IBCH is, as the name suggests, both a Baptist and an International church.
The international tradition brings flair, creativity and diversity! The
founders of our church adopted the Baptist system of church practice even
though they came from different church backgrounds. They saw the Baptist
tradition being founded upon a deep love and respect for God's Word. Our
membership system aims to hold both of these traditions in balance.
How do I become a member? Membership is open to all people who
have acknowledged Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior.
The standard for membership of IBCH is therefore nothing more
than the standard for membership of the kingdom of God—confessing
Jesus Christ as Lord. All prospective members need to ensure that they
have walked the 'Roman Road' outlined in Romans 3:23; 6:23
and 10:9. There is therefore no standard of 'spiritually maturity'
a person needs to have reached before becoming a member of IBCH. The
standard for membership is nothing more and nothing less than the standard
We use the term 'full members' for those who have become members
through either of the following routes: The first route into full membership
is being baptized in IBCH. One of the central practices of Baptist's
is 'believers baptism.'
Since baptism for us follows conversion
a person becomes a full member when they are baptized in water as a
declaration of their salvation. The second route into full membership
is through salvation and believers baptism in another church. Where
it helps to see a baptismal certificate and/or a letter of recommendation
from your previous church. However, this is not a requirement and we
accept you into membership by statement. This means that you enter membership
upon stating that you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior
been baptized in water by immersion.
Associate membership is available to those who have accepted
Jesus Christ as their personal Savior but have not been baptized in water
after their conversion.We ask those who enter membership via this route
to be open to the Lord about the
issue of baptism. That said, Scripture does not teach that baptism is
the standard by which a person enters the kingdom and neither do we wish
to make it the standard for church membership either.
Members are both the final and the highest decision making body in the
church. They oversee acceptance of new members, approve church finances,
staff recruitment, leadership selection etc. Membership is important!
between full & associate members
There is very little practical difference between associate and full
membership. An associate member can serve in the church except for
the church board, trustees and as ministry team leaders. They have
all the voting privileges of full members but can not vote on the appointment
of all salaried staff or on doctrinal issues. We make these distinctions
in order to ensure that the teaching and practice of the church, especially
with regards to believers baptism, is protected.
Anyone considering membership should know that we speak more of 'membership'
in the general sense of the term than we do of 'full' and
We sense God building a community that gives Him glory by showing that
in Christ it is possible for different people, from different places,
with different talents to live and minister together.
We trust this information has proved helpful in explaining membership
to you and ask that you carefully and prayerfully make your final decision
for membership known to either the Senior or Associate Pastor.