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Distant Membership

Cade Chapel offers a meaningful experience for those who desire to worship, grow, connect, and serve with us outside of Jackson, MS.

To serve the present age, My calling to fulfill: Oh, may it all my pow’rs engage, To do my Master’s will!  A Charge to Keep, I Have.  - Charles Wesley


At Cade Chapel, we are intentional about serving this present age by reimagining how church membership and Christian discipleship can be faithfully experienced.  Through the use of technologies such as multiple live-streaming platforms, the Cade Chapel app, the Cade Chapel website, and various other digital mediums, we can now offer a meaningful experience of both church membership and Christian discipleship for those who live outside of the Jackson, MS area and desire to worship, grow, connect and serve with us. 

Distant membership is just another way that we can serve this present age!  But is it right for you? Let's see!

Defining the Distant Member

When we refer to a distant member, this is a person who lives outside of the immediate area of a local church.  Generally, if the travel time to get from your house to the church campus is greater than one hour, you may be considered a distant member.  Those who reside within a one-hour travel time radius and choose to primarily connect online are considered local members, not distant members.  We encourage individuals who live within a one-hour radius to be an in-person member who participates in mission, ministry, and the physical fellowshipping of the saints.

Next, let’s unpack the term distant member.  We choose the term “distant member”  rather than virtual member or digital member to affirm that distant members are actual living souls who are united to the body, connected with and accountable to the members of the body, and actively participating in the functionality and mission of the body.  As such, distant members are very much a real part of the fellowship of the church who share in the gathering, growth, gifts, and graces of Cade Chapel.  So while you may use virtual/digital means to connect to us, as a distant member, you are a very real part of Cade Chapel.

Distant member shares their testimony about connecting with and joining Cade Chapel.

Allowances, Expectations, and Limitations of Distant Membership

While we will make every effort to make your distant membership experience fulfilling and mutually edifying, certain limitations naturally exist due to the issues of distance and technology.  However, we will, as best as possible, provide each distant member with reasonable opportunities, solutions, and allowances to have a fulfilling spiritual experience of worship, discipleship, fellowship, and service at Cade Chapel. Following is a description of the distant member experience regarding expectations, limitations, and allowances.

Core Value 1 -Worship

We encourage distant members to regularly worship with your Cade family during the live online service.  We believe that gathering together is an important part of our faith experience and look forward to distant members being a part of the corporate worship.

Expectations of the Distant Member

  • Distant members will be provided consistent opportunities to connect with Cade for live worship services and archived services via its various media platforms.  Technology is never 100%, but we will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the online experience is conducive to spirit-filled worship

  • Distant members are encouraged to participate in the online chat community which often consists of other distant members, visitors, and friends..

  • Distant members are encouraged to engage with either the online pastor or the host of the chatroom so that opportunities for prayer requests and testimonies are received and shared.

  • Distant members are encouraged to give regularly of their tithes and offerings in adoration of God and to further the ministries of the church.

  • As they are developed, online communities will provide distant members the opportunity to engage the sermon, notes, and points with an online pastor/facilitator for a deeper dive into the message.

Limitations of the Church

  • Baptisms - As baptism is one of the two ordinances of the Baptist church, we highly encourage distant members to make a special effort for us to share this special moment at an in-person service on the Cade campus.  The New Member’s Orientation team will work with the distant member to coordinate and schedule a convenient time for the member’s baptism to happen at Cade Chapel.  If traveling to Cade Chapel is not possible, we will work with a church and pastor in the city or area of the distant member to coordinate a baptism to take place there.

  • Communion - As communion is one of the two ordinances of the Baptist church, we will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the distant member can celebrate this memorial meal with the body.  We will arrange for communion cups to be mailed directly to distant members quarterly and ask that members store them until we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together.

  • Funerals - In the case of the death of either the distant member or the member’s immediate next of kin (i.e. spouse, parent, or child) Cade Chapel Bereavement Committee will work with the family in helping to make arrangements with a local funeral home in the distant member’s city of residence.  However, the church’s participation will be limited to assistance in program planning, providing a gift card to the family to assist with a repast, and supporting the pastor’s travel to and from the city where the funeral will be held.  No other support staff (i.e. musicians, vocalists, audio/video, etc.) will be provided by the church.

