Membership Matters February 27, 2012
Charles Spurgeon said: “If I had never joined a church ’tilI had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all. Andthe moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for itwould not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still,imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.”
Taking our cue from Spurgeon (and the Bible!), theelders believe that local church membership is an integral part of what itmeans to be a follower of Jesus Christ. We also believe that the decisions wemake about our church membership are some of the most important decisions inour lives. To help newcomers make that decision, at least as it pertains toPHBF, we periodically hold a 4-session course called “Membership Matters.”
Session 1—“Why Join A Church?”—lays the foundation. Inthis session, we explain what the Bible means by “church,” what we mean by“church membership,” and why church membership is biblical. It’s oftenilluminating for people to learn that, according to the Bible, it’s abnormalto be a Christian but not a church member! This session wraps up with adiscussion of the specific privileges and responsibilities of membership.
Session 2—“What Do We Believe?”—addresses the mostimportant part of our church, namely, our doctrine. We survey a brief historyof church confessions, explain the purpose of our doctrinal statement, and readand discuss the PHBF Statement of Faith together. We also spend significanttime explaining and exulting in our church’s central theme—the gospel.
Session 3—“How Are We Distinct?”—explains our church’shistory, core values, and working principles. And Session 4—“How Can YouJoin?”—outlines the nuts and bolts of our membership process, including our Church Covenant.
Not everyone joins Parker Hills after taking “MembershipMatters,” but that’s OK! We’ve designed the course to be enriching in and ofitself, no matter the decision each person makes about whether to join thischurch or another one. Even if you are already a member, you’re invited to joinus during the SS hour during the month of March. And if you’re not a member,won’t you come and learn how the church can become, as Spurgeon said, “thedearest place on earth” to you, too?