Prerequisites for Serving in Westgate Ministries
A foundational goal here at Westgate is to glorify Christ through the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). The following guidelines are designed to help us incorporate our newcomers into the life of Westgate as quickly and as wisely as God will enable us.
The formal ministries of Westgate are reserved for formal members of Westgate.
That is, the more public and permanent a person’s ministry role here in the church, the more public and permanent should be that person’s commitment to the people and leadership of Westgate.
For example, membership is not a prerequisite before a newcomer is allowed to be on the scheduled rotation to bring Sunday morning refreshments, to clean the bathrooms, to vacuum the Sanctuary floors, or to serve in other similar ministries. Though our preference is, of course, that all our newcomers would pursue membership, we eagerly open these kind of ministries to them because they are not in the public spotlight and they are also not crucial linchpins to the effective ministry of Westgate.
Specific Guidelines for Involvement in Westgate’s Music Ministry
Those serving in our public music ministry should be members. But the leadership may make exceptions when a person has demonstrated a sufficient commitment toward becoming a member of Westgate (e.g., is pursuing membership with no reservations) and has been faithfully attending for no less than six months.
Basis for these Guidelines
As a person begins attending Westgate, we want to clearly demonstrate to them that our desire is not for them to work for us (e.g., by taking on ministry responsibilities) but for us to joyfully love and serve them on behalf of Christ. Our focus must always be on maximizing what we give to others and trusting God to provide us with what we need to best serve Him and others.
Acts 20:35 "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
Before a newcomer is given a ministry responsibility in which he/she formally represents Christ and Westgate to others (such as a Greeter, a member of a music team or a teaching role), we must first have the time and experiences with that person to ensure that he/she is adequately gifted and sufficiently mature to fulfill that role in a way that is pleasing to Christ, that is useful and edifying to others and that is encouraging and sanctifying for him/her.
Proverbs 20:6 Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man?
1 Timothy 5:22, 24-25 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin....The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.
Proverbs 26:6 He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence Who sends a message by the hand of a fool.
James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
Note: All Bible verses are in the NASB.