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Taking Membership to a New Level

Forget your Members Only jacket. At Vintage21, a church in Raleigh, North Carolina, it's Owners Only. The church is eliminating the concept of membership entirely in favor of what they believe is a more appropriate description for the body of Christ: ownership.

Gyms and clubs have members. Vintage21 contends that these memberships are "painless to obtain and even easier to discard." "Ownership," on the other hand, springs from the fact that followers of Christ are co-heirs of the Kingdom, and as such, possess a piece of the church. Vintage21 hopes each person will feel responsibility for the church and want to be more intimately involved, rather than just coming to services and taking off. They hope to ditch a consumer mindset and move into an investor's outlook.

"An owner makes the organization happen. Jesus wants his followers to make the church happen—go out and love people, nurture each other, and serve with your whole life. Ownership is a higher call than membership," Vintage21 ...

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