Membership Requirements for Bylaws

Definition of membership in a dictionary

The minimum requirements for congregational membership should be included in the bylaws. Specific details about these requirements can be articulated in board policies and updated as needed.

The provisions in this section often include:

  • Signing the membership book and/or covenant
  • Understanding of and sympathy with the congregation's purpose and covenant (as defined in board policies)
  • Active participation (as defined in board policies)
  • Financial support (as defined in board policies)
  • Minimum age (in alignment with state laws and with any additional requirements as defined in board policies)
  • A non-discrimination clause (with details about protected groups defined in board policies)

A congregation may consider additional provisions which could also be in board policies (e.g. if they have concerns about the congregation being seized or derailed by a hostile element):

  • Waiting period between becoming a member and having voting privileges
  • Board approval for all new members
  • Membership book signing being witnessed by the minister or an officer of the board (or designees as defined in board policies)

Sample Provisions

  • Any person may become a member of this Fellowship by _____________________
  • A member is any person who ___________________________
  • Membership in this church is open to any person_______________________
  • Any person who ______________________________ may become a member by signing the Membership Book. To remain an active member, a person must _______________________________