Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Are You an Owner?

What’s the Difference in Ownership and Membership?
The word member has interesting connotations in our culture. We are members at gyms, golf courses, websites, alumni associations, and other organizations. These memberships are painless to obtain and even easier to discard. The word member implies a sense of belonging, which can be healthy. However, being a member of a group can often portray exclusiveness to outsiders. Membership gives people access to an organization with limitations—authorized personnel only! The idea of church membership is not a biblical mandate but rather a development in church tradition.

1 Corinthians 12:27 states that “You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” The body of Christ has two meanings in the New Testament. Jesus explained the most important understanding of “His body” to us at the Last Supper: “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The sacrifice of Jesus’ body paid the price for our sins and restored our relationship with God. If we accept this sacrifice we are ushered into “His body.”
The second understanding of “His body” is the universal group of people that follow Him: “You are the body of Christ.” Everyone who follows Jesus forms a community that is called the church. The main role of the church is to make known Jesus’ love for the world.

So what relationship does “you are the body of Christ” imply? Whipple Creek Church believes that membership is not the most appropriate description for us in Christ’s body. Being a part of a church is better comprehended with the word ownership. Throughout the New Testament, followers of Christ are called heirs or co-heirs to God’s kingdom (Titus 3:7, Romans 8:17, I Peter 3:7). The Greek definition of heir is "to possess or to own". Therefore, each follower of Christ co-owns the church with and through Jesus Christ.

I will talk more later about why it is important for you to become an owner, but in the meantime, if you have not been to a previous Experience Whipple Class (formerly Q&A), plan now to attend May 9th @ 7pm. Child care will be provided. RSVP by emailing the church office: office@whipplecreek.com.

Hope to see you there,

Brett
Post a Comment