1. Qualifications

Membership is voluntary and is applied for in writing. All members must be born again, baptized, and must understand and agree to the Statement of Faith, Covenant and Purpose of this Church and submit to the authority and procedures of the Church as expressed in the Church Constitution.

2. Duties

The main duty of the membership toward the government of the Church is to support the Church in the manner established in Scripture. This would include:

  1. The giving of tithes and offerings for the support of Pastor[s] and the ministry of the Church; the only source of revenue and material assets to be voluntary tithes, offerings and gifts of its members and others led to contribute to this work.
  2. The nomination and election of Pastor[s], Elders, Deacons/Trustees, Deacon Assistants, the Church Treasurer and the Church Clerk.
  3. The final human authority on the teaching and actions of this Church.

3. Procedure

A. Baptism

The believer shall be baptized by immersion by the Pastor or Elder or Deacon of this Church when he/she:

  1. has demonstrated evidence of a conversion experience;
  2. has decided personally to take this step of obedience;
  3. has attended Baptism Classes taught by a Pastor/Elder/Deacon;
  4. has been interviewed by Elders or Deacons of the Church.

After his/her recommendation and testimony to the Church at a regular Church meeting, the Church will then vote on the acceptance of the candidate for membership.

B. Letter of Transfer

A person shall be accepted as a member after the receipt of a letter of transfer from a like-minded church, interview and recommendation by Elders and Deacons, and approval by the Church membership.

C. Presentation of New Members

Presentation to the congregation may be celebrated prior to a Communion Service.

4. Transfer

  1. All members in good standing shall be eligible for letters of transfer to other evangelical Baptist churches. Letters of transfer shall be forwarded to the church and not given to the member being commended.
  2. Should a member desire to unite with other than an evangelical Baptist church, a letter stating their standing to date will be granted and the membership terminated.

The congregation will be notified of either of the above actions as soon as possible.

5. Associate Membership

  1. Members who show lack of interest in the Lord’s work at Thistletown Baptist Church shall be visited, assisted and prayed for by the Pastor[s], Elders, Deacons or Deacon Assistants, for the purpose of building commitment. This lack of interest may be shown by absenting themselves from the regular services of the Church or from the Communion of the Lord’s Supper or from Church Business Meetings for a significant period without sufficient cause. Therefore, should this lack of interest continue to a total period of one [1] year, then they shall cease to remain as an Active Member, will be removed from the Active Membership Roll and placed on the Associate Membership Roll.
  2. People who move away and do not attend the Church for a period of six [6] months shall be placed on the Associate Membership Roll.
  3. Associate Members who do not support the Church or have not expressed an interest in continuing to be on the Associate Membership Roll shall be written after the first year to see whether they are interested in continuing to be an Associate Member.
  4. Associate Members are not eligible to vote at any Business Meeting.

6. Misconduct/Discipline

A. The Necessity of Church Discipline

Many passages in Scripture call for the discipline of erring church members leading to the inevitable conclusion that it is as much a function of the local churh as practising “the pure doctrine of the gospel” and “the administration of the ordinances instituted by Christ.” Discipline is therefore not optional but mandatory.

B. The Purpose of Church Discipline

The New Testament indicates that there is a threefold purpose for church discipline:

  1. to restore and reconcile the sinner,
  2. to maintain church purity, and,
  3. to serve as a deterrent from sin.

C. The Reason for Church Discipline

Specific or continued tendency to sin that brings both disrepute and shame to the individual, the Church and the ministry of the gospel, are grounds for which the Church must exercise discipline. Such cause[s] may be of a general or more specific nature and may include:

  1. evidence of unethical or immoral conduct or behaviour that in the opinion of the Church Board is unbecoming of a Christian contrary to Biblical principles;
  2. conduct, in the opinion of the Church Board, evidencing an unwillingness to either comply with, adhere to or submit to the authority or procedures set out in the Church Constitution or,
  3. wronging another member and not resolving such wrong through the mechanism for dispute resolution set out below.

D. The Method of Church Discipline

The Elders [Board] shall be responsible for implementing the following procedure in the area of church discipline:

  • Step 1–Private corrective meeting with two [2] or more Board members.
  • Step 2–Group corrective meeting with the Church Board.
  • Step 3–Closed corrective meeting of Church members only.
  • Step 4–Public corrective exclusion. Such action would result in termination of Church membership which could include prevention of access to Church property. Such decisions would be arrived at a closed meeting as specified under Article VI, section 5, of the Constitution.

E. Waiver

Notwithstanding anything else contained in the Church Constitution, membership in this Church is given upon the strict condition that disciplinary proceedings or any other proceedings arising out of the Church Constitution shall not give a member cause for any legal action against either the Church, the Pastor[s], any Church Board member, any staff member or any member of the Church, and the acceptance of membership in the Church shall constitute conclusive and absolute evidence of a waiver by the member of all rights of action, causes of action and all claims and demands against the Church, Pastor[s], any Church Board member, any staff member or any member of the Church in relation to disciplinary proceedings or any proceedings arising out of the Church Constitution and this provision may be pleaded as a complete estoppel in the event that such action is commenced in violation thereof.

7. Voting Privileges

Each member in good standing, sixteen [16] years of age and over, has the right to a single vote when present at Business Meetings of members of the Church.