Skip to main content

5 Prayer Needs: Need #5

The final prayer need we have listed is simply called “Church Membership.” I'd like you notice some things about this:

      1. This doesn't say “Calvary Baptist Church Membership.” We're praying here that people will become members of a church, not mandating it be this one.

      2. This doesn't say “Church Attendance.” This isn't about just showing up. Rare is the organization that allows people to consider themselves “members” without being active participants. We churches have almost cornered the market on allowing people to join and then expecting nothing out of them. We're praying for people to be active participants and supporters of the church they are members of. Just as you can't join a ball team or the Rotary Club without committing your time and finances, we are praying that people will grasp that within joining a church.

      3. This also places a burden on churches to educate and train church members and potential members. I had a good conversation with a church member Wednesday about things in the 'church covenant' in which we discussed that we don't ensure people know what's in it and commit to it before they join. (I'm actually not sure it's mandated in our church constitution. Something to consider.)

      4. This is also about realizing church membership is about more than having a place to have your wedding or a church to list in your obituary. Church membership should be about where you are right now. If you are a member of a church that you cannot attend because you don't live there, you're a member of the wrong church. You should be a member of a local church. Get up on Sunday, find a church that preaches the Word of God, and join it. And stay put, serving the Lord your God there. If you want to come back to your hometown to get married, it can be worked out. I'm all for being cautious about handing out building keys or letting just anyone pop in to use a church facility, but let's not let facility policies be a stumbling block for people's obedience. Same with providing care for people in crisis. If someone has lost a loved one and God burdens your heart to fix a meal (or organize one), should you check the church roll? No. Just do it, and if there's nothing that cannot be adjusted happening, use the church fellowship hall. Let your church membership be where you are, where you are going to church. Non-resident church membership is one of our unbiblical habits in Baptist life. If you aren't here, you should be a member where you are. We're praying people will take that seriously.

      5. This is also about, when you read Hebrews 10:25, what church meetings are for: encouragement and growth. We're here to learn and encourage. Are you coming to encourage? Yes, there are times when we come to church because we have needs. I'm fully aware of that. That's why preachers take vacations and go to church somewhere, because we have needs as well. What do we need? We all need encouragement, to be emboldened to the task God has given us! We all need better equipping.

Church Membership is about more than just a name on a roll sheet. Let's pray for a better understanding of that fact.

Doug

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…