How should a church do membership classes?


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.

Why is it a good idea for a church to have membership classes?

It gives a church the opportunity to introduce itself. In a large, complex society with a long Christian-tradition, there are many false churches and false gospels. A membership class provides a church the opportunity to say who it is and what it believes.   It tells a prospective member what he or she can expect from the church. Prospective members learn how a church works, how it makes decisions, and where to get involved. It can help people know what they can expect from the pastor or other church leaders.

What should a church expect from its members?


A church should expect that its members will:

What should be required of someone in order to join a church?


In order to join a local church someone should be:

How can I lead my church to clean up its membership rolls?

First, teach on church membership. Whether in expositional sermons or a topical series or a Bible study, address passages like Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5, and 2 Corinthians 2:6 and the implications they have for church membership. Patiently teach your people until they understand the importance of church membership and their responsibilities as church members. Begin removing nonattending members, beginning with the easiest and moving to the hardest. From easiest to hardest…

How can I lead my church toward meaningful membership?

Proclaim the gospel. Preach about God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness, Christ’s substitutionary atonement and resurrection, and our need to repent of our sins and trust in him. And make it clear that those who are not committed to one another in love have no reason to think that they have committed to God in love (1 John 4:20-21). Use a statement of faith and church covenant. Require members to affirm a statement of faith (what a church believes) and a church covenant (how members will live together).

Why is meaningful membership important for evangelism?


Meaningful membership is important because the church is God’s evangelism plan for the world. A church is like a radio transmitter, sending out messages about God twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

What is “meaningful membership”?


“Meaningful membership” means four things:

What are some other reasons to join a church?


In addition to the New Testament’s teaching that every Christian should submit to a local church and its leaders (see Matt. 18:15-20, Heb. 13:17), there are many other good reasons to join a church:

According to Scripture, why should every Christian join a church?


Every Christian should join a church because Scripture requires it. Granted, there is no direct command in Scripture that says, “Every Christian must join a local church,” but two factors in Scripture indicate that every Christian should be a member of a local church.

Where do we see church membership in the New Testament?

Matthew 18:15-17: "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault…if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you…If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” The ability to exclude someone from “the church” presupposes that it’s known who belongs to “the church” as a member in the first place.

Is church membership biblical?


The highest moral laws in the secular west today are toleration and non-judgmentalism. The very ideas of inclusion and exclusion in any context make people think of elitism, xenophobia, or racism.

Still, church membership is an idea with deep biblical roots:

Book Review: What to Do When You Don’t Want to Go to Church, by Peggy Palau and Peggy Sue Wells

Review by Mike McKinley | 03.05.2010

We need more than a call to just go back to church; we need to give ourselves to understanding what the church is, and then commit to building such a body.

Book Review: Membership Matters, by Chuck Lawless

Review by Owen Strachan | 03.05.2010

For its focus on membership and involvement, Lawless’s book is a significant help in directing a church toward a more biblical polity.

Book Review: It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian, by Tod E. Bolsinger

Review by John Folmar | 03.05.2010

This book stumbles as it pits “community,” and particularly the observance of the Lord’s Supper, against sound doctrine.