Pastors' Forum


Church Membership

We have never had official “membership” in our church, but I’m thinking about initiating it. I’m curious as to what experiences other pastors have had with church membership. What are the pros and the cons? What requirements should we have for people to become members? What is taught in the membership classes and how extensive are they? What reasons are there for having or not having church membership?


Pastor Jerry Weinzierl – Sterling Heights, MI
We implemented a new protocol for membership about 2 years ago and it’s unbelievable the number of people that have responded. Our situation may be a bit different because we have grown rapidly over the last couple years. We “wondered out loud” that if we made it easier to become a “member,” would more people stick around and take the “discipleship” course (The Journey) in order to get involved in the church.

There are different levels of involvement: work in the cafe, cleaning the building, Valet, or Greeter Ministry all the way to Life Group Leader, Worship Team, Children’s/Youth ministry worker, Altar Care, Pastoral Care Team, etc., etc. Every ministry is important, yet they may carry differing degrees of maturity, connection to Grace, etc. ANYONE that wants to be involved in ANYTHING must, (1) Become a member, and (2) Take the First Principles class (in The Journey). To be involved at higher levels of leadership and responsibility, the more classes you need to take. The final two groupings of class are Road to Service (discovering your gifts) & Road to Stability (learning about leadership principles).

Where we use to announce new members once per quarter and have 10-12 names to read, we now announce new members monthly and have 30+ (Last month we had 39!).

Our philosophy: Get ‘em connected…then get ‘em involved!

Pastor John White –  Decatur, AL
When we first started the church I wasn’t sure if we should take membership or not. I didn’t have any biblical ground to do so. I thought, “If you come, you are a member.”  However, as time passed I realized that it was important to have church membership. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:23, “Be diligent to know the state of thy flocks and look well to thy herds.” Well I didn’t know who my flock was until I started taking membership. I couldn’t leave the 99 and go after the one that had gone astray if I didn’t know who they were.

Membership provides accountability. It also gives the people a sense of ownership. Most people use to refer to our church as “Brother John’s church.”  Now they say, “My church.”  They have finally taken ownership and are more involved, more dedicated, and committed to it.

I liken membership to a marriage. There is a covenant between us.  We are committed to each other and dedicated to one another’s success.  We have disagreements.  We get ticked off at each other from time to time, but because we are in covenant and love one another, we work out our problems. We are in a marriage relationship and not just living together where we can walk out at any time with no strings attached.

Also, because we are in a type of marriage relationship, or should I say family relationship, everyone has chores to do. Everyone has a job to do in the church. At home your job might be to mow the grass or take out the garbage.  But at church, it might be to work in the nursery or be an altar worker. Every member is assigned a job.

I taught everything the church believes in eight sessions and we put those CDs in an album or manual with an application and other information about the church. I mention about once per month how to become a member and give a manual to each prospective member. After completing all of the requirements in our manual, they attend one class where we answer questions, discuss issues in the manual and find out their talents and abilities in order to plug them into a position. Then at the conclusion of a Sunday morning service, we recognize all the new members and welcome them into our family and pray for them.

This process has worked very well for us and it has helped us to retain and maintain our congregation. I believe that church membership is very important and beneficial to the success and vision of our church.

Pastor David Emigh – Sand Springs, OK
I personally believe that church membership is very important. We did not have it for the first few years of our church, but I began to see a need for people to commit to something bigger than themselves. So we started on the membership journey.

I think the most important thing is to make it practical; not too many rules, but it needs to draw a commitment from the member. I do have our “Welcome to the Family” class on CD and also have a workbook I would be glad to send it to any minister who thinks it would be beneficial to them.  If you would like to receive these items, please submit your request to

Pastor Denny Beavers – Jonesboro, AR
I believe strongly in church membership and that every believer should be a member of a local church. Our experience with church membership has been very positive. We endeavor to make everyone that attends our church feel welcome and an important part of the church, but we also emphasize the importance of church membership and committing to a local church and Pastor.

