Whenever someone commits to membership at Feltham Evangelical Church they have to take vows. These vows are taken in front of the congregation and most importantly before God. These are the vows:
- Are you a Christian?
- Have you been born again by the Holy Spirit of God?
- Have you believed in the LORD Jesus Christ as your own Saviour who gave Himself on the cross to take away your sins?
- Do you commit yourself to living, with the Lord’s help, a God honouring life being obedient to the commands of God?
- Do you commit yourself to supporting the leadership, members and activities of Feltham Evangelical Church?
I want to suggest two particular benefits for using membership vows:
- Seriousness The fact of taking vows indicates immediately that this is not just a matter of joining a social club. There are certain commitments that you are taking when you become a member and you need to be aware of these. Thereby, it gives a certain gravitas to being a member of a church. It is not a trivial matter to formally ally yourself with a group of God’s people.
- Accountability Vows taken mean that the person taking these vows has a responsibility to fulfil the commitment made. Accountability implicitly, is generated from such an action. By taking the vows you are showing that there is a standard that you will seek to adhere to. Vows are always serious and should never be entered into casually. The person who has taken the vows knows what is expected of them. Furthermore, the rest of the church know what the individual, with the help of the LORD, has committed themselves to. In view of this we are all there, in the church, seeking to help each other to fulfill what we have committed to. And finally if there is not that desire and the vows are denied in the life and / or confession of the church member then the meaning of membership is compromised. In such a situation there must be the consideration of the person withdrawing from membership or being withdrawn from membership.
It accordingly, seems a reasonable and eminently helpful thing to have vows.