Go All In at Central
When I type the word “membership” into Google, after the dictionary definitions pop up, the very first entries are about Costco, Planet Fitness, the National Restaurant Association, the American Medical Association, and so on. These are all stores, gyms, associations, or clubs that you join (either by paying or by earning your way in), and once you are “in”, as members, you are entitled to all kinds of benefits (2% back on all purchases, a squeaky clean and spacious gym, entrance to the club, and so on). That’s all good and fine, as far as it goes.
But where we get caught up is when we apply that understanding of “membership” to the church. We don’t “pay” to get in, because we believe that Jesus has paid it all for us to be a part of his body already. We don’t “earn” our way in, because Jesus has earned our way in through his cross and resurrection.
And we certainly don’t get in for the benefits.
Are there benefits? Of course: the benefit of knowing and following Jesus, the benefit of finding abundant life in him, the benefit of being called into a new family in Christ with a brand new purpose.
But membership in the church is not about the benefits. It’s about the mission. And more specifically: it’s about commitment to the mission of God in a local church body.
And that’s what scripture really tells us. Open up Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, and turn to chapters 12-14. He describes the Church as a “body”, with individual “body parts” (ie, members) – and here’s the important part – with each having their own – necessary – function.
Each member has a part to play in the body.
The eye for seeing. The ear for hearing. The feet for walking. The hands for helping.
There’s no inactive membership. Each has a part to play, each has a function, and each is necessary. And it’s all on the basis of love.
It’s not about what you can get. It’s all about what you can give.
And I honestly believe that there’s nothing better than giving yourself for God’s mission through a local church.
So with that being said, I want to invite you to attend our new membership class called “All In”, this Sunday after the service. Membership is about being “All In” on God’s mission here at Central, and so I’d love for you to come and take that next step, or just learn more about it, or come to see how the church works, what we believe, and so on.
If you are new and just getting your feet wet here – it’s a great opportunity to learn more and go deeper. If you’ve been around for a while but haven’t yet taken the “membership step”, maybe now is the time. Even if you’ve been a member here for 50 years, I’d love for you to show up and (re) learn what we’ll talk about in the class.
In any case, I’d love to see you.
If you are planning on coming, please RSVP by emailing me to let me know (I’ll send you an email before the class, as well as have the right number of printouts and such!). But even if you forget to RSVP, show up anyway!