2016 Wesleyan Discipline: Article 6. Membership
From Wesleyan Discipline
Article 6. Membership
295. The privileges and conditions of membership in the Church are constitutional, and changes therein may be made only by constitutional enactment. The General Conference may at its own discretion establish categories of membership. Nothing shall be included in the membership ritual that is contrary to the following definitions, conditions, and privileges of membership. 297. The conditions of membership are:
- (1) Confession of faith in Jesus Christ as evidenced by an inner witness of new birth through the Holy Spirit and a commitment to pursue holiness in all things.
- (2) Christian baptism.
- (3) Instruction in, acceptance of, and a commitment to abide by the Articles of Religion which are summarized in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:299, the Elementary Principles, and the authority of The Wesleyan Church in matters of church government.
- (4) A commitment to live out the mission and vision of The Wesleyan Church through a discipling relationship within the local church.
299. Candidates for membership shall declare their agreement with the following summary of the Articles of Religion:
- We believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- We believe that Jesus Christ the Son suffered in our place on the cross, that He died but rose again, that He now sits at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge every person at the last day.
- We believe in the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God.
- We believe that by the grace of God every person has the ability and responsibility to choose between right and wrong, and that those who repent of their sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified by faith.
- We believe that God not only counts the believer as righteous, but that He makes such persons righteous, freeing them from sin’s dominion at conversion, purifying their hearts by faith, perfecting them in love at entire sanctification, and providing for their growth in grace at every stage of spiritual life, enabling them through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to live victorious lives.
302. The rights of membership are:
- (1) The fellowship of the saints and the encouragement, admonition, and spiritual guidance of the ministry.
- (2) The access to the sacraments and ordinances of the Church.
- (3) The right to participate in any vote being taken by the local church conference.
- (4) The eligibility to hold leadership positions (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:552:2-3), providing the qualifications are met (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:260-268; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:558) and if not under discipline.
- (5) The right to hearing and appeal if charged with failure to maintain the conditions of membership, with the specific provision that joining another religious body shall of itself sever membership in the Church.
- (6) A member in good standing in any Wesleyan church is entitled to membership privileges in any Wesleyan church to which a transfer of membership may be desired, subject to 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:567.
305. Church membership may be terminated only by one or more of the following (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:585):
- (1) Voluntary withdrawal.
- (2) Joining another religious body or a secret order.
- (3) Expulsion after proper hearing and conviction.
- (4) Persistent neglect of church relationship as defined by The Discipline.
- (5) Death.