Recently, I had the joy of beginning another New Member’s Class. I often tell our church and the class, that teaching this particular class and subject is one of my favorite things to do. There are many churches today that recommend people participate in their New Member’s Class, but for us at Trinity it is a requirement for membership. When I first came, thankfully this was already a part of our by-laws. Now it wasn’t really enforced, in fact, we had some that were in leadership that had never taken the New Member’s Class and therefore, were still classified as a “Membership in Waiting.” Some of these individuals refused to take the class and wanted to stay in their position! As bizarre as this sounds to Trinity today, it should bring up the question… “Why is this class so important?” Well, below let me ask you to consider just three reasons we discuss in our class.
1. To preserve church unity: The best way to help the unity of the church is for her members to understand what is expected of them. We live in a day in which it is more difficult to join a gym than it is to covenant with the people of God to walk faithfully in His statutes. The result is we have churches who have many unconverted people as “members” of their church, many people who harm the testimony of Christ with their lifestyle, and many that have their names in a machine but never come, never serve and never give to the body of which they claim to be a part. I promise you that those who join Trinity they know who we are, and what is expected biblically of our membership after our 5 to 6 week class. This helps everyone!
2. To help new members fit in the body: Being members of a body means you serve the body. Being a member means you actually show up when the rest of the body parts show up. When we talk about the ministries and opportunities we have to serve Christ at Trinity, it gives our new members an opportunity to see where they would fit in to serve. I know this may be a novel idea, but when people join this body we believe God places them here to give, not to get. Now, in giving they receive, but as believers we are created to serve Christ first, and love the Bride of Christ with a white hot passion. Having a New Member’s Class gives us the ability to explain this in detail.
3. To help new members understand the structure and direction of Trinity: It gives me an opportunity to walk through the Word of God and explain why we are structured the way we are. It gives me an opportunity to discuss doctrine and why we are so passionate about it. We can explain our view about everything from missions to children. When this class is over, about 95% of those who attend join Trinity, but the other 5% know they need to be somewhere else. Either way, it clarifies the direction the Lord has for them.
All of this to say, I am thrilled that the Lord is allowing me to teach another New Member’s Class and I am so excited to share with you how God is working in the life of our church and our new members.