What questions should a pastor ask a prospective church member?

The most important part of the membership process we have at our church is the one-on-one meeting I have with prospective members.  This is the time I hear about their conversion, baptism, their grasp of the gospel, why they want to join our church, and explain to them what will be expected of them if they are to become members by walking through our church covenant.  As I know many pastors walk prospective members through a similar process, I thought I would share a few specific questions I typically ask.

Here are 5 common questions to ask at a membership interview:

1)  Tell me about how you first heard the gospel, understood it and came to follow Christ?

2)  What is the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ in 60 seconds or less?

3)  Why would I ask a prospective member question #2?

4)  What are the reasons you feel this is where God desires for you and your family to commit?

5)  In what ways would you desire to serve this church as a member, if given the opportunity?

 A few extra questions for those coming from the Seminary:

6)  Describe your calling to the ministry and why you think you are called?

7)  What role should the local church play in preparing you for ministry?

8)  Why are you driving past 5 really good, solid, and faithful churches to come here? (This is true for those who live close to SBTS campus)

These questions really act as a basic template that naturally lead to other follow up questions.  I mention them with hopes they will provoke you to consider what details about a person’s life are necessary to bring them into the church as a covenant member.

Side note: A book we require all new members to read is the book written by my dear friend, Thabiti Anyabwile, What is a Healthy Church Member?  It is the best resource on the topic that I know exists.

Pastors, what other questions have you found helpful to ask prospective members as they go through your membership process?

Posted in Discipleship, Oversight of Souls
5 comments on “What questions should a pastor ask a prospective church member?
  1. Chris Huff says:

    I’ve always asked about their baptism as well: “Have you been baptized? Were you dunked or sprinkled? Did this come after your coming to faith in Christ?”

  2. Michael says:

    A question I will ask of people wanting to move to our church from another local church is, “Why are you leaving the other church?” often followed by, “What specific reasons would cause you to leave our church in the future?”

  3. Dan Sudfeld says:

    Just one follow-up question: When a couple wants to become members, do you interview them together or separately?

    • Brian Croft says:

      Together, these meetings can be intimidating for the wife and it is good to observe them sharing their answers with the other present.

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