believing and belonging

Membership is one of the hot button topics in the church today.  Is membership in its current format appropriate for today’s church?  Is it appropriate for the church of tomorrow?

I guess the arguement centres around whether baptism is the only form of entry into the church of Jesus Christ or if, given some denomination’s practice of baptising infants, there needs to be some kind of confirmation.  The problem is that in todays postmodern society people don’t join, people aren’t members.  There are many more people who are happy to be what we call ‘adherrant’, coming to church, getting involved in all its activities, but don’t want to join.

There are lots of reasons why this is a problem.  Members are the ones who pay.  Members are the ones we count, particularly as denominations (I know we count adherents but not for money).

Is there another way?  Should we rethink what we mean by ‘member’?  What might the church look like if we didn’t have members?  How would it work?

I have to say that I think baptism is the only form of entry into the church.  Am I right, wrong or just plain mad?

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2 Responses to believing and belonging

  1. Couldn’t agree more. What does member mean nowadays? My Dad is a member of our church my wife is not. My wife goes to church and my Dad very rarely does. I am happy to say that I am a member of my local golf club but as far a my faith is concerned I would much rather simply say “I am a Christian”!!

  2. Stewart says:

    Hi Craig. Welcome to my ramblings! Your example shows just how daft ‘membership’ is. The church shouldn’t be like the golf club. There you pay your fees so you can play and the course can be maintained. Surely christianity shouldn’t be like that!

    I guess part of our problem is that the church has become such a complex beaurocracy with staff and property that it had to create some way to make sure all that is looked after. I wonder how we could make things work without all that?

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