What is evangelism?9Marks
Evangelism is telling others the good news about what Jesus Christ has done to save sinners. In order to do this you must tell others that:
Does being a member of a church mean I’m a Christian?9Marks
No. Turning from your sin and trusting in Christ makes you a Christian, not being a member of a church.
However, church membership is meant to be a church’s corporate affirmation of your profession of faith in Christ. Membership is supposed to be the church saying, “We’ve looked at your life. We’ve heard your testimony and your explanation of the gospel. You look like a Christian to us, so we’re happy to affirm you as a Christian, welcome you as a brother in Christ, and care for you and watch over you.”
Is a Christian obligated to treat members of his church any differently than he treats other Christians?9Marks
The apostle Paul urges Christians to do good to all men, especially those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10). But the Bible also seems to indicate that Christians have a special responsibility to love, admonish, and care for those who are members of their local church.
What activities in the church should be reserved for members?9Marks
Must someone be a church member before being allowed to serve?9Marks
Many churches attempt to adopt an inviting and warm posture by allowing both non-Christians and prospective Christian members to serve publicly in the church. Certainly outreach is a good motive. But is this the whole picture? We believe that public acts of service—like serving in the nursery, teaching children, leading music, teaching adult Sunday school, and leading a small group—should be reserved for members of the church. Why?
Is church membership wrongly exclusive?9Marks
Tolerance and inclusivity are the quintessential postmodern virtues. It seems that the only way to be genuinely wrong in contemporary western society is to ever exclude anyone. Contemporary westerners are born cherishing particular conceptions of diversity, inclusion, and tolerance.
Isn’t the idea of membership just a modern American idea?9Marks
How does a well-defined membership commend and clarify the gospel?9Marks
A well-defined membership commends and clarifies the gospel by
What are the benefits of meaningful membership in churches to non-Christians outside the church?9Marks
Churches that practice meaningful membership by taking care to ensure that only repentant believers belong to the church serve non-Christians outside the church in several ways:
What are the benefits of church membership to the Christian?9Marks
Won’t having a more demanding membership process keep people from joining the church?9Marks
Maybe. It’s certainly more likely to keep non-Christians who profess to be Christians from joining the church.
But it’s more important to have more attending and submissive members than it is to have more members, since the Scriptures calls Christians to attend and submit to their churches. In the West today, a church will only grow in more attending and submissive members by having a careful membership process.
What questions should be asked in a membership interview?9Marks
In addition to basic life details (marriage, job, etc), elders or pastors should ask prospective members:
Why is it a good idea for an elder to interview each applicant for membership?9Marks
How should a church do membership classes?9Marks
To an extent, that depends on the church’s context and what kind of expectations most people will have. Here are some questions that may be more or less relevant to you depending on what kind of a situation you’re in.