We don’t believe in pressuring folks to join the church.
We do believe that church membership is important. And since we don’t pressure, you can, in fact, participate fully in church activities without being a member.
So, why would someone join the church?
Answer: The Church is not just an “organization,” it’s a group of people in relationship, a community. In becoming a member, you commit yourself to the community of people that make up the church, and they commit themselves to you, too.
Deciding to become a member is the way you raise your hand and say, “You can count on me; we’re in this together.”
In other words, joining the church brings both obligation and opportunity.
Learn more about membership here
A few years ago, Pastor Doug Scalise told this little story during a sermon:
In the church, no one is holding a first or second-class ticket. We’re all traveling third-class. We’re all called to serve, to take responsibility, to help solve problems and to meet needs. Churches and indeed all organizations get into trouble when some people think they are holding a first or second-class ticket. Some folks get the mistaken idea that being a part of church is about sitting under God’s umbrella rather than serving under it. One person contributing or failing to contribute can make a significant difference.
A priest received a letter marked, “Please give to Harry the Usher.” It was handed over to Harry, and this is what it said:
“Dear Harry. I’m sorry I don’t know your last name, but then, you don’t know mine. I’m Gert, Gert at the ten o’clock Mass every Sunday. I’m writing to ask you a favor.
I don’t know the priests too well, but somehow I feel close to you. I don’t know how you got to know my first name, but every Sunday morning you smile and greet me by name, and we exchange a few words: how bad the weather is, how much you like my hat, and how I am late on a particular Sunday. I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to remember an old woman, for the smiles, for your consideration, for your thoughtfulness.
“Now for the favor. I am dying, Harry. My husband has been dead for sixteen years, and the kids are scattered. It is very important to me that when they bring me to church for the last time, you will be there to say, ‘Hello, Gert. Good to see you.’ If you are there, Harry, I will feel assured that your warm hospitality will be duplicated in my new home in heaven. With love and gratitude, Gert.”
When we use our gifts as servants of the Lord and servants of each other, whether gifts of hospitality like our Worship Welcomers, or mercy or teaching or anything else we are touching lives in ways greater than we know.
(Sermon from May 8, 2005 – “Shaped for Serving God“)
Why does church membership matter? You can be Harry, and you can be Gert.