"The Bible is the record of God's self -revelation, supremely in Jesus Christ, and is a means through which he still reveals himself, by the Holy Spirit" (taken from the Methodist Catechism). As members of the Methodist Church we should all be familiar with the Bible and immerse ourselves in it, it is not enough to hear just a few verses read to us on a Sunday morning. The Psalmist David describes God's word as "a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:115). By studying the Bible as part of a group on a regular basis enables us to grow and mature as followers of Jesus Christ and ensures that we become an integral and useful part of the Christian community.
We aim to make Home Groups available in each of our churches, comprised of people from many backgrounds, some with little or no knowledge of the Bible and some with many years -all can learn from each other. Typically, we meet in a home once a week and will focus on a particular section of the Bible, we also deepen our relationships with each other, worship God and pray for each other. Most of our churches have a person nominated to look after the Home Groups, check the notice board or the printed weekly notices to see who this person is and talk to them, alternatively talk to your Minister.
Membership continues to be an important part of our commitment to each other and to Christ and a response that we make to Christ's saving grace which He freely gives us. Much of the biblical inspiration for this concept comes specifically from Ephesians 4:14-16, Hebrews 13:17, Colossians 1:15-29 and 1 Tim. 5:17. As members of the Methodist Church we commit ourselves to "look over one another in love that we may help each other to work out our Salvation", we do this in both a physical and spiritual sense.
Receiving new members into our fellowship, celebrating the transfer of members coming from other churches and recommissioning our Pastoral team are all important occasions for us.
Church membership is not about "additional requirements." It's about a church taking specific responsibility for a Christian, and a Christian for a church. It's about "putting on," "embodying," "living out," and "making a commitment to grow as a Christian" in our membership in Christ's universal body, represented by the local church. In some ways, the union which constitutes a local church and its members is like the "I do" of a marriage ceremony, which is why some refer to church membership as a "covenant."