Connected by Service

Tim Christoson

In our periodic new member’s class, we teach our church’s purpose—loving God, growing together, and serving others. These are not just talking points, but destinations along the journey of the Christian life. Our job is to point the way for new members, so they might proceed along this biblical path.

After explaining how new members can cultivate their love for God (Mark 12:30) and grow together with fellow believers (Acts 2:42), we discuss the issue of serving others through involvement in ministry. The Bible says that every believer has been gifted to serve and should steward that gift. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). Not only is service commanded in Scripture, but the act of service knits the believer’s heart to the Lord and his local church. If Christians serve in their new church home, it’s much more likely that they will stay long-term. Here are some ways we teach how our new members can serve others:

Find a Place to Serve Somewhere in the Body

God has uniquely prepared every Christian for ministry. There is something for everyone to do, and no two people have the same assignment. Depending on someone’s spiritual gifts, biblical maturity, and life experiences, there are a host of ministry opportunities to be considered. Once someone explores the options and understands what’s required, we plug him in. (We conduct background-checks for those who wish to serve children.)

Invite Friends, Coworkers, and Relatives to Church

A simple step that just about all newcomers can take is inviting those they already know to attend their new church. Your newest members know far more people who need the Lord than your long-time members. Even with today’s technological tools, the number one reason people visit a church is a personal invitation from a friend or relative.

Take the Gospel into the Community

Finally, we invite new members to become involved in the weekly soulwinning program of the church. Adult Sunday school teachers help pair new soulwinners with experienced partners. Then, we gather together at scheduled times to hear a brief challenge, get highlighted maps and church brochures, and then we head out to fulfill the Great Commission.

In the heart of every new Christian is the desire to be involved in something eternally significant—they just need someone to show them how. By helping new believers use their spiritual gifts to serve others, we show them the path of the joyful Christian life.