Acts 29:7 (NIV) “Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles”
Hebrews 10:25 (NASB) "Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another..."
The unfortunate reality of church life is that most churches loose as many church members out the back door as they bring in through the front door. Some reports say that around 80 percent of new believers will become inactive within the first year of church membership. In my beloved Southern Baptist Convention, we not-so-jokingly say that we "dunk 'em and drop 'em." The truth of this reality is seen in some of the statistics of the SBC. The convention boasts a 2004 total membership of 16.27 million. However, only 8.2 million were enrolled in the Sunday school. Of that, only 50 percent attend on any given Sunday. That means, only about 25-30 percent of Southern Baptists can be found in worship and Bible study. The ugly truth in the SBC is that we cannot find over 8 million members. They'll remain on our membership records until Jesus comes; but some wonder if even Jesus could find them.
The wise evangelist understand that we are not in the business of making convert, but in the business of making disciples. In Jesus' Great Commission recorded in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." A disciple is a committed follower of Jesus Christ. A disciple seeks to make Jesus the Lord of his or her life. The job of church leaders is to help that happen.
An essential element of a disciple's life is church membership and ministry. The responsibility of church leaders is to provide a means for involving new believers in the fuller life and ministry of the Church. Here are a few suggestions.
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