No one person decides that another will or will not be admitted to membership in our congregation. Congregational leaders do not vote on who shall be received as members. The Church of God believes that when one accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, God places that person in the church (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:18).
Salvation is the criterion for membership in the North Avenue Church of God. One maintains membership by participating in the worship services and fellowship of the congregation.
How Can a Person Join the Church of God?
1. If you are not a Christian (that is, not saved, not born anew, not a disciple of Jesus Christ), then you will want to confess your sins in prayer, ask God to forgive your sinful way of living, and invite Jesus Christ to come into your life as Savior and Lord. You may be able to do this alone, but many persons have found that the assistance of a thoughtful and mature Christian is helpful at this time (Matthew 11:28). When you accept Jesus Christ as Savior, you are born into the church. You are a new creation in Christ (John 3:1-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Through the cross you have become a member.
2. If you are a Christian (that is, saved, born anew, a disciple of Jesus Christ), then let the pastor and other persons in the congregation know you are a Christian and begin worshiping and working with us. Because of the cross, you are a member.
Practical Matters of Membership
a. A person who has been a member of a denomination may wish, for his or her own purposes, to bring a “letter of standing” to the pastor; however, this is not required. Your personal affirmation of faith, your participation, and your Christian character will demonstrate that you are a part of the family of God.
b. A consistent demonstration of Christian character is appropriate before persons are recognized for responsible positions of leadership in the life of the church.
c. There is room for differences of opinion in the fellowship. Perfect agreement on minute details of doctrine and practice is not required. An open mind and an open heart are characteristic of a vital group of Christians.
d. North Avenue Church of God seeks to carry on financial and property matters in a fashion consistent with common business practices and state laws. Therefore, our by-laws define voting membership in terms of age and length of time worshipping with us. Voting membership is needed to meet requirements of incorporation laws; among the requirements are a personal witness to a Christian experience and a lifestyle consistent with the teachings of the Church of God.
e. A person removes himself or herself from membership in the Church of God when he or she is no longer committed to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord or when his or her lifestyle is inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus and other clear teachings of the New Testament. Most persons do not have to be told of this; it is obvious to both the individual and the congregation.