Adam’s first task in Genesis is to name the animals, revealing him to be more of a social being, made for fellowship, not power. For it is in this “naming task” that God is looking for a suitable helper.
When the woman is introduced, she is presented as his partner, not as a child bearer. She is valued for herself alone. She is of the “same stuff” as Adam and yet, a wholly new being formed by God, literally as “a help as opposite him.” Their union in marriage is to be an exclusive (man leaves), permanent (cleaves), God-sealed bond (one flesh).
All was well.
Recently a church in South Carolina abolished “membership” in their congregation. Everyone started with a clean slate. No one was a “member” anymore.
They replaced it with “ownership.” Congregants could sign up to take ownership of the local congregation. This includes signing a covenant to attend worship regularly, be a part of a small group, serve in the church or in the community, and give regularly.
Why? Membership in our culture implies “getting something” from the body. While ownership suggests “taking responsibility” for the health and well-being of the body.
I like that concept. What do you think? Am I missing something or is this something more local churches should be doing?
For many of us, it is much more comfortable to give than to receive. It’s difficult for self-reliant people to allow themselves to be served. But they need to embrace the “service of being served” as Richard Foster calls it. That requires an act of submission. When others are generous, we feel a need to repay their acts of generosity. We have to learn to let others share their gifts with us. It allows others the blessing of being a blessing.
Yesterday we looked briefly at the mission of our church (FCC). Today I wanted to look briefly at our “Value” statements. These are things that we value as a church. Do we live them out perfectly? Obviously not. We have a long way to go. But this is what we want to see:
Heart for Christ Alone: We are united in our focus on the redeeming life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In essential beliefs, we have unity. In non-essential beliefs, we have liberty. In all our beliefs, we show love.
Mind transformed by the Word: Christ followers should manifest authenticity and yearn for continuous spiritual growth.
Arms of Love: We must be a welcoming and inviting community, helping people to make loving, enduring relationships.
Knees for Prayer: Prayer and worship is the essential foundation for all effective ministry.
Voice to Speak the Good News: Lost people matter to God and must matter to His church. Because of that, we must communicate God’s Love in culturally relevant ways.
Spirit of Servanthood and Stewardship: Every Christ follower is called to serve according to their gifts, open to being equipped for ministry.
What do you think? Make sense? Burning questions?
Here’s our mission at FCC:
God calls FCC (Versailles) to make disciples by being a Christ-centered family, reaching out to all.
So our job is clear: make disciples. To do that we need a church culture that is always seeking to be a “Christ-centered family, reaching out to all.” We need both the inclusion of outsiders and the desire to go into all the world. That is the lens by which we ought to be making our decisions as a church.
“Should we do _____?” Only if it help us “make disciples by being a Christ-centered family, reaching out to all”?
Does that make sense? Create any questions? Tomorrow I’ll post on our values and why I think they are so important too.
When God created the universe, He didn’t just make it functional like a well-oiled machine. He filled it with beauty.
As we come face to face with the creative genius of our God we will discover his thumbprint on our own lives. Every time we draw a picture or write a story or mow designs into the outfield grass at a ballpark, we express the creative image of God within us.