Become a Member
We are delighted that you have been worshiping with us at Woodland and are interested in joining the church. At Woodland we believe the Bible teaches only two requirements for church membership: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and water baptism. Though faith is personal, we do not believe the Scripture teaches it is to be private. To join the church, one must be willing to publicly profess their faith in the Lord Jesus as he is expressed in the gospel, and if not yet baptized, to be baptized before the congregation of the church.
The Session of Woodland Presbyterian has determined that the following steps shall be taken for membership:
- Complete a Membership Inquirer’s Survey
- Meet with the Pastor for an interview
- Participate in an interview with at least 2 members of the church Session
- If admitted for membership by the Session, to stand before the congregation to take of membership vows.
Membership Inquirer’s Survey
The survey is available by email or hard copies are available to pick up in the church office or directly from the pastor. This is a simple one-page survey that helps the church leaders orient themselves to your unique situation. Once this survey is complete, it is to be turned back in to the church office for review.
Interview with the Pastor
Your first meeting will be with our pastor. Though he will want to inquire about your faith in Jesus and your desire to join Woodland, this is also a great time for the each of you to get to know one another in conversation. It is also the perfect time for you to ask any questions you may have about the church or its understanding of the Bible.
Interview with Elders of the Church’s Session
Secondly, if you wish to continue in the process, your next meeting will be a time with at least two of our church elders. In this meeting you can expect a casual time of conversation where you will have the opportunity to share what God is doing in your life and about your faith in Jesus Christ. This is another opportunity to ask any lingering questions about Woodland. After this second meeting, the church Session will have enough information from you to make a prayerful determination whether the Lord is leading you to join our church. You will hear soon what the Session has decided.
If the Session admits you to the membership of Woodland, an attempt is made to contact your current church, should you have one, and we make a request to have them grant a transfer of your membership to Woodland. Sometimes this is not possible, but we usually make an attempt in keeping with peace and unity within the broader body of the church. We also believe this to be the responsibility of the church Session to start properly according to church discipline as taught in the Bible.
Once admitted to membership by the Session, you will work with the Pastor to set a good Sunday to come before the church to take your public membership vows and to be baptized, if you have not been before. Even though you have been admitted by the elders, you will not be considered a member of Woodland until the membership vows have been affirmed publicly. The vows are the following:
- Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God and without hope for your salvation except in His sovereign mercy?
- Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of sinners, and do you receive and depend upon Him alone for your salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
- Do you now promise and resolve, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
- Do you promise to serve Christ in His Church by supporting and participating with this congregation in its service of God and its ministry to others to the best of your ability?
- Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and to the spiritual oversight of this Church Session, and do you promise to promote the unity, purity and peace of the Church?
When these questions have been answered in the affirmative, and after baptism has been administered, if necessary, the officiating person shall say,
“Inasmuch as you have made a profession (reaffirmation) of your faith, and having (been baptized) (received baptism), and having been approved by the Church Session for active membership, I declare you entitled to all the privileges of this congregation and of the full fellowship of the Church, as well as having all the duties and responsibilities incumbent upon those who profess Christ and seek to worship God by service to Him and ministry to others.”
After commending the new members to the congregation for their Christian confidence and affection, a brief charge as to the importance of the solemn obligations assumed may be given to the new members and to the congregation and the whole concluded with a benediction.
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We would love to worship with you this Sunday. Sunday worship is the highlight of our week. Life at Woodland is built upon our enjoying and knowing the presence of God together. We warmly invite you to join us.
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