Some form of “membership” in a local congregation is clearly assumed throughout the New Testament, although no specifics are given as to its formalities, e.g., Mat. 18:15-17; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Cor. 5:12; Col. 4:5; 1 Thes. 5:12; Heb. 10:24; 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2-3.
In the Presbyterian Church in America, we understand church membership to be a solemn covenant into which Christians enter with God and His Church by means of membership vows (PCA Book of Church Order 57-5).
All who are considering membership in CRPC are invited to participate in an Inquirers’ Class which uses these vows to explore the duties and privileges of church membership.
Members are received upon their examination by the Session (i.e., congregational board of Elders), on the basis of either:
- Their initial profession of faith in Christ and baptism (if they are unbaptized);
- A letter of dismissal from another evangelical church; or
- A re-affirmation of their faith if they have been inactive, etc.