Bylaws: Membership Section
The Congregation will have members. Membership is an outward, formalized, sign of the commitment in an individual’s heart. As members, we join together for God’s glory and our mutual benefit. Membership is a commitment between the Congregation’s members, one with another and between the Congregation’s leaders and members.
Membership Rosters. The Leadership and the individuals it delegates will maintain a roster of both active members and inactive members. The Leadership will periodically review the Congregation’s membership rosters and place individuals on either the active members or inactive members roster as appropriate. The Leadership may remove individuals from either roster as needed.
Membership Standards. We invite those who meet the membership standards and regularly attend services to become active members of the Congregation. Each active member must affirm the following membership standards in writing that will be included on the membership commitment form:
- I have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and boast in Him, not myself (Eph. 2:4-10).
- I have been baptized in water at some point in my life, signifying conversion and new life in God (Matt. 28:19; Col. 2:12).
- I take responsibility as a disciple of Jesus to continue to enjoy my own close, obedient, loving friendship with the Lord (John 15:1-17).
- My life evidences a genuine experience of regeneration – the new birth. (John 1:12-13, 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:18-25) and a commitment to holiness, wholeness and our church family (Romans 6:4, 8:1-4, 13:13-14; Eph. 4:17-32, 5:1-2,15; 1 John 1:6-7). Specifically, I affirm the sacredness of sexuality and marriage. In marriage, I will be completely faithful to my spouse (Heb. 13:4). I believe Scripture teaches that sex is a blessing to be rightly experienced only within heterosexual marriage. Therefore, I will avoid sex outside of marriage, pornography, living as husband and wife when not married and/or homosexuality (Matt. 15:19, Rom. 13:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-20).
- As well, I will follow the wisdom of the Lord by refraining from intoxication with alcohol and/or drugs (Rom. 13:13, Gal. 5:19-21). Should I stumble in any of these areas, I will get up again with the help of the Holy Spirit and my church family.
- I have read and am in agreement with Bethel’s Statement of Faith and Statement of Purpose.
- I contribute regularly to the support of the congregation in the form of tithes, offerings, time and attendance.
- I agree to be governed by the congregation’s bylaws as they pertain to church life.
- If offended, I would not abandon this commitment but would speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:25) and work through conflict with gentleness, grace and forgiveness (Eph. 4:1-3).
- I will be thankful (Col. 3:15) and live humbly and honorably in all my relationships with both Christians (Eph. 4:1-6) and non-Christians, so as to be a faithful ambassador of Christ’s kingdom (2 Cor. 5:20).
- I will be accountable to keep these commitments and welcome correction in my life and doctrine if need be.
- If the Lord seems to be transitioning me to a different church, I will not simply leave but consider this transition with my church family. Bethel Austin will transfer membership to other congregations when requested to do so.
Membership Application and Procedure. Persons eligible for membership who wish to become members of the Congregation must make their desire known to the Leadership by application and signed membership commitment form. The Leadership will examine the applicant in accordance with membership standards above. The Leadership has the right and authority to determine the eligibility and acceptability of all membership applicants by majority vote. For each individual the Leadership approves for membership, their name will be added to the active member roster, and will be sent a letter of acceptance. New members may be publicly received as members at any scheduled service.
Inactive Members. Any active member may be declared an inactive member by the Leadership’s majority vote who:
- Absences themselves from the Congregation’s services for a period of three consecutive months or more;
- Ceases to contribute to the Congregation’s support for a period of three consecutive months;
- Are under charges for misconduct;
- Have unrepentantly given themselves over to sinful or worldly practices; or
- Departs from the membership standards
A member who the Leadership has declared to be an inactive member will have no voting privileges until the Leadership restores them to fellowship as an active member and reinstates their name on the active member roster. Any of the above listed causes are sufficient grounds to terminate a person from membership (Matt. 18:15-18; Romans 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 5:11; Gal. 1:8-9; Titus 3:1-15).
Termination of Membership. Active members wishing to end their relationship with the Congregation may do so by notifying the Leadership in writing. The Leadership is empowered to periodically remove from the membership rosters those who are deceased, or who may have voluntarily withdrawn from the Congregation’s fellowship, or who have been granted letters of transfer, or have remained in inactive membership status for a period decided upon by the Leadership or who have not responded to discipline and have been asked to permanently leave fellowship with the Congregation.
A copy of the full bylaws for Bethel Church Austin is available upon request.