Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Re-Thinking Church Membership (Part 4)

Read entire series here.

In Part 3 I left an open-ended question. If every Christian is already a member of the church, and if a Christian becoming a member of a church is foreign to the bible, how then is this membership a reality? The answer lies in the meaning of church itself. (See my What Is The Church? post). Unfortunately, in Western culture and the English speaking world, the word church is too often associated with a building, an institutional idea, a denomination made up of a collection of churches, or even Christianity itself.

Church, which is ekklesia in the Greek, means assembly. God's assembly. We as God's people assemble. We assemble together. When this view of church is seen, it is then easy to see how membership is a reality. We are members by assembling. There is no category in the bible of non-member, but there is one of non-assembler. We see this in Hebrews 10:24-25:

"...and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."

The one who is a non-member is the one who forsakes the assembling together. The member does what is by nature for a member of an assembly; he assembles. I still have much to write in the development of this concept, and might just post several dozen parts to this series.

Part 3 . . . . . . . . Part 5

1 comment:

  1. I like the route you are taking with this - and I agree in general with it - but at the core of the 'assembling' is an even deeper issue - usefullness of the church.

    My brother told me something that opened my eyes ' churches are culture associations/clubs' more than they are churches/faith systems. I think I agree with what he said. Maybe the churches have lost their focus - and in the process - people have left church (seeing it's utter lack of use - or original intent). I think there is more to leaving church than we might think...I could be off - but it makes logical sense.