Church membership provides the members protection from wolves, consistent teaching for spiritual growth, opportunity for Christian service, fellowship with others of like, precious faith, and to be part of a natural and spiritual care system (a family of believers that care and pray one for another). The scriptures we use to emphasize these reasons for church membership are Eph. 4:8-16, Acts 20:28-30, Eccl. 4:9-12, 1 Cor. 12:25,26 and Heb. 13:7,17.

We require potential members to attend a one session orientation/membership class that lasts 2 – 2 1/2 hours (includes a break), or listen to the teaching on CD if they can’t make the class. Attendance at the class is strongly encouraged, but if they can’t attend, we make the CD’s available to them. In the class, we cover the following areas: the importance of the local church and the Pastoral ministry, including the responsibility of Pastors/leaders and submission to Pastors/leaders; how God places members in the Body; the power of unity and the poison of strife; that each member has a three fold supply for the church – physical (Rms. 12:1, 1 Cor. 12:28, “helps ministry”), spiritual (Phil 1:19, 1 Cor 14:26) and financial (Malachi 3:7-12); the ministry of deacons; our form of church government; benefits and responsibilities of church membership; our church doctrine; our vision.

After attending the class or listening to the CD’s, those desiring to become members are required to fill out and sign a membership application form that states they meet the requirements of membership and agree to support the Pastor and church in attendance, service, finances, and prayer. The application form also states that by becoming a member, the Pastor and congregation agree to faithfully serve them and pray for them and their family.

The requirements of membership are: (1) Must be born again (John 3:3-18, Rms.10:9,10).  (2)  Live a consistent Christian life (Eph.4:22, Rms. 6:1-7).  (3) Attend Church regularly (Heb. 10:24,25). (4) Agree with our tenets of faith (1 Cor. 1:10).  (5) Support the church with tithes and offerings (Mal. 3: 7-10).  Serving in the Helps ministry is not one of the requirements to be a member, but our membership form states that members are expected to volunteer and serve in the ministry of helps.

To receive a copy of our membership CD or for more information, please e-mail me at

Pastor John Pfeffer, Jr. – Seekonk, MA
I look at the concept of membership both from the perspective of a former attorney who formed churches and now as a pastor of a church that has existed for over 30 years.

Legally, I think that it is important to identify what is meant by “membership.”  In many denominational churches, membership carries with it the right to vote on important issues. Legally, they operate like stockholders of a for-profit corporation. These issues would include approval of the budget and final approval over hiring a new pastor. In other words, membership means control of the significant issues of the church.

In typical non-denominational churches, membership has no voting rights and consists essentially of a “belonging” to the organization. This type of membership gives a sense of being part of the community of believers.

In either case, it is the corporation’s by-laws that should set out which type of membership your church uses.

We have had the informal type of membership almost from the beginning, and I believe that it has been a real blessing. Membership in our church requires completion of a five-week course (two hours per week), which explains the basic doctrines that the church believes. This course has several advantages:

  1. It lets the prospective member know more about who we are;
  2. Because it requires a commitment of their time & energy, the course also signifies to them how seriously we consider membership;
  3. It also allows us to see how committed and dependable a prospective member is by their completion of the course’s assignments;

At the end of the last class, we have the elders and pastors meet and greet the graduates, and I address them to express our appreciation.  A few Sundays after the completion of the course, we have a short ceremony before the entire congregation, presenting certificates of membership and acknowledging them as members.

We have found that through this type of membership and the process of preparing for it, our new members have a greater sense of belonging to the church and our older members have a greater sense of the church as a growing community.

