Before you join the church

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Salty, Dec 6, 2003.

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Before you join the church

  1. The sooner the better

    26.7%
  2. Should wait 2 or 3 weeks

    17.8%
  3. Must attend new members class

    6.7%
  4. Must be interviewed by deacons

    4.4%
  5. Must attend class and be interviewed by deacons

    17.8%
  6. We consider on a case by case basis

    26.7%
  7. Other (must give reply)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Salty

    Salty
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    How soon, and what requirements should be met for church membership?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Yes. They ALL look good to me!

    I would NEVER allow a person to join a church without some weeks of getting to know them and vice versa.

    Church membership is a COMMITMENT.
     
  3. Carolina Baptist

    Carolina Baptist
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    I would add a meeting with the pastor.
     
  4. Salty

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    Would you have a meeting with the pastor and one with the deacons, or the pastor would sit in on the meeing with the deacons?
     
  5. gb93433

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    The majority of people who are church members IN the US have never won one person to Christ. I think that says a lot about the so called folowers of Jesus in America.

    Many years ago I heard a man talk about what was required for membership in his church. One of the requirements was for the person to have won at least one person to Jesus.

    Can you imagine if the early church had a majority of members who had not won people to Christ!

    Matthew 4:19 says, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men." If that is true then the converse must be true as well. If there are fishers of men then they must be folowing Jesus. If they are not fishing for men I would question their walk with Jesus or if they are even saved.
     
  6. Jonathan

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    I would prefer the requirement that each member be required to participate in individually sharing the gospel with lost persons rather than a requirement that everyone has to have "won" someone to Christ.

    In other words, I wholeheartedly agree with the expectation that everyone actually fish...leaving the Holy Spirit to place the fish on the hook.

    In my state, a few years ago, a candidate for a denominational leadership office said that he would only appoint folks who had won someone to Christ in the previous 12 months.

    Certain missionaries spend years faithfully sharing the gospel with the lost without a single public profession. I suppose that these folks would be unqualified?
     
  7. LarryN

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    Here are the requirements for membership at my church:

    1. Profession of faith
    2. Baptism by immersion
    ---------------------------------------------
    3. 8 week membership class (led by an Associate Pastor), during which:
    A. Give testimony to class, and any of the other Pastors present.
    B. Signed agreement with church's Statement of Faith.
    C. Signed agreement with Church Covenant.
    D. Interview with at least 2 Deacons.
    4. Presented to full Deacon Board for final approval. (Largely just a formality at that point.)
    5. Additionally, a strong emphasis on "Every member in a ministry" in the church (and most are involved in more than one).

    Too Strict? Our members are held to a high standard of commitment.

    Contrast this with churchs which require only #'s 1 & 2 from the list above. Many times, in the 1-2-3 repeat this prayer & then dunk-em, "Congratulations, you're now a member" type of churches- the person is never seen or heard from again (or disappears shortly thereafter). George Barna reports that simply requiring prospective members to attend a membership class means that they're 14X more likely to still be in attendance one year later.

    Questionable commitment (or total lack of demonstrated commitment) oftentimes = questionable conversion to begin with, in my book.
     
  8. Walls

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    We have learned the hard way, that you just can't jump into a church. Church most definetly is a commit and just as a candidate for membership must be checked out, so does the prospective church not to mention the pastor and deacons. They all must line up with scripture and this doesn't take a week or two, to investigate. It could take as long as a year, to thoroughly check things out. Although sometimes, you know right away that it most definetly isn't where you belong. ;)
     
  9. ephesian

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    I voted other, cause I remember reading somewhere it says, and the Lord added to the Church daily, such as should be saved. [​IMG]
     
  10. Johnv

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    I think that's a false statement. First of all, if churches outside the US are counting the number of people "won" by members, they're nothing more than bible coke machines: Put a person in and push the button.

    What good does it do if I win a soul, but fail to feed a hundred hungry, clothe a hundred naked, or give shelter to a hundred homeless?

    Men don't win souls, the Holy Spirit does.
     
  11. Ephesus23

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    My church requires a public profession of faith and baptism by immersion for membership, and nothing more. I personally think all those meetings with the pastor or deacons and winning people to Christ and such are too much to ask. If I knew I had to go through all that before joining the church, I'd be awfully discouraged. I believe that if the person says they're saved and want to be baptized, then let them join. If they don't want to come to church faithfully after that, that's their problem. Also, as someone else said, it's not humans that win souls. Jesus wins souls. Sure, us humans have to show the Gospel to others, pass out tracts, or whatever other means we want to use, but requiring someone to help lead someone to Christ before joining the church is absurd to me. Most new or prospective members are still learning about the faith and are constantly learning about the faith, and it takes a while to develop a "skill" to help lead people to Christ, IMO. That's why I believe all those "steps" are ridiculous.
     
  12. Betty

    Betty
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    All your rules and regulations for church membership sounds like legalism to me. If I recall correctly, Jesus hated that.
     
  13. David Mark

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    I think that's a false statement. First of all, if churches outside the US are counting the number of people "won" by members, they're nothing more than bible coke machines: Put a person in and push the button.

