Baptism & Membership
Baptism is one of two sacraments commanded by Jesus (Mt. 28:19) and has been practiced by church since its very inception. In early days, since most converts had foundational knowledge of Judaism, Christian converts were immediately baptized (e.g. Acts 2:37-41; 8:26-38). However, as the number of Gentile converts increased, the church needed to provide a “period of preparation, trial, and instruction prior to baptism.” Historian Justo Gonzalez elaborates,
This was the “catechumenate,” which, by the beginning of the third century, lasted three years. During that time, catechumens received instruction on Christian doctrine, and were to give signs in their daily lives of the depth of their conviction. Finally, shortly before being baptized, they were examined and added to the list of those to be baptized.
The early church viewed baptism as a serious act of faith by which a person declares his or her lifelong commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior – even in face of deadly persecutions. In other words, they did not see baptism as a simple “rite of passage” to enter into the church but as becoming a disciple of Jesus and obeying all the teachings and commands of Christ (Mt. 28:19-20).
While our church encourages Christians to stay committed to serve and worship as baptized members at their local church, we also recognize the necessity for some to transfer their membership to other churches. Therefore the application process for baptism also applies to those who wish to transfer their membership to Jaffray (minus the baptism of course!).
In light of the above, Jaffray takes baptism and transfer of baptized membership very seriously. It is a one-year process in which the candidate will be required to:
1. Attend Baptismal Classes
- See schedule below
- Classes will cover doctrine and theological knowledge and life applications
- Classes will also include church history, C&MA history/structure, Jaffray history/structure
2. Be discipled
- A same-gender, older, spiritually-mature individual will be assigned to the candidate
- The discipler and candidate will meet at least once every 6 weeks to discuss materials learned from baptismal classes and how he/she is walking with Christ
3. Be interviewed by elder(s), deacon(s), or pastor(s)
- Will usually take place in February and November
- Interview team will ask questions pertaining to doctrine, theology, and life of the candidate to assess whether he/she is suitable for baptism
- Interview team may consult with discipler (or in the case of transfer, the candidate’s former church leaders) for opinions and references
The baptismal classes, mentoring, and interviews are continually offered throughout the year. A candidate may choose to “jump into” the candidacy process at any time of the year. A candidate does not need to complete all baptismal courses before baptism or transfer. The onus of approval lies with the interview team. However, even if a candidate is baptized or transferred, he / she will still be required to complete the 1-year mentorship and the remaining baptismal classes.
Application form for baptism. Click here.
Application form for membership transfer. Click here.