The Blessed Run Church
1. Church Introduction
The Blessed Run (TBR) Church is a reformed independent Protestant church, which teaches reformed doctrines and is committed to raising true Christian disciples to live the way of Christ and advance the work of the Gospel.
Broadly, it aims to preach, practise and spread everywhere the teachings of the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments), with the Salvation of Jesus Christ for those who believe in Him as its most basic teaching. Specifically, it seeks to teach, train, and nurture Christians to see evangelism and missions as a total commitment of their lives. TBR takes special interest and responsibility in nurturing every disciple of Christ, even if it requires persistent love and patience in the process, given the reality of fallen human nature that makes true transformation challenging. In essence, we advocate a ministry of the truth and also of the heart.
A member of TBR is one who willingly accepts and fulfils the criteria for membership stated in Section 3 of this handbook, and agrees to pledge his/ her commitment to us, stated in Section 4 of this handbook.
2.2 Types of Membership
2.2.1 Ordinary Membership
Ordinary Membership is open to all Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents who are above 18 years of age.
2.2.2 Associate Membership
Associate Membership is open to all Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents who are below 18 years of age. Written consent of a parent or guardian shall be required for such applications.
Only Ordinary Members who are 21 years old and above, and are baptised, shall have the right to vote and to hold office in TBR.
2.4 Legislation References
3. Criteria for Membership
3.1 Joining as Member
A person who has been attending and receiving teachings from TBR can join the Church as a member, when he/ she is baptised in or has received his/ her confirmation in TBR.
3.2 Transfer of Membership
A person who was baptised1 in another Church under the Protestant denomination can join TBR as a member if he/ she:
- was baptised when he/ she was at least 16 years old, or if he/ she went through infant baptism and was subsequently confirmed when he/ she was 16 years old or above in another Protestant Church. If he/ she was baptised before 16 years old but has not gone through any confirmation at any Protestant Church, then he/ she shall go through a confirmation ceremony with TBR;
- accepts and believes in the Statement of Faith of TBR;
- has been attending worship services and/or meetings in TBR on a regular basis for at least 6 months; and
- is strongly encouraged to relinquish his/ her membership with his/ her previous church, verbally or in writing.
3.3 Dual Membership
A member of TBR should not also be a member of another church unless:
- the other church is associated with TBR (e.g. The Life Church and Missions) and he/ she is attending both churches consistently; and/ or
- permission is granted by TBR pastoral team (consisting of Pastor and Preacher) to hold dual membership.
3.4 Withdrawal, Suspension and Termination of Membership
A person wishing to withdraw or terminate his/ her membership with TBR shall inform us in writing.
A person who did not attend any worship service nor meeting, or did not contact us for a continual period of 1 year is deemed to have self-withdrawn his or her membership from TBR.
The Church Management Committee (CMC) reserves the rights to suspend or terminate a person’s membership, regardless of his/ her period of inactivity.
3.5 Other Requirements
In additional to the clauses stated in 3.1 to 3.4, a person wanting to be a member of TBR shall also:
- complete a membership application form and submit the completed form to the Church Secretary;
- submit to the authority of TBR Leaders;
- be committed to TBR;
- note that there are no entrance fees, subscriptions or other dues payable to be a member; and
- note that TBR Leaders reserve the rights to reject any membership application if he/ she is deemed unsuitable to be a member of TBR.
4. Members’ Pledge of Commitment
4.1 Doctrine and Belief
Members of TBR are expected to affirm our Statement of Faith. Regardless of the faith background that one may have previously, members of TBR shall pledge willingness to humbly learn the reformed theology taught by TBR and not seek to promote any other teachings which are not in line with our reformed theological position. However, we do not discriminate against members who still possess non-reformed evangelical views, and we undoubtedly accept all from the Universal Church of Christ as our brethren.
4.2 Personal Conduct and Spiritual Growth
By becoming a member of TBR, one shall commit to the best of his/ her ability to grow as a disciple of Christ, who yearns to deepen his/ her relationship with Christ, know Him deeper and seek to be more Christlike. Members of TBR should regard themselves as God’s holy people, and strive to be holy as God is holy <1 Peter 1:16>. As such, they ought to take reference and adhere to God’s words given in <Ephesians 5:1-5> with regard to their personal conduct. They should refrain from doing anything that may tarnish God’s image in them regardless of where they are.
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
4.3 Attending Meetings and Serving
As children of God, members of TBR are expected to worship the Lord in Church on the Lord’s Day weekly. They should take leave from the Church if there are urgent or unforeseen matters. If the member cannot attend the Sunday Service due to work or other reasons, he/ she should join another meeting (like cell group or prayer meeting, etc.) that week, as a form of replacement.
As TBR values the importance of brethren living, members of TBR are strongly encouraged to join in a suitable cell group for their spiritual growth and support. The Church also encourages members to attend prayer meeting once a month to know the updates of the Church and brethren in the faith community.
It is recorded in <Acts 20:35> that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Giving can be done in the form of serving. Therefore, members of TBR are also encouraged to serve in a ministry after coming to TBR for approximately a year.
4.4 Tithes and Offerings
We believe that we are all stewards of the money and resources that God has graciously bestowed us, and it is only right that we use what He has given us to serve His purpose. We also recognise that tithing/ offering is a good spiritual discipline to help us restore a right relationship with money. Our tithes/ offerings also reflect our commitment to the Church that God has placed us in, to advance God’s kingdom and bless people inside and outside the Church. Thus, while it is not mandatory for a member to give tithings and/ or offerings to TBR, members are encouraged to abide to the teaching of the Bible with regards to tithes and offering.
