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NEW MEMBER/VISITOR CLASS
Biblical Reasons for Membership
The early church had a notion of membership that included numerical record (Acts 2:37-47), records of widows (1 Timothy 5:3-16), elections (Acts 6:1-6), discipline (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5; Galatians 6:1), accountability (Hebrews 13:17), and an awareness of who was a regular and committed participant (Romans 16:1-16).
- Cultural – In present day, unlike the first century, a church is a legal, charitable organization with voting members and tax receipting status.
- But more, we see church membership as committing to something beyond ourselves, which builds character.
- We live in an age when few want to be committed to anything: a job, a marriage, our country. This attitude has produced “church shoppers and hoppers.” Membership swims against the current of “consumer religion.”
- It is an unselfish decision that first benefits the individual, which seems like an oxymoron, but it is not. This is interesting because there is no institution I can think of that you can attend regularly for free and be so changed from the heart and mind as a result! And the benefits of your growth not only improve your relationship with yourself and God but with your family too. It ripples out into your community relationships and makes the world a better place for your having been in it. Plus, you have the fun of a community of likewise committed people in support of you and your family.
Practical – Membership defines who can be counted on. Every team has a roster. Every school has an enrollment. Every business has a staff. Membership identifies our core family. Only members can vote on the affairs of the church, and certain ministry positions require membership – such as pastors, deacons, council members which represents the congregation on decisions of the church, group leaders, appropriating church finances, and other key leadership positions.
Personal – Membership supports spiritual growth. The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. You can not be accountable when you are not committed to anything. Delavan United Church of Christ has been in existence since 1841 serving the needs of its members and communities. We have an extensive benevolence fund as well as scholarships available for those furthering their education available each year.
We provide meals for those sick or recovering, rides to appointments, support when dire needs occur like helping to pay for groceries or utility bills, feeding the homeless and children experiencing food and nutrition scarcity, funerals, weddings, bible study and book groups, child education, baptism, confirmation ad meaningful and progressive worship services and lively, engaging music.
Expectations of a Member – It is not that you will be expected to join committees or that you will be pressured for money. With spiritual maturity, tithing and offering talents in gratitude usually occur naturally. We truly accept all people wherever they are at on their spiritual journey. Expectations are that one will participate in this community of believers, serve one another and the community, seeking justice and peace for all creation through partnership with God in the fulfillment of a just and sustainable world.
CONTACT PASTOR RUTH FOR MORE DETAILS
(262) 728-2212 ext. 11