Taken from the Bylaws of Westside Baptist Church
To qualify for membership in this church, a person must profess a personal faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and have been baptized by immersion following their conversion. Each candidate must agree to submit to the teachings of the Scripture and uphold the membership commitment, doctrinal stand, and these bylaws. The elders shall be responsible for determining each person’s qualification for membership. In making this determination, they may rely on a person’s profession of faith, a letter from the person’s previous church, or such other evidence as deemed appropriate. Prospective members shall attend a membership class taught by one of the elders before membership is granted.
To be admitted into church membership, applicants shall be recommended by the elders and approved by simple majority vote of the members at any regular or special duly called meeting and shall at that point relinquish their membership in other churches.
Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into this commitment with one another as one body in Christ.
We commit, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit and with the Bible, the inspired word of God as our guide: to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge and holiness; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to submit to our church’s God-ordained leadership; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also commit to maintain family and personal devotions; to educate our children in the Christian faith; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk carefully in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our commitments, and exemplary in our behavior; to avoid all gossip, slander, and unrighteous anger; to seek God’s help in abstaining from all drugs, food, drink, and practices which bring unwarranted harm to the body or jeopardize our own or another’s faith.
We further commit to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover commit that when we remove from this place, we will, if possible, seek out and unite with a church of like faith and practice.
Membership Duties and Privileges
In agreement with the duties stated in the membership commitment, each member shall be privileged and expected to participate in and contribute to the ministry and life of the church, consistent with God’s leading and with the gifts, time, and material resources each has received from God.
Every member 18 years and older is entitled and expected to vote on all matters requiring a membership vote. A vote of the membership is required on the following issues:
- Adoption of and amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and these bylaws.
- Election and termination of elders, deacons, clerk, treasurer, and financial secretary.
- Admission, discipline, or termination of members.
- An annual budget and financial outlays in excess of $500 beyond budget.
- Buying and selling of church land and facilities.
- Hiring and termination of paid ministerial staff.