The Hyles Church Manual
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 08 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, The Hyles Church Manual)
8. The Church Records
It is vitally important that an adequate record system be kept of the membership of the church. In this chapter we plan to take a person from his first visit to the church and, step by step, show the records that are kept on him.
1. He receives a visitorís card in the public services. This card is divided into two sections. One section is a souvenir for him. The other section is to be filled out and deposited in the collection plate.
2. On Monday, the following letter is sent to each visitor:
3. The visitorís card is then given to the pastor to be used for visitation teams and pastorís visitation.
4. The visitor is reached for Christ, if at all possible, before the next Sunday. Let us suppose that the pastor or a soul winner wins this one to Christ and the next Sunday he comes forward in the public services. After the person is received at the altar, a secretary or clerk fills out the following decision card:
This decision card is in triplicate: a white copy, a green copy, and an ivory copy. The copy is torn off and given to the pastor to be read publicly. He keeps this one. The green card is put in the visitation files for follow-up work, and the ivory card is given to the records secretary for the processing of the convert and his records.
5. On Monday, the following decision letter is sent to him:
We praise the Lord for your decision Sunday and want to assure you that our prayers and personal interest are with you. Your decision was the beginning of great things for you and for us as we do His will together.
Please fill in the enclosed questionnaire and return it to the church office so that our records will be correct. Do not hesitate to call the church office, 932-0711, for further information.
May the Lord bless you as you serve Him.
Jack Hyles Pastor
6. The card below is enclosed in the decision letter.
7. The convert is then voted into the church after baptism and is given a vote-in number and a financial number. Then a permanent record card is made on the new member as shown below:
8. As soon as the member is received a financial card such as seen below is made for him:
9. The birthday card is made for him.
10. A cardex card is made for our cardex file. This is also illustrated below:
11. A financial plate for use on the addressograph machine is then made out.
12. A flash plate is made for the new member.
13. The personís name is placed in the permanent record book as seen below:
14. Periodically a reception is held in honor of all the new members of the church. A letter is sent to each person who is a new member of the church. Following is a copy of such a letter:
At this new membersí reception the pastor, staff and deacon meet to welcome the new people into the church. The pastor first gives a brief word of welcome. Then he introduces each staff member and tells the responsibilities of each. He then introduces the chairman of the board of deacons, the officers of the deacon board and the deacons present. Then he introduces the deaconsí wives.
Following this, some slides are shown portraying the life of the church. Slides concerning the building , the youth program, the musical program, the financial program and various phases of the church program are shown. This usually takes about fifteen minutes.
Following the showing of the slides, the new member receives several things. He receives a packet of envelopes as shown below:
He then receives a copy of the pastorís book. Letís Go Soul Winning, which will enable him to win others to the Lord Jesus Christ. H then receives a baptismal certificate as a remembrance of this high occasion.
The new member is then given a copy of the articles of faith and the church covenant as well as a copy of the church budget.
Each new member is requested to fill out the form below. This will enable us to locate potential workers for the church program.
Following the receipt of these important items, there is a time of refreshment and fellowship. The new members are invited to go to a table filled with refreshments such as cookies, finger sandwiches, punch, etc. They enjoy refreshments as the deacons and their families come by, shake by, shake their hands, and welcome them into the church.
15. A three-week new membersí course is then conducted for the convert. One Sunday night he is taught soul winning. Another Sunday night he is taught the doctrines of the church and how to grow in grace. Another Sunday night he is taken on a tour of the church properties. He is encouraged to have family devotions, to say grace at the table. He is told about the need for a daily devotional time.
Many other things are done for the new member; but as you can see, we have taken the convert from his first visit to the church through his conversion, his joining the church and his being integrated into the life of the church.
16. We use our own forms in granting and receiving of letters of transfer. When a person unites with the First Baptist Church by transfer from a church of like faith, we send to that church the following request for a letter.
When a member of a church which is not of like faith is converted and joins our church by baptism, the following notice is sent to the church where he formally held membership. This simply notifies the church to make adjustment on their church records.
When a person transfers from our church to a church of like faith, we vote to grant his letter and use the following form to notify his new church.
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