There was a time when the question of church membership was not much of a question at all. Jump back a generation or two, and nearly every church in the U.S. had a roster of members. Now, the question, however, is much more persistent. "Why should I join a local church?" "Why should I bother with church membership?" "So explain to me what membership is all about." Many churches today have a membership process but don't place much emphasis on it. Others don't have membership at all, encouraging their people to get involved and engaged without a more formal process.
For many Christians, church membership sounds dated. It's something you have at your bank, gym or the country club, but not your church. Even if we agree that Christianity is not meant to be a lone ranger religion, that we need one another for prayer, support and fellowship, we still bristle at the thought of officially joining a church. Mark Dever, in his book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church writes this about church membership...
"Church membership is our opportunity to grasp hold of each other in responsibility and love. By identifying ourselves with a particular church, we let the pastors and other members of that local church know that we intend to be committed in attendance, giving, prayer, and service. We assure the church of our commitment to Christ in serving with them, and we call for their commitment to serve and encourage as well."
Join us this Sunday at 9:30am, as we conclude our three week series called, Blueprints for the church. In this series, we are pulling back the curtain and looking at how the New Testament church handled church polity (structure). This week, we will focus on church membership. Believers today want to go to church. They want to attend church. But they don't necessarily want to belong to a church. The church was never meant to be a consumer relationship. The local church is a body made up of many members. This was how Paul described the early church in I Corinthians 12. Take time this weekend to read I Corinthians 12:12-20, and join us this Sunday at 9:30am as we gather to Worship God Passionately, through singing, prayer, giving of our offering and the study of God's Word. I hope you will make time to join us!
Speaking of church membership, this Sunday at 11:00am, all Parkside Fellowship church members are invited to our Annual Membership Meeting. During this meeting, our church council will present the 2023 budget for your approval. We will also provide an update on the transition to Calvary Parkside. The 2023 proposed budget is attached to this email.
Calvary Parkside Membership Class Part 2. Sunday, March 5th at 11:00am. This class is designed for both current members and those new to our church. During this class, we will unpack our vision and mission, what we believe, how we function, and what it means to be a member of Calvary Parkside.
Praying for each other is a great way to begin "Connecting with one another authentically".
See you Sunday.
Richard Foster, in his book, Celebration of Discipline writes:
"More than any other single way the grace of humility is worked into our lives through the Discipline of service...Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition."
In Matthew 20, Jesus addresses the benefits of being a servant when he says to his disciples:
"Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26-28
In making this statement, Jesus was revealing who God is. "Jesus did not come as a servant in spite of the fact that he is God; he came precisely because of the fact that he is God." (John Ortberg)
Today's culture doesn't resent people who serve others and seek nothing in return, but neither does it reward selfless servanthood. The way to climb the corporate ladder is to get noticed, take high-profile risks, and downplay one's failures.
God's kingdom, however, works differently. Jesus turned corporate ladder upside down to declare, in effect, "The way up in My kingdom is to descend to the lowest rung and become the servant of all."
This Sunday at 9:30am, we will continue our three week series called, Blueprints for the church. In this series, we are pulling back the curtain and looking at how the New Testament church handled church polity (structure). This week, we will focus on the office of deacon. As we will see in Acts 6, the deacons are to be the lead servants of the church. They are to model for the church what it looks like to serve Jesus and others. They should be faithful, available, and teachable, ready to jump in and serve where needed. Of the three biblical roles in the early church, it is really the most Christlike. Join us this Sunday at 9:30am as we gather to Worship God Passionately, through singing, prayer, giving of our offering, the Lord's Supper, and the study of God's Word. I hope you will make time to join us!
Calvary Parkside Membership Class begins this Sunday, February 19th at 11:00am. This class is designed for both current members and those new to our church. During this class, we will unpack our vision and mission, what we believe, how we function, and what it means to be a member of Calvary Parkside.
1. Calvary Parkside Membership Class Part 2. Sunday, March 5th at 11:00am. This class is designed for both current members and those new to our church. During this class, we will unpack our vision and mission, what we believe, how we function, and what it means to be a member of Calvary Parkside.
2. Annual Membership Meeting. Sunday, February 26th at 11:00am. During this meeting, our church council will present the 2023 budget for your approval. We will also provide an update on the transition to Calvary Parkside. The 2023 budget will be available beginning Sunday, February 19th.
Praying through this list is a great way to begin "Connecting with one another authentically".
See you Sunday.
This Sunday, at 9:30am, we will conclude our series DNA: Who we are. What we do. As we close out this series on the core values that shape our identity and culture, I thought it might be fun to have you take short quiz. See if you are able to fill-in the missing words in our core value statements below: (the answers are at the bottom of this email)
1. Worship God _____________________ .
2. ________________ with one another _____________________ .
3. Grow to ___________ God deeply.
4. Go, __________, and tell the ___________ boldly.
So...how did you do?
Last week, we unpacked Paul's case for the importance of the gospel as the only hope for mankind, and how we are the instruments chosen by God to spread the "good news" with the world. According to Matthew 28:19, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8, we have been sent by Jesus. We are the answer to Paul's question in Romans 10:15: "And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?" So, understanding that one of our main roles as followers of Jesus is to share the gospel story with a lost world, how do we do that? Where do you and I begin? In short, we begin with prayer. We begin by praying and asking Jesus to open our eyes to the lost around us. We must learn to love lost people the way God does. When Jesus stretched his arms out wide on the cross, he was saying, "I love you this much!" I Corinthians 5:14 says, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all..." Ask Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to give you a love for the lost.
This Sunday, I will introduce an evangelism strategy that is basic, simple and doable. It's a strategy not built on slick marketing tools, but instead, is built on the relationships that you and I encounter every single day. As we will learn on Sunday, evangelism is about investing in someone's life. Evangelism is inviting them to experience Jesus and his church. Finally, evangelism is introducing them to the life-changing power of the gospel. Don't miss this Sunday at 9:30am, as we focus our attention on the message of cross.
Following the service, our adult Sunday school class will conclude their study in Acts. Make plans to stick around after the service and experience Christian fellowship as we explore the life of the early church.
Note: Thanks to everyone who donated beanies and scarves to Tonya. Be on the lookout for pictures of her wearing these demonstrations of our love for one another.
Thank you for being a praying church.
Answers to the "fill-in-the-blank" core value statements:
1. Worship God passionately.
2. Connect with one another authentically.
3. Grow to know God deeply.
4. Go, show, and tell the gospel boldly.
See you Sunday.