Church Membership Updates?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by drfuss, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    A few years ago, I invited someone to our church only to find out he had been a member of our church for many years. He said that he hadn't been to any church for many years, but still was a member of our church.

    After some inquiries, I found that our church never updates its membership role and that most SBC churches never update their roles either.

    Some other denominations update their membership roles annually. Any member who has not been there for 3 or 6 months is dropped unless they have a good excuse such as sickness or in the military.

    In our church, I estimate that only about 20% of the members regularily attend.

    Is there some rationale as to why Baptist churches do not undate their membership annually?

    Please enlighten me.
     
  2. drfuss

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    Spelling Correction
    A few years ago, I invited someone to our church only to find out he had been a member of our church for many years. He said that he hadn't been to any church for many years, but still was a member of our church.

    After some inquiries, I found that our church never updates its membership role and that most SBC churches never update their roles either.

    Some other denominations update their membership roles annually. Any member who has not been there for 3 or 6 months is dropped unless they have a good excuse such as sickness or in the military.

    In our church, I estimate that only about 20% of the members regularily attend.

    Is there some rationale as to why Baptist churches do not update their membership annually?

    Please enlighten me.
     
  3. genesis12

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    When you discover the rationale, please clue us in.
     
  4. Seth&Mattsmom

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    I would imagine that it is a HUGE project for the church secretary to have to accomplish!

    We updated our church sometime last year. I was a new member, so I do not know what was involved, but she had to send out inquiry cards to all adresses, wait for return of them, and then probably had to call all the people that did not respond, then invite them to come back to church!
     
  5. Shiloh

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    A good rule of thumb is to amend the constitution to spell out if any member misses x amount of services they are no longer eligible to vote and if it persists they lose their membership.
     
  6. mnw

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    I would say any church that is too big or too disorganised to care for an individual or family and could let six months pass without noticing has more problems than its membership role.

    For larger churches I always assumed deacons, elders or assistant pastors kept track of attendance of certain individuals and families. Not in a "big brother" kind of way. But to provide the pastoral care that is needed.

    The reason for not updating membership records? Forgive me if this is harsh, but 250 membership sounds better than 100 attending. It's the only reason I can think of.
     
  7. donnA

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    IMO, before a church goes booting people out for nonattendance they need to come up with some scripture that allows them to do so (I mean 3 to 6 months, ? ).
     
  8. Brother Bob

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    We don't remove anyone from our membership who is not attending unless they have attached themselves to another church or guilty of committing something the church cannot allow. Our motto is if they are not doing the church any harm then leave them alone and maybe someday they will return.
     
  9. drfuss

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    Brother Bob writes:
    "We don't remove anyone from our membership who is not attending unless they have attached themselves to another church or guilty of committing something the church cannot allow. Our motto is if they are not doing the church any harm then leave them alone and maybe someday they will return."

    This was one of the answers I received from my initial inquiry. It seems to be somewhat of a contradiction to me.

    1. Baptists stress joining church right away as soon as someone becomes a Christian or a Christian starts attending church, i.e. joining church and belonging are an important part of your christian life.

    2. If membership and belonging are so important, then why allow someone who has not been there in years to continue to be a member? This says membership is not important.

    On the one hand, membership is important. On the other hand, membership means very little, i.e. being a member does not mean you are supporting or even attending the church.

    Sounds like a contradiction to me.

    mnw writes:
    "The reason for not updating membership records? Forgive me if this is harsh, but 250 membership sounds better than 100 attending. It's the only reason I can think of."

    As of now, I tend to agree with mnw. Hopefully, ther are more reasons why membership roles are not updated.
     
  10. Brother Bob

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    I don't see the contradiction but if you think so, ok. We could start kicking people out but when you do you don't just affect that particular member but all their family, kin, neighbors and even the unborn when people will say in the future "there is the church that kicked grandma out". Now again, if no harm we leave them alone. If harm to the church we deal with it.
     
  11. drfuss

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    Brother Bob writes:
    "I don't see the contradiction but if you think so, ok. We could start kicking people out but when you do you don't just affect that particular member but all their family, kin, neighbors and even the unborn when people will say in the future "there is the church that kicked grandma out". Now again, if no harm we leave them alone. If harm to the church we deal with it."

    Kicked people out??? They left on their own years ago. If you have a policy of updating your membership role annually, they will understand that when they join.

    Bob, I suppoes we will have to agree to disagree on this. IMHO, membership should mean you are actually a part of the church, not someone who used to be a part of the church years ago.
     
  12. Brother Bob

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    drfuss;
    I am sure you been around enough to know what the kin would say and they would use the words "kicked out". As a matter of fact we turned out one person and the drunks down town were talking us down so I been there, done that.
    I have no problems whatsoever in how others do it you asked and I told you how we do it. So you are right we will agree to disagree.
     
  13. Nicholas25

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    The Free Will Baptist Church I attend revokes ones membership if they don't attend one service for more than 6 months.
     
  14. Frenchy

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    The rationale is this:
    1. They are not lost, only carnal Christians and just need some followup.

    2. If they're removed from the roll, the point of contact with them is lost. Out of sight, out of mind.

    3. They told the church they probably won't ever come again, but they want to remain on the roll, 'cause that's where my dear mama was a member. Y'see, we can't remove them unless they want to be removed.

    4. Churches sometimes won't remove a name because they can't be found and we don't want to remove them until we've written a letter asking their permission to remove their names, but we can't write the letter until we can find them.

    5. And as Brother Bob says, they're not bothering anybody, so we'll just move them over to this other list. We'll call 'em "inactive."
     
  16. saturneptune

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    My idea of a member in good standing of ANY church goes beyond just showing up for X% of the time. A church is a living entity of the living God. Each member is a part, and this requires time and effort for the Lord, whether it be teaching, ushering, on committes, driving vans, helping the pastor when asked, visitation and witnessing.

    I would guess in America today, out of every 100 people who do attend, less than 10 fit the above catagory.

    Our membership has become so meaningless, not only do we tolerate pew sitters for 50 years without lifting a hand, we tolerate 50 years of no shows.
     
  17. rjprince

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    If someone has quit coming, they have forsaken the assembly (Heb 19:25). That puts them in line for church action. We should go them, seek to restore them. Advise the church to pray for them. If they do not repent, we should remove them.

    Scripture? You bet...

     
  18. Frenchy

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    So RJ you would equate not going to church for a while SIN! i don't think so. there could be all kinds of reasons that you don't know about.

    sounds pretty harsh to me.
     
  19. mnw

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    Of course we have a responsibility to try and bring individuals back into the fold. It could be done in a loving way or perhaps even a rebuke would be necessary if the person had falling into sin.

    The reason we would put people out of membership is so they could not vote on how the church runs. The idea that a person could be away from the church for 6 months, never darkening its door, and then return to vote in/out a pastor or some other decision is not right.

    Of course we have to do such things in love. But as someone has already said, when they join the church they will understand it.

    I'd rather have people saying, "At that church they expect something of you." Rather than, "How, let's join that church. They don't care when you come and go."
     
  20. Rachel

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    I agree drfuss.
    I don't think people should be on the church role if they are not ever going there. It doesn't make any sense to me.
     

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