Friday, May 27, 2011

"WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MEMBER"

Good Afternoon to All!

I really had not intended to post this so early, but evidently I accidentally clicked publish instead of save! LOL! Anyway, tonight, what you see is what you get! LOL!.

Do you believe Christians should be a member of a church? This is a question which Courtney at "Faithful Bloggers" put to "her members"as a Faithful Blogging prompt to blog about. So I now ask you.

I will give my own opinion and reasons for the choice I've made, and then I am hopeful that you will comment back to me on what your opinions are on this subject.

I truly have MIXED feelings on this subject. I do think that people make too big of an issue whether you are a "member or not". I say this because when I was wanting to get married for the second time, I couldn't find a church to get married in, let alone a preacher who would do it, so I had to get a Justice of the Peace to perform the ceremony and we got married in my "then , to-be mother-in-law's house. This was back in 1980. My present marriage was the same, except my brother-in-law allowed us to "use" his church, just that he wouldn't perform the ceremony, so we were married in a church by a Justice of the Peace once again. There were two reasons given for this denial. First, because I had been divorced, and then because I wasn't a "member of their church.

I guess it wasn't a very "Christian attitude" on my part, but my reaction to their reasons was "well, that isn't a very good way to make people want to visit your church and become a member either!"

I feel like as long as we "go to church", I don't think God cares whether we are members or not. My personal feelings about that are that being a member is for "business purposes only". Being a member entitles a person to vote on business matters of the church. Being a member, is being held to a higher standard and helping out in all areas of the church such as fund raisers, cleaning, receptions and so forth.

Yes, we should want to do that anyway, but at the same time I think members are "EXPECTED" to do so.

The way I figure it is God wants us to have a Personal Relationship with Him, in church and out of church. He says "do not forsake the assembling of yourselves, meaning go to church. He does not say you have to be a member of this Baptist, Methodist or Pentecostal church. HIS doctrine in the only one that counts.

According to His word we are supposed to follow HIS DOCTRINE and no other. The only place we will find that doctrine is in the Bible. Yes, we are suppose to go to church and be taught by our "shepherds", but we are also suppose to read His word for ourselves because there are so many "false preachers" out there, we need to make sure for ourselves that the preacher is preaching what is in line with the Word of God. (Which some do not).

It does not take a "church membership" to do that. Yes, I am a member of the church I attend, but if I ever stop being a member, for example if I don't end up following our bylaws for example of not attending regularly or something like that (if we start traveling more), then it won't bother me and I'm sure I will be just as loved by my church family as I am right at this moment. I attend a wonderful and loving church and I rather doubt if I would be taken from the role because of something like that, unless I did something horrible that would embarrass the church in the public eye, and that I would definitely understand.

I enjoy having a say in what goes on, but I don't think my one little vote would make that much difference.

I looked and looked for some reference verses in the Bible about "church membership" but of course, the only church I read about being a "member" of was the "Body of Christ", and We ALL should be members of that church.

This being said it is obvious that this is ALL only my opinion, as I said I could find no reference to belonging to a specific church except the main one.

Have a Wonderful Evening and a fun but SAFE Memorial Holiday!

I couldn't figure out how to do a background to be able to show the white print, so I made it as light as I could but still be able to see it. It is supposed to be Memorial Holiday! If anyone knows how to change the color of the background for just this one area I would appreciate the knowledge.

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5 comments:

Starry Dawn said...

Great Post, PJ!!
I agree with you.
God bless you, PJ!!
Thank you for sharing your love and wisdom with the world!!
Blessings,
Poet Starry.

Christie Cottage said...

I totally agree with your post. I am a church member and on the Administrative Board. I told them at a recent meeting that I should have worn a shirt that said "just visiting!" LOL

My church is small. Almost everyone is on a committee and always busy.

The irony is that I visited this church for 16+ years before they realized that I had never become a member! LOL

Have a wonderful weekend!

<><

Lorraine said...

Dear PJ,
I also have mixed feelings on this subject, but I've recently made the decision to join a local church after 20 years of being a "visitor" of the last 2 churches we served at. Our current church has a prerequisite of church membership before serving in a ministry. I first I balked at this, then I considered that if I really wanted to serve God at this fellowship I would have to submit to the "rules".
Also, church membership is a public declaration to the local body, “I’m here to support and serve with you”. I came to the conclusion that not joining at church was similar to living together without the commitment of marriage. When a couple is cohabiting it looks the same as marriage, but no one knows the level of your commitment without the marriage ceremony.

Just a few thoughts…

http://www.bigsis-littlesis.com/

thespiritednerd said...

Christie's comment tickles me, as I attended a church for a great chunk of my life but wasn't confirmed as a member. I'll never forget the pastor's reaction when I said it in front of the congregation one Sunday, lol!

Great outlook PJ, I'm glad I get to share this topic with you.

~ Ashley

Foundational Gifts LLC said...

You bring out a great point. How we feel about membership depends on what we're becoming a member of. Is it a local church body, or the Body of Christ?

As someone who teaches and coaches around spiritual gifts, I encourage people to use these gifts in the ministries of their local congregation. The rules around that would of course depend on the church. Some churches require membership to serve, and others don't.

My thing is, I want believers to have a sense of both liberty and responsibility. I would hope that people choose to join churches because they want to commit to serving and regular attendance, not because they feel they have to do so. I also hope that people don't choose to "church hop" because they're avoiding commitments that come with membership such as serving in ministry, tithing, and spiritual growth accountability.

Thanks for the post!

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