Jump directly to the Content

IDEAS THAT WORK

A cure for deadwood

A CURE FOR "DEADWOOD"

I stared at the membership brochure of the church where I was candidating, and blinked.

"You are invited to become a member of Covenant Baptist Church by sharing in our Covenant of Membership.

"Membership is for a calendar year, and each year we commit ourselves to God and to one another in this Covenant."

I had served for five years on the staff of a very large church where the membership could only be approximated. A decade could pass before we discovered someone was no longer attending, and the rolls frequently included names of persons who had died several years before. I was bothered to see new people join the church and immediately fade into inactive anonymity. While these cases were extreme, they illustrated the problems of "forever membership."

Now here was a congregation doing something distinctive. From its inception nine years before in a rapidly growing suburb of Phoenix, the charter members and the founding pastor, Fred Williamson, had tried new ideas. The ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Are you a Good Steward of Your Time?
Are you a Good Steward of Your Time?
How discovering your spiritual gifts benefit your time management.
From the Magazine
Disasters Are Not God’s Punishments. But They Can Judge Us.
Disasters Are Not God’s Punishments. But They Can Judge Us.
Both 18th-century earthquakes and 21st-century pandemics upend optimism and fatalism.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.
close