How to Become a Mennonite

by Donna T. Beerman
Mennonite churches can be found all over the United States.

Mennonite churches can be found all over the United States.

Mennonite is a Christian faith group that began in the 1500s and has more than a million followers worldwide. Along with the Amish, Mennonites are part of the Anabaptist religions -- groups that practice adult baptism. Mennonite congregations express beliefs in different ways, but the roots are the same: following the teachings of Jesus Christ, and an emphasis on community, peace-making and social justice. In many urban congregations, most members were not raised in the Mennonite church, meaning that this is a faith to which many consciously decide to convert.

Understand the faith and beliefs. Before committing fully to a religion, you should understand and, more importantly, buy into its belief system. Mennonite Church USA offers description of the group’s Confession of Faith, both a full and summarized version. The tenets of the Mennonite faith include a belief in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost; that all scripture is inspired by God; that humanity disobeyed God and gave way to sin, but through Jesus Christ, God offers salvation; and that ministry is a continuation of the work of Christ. Mennonites also are committed to faithfulness in marriage, expected to always be truthful and to practice peace.

Test drive the church and community. Because community is such a large part of the Mennonite faith, in addition to holding the same beliefs, you should also be willing and ready to become an active part of the church and community. Attend a few church services, and get to know people in the congregation through dinners, service projects or other gatherings. Perhaps you are already familiar or friendly with a few Mennonites, hence your interest in joining a church; ask them how you can get more involved.

Become baptized. Baptism is a public declaration of your faith. The Mennonite church baptizes adult followers, although some churches baptize people when they are in their early teenage years. Mennonite baptisms are done in the water and traditionally take place in front of the congregation; doing so makes a statement. Depending on the church, you may have to make a written or oral personal testimony of faith.

About the Author

Since 2000 Donna T. Beerman has contributed to newspapers and magazines. Her expertise includes higher education, marketing and social media, and her presentations and writing have won industry awards. She has an MFA in creative writing, is the integrated marketing manager at a Pennsylvania college and founded "Hippocampus Magazine."

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