In the summer of 2016 during the General Conference of the Wesleyan Church International a resolution passed that altered the system of membership. In previous years Wesleyan churches offered two types of membership:
- Covenant Membership – Denominational membership which provided full membership privileges across the entire Wesleyan Church, had no limits on voting rights and was required for certain positions of leadership within the local and global church.
- Community Membership – Local church membership that had fewer membership commitments than Covenant Membership but also had limited voting rights and did not qualify the members for certain leadership positions.
This tiered system of membership is no longer in effect and has been replaced by a membership option for all members. Along with the change, there was also a change in the membership commitments required for membership. The new membership commitments have been condensed and focus on the essentials of faith and church governance and are as follows:
- Confession of faith in Jesus Christ as evidenced by an inner witness of new birth through the Holy Spirit and a commitment to pursue holiness in all things.
- Christian baptism.
- Instruction in, acceptance of, and a commitment to abide by the Articles of Religion, the Elementary Principles, and the authority of The Wesleyan Church in matters of church government.
- A commitment to live out the mission and vision of The Wesleyan Church through a discipling relationship within the local church.
If you held either Covenant or Community membership in the past, you already meet the criteria for these membership commitments because all of them were included as pre-requisites for both forms of membership. If you desire to remain a member, you are fully qualified to do so. The only requirement (also passed in 2016) is that members reaffirm their membership commitments each year.
Annual Membership Reaffirmation:
As a church, we have elected to ask all our members to affirm their membership annually through the online form below by April 20th of each year. We will communicate the need for reaffirmation annually and also provide a paper option for those who do not have access to the online form. You can request the form at Guest Services. If a member chooses not to participate in the annual reaffirmation process, this choice will be considered a voluntary withdrawal from membership. A person who withdrawn may reapply for membership at any time, but this annual reaffirmation is a requirement to remain a member.
Summary of the Articles of Religion:
We believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We believe that Jesus Christ the Son suffered in our place on the cross, that He died but rose again, that He now sits at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge every person at the last day.
We believe in the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God.
We believe that by the grace of God every person has the ability and responsibility to choose between right and wrong, and that those who repent of their sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified by faith.
We believe that God not only counts the believer as righteous, but that He makes such persons righteous, freeing them from sin’s dominion at conversion, purifying their hearts by faith, perfecting them in love at entire sanctification, and providing for their growth in grace at every stage of spiritual life, enabling them through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to live victorious lives.
- Christ is the only Head of the Church, and the Word of God the only rule of faith and conduct.
- No person who loves the Lord Jesus Christ, and obeys the gospel of God our Savior, ought to be deprived of church membership.
- Every person has an inalienable right to private judgment in matters of religion, and an equal right to express personal opinions in any way which will not violate the laws of God or the rights of others.
- All church hearings should be conducted on gospel principles only; and no minister or member should be excommunicated except for immorality, the propagation of unchristian doctrines, or for neglect of duties enjoined by the Word of God.
- The pastoral or ministerial office and duties are of divine appointment, and all ordained ministers in the church of God are equal; but ministers are forbidden to be lords over God’s heritage, or to have dominion over the faith of the saints.
- The Church has a right to form and enforce such rules and regulations only as are in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, and may be necessary or have a tendency to carry into effect the great system of practical Christianity.
- Whatever power may be necessary to the formation of rules and regulations is inherent in the ministers and members of the Church; but so much of that power may be delegated from time to time, upon a plan of representation, as they may judge necessary and proper.
- It is the duty of all ministers and members of the Church to maintain godliness and oppose all moral evil.
- It is obligatory upon ministers of the gospel to be faithful in the discharge of their pastoral and ministerial duties, and it is also obligatory upon the members to esteem ministers highly for their works’ sake, and to render them a righteous compensation for their labors.
Additional Information for Members
Rights of Members:
- The fellowship of the saints and the encouragement, admonition, and spiritual guidance of the ministry.
- The access to the sacraments and ordinances of the Church.
- The right to participate in any vote being taken by the local church conference.
- The eligibility to hold leadership positions, providing the qualifications are met and if not under discipline.
- The right to hearing and appeal if charged with failure to maintain the conditions of membership, with the specific provision that joining another religious body shall of itself sever membership in the Church.
- A member in good standing in any Wesleyan church is entitled to membership privileges in any Wesleyan church to which a transfer of membership may be desired.
Credential Ministers and Elected Leaders:
All members who are seeking to be a credentialed minister within the Wesleyan Church or who are appointed or elected to serve in certain leadership capacities (Treasurer, Secretary, Members-at-Large to the KLT) are asked to observe these Guides And Helps To Holy Living