I care deeply about church membership. Personally, I believe local church membership is an incredibly undervalued part of church life (specifically in evangelicalism). When you join a church you aren’t joining a club; you’re joining a family and an infantry. A group of people ready to die for Jesus. Unfortunately, that isn’t most people’s experience (and has not been mine either).
So this week I’ll share a little bit about why church membership? I kick it off with this video. Enjoy!
Pastors (and others in ministry) seem to work too much or too little. We want to get it just right and often fail. And ministry is an interesting gig in that you may not get followed up with to be sure you are doing (too much or too little of) your job.
But one thing should be true within all in ministry: that we want to reproduce ourselves–to live lives that are, for lack of a better word, mimic-able. Lives that other people look at and say, “Oh, that’s how you do it.”
This video, taking the specific issue of evangelism, highlights that point:
Sometimes being a pastor stinks. This is one of those weeks. I’ve been an emotional mess (though I hide it like the best of Pharisees). I have read that 70% of pastors lack good friendships. While I cannot prove this data, I wouldn’t be surprised. Pastors can isolate themselves.
This week, two things happened that have done a number on me (much more than I thought they would). On Monday, a dear friend and member of our church died of cancer. The cancer didn’t let him live long, as it quickly took hostage the two months the doctors gave him and shortened it to three weeks. Then, tonight I was around many friends of the church as we sent two of them off down the road–albeit it just an hour down the road. I don’t like losing people.
Who said, “Standard hand-on-shoulder pose”?
Weeks like this have me thinking a lot about pastors and friendships, and just how important they are–even if you have to say goodbye.
Sunday Funday. Something about this morning made me expectant. I got to the church building earlier than usual and worked back through the sermon, prayed with our team leaders, and then went at it. But not before Evan and the team sang this as well as they possibly could:
People in the first service wondered whether or not they should clap, but those in the second service figured it out.
We spent the whole morning talking about an incredibly important issue: engaging a lost world.
I recently worked through our 11-week preaching series for the fall semester. For you Chapelites, be warned: it is topical. In fact, a lot of our preaching for the next 15 months will likely be topical. (I can hear the stampede of congregants preparing to check out other churches as we speak.)
It made me realize that, among many evangelicals (that hip group of Christians of which I am a part that prides itself in everything it does), there is often frustration (should I say disdain) for topical preaching. As if God created Adam, created Eve, and then created verse-by verse preaching. Then Chick-fil-A.
I disagree. (Well, not about the Chick-fil-A part.)
Only two things are certain in this life: death and taxes. My maternal grandfather passed away on April 15, 2009, proving that point entirely. I was actually visiting my hometown for a job interview the same weekend he passed, so it was a bittersweet blessing to be home at the same time Grandpa Jimmy died. He was my third grandparent to die while I was in seminary (proceeded in death by both of my dad’s parents) and the third funeral that I was asked to “preach.”
Though I was finishing up my seminary studies and graduating only a few weeks later, my third funeral during seminary made me realize this: I was ill-prepared to officiate funerals.