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Membership

   Although the Bible nowhere says, “Thou shalt make sure to be a member in a good standing of your local church”, we do see in Acts 2:47 that “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”. This and other New Testament references would lead us to believe that the early church had some way of delineating or ‘numbering’ who ‘belonged’ to the church in an official way and who didn’t. At Olivet we love and respect all of our attendees—members, adherents and visitors. We recognize that some in regular attendance have chosen not to become members for one reason or another, but we believe it is beneficial for Christians who attend our church to become official members.

Privileges of Membership

1) Opportunities for service in the full spectrum of the church’s ministries
2) Voting privileges on all church business decisions. Members
should attempt to be in attendance as proxy voting is allowed but only with certain limitations.

Reasons for Membership

1. To ensure, as much as possible, the doctrinal purity and unity of our church leadership.
2. To ensure that each person voting on important church wide decisions is a believer and has the church’s best interests at heart.
3. To ensure that the teachings and overall direction of the church as a whole remain doctrinally consistent.
4. To hold people accountable to a high standard of faith and practice before others.

Responsibilities

Attendance: Membership says, “I belong here” and God says that believers belong together. (Heb. 10:23-25).
Unity: Membership says, “We share the same ministry goals and will work together even though our gifts and sometimes our perspectives on things are different”. Believers are to be committed to one another for spiritual impact. (Eph. 4:16; 1 Cor. 12:20-27)
Support: Membership says, “I accept the responsibility of helping others here anyway I can”. (Gal. 6:1, 2, 10)
Accountability: Membership says, I am accountable to mature brothers and sisters in Christ for my walk with God. I can’t be an ’island’ on my own”. (Matt. 18:15-20)
Submission: Membership says, “I voluntarily submit to the leadership of the church, trusting that God will guide them in the task of guiding the church. Part of submission involves not speaking out against a decision the church makes, even if I vote against it”. (Heb.13:17; 1 Peter 2:13-17)
Common Belief: Membership says, “I say ‘yes’ to the doctrinal stand and codes of conduct of my church. I will not only believe them but will live them out as much as possible in my life”. (2 Tim. 2:15; Ti-tus 2:1)
Financial Support: Membership says, “I take seriously the need to be financially supportive of my church”. (Mal. 3:8-10; Mark 12:41-44; 1 Chron. 29:1-20)

Ordinances

We believe that there are only two ordinances for the church regularly observed in the New Testament, in this order:

1. Baptism, which is the immersion of the believer in water, whereby he obeys Christ’s command and thereby sets forth his identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. (Acts 8:36-38; Romans 6:3-5)
2. The Lord’s Supper (or communion), which is the memorial wherein the believer partakes of the two elements, bread and wine, which symbolize the Lord’s body and shed blood, proclaiming His death until He comes again (1Corinthians 11:23-26).