You can be a member of pretty much anything these days.
- Costco (the samples had me at ‘hello!’)
- The local gym (their winning…).
- Just the other day I received an email invitation to join the Dollar Shave Club and “shave time and shave money.”
- Facebook groups, museums, PTA’s, sports teams, music groups, museums, book clubs, pen clubs, Country clubs, you name it – you can be a member!
Yet in some places, church membership is hardly ever mentioned. Some of you just pulled up Google and said, “Is that really a thing??” Some of you thought it was reserved for the few who want the ability to vote. Even some pastors I know relish the fact that a low percentage of their regular attendance are “official members.”
That’s not LifePoint. This Sunday we are welcoming 18 new members into membership and it’s a big deal.
I know, I know, “Why?” As long as I show up, give, and get involved isn’t that enough? Can’t I just do all the things members do without making it “official?”
Long story short… No.
Here are three quick reasons (of several) why these 18 people felt “that” wasn’t enough and why we think it’s a big deal.
1. It’s a Statement
Membership at LifePoint is the way people say to each other and to the leadership, “I’m here, heart and soul, committed to the mission.” People come and go at LifePoint- it’s just the way it is. But when people become members, they are closing the back door. They are done, “leaving their options open”. “Sam, that sounds territorial.” Trust me- it’s not. We don’t force people to be in our church over others. Instead the reason we admonish people to quit dating churches is that we need to be connected in a local context and committed to a spiritual family, wherever that is.
2. It’s a Request
When people become members they sign a covenant, asking their leaders and fellow members to hold them accountable to living for Jesus. Everyone wants accountability. But these 18 people have taken practical steps to make that happen. They have shed anonymity and are giving others access into their lives, while agreeing to do the same for others. Needless to say, we as leaders exercise a different level of accountability, oversight, and leadership toward someone who has made such a request.
3. It’s a Contribution
By becoming members, these people are making the step from “that” to “my”, from “they” to “we.” By becoming members these 18 people have said that just showing up is not enough for them. They believe in the mission and they are here to contribute. They are here to use the gifts that God has given them to help build up the body to maturity, and to make disciples of all nations.
If you’d like to hear more, or become a member at LifePoint, sign-up for Starting Point.