What is church membership and why should I become a member of this church?
Some organizations proudly proclaim “members only”. Others encourage you to join because “membership has its privileges.”
Our doors are open to everyone. We believe our greatest privilege as church members is serving others in the name of Jesus Christ.
You don’t have to be a member to participate in our church’s ministries. You can worship here, study the Bible here, have fun and fellowship here. If you get sick, we’ll pray for you. If you are hospitalized, we’ll visit you.
The only privileges membership gives you are the rights to vote at congregational meetings and to hold key leadership positions.
Some people have been active in our church for years and have never become members. Others wish to formalize their commitment by joining the church.
Church membership is a special relationship with Christ and with other members of the church.
The church is the body of Christ, the Bible says, so each member of the church is a member of Christ’s body. Just as your body needs all of its members to function at full capacity, so the church needs all of its members to function as a living and vibrant witness for Christ.
The church is not a holy club. It is an organic body that relies on each of its members working together in covenant relationship.
Church members join in sacred covenant to shoulder the burdens and celebrate the joys of fellow members. They commit to support one another in their journeys of faith toward fully committed discipleship.
Membership is, therefore, a commitment beyond attendance at worship and other church activities. It is a commitment that binds you to other members of Christ’s body, the church.
Requirements for membership are simple:
- confession of faith in Jesus Christ
- baptism (if you have never been baptized before)
- pledging to participate in the church’s ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness
You may join by profession of faith, renewal of your membership vows or transfer of membership from another church.
If you wish to learn more, talk to the pastor.
When you join a United Methodist church, you pledge to faithfully participate in its ministries in five specific ways: by your prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.
We see this as involving six commitments. As a follower of Jesus and a member of this church, we each pledge to:
- Pray daily.
- Worship regularly.
- Grow diligently.
- Give generously.
- Serve selflessly.
- Witness fruitfully.
Those who suffer prolonged illness or are confined because of age or disability cannot be expected to fulfill all these expectations. Still, they can, at minimum, continue to pray for the church and its members.
These are not membership requirements. They are the long-standing expectations of any member of the United Methodist Church and any disciple of Jesus Christ.
Becoming a Member
Confession of Faith
If you have never been a member of a church, you may become a member of Paola UMC by confessing Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. If you have never been baptized (as an infant, for example), you will be baptized.
If you are a member of another church, you may become a member of Paola UMC by requesting that your membership be transferred.
If you have been a member of this or another church but have been inactive for several years and been dropped from the membership rolls, you may become a member of Paola UMC or be restored to membership here by confessing your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and being restored to membership.
If you want to retain your membership in a United Methodist Church in another city but will be living in this area, you may become an affiliate member of Paola UMC. You will maintain membership in your home church but be under the pastoral care of Paola UMC.
If you are a member of a church of another denomination in another city but will be living in this area, you may become an associate member of Paola UMC. You will maintain membership in your home church but be under the pastoral care of Paola UMC.