The major focus of Vision 2023 is premised on the understanding that the local church is the focal point for most of the church’s spiritual life and developmental activities. Thus, it serves as a training centre for Christians who are discipled to project Christ to the world. Jesus commanded us to go, preach, baptise and to teach the new converts: this is the main source of enlisting people into the Church army of God. Another form of enlistment is through holding the new members class.
This is for members who join the church from other denominations or from other locals or districts of CoP. How such members are handled from the onset is very crucial to equipping them as a military squad, small group in possessing the nations. Our text in Acts reveals how Paul, who could be likened to a new member, was rightly assigned to a squad of disciples in Jerusalem.
As part of the Church’s Intentional Discipleship mandate, it is expected that ministers and local ofﬁcers give special care to new converts and new members. When a person accepts Christ and is baptised, they are enlisted into the army of God, the church. New Converts’ Classes should therefore be encouraged and organised in all assemblies to equip new converts with the word of God. Paul, as a new member, found it difﬁcult to join the disciples because they were afraid of him due to his past life. Through the efforts of Barnabas, he was helped to join a small group squad of disciples in Jerusalem. The role Barnabas played in introducing Paul is important in integrating new converts and members into the local church.
New Members’ and New Converts’ Classes help to ground members in the faith. In these classes, there are manuals for teaching, to help members understand their new-found faith and the fundamental tenets of the church. The New Converts’ Class is for those who have accepted Christ and have been baptised or are being prepared for baptism.