Membership and Attendance
What you can expect the first time that you attend one of our services
A Wesleyan Methodist Church service does not have a dress code except for the clergy and choir.
Bring a Bible with you to a Wesleyan Methodist Church service. Most Wesleyan Methodist Churches do not have Bibles available for all parishioners. A Bible will help you keep up during the sermon.
Be prepared to stand for awhile and to sing. Praise and worship at some Wesleyan Methodist Church can last as long as an hour depending on the church and if it is a special service, such as Christ's Resurrection (Easter) Sunday. During this time, you will be standing. Feel free to join in with other parishioners in clapping and singing. The music at an Wesleyan Methodist Church service may be more upbeat than what you're used to hearing at your church.
Giving an Offering
Bring some extra money for the collection basket. Since you're not a member of the church, you won't be required to give a specific amount in an envelope. While you don't have to give money to the church, it's polite to do so when you're attending a different church.
Prepare to listen to some Preaching
Be ready to sit for a longer sermon than you're probably used to hearing at your church. A Wesleyan Methodist Church minister may preach for anywhere between 40 and 60 minutes depending on the preacher. Chances are that if you've never been to an Wesleyan Methodist Church service, you may find this hard to follow. This is why it's especially important to bring a Bible. Many parishioners like to take notes during the sermon and some even do so directly in their Bibles.
How to receive Communion
If there is communion during the Wesleyan Methodist Church service, feel free to partake in it. The Independent Methodist Church does not share the beliefs regarding communion of the Catholic or Orthodox church. Therefore, all parishioners are welcome. Most Protestant churches will simply pass out the bread and wine/grape juice through the pews, however the Wesleyan Methodist Church differs and believes that the sacraments can only be distributed by the main ordained minister conducting the service.
How to receive the Ministry of Prayer, Salvation, Healing
At some time during the service, Wesleyan Methodist Churches may invite parishioners to walk to the altar for prayer. They may also offer to anoint you with oil. If you feel comfortable, join in line with other parishioners and make your way to the altar. If not, then just stay seated.
Like any other organization, there are certain requirements necessary for membership of a church. If there were no requirements, it would be a ‘free for all’ situation.
Members Need To Be ‘BORN AGAIN’
Ideally, the conditions for membership in the local church are the same as for membership of the universal Church. To be a member the individual has to know Christ as their personal Savior and seek to live in a way that reflects that.
Membership in the Bible is referred to as receiving the ‘right hand of fellowship’ in Galatians 2:9. The grace of God in an individual’s life should be clearly seen just as the grace of God was seen in the lives of Barnabus and Paul and formally acknowledged by the apostles at Jerusalem (Gal. 2:8,9).
In the local church this acknowledgement and reception into membership will be made by one of the ordained ministers during one of the services.
Those who do not accept the right hand of fellowship are welcome to continue attending Church services. Such persons, if they attend regularly, are considered adherents. However, they do not hold membership and are not eligible to hold office.
Minimum Age For Membership
The saving grace of God can be experienced in the lives of the very young, and there are many testimonies to the reality of this. However, the age at which such persons are admitted to the full membership and ordinances of the Church has been set at fourteen years. Fourteen is an age of developing adolescence and increasing awareness. It is an age when faith can be understood, believed and practiced as the individual fits into the life of the local church. Before this age, if the parents of the child are full members of the church, well then that child is considered fully part of the parents full membership.
Members and The Doctrines contained in Holy Scripture Members and The Doctrines contained in Holy Scripture, translated into English as contained in the King James Bible otherwise known as the Authorized Version. This is a very important issue as there are many “Bible Translations or Paraphrased Editions of the Bible” these days. It is our Church’s standard, that although many other translations, paraphrased editions and commentaries of the Bible can and should be compared, the primary translation that we use in the courts of the Church is the KJV. We therefore see it as obligatory that Church members uphold this standard also.
Members And The Doctrines of The Church
Membership involves commitment to the truths believed and practiced by the Church. Unity in the Church is not only to be a "unity of the Spirit" but a "unity of the faith". Commitment to membership involves an acceptance of the Doctrines of The Church, as being a brief but clear statement of the New Testament.
Membership And The Sacraments
Members are expected to observe the two ordinances instituted by the Lord Jesus.
Water Baptism by full immersion– either that they are baptized or are seeking to be baptized and Communion.
Members should regularly attend church services whenever possible. Attendance is beneficial for the individual and everyone else.
If you have children bring them along, let them get into the healthy habit of coming to church, even if it is in the crèche. It is still a wholesome environment.
Members And The Church Leaders
Leadership is vital in every realm; domestic, civil and political. Leadership in the local church comprises of the ordained clergy. Their work is to "superintend" or "to preside over", to give "leadership" in the local church. Unlike government in the world, leadership in the church is to be expressed in service. As a father will in love minister to his family, so the ordained clergy are to serve and minister in the church. They are to "take care of the church of God".
Members, Marriage And Divorce
This Independent Methodist Church stands unequivocally for the sanctity of marriage. Marriage has been instituted by God and is a union of a man and woman that is intended for life. Marriage is not a mere social contract of temporary convenience, but a permanent union as long as both partners live.
We hold that according to the teaching of Christ that only the act of adultery gives ground for the dissolution of the marriage bond (Matt.19: 9), the innocent party having the freedom after such divorce to contract another marriage, provided that the intended partner is lawfully and biblically free to marry.
