The above question was typed into a search engine and brought someone to my blog yesterday. It seems to me this is a question that merits a straightforward answer, so here goes.
Perhaps the best place to start is with the questions asked at baptism. The first three questions deal with belief in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The fourth question is about whether the applicant for baptism has truly repented of his / her sins and been born again. The fifth question asks whether the applicant is resolved to forsake the world, deny himself / herself, take up the cross and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. And then there is this question:
Do you promise to love the brotherhood, and to exercise care and concern for the spiritual welfare of your brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, and to accept the same from them? Are you willing to reprove your spiritual brethren when you see them do wrong, and are you also willing to accept reproof from them?
Membership in the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite is open to all who can honestly, from the heart, answer yes to these questions.
Some onlookers may be confused by seeing that the majority of the members here in Canada are of Low German ancestry. It is not a requirement for membership to assimilate to that ethnic group. Membership in an ethnic culture is not accessible by people not born in that culture, however Christian faith and spiritual fellowship are accessible by people of any background.
The ethnic mix of the church here in Canada is slowly changing as people of other backgrounds are added to the church. Some of our ministers are of other backgrounds.
Another factor changing the image of the church is our interaction with brethren from other countries. The Church of God in Christ, Mennonite is active in 37 countries; the churches in Canada, the USA, Haiti, Brazil and Nigeria are self governing indigenous bodies. The church in the Philippines will be added to this list in a few months, as the last foreign missionaries leave that country. Ministers from Nigeria have been called to conduct revival meetings in other African countries as well as congregations in Canada, the USA, Brazil and the Philippines. Ministers from Haiti have also come to Canada and the USA for revival meetings.
A minister from Belize and his family moved to a congregation here in Saskatchewan a few years ago. There are a few other Hispanic members in that congregation, all now quite fluent in English. This minister was in our congregation last summer for a few days of special meetings.
So, the answer to the question above is that membership in the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite is open to anyone, of any background who is truly a born-again, Holy Spirit-led believer. My wife and I are not of Low German ancestry, we have been members of the church for almost 34 years and I still don’t really understand that culture. It doesn’t matter. Nobody ever told us we had to. All that is required is to love our spiritual brothers and sisters.