Members or Partners?

October 13, 2008 at 2:45 pm (Uncategorized)

Have you ever wondered how our verbiage sounds today? What kind of impression it makes? You ever wondered if the way we use words doesn’t quite match up with the way others do, and we confuse people?

Take for example the term, “member”. For many, it insinuates that, “I have paid my dues/fees to a certain organization, and now I will get the benefits of the organization.” You become a member of a country club, and get to enjoy all the amenities they offer. You become a member of the YMCA and you get enjoy all the exercise equipment and the pool when you want. You become a member of a gun club, and you can go out there and shoot away at targets and such.

Do you ever wonder if our use of the word, ‘member’, in the church world is misleading? Sort of like saying, I have paid my dues (Baptism, Attendance, and Tithe) and now I should get my benefits (Pastoral Care, My Musical Preference, and Programs for me.) What I am getting at is that maybe our use of the word member clouds what we are really needing from people when they join with our local congregation.

Perhaps the word ‘partner’ is better. Partner has two immediate connotations in people’s minds: 1. being a part of team and 2. working. To say someone is a partner is to call them to work with your local team to accomplish the mission we are doing. And better yet, partner can be noun and verb. Not only are you a partner of Denton Christian Church, but you partner with them. It becomes not only what you are, but what you do!

Perhaps, considering member isn’t even a Biblical word, partner would serve our purposes of identification a little better. But beware, asking someone to be a partner is much more of a commitment than asking them to be a member.

What do YOU think?

Yours for the Pursuit of God in the Company of Friends,

Billy

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