We haven’t placed as large a value on church membership at Grace as we have things like salvation, baptism, serving others, etc. Because of that, we have very few members and some of our most active people are not “official” members of Grace.
Recently I asked one such man to attend an annual banquet being held in our city for a large International ministry on our behalf. If I wrote the ministry name here you would easily know it and surely agree they do great work. Still, this ministry is “old school” in a lot of ways. My guy said he and another from our church were the only two without suits on (Shame on them!). At the conclusion of the night our guy was motivated enough about the ministry that he was willing to join their organization. They wouldn’t accept him. Reason: He is not a “member” of my church. If he had been a “member”, they would have taken him without question. (BTW, they did take his donation.)
Can someone explain this one to me? I know churches that have 3 or 4 times as many members as they do people who actually even attend their services each week. I know people who are “members” of a church, but they have attended church in years and they certainly aren’t serving that church.
Is it time to re-think what church membership really is and what it isn’t? Does it have the value it supposedly once had?