At this point we need to take a pause and be real clear concerning this issue. It is possible to be a member but in practice embrace the vision of “church dating.” In this scenario you say “yes” to a local church body but fail to truly embrace the biblical concept of church membership. Here are a few disciplines we should all develop and encourage to pursue healthy membership within the local body.
- Join a local church. Hebrews 13:17 tells Christians to obey their leaders and, therefore, obtain the benefit of having elders who “watch over your souls”. And don’t just join but put down some roots. Let God and others know you are committed. The missionary martyr Jim Elliot once said, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
- Bring your gifts to the table. I want to encourage you to ask yourself, “What can I do to serve?" The goal is not to produce spectators but faithfully deploy people to utilize their gifts. This can become a challenge for many churches because members currently serving do not intentionally embrace and celebrate the discipline of releasing ministry positions and ministry task to new folks coming into the church. This is unhealthy and we must foster the vision of “all hands on deck!”
- Develop the discipline of giving. I want to encourage you to faithfully give to the Church. This is an act of worship that God honors. One of the most common struggles that Christians have is in the area of faith. This becomes an area of struggle that hinders the rest of our spiritual growth. Giving faithfully is an essential part of healthy church membership that produces faith-filled disciples.
Adopt a student. Over the next few weeks you will hear me talk about our student adoption program. I will encourage both students and adults to move past regular church attendance and get connected in community. This is not a mentorship program it is simply an opportunity to open your life to biblical community for the purpose of strengthening relationships within the church. I will provide more details over the next few weeks.
God and Money. Starting March 4, I will lead a 3-week Core Seminar called God and Money. The seminar will begin each week at 5:30 p.m. and it is designed to take a close look at how we should steward our money as we walk in faithful obedience to Christ. Please make plans to join us for this core seminar.