Wood Lane Baptist Church
Psalm 16:11

Becoming A Church Partner

What is Church Partnership?

Becoming a part of a church family is a crucial decision. Some people say that there is no such thing as church membership or partnership in the Bible! Superficially that may be true. But at another level it is obvious that each church knew those who belonged to their own fellowship of gathered believers. It is not difficult then to imagine that someone, somewhere, had a list of those who were part of the local fellowship and it is there that you have the real essence of church partnership.

Church Partnership is about belonging to a local Christian community and being involved in its life, work and witness. These things are common themes in the letters of the New Testament.

Why partnership and not membership?

Here at Wood Lane Baptist Church we believe that all our church family are members of the church, but some people want to take this to another level. These people are committed to the life of the church, and therefore become partners in all that it does in Christ’s name.

What is expected of a church partner? There are two main things:

  • First of all, a partner needs to be someone with a personal Christian faith, which may have come through a specific experience or as part of a gradual process.
  • Secondly, a partner is someone who is committed to the local church and who is involved in its life, its work and its worship. A partner is someone who recognises that a particular fellowship is their spiritual home, where through faith they belong.

Do partners have to get baptised?

No. In common with Baptist Union churches, we operate what's called "open partnership" —partnership open both to those baptised as believers and to other Christians. Whilst as a Baptist Church, we believe that baptism should be as we find it in the Bible, that is, as an expression of faith, we also welcome people into partnership who come from non-Baptist backgrounds "on profession of faith" — faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

What is the process of becoming a church partner?

1 Contact

Indicate your desire to join Wood Lane Baptist Church in partnership by speaking to our minister or someone on the church leadership team (deacon).

2 Information

Having shown your interest the minister or a church leader will want to spend some time with you to help you understand deeper what partnership is all about. This will involve looking at Church doctrine and belief, and the roles and responsibilities of the church to partners, and also partners to the church.

3 Application

Upon completion of this short time together, if you are wanting to continue with an application for partnership then a deacon and church member will come to visit you for an informal chat and interview. This is to allow them the time to get to know you and for you to get to know them. The time spent together will also include looking at how you can best get involved in service within our church.

4 Approval

All new partners are approved by the church meeting. Those who visit you will bring a short account of the interview and a recommendation to the church.

Depending on where you have come from in your Christian life, your approval may be based on Christian experience, a letter of transfer from a previous church, or pending baptism.

5 Welcome

We welcome new partners into our church fellowship during a communion service. This is traditionally where you will be extended the "right hand of fellowship" illustrating the special bond of fellowship that believers share and will give us the opportunity to pray with you as you begin the next chapter of your spiritual life in partnership with us.

What Do I Need To Do Next?

If you have already decided to ask for church membership, or if you would like to talk about it further, please contact or Minister, Rev. David Horncastle. It is easiest to contact David via the Church on 020 8592 4908. If he is not available then please leave a message and he will get back to you as soon as possible.