Monday, March 05, 2007

Reflections

This past weekend my church had Disciple Now for our teenagers. Let me tell you that hosting 9 ninth graders is an experience in and of itself. The guest pastor really touched some of these girls and they felt he really spoke to them on a level and using language they could understand. For Sunday services at our church, the guest speaker preached as well. On Sunday night he talked of the trial that Jesus went through in His last days and also about the church that the guest speaker planted about 3 years ago. In talking of his church, he spoke about the process of building the church by-laws and how it was a several month process involving several people who spent many hours together and apart studying scripture and making it a Biblical based church. Below are the items one must commit to to be a member of this church:

1) You must be a Christian (saved through Christ's grace and have followed in Baptism)
2) You must be involved in a small group
3) You must serve somewhere within the church.
4) You must tithe.

In a discussion with my roommate this morning, it became apparent to me that some of these items (2-4) offended some members of my church. How do you feel about these? Should church members be required to do these things? There is a Biblical basis for them so should it be optional? The church that requires these runs about 1,600 each week with approximately 800 members. That means they have 50% of the people doing the work. Don't most churches have 10% doing the work? Let me know your thoughts.

5 comments:

Tryphena said...

That's a tough one. I can see both sides:

1. If you have higher standards, you're going to attract people with higher standards, and encourage those levels of commitment in your members, making for a more involved, more spiritually mature (albeit smaller) church membership.

2. BUT...with such a big "to-do" list, many people will be wary of committing to a church. A lot of people, for example, would do these things anyway, but balk at the idea of being told they HAVE to. This setup makes people more likely to church-hop and feel that they have no real church home (thus the high attendance, but lower membership rate at this church). And, with this criteria, there'd be no real way to gauge if people had the right motive for tithing, being in a small group, etc.

Anonymous said...

I agree with tryphena that these can't be required. They are expected of us to serve the Lord and be a follower of Christ. We have to be sure our motives are in the correct place and not becoming leaglistic....

Anonymous said...

I don't believe Trypehna took a side. Is it really legalistic if you are asking people to do what God says in His word? If a church is growing in the way this church is, couldn't it be because God is blessing the church for their submission to Him?

PL said...

I'm not sure how committment to giving (#4) and ministry in the church (#3) could be considered offensive. Are these not acts of obedience?

Brian Parton said...

I don't really see how one can get offended by a simple request of obedience to God's word. If this is truly what God has led this church to require, He has a specific plan for them that might just blow us all away in the years to come. Remember what God did with Gideon's army? Sometimes the "smaller" numbers can be greatly offset by the level of commitment and faith within the core group.