April 23, 2013

What's the Deal with Church Membership?

Approximately 2 or 3 times a year, I have the privilege of hosting/teaching a membership session at King Road. Typically, a group of people who are interested in joining King Road, or who wish to be baptized, sit down for lunch and then a discussion about membership at King Road. I am always blessed by the opportunity to get to know people new to King Road. We discuss any and every question they have about King Road (for example: do you know how many baptism tanks are in our facilities? Perhaps I should offer a prize for the first person who comments with the correct answer...). It really is a great way to get to know King Road. I'd encourage anyone who is attending King Road and considering membership to attend the next one. Stay tuned.

But, even more important for me, is the opportunity to discuss church membership. If you've grown up in the church, this topic will sound familiar. If you're new to the church, or in the younger demographic, this term tends to carry some baggage and misconceptions. "Membership? You must charge a fee, right? What privileges are included? But, I attend two or three churches. I belong to the worldwide church. You just want my name on a list for statistical purposes. I attend and use my gifts and give...what more do you want?" Do any of these sound familiar?

Allow me to share one very short definition of membership I heard several years ago from another pastor. Membership is "giving others the right to mind your business." Simple, short, and pithy, yet extremely challenging if we reflect on the implications.  (If you want the biblical case for membership and want me to take more time to share how I understand membership, and what it looks like practically at King Road, contact me or attend the next session.)

Do you agree/disagree? How do you understand this phrase? What about some of the other objections listed above? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Leonard Klassen

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