Membership, Baptism, and the Inquirers’ Class
If you are interested in joining St. Patrick we have what we call an “Inquirer’s Class.” We believe membership is important. When you become a member of a church, you make a public promise to live according to God’s Word and to help and support this local community of believers. In the Bible this is called a Covenant. If you are a believer, the Bible assumes that you are part of a local group of believers called “the Church.” Just like we make public promises in marriage (vows), we make these promises when we join a church. All important relationships that have accountability, have vows.
Joining a church is not like joining a civic or social club. While you join those clubs for connections or certain benefits, when you join a church, you join to serve! The church exists to be the provider of God’s love, care, and concern for others both inside the church and in the larger community around the church. Here at St. Patrick we take this seriously, so if you want to join you must go through the Inquirers’ Class.
Because we take membership seriously, if you would like to join you will need to attend the Inquirers’ Class. We usually have this class 2-4 times a year (you can check the calendar to see when the next class is). It is usually 3 or 4 sessions and we go over things you need to know about St. Patrick before you join. We don’t believe in hustling people into membership! We will go over the following topics:
– Who are we?
– What is the most important thing about St. Patrick Church?
– What do we believe?
– What is our vision?
– Where are you in the story?
The Inquirers’ Class is taught by our Senior Minister and various elders and is a place people not only can connect to St. Patrick, but also to other people in the church. Childcare will be provided, and as we do for most things at St. Patrick, we will feast together!
If after you complete the Inquirers’ Class and you would like to join, we will schedule an interview with two of our Elders and you will give them your story of faith in Jesus. After the interview, you will take vows publicly on a Sunday morning during Worship Service. If you are an adult and have not been baptized, the church will schedule your baptism on the day you take your vows.
Everyone that joins the church must be baptized. If you are a new believer we will discuss this with you in the membership interview.
We believe that the Bible teaches us to baptize our children. We do not believe this saves them or washes away original sin, but is the sign of faith that all members of the “household of faith” have. To learn more about this or to have your baby baptized please contact the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and one of our ministers will get in touch with you.
If your child is older and has not been baptized as an infant, St. Patrick will baptize him or her when they make their public profession of faith. Click here for more information on the joining process and Communicant’s Class for children.
Children’s Communicants’ Class
Every year, typically in February, we offer a class for those children who are ready to make a public profession of faith and become a communing member of the church. This course is designed to (a) assist parents in the training and grounding of their children in the faith, (b) to prepare them for their public profession of faith in Christ which will (c) admit them to partake of the Lord’s Supper. The class meets once a week for five weeks and is taught by a pastor or an elder. A parent attends the class with their child.
Helping Our Children Become Communing Members:
Step 1: Baptism – Parents take baptismal vows to introduce their children to Jesus Christ. If a child has not been baptized, this will be done when the child makes their profession of faith.
Step 2: Training and Teaching – In a child’s early years they are taught about faith by their parents.
Step 3: Communicant’s Course – When a youth can articulate his or her faith, they begin this course with their parents
Step 4: Parent and Child Meet with the Minister – The youth meets with and make a profession before the minister.
Step 5: Public Profession of Faith – Standing before the congregation and claiming faith in Christ by taking membership vows.
Step 6: The Lord’s Table – After a profession of faith is made, the youth may take communion.
A Final Note:
The Bible makes it clear that the primary place where spiritual training and teaching takes place is the home. The Church is to assist parents as they strive to transmit their faith in Jesus from one generation to the next. This course is written to assist parents in this wonderful process. Because a parent knows the heart of the child better than the minister, we require one parent to be present with the child during the class.