Church Handbook

Chapter 1 A Message from the Pastors / What is Church Membership?

A Message from Pastors Derek and Hilary Walker
To those considering membership of Oxford Bible Church:

We are excited that you are interested in the possibility of joining hands with us. We want to extend a warm invitation to you, on behalf of the whole Church family to become members of Oxford Bible Church. Membership is a major decision in your life, but the commitment that we ask for is one that any one can make who loves God and wants to move forward in their spiritual life.

Please read this Handbook carefully and prayerfully, and do feel free to ask us any questions that concern you. We look forward to getting to know you better that we may be a blessing to each other. We believe there is an important place for you 
in Oxford Bible Church! God loves you, and we love you. You are valuable and precious in His sight!

“May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God the Father,
and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and forevermore” (2Corinthians 13:14) 
with much love in our Lord Jesus,Derek and Hilary 

What is Church Membership?

To be a member of a Church is essentially a commitment to be an active part of a local body of believers. It is God who joins us together in unity, to worship and work as one in His Kingdom. Membership happens in your heart when you recognise that God has joined you to us, that ‘this is my Church.’ Every Church has its members, as well as those who just attend without making this heart-commitment. 

What Membership is not !

1. Church Membership does not save you.

2. It is not an unbreakable covenant
. It is a heart-commitment that you only make for as long as you wish to be a member. If for some reason you feel unable to continue as a member, please inform Pastor Derek.

3. It does not give you authority in the Church
. However, as a member your insights will be welcomed and valued as someone who wishes the good of the Church

4. It is not ‘heavy shepherding’.
 
As a Church we have always stood against the idea of Church leaders having the right to interfere in your personal decisions. We believe each person has the right and responsibility to find and follow the leading of the Lord and their own consciences in their private lives (although it is good to seek Pastoral prayer 
and counsel). What you contribute to Church-life through your prayers, love, witness, service and giving is a free-will offering to the Lord. Even among Members there are different levels of commitment and members are free to be involved as much as they like. But for the Church to be what it should be in its life and witness, and for Membership to be meaningful, the Church does expect Members to fulfill some minimum standards laid down in this Handbook.

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