An Entitlement Program
Theme of the week: Church Is Not a Country Club
Monday, September 23, 2013
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Key Bible Verse: A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
Dig Deeper: 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
"This is my church, so you have to play the music just the way I want it."
"Look pastor, you need to remember who pays your salary."
"If you don't do this program, I'll withhold my check to the church."
"I've been a member of this church for over 30 years, so I have a right to get what I want."
Okay, you get the picture. Those unfortunately typical comments come from members of churches who have an unbiblical view of membership. Their view of membership is more aligned with country club membership.
For them, membership is about receiving instead of giving, being served instead of serving, rights instead of responsibilities, and entitlements instead of sacrifices. This wrongful view of membership sees the tithes and offerings as membership dues that entitle members to a never-ending list of privileges and expectations instead of an unconditional cheerful gift to God.
So, what does the Bible say about membership? There are a number of places in the New Testament where we see a clear picture of church membership. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul [offers] the metaphor of the church being a body with many members.
—Thom S. Rainer in I Am a Church Member
My Response: What is my current understanding of and attitude toward church membership?
Adapted from I Am a Church Member (B&H, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
Copyright © 2013 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Prayer for the Week
Dear God, forgive me for those times I've been more of a spectator at church than a fully engaged participant; show me how I might better use my spiritual gifts, financial resources, and time to serve the body of Christ—my community of faith.
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