    What good does it do if I win a soul, but fail to feed a hundred hungry, clothe a hundred naked, or give shelter to a hundred homeless?

    Men don't win souls, the Holy Spirit does.
    </font>[/QUOTE]What a great choice of words. "bible coke machines". An excellent reply!

    This is only an observation.

    I sincerely inquired about membership at a church where that was prepared to join. I asked the paster what must I do to be a member and what does membership here mean.

    Of course he stated faith and baptism. He offered that he knew by the way I conducted myself that I was a believer.

    As I tactfully and carefully pressed him on what membership meant and what rights it gave me, he honestly concluded that membership in his church basically had no benefit whatsoever over visiting consistently. I was somewhat relieved by his honesty. He did not openly limit me at all, if I did not become a member. As of today, he has followed through and has never seemed to limit me at all when I visit.

    Nevertheless, I am perplexed by the continual push for membership. Folks who want to be a member are made to stand in front of the congregation on a Sunday morning. A public vote is taken and everyone must be in agreement and at least two people from within the congregation must verbally approve. Then the person becomes a member.

    As I continue to get to know folks there, I keep in mind that this pastor has been hired by the church. So it appears that he wants to align himself with what the folks who hired him think is important. I think that is where I become perplexed. The pastor was honest with me about how he felt about "membership". Yet he has other folks that he has to answer to.

    If I am even remotely correct, it helps me relax more. I worry less about it.

    Nevertheless, it is still a valid observation.

    Dave.
     
  14. David Mark

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    At another church I like to visit I am even more perplexed (warm smile).

    When I made inquires about membership, I was told that visitors were not allowed to "teach". Only members could "teach".

    Then I see invited speakers, singers etc who are not members coming in and "teaching". No problem, just a very simple observation.

    One day, I was being very kind with one of the members there. I felt they just needed someone to listen to them for a while. So that is what I set myself to do, just listen, smile and encourage. It's harmless and easy. There was no way I was going to get into any trouble for that. My ministry to this person led out to their car to get a school book to look at. In no time a leader in the church who never had anything whatsoever to do with me, came out and "took over" the conversation. I know that if I had not "seen" this person's need for someone to talk to, they would have just left. I've seen them do it before (leave without being "ministered to"). I am certain that this man would not have devoted himself to being part of that need if I had not made an effort. But he came out and took over. So at best, all of my efforts there over many months are "suspect" (warm smile).

    So it's just another observation. A more pronounced one, because I had been visiting for many months and it should have been obvious that I was harmless and in reality, I was there to add to or help their efforts.

    They all remain in my thoughts.

    Dave.
     
  15. RevGood

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    [snipped - non baptist posting in a baptist only forum]

    [ December 10, 2003, 11:39 AM: Message edited by: Dr. Bob Griffin ]
     
  16. Bethelassoc

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    I remember a couple years ago when a young Christian (who since became a good friend of mine) questioned why there was a need to join our church. I never asked him to join, but he still would inquire from me for over a year about it.

    I finally told him that people join the church to show commitment to that particular body. Sure, they are able to vote in business meeting, but most importantly, they are saying, "I'm in this for the long haul."

    I don't believe you have to join a church, but you want to show commitment to a body if you are serious about it. Yeah, you want flexibility, but a church shouldn't have to bend over backwards to please you.

    Honestly, if the requirements of a church seem to be too staunch and programmed, find another church.
     
  17. Bethelassoc

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    BTW, the young Christian friend joined our church not too long after our last conversation.
     
  18. showard93

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    Hi in our church when people feel like they want to be part of our church then they meet with the Pastor where he gives them a copy of the church covenant and the constitution and bi-laws so you know what you are making a commitment too. Then after you have read over this they meet again and he asks you if you have any questions and then he goes over some of it with you like being faithful etc.... He also calls your former Pastor to make sure you didn't cause problems before leaving your previous church. He does all of this to protect the flock and I for one am grateful.
     
  19. gb93433

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    I think that's a false statement. First of all, if churches outside the US are counting the number of people "won" by members, they're nothing more than bible coke machines: Put a person in and push the button.

    What good does it do if I win a soul, but fail to feed a hundred hungry, clothe a hundred naked, or give shelter to a hundred homeless?

    Men don't win souls, the Holy Spirit does.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Proverbs 11:30, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls."

    Matthew 4:19, "And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

    If you don't do any fishing you won't catch any fish.

    IF you don't believe what I have stated just ask your paator or do a survey of those in the church.

    Those who have done surveys have come to the conclusion that only ten percent of the people ever share their faith and only ten percent can give reasons for their faith.

    So are you saying that you make the Holy spirit the overseer too?

    Acts 20:28, "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."

    It is our responsibility to make disciples and that starts with evangelism.
     
  20. Thankful

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    Ephesus23, I agree with you. It is difficult for some people just to walk forward, talk to the pastor and counselors.

    Membership classes and followup with new members are good ideas after a person joins, IMO.

    The Holy Spirit is the one who leads persons to join churches.
     

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