Join Our Church
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who may attend the classes?
Please see the types of Members/Adherents in the next portion.
Do I automatically become a member after?
Who is eligible to apply for membership?
What if I want to transfer membership from another church?
Why should I bother to become a member?
By definition, a baptized Christian is a member of a local church. To opt to just remain a “regular attendee” at a church that one is not a member or adherent of is in effect to say that one wants all the benefits of Christ and His Body but not have to be bound to Him or His Church in any meaningful way. (e.g. submit to the discipline and direction of the Church). It is, to be honest, a very selfish position to take and one that I cannot see to be compatible with the teachings of Scripture. Quite frankly, my opinion is that it is sinful. If this is you, please know that you will neither be forced to become a member, nor will you be asked to stop coming to Pilgrim Community. But, by openly refusing to become a member of a local church, you are also relinquishing any pastoral care and direction that the Elders of the church may extend to members.
What is baptism? Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.
Members or Adherents
Three Types of Members/Adherents at Pilgrim
- Communicant / Formal Members are baptized believers (13+) who regard Pilgrim Community as their home church and are part of the life and ministry of our community of faith. They are welcomed to partake of the Lord’s Supper and they also have the right of the vote; also, Biblically qualified men may be eligible to hold office as Deacons or Elders of the church. A requirement for formal membership is the affirmation of what the Church teaches and believes about the Gospel and the nature and mission of the Church (this includes our view of the sacraments). In short, members are required to affirm the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
- Noncommunicant / Informal Members are the baptized children (12 and under) of members and are part of the Pilgrim Community Church family by birthright. However, they are not to be admitted to the Lord’s Table until they are able to evidence a credible profession of faith, first to their parents, and then to the elders (i.e. session) of the church. Upon successful examination, those who are confirmed in their faith would then be presented by the elders to the church as Communicant but as yet Informal Members. We do not wish to place a minimum age requirement for the confirmation of faith and pray that our children are able to evidence true faith and commune with us at the Lord’s Table in the soonest possible time. To this end, parents and elders are to work closely together to help our little ones understand the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to be regarded as formal members of the church (i.e. to have the power of the vote), these are to undergo, at the appropriate time, the same Membership Classes that all communicant and formal members undergo. The same requirements for formal membership apply to them as well.
- Adherents are baptized Christians (13+) who, while they presently regard Pilgrim Community as their home church and wish to be part of the life and ministry of our community of faith, nevertheless, do not wish to become formal members but stay as adhering guests only. (e.g. believers who are members in their churches in their hometowns who are now in Manila because of work or study and are consequently attending Pilgrim Community at present; believers who do not agree with our church’s views on baptism.) They are welcomed to partake of the Lord’s Supper but they do not have the right of the vote; also, while some may be Biblically qualified men, they may not hold office as Deacons or Elders of the church. As a requirement for formal membership is the affirmation of what the Church teaches and believes about the Gospel AND the nature and mission of the Church (this includes our view of the sacraments), those who are unable on account of conscience to affirm infant baptism are advised to elect to be adherents instead. Adherents are required to affirm the Westminster Shorter Catechism, although they are allowed to express take exception from the phrase “…but infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.” in Q/A 95 of the catechism.
To whom is baptism to be administered? Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church, are to be baptized.
Membership Class Resource