I’ve already explained in the previous blog post (Read #41 on the website) why our church doesn’t accept Christians from other churches in GTA as members. To reiterate, we believe Jesus called his followers to reach out to those who are far from God. We want our church to grow with growing numbers of non-Christians coming to know Christ, not with other Christians joining our church.
Therefore, to cut straight to the point, please do not invite other Christians to our church, especially to house church. This might sound very non-welcoming but we are actually doing a favor. Christians from other churches usually have a hard time adjusting to the House-Church-centric culture of our church. Since House Church is the main body of evangelism and mission in our church, meaningful church life becomes difficult for them. We set this policy to save them the trouble of adjusting to the church culture that doesn’t fit them.
Even if a Christian from OUTSIDE of GTA wants to join, we will still encourage him/her to look for an another church to serve. However, if he/she insists on joining our church and wants to partner with us in restoring the New Testament church, we ask the person to fulfill the following three conditions:
- Immediately join a house church and attend faithfully.
- Complete NFC (New Family Class) and come to the very next GPS (Gospel Presentation Session)
- Complete Living Life within a year.
If someone fulfills all three conditions, SLT (Strategic Leadership Team) will determine the acceptance of the person as our member after consulting his/her shepherd. Once approved, the person will sign a membership covenant and become a registered member. Again, these exceptions will not be given to already-christians coming from churches in GTA. There are many great churches in GTA. If you know any christians looking for a church, please refer them to those churches.
The reason we have this policy is simple: Culture trumps strategy every time. We can have the best strategy to reach out to non-Christians but when church grows with already-Christians, members do not feel the need to evangelize or invite their non-Christian friends. As a result, church loses evangelistic culture and it automatically becomes insider-friendly and uninviting to people outside the church regardless of its outreach strategy. Though we are a small church, it is our resolve to continue to maintain the evangelistic culture in the church and help those who are far from God to connect with their loving heavenly father.