Becoming a Member

Unlike some denominations, Baptist churches throughout the world do not work on a parish basis, but have a membership system which means that people make a decision to join and formally become a member of their local church.

To become a full member of Hill Cliffe Baptist Church, the applicant must be a Christian who has been baptised as a believer by immersion (see leaflet on believer’s baptism) They are entitled to attend and vote at any constitutional church meeting on all matters.

To become an associate member, the applicant must be a Christian who has been baptised by any Christian rite of baptism (e.g. “christened”). They are entitled with most full member’s rights, but may not vote on matters relating to the Trust Deeds of the church – e.g. calling of a pastor, closing the church, altering the trust deeds themselves.

To apply for either forms of membership, please ask the pastoral deacon or the pastor and your request will be taken to the deacons, who will then appoint two visitors to meet with you to get to know you and hear your story, as well as introduce themselves and the church to you.

They will then take a brief account of that meeting to the church members’ meeting to inform them (without breaking any confidentialities) of their recommendation on the matter.

If the meeting is agreeable, they then formally accept the applicant into membership with thanks and prayer for them.

The applicant is then welcomed publicly into membership at the next mutually convenient Communion service on a Sunday.

Becoming and Staying a Christian

The call of Jesus, to “follow me”, is one which must be considered by every person. To become a Christian is simply to ask God to be the most important person in your life from now to eternity. This means we have to think seriously about several things:

• Am I willing to ask God’s full forgiveness for all that is wrong in my life, and to be serious enough about it actually to live a life which chooses right instead of wrong?
• Am I willing to ask Jesus Christ to be not only the one who saves me from all the consequences of sin through his death on the cross, but also the one who guides and empowers my life in ways that please God and are best for me?
• Am I willing to ask God to fill me with his Holy Spirit and bring me, as a child of his, into his family, the church, where I can worship, grow, and serve?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then a simple prayer is the start of a new and eternal life. Words like these may express what you want to say:

“Lord God, I am sorry for the sin and wrong and selfishness in my life. Please forgive it all and help me to start again a different way – your way.
From now on, keep me close to you, guide me in the way I should go and help me when I am weak.
Give me your gift of eternal life, the life-changing power of your Holy Spirit and the ability and desire to read and live out your word, the Bible.
I am your child now; join me with your family that I will grow up and not be alone.
I promise to love and serve you all my days; you promise to love and keep me from now on.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour. Amen.”

As any newborn baby, a new Christian needs nurture, love and challenge.
A church is always the best place to find these. Denomination is far less important than integrity. Find a place where you are befriended, encouraged and stimulated to think through what you believe. At Hill Cliffe, we seek to stimulate and nurture faith.

Get into the Bible. Read a chapter or part of one, every day. Start with gospel (Matthew, Mark, etc.) Read through the Psalms (Old Testament) and letters of Paul (New Testament). Pray and think through what you read.

Tell someone (family, workmate, neighbour) about what’s happened to you. They will be interested, so don’t be shy! They may even want to do what you did!

Learn to pray through the events of each day. Turn the day over to God in the morning; ask God what he thought about everything in the evening. He always hears when we talk to him.

If you’ve never been baptised, remember Jesus’ command and example and do something about it! Read the welcome pack leaflet about baptism.

More information from the pastor and leadership team. Check out the ReJesus website.