Saturday, March 10, 2012

A quick thought on "church membership" and titles

Paraphrasing something I read elsewhere....

If you love one another, "membership" is completely unnecessary.

If you don't love one another, "membership" won't make a difference anyway.

We get so caught up  in words. Being a "member" is thought to make you more a part of a local body but somehow the early church lived in community that is almost unimaginable to us today without having any sort of "membership". A man who is a servant and lives a life that is a witness to the world and an encouragement and example to the church is a leader regardless of whether or not he has a title or is "ordained". Someone who is "ordained" and carries a title but doesn't lead by example and witness by the manner of his life is not a leader in the church in any meaningful, Biblical sense. So why do we get so caught up in calling this guy "Pastor so-and-so" or referring to them as a "minister"? People who sign their emails "Pastor" or who put "Pastor" or "Reverend" in their Facebook profile seem awfully insecure. If you are a pastor in the church because you serve others, people will know that about you even if you don't have a title. If people don't know you, your title really doesn't mean a thing at all. Being a "pastor" or "ordained" doesn't give your words greater weight than anyone else in the church.

Our desire to be honored though ear tickling titles and words of deference is an affront to the upside-down nature of the church and the Kingdom of God.

There is no greater title in the church than "brother". That should be honor enough for any Christian man.


Aussie John said...


As always you have excellent aim, and hit the nail on the head, first blow.

The final paragraph, drove the nail completely home. Amen!

Steve Sensenig said...

Bravo, sir!