Membership at Gateway Downtown

Church membership is simply the expression of gathered Christians committing to one another in Christ. It allows both the church and the member to invest in each other. It is a way of connecting and pledging oneself to the local body while providing a way for the church to support the members in discipleship, encouragement, exhortation, and admonishment.

Membership Process

Our membership process involves four basic pieces:

membership course

Our membership course is a series of five short classes, usually taught in two sessions. The five classes are:

  • Theology

  • Church History

  • Biblical Church Membership

  • Live Together

  • Missions, Evangelism, & Discipleship

We offer the classes three times a year (February, May, and September) or by demand.

membership interview

The membership interview is a relaxed and informal conversation with an elder and another member. It’s an opportunity for a member candidate to get to know an elder and for the members to hear the testimony of how God brought you to repentance and faith in Christ and ensure you understand the responsibilities of membership. They will pass on their notes to the elders.

Elder Recommendation

After the interview, the elders will discuss the candidacy, and review any notes from the interview. If they are convinced that the candidate is a true believer in Christ who is in line with our beliefs and practices, they will recommend the candidate to the congregation.

received by the congregation

At the next regularly scheduled members’ meeting, the congregation will take up the matter of receiving any new candidates recommended by the elders. The elders will share a enough about the candidate’s faith background to make a decision. Upon a majority vote, the candidate is received into membership.

Associate Membership

For those who make Cleveland and Gateway home for a small portion of the year, we offer an associate membership. The process is the same, and it affords the member the same pastoral and congregational care. However, the member is free from their obligations to Gateway when they are out of the area.

As examples, an associate membership might be appropriate for a college student who has a home church near campus for 9 months of the year but returns to Cleveland in the summers or a travelling businessperson who routinely spends multiple weeks/months in Cleveland each year.