Madison UMC has a core mission which we sum up as "Building faithful disciples, serving Jesus Christ." We invite you to prayerfully consider Christ's call to discipleship in your own life and covenant to journey with us.
The particular vision which we believe the Holy Spirit has compellingly put before us as a congregation is "To be a family of believers in harmony with God's Word that glorifies God."
That word "family" is very important. It is our prayer that every person who worships and does life together with the people of Madison UMC experiences what it means to be part of God's family here:
- To be ADOPTED by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as a child of God, either for the first time or experiencing a confirmation of their adoption as children of God the Father through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit; we pray that through the worship and discipleship opportunities and relationships formed, each person experiences the joy of starting and/or being strengthened in a grace-based relationship with God through Jesus Christ whom we are coming to know as our personal Lord, Savior, Teacher, and Friend.
- To be ADOPTED by this family of faith, coming to share a deep relational bond in Christ that is lived out in a small group community where we can each know and be known by one another, love and be loved by one another, and grow and be enabled to grow in discipleship with one another's help as the Holy Spirit empowers us. The nature of a relationship with Christ and growing and living as his disciple is such that we believe it is critical that you get involved in some form of disciple-making small group (i.e. Discipleship Group, Sunday School class, Bible study group).
Out of that context, it is our prayer that each person will then desire to, in response to the call of the Holy Spirit, enter into covenant relationship with this family of believers. This means that a person is prepared to be accountable in love to growing in and living out the "marks of discipleship." These "marks" can be summed up by the vows we take when we become covenant members of Madison United Methodist Church:
- My Covenant Relationship with Christ: We are prepared to be accountable to and with our brothers and sisters in Christ to continually...
- Turn away from all sin and evil: "Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?" (United Methodist Hymnal, p. 34)
- Turn to God in Jesus Christ alone for salvation & to have complete authority over my life: "Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves? Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?" (United Methodist Hymnal, p. 34)
- To now recognize oneself, and commit to be faithful, as part of the worldwide Body of Christ: "According to the grace given to you, will you remain faithful members of Christ's holy church and serve as Christ's representatives in the world?" (United Methodist Hymnal, p. 34)
- Join together in professing the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (United Methodist Hymnal, p. 34)
- For those transferring from other Christian denominations, to be loyal to Christ through the United Methodist Church: "Will you be loyal to Christ through the United Methodist Church and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries?"
- My Covenant Relationship with the Body of Christ: Out of our prior relationship with Jesus, we are led to covenant to do life and live as disciples with the Church. Thus, we are prepared to be accountable to and with our brothers and sisters in Christ to continually support the people and ministries of Madison UMC by our...
- Prayers (personal devotions, prayer with & for others, fasting): How are you prepared to develop devotional intimacy with the Lord through your own personal Bible study and prayer life (including family devotions, where relevant)? How are you prepared to be in intercessory prayer for persons and ministries as the Lord puts these on your heart? How are you prepared to explore an appropriate form of fasting as a means of growing in God's grace?
- Presence (worship & small group): How are you prepared to regularly worship God, hear and respond to God's Word, and receive the sacraments (i.e. the Lord's Supper) with the larger family of MUMC? Where are you getting involved in a disciple-making small group so you can love and be loved, know and be known, and grow in the marks of discipleship with others? (Click the following for information about: Discipleship Groups -- Sunday School Classes -- Bible Study Groups -- Kids Ministries -- Student Ministries)
- Gifts (sharing financial and other resources with "the tithe" as a basic goal): How are you prepared to share regularly and generously the financial resources God has entrusted to you to support the mission of Christ through Madison UMC? Are you willing to prayerfully seek the Holy Spirit's guidance and power to consider and move toward the commitment of sharing a "tithe" (10%) to the Lord?
- Service (spiritual gifts, serving within and beyond the local church): How are you prepared to identify whatever spiritual gift(s) the Holy Spirit has given you? How are you prepared to be a servant of Christ both to build up the family of God (service within the church) as well as to go bless the world in Christ's name (service beyond the church)? (CLICK HERE to access an online spiritual gifts assessment -- see the links under "Witness" below for avenues to use your spiritual gifts in ministry within and beyond MUMC)
- Witness (prayers for others, inviting others, verbally sharing one's faith): How are you prepared to regularly pray that others would come to know Jesus Christ and become part of His kingdom and Church? How are you prepared to invite people you know and encounter to participate in worship and other ministries of MUMC as the opportunity comes? How are you prepared to verbally speak of your relationship with Christ so that others might be influenced to come to Him? (Click the following links to explore opportunities through MUMC to be a servant and witness of Christ INSIDE as well as OUTSIDE the Church: Serving in Connection Ministries -- Serving in Outreach/Missions Ministries)
How Do I Become a Member of Madison UMC?
It is good for each person joining, by whatever way, to ponder carefully one's relationship with Christ and subsequent readiness to live as a disciple who is accountable to "the marks of discipleship."
Having prayerfully done so, persons may join by one of the following three ways:
- Transfer: for those who have at some prior time professed faith in Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior and received Christian baptism, and thus became members of another local church (of whatever Christian denomination); we would send a notice to the local church where you have most recently been received as a member to let them know that you are now living in covenant with the family of faith at Madison UMC
- Profession of Faith and Baptism: for those who have not at a prior time both made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and were baptized upon that profession; OR,
- Confirmation/Reaffirmation of Faith: for those who have been baptized at a prior time (i.e. as an infant) but never made an adult profession of faith in Christ for him/herself, or those who desire to renew the vows of her/his profession of faith at the time of transfer
It would be ideal for you to have a conversation with the pastoral staff prior to uniting with Madison UMC, and in the case of a 1st time profession of faith, this would be a necessary first step. Please contact Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your desire to become a covenant member.
Once you are ready, those who join by transfer can simply come to the communion kneeling rail during the closing hymn at the end of most any worship service. One of the pastors would be delighted to introduce you to the congregation and invite you to make known your covenant commitments. If you would be preparing for 1st time profession of faith and baptism, or confirmation/reaffirmation, we would schedule these important times earlier in a worship service at a mutually agreed date.