together for specific, divinely ordained purposes. These purposes include receiving instruction from God’s Word (1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:2), serving and edifying one another through the proper use of spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-31; 1 Pet. 4:10-11), participating in the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42), and proclaiming the gospel to those who are lost (Matt. 28:18-20). In addition, when one becomes a member of a church, he submits himself to the care and the authority of the qualified pastors that God has placed in that assembly. This is the reason that, every Sunday, we invite persons who are not members of New Victory to make this fellowship their church home.
Who can join New Victory Christian Church?
Anyone who wants to.
I think I’m ready to make a decision to join. What should I do?
Set up an appointment with our Pastor either at the church or he would even be willing to come visit you at your home if that were to make things easier for you. This will give us the opportunity to sit down and talk with you, get to know more about you, and answer your questions. We will also confirm a date for you to come forward and join in the worship service of your choice.
What are three ways or decisions that a person can make to join the church?
1) Profession of Faith in Christ. This is when a person is making their first public, adult profession of faith in Christ as Lord and Savior. This does not necessarily mean that you are just becoming a believer at the time, but that you are now making your decision public, requesting baptism and membership.
2) Profession of Faith in Christ & Statement of Christian Experience. This option is for those who are neither making a first-time profession of faith OR coming from another church. New members in this category are simply saying, “I’m not a new Christian, and I don’t have a current church membership but I want to be a member of this church."
3) Profession of Faith in Christ & Letter of Membership Transfer. This is just a fancy way of saying that you are already a member of another church, and are simply wanting to move your membership to our church. We understand and recognize that not all churches have “membership” and that you may just simply be joining our church without an official transfer.
How exactly do I join?
That’s easy. We just present you to the congregation in the worship service of your choice, and have the congregation affirm your decision. We will have you fill out a small card with your contact information and will also ask to take your picture for our newsletter.
What if I have a debilitating fear of standing up in front of people?
We will work something out. The important part is that the congregation sees and knows who you are and can appropriately welcome you. And remember, you don’t have to say anything when we present you for membership.
Do I have to answer questions or affirm a set of beliefs in order to join?
Nothing besides belief and faith in Christ. It will greatly benefit you to learn about things that make Christians unique, but you don’t have to “sign the bottom line” on anything.
There are several very important reasons to join as a member as opposed to simply being a regular attendee. First, it can be a very meaningful time in which you and the congregation make a commitment to each other. It’s very meaningful for the congregation to officially accept someone new into the family, and it’s usually meaningful for the individual to be the recipient of this acceptance and affirmation. Of course, if you are making a first-time profession of faith, your public baptism is an extremely important time for you, your family, and the church. Secondly, you will come under the pastoral care of this church. You will receive our newsletters and communications, and part of our commitment to you is that we will do everything possible to support you in your time of emotional, spiritual, or financial need. And third, joining is simply that important “rite of passage” that signifies your entrance into our church, and let’s our congregation welcome you in an appropriate way.
Am I expected or pressured to join after attending for a certain length of time?
No. One of our leaders might bring up the question, but there will be no pressure whatsoever.
Am I required to be baptized?
We do not ask or require anyone to be “re-baptized” in our church if you have had a previous baptism in another denomination that you believe is sufficient. However, as Christ was baptized (Matt 3:16) so we are baptized, everyone should have some adult, informed decision to follow Christ that they can point to. For some, this could be the process of confirmation in another denomination. If you are making a first-time profession of faith, baptism is an integral part of that decision.
What if I have had a previous baptism but wish to do it again?
If this is your wish, we would be happy to do this after having a conversation with you about your reasons.
Are members expected to give financially to the church?
Yes. New Victory Christian Church, its programs and staff, are supported solely by our membership. We have no other income for our annual budget. Your regular financial support as a member is crucial to the church, as well as being a very biblical way of showing your commitment to Christ and His Church. Malachi 3:10 says, “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house…[and I will] throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Having said that, we are well aware that some of our members are in tough financial situations, and we only expect people to give what they can. The goal that we ask everyone to shoot for is 10% (a tithe) of your income, but you would be in good company if you are not able to do this.
Besides financial giving, what is expected of me after I join?
We encourage every new member to to complete the 5 new disciples sessions, find a Victory Circle group, ministry and program to get involved with in the church within 6 months of joining. Eventually you will possibly be asked to serve on various committees or even serve in a leadership capacity. You will find your Christian walk and membership here much more fulfilling if you establish healthy, Christian relationships and if you find a place where you can use your God-given gifts to build up His Church and support our ministries.