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Beyond the Pulpit

August 2017

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, greetings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let me begin by sharing with you what the great Preacher and theologian Charles Spurgeon said about church membership:

 I know there are some who say, “Well, I’ve given myself to the Lord, but I don’t intend to give myself to any church.”  I say, “Now why not?”  And they answer, “Because I can be just as good a Christian without it.”  I say, “Are you quite clear  about that?  You can be as good a Christian by disobedience to your Lord’s commands as by being obedient? 

There’s a brick.  What is the brick made  for?  It’s made to build a house.  It is of no use for the brick to tell you that it’s just  as good a brick while it’s kicking about on the ground by itself, as it would be as part of a house.  Actually, it’s a good-for-nothing brick.  So, you rolling stone Christians, I don’t believe that you’re answering the purpose for which Christ saved you.  You’re living contrary to the life which Christ would have you live and  you are much to blame for the injury you do.”

Being a member of the church is more than being listed on the role and occasionally occupying a chair on Sunday Morning for an hour and financially supporting the church.  Church membership is about being in community, sharing in the work and fellowship of the congregation, seeking to grow Spiritually and helping others to grow Spiritually, praising and worshiping God together as we are able.

“As we are able,” does not mean as it is ‘convenient’, it refers to the gifts and talents that God has bestowed upon us, and the calling to share them with the rest of the community.  Regardless of your abilities, your presence and participation in the life of the church and its ministries are an important part of your membership.  Every one of us is created in the image of God, making us precious in God’s sight and priceless to one-another.

One of the great tragedies of our American culture is that we have become “consumer-oriented.”  We tend to make decisions about the use of our time based more and more around the question of what we gain from an activity.  Perhaps we should all spend a little more time considering what others have to gain from our participation, our skills, our wisdom, and our fellowship.

I encourage you to check out the various ministries and opportunities for deeper involvement in the life of the church.  Join a Sunday school class, join a committee, attend a retreat, volunteer to help with one of the many ministries of the church, become one of Spurgeon’s bricks in the Spiritual house of Santa Fe Presbyterian Church.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all,

Mitch