Pastor John Larkam – Austin, TX
The late Pastor John Osteen, founder of Lakewood Church, once stated in a ministers conference that he didn’t have an “official” membership. If people were attending, giving and serving, he considered them “members.” The wisdom found in that statement alone helped us develop a purposeful membership at World Harvest Outreach Church. We designed a Membership Class around helping people become involved in the church through their attendance, giving and serving. At the core of membership is commitment—the giving of our time, our talent and our treasures to further the Kingdom of God.


Official Membership helps identify those people who are committed—the core group of people who you can depend upon and build around. Those who show up on Sunday morning may be a part of your congregation, but those who are committed with their time, talent and treasures are your core who will catch your vision and help you build. Membership helps identify those people.


Some are opposed to “organized religion” and since membership is a tool to help organize people for maximum impact in the community, those people will most likely be turned off by the thought of membership (or anything organizational in nature).

Membership Class

We have found that a membership class serves many purposes, among them:

  1. It gives the leadership an opportunity to meet and receive pertinent information from those interested in “joining” the church.
  2. It gives those who are interested in “joining” the church an opportunity to “get to know” the leadership.
  3. It provides the leadership an opportunity to share the history, the values and core beliefs, the tenants of faith, the structure (how they operate) and most importantly, the vision.
  4. It provides an opportunity to help people understand the importance of the local church.
  5. It helps people understand what they can expect of the leadership and what is expected of them.
  6. It helps people understand that they are important and that they have a part to play in the success of the church.

Requirements for Membership

These are entirely up to the pastor; however, here are some suggestions:

  1. Be born again.
  2. Successfully complete the membership class.
  3. Agree to a commitment either by signing a form, making a public declaration  or by other means.

At World Harvest Outreach Church, we hold three or four membership classes each year and have found them to be very beneficial in establishing our core. The membership classes are held on Sunday mornings before the main services to facilitate ease of attendance and they are taught by the senior pastor. New members are recognized and “received” into fellowship through prayer in the main service after successfully completing the class. A membership certificate is awarded and a banquet is also held in their honor.

Pastor Matthew Mangan – Williamston, MI
Church membership is very important for many reasons! When a person goes through membership classes it gives them a sense of ownership to your church. They now feel responsible to support the church with their prayers, finances and volunteering.

The pro’s and con’s of church membership are much like the differences between dating and marriage. In dating you can come and go without any responsibility or real commitment. However once you get married, you now take ownership and responsibility to your new found commitment.

My wife and I have pastored for 20 years and we feel church membership is a must. What is taught in our membership class is our 16 fundamentals of truth, what we believe, and why we do what we do. What are the requirements to become a member? Salvation and a willingness to grow in the things of God.

One point: The number of members in your denomination determines how many chaplains the armed forces will install for your faith.

Lastly, the song “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, I’ll be There” reminds me of one reason to have church membership. If you don’t have a roll, your church will miss it. LOL. Hope this helps. God bless you.

Pastor John B. Lowe II – Warsaw, IN
Depending upon the state in which your church is incorporated, it will give you a leg up legally. It defines roles, commitments and expectations. However, the membership is only as good as the people who are in covenant relationship. We preach covenant a lot, but, for the most part, we don’t live it out in the personal areas of life, family and ministry. If the people are quality, the heart of a member is there; if not, then there is nothing you can do to make them be members.

Pastor Dean Hawk – Colorado Springs, CO
Definitely have membership! We use membership to create ownership and a partnership of the people to the church. We have found the easier it is to join “the team” and the more frequent we offer the class, the quicker we are able to build commitment and an allegiance to the body of Christ.

I describe believers who are not members at a church as appendages (hands, feet, legs, limbs) that lie dormant and useless while unattached to the body of Christ. “Are you an amputee? Get connected to the ‘body’ and watch what God will do in your life.” We do a one-stop class right after our second service, once a month. We serve a FREE catered lunch and then I spend about 40 minutes covering the main subjects of membership. Our goal is to move people from a place of observing (noticing something) to serving (doing something). The more engaged someone is, the more active they are in attendance and in giving. We want them to make the shift from referring to “the” church I attend to “my” church.

