Deciding not to join

So the new post-split church is now doing formal membership.

I picked up a packet, expecting the normal basic forms. And instead, convinced myself out of joining.

Part of the forms are pretty basic… general information… current or past areas of sin questions (though the question about using tobacco products surprised me).

But another form just bothers me.

It’s a pledge of support essentially… which is ok… but it gets very specific as to what that is expected to look like.

Which is sort of nice that they let you know exactly what they see as being supportive of the church. Except that, well, for me it doesn’t look the same way that it does for them.

And I imagine that either there’s not going to be very many members, or that there’s going to be a lot of liars.

Promises to not gossip and to support the leaders could be interesting at some future point.

But there’s also a lot of things like tithing… serving the church… bringing new guests… greeting visitors… and just random stuff that is all probably good things to have people doing, but that seems like it should be more up to the person and God as to what their role in those areas looks like.

For example, for me right now, there’s basically no way that I’m going to be joining a small group. Besides the issues I have with them, I have night classes 3 nights a week, kid sports one night a week, and work that has a random event schedule and can take over any random night and frequently does on weekends. It’s just not realistically going to happen, even if I did want to… and even if I’d previously said that I would just to join.

I can understand why they want more people involved in these things… but making a promise to do it a condition of membership isn’t likely to really change much. It’s just going to reduce the number of members from the number of us that aren’t going to say we’ll do something we have no intent to actually do…. or make liars out of the ones who say they will do it, maybe try a bit at first, and go back to the way they are more comfortable.

I hate to see what the list of requirements for the board members must look like.


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