Members and ministers
Anyone who professes the New Apostolic doctrine can become a member of the New Apostolic Church. A legal claim to the acquisition of membership does not exist, however. Membership commences upon receiving of the sacrament of Holy Sealing. Members are expected to conduct their lives in accordance with the teaching of Christ. They are entitled to participate in all religious acts intended for them, as well as spiritual care.
Resignation from the New Apostolic Church is possible at any time. In the event of serious and persistent infringements against the teaching, purpose, or reputation of the Church, a member may be expelled. In the German District Churches, this can be done by the national board of directors. The person concerned must be notified of the reasons. Within a period of three months the party concerned can bring counter-arguments against such decision on which the board of directors — in a quorum of three members — will decide after the party concerned has been granted a hearing.
Ministries of the Church
In addition to apostles, the chief apostle and district apostles commission ministers of the New Apostolic Church to conduct services and provide spiritual care for the members. These ministers include bishops, district elders, district evangelists, shepherds, community evangelists, priests, and deacons. The priestly ministries (from bishop to priest) are authorised to administer the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. A prerequisite for their ordination is an especially sound knowledge of the teaching and structure of the New Apostolic Church as well as an irreproachable walk of life aligned to Christ’s doctrine. Ministers discharge the duties of their ministries voluntarily and in an honorary capacity, according to the direction of the chief apostle, district apostles, and the apostles.
The obligation of secrecy for ministers
All ministers are clergymen in the sense of general law. They are sworn to secrecy with regard to all facts of which they have knowledge, on the grounds of their work as ministers. The pledge of secrecy is also valid once their ministerial activity ends. Dismissal, retirement, resignation from office, resignation, or expulsion from the Church terminate the ministerial activity, and result in the loss of all rights associated with the ecclesiastical office.