Joining The Church Family

Along with many church congregations across the nation, we have seen some of our precious church family step away from the church during the Covid 19 lockdowns. However, it has been a real joy to see many return to gathered church and life groups, and new people come to faith, often through our Alpha courses. As we returned to meeting in person, we decided we wanted to be clear about the importance of partnering with us on gospel mission, with each person clear on what being a member of the Kings family really means and the vision, values and culture they are choosing to partner in. In a society where individualism is emphasised, we want to be celebrating what the Bible says about, ‘being members of one another’ (Romans 12:5).

We renamed our course, ‘Joining the Church Family,’ which is for new and seasoned Christians looking in on our church, and for anyone who hasn’t yet explored what being a member of Kings Church means. Over six Sunday lunches, people can meet the leaders, ask questions and find out what we believe. We talk about the vision we have for our church: to Gather to Family & FriendshipGrow in Character & Gifting and Go in Mission & Service, and the culture we love to see: to be Real, Generous, Thankful, Adventurous, Encouraging and Welcoming. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce our ministry leaders, so they can communicate what they do and recruit to their serving teams.

During the 6-week course people often develop important friendships, some making their way into life groups (our mid-week small groups) together. It’s also a beautiful picture of diversity, where people who may not normally cross the room to talk to each other, form sometimes unexpected connections. On our last week, we ask people to bring food to share – this is undoubtedly the highlight of the course! Different cultures and backgrounds coming together to enjoy being church family. 

We offer childcare for the course, so that families can come and eat together, then the children are looked after for 45 minutes so the parents can focus on the remainder of the session, this has proved to be an invaluable help for parents, allowing them to fully engage.

After each course an elder meets up with each person or couple, often along with a deacon, to get to know them, answer questions and pray with them. Our hope is that they find their place here with us and get caught up in God’s unfolding story. We actively help each person find a life group, and ask them what areas of church life they would like to get involved in. We also spend time talking about giving. Not everyone becomes a member of our church, but most do. After that we make room on a Sunday to introduce them to the wider church family and make a commitment to help each person feel both needed and known. We ask everyone to pray for them and extend invitations of hospitality to them. It’s been so encouraging for the church to see new people joining us!

“After watching church online during Covid, it was so good to meet the leaders. Sometimes you have a tendency to idolise people you see on a screen or on church platforms, but it was so good to spend time with them and realise they were just like me! It was also a great introduction to church life and to meet others new to the church.”

“I loved the disarming friendliness of the team – they were perfectly relaxed and set the tone of the afternoon so well. It was so helpful to understand the values, culture and theology of the church. For the leaders to take that time on a Sunday afternoon to get to know us meant we knew this was something important in the life of the church – to understand what membership means.”