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Beyond a Club

We needed a model of church membership that truly shaped the way we lived.

Why should I become a member of this church?"

A woman posed the question to me after a worship service one Sunday morning. Her question was one I heard a lot. Usually it came from people already involved in the life of our church. They participated in small groups, gave financially, and served on ministry teams. "I'm already involved in this church," they would say, "what's the point of becoming a member?"

Unfortunately, I couldn't give a good answer. At that point, membership was largely a formality. Perhaps it stemmed from the fact that I was ambivalent about the whole idea of membership in the first place. We were a new church and I was tempted to toss membership altogether. I worried it reinforced a consumer mentality about church. How is joining the church any different from joining the health club? I thought. When you go to your local health club and tell them you are considering paying their monthly fee (and probably not going that often), they ...

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