Monday, September 14, 2009

Re-Thinking Church Membership (Part 28) - A Real Life Example

Bob Spencer at Wilderness Fandango, a reader and occasional commenter on this blog, posts about his church's recent adoption of a "formal membership" system. Bob admits that he doesn't "get it" about the church membership requirements. "Commitment" as it is defined by the church leaders seems to be the point. Quoting:

...Are you tithing? Are you taking part in a church-based ministry? Are you attending regularly (according to to definition of the church leadership)? In the case of the church I was attending, if you make a solemn commitment to these things and five others, you're in. If not, you're out.

Does anyone else think it odd that I can say of myself, I am a child of God, a member of his family by adoption through Christ, but I am not a member of the local church, because by their standards I haven't measured up? You see, they've raised the bar a good deal higher than Jesus did.

Another thing: I've heard it said that for a Christ-ian all life should be ministry. But the local church likes to privilege its own organized and established ministries above all else. You have to be committed to participation in one of our church-based ministries. It simply doesn't count that you're pouring yourself out, day by day, to your children. Sorry, that just doesn't register on our membership scale. You need to come to church and fold bulletins, or pass plates, or work in the bookstore, or pull weeds in the garden, in addition to that other stuff. That way we know, we can measure it, and then we can confirm your status of membership.
Read Bob's post. The membership system he describes seems typical of the mentality I have written about in previous parts of this series.

Read the entire series here.

Part 27 . . . . . . . . Part 29


  1. Thanks for the link, Scott.

  2. I also appreciated this post.
    Thank you