We have set the next two Sundays apart as Membership Days. That is, for those interested in becoming a part of the Vista family, we have arranged two luncheons at which we will talk through our vision and values while providing lots of time for Q&A.
If you cannot make the luncheons or you have been around long enough to feel adequately informed about who we are – feel free to simply pick up the papers we’ve designed to document your commitment, and return them to the Resource Table or Vista office at your convenience. But, I strongly recommend the luncheons as way to meet, join and interact with the community to whom you will be committing.
By now you must know the minor aversion we have to the word “membership” as it relates to those wanting a more formalized commitment to their local church. It’s probably not worth making such a fuss about, but we prefer to use words that capture the significant difference between the sort of commitments made to a gym or a tennis club or a recreation center to that of the local church.
For example, most memberships require dues. Churches don’t have dues – it might seem like it, but we don’t…or shouldn’t. When you pay dues you receive products or services in return. Giving in the local church goes much deeper than an exchange of goods. Giving reflects a level of commitment to what God is doing, it has no strings attached (it’s purely sacrificial), and it’s ultimately intended to increase dependence and faith in God. That’s pretty different. Secondly, typical memberships are easily broken or dissolved with (at most) a financial (again) consequence. In the church, the commitment is to Jesus and to other people. And we honor God with our lives as we remain determined to live authentically through confrontation, disagreements, and all sorts of stuff we may not like. Through formal and informal Commitments to Community we honor the name of Jesus and demonstrate His heart of reconciliation within us.
We will cover these and other distinctions Sunday during the luncheons – and we’re looking forward to it. Hope you are too! Lunch will begin immediately following the service, and our time will conclude at 1:15pm.