Our fifteen month journey through the Book of John has ended. It was a beautiful mix of theology and methodology. We took time to drill deep into the text with a view for knowing the heart of our Lord. I hope you enjoyed it. If you missed some messages there are two ways to access them. One is on our Sermons page. The other is our radio ministry on WORD FM 101.5 each Sunday morning at 11:00 am. The program is called, Truth for Today. If I’m sensing the Lord’s leadership correctly, we will start a new series through the Book of Hebrews this September. In the mean time I’m excited about our summer sermon series, The Rights of Church Membership.
The current series is a look at the biblical model of church membership. We live in a time of decline in both church membership and attendance. This reality cuts across denominational lines. Of the 274 million Americans who claim to be Christian only 52 million find their way to church any given week. This means 80% of the nation’s Christian community are routinely MIA. Do you think this impacts ministries and momentum? You bet! Our denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention boasts 16.3 million members. The largest Protestant group in the country. Yet, one reliable report concludes that only 6 million find their way to church each week, about 38%.
The biblical model of church membership . . . and there is one, but you’ll have to hear the series for the rest of the story . . . never champions enrollment. Its focus is spiritual enrichment. The church has done a disservice by emphasizing bodies, budgets and bricks over discipleship. It’s time to return to disciple making as our first concern as Christ commands (Matthew 28:19-20). Church membership is a critical piece of the model.
Please do not be mislead by the series’ title. It is not a review of the rights and privileges that come with joining a church. That supports the old “country club” mentality of church membership which has contributed to so many unhealthy churches today. One out of ten is doing nothing to reach its community. Each message identifies what is right about church membership. The right service, voice, influence and fellowship are just some we will explore.
If you are part of PBC’s community of faith, I encourage you to make time out of your busy summer schedule to take in as much of this sermon series as you can. It will advance, challenge and deepen your commitment to the Body of Christ.