HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER AT NEW LIFE DEAF FELLOWSHIP…
WHY BECOME A MEMBER
The New Testament presents a picture of definable groups of people who, once committed to the Lord, identified themselves with and committed themselves to a particular local body (Romans 16:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 8:1; Philippians 1:1; Acts 11:26).
In order to implement the principles of accountability and commitment to the local body of Christ, as defined in the New Testament and practiced in the early church, NLDF recognizes the need for formal membership.
WHO CAN BECOME A MEMBER
NLDF membership shall be open to anyone who has personally accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, who has received baptism as a believer, and who desires to be committed to NLDF as a body of believers (Acts 2:38; Acts 2:41; Matthew 28:19-20).
PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND COMMITMENT
Membership in the body of Christ requires submission to Christ – a desire to bring one’s life under His Lordship. It therefore involves obedience to the Scriptural principles of commitment and accountability to the body of Christ, as summarized below:
Regular fellowship with other believers is vital to one’s own Christian walk. Therefore believers should be willing to adjust their schedules to give priority to meeting with the body when it corporately assembles. Further, because Christ expended Himself on our behalf, we should be willing to give of our time to build His Kingdom and pursue those things of eternal significance (Hebrews 10:24-25; Matthew 6:33; Philippians 2:5-7; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Romans 14:7-8).
TALENTS AND GIFTS
We recognize that the body of Christ is composed of independent members, each uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of upbuilding the body. Therefore each believer should seek to identify, develop and utilize his spiritual gifts and abilities and seek a place of service within the body, with the support and affirmation of the body (Romans 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 14; Ephesians 4:11-13; Matthew 25:14ff).
Realizing we have been bought with the price of Christ’s blood, everything we are and have belongs to Him, and His Kingdom should become the true treasure we pursue.
We recognize the tithe (10%) as the Biblical standard of giving, for the support of the body. But, moreover, in response to Christ’s abundant giving, we should increasingly seek to submit our personal resources to His Lordship, displaying a spirit of generosity and cheerfulness, knowing that as we give our lives will be “enriched in everything for all liberality” (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 6:38; Philippians 3:7-8; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 13:44; 1 Peter 1:1,7-19; Hebrews 9:11-14; Matthew 23:23; Ephesians 1:7; Malachi 3:8-10; 2 Corinthians 8; 2 Corinthians 9; Proverbs 3:9-10; Luke 21:1-4; 2 Corinthians 9:11).
As members of the body, we should continually seek to develop a spirit of mutual love, concern, encouragement, and the bearing of one another’s burdens. We are to be concerned with each other’s spiritual well being, stimulating each other to a deeper walk and commitment to Christ.
Realizing that sin obstructs one’s walk with the Lord and impedes fellowship, we are commanded to confront brothers and sisters in love and according to the biblical principles when there is evidence of sin, thus preserving the integrity of the body, the spirit of peace and the bond of unity (Philippians 2:1-3; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Psalm 133; Romans 12:10; Galatians 6:2; 1 Peter 3:8-9; Hebrews 3:13; Acts 2:42ff; Acts 4:32-34; 1 John 1:7; Galatians 6:1; Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:29-32).
Note: The above scriptural principles of commitment to the Lord and to the body in no way represents the pathway to salvation. Salvation is wholly a work of God’s free grace, not the result in whole or part of any human works or goodness. However, the inevitable accompaniment of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is the desire to grow in obedience and godliness, brought about the Holy Spirit’s working in one’s life (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:5).
PROCESS FOR BECOMING A MEMBER
It is the desire of NLDF to freely extend its fellowship to all individuals. At the same time, NLDF desires to uphold the principles of commitment to Christ and to the body that Scripture teaches must accompany true membership in the body of Christ.
All individuals who have personally received Christ as their Savior and Lord, who have received baptism as a believer, and who desire to be committed to NLDF as a local body of believers may become members of NLDF through the following procedure:
A. Completion of up to one year of regular attendance and consistent participation in the life of NLDF
B. Attendance at Membership Classes
Periodical membership classes will be offered to provide teaching on:
1. The NLDF Statement of Faith
2. The Scriptural Principles of Commitment to the Body of Christ
3. NLDF Principles of Government
C. Personal Interview
Following attendance in membership classes, the individuals desiring membership should meet with the pastor/elder or an appointed leader to verbalize their personal testimony, and to determine the integrity of their faith and their desire to be committed to NLDF as a local body of believers.
D. Signed Statement of Commitment (Membership Commitment)
A signed Statement of Commitment shall be used as an instrument to affirm one’s desire for membership, and to serve as a formal record of one’s membership. (For a copy of this Statement of Commitment/Membership Commitment contact the church office).
E. At NLDF we never ask our members to do more than the Bible clearly teaches. We encourage members to do what the Bible expects every born-again believer to do. These responsibilities are explained in the Statement of Commitment (Membership Commitment).
A. Public Affirmation of New Members before the Congregation
“And all those who have believed were together, and had all things in common…day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.” Acts 2:44-46