Handbook 6.3 Obtaining Membership as a Ministry
The Articles of the Corporation refer to these classes of members as Class B: Churches and Class C: Parachurch Organizations.
Requirements for Membership
In order to be considered for membership, churches and parachurches must meet the following requirements. They must:
Meet the definition of a church or parachurch as outlined in 5.1 or 5.2, respectively
Be familiar with and agree with the Statement of Common Beliefs (see the Constitution)
Be familiar with and agree with the Statement of Ethics (see the Constitution)
Support the mission of the FCA
Adhere to the policies and procedures outlined in the constitution, bylaws, and handbook
The process for membership registration for a ministry is as follows:
The prospective member must seek out a qualified endorsing church.
The endorsing church’s elders or leadership team shall meet with the prospective ministry’s leadership team for the purpose of:
Acquaintance and fellowship
A detailed presentation of the policies and procedures of the FCA
A discussion and answer period
A time of prayer, petitioning for God’s will
Following this initial meeting, a period of time shall be allowed for the prospective new ministry to consider the implications of joining the FCA.
During this time, the endorsing church shall study the constitution and bylaws of the prospective ministry, along with its doctrinal and financial statements. It is very important that the endorsing church has confidence in the practice, teaching, and mission of the prospective ministry to ensure compatibility with the FCA. Where questions remain or issues arise in this process, the endorsing church should seek clarity from the ministry and, if concerns remain, consult with the FCA Elders.
Upon mutual agreement to proceed with membership in the FCA, the endorsing church and the prospective ministry will either:
Conduct a joint service of the congregations (in the case of a church), at which time membership in the FCA would be officially endorsed; or, where a joint service is impractical,
Representatives of the leadership of the endorsing church and the new ministry shall meet together, wherein official endorsement of the new ministry can be granted.
Subject to the meeting of endorsement, the appropriate registration documentation shall be completed and submitted to the FCA office along with the membership fee in order to be registered as an FCA member. Incomplete registrations will not be processed until all required information is received. All registration documents can be found on the website. The required forms include:
Church/Ministry Application Form – to be filled out by the new church
Church/Ministry Affirmation Form – to be filled out by the endorsing church
Ministry Membership Privileges
In addition to membership voting rights (see 6.8), church and parachurch membership provides the following benefits:
Ministry employees may participate in the FCA Plus Benefits program
Ministry employees may participate in the GRSP program
Churches (not parachurches) have the potential to qualify to endorse ministers and ministries (see section 6.1)
Ministries are listed in the FCA directory
Ministries have access to FCA counsel in times of organizational struggles
Potential access to FCA church planting funds or other designated program funds
Access to a growing number of resources on ministry administration, programming, etc.
Members/participants of FCA ministries may potentially participate on Committees
Members/participants of FCA ministries may have access to the Crane Memorial Scholarship
Members/participants of FCA ministries have greater access to other Bible training scholarships through the FCA Leadership Training Scholarship Fund
Members/participants of FCA ministries receive the same convention rates as FCA minister members