III. Membership in the E. Free Church
A. How to become a member
1. Membership class
2. Testimonies with Elders
3. Congregational affirmation
B. Responsibilities of members
1. Personal Spiritual Development
5. Accountability for Christian Lifestyle
C. The importance of membership
1. Ownership of vision
2. A voice in our local church
3. A voice in the EFCA 4. Selection of leadership .
ARTICLE 1 By Laws
1.10 BECOMING MEMBERS
Applicants shall participate in membership instruction and/or interviews with a member of the Board Ministerial Staff. Two Elders shall visit each applicant, and then ask each applicant to appear before the Elder Board for the purpose of giving his or her testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. The Elder Board shall then vote, and if the person receives a unanimous favorable vote; that person shall be accepted by the church at the next congregational meeting. If the vote is not favorable, the matter shall be tabled until the next meeting of the Elder Board. Any Elder who does not vote in favor of the applicant shall state scriptural reasons for voting “no.” Before the next meeting of the Elder Board, the applicant and two members of the Elder Board will discuss the application. If a unanimous favorable vote cannot be attained at the second meeting, the application for membership shall be denied (John 1:12-13; 14:23-24).
1.20 ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
Associate members are members who have full participation in the church with the exception of voting privileges and holding elected office. Therefore, they are not to be included when counting for quorum or quorum requirements. Any member inactive in the local church for 1 year will be designated as an associate member. To reestablish active membership, an associate member must notify the Elder Board of their desire to do so by written request. Associate members who turn eighteen and desire to request voting and active membership privileges must appear before the Elder Board to give his or her testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.
1.30 RESIGNATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Any member who wishes to resign his membership from the church shall so notify the Board of Elders. All resignations shall be reported to the church at the next business meeting.
1.40 DISCIPLINE AND RESTORATION OF MEMBERS
If any member shall conduct himself/herself in a manner which, in the studied opinion of the Pastor and the Board of Elders, is not in harmony with Scriptural principles, and for which he/she does not show evidence of repentance; he/she shall be interviewed and counseled by the Pastor and then the Board of Elders after the manner clearly indicated in the Word of God (Matthew 18:15-17; Galations 6:1).
Restoration of the erring member shall be the single purpose and love the sole motivating force in these interviews.
If the member should choose to continue in his/her unrepentant condition, he shall be deprived of his/her membership upon a recommendation from the Board of Elders and a two-thirds majority vote of at least a quorum at a special meeting of the church.
Any member who has resigned or whose membership has been deprived shall be excluded from all rights of the organization.