  • Weddings - Weddings are a special life event that is shared with family, friends, and your community of faith.  As such, we encourage those distant members who are planning a wedding to consider a destination wedding in Jackson, MS.  In this way, the distant member may celebrate the exchange of vows in the physical context of the Cade campus.  Another option, however, would be that the senior pastor (supported financially by the church) would come to the city of the distant member to perform the ceremony.  If, however, it is a destination wedding outside of the distant member’s city of residence, travel and accommodations for the pastor would need to be provided by the distant member.

Core Value 2 - Grow

We believe that as disciples, we are called to grow in our understanding and application of God’s word.  Distant members will be invited to join this journey of growth through programs of discipleship provided via online applications.

Expectations of the Distant Member

  • Distant members will be given a membership certificate upon completion of the New Members’ Orientation class

  • Distant members will have the opportunity to connect with Sunday School, bible study, vacation bible school, and any other discipline activities for which a digital platform can be reasonably provided.

  • Distant members will be given access to the Cade Chapel/RightNow Media platform and library

  • Distant members will have access to any all-church devotional materials (i.e. 28 Days of Prayer) that are digitally produced.

Limitations of the Church

  • If hard copies of published materials are preferred, we will make every reasonable effort to provide such but encourage distant members to download the digital files provided and make their own copies.

Core Value 3 - Connect

We encourage distant members to lean into the “one-another-ness” of the Christian community by sharing in the mission, ministry, and membership of Cade Chapel.  Remember, if you’re doing it by yourself, it’s probably not the church.

Expectations and Allowances of the Distant Member

  • Distant members will be extended the Right Hand of Fellowship in a virtual service or may arrange for this to happen during an in-person service.

  • Distant members are encouraged to plan a trip to the church campus at least once a year for in-person service.  Such a trip may coincide with a special day related to the family (i.e. graduation, anniversary, birthday, etc.) or it may be to share in an all-church event (i.e. Family and Friends Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.)

  • Distant members will be assigned to an online church group that will provide a space of fellowship and community.

  • Distant members will be assigned a Distant Deacon who will provide reasonable spiritual care and connection to the body.

  • Distant members will be given access to church business meetings and the ability to vote during said meetings.

  • Distant members will have access to tele-counseling with either the Minister of Congregational Care or the Senior Pastor.  Tele-counseling is spiritual counseling that is not therapeutic in nature.   Neither is it provided by a licensed clinician or therapist.

Limitations of the Church

  • It should be noted that connection is necessarily one of the areas where being a distant member is most challenging.  Nothing replaces in-person koinonia (fellowship) and connection to a local body.  Making distant membership meaningful will be the distant member’s responsibility to put forth intentional efforts to remain connected to Cade.

Core Value 4 - Serve

We believe that service is the natural outgrowth of true discipleship and encourage distant members to lean into opportunities to serve one’s local community or to share in any of our service projects by offering support.

Expectations and Allowances of the Distant Member

  • Distant members will be allowed to participate in the missions of the church by providing in-kind donations to the efforts (i.e. Walton Book Drive, Angel Tree, etc.)

  • Distant members will be encouraged to partner with a local congregation when volunteers are needed to support a local missionary effort that Cade also supports.

  • Distant members will be asked to share online the service events and projects that Cade is supporting to build greater support for the effort.

Limitations of the Church

  • Distant members will not be allowed to serve as ministry leaders of any ministry that necessarily requires in-person presence.

  • Distant members will not be allowed to serve as a church officer in the current structure of church officers.  In the future, should new officers become necessary that are consistent with not needing to be on-site or in-person, consideration will be given to such opportunities to serve.

We are excited that you are interested in joining Cade as a distant member and pray that the Holy Spirit will direct you in your decision.  If this is the right choice for you, click here to fill out our intake form.

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