If you’ve been attending Ingleside a while and have not yet taken the step of becoming a member, I want to encourage you to do so. The next regular membership class for adults, students, and children is next Sunday afternoon, March 22, at 4:00 p.m. And, this month only, we are offering Wednesday evening classes on March 18 and March 25 at 6:30 p.m.
No reservation is necessary. Dress is casual. Dinner and childcare are provided. Just come in at the east entrance to the Worship Center and a warm welcome will be waiting.
Even as you read this, some of you may be saying: “Why? Why should I become a ‘member’ at Ingleside? I enjoy attending, but I don’t know why membership is important.” Let me give you five good reasons.
First, membership—both the word and the concept—is biblical. 1 Corinthians 12:27 says: “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (NASB). God expects those who follow Christ to be members of his body, the church!
Second, membership is necessary for maximum spiritual growth. If you dug up a tree and moved it to a different location every few weeks or months, do you suppose it would bear maximum fruit? Obviously not. Similarly, people who just “float” from one church to another never develop the deep relationships necessary to experience significant spiritual growth. The fact is that maximum spiritual growth cannot occur in isolation or when you wander like a spiritual nomad from one church to the next. Growth occurs best only in the context of commitment to other believers.
Third, membership clarifies and strengthens my spiritual commitments. Jesus expected his disciples to confess him as Lord, be baptized in his name, obey his commands, and share the good news. When I become a member it’s a way of saying, “Yes. I believe. I will obey. I will share. I will not be ashamed of Christ. I will make an open, honest commitment to following Jesus with all my heart.” God is honored when our commitment to him is clarified and strengthened.
Fourth, when I become a member I’m placing myself in an accountable relationship with spiritual leaders. Think about the practical wisdom of it. Students learn best under gifted teachers. Teams play best under great coaches. Armies fight best under seasoned commanders. In a similar way, God intends for all who follow Christ to be under the care and direction of wise spiritual leaders (cf. Hebrews 13:17). To go it alone is to settle for less than God’s best!
Fifth, when I become a member I’m acknowledging that it’s not all about me. No longer just a consumer, I become a contributor. I’m saying to the other members of the body: “You can count on me!” For God’s glory, I’ll do my part to make this body as strong and healthy as possible. Such an “others orientation” honors God and is good for us!
Plan now to be in membership class on Sunday, March 22, or Wednesdays, March 18 and 25.
Your Pastor and Friend,