Welcome Home Class and Official Church Membership
THE WELCOME HOME CLASS
"Welcome Home" is a 10-session class that we offer each summer. It is a wonderful class where you can get an overview of the basics of Christianity and how we do church at Del Rey Church. You will learn about all three Persons of the one true and living God - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. You will learn about the Bible and why we believe it is the very words of God and completely true and free of error. You will learn about the Gospel and why it is the only way to be saved. You will learn about Christian ethics (what's right and what's wrong), spiritual gifts, how we organize our church, our leadership. And you will learn about the mission of the church as given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ and how we fulfill it.
The class is FREE except for the cost of materials - a binder and an easy-to-read book.
Taking the class is also one of the requirements for official church membership. But even those who are NOT interested in official membership will get a lot out of it. Pastor Tony says, "I have been taking or teaching the class every year for the past several years, and I always get something new out of it."
OFFICIAL CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
For those of you who are interested in official membership with our church, it is always a joy to see someone go through the process of membership and then officially join the family.
Simply put, here’s what the process looks like:
1. Get involved
2. Attend the "Welcome Home" Membership Class
3. Complete and turn in the Membership Application
4. A short get-together with one of our pastors and another member so they can get to know you
5. Get officially welcomed by vote of the congregation at an official church Family Business Meeting
Of course, it goes without saying that church membership and church involvement are different things. All of our church members are involved in the church, but not all of the involved are church members yet. Involvement is the first step in church membership. The best way to get involved is to start by regularly attending the Sunday worship services. From there, we suggest getting plugged in at a midweek fellowship (i.e. Community Group, Men’s Group, Women’s Group, Youth Group, etc.). After this, we suggest finding a ministry in the church where you can regularly volunteer using your unique gifts and abilities to serve your fellow members (Kids' Church, Music Team, Fresh Grocery Sundays, fundraising, etc.). If you need help getting involved in any of these ways, please do not hesitate to let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We say that involvement is the first step because we want to assure that all of our members are actively participating in the life of the church. More foundationally, we want to see the faith of our members in action. So if you are not regularly attending Sunday services, mid-week fellowship, and volunteering in ministry, then we would ask for you to begin that journey today. After getting involved in the church, we have an annual membership class (we call it “WELCOME HOME”) where the process of official membership begins. The class runs for 10 weeks, and it covers an in-depth overview of the theological beliefs (orthodox doctrine, Bible history, end times, etc.), philosophical approach to church, and practical spirituality that we hold our members to believe and practice. We will announce during church when the next class is scheduled and have sign-ups for all interested. When the class is over, you receive a Membership Application, which you fill out and turn into the church office. Then we schedule a Membership Interview with you, one of the pastors, and one of the other members. It's not really an interview. More like a chance for us to get to know each other in a casual environment. The last step is for the congregation to take an official vote to welcome you as a new member at one of our Family Business Meetings. Congratulations!
We realize that our church is unique in its approach to official membership. Many churches seem to have membership just for the sake of having membership or for having a larger number on their rosters. While we hope our church membership grows, we do not want to compromise the purity of our church’s ethics and doctrines. As an official member, a person is given the authority to help make decisions for the direction of our church as we make decisions, both financial and spiritual. We have created this process of membership to instill commitment in our members, to prepare people for decision-making in congregational voting, and to safeguard the integrity of our witness in the community. We would love for you to join our witness, so we encourage you to go through the membership process.
I encourage you to begin the process today by getting involved and by signing up at the next Welcome Home class. It is quite easy to attend church and just be a recipient. Sometimes we need to go through a time of receiving and growing before we are ready for the next step. Not everyone is ready for membership right away, and that is fine. We do not believe that there is some hierarchy between official church members and those who just regularly attend. In fact, there are some who have attended for a very long time and have yet to become official members, and that is fine too. We are just excited to have the opportunity to minister to folks in anyway we can. However, one of the greatest means of fulfillment in my life has been through being an extension of God’s love in regular service as an official member in the local church. I hope to see you begin the process of membership. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions.
- Pastor Matt Jones