A Church Membership Recovery Model

“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.”
~~Matthew 18:12,13~~

Our Desire:

We exist to love God and share His love with everyone. With this in mind, out attempts at recovering members will be done in the spirit of love and grace. We desire that they recognize God’s love for them in our efforts of restoring them to active service within the body of Christ. To ignore their absence and situation would be unloving.

Our Goal:
Lord willing the result of this ministry will produce members of First Baptist Clever who recognize the blessings of being identified and committed to the body of Christ. We are praying for a membership that loves Christ and the fellowship of other believers.

Our Current Status:
Resident Members = 289
Non-Resident Members = 225
Total Membership = 514
Average AM Worship = 125
Future Status:
Total Membership = 250
Average AM Worship = 300
Ministry of Recovery Involvement:
This is a church wide ministry and will involve everyone possible. We will focus especially on already established relationships with straying members while attempting to create new relationships with them.

Ministry of Recovery Process:
Saturate each stage of the process with prayer.
Plan and prepare ministry in Deacon meetings.
Host guest speaker to discuss the Biblical nature of the ministry and encourage the church in their decision to proceed.
Prepare updated Membership List.
Review the Membership List with the Deacons.
Categorize the Membership List:
Unknown Members
Known w/o Contact Information
Known w/o Significant Relationship
Known w/ Friendships
Known w/ Family Ties
Prepare a letter for the initial contact with straying members. This letter will be sent to one category at a time to the last known address.
Hold a special church wide meeting to discuss the Ministry of Recovery.
Mail letters.
Contact by phone and/or home visit if possible once the letter has been sent. Encourage members of church who know the straying member to contact as well.
Report regularly during business meetings.
Ministry of Recovery Decisions:
Resident Members:
No address or phone number (no contact possible) – Remove
Attending another church – Transfer
No longer wishes to be affiliated – Remove
Wishes to be restored:
& recognizes importance of Christ and Churchmanship – Recovered!!
w/o attendance or involvement – Educate
if same desire after being patiently informed – Remove
Non-Resident Members:
No address or phone number (no contact possible) – Remove
Attending another church – Transfer
Missionary (remain in contact) – Maintain
College student (remain in contact) – Maintain
No evangelical church in new community (remain in contact) – Maintain
Military w/o evangelical church in area (remain in contact) – Maintain
Evangelical church available & not attending anywhere – Educate -if same after being patiently informed – Remove
Recently relocated and actively searching (remain in contact) – Maintain
Membership Qualifications:
Understanding that no one is qualified in and of themselves, it is God that qualifies us by grace alone through faith alone in the work of Jesus Christ alone, we recognize there are Biblical qualities that must be present in receiving and maintaining members. For a person to be received into membership he/she must be:

Regenerated: God must have given spiritual life to the person. This new life is made evident by the fruit of faith and repentance along with devotion to Christ as Lord. The individual must have the ability to articulate their faith (they must have a credible profession of faith).
Baptized by Immersion as a believer: Christ and His disciples taught the importance and significance of Scriptural Baptism. This first step of obedience must be taken prior to being received into membership.
Committed to the church covenant: The church covenant is a document that summarizes the Biblical teaching related to congregational life. The congregation recognizes this document as a statement that reflects its commitment to Biblical Christianity.

The church covenant covers such topics as:
– Salvation
– Mutual encouragement
– Mutual accountability
– Unity of the body of Christ
– Christian obedience to Christ
– Financial stewardship
– Congregational worship
– Proper observance of the ordinances
– Missions
– Membership movement after relocation

Committed to the church’s confession of faith: The confession of faith is a document that summarizes Biblical doctrine. We recognize that in order to have true unity doctrinal agreement is necessary.

This piece is taken from the First Baptist church of Clever, MO., Doug Richey, pastor. They granted permission for us to use this. Permission is granted to you to adapt and use it also.