Called to Belong

One day three pastors met for coffee. They found all their churches had bat-infestation problems. One pastor complained, “I got so mad I fired at them with my shotgun. It punched holes in the ceiling, but did nothing to the bats.” The second pastor lamented, “I tried trapping them alive. Then I drove 100 kilometers then released them there. But they beat me back to the church.” The third pastor boasted, “I haven’t had any more problems.” The two other pastors were so amazed. “What did you do?” they begged to know the problem. The pastor replied, “I simply baptized them. I haven’t seen them since.”[1]

Dr. Rick Warren, author of the bestselling Purpose Driven Life, wrote: “The difference between attenders and members can be summed up in one word: commitment!” The Apostle Paul explained that we need to make two commitments: “And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.” (2 Corinthians 8:5, NIV) We are to commit to each other just as we are committed to Lord Jesus Christ. The question is, “Are you committed?”

Over 50 times in the New Testament it used the phrase “one another” or “each other.” Just to name a few…

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)

All of these commands show what membership in a church is all about! These are the responsibilities of membership. Thus, this morning I will be preaching a message titled, “Enjoying Your Band of Brothers.” I pray that we will see the importance of the church in our lives. Next week we will also start Class 101 or Discovering Church Membership class after the worship service for those who would like to become a member of Makati Gospel Church.

Brethren, we are called not just to believe but also to belong.

[1] Adapted from the Reader’s Digest, July, 1994

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