Membership Has Its….

Privileges?  What?

That’s not really in the Bible.  The concept of church membership has a lot of backing the Bible and I’d love to point out a few things that will help you think about it, whether you’ve been a member of Goss or another church for a long time or whether you’re just checking into the concept.

1.  Commitment to be led.

Church membership is a commitment to be led, first by Christ, then within the leadership structure of that church.  Church membership also helps leadership determine who is committed to their church rather than just attending.  All other standards (I’ve attended here a long time so you can trust me, etc.) are simply subjective, and that’s why having membership is so helpful.  It makes things clear.

Think about this paradox.  If someone says they can be trusted by just attending church a long time, then the leadership would naturally ask: “Well then if you’d like us to trust you, then our church has a standard of membership open for anyone to show their commitment and establish their trust.

2. Commitment to serve.

Church membership really is a commitment to serve Christ according to the purpose and direction of a local church.  This relates directly to point #1, which would imply that you trust that local church’s vision and direction and want to commit to serve it. So, if your church needs some help with specific projects or ministries, pray about how you can sacrifice to serve using your gifts to build others up and reach out.

3. Commitment to other believers.

Most pastors are probably amazed at the number of people who are members who have few quality relationships with other members.  This works both ways.  Newer members should try attending studies, getting involved where they can, and getting to know others before, after, and outside church.  Established members should make it their ministry to reach out to those who are newer members (and newer attenders as well!) and help them feel connected.  I also truly believe these relationships should cross age barriers whenever possible.  The greater the amount of intergenerational relationships, the less conflict over age related issues there will be!

4. Commitment to give!

Not equal amounts, but with equal passion.  If you are committed in membership to a local church, you should put your funds up to support the working and ministry of that church!  A general principle is to think about an extra amount that you can give on a regular basis.  This helps the church plan and it provides for financial stability. It also establishes discipline in giving.  Also, be prepared to sacrifice extra (parts of extra tips, holiday bonuses, tax refunds) if the Lord calls.  Other special offerings come up for missions trips, special projects, etc.  The bottom line: be prepared to give with passion!

I hope this helps you think through church membership, either at Goss or at whatever church you are a part of!

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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