Are Your Big Givers Members?

Just before our last membership class at The Journey, a question came to me:

How many of our Top 100 givers are members?

I felt like God had prompted this question, so I asked our financial team to give me a list of everyone who is a Top 100 giver but not yet a member. When I got the list, I was shocked! It contained 36 names.

These 36 people were showing high “ownership” in our church but had not taken the formal step of membership. What to do?

I simply wrote each one a short email offering a personal invitation to membership class. Basically, I said, “you are clearly engaged in our church and I want to invite you to take the next step of ‘formal’ membership.” No big sales pitch. No mention of their financial gifts. Just a simple invitation.

The majority of them signed up for the upcoming class.
A large number of the remainder signed up for a future class. In short, about 80% said ‘yes’ to membership with just one simple invite.

Why is it important for these big givers to be members?

One, they need to be fully informed about why we do what we do. The goal of my invitation to membership class was not to convince them to give more (although several decided to increase their level of giving). The goal was to further clarify what our church is all about and give them a deeper connection.

Two, the importance of being a member goes far beyond finances. Even though these 36 people were models of stewardship, we wanted to make sure that each one was fully engaged in all of the key areas of our church (serving, groups, etc.).

Stewardship is discipleship….are you helping your stewards become disciples in all areas of your church?


P.S. For more on our membership process, including how we promote, prepare for, conduct and raise accountability for membership, check out The Maximizing Membership Package. BTW, our Membership Class is a fast moving, 3-hour Sunday afternoon class that we offer every other month.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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