Christians & Membership
What does it mean to place membership in a church? When I was growing up my parents were the type that believed you weren’t supposed to place membership when you started going to a church. Christians are members of the church so why would you have to do something special? While I agree with that in principle I can see a whole new side of things from the ministry perspective. From the church’s perspective it is important to know who has the desire to be involved vs. who does not.
The question I have is why would a Christian want to come to church but not be involved? The definition of a member is a Christian who is attending. Christians should desire to be involved at church in some way, shape, or form. So members by definition should be involved. I wonder if past generations of emphasis on passages like Heb 10:25 that says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” have led people to believe that being a Christian is to be at a church service. Membership should not be about having your name on a roll sheet somewhere or a favorite auditorium pew that everyone knows they are not supposed to sit on. Membership should equal involvement. Membership should equal involvement in the mission. Can you imagine an employee who decided not to do any work to advance a company or a family member who decided chores weren’t for them? Can you imagine if your hand decided it didn’t want to be a member of your body any more or if your ears decided they didn’t want any responsibility any more?
Non-Christians and Membership
Then there is the question of what do you do with people who are not Christians and yet want to be involved or even want to place membership. At Northwest we meet with them and teach them about the basics of Christianity. We don’t allow people to place membership who are not baptized believers. Some churches do not take that approach. Some allow non-Christian to serve communion, greet, and do other things without being a baptized believer. Their rational is that they don’t want to turn people away so it is better to get them involved early in as many things as possible to help them feel like they are a part. The problem is, until they are a Christian they aren’t really a part. They don’t yet belong to the body of Christ. People need to understand there is a difference and that once you become a Christian there are things expected of you that were not expected beforehand.
What do you think?