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Archive for May 2009

Belonging

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So last night I “officially” became a member of my church, Living Hope Family Church. They don’t exactly have a firmly established protocol for membership (which doesn’t bother me), but I felt it was important for me to make my committment to the church known. So earlier this week I emailed the pastor, informed him that I wanted to officially become a member, and last night I was publicly recognized before the congregation – and you know what, it was awesome!

Later, I got to thinking (as I usually do after a significant event) about this whole business of “joining” a church. There was a time that I thought that church membership was a stupid and pointless practice, and that it was unnecessary to have to go through some process in order to truly be committed to a church body. Though it is true that you can commit yourself to a church without “joining,” it begs the question – if you are totally committed, why not join? What I realized is that public recognition of membership in a church is actually vital! First of all, it gives great encouragement to the body, showing that church is growing, and it reaffirms why they initially joined. Second, the new member, by being acknowledged publicly, becomes known to the whole body by name and face, and is usually thus greeted by name from then on (which makes the new member feel even more welcomed and at home). Third, the new member gains a significant sense of belonging which, until being publicly recognized, is experienced only superficially – he/she moves from being an “attender” to a “member.” Last, it is for the new member an expression of not only affinity for, but committment to the local church.

I have come to the conclusion that every church ought to give great attention, thought and prayer to how they incorporate and recognize new members. I can say honestly that even though effectively nothing has changed, I feel more a part of Living Hope today than I did before.

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Written by jeffrossman

May 21, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Life