While out pastors haven’t figured out how they are going to design it yet, there’s nothing like a deadline to make them figure it out. Starting January 13, our pastors will be preaching a multi-part sermon series on church membership.
“Before Pastor Brenda left of sabbatical, we were trying to figure out how to engage the congregation in deeper theological reflection on church membership requirements and expectations,” Pastor Jeff explained. “It started with what seems like a simple question: Should baptism continue to be a requirement to be a member of our church? But how any one of us answers that question will be based on a ton of assumption – assumptions about things like what it means to be a church (a congregation) and the church (universal), what it means to be a member of a church and the church, what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be baptized, what baptism means, what the requirements for baptism are and should be. And the list goes on.”
“And let’s not forget about history,” he added. “There is a whole history about baptism and membership – histories, really. We need to look at the first followers of Jesus and how they became ‘the church.’ And there are the theologies and ecclesiologies and histories of our denominations to consider.”
Pastor Jeff says he knows the series will include sermons and at least some opportunities for post worship continued discussion. “One thought we’ve had is to preach to a question instead of a point,” he said. That question would then be the jumping off point for post-worship discussion.
Pastor Jeff promises to have more details for the January 2019 edition of The Bell.