...and the questions come up: Why officially become a member of the church? What difference does it make? Does is really matter, really change anything just to formalize my membership?
It does. Certainly taking the class doesn't MAKE you a member of the church, but it gives you the information so that you can make an informed decision.
At Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North, membership results in the following perks:
- Automatically go to the front of the line for prayer after service – no waiting!
- Warm baptism water (guaranteed to be at least 77 degrees) for any of your family or friends getting baptized.
- Personalized car window decal: “>your name here< is Loved at HBC!”
- 5% off your tithe.
That was a joke. We don’t have any of those decals.
But kidding aside, I don’t think membership itself is a joke. I do think it is really important, speaking from the pastor’s perspective, to know who is considering themselves part of the flock, part of this body of Christ.
The bottom line: membership is about unity. I am a part of this team. I am taking responsibility for what happens at this church.
We actually interview everyone who wants to place membership with us, for three main reasons:
1) We can explain what it means to be a member (expectations, ministry involvement, etc),
2) We want to hear the prospective member’s testimony. (To join the church, it’s pretty important to be a Christian first, right? Plus: I just LOVE hearing testimonies. They never get old!) Oh, and
3) It gives the prospective member opportunity to ask any questions about the church.
Recently, I came across this article about church membership. I thought it had some great points on the subject, so if you have ever struggled with the value of formally joining a church, take a minute and read this!
You are Loved!
-membership has its privileges