Let me open this by reiterating how much I love my church. I do. I love the people, I love the building itself, I even love the location. I’m so glad God dragged me over there…oh, almost a year ago now. Such a short time! But I do love it.
I’m not a member there. And this is slowly becoming a thing–not an out and out thing, because my church friends are way too laid back for that, which is why I love them–but a thing nonetheless, because churches are businesses in a sense, and numbers are important.
I realize that it’s much more than numbers, but I’m not quite sure how much more. This past week there was buzz about a new membership class getting started, and my friend Interpreter made sure I knew about it. That’s fine. I was all about going to the meetings-that-were-basically-exploratory-Q&A-sessions to see what kinds of things would be said, what questions would be asked. I’m always up for learning and new experiences.
But I wasn’t sure about going the whole way, and I’ve been mulling the question of why not the whole week. As I said, I love this church. I spend an alarming amount of time there, I’m super involved in most of its functions, one of my best friends is the pastor–what could possibly be stopping me from the membership train?
I don’t really know. Part of it is that I’m not sure how long I’m going to be in this area; grad school is (supposed to be) a finite thing, and no matter which career direction I go next, it will likely be more schooling. At a different school. In a different city. So I don’t want to get totally settled in this church only to leave in a couple of years.
But I’m already settled in. I have a friend network, I’m in 800 things, I have a key. This makes me rather permanent. So what’s the difference?
Exactly! What’s the difference? What’s the added benefit of membership, beyond being able to actually vote at the congregational meetings I attend anyway? I’m not sure, and that’s part of why I’ve been hesitating. Other reasons include (but are not limited to) the fact that I really haven’t been here that long, and I do believe that membership requires a certain courting period; a strong connection still to my old church that I need to resolve somehow; and a certain love of being “outside” the “system,” even if I’m totally not in reality. Titles-wise, I’m still the new kid, the different prospective. A part of me likes that.
I need to talk this over with a couple of people some more–and I have time to do so now, since the proposed class was cancelled due to lots of scheduling conflicts–but I welcome your opinions on the matter. What are the benefits? Arguments against? Is it not enough to be a member of God’s Church? Is there something else to it?
Right. Off to a TA lecture. Have a great weekend, all–and I still welcome feedback on the new “theme” layout thing of this, if you think of it.
Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28, WBT)