I have always held church membership as tremendously important. It is not something to enter into quickly or lightly. Church membership is more important than job, career, choosing friends, and family decisions. Church membership has many facets to it that it takes time to discern under God’s leadership. Some are able to make quick decisions, I’m not one of those people. I’d rather go slow and be patient than “Church hop” or make a decision that later I regret.
With that said, my journey is my own… not to be judged or criticized by others. For the last three years I have spent a lot of time preaching in congregations and providing interim services. I spent many Sundays visiting local pastors to encourage them as part of Redemption Ministry. Then I have visited many congregations just to worship. All the while asking for God’s direction to unite with people where He desires me to be.
Church membership is a call from God, it isn’t like buying a car. Church membership is decidedly under God’s direction, not something you roll the dice on. Church membership is a long term serious commitment… much like the commitment made in marriage. For these reasons I (And my wife) have purposefully taken our time… which has gone against the grain and understanding of others (And that’s ok).
I love worshiping with God’s people! I love the fellowship of the congregation of believers! There is nothing like being with God’s people regularly this side of heaven… in fact, it is a little slice and preview of heaven. With all that said…
Recently I was surprised. I was moved. I felt something a little like Isaiah who in Chapter 6 went to worship and God showed up! Of all the congregations I’ve visited, none of them were like this one. Joy and life were unlike the other places I’ve been. That is not a critical evaluation of the other congregations, but rather what I believe God was doing in me in His timing at a particular time in my life.
For me… as God so leads… it seems He has given me a long awaited affirmation. There are still a few things I’d like to find out, but those are minor. For me, God may have finally given his blessing and direction.