There are some good things and bad things about “church membership”. I’m thinking along these lines because of the new sermon series we will begin this coming Sunday entitled “BEING the Church”.
One of several books I am currently reading is by Thom Rainer. And he tells of growing up in a small southern town that had a country club that was affordable to his middle-income parents. He found out that membership in this country club meant having certain perks and privileges. He said he found that membership meant as long as they paid their dues there were people at this place who would serve him and his family and give them a life of leisure.
His point was that this is the way many Christians view church membership. They believe giving more means they should have more influence. That is NOT Biblical membership. Thankfully, I do not see that here at MCC. But we all need to be careful of viewing membership as, “What can this church do for me?” We have to guard against the idea that “We pay others to serve for us.” That’s the downside of membership.
One of the great things about church membership is we can make a Biblical case for it. In Rom. 12:4,5 we read, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Biblical membership means giving without qualification. And it means serving – actively serving – one another rather than looking to be served. And doing this with no strings attached. Each one of us needs to evaluate not others – but ourselves – “How am I a serving member of this church?”