New Book! Why I Wrote 7 Basics of Belonging: The Meaning of Church Membership

I’ve taught countless new member classes as a pastor. The people in these classes have any number of reasons why they attend. Some are already bought into the church and ready to join. Others are curious and want to know more information. I’ll never forget the time someone walked out of the class because they realized they were at the wrong church.

 At Church Answers, we’ve written extensively on new member classes and their importance to church assimilation. These classes help set expectations so new members are not surprised about what the church believes or how the church ministers. They help orient new people to the culture of the church. They connect new people to existing groups. One of the best ways to get people to stick to the church is a regularly scheduled new member class.

 Over the years, I’ve always thought a brief book on the basics of belonging to a church would benefit the classes I taught. During the pandemic, I decided to write the book. The effort produced 7 Basics of Belonging: The Meaning of Church Membership. Every church member should know and fulfill these seven expectations.

  1. Worship: Saying “yes” to God
  2. Grow: Making disciples who make disciples
  3. Serve: Reaching outward beyond yourself
  4. Give: Honoring God with your offering
  5. Pray: Prioritizing God’s will through prayer
  6. Seek unity: Keeping the main thing the main thing
  7. Sacrifice: Putting others before yourself

 The book helps clarify the expectations of new members. What is the big deal about church membership? Why should you join a church? These seven expectations offer clear guidance for those wondering why membership is important.

 The book helps church leaders create content for the new member class. In my role at Church Answers, the most frequent request of me is help with creating a new member class. Specifically, pastors and church leaders ask for the content of the class at my church to help get them started. Not only did I write a book to give to new members, but the Church Answers team also created an additional resource to complement the book. Now you can get everything you need to lead a new member class with The Complete Membership Class Toolkit.

The book helps encourage new people not to be spiritual islands. Committing to church membership will help you grow spiritually. God did not design us to grow in isolation. Being on a spiritual island is lonely. The church is a community of imperfect people serving a perfect Savior together. We commit together to follow Him.

 The book helps unify new members around the main elements of church membership. The real reason you join a church is simple. Jesus is there. When church members fulfill their seven basic responsibilities the presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit becomes self-evident.

 Every Christ follower is meant to be connected to the church. You are not here by accident. God has a plan for you, and that plan includes being a faithful and active part of a local church.

Posted on June 9, 2021

As President of Church Answers, Sam Rainer wears many hats. From podcast co-host to full-time Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Church, Sam’s heart for ministry and revitalization are evident in all he does.
More from Sam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Robert Brown says on

    My church has a membership history of 155 years. Your book seems to give an excellent guideline for introducing new members which we really don’t have.

  • DeWayne Wyatt says on

    I purchased the New Church Membership Toolbox and a copy of “7 Basics of Belonging.” I have briefed my pastor about the toolbox and he is thrilled about the whole process. We will be starting the training soon. Thank you for putting this together! It is MUCH needed!