Day 44: What Are Members?

Read Ephesians 4:14-16

Pastors are called by God through the members of a church to serve in a congregation. A pastor may receive a call from another congregation. Then the pastor announces the call and requests prayer for discernment whether to accept the new call or to remain in the current one. Of course, various trusted people are consulted to make a wise decision. This is not an easy process because relationships and precious memories make objectivity difficult. After prayerful deliberation, the pastor either denies or accepts the new call. Let this process inform you on how to approach church membership.

Maturing Christians understand that churches are not places you go, but are gatherings of people devoted to one another, who share faith and a common mission. The Bible speaks of believers as members of a body. Arms and legs do not migrate; body parts are joined together by God (Ephesians 4:16). If you transferred from one church to another church, ask yourself: “Did I come here because I feel God called me to partner with this congregation’s mission and vision, or for another reason?” Whatever your reason was, identify how your gifts and passions fit into your present church’s mission and start serving and make sure you can embrace its teaching, too.

Church members are people who feel called by God to serve in a particular congregation. When joining a church, we want to go toward calling, not get away from something. We don’t want our move to be based upon conflicts or boredom with our current church—for we will eventually experience similar issues in our new church. A variety of other factors may lead to joining a new congregation, but above all we pursue mutual commitment, shared beliefs, and a common mission.