Joining Tikvat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue is not like joining a club or an "organization". We are a "Family" - (Mishpocha - Hebrew). When joining a family there are always benefits as well as obligations to being in a faith-family of believers who love and care for each other and spend time with each other, not just on Shabbat....
In contemporary American religious congregations many families have chosen to maintain an "inactive-membership" and rarely participate, or attend services. There are many reasons for this. One of the main reasons is that some are turned off by "Organized Religion". We agree, and that is why we are not attempting to organize religion here at Tikvat. We are NOT religious. Some may find this confusing. We believe there is a difference between "Religion" and "RELATIONSHIPS".
Human beings, made in the image of God have a soul and were not created to live in isolation. God created families and gave His Torah to the nation or the "community of Israel". One of the greatest commandments is "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR" (Leviticus 19:21). You cannot fulfill the Torah when you avoid your neighbors. Torah was never meant to be observed alone, in a vacuum. Instead of trying to observe a "religion", we prefer to build relationships with each other and with God. Therefore at Tikvat, we do not offer "inactive membership".
There are many good and valid reasons why individuals and families should want to become an
Active Participating Member at
Tikvat Yisrael, below are just "some" of those reasons...
First, a personal benefit to you because when you are committed, we bear greater fruit together, it also brings stability with a strong core of people. Tikkun Olam is a Jewish value of "repairing the world". Tikvat does many things such as food drives for the poor, and financially supporting and partnering with other ministries that are making huge differences in the world. You make a greater difference when you join with others here at Tikvat.
As a faith-family community, we support each other in many ways. When you join the family it places you and your family under the prayer ministry of the congregation and it leadership. When someone is sick or going through a crises there are actually people who support and pray for each other. We believe in the spiritual power of prayer, and we've seen many people receive blessings and healings and new jobs and breakthroughs in relationships that were once broken. By joining the family you not only receive this benefit, but you can also do the same for other families that you care for here.
When you join the family at Tikvat it also places you and your family under the anointing of the congregation and its leadership. Let's face it; life is often tough and confusing. Receiving instruction and finding answers in God's Word encourages us and nourishes our soul. Learning spiritual concepts is not just a cognitive exercise - it is refreshing to the soul. When a family is in spiritual need, whether a wedding or a funeral, a bar mitzvah, or just in need of "pastoral counseling" or a visit when ill; our leaders, ministers, chaplains and rabbis are here to care for the families that are committed active participating members. REGARDLESS of anyone's financial status. We DO NOT CHARGE DUES. So there is no favoritism all members are loved and cherished equally.
Active Participating Membership, opens the door for your serving ministry in the congregation. Are you a gifted musician? Do you enjoy hospitality? Are you a gifted teacher? Do you enjoy mentoring youth? Visiting the sick or spending time with the elderly. Ushers, greeters, Sisterhood, Men's Club, Worship Team, Liturgy Team.... there are so many opportunities to get involved and serve others and be served at the same time! Everyone has some kind of gift even if it is simply a smile, a handshake or making a phone call to someone else. This is what "Active Participating Membership" is all about.
Becoming an Active Participating Member also opens the door for leadership opportunities as the Lord leads. As a member volunteers, it becomes often evident that some members have experience or leadership spiritual gifting that also can be exercised within the faith-community at Tikvat Yisrael. The first step is becoming an Active Participating Member before advancing into a "Leadership" position.
Active Participating Membership opens the door for involvement in our small groups. We call this "Havurah" groups. These are small home based groups of Active Participating Members and families who know each other more intimately and perhaps live in the same neighborhoods nearby. They get together regularly for friendship, holidays and Scripture Study. Many of these relationship have life long lasting impact and builds a strong community within the congregation.
Maintaining an Active Participating Membership as an individual and even as a family; gives you the opportunity to participate in our community services. Being called up to read from the Torah or recite prayers during services. Membership gives you the love and support of other members of the congregation who see you as a committed member and not just a visitor. You have a shared identity with other Active Participating Members within a Messianic Jewish Synagogue. This is what it means to be a Messianic Believer.
Maintaining a Covenant Relationship as an Active Participating Member enables leaders to know for whom they are accountable (the shepherd must know who is in the flock). The leaders, ministers, chaplains and rabbis must be able to know "WHO" it is they serve, and have a relationship, not allowing anyone to slip through the cracks. And likewise this kind of covenant relationship allows responsible members to be held accountable too. Accountability both ways keeps the body healthy and no one is left to feel forgotten or neglected. It is important to note that "accountability" is NOT the same as "Manipulation". Leaders do not "control" the members nor do members "control" the leaders. Every Active Participating Member whether he/she is a leader or not is responsible for managing their own lives in a Godly manner according to the Scriptures, and the first rule of Leadership is that Godly leaders will NEVER violate the conscience of any member. Spiritual leadership is about "Caring" not "Controlling" people. Avoiding accountability is another main reason many people refuse to become an Active Participating Member of any congregation. In society we are all accountable whether we realize it or not. We are accountable to the Law, to law enforcement, to society norms and cultural values. To our parents and teachers we are also accountable. Freedom is not about the absence of law and order. True Spiritual Freedom is about submission to what is good and Godly, namely the Holy Scriptures, and the grace and mercy and love of God. Loving one's neighbor is the fulfillment of the Torah.
If you desire to explore more about Messianic Judaism, and Active Participating Membership in this congregation, the next step is to take the Class: "How to be a Messianic Believer" taught by one of our Rabbis, Elders or Sharatim (deacons) - CLICK HERE FOR CLASS INFO...
This class is FREE and is a "Requirement" for all prospective new Active Participating Members, individuals as well as families. The class will be offered at the synagogue a few times a year. During the class student will participate in discussion and Q&A with the rabbis and instructors. The class will likely be in a group setting with multiple students taking the class together.
A workbook will be provided free, however there are some required textbooks, please use the link below to register and learn more about the class.
For those who are eager to jump in and learn between the scheduled classes - we do have some video instruction as well. HOWEVER, the video class does not fulfill the requirement for Active Participating Membership. Anyone is welcome to view and learn from the videos, however for membership; the live class with instruction and interaction is a prerequisite.