Meaningful Membership

If the church is the body of baptized believers, then it seems to me to be good to verify as much as humanly possible that candidates for membership are indeed believers.  Here's what they did at Spurgeon's church:

  1. One of the elders interviewed the candidate.
  2. If satisfied, Spurgeon met with the candidate.
  3. If he thought favorably of him, the name was announced at a church meeting. Members were appointed to make careful inquiries of the candidate.
  4. If the investigation was satisfactory, the candidate appeared at a church meeting where he was examined by the Spurgeon.  The one who investigated gave his report, and the candidate was proposed to the church for acceptance.  If approved, the Spurgeon gave him the right hand of fellowship.
  5. On the first Sabbath of the month the candidate was recognized before the whole church and again given the right hand of fellowship.

[Source:  The Unforgettable Spurgeon by Eric Hayden, p 37.]

Overboard?  Maybe.  But it's lots better than not making sure whether some is saved or not.

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