Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not Everything is Black and McWhite - pt. 2.2

My short response is “ditto” (see previous post).

Maybe we should quit our jobs, grow long beards, build a house together, start a commune and require formal church membership of everyone who wants to join our commune.

I appreciate your thoughts on this question. Honestly, I think I would agree with everything you said. One aspect of membership that I would like to see done more effectively is fostering the ‘family’ mentality. I don’t know that I have any great suggestions for making this happen. I don’t want church membership to take on a ‘club’ or ‘fraternity’ atmosphere. I would like to see our churches lean more heavily on the family aspects of membership.

There is a church in the Chicago area that requires any prospective member to be recommended by the small group of which they are a part. Regular attenders at this church are encouraged to be a part of a small group. These small groups are the vehicle they use for accountability and life together. The small group leaders encourage the people in their small groups to consider membership. At this church you are not allowed to be a member without first being in a small group. I don’t know if I would take things that far but this process certainly reveals the community mentality of the church. Again, I don’t know if I would go this far but I appreciate their desires. I believe we need to work at correcting the business transaction feel of membership and make it into a relational or family adoption.

I am serious about the beards and commune thing…anyone else in?

3 comments:

Steve said...

I would be in for the beards and commune thing. We could even start a barn-storming softball team like these guys http://www.peppergame.com/album/ShowPic.asp?ID=27HOME

Oh wait - I just remembered my wife doesn’t like my facial hair. Never mind. I will have to grow it out vicariously through you. The whiskerino stuff is awesome, though.

I think the small group life of a church is a good measure of the health of the church. A church can be large, bring in lots of members and $, and have a lot of successful programs. If there is not much of a small group life, though, it is probably a very hollow existence.

david rudd said...

Vince,

A HEARTY AMEN!

i would argue strongly for a model of "church m---------" in which the people covenanted with their small group, and their group in turn covenanted with the other groups in the church.

this model would significantly impact other aspects of church governance, but in my opinion that would be a great positive (and would almost require elder team rule as opposed to senior pastor rule).

of course, some might argue this is just a mini-denomination, or that it is a bit too presbyterian. i would tell them to read Titus.

the hamster said...

hey, remember that one time we played phone tag for, like, two days. that was great. and i didn't get your cell phone number. sorry, charlie tunafish.