Becoming a Member of the Bruderhof
Members of the Bruderhof come from many countries, background, and walks of life. We believe we have been called to a life of radical discipleship which testifies to the coming of Christ’s kingdom on earth. We also believe that we share this calling with many brothers and sisters who we have not yet met. If you think that God is leading you to a life in the Bruderhof church community, it will be important to spend time visiting our communities. Prayer, reading the Bible, and discussion with members can help you discern whether you share our calling.
If you’re considering membership, you’ll first go through a novitiate, or time of discernment and testing. All novices (who must be eighteen years or older) take part fully in the daily life of our church community. As a novice, we ask that you respect and uphold the order and spirit of our common life during your stay with us. The novitiate has no set length – although it is generally a year or longer – and it involves no binding commitment regarding the possibility of membership. The novitiate can be broken off by either side at any time.
You can read more about the novitiate in Foundations of our Faith and Calling, which describes the Bruderhof’s beliefs and way of life.
After a time of novitiate, you may request to become a member. Membership is open to anyone who has received the call to live a life of service to Christ in brotherly and sisterly community. You and we must be convinced that Christ himself has called you to serve him with us, because God wants voluntary service.
A lifetime commitment, which is integral to our vocation, should be entered into freely and joyfully. No one should join for the sake of another person, whether a spouse, a friend, a parent, or a child. And no one should join for reasons of personal security. You should seek to please God alone.
Membership in our church community is entered into by taking vows, which are spoken in a special church gathering. Through these vows, we give ourselves to Christ with all that we have and are, making a lifelong covenant of faithfulness to God and to our fellow members.
To become a member, you must:
- be twenty-one or older
- embrace the teachings of Christ
- affirm all points of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds
- have received adult baptism
- be accepted by the Bruderhof church community after a time of testing and discernment
You can read more about membership in Foundations of our Faith and Calling.