1 Corinthians 12:14,18,27 – The body does not consist of one member but of many. God arranged the members in the one body, each one of them as he chose. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Church membership is not just some sort of ritual to pass through to get to the next stage in your life. Think of the questions you were asked. This was the moment you made your own personal confession of faith in God as your Heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, and in the Holy Spirit as your Sanctifier (if no-one told you at the time, this means the one who makes you holy, or maybe better yet, the one who makes you more like Jesus). The third question was your renouncing of sin in all its forms and your trust in the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. And that final, wonderful question to which you answered, "I do", was: "Do you promise to make diligent use of the means of grace, and to be a faithful member of the church? Means of grace is one of those old expressions simply meaning everything God gives us to help us along life's journey – including prayer, the reading of the bible, service, church attendance, study, fellowship, worship, and communion, to name the more common ones. Together these are the things that you promised would be the very center and focus of your life in Christ – no that sounds too churchy – these are the things that from then on you said would guide and direct your everyday life.

Get out the report card.

    Prayer – both private and family
    Bible reading
    Worship attendance

Check them over and rank them, or ask yourself how you rate on a scale of one to ten. And, even as you do this, realize that this isn't anywhere near the bottom line. Ask instead what Christ means to you and ask in all honesty, "Have I sought to grow day by day to be more like Jesus? Has Jesus become more or less important in my life since that moment I said 'yes', or have I even thought about it… ever?"

Does it matter, this thing called church membership? It does, if we are serious about being the church of Jesus Christ. If not, don't give it another thought, because then your church membership is not even worth the paper it was first printed on.

Prayer: Gracious God; we praise you for calling us to be your people, and for gathering us to be the church, the body of Christ. Together, may we live in your Spirit, grow in faith, hope and love, and be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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