We have a live Bible study group that meets and talks over Skype calls, but before I explain how to get involved with our Bible study group, please allow me to explain what the Word of God reveals to us concerning joining the church. In the Bible, Paul was (in my opinion) one of the most humble men who ever walked the face of the earth, and yet, when he first tried to enter the church, he was turned away.
And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
The disciples required some evidence of his conversion, and since they didn't have it, one of their own came forward and gave testimony to his conversation in Christ. So there are two problems I've seen adding people to our Bible study group:
1. I do not believe I'm the sole-decider of who comes in and who doesn't. I want the church as a whole to be more involved in doing that.
2. The church of Christ is not all-inclusive as many people have been led to believe by new-age churchianity. Someone writing me a personal email telling me they're a Christian does not provide evidence in the same way Paul coming in and saying it did not provide evidence, but sadly, many people have become angry at me pointing this out to them, and I hope those of you reading this will not adopt that same anger; reasoning out that if we took everyone at their word, we would then have to accept that the Pope is of Christ as well. (i.e. We reject Catholicism because it is unbiblical.)
And so there are one of three things I have found in Scripture that a Christian needs in order to join a church:
1. Evidence of their public profession of faith, or published writings. Websites, videos, anything of that nature that has shown your public confession of Christ.
2. A Christian within the church to act as a witness to your public profession of faith.
3. If you don't have one of the first two, something else that would allow our church to see your conversation in Christ.
Sadly, most people who have contacted me with a desire to join do not have either of the first two, and many have gotten angry with me for pointing this out, depart, and never speak to me (let alone others in our church) again. I hope readers will not do this, as that is not a good Christian response.
The way to achieve the third option is by this very forum:
Register an account on this forum, make at least 20 posts, a moderator will review their posts, and if they're conversation is seen to be of Christ, they'll be added to our "Born-Again Christian" group, which then gives them access to a private Christian-only section of this forum. Once that new section is open to you, there is a board where you can request to join us in our live Bible study group, and instructions on where you'll need to be and when.
Many people find this to be "too much" to do, but that's typically because they're used to the lazy American method of instant gratification, whereas the church is meant to be protected, and we want to protect our group of sanctified Christians.
Please don't write me saying, "I've donated money, so add me to your church group." We have a number of people who have donated to us in the past that hate our ministry today, and so we don't make these types of decisions on spiritual matters based on money. Also please don't write me with licenses or certificates (yes, I've had people try it) because those are all man-made, and we want to see your conversation in Christ, not the approval you received from a leavened church building.
If you have any other questions, contact a moderator, and they'll try their best to help. If you decide you want to join us and make the effort, we look forward to fellowship with you. If you decide this is too much for you, then our church is probably not the right place for you, so we wish you the best, pray the Lord Jesus Christ will help you find what you're looking for, and you're welcome to try back again anytime.