Episode 2.1 Moving Your Church Membership Classes Online

Bobby Williams, Lead Pastor at Ridge Church and Church Fuel Ministry Coach, joins Michael & Meagan to discuss what it looks like to move their Membership Class to an online platform.

Guest: Bobby Williams

Bobby Williams, Lead Pastor at Ridge Church and Church Fuel Ministry Coach, joins Michael & Meagan to discuss what it looks like to move their Membership Class to an online platform.

Even before COVID, Ridge Church had made the decision to make their Membership Classes (or what they refer to as Partnership Classes) online to raise the bar  in what it meant to be a partner with Ridge Church, but lower the bar what it takes to go through the process.

WHY A MEMBERSHIP CLASS?

Your Membership class is an important part of helping your church members become aware of their personal impact on the church and the community. Most people desire to make more of an impact than just showing up on Sunday, but often don’t know how. 

Your Membership class can not only onboard new members in the mission and strategy of the church, but also their own mission as a key player. 

REDEFINING MEMBERSHIP

(05:10 – 06:17 ) Bobby shares why they use the term “Partnership” rather than “Membership”. To be a member of a gym, you pay a membership fee, but if something breaks you don’t have to fix it. But being a part of a church is so much more than being a member. The word “Partnership” implies that you have ownership and are in it together.

WHAT MAKES UP A MEMBERSHIP CLASS?

(06:19 – 08:16 ) Earlier in the episode, Meagan defined membership as information, doctrine, and expectations. Those three categories are critical to partnership with a church. These help you understand what you’re getting into and what you’re becoming a part of. 

A membership class, in its simplest form, is sharing the way things work. Bobby shares how a membership class provides practical value for people to raise their hands and take ownership in their church. 

WHY GO ONLINE

(09:40 – 12:14) Bobby shares why Ridge Church decided to take their membership class online, even pre-COVID. Revising their Membership class strategy allowed Ridge Church to raise the bar in what it meant to be a partner with Ridge Church, but lower the bar in going through the process.

On-demand has become an expectation in most areas of our life. Creating an on-demand process for a membership class allows members to go at their own pace, in their own time. Taking membership classes online allows you to simultaneously make something meaningful and accessible.

At Church Fuel, we create online courses and allow people to go through them from their own homes and offices.

Check out some of our members' favorite courses:

Follow-Up Course

Giving Course

Systems Course

Breaking 200 Course

WHAT DOES ONLINE LOOK LIKE

(12:30 – 17:30)

Bobby shares how Ridge Church structures their online Partnership Classes. Open Enrollment is held once a quarter (4 x’s a year) for a new member to opt-into at a time that works for them. The class is held through a series of 10-12 minute videos, on an unlisted Youtube Channel. Once a member has completed the video series & the subsequent forms associated with each video, they are invited to attend the after-party that occurs at the end of the quarter to ask questions, and connect with other members of Ridge Church.

Bobby also breaks down the sections for their Partnership Class:

Sections

1: Who We Are

2: What We Do

3: Structure & Strategy

4: What You Should Expect From Us

ADDED VALUE TO ONLINE

(17:30 – 24:25) Meagan & Michael discuss that by providing informational content online, your in-person time can be completely focused on relationship building. Church, as we’ve come to know, is not just facing forward and listening to someone talk for 30 minutes. It’s corporate singing, connecting with others, etc… The same idea can apply to our membership classes.

Provide the information and online and spend your in-person time together to celebrate and connect.

Bobby shares how they can continue to engage members who have either moved outside of the area, or discovered Ridge Church outside the local community by utilizing Online Partnership Classes. Without the constraint of distance, they can share the DNA and Culture of Ridge Church to any person, anywhere. 

RESOURCES

Ridge Church Membership Class Outline

Ridge Church Sign-Up Page

Ridge Church Partnership Class Video (available Oct 23, 2020)

Connect with Bobby at Bobby@churchfuel.com

Read or download a free PDF Transcript of this episode HERE

Quotes from Episode 2.1

“Creating an on-demand process for a membership class allows members to go at their own pace, in their own time” – Bobby Williams

“Changing “Membership Class” to “Partnership Class” implies that you have ownership and are in it together.” – Bobby Williams

“When you provide informational content online, your in-person time can be completely focused on relationship building.” – Meagan Ranson

“Provide information online and spend your in-person time together to celebrate and connect.” – Michael Lukaszewski 

“Taking membership classes online allows you to simultaneously make something meaningful and accessible.” – Michael Lukaszewski 

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