The line in the sand that separates the men from the boys and members from attenders is the willingness to do something with their faith and live beyond themselves. Here is the way we describe the difference of our two levels of involvement in the class:

1.  Spectators / Fan Club

    • You come to Rock Family Church and enjoy the ministry you receive.
    • You are a fan of the church and it is exciting to be involved in what goes on.
    • At this time, you are more comfortable as a spectator until you see if Rock Family church is right for you and your family.
  • Team members / players on the team
  • You choose to leave the comfort of the grandstands to join the team.
  • You not only want to receive from Rock Family Church but you also want to make a contribution to the success of the team.
  • You believe in the vision and you decide to be an active participator and player on the RFC Team.
  • You are committed to Jesus Christ and you pursue an avenue to serve and utilize your gifts, talents, abilities, and resources.
  • You choose to be an investor with your tithes and offerings.
  • You actively recruit others to attend RFC and join the RFC team.

The main points we cover are the history of the church along with my personal and ministerial background. We talk about our vision, mission statement, and core values that define us. Other big ideas we cover in the membership packet are:

  • What are the benefits of being on the team?
  • What is expected of team members
  • My commitment to them as pastor and head coach
  • Church government (our bylaws state that members have no voting rights)
  • Review finances and the previous year’s financial report.
  • Areas to get involved and serve:  We simply give them a volunteer catalog and a small group catalog.
  • What we believe (this is in print form—we do not take time to review in the class. We make the assumption they can read.)

Our only requirements for membership are: 1) You must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and you are interested in pursuing a closer walk with God (we offer to lead them to Christ after the class if they are not born again). 2) Anyone of any race, nationality, or social background. 3) You must be 13 years or older.  Those children 12 and under are considered team members as dependents of one or both parents who have joined the RFC team. Children who turn 13 years old are considered adults and encouraged to make their own commitment to the RFC team. Even if their parents join, they do not become members. The Bible is very clear. You are a child or an adult. There is no such thing as adolescents or teenagers as a social category in the bible.

The following Sunday we publicly recognize them in both of our services. To symbolize the team spirit and their willingness to get involved, we have them stand and then a pastoral staff member runs with a blue track relay baton and passes it to them. On the baton it says, “Rock Family Church . . . Run With the Vision.” You can pick these up online for a couple bucks and our printer creates the vinyl rub on letters. It has tremendous symbolism to the team mindset and reinforces the theme that we are passing a portion of the vision for them to carry.

If you would like a copy of my membership class notes, drop me an email and I will forward them to

Pastor Ray Almaguer – Glendora, CA
For the first few years that I pastored, I didn’t have any official membership in our church. Then I discovered this amazing truth: Commitment Is Not Automatic. This was a huge revelation for me. I really thought if people just came long enough they would eventually commit. Well, some people did, but I came to understand that most people need to be challenged to make a commitment to the church. We issue that challenge in our membership class. The purpose of our membership class is to ask for and receive a commitment to our church. We also communicate our church’s commitment to them, that is, what they can expect from us as their church. We ask them to commit to attendance, to the vision, to the leadership, and to financial support. We cover such topics as: What We Believe and Preach, Benefits of Church Membership, Tithing and Stewardship, Our Vision, and The Membership Covenant. All of this material is printed in a booklet. It makes the class much more effective. We teach our class in one night, usually in two hours or less. Those attending are encouraged to ask any questions they may have regarding our church, our leadership, our beliefs, etc. I have found official church membership to be of immeasurable value.

If you choose to start official church membership in your church, here are a few suggestions you might consider in order to insure a smooth transition. What I did was this: First, I shared with the leaders that we were going to start church membership. I showed them from the Scriptures that membership is biblical. The words “member” or “members” are used numerous times in 1 Corinthians 12 alone. Once the leaders were on board, I then announced it to the church. I let them know that since they were already a part of the church, they wouldn’t need to go through the class to become official members, that I already considered them to be members. Then I simply taught the class outlines on the next four Sunday mornings. It was a very smooth transition for us. Church membership has been a great benefit to us.

