Pathway to Membership
For churches to maintain long-term, healthy growth, they must make membership matter to folks, at least that is what many experts like Chuck Lawless have outlined in books like Membership Matters. Through demographic studies of churches across the U.S., Lawless concludes that one’s satisfaction with a church is dependent on his or her investment level. The same could be said for membership in any institution, whether it be marriage or the military. We are loyal toward those relationships where there is a clear investment of time and energy.
With this in mind, St. Paul’s has adopted a formal process for membership which is intended to raise up mature Christ followers who value their church at a deep level. Sure, we could lower our standards for membership and present more “warm bodies” to the bishop for reception, but Jesus told us He wants us to make “disciples.”
Therefore, we have created a pathway to membership involving three required components. The first component is Christian Foundations. We want our members to know who Jesus is and what He came to do for us. We give newcomers three options for fulfilling this requirement. At any time during the year, a person may choose to 1) go on a Cursillo weekend 2) take Basic Christianity by John Stott or 3) complete the ALPHA course.
We want our church to be filled with strong Christians, but we also want them to be strong Anglicans too. So we made the second component for membership to be The Joy of Anglicanism, a course in the worship, theology, and history of the Anglican Communion.
Finally, we want new members to be able to know and use their God-given spiritual gifts. We do this through Connect 102. In Connect 102, Cathy McGrew helps folks on their journey to understanding what spiritual gifts are and how they can apply their particular gifts to the service of Christ through the local church.
If any of these components were completed elsewhere (perhaps at a former church or diocese), then they count toward your membership goal as well. We will be rotating these classes throughout the year in order to provide multiple opportunities at each component.
If you have any questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to call or email us and we will be happy to assist you.
Information on our Spring 2017 classes - HERE.