Visit Dominion on FaceBook
 

Is membership biblical? Why should I join? What are the five purposes? Do I have to become a member? What if I disagree with something? What do you believe about women in leadership? What’s in it for me? What’s in it for the church?

The questions might seem endless concerning this concept of membership at The Father's House, here are a few that have been asked:

1. What is expected of members?
2. When should I become a Covenant Member?
3. I was baptized as an infant. Why do I have to be baptized again?
4. I’m still growing… am I ready to be a member?
5. Why would I give 10% of my income to the church?
6. What’s in it for me?
7. Where does the Bible speak of being a member in a local church?
8. What if I disagree with The Father’s House view of women in leadership?
9. What is your statement of faith? What if I disagree?
10. What if I disagree with a leadership decision in the church?

1. What is expected of members?

Our members make explicit their commitment to Jesus Christ and to this local church. We evaluate this through the Five Purposes which are the essential “marks” of someone who is committed to following Jesus Christ. It is the commitment to this lifelong process that is solidified in membership, not a standard of perfection. To our members, the expression of these purposes has become their way of life… in keeping with the teaching of the scriptures.

The 5 purposes of the church:

CONNECT

The Membership Covenant is a commitment to Christ and the Dominion Christian Church family (our church).

“You are members of God’s very own family...and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” Eph. 2:19 (LB)

“We are all parts of Christ’s Body, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other and need all the others.” Rom. 12:4-5 (LB)

GROW

The maturity of every believer is a commitment to the habits and actions necessary for spiritual growth.

“Continue to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

SERVE

“Take the time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” 1 Tim. 4:7 (Ph)

Being a servant at Dominion is a commitment to discovering and using my God-given gifts and abilities in serving God and others.

God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other...” 1 Pet. 4:10 (LB)

“There are different kinds of service to God...together you form the Body of Christ and each one of you is a necessary part of it.” 1 Cor. 12:5,27 (LB)

SHARE

Being a sharing Christian is the commitment to share the Good News with others you come in contact with.

“...you will be my witnesses for me...to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (GN)

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do it with gentleness and respect...” 1 Peter 3:15

WORSHIP

Worship is expressing your love to God.

"Worship the Lord, your God, and serve Him only." Matthew 4:10

"The Father seeks worshipers and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth."

So, loving God with all your heart demonstrates your worship.

2. When should I become Covenant Member?

There is no standard answer for this question. It’s up to your personal development. When you have built a relationship with Jesus Christ and are expressing your commitment to Him and to this local body, then you may be ready to be recognized as a covenant member here. You would want to be involved in the church either through our Bible study group or a serving team.

3. I was baptized as an infant. Why do I have to be baptized again?

While recognizing the right for other churches to practice infant baptism, if it conforms to their theologies, the family at Dominion Christian Center understands the Scripture to teach only professing believers qualify for baptism.

In passages such as Acts 2:41, 8:12 and 10:47-48, it is evident that baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation. The New Testament records the baptism of adult believers only. Baptism was never intended to provide salvation for an individual, but rather to publicly identify a person with Christ.

Baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Christ, fulfilled by individuals who have subjected themselves to His sovereignty.

It symbolizes the spiritual cleansing through divine forgiveness and newness of life experienced by believers by virtue of their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.

4. I’m still growing… am I ready to be a member?

Join the humanity of Kingdom-life. As members, imperfect people who are committed to life in the new community join together in a local body and make that journey together. Spiritual formation is a life-long, whole-life process. We are all still growing.

Covenant members have entered into their own journey of spiritual formation. They have fixed their eyes on Jesus, the “author and perfector” of their faith.

Though they are not where they want to be, they’re not where they used to be—and they’re assuredly headed where they’re meant to be.

5. Why would I give 10% of my income to the church?

The Old Testament provides the backdrop for Dominion’s understanding of giving—instructing God’s people to give the first 10% of their income back to Him. (Genesis 14:18-20; Leviticus 27:30, 32; Malachi 3:8-10).  The New Testament understanding was even more communal… when discussed, it appears believers had everything in common, and gave resources to the local church as it had need. We hold to the goal of a tithe: giving a tenth of our income back to the ministry of the local church.

We see the tithe as an outward expression of their gratitude to God and acknowledgement of their role as stewards of everything they’ve been given, including financial resources.

6. What’s in it for me?

The primary reason to become a covenant member is not to gain a personal advantage, but to identify with the characteristics of biblical maturity and commitment to the mission and future of this local church. Covenant Members are our vision owners or “stakeholders.”

7. Where does the Bible speak of being a member in a local church?

The Bible actually infers two kinds of members. At the instant of our conversion, we become “positional members” in the universal church of Jesus Christ, based solely on His merit and grace. If you are a Christ-follower, then you are already this kind of member. This is eternal and unchanging (I Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:13-22; 4:3-6; Colossians 1:13-22).

However, the Bible also assumes those “positional members” become deeply involved in the participation of a local assembly (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians. 12:25-31; 14:12, 26; Hebrews 10:24-25; I Tim. 3:14-15).

