What exactly does it take to become a member of your faith? I see great variance. When I say faith here, I also mean denomination or organisation, not just the religion (or non-religion, as there are atheist and secular organisations you can be a member of) . When you say, "I am a member of ________." what exactly does that entitle within the rules of that group? Also, is your definition of membership different from the organisation's definition? I see a lot of rather loose ideas, and I know that there is great variance. There is baptism, declarations, initiations, etc.
As a simple example, I am a member of the congregation that attends the temple I go to, but I'm not a member of the group that runs the temple, the group that has by-laws, hires staff, and can vote on decisions. So right there, there are two distinct ideas. Of course some groups may not even have membership as some sort of legal idea.
I'm interested in the great diversity of this, and I think it might provide learning for many of us. Thoughts?