Membership & Discipline

Membership & Discipline


ARTICLE V*

 
Section 1. Purpose of the Fellowship
The congregation of Christian believers who have applied for membership and have been duly accepted shall constitute a spiritual body, united for the spiritual purposes set forth in Article II of these Bylaws.
 
Section 2. Active Membership
Active membership in Grace Family Bible Church shall be open to all persons who confess Christ as their Lord and Savior and who have been baptized.
 
Section 3. Voting Privileges
Membership in this church shall not vest in any member any proprietary rights in the corporation, but shall only entitle the member to vote at a meeting of the members on those matters that the Advisory Committee or Board of Elders chooses to submit to the church membership for affirmation. In such cases, voting privileges are restricted to members who are in good standing, who are not under any disciplinary action, and who have passed their sixteenth (16) birthdays. Membership shall not be assignable inter vivo by any member nor shall membership vest to any personal representative, heir, or devisee.
 
Section 4. Applications for Membership
All requests for membership shall be made to a Pastor, Elder, or Deacon. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given an application for membership, and an abbreviated Statement of Faith to sign. A copy of the church Bylaws will be made available for review in the sanctuary.  A Pastor, Elder, or Deacon shall meet with the applicant following receipt of the application. Each applicant shall assent to the Statement of Faith and subscribe to the Bylaws. Any questions about, or disagreements with, the Statement of Faith or Bylaws must be indicated on the membership application. A duly appointed Committee of the Board will evaluate these questions or disagreements to determine whether the request for membership will be approved.
 
Section 5. Denial of Membership
If, upon review of an application for membership or after meeting with a prospective member, the Board of Elders determines that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, or that there is a lack of evidence of a godly lifestyle, membership shall be denied. The decision made by the Board shall be final and there shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.
 
Section 6. Admission of Applicants
Applicants admitted to membership shall, if possible, present themselves at a worship service designated by the Pastor-Teacher and Advisory Committee or Board of Elders, at which service such applicants shall publicly affirm their membership commitment and be publicly acknowledged as members.
 
Section 7. Responsibilities of Members
 Members shall seek to exercise their spiritual gifts for the mutual benefit of all the church body and shall submit to the loving rule of the Elders and sign the church covenant.
 
Section 8. Church Discipline
(a) The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin (1 Timothy 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1).

(b) Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who err in doctrine, or who engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the Advisory Committee or Board of Elders, shall be subject to church discipline, including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18. Before such dismissal, however, (1) it shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring individual’s heresy or misconduct to warn and correct such erring individual in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. If the erring individual does not heed this warning, then (2) the warning member shall again go to the erring individual, seeking his or her repentance, but accompanied by one or two other members who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur, and/or that the erring individual has been appropriately confronted and has refused to repent. The first and second warnings may occur with no specified time interval. If the erring individual still refuses to heed this warning, then (3) it shall be brought to the attention of the Advisory Committee or Board of Elders (or a duly appointed Committee of the Board, per Article VI, Section 17 of these Bylaws, at the sole  discretion of the Board). If the Advisory Committee or Board of Elders (or a duly appointed Committee of the Board, per Article VI, Section 17 of these Bylaws, at the sole discretion of the Board) determines—after thorough investigation in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19—that there is corroborating evidence that the erring individual has sinned or is continuing to sin, that he or she has been appropriately confronted, and that he or she has refused to repent, then the Advisory Committee members or the Elders shall inform the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance. If the erring individual demonstrates repentance, then notice to that effect may be given at a regularly scheduled worship service. If, however, the erring individual does not repent in response to the church in its collective call to repentance, then (4) he or she shall be publicly dismissed from the fellowship and/or membership of the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service. If the erring individual, after such dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Advisory Committee or Board of Elders (or a duly appointed Committee of the Advisory Committee or Board, per Article VI, Section 17 of these Bylaws, at the sole discretion of the Advisory Committee or Board), then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership. 

(c) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Advisory Committee members or the elders in the exercise of their discretion may proceed directly to the third stage of church discipline, (i.e. the informing of the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance) or to the fourth stage of church discipline, (i.e. the dismissal from the fellowship and/or membership of the church) when one or more of the following have occurred:

     (i) Where the transgression and the refusal to repent have been public, i.e. openly and to the offense of the whole Church (1 Cor. 5:1-5)1;
     (ii) Where the disciplined party has taught or otherwise disseminated doctrine deemed false or erroneous by the Advisory Committee members or elders, then chosen to disregard the direction and reproof of the Advisory Committee members or elders (Romans 16:17); or
     (iii) Where the disciplined party has been warned twice to cease from factious and divisive conduct and has chosen to disregard that warning (Titus 3:10-11).

(d) The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third or fourth stages of church discipline. Members, who are under discipline by the church, as defined in the previous paragraphs, forfeit and waive the right to resign from this church. Resignations from membership are possible only by members who are in good standing and who are not under any disciplinary action.

(e) Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the Advisory Committee members or elders (or a duly constituted subcommittee thereof), a member, non-member regular attendee, or other individual may be notified that he or she is not to be present upon church premises for such a period of time as is deemed necessary for the safety and well-being of others on church premises. Such required absence may, but need not, be concurrent with church discipline of that person.

(f) Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the Advisory Committee members or elders (or a duly constituted subcommittee thereof), the names of any members who have not attended a worship service, Sunday School class session or Fellowship Group meeting at Grace Family Bible Church for a period of six months or longer may be removed from the membership rolls.

(*Quoted Directly From Actual Bylaws of Grace Family Bible Church of Heber and Midway, Utah)