A New Member Workbook

A New Member Workbook 

by Andrew J. Camenga

 

The Seventh Day Baptist Board of Christian Education is pleased to let you know that a template for a Church Membership Workbook is available for download from our website (http://7db.info/template).

How does someone join your church? Is there a clear process? Could you explain it? Does your church have something in writing that will help someone exploring membership know what it means to be a member?

For some Seventh Day Baptist churches, tha answer to this last question is a resounding yes. For others, it’s more like, “We’ve thought about it, but haven’t done anything yet.” Every now and then, a church has called the BCE office looking for a place to start—and that is what this template provides.

The workbook that we offer was developed for use in the Next Step SDB Church of Thornton, Colo., by the Rev. Rodney Henry. The book was adapted for use in the Foothill Community Church of Montrose, Calif., and then further transformed in order to provide a more easily adapted workbook for churches across the Conference.

The workbook is approximately 23 pages long and contains 10 major sections:

 

Steps to Membership:

This section will typically include a bulleted list of steps in the process for joining the church.

Covenant:

This section will include the local church covenant and provides a brief explanation for how the covenant shows we are built up together in Christ’s love.

Statement of Belief:

This section lists the Statement of Belief from the General Conference. It can be easily replaced with the Statement of Faith of your local congregation.

Vision / Mission:

A place to present and describe the vision and/or mission statements of your church. This section can be easily deleted if your church has chosen not to develop this kind of statement.

A Christian Church:

A Biblical explanation of what the Church is.

A Baptist Church:

An expansion of the last section exploring distinctives that are shared by many Baptist organizations.

A Seventh Day Baptist Church:

A further expansion, exploring how and why local congregations choose to associate with other like-minded SDB churches.

Church Membership:

A brief answer to the question, “Why do churches have membership?” It also explores what is required for membership.

Membership—Belonging or Participation:

A more in-depth exploration of what membership really means.

Membership Checklist:

A place to help the person seeking membership keep track of where they are in the membership process.

 

The template is easy to download and modify. Most people will be able to open it in the word processor of their choice and start making the needed changes.

For those with a more technical bent, here is some additional information. The template is a MS Word (.doc) file. It uses standard fonts (Arial, Times New Roman), and styles are defined for every element in the book. The phrase “replace with” is used for every spot where local changes are needed.

 

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