If someone wants to join your church, do you ever say ’No?’
Let’s say they live locally, love Jesus, desire the Holy Spirit and are ready to serve. Would you ever say ’No’?
We are currently running our Foundation Course which enables new people to review the basis of faith in Jesus and also the basics of belonging to the church. We are hoping all participants will want to join, but that might not happen.
Membership of a church isn’t like membership of any other kind of club is it? It’s not just a common interest that brings us together. The church is special. It is Christ’s bride, a body where all parts should function properly. The Bible describes life-joints that are inextricably linked to each other. Therefore, we are looking for something extra – that connection which feel like God is knitting us together. We call it heart-joining.
Heart-joining is what enables us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. It is what compels us to do outrageous things – like getting up in the middle of the night to serve someone, lending our belongings or inviting folk to join us on our family holiday. ‘Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3. Heart joining has little to do with whether we like a person or how long we have known them.
So as people go through the Foundation Course, we walk with them to decide if this is the church for them. Because we are looking for that heart joining – for them to declare ‘God has placed me here for purpose’. Otherwise, this person might find a better fit in a different church community.
The result is that we become a diverse group of people that God has joined together. We find ourselves joined to people with different ethnicity, language, education and experience in life. When God has joined us, we belong to one another and we commit to journey together.
When people want to belong to your church community, what do you look for?