At The Summit Church in Denver, we believe membership still matters. In fact, we believe it makes a world of difference in what we do and has helped our church grow and exercise biblical faithfulness.
Here are three practical ways we’ve tried to make membership meaningful in our church:
1. Over-communicate the significance.
We try to take advantage of every opportunity to talk about membership. The church is a family (see Ephesians 2:19) and because committing to the family is the natural (and vital) result of following Jesus, it’s one of the most important decisions a person can ever make. We build this into our announcements, sermon application, times of response, communion, Summit introduction classes, City Groups—everywhere! You can’t be at The Summit long without hearing about membership and its importance to us.
2. Celebrate every decision.
In a city like Denver that is filled with skeptical people, we understand that very few are quick and eager to join a church. In fact, we live in a context where making a commitment to anything is extremely rare, whether that be a relationship, a workplace or a gym. However, because we prioritize membership, over-communicate its significance and try to make it meaningful, most prospective members feel the weight of the decision they’re making and take that quite seriously. When a person finally decides to commit, he or she understands that this is much more meaningful than signing a 24-hour-fitness contract, but something they are giving their lives to—and that’s reason to celebrate.
3. Build next-step terminology into everything.
At The Summit we try not to rush people into making premature decisions, but we always try to help people understand where they currently are, and where we want them to be. This is what we call next-step terminology. Here are a few examples:
- “Some of you here tonight are family members; some of you are friends of the family. If you’re a friend of the family, we’re really glad you’re here, but we’d love to see you take the next step and join the family.”
- “Here at The Summit, we always want you to be thinking of the next step. Some of you tonight are ready to go from being non-Christians to Christians; some of you are ready to go from outsiders to insiders …”
Always give people a destination. Without it, they won’t know where you want them to go.
Andy Metzger is the Executive Pastor at The Summit Church in Denver, CO a Summit Network partner church. To find out more about The Summit Church visit SummitDenver.org.