Summary: This sermon is to speak to members to Funcition better as a whole member of the Body of Christ and the Local Chu This sermon series was taken from the book by Tom Rainer I am a Church Member – I added , my thoughts are other to make this sermon complete

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SERMON SERIES I am a Church Member Series SERMON 1 I will be a Functioning Church Member

I will be a a Functioning Church Member I Cor 12:12-31

This sermon series was taken from the book by Tom Rainer I am a Church Member – I added , my thoughts are other to make this sermon complete

Intro: A Talk of 2 Church members

- Michael – Preserving in the church, a different kind of church member

- Liam – Disengaged at church, decides to leave

Church Stats

9 out of 10 Churches in America are declining or growing at a pace slower than that of their communities

2/3rd of the Builder generation is Christians 15% Millennial are Christians

I’ve been reading a book by Robert Putnam, a professor at Harvard. The book is called "Bowling Alone," and in it, he documents the decline in community life in American over the last four decades. The title comes from a trivial but telling example: the percentage of adults who belong to a bowling league today is only about ¼ of what it was in the 1960’s. Other examples:

• The percentage of people who volunteer in a political campaign - stuffing envelopes, making phone calls, going door to door - is today about half what it was in the late 1960’s.

• Active membership in local clubs and organizations, like the PTA, has dropped by about half, percentage-wise, since the 1970’s.

• People are visiting one another less frequently, having friends over for dinner less frequently, getting together to play cards less frequently.

In short, every objective measure of participation in community and civic life is declining.

Scripture I Corinthians 12-:12-31

I. Membership means we are all necessary parts of the whole

a. Biblical memberships verses culture’s definition of membership – Country club mind

b. Biblical definition of membership – I Cor 12:27-28

II. Membership means we are different but we still work together

a. Each part of the Body has to do its own work

b. The body suffers when we fail to do our Part I Cor 12:26

III. Membership means everything we say and do is based on biblical foundation of LOVE

a. Biblical definition of love – I Cor 13

b. We do not love because people are loveable

c. Love is the foundation of church membership

IV. Church membership is FUNCTIONING Membership

a. Country club membership (pay your dues) vs biblical church membership (give abundantly and serve without hesitation)

b. Biblical membership is a functioning membership I Cor 12:12-26

We don’t need CEO Christians or Secret Service Christians

“A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is ready to shake hands.

The Pastor grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside and said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"

My friend replied, "I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor." The Pastor questioned, "How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?"

He whispered back, "I’m in the secret service. "

Membership has its privileges!

I carry a couple of cards in my wallet that give me certain privileges not available to the “general public.” First is my “Sam’s Club” card. It identifies me as a member at the warehouse superstore and enables me to purchase things for the church or at home for less than what I would pay elsewhere.

Second is my family membership card to the Cleveland Zoo which really saves us money! By purchasing a family membership, we spend less than if we were to buy a one day admission for the seven of us, but our membership gives us more than just a one day admission. We can return to the zoo as often as we like for one year. We also receive a 10% discount on purchases made at the zoo. The benefits don’t stop there. We can also receive free admission to other participating zoos all across the country. In addition we receive special invitations to “members only” events.

Membership is optional; it is a choice. Non-members of the zoo can still see all the animals; souvenirs are still available to be purchased. You can buy many of the same things available at Sam’s Club at other stores.

Membership has it’s privileges; it provides benefits not available to the “general public.” Granted anyone could choose to become a member at Sam’s Club or the zoo and get the same privileges, but not everyone does. In the long run non-members may be willing to pay a little more for the same thing.

Many of the same things can be said about church membership. The church is hardly a zoo (although sometimes you may wonder. . .), and the church is not a store (although some folks may choose a local church like a grocery store. . .).

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