Pastor Rick Renner – Moscow, Russia
Years ago when we started our church in Moscow, I discovered confusion about who was and was not a member of churches in Moscow. Very few churches had an official church membership. Some churches counted church members by who attended home groups. Many pastors assumed people to be church members, but when we asked the people, they didn’t consider themselves to be members of those churches. A lack of official membership created confusion in many cases. There were moments when pastors felt we were taking “their” church members, but the people we supposedly were “taking” had no recollection of ever becoming a member of any church. It seemed that who was and wasn’t a church member of various churches was all guess-work. What confusion!

We were growing so fast as a new church, that as I looked out at our congregation, I needed to know who I was really responsible for spiritually. I knew that some of these were mere attenders and visitors and that they were not submitted to my spiritual authority. If I had confronted them or personally challenged them, they could have rightfully said, “Excuse me, but I only attend your church. I’ve never asked you to become my pastor or made a commitment to this church.” Because I want to know who I am responsible for before the Lord — and to whom I have the spiritual right to speak into their lives, — we established church membership to clear up all these questions. Because of our church membership, we know exactly who we are spiritually responsible for, and who is just an attender.

To become a member of our church, one must attend several classes, then be personally interviewed by an executive pastoral staff member, and then WE DECIDE if we will receive them as church members. If they are habitual church hoppers, we will probably ask them to wait for a period of time to make sure this is a sure decision on their part. If we see that they come with a rebellious attitude or that they are spiritually off-base, we probably will not receive them as members. Who we receive is in our hands to decide. We decided long ago that if we were going to be held spiritually accountable for people, then we would make it very clear that we will not be accountable for unaccountable people. That is why the interview process is so very important.

After the interview is done, if the person is received as a member, they are asked to sign a commitment form whereupon they agree:

  • To be submitted to the pastor’s spiritual authority.
  • To receive correction if it is needed or given.
  • To serve in some area of the church as a member of the body.
  • To live a life of holiness that will positively reflect on Jesus and the church.
  • To give regularly tithes and offerings.

If the potential church member feels that he or she cannot sign this document, then we thank them for being an attender and encourage them to keep coming, but if they cannot sign this document, then we cannot receive them as a church member.

Membership is just as serious as my God-given accountability for them. This commitment goes two ways. If they are from another church, we write a letter to their pastor asking him to acknowledge that a person is wanting to move their membership to our church. We ask the pastor to either communicate his blessing on their decision or to inform us of why he can’t bless this action, or to tell us reason that we should not receive them. We give the pastor 30 days to respond, and the understanding expressed in our letter to him that if we do not hear from him, then we will understand that he is not against this person moving their membership to our church. By doing this, we give every pastor an opportunity to express himself, we give honor to the other pastor, and we protect ourselves from being accused that we are stealing church members from other churches.

Furthermore, we found that often when people join a church, they often strangely disappear from attending church. It’s like they seized the prize, and then went away. Therefore, when people become official members of our church, they are first put on a probationary period of three months. At the end of three months, their attendance is reviewed. If we discover they attended less than 50% of the time, their membership is revoked unless there is a clear reason for a lack of attendance. How can I be responsible for people whom we never see? If they are not serious enough to attend church at least 50% of the time, then I will not be held accountable for them — and this is communicated very clearly from the beginning to everyone who expresses a desire to become a church member.

