I once read about a peanut cartoon that describes the evangelistic approach of many churches. Charley Brown was practicing archery in his backyard. Instead of aiming at a target, he would shoot an arrow at his fence and then walk over and draw a target around wherever the arrow struck. This had been the approach of many contemporary ministers to winning and retaining new members. The church always shops for events that will attract a crowd but will not make them come back for fellowship. These activities are not limited to musical concerts, laughter festivals, vigils with a long list of various artists and comedians, etc. Despite all, the back door remains wide open for the congregation to go in search of spiritual greener pastures.
When will the hungered and dying soul quench their desires with the above verse of the scriptures? The Psalmist rethought about his experience in visiting the house of God. The church is meant to be a place of warm fellowship where needs are met. In fact, it should be an “all-in-one place shop” for diverse people in need of God irrespective of their present dilemma. Imagine the world of sport and entertainment; it is always giving a “come back taste” to their fans. When will the church be offering a similar taste for the dying world in need of a savior? How many soccer fans do l have in the house? How do you become one?
What are the Benefits Which Make You Remain Loyal to Your Club?
The sports and entertainment industries are concerned with, “What will keep bringing their spectators back to the arena in compensation for their subscriptions?”Stan Toller & Allan Nelson in their celebrated workbook the “Five Star Church, ”advocated that the Church of God should be people-centered and not activities driven. Thus, it can be inferred that the process by which we present the gospel is as important as the product. “People do not care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” This is what the Church is called to be and to do in order to build a great church through faithful stewardship. It is a way of showing our
Nonetheless, the privilege to join hands has been graciously extended to His children due to His wisdom and kindness. Thus the church is a service-oriented organization. We function to help people find relationships and answers and to link up with appropriate resources.
Whenever God invites anyone to join Him in His work, it should be considered a privilege because God can do all things by Himself without the assistance of anyone. If He created the heavens and the earth without human assistance, keeping the operating systems running would not be beyond His ability. Contemporary churches nowadays serve many different roles within the congregational core values. They are a place of religious authority, a Sunday ritual, and a home for people to come and worship at. For many attendees, a huge part of the church is the community it provides – and having a solid church membership system set up only helps to make that feeling stronger. Every organization in the world could be facing significant changes created by the multitude of influences thereby creating a series of methodical changes, yet our inherent message must never change.
Christianity is a communal lifestyle and not that which exists in isolation. When a man believes in Christ, it becomes necessary for such to always belong to a member of a local church where he further receives instructions for growing into maturity. It also means, if you move to another place, you need to find a church to attend and join the membership. You may not need to be baptized again when you join another church if you have been baptized before but worship service becomes a priority for the Church to grow numerically.
In Acts of the Apostles, the fellowship of believers was able to increase in membership because, the apostles put in place a robust welfare structure (Acts6:1-4). The ministry was built around the core value system of the Gospel. The apostles were able to concentrate on the Word of God while the deacons concentrated their energies on victuals and service to the congregation. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to faith’ (Acts 6:7, NV). Thus, the structure became a hospitable model for church growth and it does not give room for any member of the family to disengage self from service unto God.
The Membership and the Stewardship
A great number of churches are springing up and it appears that more people are responding to the gospel than ever. On the flip side, the pastor is restricted by ministering to a larger audience since the world is a global village as all members are scattered across towns and cities. This called for the support of faithful stewards in ministering to both the spiritual and physical needs of the congregation. For qualitative and effective church membership, the congregation needs to develop a cell system of meeting peoples ‘Deeds as exemplified in Exodus when Jethro admonished Moses to select a leader’s people under the supervision of Moses as the chief accounting officer unto God.
The church is a collection of stewards of God’s grace. Individual stewardship is the responsible use, prudent management, and accountability of God’s resources properties, endowments, or estates by man. Thus, church members have a covenant relationship in stewardship. That means that when a member joins the church, the church is indirectly able to do certain things for you and you must be committed to doing certain things for the church in return a mutual agreement or covenant of some sort exists between each individual and the Church, Imagine the Samaritan woman in John 4, Jesus told her about her needs and she became the evangelist in return for her salvation. The following is a sample list of things the church does for you and a list of things you do for the church.
Things the Church Does for Its Members
Things the Church does for its members include but are not limited to:
- Help you grow as a Christian,
- Provide a connection platform for Christian friends in fellowship,
- Teach you to worship,
- Teach you about the truth rooted in the Holy Bible,
- Encourage stewardship through the use of talents to honor God in service to humanity,
- Combine your resources with others to spread the gospel
- Conduct last posts and family programs and ceremonies
Things You Do to the Church
- Bring you do for the church:
- Listen and take part in worship,
- Pray for the pastor and other staff of the Church,
- Pray for each other,
- Invite others to attend,
- Give money to the needy within the body of Christ,
- Use your talents to honor God,
- Conduct the church’s business without most sincerity and honesty,
- Commit to religious payments of tithes and offerings,
Benefits of Growing Church Membership
Historically, the best moment to grow church membership is no other time than now. is due to the fact that the prevalence of insecurity, health hazard/pandemic, and economic meltdowns are biting hard on the world which needs a place of comfort from the tension.
How to Retain Church Membership Ministry
The following are some of the tested means of retaining church membership. Start by:
- Recognizing the presence of visitors in the congregation.
- Calling them up for identification and a formal welcome
- Make them feel welcome by allowing the congregation to sing for them.
- Exchange pleasantries with people sitting next to them
- Inviting them to a special seat where the ministering team gives a special welcome handshake
- Administration of Bio-data card with free pen in order to “Know Your Guest”
- Inviting guests to the altar for a session of special prayer
- The hospitality team led them to the Church reception for interaction and briefing about the Church’s core values, beliefs, and ministry opportunities
- Giving each guest a treat on behalf of the church’s pastorate and church council
- Giving Souvenirs to visitors as the hospitality members cross-checked information on the bio-data card to ensure proper follow-up channels.
- Welcome SMS is dropped off on each visitor’s telephone line before the close of the day
- Another SMS is sent to visitors every Monday to inform them about mid-week meetings and connecting groups
- Birthday wishes and greetings being sent on memorable days to all visitors as well as regular worshipers
- Incorporation of members list to scheduled prayer programs as arranged by the church.
- Occasional celebration and recognition of members’ milestone achievements and promotions
- Online audiences are asked to signify their presence and live comments synchronized into the live stream so as to create a participatory sense of belonging to all virtual worshipers
- In challenging periods, palliatives are arranged for various groups based on perceived group needs
- New members are grouped together for a session of discipleship and afterward released to join a service group of interest within the Church
- Existing members are encouraged to identify and meet a need within the congregation through their social groups.
- Budgeted annual lunch with the pastor and other church council members
Retaining church membership is about stewardship. We must take friendliness ministry seriously if we want God to bless and grow our ministries. The world is no longer interested in the Bible print but in a lifestyle that impacts them positively.