<2 Corinthians 9:7>
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
4.5 Disciplinary Related Matters
Disciplinary actions may be taken against a member who:
- breaks the moral principles of the Bible, and/ or
- engages in actions which affect the name of the Lord and/ or TBR publicly, and/ or
- stumbles2 others, and
- refuses corrections from TBR Leaders.
When dealing with disciplinary matters, TBR Leaders shall first meet up with the member concerned to seek an explanation or clarification in order to understand more. Upon investigation, TBR Leaders will jointly decide on the mode of discipline or corrective actions, which may include one or more of the following:
- compulsory spiritual counselling;
- suspension of serving duties, positions, roles or offices;
- suspension of partaking in the Holy Communion;
- stepping down from leadership position/ teaching role;
- excommunication from TBR; or
- any other form of disciplinary or corrective actions deemed suitable.
As the offence of men differs from case to case, and has different degree of severity and impact, the Church will practise its utmost discretion to err on the side of love and mercy. Even if there is a need to discipline, it will be done for the benefit of the Church and the member being disciplined.
4.6 Channel of Communication
We welcome suggestions, feedback or clarification from any member. If a member has any suggestions, feedback or clarification, he/ she should first approach his/ her cell leader. However, if the suggestion or feedback is something regarding or against the member’s cell leader, he/ she can then approach Pastor or Preacher. Alternatively, the member can also send his/ her suggestions, feedback or clarification to our official email, which is [email protected].
Considering that everyone is a sinner with imperfections, members are therefore reminded that the motive, purpose or objective of the suggestions and feedback should be out of love and edification for the Church and/ or brethren. One should also refrain from spreading unverified news or information against another person.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
5. The Church’s Commitment to Members
We are committed to our members by means of:
- teaching, rebuking, correcting and training according to the Word of God and sound doctrine;
- mentoring members through a cell group;
- providing appropriate help in time of crisis;
- providing spiritual counselling3;
- conducting Christian-styled funeral, cremation and/or memorial service for the member or his/her immediate family (either they are new converts or if the church they belong to does not do so for them);
- conducting holy matrimony4 for the member;
- removing idols5 from the member’s or his/ her kin’s premises;
- house or hospital visitation6 to the member or his/ her kin.
6. Administrative Procedures
6.1 Personal Particulars
A person who has met the criteria to become a member stated in Section 3 and agrees to adhere to the Members’ Pledge of Commitment stated in Section 4 of this handbook, may approach one of the ushers, his/ her cell leader or the Church’s Secretary for a copy of the membership application form. The duly completed form shall be submitted to the Church’s Secretary personally or through the ushers, or his/ her cell leader.
The member is responsible to keep the Church’s Secretary informed should there be any change to his/ her personal particulars.
All data collected through the membership application form would be handled and kept in strict confidence.
6.2 Members’ Handbook
A handbook on membership or its equivalent will be given to members7 upon registration.
6.3 Membership’s Certificate
A person who was baptised or who has received confirmation in TBR will be presented with a baptism certificate or a confirmation certificate respectively on the day of his/ her baptism or confirmation. The baptism certificate or confirmation certificate shall be his/ her membership certificate. If the person requires a dedicated membership certificate, he/ she can request for one from the Church’s Secretary. However, we reserve the rights to reject the request.
A membership certificate would be prepared and presented to a person who transferred his/her membership to TBR from another church. The membership certificate would be presented to the new member in person, during one of the Church’s baptism ceremonies or other event/ ceremony decided by the Church.
A person who wants to withdraw or terminate his/her membership with TBR is expected to return his/ her membership certificate to the Church.
6.4 Letter of Transfer of Membership
A person who requires a letter of transfer of membership, or its equivalent, to be submitted to his/her previous church may request for one from the Church’s Secretary. Upon approval by the Church to accept this person as a member of TBR, the Church’s Secretary shall prepare the letter of transfer of membership and either pass it to the requestor or send it directly to the requestor’s previous church.
1 i) TBR Leaders may interview the person to understand or clarify if his/ her baptism was conducted in the name of the Trinity God.
ii) The observance of the Holy Communion is an essential practice in TBR and only members and those who have been baptised in the Protestant denomination may partake in it. Those of the Roman Catholic faith (if baptised) can partake in the Holy Communion if they have turned from their Catholic roots to Protestant ones. Under certain circumstances, the church can also conduct another baptism ritual for those who were baptised in the Roman Catholic church.
2 Examples of stumbling others: introduce brethren to teachings that are not in line with sound doctrine; borrow money from brethren with no intention of repayment; sell products to brethren; incite brethren to make investments; slander other brethren; being a constant nuisance to other brethren; resort to violence toward others in church, etc.
3 TBR reserves the rights to reject request for counselling session, especially if the member refuses to accept the Church’s suggestions on certain or repeated matters;
4 i) Subject to the availability of Church Leaders.
ii) Priority will be given to the couple who are both members of TBR.
iii) TBR reserves the right to turn down a request to conduct holy matrimony (e.g. one of the couple is not a baptised Christian, re-marriage after a recent divorce, adultery-related issues; same-sex marriage, etc).
iv) The church premise is open to members for holy matrimony, subject to its availability, at a nominal fee.
5 i) Subject to the availability of Church Leaders.
ii) The Church reserves the right to turn down a request for idols removal (e.g. requestor insists on keeping some or giving away the idols instead of destroying them; requestor has yet to understand the meaning of idols removal or is only using the church as a form of disposal service, etc).
6 Subject to the availability of the Church’s workers/ volunteers.
7 Refers to brethren who sign up as members after the policy in this handbook has come into effect on 1 Jun 2022. Brethren who have joined TBR as members before 1 Jun 2022, can also request for a copy of the handbook through the Church’s Secretary.