Children and Church Membership

It is always a joy to hear of Sunday school pupils who are ready for the responsibilities of church membership and who take the step as a result of their own demonstration. The Manual of The Mother Church provides that children may become members of The Mother Church at the age of twelve. In branch churches, where the responsibility of church government rests with the membership and a certain mental maturity is requisite, the age at which students may be received into membership is determined locally.

It is important, however, that no undue influence be brought to bear, through Sunday school teachers or others, which might lead a child to become a member of The Mother Church or of one of its branches before he is ready for this significant step. For a child to become a member of the church before he is sufficiently grounded in Christian Science to continue in his earnest and faithful study and application of the teachings of our beloved Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, is not helpful to the church or to the child. Individual progress alone determines the student's readiness for church membership.

Pupils who consistently practice what they learn in Sunday school naturally grow to love the church. It is entirely proper that teachers encourage them to become familiar with the Manual of The Mother Church, and to ponder the Tenets and the definition of "Church," as given by Mrs. Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (pp. 497 and 583), so that they may look forward to becoming church members and supporting the organization which our Leader established for the spreading and the perpetuating of her teachings.

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Preparation for the Class
April 20, 1946

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