Friday, January 26, 2007

Beginning Point and Connection Point

One Year ago our church redesigned its strategy for membership in The Rock Church. We had tried several ways over the years. For instance, when my parents were leading, the membership class was a 24-week class on Sunday afternoons. I remember going through that with my short attention span suffering and waiting for it to be over. When Melinda and I became the leaders of the church the class was shortened to an 8 hour seminar on Saturday mornings, then, it was reduced to 4 hours. In the last two years we shortened it to a 2 hour class on various nights of the week, but couldn't cover the material in the alloted time.

A year ago we didn't change the class length; instead, we changed the model. We developed Beginning Point and began offering it on Sunday mornings during the 11 am service. BP encompasses the vision, mission, values, statement of faith and commonly asked questions of TRC. In addition, we modified our Connection Point class to specifically talk about the strategy of TRC and the expectations of a member.

Well, last night was the first CP class under the new structure and I am delighted to report that 100% of those who completed BP attended CP! In all 20 people were in attendance. 11 of them were there for membership through CP and 9 of them were there to get started through BP.

Here is the top ten things we have learned about membership:

10. Membership is scary for those who have had bad church experiences.

9. Membership is not a status symbol of inclusion; instead, it is a demonstration of trust.

8. Membership is where servants emerge to help people. 2/3's of TRC membership is actively involved in serving somewhere in the church.

7. Membership gives the back bone of the annual budget for missions, projects and ministry.

6. Membership represents the church through Word of Mouth by telling how their story is threaded into the fabric of TRC's story.

5. Membership and identification are legitimate messages in the NT.

4. Membership is not about being a part of a club; instead, it is joining a team.

3. Membership is not fully understood by the majority of people attending churches. So much more can be known by giving a couple nights to gain the insight.

2. Membership means the same thing as partnership.

1. Membership should not be assumed. Churches are continually searching for the ingredients to help people feel connected not just on Sunday, but everyday.

There have been some changes to the membership process at TRC over the last 7 years. Today, we feel like we have found the right combination: 2 experiences to build each member.

We are doing everything we can to make TRC easy, obvious and strategic.