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Aspects of Membership
Membership of Christ’s Church is broken down Biblically into two separate fellowships. The first fellowship is the membership of the “Church of Jesus Christ”; this is the church made up of all believers for all the ages. This fellowship will have its culmination upon our Lord’s Second Coming when He will gather all the saints together (all believers) in heaven. This membership occurs the moment we are converted by faith in Jesus Christ. The second fellowship is a membership of “personal participation” whereby we live out our Christian commitment and service in a local body of believers. This second membership is an extension of the first. This membership is a commitment not only to Christ, but also a commitment to participate in an active sense in the life of this local congregation of Christ’s disciples.
Aspects of Membership of the Goshen First UMC:
There are several Commitments and/or Vows that every member of the Church affirms for their own Christian commitment to Christ and His church here at “First Church”:
Commitment #1: It is every member’s commitment to continually strive for “Christian Perfection” and/or “Holiness”. We believe that Christian purity is always the goal for every true believer, with Christ being our model of that Christian perfection (that true picture and model found only in the scriptures of the Old & New Testament). Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained all this, but I press on to make it my own”.
Commitment #2: Members commit themselves to support the church here at Goshen First United Methodist Church with:
- Our Prayers - We all need the answered prayers from God’s Family to lift up the church to the power and grace of God.
- Our Presence - Together in worship, in church activities, and in various ministries we can do all things through God. However, ever member is essential to be present so that God’s Spirit can truly bond the community of faith together and empower the body of faith by using all the resources that He has provided in and through His followers. The Church is a family and a team where all members are important. This is a commitment of our time and presence unto God and His Church.
- Our Gifts - Tithing is an opportunity that God gives unto all His children. This opportunity allows us to faithfully honor God and allows us to become a vital part of all the ministries of Christ in the church whether we are an active participant or not. Tithing first unto God and then meeting our own needs secondary also reminds us of God’s place in our lives and in our church. This financial opportunity for commitment and surrender is sacrificial in nature, yet God always provides for His faithful and cheerful givers. Also this is not to be mistaken with our time.
- Our Service - In Corinthians chapter 12, God’s Word tells us that all of us have Spiritual Gifts, talents, abilities to be used for the common good of all in His church and those outside of the church. We believe that God has a plan for this church, and in order to fulfill and accomplish that plan He has placed in all of the members of the church the resources and gifts to finish the plan. Therefore, every member’s participation is crucial to finishing our race that God has put before us. We are called more to serve than to be served. Also we believe that part of God’s plan is that, as individuals give of themselves to God’s service, they are blessed by God.
Commitment #3: We also commit ourselves to the authority and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We follow no other than Him. We will have pastors, teachers, chairpersons, and other kinds of leaders. But Christ is the One we follow, He is the reason we have come together as this church and He is therefore the Center of all that we are about.
Commitment #4: We are committed to edifying, building up the church and our fellow members (brothers and sisters) in Christ. All that we say and do is to create unity of the Body of Christ and to encourage and strengthen each member. We shall always seek to do this in a spirit of gentleness, love, patience, and great compassion. A Body divided against itself will have no ministry and eventually it will crumble or merely exist as a form of religion without divine power.