In this two part series, I want to share some key questions as you evaluate or design your new member class experience. In Part 1, I want to guide you to consider the purpose, frequency, and leader of your new member class. Also, we will look at your participation expectation and what happens when the class ends.
PURPOSE. Does your church have a class for new church members? What is the purpose of the class? Is the purpose of the class…
- to welcome them?
- to thank them?
- to move them from worship into Sunday School or small groups?
- to connect them to the pastor/staff?
- to connect them to other church members?
- to share the vision and mission of the church?
- to share church expectations and encourage growth as disciples?
- to undergird the spiritual disciplines of Bible study and prayer?
- to fulfill the requirements of our Bylaws?
- to help them discover their spiritual gifts and their place of service in the body and community?
- to give them a tour of the church facilities?
- for other reasons?
FREQUENCY. When does your new member class meet? Does it meet…
- every month?
- every quarter?
- whenever you get enough new members for a class?
- for one to three sessions?
- for four or more sessions?
- on Sunday morning or evening?
- on Wednesday evening?
- on a weeknight?
LEADER. Who leads your new member class? Is is led by…
- the pastor?
- other church staff?
- a deacon?
- a church member?
PARTICIPATION EXPECTATION. What is the level of expectation you have for new members to attend? Is the class…
- required for all church leaders?
- required in order to be a member?
CLASS COMPLETION. What happens after the new member class is completed? Does the church…
- send for the letters of those who were members of other churches?
- help new members find a Sunday School or small group to join?
- help new members find a place of service?
- assign an encourager to walk together with the new members through the first six months?
- connect them with the next membership/discipleship class?
In Part 2, we will look at more questions. Those questions can help you or your discipleship team (or assimilation team) to create a new member class (or experience) that accomplishes everything for which you are hoping. Gather a team and start the discussion. Make disciples!
For more ideas about assimilation, check out these blog posts: