BAPTISM & CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Baptism is an expression of transformation. It is one of two sacraments held by many Protestant denominational churches. The other is the sacrament of Holy Communion. Baptism is the sacrament of initiation. It initiates a believer into the body of Christ, the Church. It marks a new beginning in a public witness in which one declares unashamedly to the world (family, friends, colleagues and neighbours) that he has been transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A sacrament is an outward sign of an inward change. And baptism is a public sign that a new inward life centred about a restored relationship has begun. Baptism celebrates the themes of death to the old life and birth into a new. It is the cleansing and purification of our souls, and signifies that we have been incorporated into the growth of the body of Christ.
There are two forms of baptism: infant and adult.
This form of baptism emphasizes two important points.
- God’s love is freely given and quite independent of our actions. There is nothing we can do to earn it.
- The church has a responsibility to nurture and protect its members.
Baptised infants become preparatory members of the church until they reach the age of sixteen when a personal profession of faith can be made. Here they publicly profess their faith and assume both the baptismal vows taken on their behalf at infancy, as well as their membership vows. Until then, parents have the primary role and responsibility of passing on the faith to their children.
Adult baptism is for older children (those 16 years and older) and adults and emphasizes one other important point:
- personal acceptance of God’s grace.
If anyone is not ready for their membership vows, they enter the constituency roll which includes preparatory members (those baptized as infants) who have reached sixteen but are not ready to be received into full membership.
BAPTISM & MEMBERSHIP CLASS (BMC)
Our Book of Discipline (BOD) of the Methodist Church in Singapore requires members of the local church to faithfully perform their vows and covenants of membership. The Adult Baptism and Membership Class at Wesley Methodist Church instructs and prepares candidates to fulfil these vows and their commitment as a member of our church.
We welcome those seeking to be baptised and/or desiring to become members of Wesley Methodist Church to apply to join BMC. This class also applies to those seeking to transfer their membership from other churches (Methodist and Non-Methodist).
Please note that those baptised as infants or children are not automatically members of Wesley Methodist Church. They will also need to fulfil the BMC requirement before being confirmed and received into membership of the church.
The Meaning of Membership:
- When persons unite as professing members with a local Methodist church, they profess their faith in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Spirit. Thus, they make known their desire to live their daily lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. They covenant together with God and with the members of the local church to keep the vows which are a part of the order of confirmation and reception into the Church:
- To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of their sin;
- To accept the freedom and power God gives them to resist evil, injustice, and oppression;
- To confess Jesus Christ Lord and Saviour and pledge their allegiance to his kingdom;
- To remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world;
- To be loyal to Christ through The Methodist Church and do all in their power to strengthen its ministries;
- To faithfully participate in its ministries by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness;
- To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
- Faithful membership in the local church is essential for personal growth and for developing an increasing sensitivity to the will and grace of God. As members involve themselves in private and public prayer, worship, the Sacraments, study, Christian action, systematic giving and holy discipline, they grow in their appreciation of Christ, understanding of God at work in history and the natural order, and an understanding of themselves.
- Faithful discipleship includes the obligation to participate in the corporate life of the congregation with fellow members of the Body of Christ. A member is bound in sacred covenant to shoulder the burdens, share the risks and celebrate the joys of fellow members. A Christian is called to speak the truth in love, always ready to confront conflicts in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation.
- A member of The Methodist Church is to be a servant of Christ on Mission in the local and worldwide community. The servanthood is performed in family life, daily work, recreation and social activities, responsible citizenship, the stewardship of property and accumulated resources, the issues of corporate life and all attitudes towards other persons. Participation in disciplined groups is an expected part of personal Mission involvement. Each member is called upon to be a witness for Christ in the world, a light and leaven in society, and a reconciler in a culture of conflict. Each member is to identify with the agony and suffering of the world and to radiate and exemplify the Christ. The standards of attitude and conduct set forth in the Social Principles shall be considered as an essential resource for guiding each member of the Church in being a servant of Christ on Mission.
- All members of the church should study the principles of Christian stewardship and dedicate themselves, their time, talents, and substance to God and the advancement of His kingdom. In recognition of God’s ownership they should practice systematic and proportionate giving (Mal 3:8-12; 1 Cor 16:2). They should regard Christian liberality as a privilege and sacred duty, and freely give of their substance for the spread of the gospel at home and abroad, for the maintenance of the local church and for the support of the agencies and enterprises of the general church.
- All members are to be held accountable for their faithfulness to their covenant and vows with God and the other members of the church.
Applicants seeking to be saved from their sins and desiring to be Christian in faith and practice are invited to offer themselves for membership into the local congregation of Wesley Methodist Church of The Methodist Church in Singapore.
Applicants of Baptism and Membership Class are expected to fully participate in the class. Click “here” for more details and to fully understand the requirements. Please ensure that you are able to fulfil all the requirements before submitting your application form.
- Carefully read (1) “The Meaning of Membership” in the section above and (2) the Methodist Social Principles.It is important that you must be in agreement with the meaning of membership and the standard of conduct set in the Methodist Social Principles before applying for baptism and/or membership.
- Membership to a local church is about commitment and faithful participation. We do require candidates to be committed in regular participation in our weekly worship services or participating faithfully in a Wesley Small Group prior to applying: All applicants are required to have met the following requirement:
- 1 year regular attendance in worship services OR 6 months faithful participation in small group.
You will be required to provide the following together with your application form:
- A declaration that you have participated in faithful regular attendance in our worship services* or a Wesley Small Group.
- Your personal testimony. Click here for the guide on how to write your testimony.
- Click here# to access the online Application Form. Please set aside 15 minutes to complete the form. Please make sure all required spaces are completed before submitting the form online.
- You will be informed if your application is successful and will be given further instruction regarding submission of the Baptism & Membership online form and thereafter the instruction regarding the payment of the registration fee of $30.00 (non-refundable).
- Applicants must be residing in Singapore and above the age of 16 at the time of application.
The Infant/Child Baptism is for infant/child up to 16 years old.
For Special Baptism, there is no age limit.
All parents desiring to have their children baptised are required to attend the Infant/Child/Special Baptism Preparation (ICSBP). At ICSBP, they will be briefed on the meaning of this Sacrament and the vows which they assume. Parents who present their children for Baptism are expected to be diligent in bringing them up according to the word of God and in fellowship with the Church. During the ICSBP session, parents will also have the opportunity to interact and discuss parenting issues, as well as engage in sharing on family devotion and other ways in bringing up and nurturing their children in Christian faith.
To register for Infant/Child/Special Baptism:
- Click here# to access the online registration form. The form must be accompanied with a copy of either parent’s Wesley Methodist Church membership certificate.
- Please note that the link# to the registration form is activated only during the registration period (please refer to the schedule below).
Please note that those baptised as infant or children are not automatically members of Wesley Methodist Church. They will be enrolled as a Preparatory member of church. They may decide to be confirmed and received as full member of the church after their 16th birthday and completion of the Baptism and Membership Class.
Check out the Baptisms and BMC Schedule below. Please note that course details can be subjected to change and registered candidates will be notified accordingly.