Christ teaches this in the context of Matthew 19:9 by introducing an "exceptive" clause. This clause teaches us that apart from the grounds of sexual immorality marriage is indissoluble, for divorce is contrary to God’s original purpose respecting marriage. However, the "exceptive" clause also teaches us that whereas divorce is normally not admissible, it gives ground for the wronged party to terminate the marriage contract and to marry another without incurring guilt. Nevertheless we advise all parties to take the higher pathway of forgiveness and reconciliation.
We hold too, that persons involved in divorce and remarriage before conversion are not to be excluded from membership. This is because we understand the Scriptures to teach that conversion effects a radical change in the life and standing of a believing man or woman and constitutes them "new" before God. Such believing persons applying for membership are to be taught God’s perspective on marriage and its sanctity, and exhorted to abide faithful in existing marriage bonds.
If there are any questions in relation to the issue of divorce, we encourage individuals to speak privately with a member of the pastoral team, where your enquiry will be dealt with sensitively. Click Here and please read our page on Unforgiveness.
Members And Discipline
Disorders and difficulties may arise within the local church. Personal differences and offences must be corrected, and reconciliation effected in the manner described by Christ in Matthew 18:15-18. Members should realize the obligation that they have in maintaining right relations with fellow-believers.
Discipline must be exercised where there are:
1. Those who cause divisions and offences (Rom.16:17,18).
2. Those who give themselves to heresy (1 Tim. 1:19,20; Titus 3:10).
3. Those who indulge in sinful practices (1 Cor. 5:1-13; 1 Tim.5: 20).
4. Those who walk disorderly (2 Thess. 3:6).
Members And Finance
Members should not overstretch themselves in financial commitments, leading to overwhelming debt. It is a bad reflection on themselves and the church. Where the member is found to be at fault in the matter, he or she may not be allowed to continue in office and membership.
Members And Business
Anyone owning or actively participating in the running of a business or Company selling illegal material, illicit drugs, or pornographic or horrific material, or involved in usury or has exhibited a business ethic of “sharp practice” will not be accepted into membership or allowed to remain in membership. We consider that such activities are not compatible with Christian standards.
Members And Secret Societies
The conduct of secret societies, whose oaths and commitments are contrary to the principles laid down in Scripture, is totally unacceptable with this openness of the Christian message. Consequently no person will be allowed membership of the Church while at the same time holding membership of a secret society such as the Freemasons.
Members And Personal Standards
Members of both sexes should dress modestly, avoid the wearing of unseemly clothing and also refrain from smoking, abuse of intoxicants and using harmful drugs. These practices are not consistent with a sound Christian testimony and reflect adversely on the Fellowship. It is also a Scriptural principle that Christians should not be engaged in any activity, which would cause others to negatively influenced by them.
1. Never come to the House of God without praying before coming.
In other words: Prepare yourself to worship God. Don’t expect to wander in and be blessed. People get ready physically to come to church. Get ready spiritually also.
2. Be in your seat at the commencement of the service. You will thus be a good example to those who are late and neglectful.
In other words: Be on time. Being late disturbs everyone else.
3. Bring your children with you to the House of God. Relatives and servants also have souls. It is your duty and privilege to take care of them.
In other words: Your whole family needs church, not just you.
4. Make your Pastor your personal friend. His sympathy, support and counsel are needed by you. Constantly pray for him.
In other words: Your Pastor’s human, he needs support and fellowship.
5. Make the Church your spiritual home.
In other words: Home is a place where we feel comfortable and safe. It is where we spend as much time as we can. Church should be the same.
6. When conversing at home, never speak criticism or disrespectfully of God’s servants or their ministrations, in the presence of your children. If you sow to the wind, you may expect to reap the whirlwind.
In other words: You can either pray for the Pastor or criticize him; you can’t do both. Criticism is like ‘playing with fire’.
7. Take your Bible with you to the House of God.
In other words: Expect to be taught, take the manual.
8. Enter reverently; pray fervently; listen attentively; give praise from a grateful heart and worship God in the beauty of holiness.
In other words: Show respect and honor God!
9. A personal Testimony of your Salvation in Christ.
In other words: You need to be a born again Christian, and know Jesus as your Savior and Lord
10. Your acknowledgement of and obedience to the Order and Officers of the Church; Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors or Teachers.
In other words: Respect those in leadership. It should be easy to respect them. If not, tell them in the right attitude and in the right place.
11. Your presence in the Meetings of the Church and abidance in full Communion; that is, not to absent yourself more than three times from Communion without sufficient reason given for your absence.
In other words: Be committed to the church; ‘luke warm’ commitment is no good to God or to the Church.
12. Your conformity with the fundamental Doctrines of the Church, as well as with the two Ordinances, namely Baptism by Immersion and the Lord’s Supper.
In other words: Follow the teachings of the church.
13. That you contribute towards the support of the Cause, as taught unto us in the Word of God.
In other words: Be willing to play your part, be a partaker and not a spectator.
14. That you keep the counsels of the Church within the Church.
In other words: Don’t blabber church business wherever you go. Gossip never did any good.
15. That you pray for and help every member, remembering that we are joint members in the Body of Christ.
In other words: Live out your Christianity, practice what we preach.
16. "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
In other words: We don’t need people who cause division, but work for unity. Dividers cause trouble; "people who unite" bring peace.