What's the best way to do a Membership class for both new and transfer members and what resources do you use?
July 27, 2011
Updated December 20, 2011
8 comments 1019 views
First, do you have a membership class targetted to adults coming into your church as new believers, from other CRC's, and/or denominations?
Second, what materials do you use for that (self-made, denominational resource, video, etc.)?
I've been using Louis Tamminga's booklet Church Membership and You. But it has recently gone out of print. I know it's been made available in PDF format, but it's inconvenient and expensive to print/copy/assemble. Still, I like the organization of the booklet, and the brevity with which it covers the topics.
My practice is to invite everyone wanting to explore membership to take the class (even transfers from other CRC's). The class will meet for 3 or 4 sessions and cover the contents of that little book, with follow up to happen ad hoc.
So what do you do with new members, both those who transfer from other CRC's and those that come in as new believers or from other denominations?
Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.Add Your Post
I've been using the four step process of looking at what it means to be Christian, what it means to be Reformed, what it means to be the Church and then the importance of Spiritual Growth (CRCs). This fomat has bee helpful but I'm still tweaking it a bit. So far, it's been used with two guys who are from a Catholic background and a Missionary Baptist background. I've also been using the catechism as the basis of the lessons. Like I said, I'm still tweaking it a bit though. Hope this helps.
So, do you have materials purchased/prepared, do you do this on the fly, something else?
Looking for best practices here, but also some sharing of resources (if that's possible).
I'm kind of making this up as I go along. I was given the idea by a seasoned CRC pastor who gave me a basic framework to go by. Then another seasoned pastor suggested I bring in Spiritual Growth. I've been using the HC to help with the discussion and class. Right now it's with two men 20's-30's. It seems to be working well. I've even brought in Star Wars and Transformers too :)
We have one class we offer to everyone, which we call "Introduction to Crossroads." We recommend the class to everyone, whether they are transfering from a CRC or other church, or completely new to church, and because of that, the focus is a bit more on our identity as a local church, although we do talk about being reformed and what it means to be part of a denomination. We also talk about why we encourage membership.
The resource we use is a booklet that was developed by our pastor and myself (mostly him!) Originally he offered this class as 3-4 sessions after worship, but more recently we've held it in one day on a Sunday afternoon and ended with a light dinner, a format that has worked really well. The book does occasionally reference and quote from other resources. Many of these we make available to take if people are interested in reading more.
I'll post below more info about the content of our class, and I would be happy to send a copy of our book to anyone who would like one, just send me a message with your address.
Basic Class Outline: (1.) Welcome (2.) Life and Ministry of Crossroads - getting connected, mission & vision, ministries, church leadership, denominational structure (3.) What We Believe - about what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be reformed, and what it means to be a church (4.) What does it mean to belong to Crossroads - about membership and why we encourage membership (5.) Q&A and closing
Other resources we recommend and/or make available:
Available from Faith Alive: The Christian Reformed Church: Who We Are and What We Believe; Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions; What it Means to be Reformed; Faith Unfolded
Websites: www.crcna.org, network.crcna.org, our classis and church websites
Crossroads resources: Crossroads Ministry Opportunities (a book of ways to get involved in ministries), Crossroads Safe Church Policy
Thanks for this.
Would you be willing to send that booklet by email (if possible) to me?
I realize it's probably specific to your congregation, but I'd love to have a look, if you're willing to share.
Just send it to richderuiter at that mail that begins with 'g.'
Thanks in advance.
I have uploaded our booklet to google docs, and you should be able to click this link to view it:
Please post here or message me if the link doesn't work. I did my best with the sharing settings, but of course sometimes I make mistakes!
Thanks Rebecca. Opened fine. I saved it to my Google Docs and then downloaded to my machine.
Looks very nice, very well done.
I appreciate you sharing this. Very helpful.
I am new to the CRC and wanted to put together a membership booklet. I came across this link on the web site and I have a question for you-Could I get a copy (Word) of your memebership class and adapt/make changes to it to be used at my local church? If so, could you email me a Word copy of Intro booklet?
We love your comments! Thank you for helping us uphold the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.