A few things will change in our membership process starting from August. Currently, if a person wants to become a member of New Life, he takes the following steps:
1. He indicates his desire to take Class 101 (Discovering New Life Membership) by checking off the box in the communication card and also registering at the Welcome Desk on Sunday.
2. He takes Class 101 which is offered four times a year on Saturdays from 9AM to 2:30PM.
3. After the class, he turns in his membership application if he would like to become a member.
4. The membership application allows me to verify his salvation, immersion baptism and house church involvement status since these three things are New Life membership requirements.
5. After fulfilling these requirements, he makes the Membership Covenant during Sunday worship, receives the Membership Certificate and gets incorporated to New Life as a member.
Overall, this has been a good membership process for us. However, there have been a couple of things about it that I have been uneasy and uncomfortable with. First, because of time constraints, I have not been able to take a personal approach in making sure that everyone in the class understands the gospel before asking them to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Second, although the percentage has been very low, there have been people who decided not to become a member after the class.
From now on, we will use the following process in helping people become members of New Life:
1. Each house church shepherd will encourage and help his members who are not yet members of New Life to attend the “Receiving Jesus Meeting” which will be held on the first Sunday of every month. During this meeting I will share the gospel very clearly and make sure each one understands it. Also, I will personally encourage and ask everyone to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and help them to do that by leading them in prayer. If a person claims to have been saved already, then by coming to the meeting, he will get a chance to hear the gospel clearly once more and confirm his salvation.
2. If a person receives Jesus during the meeting he will get baptized within the following two Sundays.
3. Those who attend the “Receiving Jesus Meeting” and are saved and baptized will get to take a modified and shortened Class 101.
4. After the class, he will turn in his membership application if he would like to become a member.
5. After reviewing the application, if there is no issue that needs to be addressed, he will make the Membership Covenant during Sunday worship, receive the Membership Certificate and get incorporated to New Life as a member.
Over the years, I have heard from people saying that so and so from their house church received Christ and got saved. Unfortunately, a good number of these people are not in the body of Christ learning and growing. I believe this modified process will make it clearer to people what it means to be saved and enable those who receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior to grow in their relationship with Him as they stay closely attached to His church.
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