If you are interested in becoming a member of Living Word Church please speak to Pastor Dale and he will be happy to arrange a suitable time to meet and discuss this with you and answer your questions. To help you begin your journey to membership at Living Word Church here are responses to several of the most frequently asked questions about church membership.


Why do you have a formal church membership?
We have a formal church membership because of what the Bible teaches about the nature of the church and of being a Christian. We believe that a formal church membership is the best way of implementing that vision practically so that we can be the kind of church community Jesus wants us to be.


What difference would being a member make to me?
1. Being a member means you have taken a significant step of commitment to the church and identification with the church family. That is a practical meaningful way of obeying Jesus’s command for us to love one another.
2. It means that you have shown you are committed to the whole church, not just your group of friends.
3. It means that you know that the other church members are committed to you in Christian love.
4. It means that you have put yourself under the pastoral leadership and care of the Pastor and leadership: you know they are committed to serving you, to promoting your spiritual health, to helping you when times are hard.
5. It means that you can take your part in the decisions which shape the church’s direction such as new leaders, new initiatives and ministries, budgets and other significant matters, through the church meeting.


Does it matter whether someone becomes a church member?
We think it does! The New Testament sees the church as a community of people who are committed to each other. We are committed to Christ because He is committed to us. We should be committed to each other as one of the most important expressions of being committed to Christ. Although commitment may seem scary, actually there is something wonderful about being committed to a single local body of believers.

Whether you are a member or not also affects how far you can be involved in the church and we would like you to be as involved as possible. Leadership positions in church activities are limited to members. Becoming a member is the way you can play your part in the decisions the church takes.

What are the responsibilities of church membership?
First, we want to say that as you become a member we are committing ourselves to you! Specifically: to your pastoral care, to helping you to grow spiritually and to use your gifts for the glory of God and the building up of the church. The leaders have a responsibility to care for your soul!
The New Testament teaching on church commitment means that we expect members to:-

  • Come regularly to church on Sunday (unless away or unwell!)

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews10:25).


  • Care for others in the church

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8). 

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." (Romans 12:15)

We want our church to be a community of love and mutual care!


  • Maintain a lifestyle in line with the ethical teaching of the Bible

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1Corinthians6:9-11).
We are called to live holy lives to please God, to help each other, and to bring honour to Christ. Those unwilling to do so are ineligible for church membership.


  • Give regularly

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." (1Timothy6:17-18)
The church relies on the generous giving of our members. The Old Testament pattern of tithing 10% of our income is a great challenge, but the New Testament emphasizes cheerful, generous, sacrificial giving, rather than any particular percentage, and it may well be that with prayerful management we can exceed this! We also strongly encourage and support giving to other needs, whether Christian causes or other good charities.


  • Respect the leadership

"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you." (Hebrews 13:17)
"To the elders among you, I appeal... Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must... but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:1-3)

We try to keep a Biblical balance between the requirement that leaders be allowed to lead, and that they must be humble and approachable!

  • Keep the peace in the church and resolve relational tensions biblically

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2-3)
"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector." (Matthew 18:15-17).

We expect members to live out the gospel in personal relationships with each other.


  • Pray for the church

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel." (Ephesians 6:18-20)
We hope that church members are praying daily for the church, especially for our Pastor and others with leadership responsibility. There are various opportunities to pray with others, so please take advantage of them.

Why is membership restricted to Christians who have been baptised as believers?
The church is seen as the community of the baptised. We believe that in the New Testament, baptism by total immersion is the sign of personal faith in Jesus. So only those who have been baptised as believers can be members (see section on Baptism).



Pastor Dale would be delighted to explain this further and to try and answer all your questions.