A Cause For Celebration
As I write this latest piece, Evelyn (my wife) and I are visiting my son and daughter-in-law. We came out to meet the newest member of our family……Joseph David or as I like to call him, JD. Joseph was born in December and it was with great expectation that we traveled to West Virginia to meet him.
There has been great celebration since he was born and all his family can’t wait to take our turn to hold him or feed him. I’m still trying to master the proper “burping” technique. I don’t see anyone fighting to change his diaper though. His arrival has been cause for festivities, dinners and dedication ceremonies. I’m enjoying every bit of it.
JD’s arrival to our lives has caused me to think in turn about how wonderful it is when we welcome “new members” into our churches. Just like my grandson’s entry into our family, everyone is excited about their decision to join our church and we are all anxious to see them take their place in the family.
Stages of Growth
However, as I think more clearly about JD and his arrival, I can’t help but wonder about all the stages of growth that will take place in life as a member of our family.
The same way when people become members of our church family, there will be stages that they will go through as they develop in their Christian Life.
- Just like JD, our new members will be looking to us leaders or should I say “parents” for feedings of the right food.
- They will look to us for guidance in the major directions of life.
Church Membership Says
When someone makes a decision to join our churches, they are saying to us that they want to belong. They are saying that they want to align their lives, talents, and treasure with the direction our church is going.
We as leaders must develop a strategy that will give them every opportunity to develop and grow in “the knowledge of the Lord.” Just like JD’s parents will have to think about the growth of their son, we as leaders should have an “Identifiable Growth Path” (IGP) for all our members both “new” and existing.
The Goal Of Church Membership
Church Membership is a major decision people make about your church and its leadership. Whether membership in your church is an official or casual status, it is still one of the biggest decisions they will make in their Christian walk. It should be welcomed and celebrated.
However, they should not just become church members and then fade into the woodwork of our church life. However you view membership, it is not an end onto itself. The goal of JD’s parents is not to keep him as young as possible or to bottle-feed him always or to keep changing his pamper.
NO, their challenge will be to bring him to a place where he will begin to take responsibility for his feedings, later his own life. Our goal as pastors and leaders is not to spoon-feed our members and solve their every problem, instead to bring them to a place of maturity so that they become responsible for their own feeding and decisions about life from a godly perspective. Ephesians 4:12 says that our responsibility is to “equip them so that they can do the work of ministry.”
Church Membership should be not just an entry into our church, but it should be a door into maturity and growth. Just as JD’s development is something we all look forward to, let’s look forward and prepare for the “growth spurts” in our members’ lives.
Blessings to you all,
Pastor Andy Maldonado
Thank you again pastor andy!!! Would love some feedback, let me know the goal or purpose of your membership course?