Insights from Effective Churches on New Member Classes and Assimilation
Findings from a national study to improve membership
classes and to motivate current members into active
How do churches move members—both old and new—
into ministry? Many church staff and lay leaders know
they need to start new member classes as a point of entry
into their churches but don’t know how. This book is
based on a national study of effective churches and
shows how growing churches implement new member
classes and motivate their members into ministry.
Membership Matters is designed to be a guide for
church leaders wanting to start or improve a membership
class. It includes models for classes and examples
of resources such as church covenants, class schedules,
and lesson outlines. It also gives direction on motivating
uninvolved members to participate in ministry. One
chapter chronicles an ongoing discussion among pastors
of growing churches that are effectively motivating
members to do ministry.
Chuck Lawless is professor and senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor for almost twenty years, and is the author of Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Truth for Victory, Discipled Warriors: Healthy Churches Winning Spiritual Warfare, Making Disciples through Mentoring, Serving in Your Church's Prayer Ministry, and Eating the Elephant. Dr. Lawless speaks extensively around the country.
Contents List of Illustrations...9 Foreword by Thom Rainer...11 Acknowledgments...15 1. THE CHALLENGE...17 Moving Attenders into Membership and Ministry 2. 'WHO'S GOT TIME FOR ANOTHER MEETING?' ...31 The Scheduling Issues 3. 'WHAT MATTERS MOST TO ME?' ...47 The Relationship Issues 4. 'WHAT SHOULDWE TEACH?' ...63 The Curriculum Issue---Doctrine 5. 'WHAT SHOULDWE TEACH?' ...77 The Curriculum Issue---Mission and Expectations 6. 'BUTWHAT ABOUT THOSEWHO STILL DON'T GET...93 INVOLVED?' The Enlistment Issue 7. 'WHERE DOWE START?' ...109 The Transition Issue 8. 'JUST GIVE ME THE FACTS' ...125 A Pastors' Forum 9. TIM'S STORY...143 Appendix 1: Sample Invitation Letter...151 Appendix 2: 'Getting to Know You' Form 1...153 Appendix 3: 'Getting to Know You' Form 2...155 Appendix 4: Spiritual Questionnaire...158 Appendix 5: Sample Gospel Presentation...160 Appendix 6: Sample Lesson on the Church...163 Appendix 7: The Expectation Pentagon Worksheet... 165 Appendix 8: Sample Membership Covenant...167 Appendix 9: Ministry Opportunities Checklist...170 Appendix 10: 'Discovering Your Ministry' Worksheet...172 Appendix 11: Sample Sermon Outline...175 Appendix 12: New Member Evaluation Form...177 Appendix 13: Spiritual Growth Checklist...182 Appendix 14: Church Survey...183 Appendix 15: New Member Survey...190 Appendix 16: Churches That Participated in This Study...193 Notes...197 Subject Index...201