This Week’s Reading, June 9, 2017

This Week’s Reading, June 9, 2017
June 8, 2017 No Comments » News Richard Bass

This Week’s Reading

With Richard Bass
June 9, 2017

 
During the program year just ending, we have been holding frequent “Meet the Church” classes with the hope of helping people get to know more about Aldersgate and its ministries, its vision and mission, the United Methodist Church, and what it means to be a member of Aldersgate. This got us thinking about the nature of church membership and the expectations that come along with being a member.

A short book, I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference by Thom S. Rainer, lays these out these expectations quite nicely, and we have been considering incorporating the book in the class. Whether we do, or not, or whether you attend the class, or not, Rainer’s affirmations are worthy of attention.
 

I Am a Church Member

Thom S. Rainer

During the program year just ending, we have been holding frequent “Meet the Church” classes with the hope of helping people get to know more about Aldersgate and its ministries, its vision and mission, the United Methodist Church, and what it means to be a member of Aldersgate. This got up thinking about the nature of church membership and the expectations that come along with being a member.

A short book, I Am a Church Member by Thom S. Rainer, lays these out these expectations quite nicely, and we have been considering incorporating the book in the class. Whether we do, or not, or whether you attend the class, or not, Rainer’s affirmations are worthy of attention.

I will seek to be a source of unity in the church. I know there are no perfect pastors, staff, or other church members. But neither am I. I will not be a source of gossip or dissension. One of the greatest contributions I can make is to do all I can in God’s power to help keep the church in unity for the sake of the gospel.

I am a church member.

I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires. That is self-serving. I am in this church to serve others and to serve Christ. My Savior went to a cross for me. I can deal with any inconveniences and matters that are just not my preference or style.

I am a church member.

I will pray for my pastor every day. His work is never-ending. His days are filled with constant demands for his time; with the need to prepare sermons; with those who are rejoicing in births; with those who are traveling through the valley of the shadow of death; with critics; with the hurts and hopes of others; and with the need to be a husband and a father. My pastor cannot serve our church in his own power. I will pray for God’s strength for him and his family every day.

I am a church member.

I like the metaphor of membership. It’s not membership as in a civic organization or a country club. It’s the kind of membership given to us in 1 Corinthians 12: “Now you are the body of Christ and individual members of it” (I Corinthians 12:27). Because I am a member of the body of Christ, I must be a functioning member, whether I am an “eye,” an “ear,” or a “hand.” As a functioning member, I will give. I will serve. I will minister. I will evangelize. I will study. I will seek to be a blessing to others. I will remember that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

I am a church member.

I will lead my family to be good members of this church as well. We will pray together for our church. We will worship together in our church. We will serve together in our church. And we will ask Christ to help us fall deeper in love with this church, because He gave His life for her.

I am a church member.

This membership is a gift. When I received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, I became a part of the body of Christ. I soon thereafter identified with a local body and was baptized. And now I am humbled and honored to serve and to love others in our church. I pray that I will never take my membership for granted, but see it as a gift and an opportunity to serve others, and to be a part of something so much greater than any one person or member.

I am a church member.

And I thank God that I am.

This reading is the original blog post that was expanded into the book, I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference by Thom S. Rainer.

This Week’s Reading will share insights that help us understand the mission and ministry of Aldersgate Church, selected by Director of Communications Richard Bass.

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