from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Member vs Attender

I was ran into a friend over the holidays that was relocated by his employer a year or so ago.  The topic of church came up, and like so many others these days the response was, “Yes, we’ve found a church, but we haven’t joined yet.”  Fewer and fewer church goers see the need to become an official member of the church they attend.  Does it really matter?

Most often this situation occurs with those who have moved to a different area where they can no longer attend the church they are a member of – perhaps a church they grew up in and or have strong relationship ties.  There is an understandable reluctance to break that “final” tie.

Others have what they call strong theological reasons against church membership, calling it legalistic, etc..  Some equate membership with numbers and say that’s not what really matters.  Changed lives matter.  But should that change prompt a desire to become a member of a local church?  Isn’t just being a “member” of God’s universal church enough?

Alastair Bryan Sterne wrote an interesting article recently for Relevant Magazine on the topic.  Here are some of his comments.

[God] intentionally enters into a commitment-based, formalized bond with people: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, not to mention national covenants with Israel and ultimately the New Covenant through Jesus.

You might not like formalized commitment, but the God of Scripture does. Apparently it plays a vital role in the restoration of our intimacy with Him.

People who want to reject church membership altogether are in my opinion similar to those who don’t get married because its “just a piece of paper.” They say they don’t need to formalize their commitment to one another.

A relationship plateaus until a covenant is made.

The lack of official commitment to a local church is a growing trend and an interesting debate.  What are your thoughts?


Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: