Attendance vs Membership

This is the second part of a 2-post blog about church, before you read any further I would urge you to read the first part before you read this one.    You can link to it here.

My advice to you or anyone who has a negative opinion about church or a particular church would be this; Get over it.  Now I said that in a nice way and I was smiling.    But seriously, find a church that preaches the whole word of God and that you can be a part of and join it.  Notice I said JOIN the church, not just merely ATTEND it.  I see a growing trend in today’s society where people are not joining a church, but rather that’s where they “attend.”   When you join a church, you say “I want to be apart of this local body of believers.”  You plant your life there and you are willing to do anything to see the body grow and thrive.  After all, if  the body dies so do all the organs within the body.  I love the example from Rick Warren book (Purpose Driven church) where he illustrates in a story that a part of the body doesn’t go and plant itself into another body when the body gets sick or hurt.  There is no “organ jumping” in our physical bodies, so why do so many people do it in the church.  There are of course many valid reasons why you might change churches (move, doctrine disagreement, etc.)

One of the reasons I think many people don’t join a church today is to avoid accountability.  They might not admit it at first, but might have had thoughts like the following ones below.  

  • “If I’m not a member of church X, then I can leave anytime I want to and go to church Z.” 
  • ” When I hear something that I don’t like or makes me uncomfortable I can pack and go.”
  • “I can live my life as I want to and if the church disagrees then I can find another church that agree’s with me and not learn and take correction.”  

Church begins to take on the same approach that some take a marriage, I’ll try it and see if it works, but at the first sign of trouble, I’m gone.

 Don’t let other people and their actions keep you from having the kind of faith that you are supposed to have being a part of a church body.  Seek forgiveness from other Christians and reconciliation when needed and enjoy the benefits it will bring. Many people would rather just pack and go and start over in a new church rather than to try and work out their differences and seek reconciliation and peace.  Doing the right thing, the Biblical thing is not always the easiest choice, but it is the most fruitful and the choice that God will bless. 

I realize as a minister I see things in a different light than someone else might see it.  I would welcome comments or other thoughts on the matter.  If you have any other theroies about why people would not join a church but become a lifelong guest.

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