From the Pastorīs Desk May 2009

 

Missionality. I think that we get it. We haven’t done it, but I think we get it. God has called LLBC (the church members) to be salt and light in the community He has planted us in. God has called us to serve others, demonstrating the love of Christ so that we will have opportunity to share His love with a world that is lost, separated from Him and destined to an eternity apart from Him, unless they hear the gospel and repent. After 18 months of reFocusing we get that.
 
But some of us are still struggling with the idea of covenant membership.  Why change now? For too many years, church membership has been taken lightly. It hasn’t meant anything.  I can say that, because right now LLBC has approximately 750 members. Of those 750, some have moved away, some have gone to other churches, some may even have died, and some have chosen to stay at home on Sundays. If membership was important, they would have moved their membership, notified us that they had joined another church or a church of another denomination, or continued attending our church. But nothing has been required of them, so they feel no obligation to the church. I believe that membership ought to be more than that.
 
At the basic level, covenant membership is an agreement to live out the gospel in harmony with other believers. We are not asking anyone to do anything more than what Scripture asks of believers. But we are asking our members to commit to what the scriptures command. Some are afraid that we are being legalistic. While we are expecting our members to do what the Scriptures teach, we will not go around behind you to see if you are doing what you agreed to do. Some are afraid that new members will be intimidated or that people will leave because of the covenant. Research says that people want to become a part of something in which there are meaningful expectations – especially among the 18-34 year olds (also teens don’t drop out as often in churches that require something of their members.)
 
I ask that you prayerfully become a covenant member of LLBC. We will vote on the new constitution (and covenant membership) at our regular business meeting May 20. It will become effective immediately. The next Sunday, May 24, will be Covenant Sunday at LLBC. We will have copies of the church covenant available to sign and become a member of LLBC. 
 
Lastly, I would like to thank the members of the RFT for their work during the last year and a half. With the adoption of the Mission Plan, and Constitution their work will come to an end. Jim, David, Mike, Audie and Dean, you have modeled for the church Christian love, servanthood and leadership. May God bless you as you begin new ministries in our church.
 
Keith
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