Fri. May 14th, 2021

New Members’ Class Is an Effective Assimilation Tool
Thom S. Rainer

Nearly half of the 2,000 churches Dr. Thom Rainer and his researchers studied indicated they offered or required a new members’ class. Though the study did not draw dogmatic conclusions, the relationship between assimilation effectiveness and new members’ classes is amazing.

His researchers examined the retention level of new members over a two-year period and found that churches requiring people to enter membership through a new members’ class have a much higher retention rate than those that do not.

These classes offer an opportunity to delve into myriad topics. The most common topics and the frequency with which they are discussed are listed below:

Frequency of topics covered in new members’ classes

1. Doctrine of the church……………………………………………………………….. 67 percent
2. Polity of the church……………………………………………………………………. 66 percent
3. Examination of the church constitution…………………………………….. 64.6 percent
4. Explanation of Lord’s Supper/Communion/baptism……………………. 63.5 percent
5. Explanation of the church covenant…………………………………………… 63.2 percent
6. Policies for church discipline……………………………………………………. 62.5 percent
7. Expectation of members after joining………………………………………… 58.7 percent
8. History of the church……………………………………………………………….. 56.5 percent
9. Tour of the church building………………………………………………………. 56.4 percent
10. Denominational information (if applicable)……………………………… 51.6 percent
11. How to become a Christian…………………………………………………….. 49.1 percent
12. Tithing/financial support of the church…………………………………….. 47.4 percent
13. Method/meaning of baptism…………………………………………………….41.1 percent
14. Requirements for membership………………………………………………….38.9 percent
15. Ministry opportunities in the church …………………………………………37.2 percent
16. Introduction to spiritual disciplines…………………………………. ……… 35.2 percent
17. Introduction to the church staff/leadership…………………………………33.7 percent
18. Explanation of the church’s mission and or Eton……………………….. 32.6 percent
19. Inventory of spiritual gifts………………………………………………………. 29.5 percent
20. Structure/support of missions……………………………………………………21.4 percent
21. Brief evangelism/witnessing training ………………………………………..18.6 percent

The above material was published by Thom S. Rainer, Zondervan, 2001.

This material may be copyrighted and should be used for study and research purposes only.

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