I communicated about our membership policy before, but I think there are still some confusion or questions about it. So allow me to explain.
Why do we have a membership policy?
We strongly discourage already-Christians joining our church. Because we are committed to bringing VIPs (Non-Christians and Unchurched) to Christ and helping them to become his faithful followers. That is why we need to have a firm policy in place, when it comes to membership process for already-Christians.
What does the initial process look like?
Once we have visitors, the first thing we ask is if they are Christians. (It doesn’t matter whether that person has membership in another church or not.) If they are, we tell them to find another church to serve. (If they have not attended church at all for the last 2 years, or if they are a couple, and one of them is a non-Christian, we allow an exception)
When do we give conditions for Non-VIPs?
We cannot physically block people from attending service on Sunday. So, if they continue to show up and express desire to join the church and serve in house church, we give them permission to join as a registered member if they agree to do three things immediately: Complete NFC & GPS, Attend house church faithfully, and take the next Living Life. Their official date of membership will be the completion date of living life.
One crucial question
However, we don’t just give out conditions to anyone who is persistent. When it comes to giving conditions, we ask one crucial question: Would this person be a burden or a help to the shepherd of their future house church?” Our shepherds are already busy reaching and serving VIPs. The last thing we want is our shepherds wasting the energy they want to put into reaching their VIPs on the needs of already-Christians that can be filled in other churches. So, before we give conditions to already-Christians, we make sure to discern if they will become good ministry partners to their shepherds, in serving the vips.
Focus involves sacrifice.
Anytime someone tries to do something special, the price to pay is “misunderstanding”. We have embraced the fact that we might be misunderstood for being unloving or arrogant. But we have chosen to be “ok” with it if that is the price to pay for focusing on the Great Commission of Jesus.
What we ask from our members
Please understand that turning people away is never an enjoyable experience for anyone involved. We hope our members would trust that we have this policy for the greater good of our church, instead of becoming suspicious. To anyone who asks, we can explain why we made the decision openly and transparently if asked. So, if you have any questions about a new visitor’s membership status or a new member’s story, speak to the host team leader or his/her shepherd, instead of talking about it publicly.