What Does Membership Mean?
Membership means choosing to belong.
Sometimes we think of membership as being a member of the Auto Club or the Country Club where we pay for services and privileges. Church membership is different. The apostle Paul used the image of a living body: “For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (I Cor. 12:13) In this biblical sense, to be a member is to be part of a living organism–a vital community animated by the Spirit of God to love and to serve. Paul’s statement also points to the inclusiveness of the church: anyone may make the journey into life in the church.
Choosing to be a member of New Liberty United Methodist Church means choosing to make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It also means choosing to make a commitment to support this local congregation with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.
The mission of The Church is to make disciples for Jesus Christ. We believe that is best done in a covenantal relationship that church membership allows. It is a serious step to becoming a member of a church and we want to help you discern where God is leading you to live out your faith.
Being a Member helps you grow in your Christian faith:
- You witness to God in Jesus Christ.
- You have a spiritual family to support and encourage you in your walk with Christ.
- You have a place to discover and use your gifts of ministry.
- You live your life of faith under the care of spiritual leaders.
- You have the accountability to grow in the grace of God.
Membership vows are important because they give us an outline for our common work of Christian discipleship. Within The United Methodist Church, members make a covenant (promise) to do the following:
- To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of your sin;
- To accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression;
- To confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord;
- To remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world;
- To be loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries;
- To faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness;
- To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
Ways to Join
Profession of Faith
First-time believers can publicly acknowledge their commitment to Christ and simultaneously join in membership. Baptism may also be received at this time.
United Methodist Church Transfer
Membership can be transferred from another United Methodist Church where an individual has previously been a member. This process is done through a written transfer request that our membership secretary will assist in completing.
Transfer from another Denomination
Membership may be transferred from a Church of another denomination via written request. Our membership secretary will assist in making this request.
Reaffirmation of Faith/Restoration
If your previous church membership has been terminated for any reason including your request to withdraw, or because you have been inactive for a length of time, you may reaffirm your faith and renew your vows of membership.
Individuals may join the Church through baptism, preceded by a profession of faith. The Sacrament of Baptism is a requirement to join the United Methodist Church. If you have ever been baptized in another Christian denomination, that baptism is acceptable and there is no need to be baptized again. Baptismal covenants may also be renewed, if desired.
- A sacrament of initiation into the universal Church.
- A sign of God’s forgiveness and our new life in Jesus Christ.
- The beginning of the growth process in the grace that leads us to love God and neighbor and to follow Jesus.
- A gift of God that is received as a sign of God’s love for us.
An affiliate member desires to maintain membership in another United Methodist Church congregation while becoming an active member of New Liberty United Methodist Church.
An associate member desires to maintain membership in a church of another denomination while becoming an active member of New Liberty United Methodist Church.
Expectations/ Living Our Faith
- Attend worship in some way on a regular basis with New Liberty United Methodist Church. We gather together to praise God, pray, learn, be blessed by music, and be inspired to grow in our faith. We invite you to join us either in person or online.
- Pursue at least one means of growing my faith in addition to the weekly worship service. We meet in small groups to learn more about God, grow in a relationship with Jesus, and support each other in our journey to become more like Christ.
- Put my faith into action by becoming actively involved in Christian service. We serve together to use our passions, talents, and gifts to make a difference and share God’s love in the world around us. Come and serve with us!
- Growing toward the tithe, giving in proportion to my income. We practice generosity through financial giving that helps us grow in our faithfulness and invest in God’s work through our ministries.
What can our church expect of its members?
Members are expected to support and participate in the life of the church through their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.
- Their Prayers: for the life and ministry of New Liberty United Methodist Church and for the support of the church family, the community, and the world.
- Their Presence: in worship services each week, fellowship events, and the general life of the church.
- Their Gifts: in financial support of the church’s budget and missions as well as their individual, unique talents.
- Their Service: in ministry and mission and in fellowship and caring.
- Their Witness: in evangelism.
What can our members expect of the church?
- Bible-centered, Christ-centered worship and ministry.
- Christian education spanning the total age of its members.
- Opportunities and challenges to serve God within and beyond the local church.
- A gathering of people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, where everyone may not agree, but all will be heard, as we strive to live and grow in Christian community.