Become a Member – Commit to building bridges to God & community
1.) Attend First Step Session - 90 minutes with the pastor that covers our church and beliefs, with a tour and refreshments, and meeting some member
2.) Decide to become a PARTICIPANT or PROFESSING member.
a. BRIDGES PARTICIPANT (UMC Definition = Constituent)
May participate in all areas of Bridges Church mission and ministry except Leadership Team.
Encouraged to grow as a disciple.
Opportunities to serve, give, worship, share and learn together.
Inspired to grow toward goals of 4-2-1-10.
Church offers pastoral responsibility for all Bridges participants.
b. PROFESSING MEMBER (UMC Definition = Professing Member)
Baptized & Profession of Faith (Confirmation or adult faith statement)
Annual Membership Vows (UMC vow/Bridges practice: presence/learn, prayers/worship, witness/share, service/serve, gifts/give) – renew each year
Committed to making disciples through Bridges Church
VALUES: First to come, last to leave – serving others, a disciple making disciples
Living the five practices with the 4-2-1-10 expectations or growing into them.
Service and/or leadership for the church with vote at charge conferences
3)Take annual membership vows if a PROFESSING member every November.
At Bridges UMC, we want a system that is easy for people to be part of our faith community, while being clear about our expectations for our life together as members.
Values Statements for PROFESSING Members
Commitment is responsibility for others, not privilege for oneself.
Builders are disciples making disciples.
Becoming a MEMBER is easy, being a MEMBER is transformative.
PROFESSING Member Expectations – The ways we build bridges to God & community…
Our Practices (United Methodist Membership Vows)
Worship each weekend, in person when possible
Grow in your faith outside of worship through study or a small group
Serve by using your gifts and talents both inside and outside the walls for the church
Give in proportion to your income, with the tithe
Share your faith with others, through actions and words.
Our Minimum Expectations
Worship 4x a month
Attend as much as possible watch online at other times
Build Group 2x month
Join a group or take classes to learn and support each other
Service (Volunteering) 1x month
Serving in our community + serving each other
Giving Now- 10% Tithe
Receive a free bible when submitting your first pledge card
Tell someone about your faith
Build a bridge to a new
⦁ We believe these five spiritual practices as taught by Jesus help us to grow as disciples and
allow God to transform our lives so we can transform the world.
⦁ Bridges UMC takes attendance at all service, Small Group and worship activities so we can
support our members as they grow as disciples of Jesus Christ, and we can measure our
effectiveness toward our mission.
⦁ Our church strives to offer step-by-step options for people at all ages and levels of spiritual
maturity to take the next step in growth in all five spiritual practices.
Monthly emails for twelve months.
Celebration card mailed at 1 year anniversary.
Reconnect phone call by church leaders after four weeks without worship.
Letter to members each year who are not active in build groups or service projects, to encourage growth
FAQ’s • Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a member to be active at Bridges UMC?
No. You can do everything at Bridges UMC without being a member, except serving on the Leadership Team.
Why should I become a PROFESSING member – It looks like more work?
We encourage you to become a Professing Member as a way of making a commitment to supporting other people as they build bridges to God and community. Membership is not about getting privileges for yourself, but taking responsibility for serving others. If you want to make a commitment to the growth and development of other people through the Bridges UMC faith community, we welcome you as a PROFESSING member.
Now I’m a member, what do I do next?
We offer multiple levels of opportunities in all five of our spiritual practices. Meet with the pastor or church leader to identify where you are now, and what the best next step is for you.
As you grow, we encourage new people to take the Building Blocks and Foundations classes within the first few months of membership so you understand our church and how we build bridges to God and community. Builders are expected to attend quarterly DREAM nights for celebration, training and planning.
What if I get sick or something happens and I can’t attend church?
We understand there are seasons of life when these minimum membership expectations may be a struggle. We renew our membership each year, so people who have a change in situation can take time off. We want to support all efforts at growing into these practices as committed followers of Jesus Christ, and we will provide opportunities to support people in different situations.
What about members who aren’t involved?
Members who stop attending and giving will receive follow-up support to reconnect and keep growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ. These may include phone calls, visits or mailings. We take our membership vows as a sacred connection to God and our community. Members who no longer fulfill their membership vows will be contacted and if they choose not to reconnect, their membership status will change to inactive.
Why is membership annual?
We believe in accountability both for members and for leaders. By renewing our membership vows every year, each member has the opportunity to re-commit regularly. Our leaders are held accountable through tracking membership commitments each year. Finally, administrative volunteers have less work since inactive members are automatically removed when they don’t renew. The responsibility of membership maintenance is on the members, not the administrators.