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Membership Matters: Insights from Effective Churches on New Member Classes and Assimilation Hardcover – August 14, 2005


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Membership Matters: Insights from Effective Churches on New Member Classes and Assimilation + I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310262860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310262862
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Insights from Effective Churches on New Member Classes and Assimilation Findings from a national study to improve membership classes and to motivate current members into active ministry How do churches move members—both old and new— into ministry? Many church staff and lay leaders know they need to start new member classes as a point of entry into their churches but don’t know how. This book is based on a national study of effective churches and shows how growing churches implement new member classes and motivate their members into ministry. Membership Matters is designed to be a guide for church leaders wanting to start or improve a membership class. It includes models for classes and examples of resources such as church covenants, class schedules, and lesson outlines. It also gives direction on motivating uninvolved members to participate in ministry. One chapter chronicles an ongoing discussion among pastors of growing churches that are effectively motivating members to do ministry.

About the Author

Chuck Lawless is professor and senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor for almost twenty years, and is the author of Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Truth for Victory, Discipled Warriors: Healthy Churches Winning Spiritual Warfare, Making Disciples through Mentoring, Serving in Your Church's Prayer Ministry, and Eating the Elephant. Dr. Lawless speaks extensively around the country.

More About the Author

Chuck Lawless is professor and senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor for almost twenty years, and is the author of Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Truth for Victory, Discipled Warriors: Healthy Churches Winning Spiritual Warfare, Making Disciples through Mentoring, Serving in Your Church's Prayer Ministry, and Eating the Elephant. Dr. Lawless speaks extensively around the country.

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
This book is THE book to own for a pastor or church leader who needs a resource on new member classes.
David R. Bess
One area in which we've identified a great need for improvement is in our new member orientation and current member commitment and service.
Scott A. Blue
The book has a practical aspect as well, showing people how to conduct these classes and giving good ideas on when they should be given.
mtbcpastor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Scott A. Blue on September 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've known Chuck since he was my grader in Thom Rainer's "Introduction to Church Growth" class at Southern Seminary in the Fall of 1995. During my own M.Div. and Ph.D. work, he became more than a grader. Chuck became my friend.

I'm currently serving as chairman of my home church's Long-range Planning Committee. One area in which we've identified a great need for improvement is in our new member orientation and current member commitment and service. I consider it providential that in researching books to aid in our task, I came across Lawless' work on those very subjects. I read "Membership Matters" over two days, taking copious notes in the margins and underlying liberally.

Few books address membership classes and church member assimilation. Thom Rainer's "High Expectations" called churches to ask more from members as a means of increasing church health and commitment. Lawless' book moves a step further by providing a practical guide for church pastors and leaders to design and implement membership classes, not only to better incorporate new members, but also to inspire older, non-serving members to get involved in ministry service.

Buy this book. Digest it. Discuss it. But more importantly, put its suggestions into practice.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is THE book to own for a pastor or church leader who needs a resource on new member classes. I've seen several approaches described in various places, but nothing until now that brings the numerous concepts together in one cover. In addition to sound advice in the narrative, there are 15 appendices that offer sample forms and outlines for nearly every step of the new member assimilation process.

Lawless has hit a "home run" here -- for me this title is a keeper!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DR. Randy on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great Wisdom revealed .This book membership matters is a GREAT TOOL to help the BODY OF CHRIST GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR>>>>> CHRIST JESUS<<<<<
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Nealy Family on July 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most churches face a significant attendance problem: their membership roles are significantly greater than their worship attendance. Some face a membership dilemma of a different sort: Their worship attendance far outweighs their membership roll. That was my church's problem. On one hand the membership process may be too easy, not facilitating proper Christian discipleship. On the other it may be too hard, inaccessible and contextualized too little. But, either way Chuck Lawless, in Membership Matters, has the answer, or at least a big part of it. Upon implementing some of Lawless' suggestions my own church grew in membership by at least 30% in one year!

Chuck Lawless is professor and senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In, Membership Matters, his education and expertise are on the bottom shelf for all to reach.

Membership Matters is a compilation and application of insight gathered from a national study of the membership processes of many effective churches. The study answers multiple questions: How do effective churches implement new membership classes? How do they move newcomers into membership? How do they motivate stagnant members to get moving? What should a member class teach?

Lawless begins by chronicling some of the many reasons why we must give priority to membership classes. First, congregants are much more likely to stay committed if they are expected to commit up front. Second, relationships are the glue that hold many people to the church. Those relationships, especially between the lead pastor and his sheep, are first kindled in the membership class.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mtbcpastor on January 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book explaining why church membership is important and why churches should expect more of their members. The author makes a compelling argument for conducting membership classes (without calling them that) and communicating expectations to new members. He also gives good research into churches who have conducted these classes and have seen great results. The book has a practical aspect as well, showing people how to conduct these classes and giving good ideas on when they should be given. A very helpful book!
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