New Member Class
Getting Acquainted Session

From the Open Files of:

NW Synod of Wisconsin Resource Center (715) 833-1153

Contributed by:

Erling Carlsen, retired pastor in Eau Claire, WI


At Our Savior's Lutheran in Rockford, Illinois, the first session of each new member class (there were nine sessions) began with the sharing of four questions:   

  • Where did you live before the age of 12?  
  • What kind of fuel did you use in heating your (childhood) home?
  • Which room in your house was the social center for your family?
  • When did Jesus become more than a word to you?

 (Before we began it was announced that those who didn't wish to share could jjust say "I pass" and some of them did.)  By the time we got to the 4th question class members were usually willing to share spiritual matters freely.  For example, some said "It was a sermon I heard at Bible Camp"  or "in my home church."  "It was in confirmation class."  "It was when I got married."  "It was when my wife (husband) died."  "It was when I attended an evangelistic service."  "It was when our child was born."  

We found that the sharing during this Getting Acquainted Session not only helped everyone get acquainted but also lled to the forming of close-knit class groups which became more or less of a support or fellowship group when these prospective new members became part of the large congregation.

 I was one of the four pastors at Our Saviors and part of my responsibility was the New Member Program.  The "4 questions" had been started before my ministry began there, but we continued to use it and we all felt it was very effective.

Why not develop your own four questions to fit your time and place?


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