Since becoming the pastor at my church, there have been a few things I've changed about how we operate. One of these changes concerns membership. In our denomination, it is very easy to become a member of a church. All you have to do is come forward during the service and proclaim your faith in Jesus with words such as, "Jesus is the Christ, my Lord and my God." There are no tests of doctrine, just a confession of faith similar to ones of the Apostles Peter and Thomas in the Bible. (Compare this to churches where doctrinal agreement or submission is required.)
I'm cool with that, but I realized that the members of the church didn't have a clue as to what it meant to be a member. They didn't know anything about the church other than what they've seen on Sunday morning. And most of them didn't know anything about the denomination.
So, while we were modifying our church constitution and bylaws, we stated that attendance at a membership class was also necessary to becoming a member of the church. Now, over the past year, I've taught four classes (each three hours long). We've had over 40 people join the church in the past 1 1/2 years. That means we've doubled in size!What are the membership requirements of your church? Have you gone through a membership class? Have you proclaimed your faith in front a congregation before?