Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Church Membership Matters

The leadership team and I have been studying and discussing prayerfully the Biblical concept of church membership. There are some, I know, who do not believe that there is a Scriptural basis for church membership. There was a time early in the Church’s history that membership was not really an issue. When there was only ONE CHURCH, everyone who was a believer would have been assumed a member of the local body of believers.

Today, the situation is quite different. Denominations number in the hundreds and even within those are hundreds of small groups and divisions. The term, “Christian” can mean various things. Many young people are refusing the label completely. Some congregations have abandoned the whole idea of membership. They simply consider anyone who attends to be a member.

We have always considered church membership at Crossroads Christian Church to be a covenant relationship between the congregation, as whole, and the member, as an individual. Those seeking membership have been required to sign a written membership covenant. We do this because we want there to be clarity about what we expect from members and what they can expect from us, as a congregation. We also realize that we are all imperfect sinners living in an imperfect world.

However, since it is our vision to be a place of genuine community, we must have a recognized body of believers with whom we are building community. Community requires that we hold each other accountable, develop a sense of belonging, and provide care for one another. This cannot be done unless we know who is a member.

It is important for the body of Christ to be a light in the community through the individual congregations. In order to properly shepherd the members of Christ’s Church, and maintain a God-honoring witness in our neighborhood, the elders and I are completely reviewing and rewriting our membership policy. This is not an easy task because it requires balancing the tension between grace and accountability.

The elders have also developed shepherding structure that assigns every member of the church an elder-shepherd. They will be contacting you over the next few weeks to discuss any concerns or ideas you may have. I hope you are all making plans to attend “I love my Church” Sunday on February 24th. This is going to be a great celebration of our church.

See You Sunday!

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