But to do this effectively, it means we have to take regular attendance. So… every Sunday a pad or paper is passed through the seats and people indicate their presence in church. If they are a church member, they already have a # of church membership, so they only need to write down their member #. If they are a regular attender, but not a member, they write down their name. Visitors write out all information about themselves on their first visit. On Monday, all of this information is entered into our data system and every week I can see who is attending regularly, who is missing church regularly, and we know who to contact. When a church is small, it’s easy to see who is and isn’t in their places.  As a church grows, a system is needed to better know who is and isn’t there. If we see a church member is regularly missing church, our pastoral staff contacts them to see if they are OK. If they have changed addresses, we call to see if they had any kind of crisis about which we should be aware, as a change in address often reflects changes in relationship or in economic status.

Also, do to this weekly attendance record, we know EXACTLY how many people are attending our church. On any given Sunday, approximately 50% of our church is there. We have about 4,000 different individuals who attend our church (members and non-members at least 50% of the month), but on a weekly basis our attendance is about 2,000 to 2,200 people. Having these records has helped us know when we are doing well, and when we are doing poorly, but most of all, it has made it clear about who we are spiritually responsible for and who is just an attender in our church.

As a last word, in December of each year, we review the statistic of church membership. If a person has attended less than 50% of the time, they are talked to by a pastoral staff member to discern why they attend so little. If there are legitimate reasons, they are allowed to continue as an official church member. If they have no reason, then their membership is revoked, and to become a member again, they must go through the same process all over again. We simply will not be held accountable for people whom we do not regularly speak into their lives. We have found that this causes people to be more serious about church membership. People do not have to have their membership revoked or have to go through this process again, so they do their best to attend 50% of the time or to communicate if there is a reason they have fallen behind in church attendance.

I do not know how pastors can really know who they are spiritually held accountable for if they have no system of church membership. For us, it’s not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of spiritual accountability. When we first implemented this program, it was brand new to Moscow, but today many churches now use our system and it has brought great clarity about who is and isn’t a member of different churches in the city. It is certainly not a perfect system and it has its flaws, but it has been helpful to us for the issues stated in this brief article.

Pastor Bob Yandian – Broken Arrow, OK
I really wanted to have attendees become members of the church.  I simply wanted them to say this was their church home before I depended on them to help in any area. Volunteers needed to be members. 1 Corinthians 12 called the parts of the body “members.” A member is something joined to the whole with no intentions of leaving.

I ask those who have attended awhile to become members. I include it with the altar call. When a person responds, they are greeted and fill out a membership card.  They then attend new members classes (two of them). I do not like to have many classes. It is often easier to get a credit card at Sears than to join a church. A background check is made before they volunteer in any area of the church. It most always is clear. They indicate on the card what areas they would like to volunteer in and they are put to work. This becomes one of the most fulfilling areas of most people’s Christian life. Here is where fulfillment comes while meeting the needs of others. Lifelong friendships develop, prayer partners are made and a large church suddenly becomes small.

Pastor Tim Phillips – Harrison, AR
Our church, Grace Christian Center offers membership to our congregation.  Membership has been a positive aspect of our church.  I find that those who join are more likely to get involved in the various ministries and areas of service.  To me, it seems they are more likely to adopt the attitude that “It’s my church and I want to fully participate.”

When someone expresses an interest in membership we will give them an information folder that contains our Vision Statement, Core Values, and What We Believe, along with a paragraph outlining our form of Church Government.  Also included in the packet is a copy of Byron D. August’s book, “Are You Profitable to Your Pastor?” (published by Ready for the World Ministries), answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and a list of opportunities to serve where they can indicate their particular areas of interest, skills, talents, hobbies and abilities.

The Membership Application form asks for pertinent information such as name, address, marital status, and names of dependent children.  We ask that they provide a written or verbal testimony regarding their salvation experience, agree with our tenets of faith and ask that they sign a “Partnership with Grace Christian Center” document that covers such issues as committing to “protect the unity of my church,” to “share the responsibility of my church,” to “serve the ministry of my church,” and to “support the testimony of my church.”

