In 2016 the leadership team met to discuss the future of Refuge Church, and two things came to the forefront:
Setting in place a plurality of elders
Setting in place church membership
Since then, we’ve been working through that process with the Leadership Team (as it was back then) and now as a plurality of elders. Recently, we explored church membership in a six-week preaching series, Belonging.
Following the preaching series, everybody at Refuge was given the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns in an anonymous survey. The following questions were addressed during a q&a session after our worship gathering last Sunday:
Did Jesus teach church membership?
Doesn’t Church membership equate to legalism and rule keeping?
Will church membership mean we lose the relaxed non-traditional format of Refuge?
What would happen if there were something I disagreed with as set out in the Statement of Faith or Ethos Statements?
What is the church’s view of the role of the work & gifts of the Holy Spirit and it’s place in the world & church life today?
What is the church’s view of women in leadership?
Will we baptise those who were baptised as a baby but themselves believe in “adult” baptism?
For those who grow up in Refuge having been baptised as a baby, will there be some way to mark a confession of faith when they grow older?
Will there be a minimum age set before considering a child for membership?
Have the Elders had any thoughts about membership for those with literacy issues or who had problems in school who may struggle with the idea of a “class”?
What about those who will never be able to fully understand all the concepts involved because of learning disabilities, but can understand and express some…how will the membership process work for them? And what about those who cannot express faith at all?
Where do you see the church in 5 years’ time? What is your vision?