Hence we become “Covenant Members” of Dominion Christian Center, recognizing that we are also positional members of the body of Christ at large.

8. What if I disagree with Dominion Christian Center’s view of women in leadership?

It is and has been the position of Dominion Christian Center that the Bible, when interpreted comprehensively, teaches the full equality of men and women in status, giftedness and opportunity for ministry. Therefore, Dominion Christian Center affirms the participation of women in all levels of leadership, including teaching positions (based on spiritual qualification and giftedness).

Pheobe (Romans 16:1-2): This woman was a deaconess of the church in Cenchrea, who was beloved of Paul and many other Christians for the help she gave to them. She filled an important position of leadership. It would be a difficult stretch of the imagination to say that this woman fulfilled her duties without ever speaking in the church!

Priscilla (Acts 18:26): Priscilla and her husband Aquila are often mentioned with great respect by Paul. Together they were pastors of a church in Ephesus, and were responsible for teaching the full gospel to Apollos. We are informed that they both taught Apollos, and pastored the church together. In fact, Priscilla is sometimes listed ahead of Aquila when their names come up. This has led some to speculate that of the two, she was the primary teacher and her husband oversaw the ministry. At any rate, we see here a woman in a very prominent position of teaching and pastoring. (Other references to Priscilla and Aquila are Acts 18:2, 18; Romans 16:3, and I Corinthians 16:19).

Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3): Here we see reference to two women who were "true yokefellow" and who labored with Paul in the advancement of the gospel.

Junia (Romans 16:7): In this verse we see Paul sending greetings to Andronicus and Junia, his "fellow-prisoners" who are of note among the apostles. Junia is a woman's name. In some modern translations, an "s" has been added (Junias) because the translators were so sure a woman could not be an apostle, that they assumed a copyist has accidentally dropped the "s." However the proper male ending would have been "ius," not "ias." No church commentator earlier than the Middle Ages questioned that Junia was both a woman and an apostle.

Luke 8:1-3, "And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance."

Acts 2:17-21, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

We recognize that this is a complex issue and has historically been the subject of much debate among godly believers. While we respect the right of individuals to hold a different position, we ask that Covenant Members of Dominion Christian Center minimally be able to affirm with integrity the following:

  • That they can joyfully sit under the teaching of women teachers at Dominion Christian Center.
  • That they can joyfully submit to the leadership of women in various leadership positions at Dominion Christian Center.
  • That they refrain from promoting personal views in ways that would be divisive or disruptive

9. What is your statement of faith? What about areas of disagreement?

Dominion Christian Center’s statement of faith is a solidly evangelical statement of faith. In essence, it puts a fence around our core doctrinal non-negotiables. If an individual is in specific disagreement with anything in that statement, that is a significant issue and membership should not proceed unless there is resolve.

Apart from those core doctrinal essentials, there are, however, many areas of faith and practice on which intelligent and godly believers hold different views (various end-times scenarios, predestination and free-will debates to name just a few.) With these issues, members of Dominion Christian Center are free to hold their own opinions and engage in respectful dialogue as long as they are not disruptive to the body. The following attitudes or behaviors, however, would signal a larger problem:

  • Attempts to win over others in the body - “crusading” for their viewpoint
  • Divisiveness/disruptive behavior
  • Holding to a position with such intensity that they will simply be unable to submit to the policies, decisions and leadership of the church

10. What if I disagree with a leadership decision in the church?

The New Testament is clear that the church is to be led by a plurality of godly leaders. They are given ultimate responsibility and authority to see that the church remains on a true course biblically, that its members are being appropriately shepherded, that the body is being fed through insightful and accurate biblical teaching and that the life of the church is being well managed with the assistance of other competent and godly leaders.

In response to the biblical pattern of leadership, members of the body are taught in Scripture to lovingly support their leaders and submit to their leadership.

While Scripture indicates that elders bear the ultimate responsibility for the watch care of the church, the board of directors(elders) shall be specifically delegated to oversee the overall operations of the church and provide support for the senior pastor.  The Finance and Administration Board shall be responsible for legal and financial matters and to provide for the care and maintenance of all properties owned by Dominion Christian Center. We believe that the elders, board, staff and senior pastor of Dominion Christian Center have been called by God to Fayetteville, North Carolina and to its unique mission and vision. What makes Dominion Christian Center work smoothly is the humble, servant-like spirit of these groups of people. Whether as a leader or a follower, everyone in the church is submitted to Jesus Christ.
The decisions that are made regarding the day-to-day church affairs, as well as for the future of Dominion Christian Center, are bathed in prayer and there is a unity among the leadership before decisions are final.

If a potential member is not in agreement with a particular decision, we invite the person to have respectful dialog with pastoral staff or pastor, or to write a letter to investigate further the reason the particular decision has been made. If, after that dialog has come to a conclusion, the person either agrees with the decision, or agrees to disagree, trusting that God is working through the plurality of leaders, then membership can be sought.