As a portion of the membership process, I will host a four session “New Members” class during the School of the Bible period on Sunday morning.  In the first session I share my testimony, the history of our church, and give them some material on how to relate to their pastor.  In following sessions I will talk about getting involved in the church and using their spiritual gifts.  I will invite some of my staff in so they can get acquainted with them.  In the last session I talk about how to leave a church.  I may invite someone who has left at one time but has come back to come and share their personal testimony to help the people see the importance of the local church, connecting with the pastor’s vision, and to know that if they must leave, it can be a positive experience and with the blessing of the pastor.

Pastor Mark Boer – Boise, ID
I am a proponent of church membership. Although some people are opposed to it based upon “already being a member of the body of Christ,” or “being committed without the need for membership,” I still believe the benefits of a formal commitment to a single, local church can be of great value—both to the individual and to the leadership.

In my experience, it is certainly not a guarantee that people will honor their commitment, but it does give a foundation to work from in knowing that people have chosen our house as the place to be planted. It helps me to distinguish who should receive priority in ministry as we are instructed to take care of our own first. I see it as a tool to share various things such as vision and expectations for members. The required class affords the setting and time to share what otherwise wouldn’t. It is a part of our system to grow and develop people into mature believers.

Topics that we cover in class are:

  • Our History
  • The Pastor & Family
  • Philosophy of Ministry
  • Statement of Faith
  • Church Government
  • What is Membership?
  • Responsibilities of Membership
  • Vision
  • Dealing with Offenses

We have a three-hour class on a Sunday night that includes a nice dinner—provided by our hospitality team. There are no requirements to attend the class (It is promoted to new people to find out more about the church). There are, however, a few requirements to join. Each person must be born again, be baptized in water, and have attended the church faithfully for at least two months.

Pastor John Brady – McAllen, TX
When I began to pastor I did not have membership classes. My experience with a denominational church regarding membership was not positive. Membership was involved in governing the church through pastoral votes and arguing over the staff’s salaries. As a staff member, those were embarrassing moments. A few years into the pastorate I received teaching on how membership can be part of the discipleship process.

Quarterly we hold classes for new members. In our church membership is a commitment to three areas; our vision, serving, and growing.

1.  Vision – We want people to connect to our vision and have ownership. We explain that they are not at the church just because they like the worship or the message, but they believe in the vision. Vision will help them put down roots and be firmly established.

2.  Serve – We can only fulfill the vision as a team.  God has gifted them in an area, and through that gift they can serve the vision. We want to help them find their gifting. We do this through teaching, taking a gift survey, and an interview with one of our Pastors.  After this process we connect them with a ministry team to serve in.

3.  Grow – We want to stress the importance for each of them to grow in the word of God and in their relationship with Christ. We show them what the church has to offer to help them grow.

It took us fifteen years to refine the membership process. It has become the center piece of our discipleship and allows us to fulfill the vision of God for our church.

Pastor John Brady – McAllen, TX
When I began to pastor I did not have membership classes. My experience with a denominational church regarding membership was not positive. Membership was involved in governing the church through pastoral votes and arguing over the staff’s salaries. As a staff member, those were embarrassing moments. A few years into the pastorate I received teaching on how membership can be part of the discipleship process.

Quarterly we hold classes for new members. In our church membership is a commitment to three areas; our vision, serving, and growing.

1.  Vision – We want people to connect to our vision and have ownership. We explain that they are not at the church just because they like the worship or the message, but they believe in the vision. Vision will help them put down roots and be firmly established.

2.  Serve – We can only fulfill the vision as a team. God has gifted them in an area, and through that gift they can serve the vision. We want to help them find their gifting.  We do this through teaching, taking a gift survey, and an interview with one of our Pastors. After this process we connect them with a ministry team to serve in.

3.  Grow – We want to stress the importance for each of them to grow in the word of God and in their relationship with Christ. We show them what the church has to offer to help them grow.

It took us fifteen years to refine the membership process. It has become the center piece of our discipleship and allows us to fulfill the vision of God for our church.