Oh, Boy! A Country Club!
Theme of the week: Church Is Not a Country Club
Sunday, September 22, 2013
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Who Said It … Thom S. Rainer
Thom S. Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. A respected pastor and researcher, he is the author or coauthor of numerous books including Simple Church, The Millennials, The Unchurched Next Door, and I Am a Church Member. Thom and his wife, Nellie Jo, live in Nashville, Tennessee, and are members of Brentwood Baptist Church.
What he Said … Oh, Boy! A Country Club!
It was a big deal for this young boy living in a small Southern town. I didn't know what a country club was, but I knew one was coming to town. And it included a swimming pool!
Now don't get the wrong impression. This country club was not the typical upscale clubs we often envision. It was really a small private enterprise trying to make a few bucks by offering a few amenities.
My middle-class parents could afford the small monthly fee. From my perspective, I had it made. I could now go to a swimming pool. I didn't know of anyone who had their own pool in town, so this amenity was exciting. I could order a burger from the dining area. And we could have birthday parties in the pool or the meeting rooms.
I began to learn a lesson. Membership means perks. Membership means privileges. Membership means others will serve me. Just pay the going rate, and you can have others taking care of you while you enjoy a life of leisure. And, tragically, this understanding of membership is what many church members hold.
Key Study Passage: Romans 12:3-8
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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