Pastor’s Blog June 2018

This is the final part of a three part series that has sought to answer the question, Does Church Membership matter?

I have suggested that although “membership” is not mentioned in the bible, that the idea is consistent with the biblical idea of what it means to belong to the church. Indeed I would say that casual or unaffiliated ideas of belonging to the church are non-sensical from a biblical perspective.

What then does belonging to a church look like? I have been struck by the idea of a shared rule of life. Monasteries and Monastic Orders have a rule of life by which all the members agree to live. These include things as basic as a pattern of work, rest and worship, shared times of prayer and study to more challenging ideas such as a vow of poverty or of living simply. It struck me that at a very basic level the responsibilities of a church member are similar to a shared rule of life. Being a church member is an acknowledgement of a shared way of being Christians in the world. What I am about to say is simply the responsibilities of membership as laid out in the church constitution.

These commitments cover 3 areas of our living, to the Lord, to the church and to the world.

  1. TO THE LORD
  • Growing in our relationship with him through daily prayer and bible reading.
  • Witnessing to the Lord in word and action.
  • Giving according to our ability with a particular responsibility for the work and ministry of our local church.
  1. TO THE CHURCH
  • Consistent support by regular attendance at Sunday worship, communion and members meetings.
  • Supporting other activities as able.
  • Maintaining an attitude of love and care towards fellow Christians.
  • Praying regularly for church leaders, fellow members and those in need.
  • Serving by undertaking some task in the fellowship.
  1. TO THE WORLD.
  • Loving others and sharing Christ with them.
  • Serving others and ministering to their practical and spiritual needs.

Following this through means that church membership is essentially about saying I want to grow as a disciple of Christ and I need other disciples to do this. It’s a commitment that we make to God and to one another and if we take it seriously and regularly consider the commitments mentioned above then we would find that we are growing up as followers of Jesus and at the same time becoming a healthier church.

So does church membership matter?

Emphatically YES!

If you want to explore this issue further then there will be an Exploring Church Membership session on Sunday 10th June @BBC beginning at 6.30 pm.

Phil Dixon