Article 1: Practice of Membership and Elections
A disciple is under the discipline of Christ, which is defined in terms of Baptism, the teaching ministry of the church, and obedience (Matthew 28:18-20). Thus, discipleship to Jesus Christ is a life-long process which requires membership in the local church and faithful participation in its public worship. Those who forsake the assembly of God’s people are apostate from the faith (Hebrews 10:25-26; 1 John 2:19) The procedures of membership outlined below are designed for the purpose of maintaining scriptural and accountable local church government (Hebrews 13:7) so that our affairs are conducted with decency and order (1 Corinthians 14:40). Our practice of membership must not be construed in such a way as to disrupt our Christian unity and fellowship with true saints who attend church elsewhere (Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4).
Membership in the community of our church will normally be reckoned by household. A household will be entered into membership when the head of that household meets the following criteria.
- He professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
- He does not contradict his profession through his manner of life (Matthew 7:22-23).
- He voluntarily takes a covenantal oath binding himself to the local body of believers (Romans 12:5). *This provision may be modified by the elders in the case of one whose conscience forbids him from the taking of an oath.
- He is able to faithfully attend the regular worship (Ephesians 1:1)
Covenant children are received on the basis of the faith of one or both parents (1 Corinthians 7:14).
Members of other Christian churches are to be received by a letter of recommendation and formalized by a covenant of membership.
Those members of CCC who vote in church elections will be called electors. Electors of CCC are those who are heads of member households. Unmarried members who live independent of the household of their parents may be considered a household for purposes of voting. Electors may vote in the elections of elders and deacons. A man may not be placed on the ballot without the unanimous consent of the elders. All elections are to be announced at least two weeks prior to the election, and a ballot shall be provided to all qualified electors. As representatives of their families, household heads should counsel with other adult members of the family before voting on matters that require deliberation. Matters of stated doctrine and practice do not require deliberation before rendering a decision.