February 10, 2010
Rick Warren on Radical Membership
Are you unknowingly encouraging your attenders to commit "spiritual adultery"?
Does your church emphasize, encourage, and value membership? In many places the notion of church membership has fallen out of favor. Rick Warren thinks that is a “serious mistake.”
Speaking this morning at the Radicalis conference at Saddleback Church, Pastor Rick challenged pastors to rediscover the importance of commitment to a local church through radical membership. “Membership is a word that has been perverted and abused,” said Warren. “It’s not putting your name on a roll. It’s not about knowing the insider lingo. That’s not what membership is all about.”
Using Scripture to show the importance of commitment to a local congregation, Warren said membership was about being “a member in the Body of Christ.” And therefore membership is “organic not organizational.”
Warren shot down the notion that membership isn’t important as long as people attend the church. “The difference between an attender and a member is the difference between living together and getting married. A lot of people want to date the church, but they don’t want to get married. That is spiritual adultery.”
Radical membership is an act of commitment, not conformity. It’s about belonging to God’s family and being a contributor and not just a consumer. “if you’re going to build a healthy, mature church you are going to have to understand the meaning of radical membership.”
Is Rick Warren right? Are young people still interested in church membership? Maybe if more churches adopted the radical commitment to one another that Warren spoke about they would be.
I'd like to hear what your church does to lift up the value of membership? And how do you define the term for your community?