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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TheOliveBranch, Oct 9, 2003.
How long do you usually wait before talking to a regular visitor about membership?
Never do. Seriously.
Until THEY broach the subject, I do not bring it up. Found that people that I pushed or prodded or desired them to join were often MY will and not GOD'S will.
When they are ready, I've not seen any hesitant to talk about membership. THEN I "talk turkey" with them, begin a 6-lesson course and present them to the elders for membership interview.
Is it even important to be a member of a church?
Yes, it is. We, as Christians, nedd the support and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as godly fellowship and Bible teaching. An outsider can skim the surface, but a member of the community of believers is free to be open with his own. Many people attend a church for years but never join, but they are missing the blessing of belonging to the fellowship.
I wonder why a profession of faith isn't enough. Why must there be an interview and lessons? Isn't the word being preached from the pulpit enough?
Amen Dr. Bob
Bronte, we should be vigilant against those who try to get through the church doors through easy believism and those who are not really regenerate. The easiest organization in the world to join is the local baptist church. You can join, promise to be faithful, then break that promise systematically and never suffer any repercussions. The Kiwanis, Rotarians, and Boy Scouts have higher membership standards than some local churches! This didn't used to be this way. I believe membership should be covenental and that the church should practice discipline on erring members as Scripture commmands.
A church in North Carolina recently admitted two homosexual men into their membership because when someone walks the aisle to join, the pastor flippantly said "no one asks any questions." Sadly, too many fall into that same category. We love to tickle ears by calling for a motion from the floor right then, then a second, and boom, some total stranger is admitted into membership in the church.
Could it be that this is why churches languish, and that 2/3 of members on the roll can't be found?
Amen, TomVols, amen!!!
It is way too easy to "walk the aisle" and join. Even coming as a candidate for baptism means little to many that come forward.
The church I attend usually has 110-120 on Sunday morning...but has 360 on the roll!!! It is a shame, and a disgrace.
So do you have an active member list and an inactive member list? I don't see where this can be possible, to be an inactive member. It's almost an oxymoron, don't you think?
How much differently is a non-member treated, especially if they've been there for years? I recall other people that I was very surprised to find they weren't members because they participated in all areas of the church except to vote. Are churches in error if they allow this to happen?
Unfortunately, this is the day in which we live. You cannot tell people to join or leave, but most who join breeze in and out.
Personally, I do not believe in an inactive member list, but I am not the pastor. I think that once a person drops from attending, he should be contacted as to what is wrong. But once that is done, they should be dropped from the roll.
As to the high number of people who are on the rolls of today's church, but not in the pew, I recommend High Expectations , by Thom Rainer. It is an excellent book on retaining new members as active members. It is well worth the read.
Non-members are not allowed to vote or hold office. They are welcome to all functions, but remain outside the family by choice.
I agree with Dr. Griffin. It is up to the member to consider membership. Trying to push membership shows that a pastor cares a little too much about "the records" and bragging rights to his fellows. When the visitor is ready to join at the leading of the Lord then they will join.
IMHO its not the membership that is most important in a Church. Service is key!
In all my years struggling with this strange and confusing idea of "membership", I've only realized one concrete thing: Membership only excludes me from parking in the visitor’s parking spot with a reasonably good conscience.
I have a membership in God's family.
Now, I have to have one in a Church?
Would it hurt you Justified?
I have a question..I was baptised in an Alabama SBC in 2000. I attended that church until we moved here (Hawaii). Now I attend another SBC. I have hesitated to join the church I now attend because I am a stay at home mom with no income of my own. The minute I joined the church in AL I received a booklet, much like one someone would have to make car payments. It was difficult for me to adhere to a payment schedule because I have no money of my own, and my husband is not a Christian. He does not believe in tithing. I assumed that all SBC members have this type of payment policy. Am I wrong? Do I need to cancel my old church membership? Any help is truly appreciated.
WHAT?? No! Our church would send you envelopes in which you could put any money you choose to give but there is no 'payment' book and no one would contact you if you don't give a penny!
You mean the church actually sent you a "coupon book" for your tithes? I'd have been outa that church quicker than a scalded cat. No church (or other Christian organization) should have the right to demand (yes, I said demand) you to "pay" them. If it is not given of a free and cheerful heart, it is not worth doing at all.
I believe in giving, and a tithe should be the beginning of that (easy to say with words, but actions do not always follow suit). I have heard of churches where the pastor will pay a visit to anyone who has not "put in their tithes," and I cannot see why anyone would be willing to stay with a church like that.
Visitors and new members shouldn't be "pushed" into giving, nor should members be hit with "guilt trips" to do so. A sermon or two on stewardship should do the trick. But to send out "payment books"...Why not just issue a garnishment, and cut out the middleman?
Just my not-so-humble opinion...
My biggest concern is that my daughter and I attend church together. I was going to say alone, but it's without my husband, not actually "alone".
Do I have to still give 10% of our yearly salary, which is actually earned by my husband, since I do not work outside the home?
I give several dollars if I have money with me, but I heard a preacher say that if it's not 10% it's not good enough for God. Not exactly those words, but that was the idea.
Anyone else care to voice an opinion?? I am still a newbie, so I have a lot to learn from all of you.
Tithe is what the Old Testament established. However, some argue that the new standard is to give as you are able. Either way I believe that Christ wants you to give with a cheerfull heart. Give what you can out of the motivation of glorifying Him... And pray for your husband to come to a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior.
Moira - Agree with Trotter. RUN don't walk away and NEVER GO BACK even if they offer to pay YOU.