Membership is an interesting concept. Depending on your personal experience with membership, the whole notion of church membership may mean a lot of different things.
For instance I'm a member at a local gym. Here are a few things I observe about my membership there:
- It is voluntary. But if I want to show up and workout any time I want, membership is required.
- There is a nominal, monthly fee to belong to the gym.
- That fee gets me access to any equipment I want to use any time the gym is open.
- I "belong," but I don't have to invest in any relationships there. I can wear my earbuds and enjoy a very private, personal experience tailored just for me, by me.
- As a member I have no responsibility to the gym: I don't have to vacuum, clean the toilet I use, move equipment, stripe the parking lot, email other members, help promote the place, or give so another location can open.
- I pay for membership for the privilege - with no responsibilities.
Many people tend to look at church membership in much the same way. But membership in the local church is based on a biblical model, not our westernized cultural norms.
- Anyone is welcome to participate. There is nothing required to show up, listen, meet a few people and benefit from the experience in a church service. Attendees aren't necessarily members...and everyone is welcome.
- The church doesn't require membership dues to belong. Instead we covenant to regular and generous giving because we believe in the mission and vision of the church.
- Our giving doesn't entitle us to anything. We aren't giving in order to "pay" for free building use, discounts on bookstore purchases, free food or even free training or events. We give for others - to reach those who don't know they matter, to care for our children, to care for our community. We give for others and pay our own way with no sense of entitlement.
- "Belonging" means we give ourselves to others. We don't show up at a church service, a serve event or a team initiative thinking only of ourselves and how it will benefit us personally. Belonging means we engage people. We extend ourselves. We listen to the stories of others. We find ways to serve...others. We join the family and immediately assume responsibility to others in the family.
- As a member in the local church, we don't give assuming we've paid the staff/pastors to carry it all. We all help. We find ways to lift our share - through volunteer teams, resources, time, and personal expertise leveraged where and when it serves to advance the mission and vision of the church. We share the ownership. We carry the charge together.
The local church is not a country club, gym or any other self-serving community interest group. It is an organization of people - the body of Christ - who have together given themselves to a shared identity, vision and mission.
If you've not explored membership at Granger Community Church, you have three immediate options:
- Monday, April 15 at our Elkhart campus
- Tuesday, April 16 at our Granger campus
- Wednesday, May 11 in LaPorte
Register here. Now. We'd like to make sure we've set a seat for you and ordered you a meal. We want you to belong. Really belong.