2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 3097

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3097. Local Church Membership. Each Wesleyan minister, whether ordained, commissioned or licensed, must be a member who meets the leadership qualifications (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:260–268; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:558) of a local Wesleyan church (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:310). If serving as a pastor, membership is automatically transferred to the church of service (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:578:2). If serving in some capacity other than that of a pastor, the holding and transfer of local church membership shall occur in the same manner as a lay member. A commissioned or licensed minister must be a member of a local Wesleyan church within the district where appointed or licensed. An ordained minister may be a member of a local Wesleyan church outside the district where ministerial membership is held except when regulations governing a particular appointment or office prohibit such (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:578:2; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1258; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1278). In recognition of the undesigned but inherent potential to create divided loyalties or undermine the strengths of new pastoral leadership, ministers should be discouraged from remaining in the congregation or community immediately following pastoral service in that place. If a minister leaves a pastoral assignment to accept appointment to another service category or to begin retirement and, for such reason as a prior home purchase and/or no other Wesleyan church in the community, feels it necessary to retain membership and worship in the church where pastoral leadership was just terminated, it is recommended that said former pastor shall not accept appointment to the local board of administration (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:755).