Members Only… NOT

There is a LONG history in the church of bringing in new ‘members’ on this particular Sunday (called Pentecost Sunday in the life of the church).

Unfortunately, being a ‘member’ of the church has seemed to come to mean the same thing as being a ‘member’ of a club (like the YMCA, a union, or a political party). But the original meaning of joining the church is something wholly different.

First, the idea is not to become a ‘member’ of an organization (with all its rules, requirements, and perks), but rather to build important relationships with others who are committed to breaking all rules, requirements, and perks of this world in order to follow God FIRST.

Second, the idea is not to go through some kind of ‘ritual’ of acceptance into a club, but rather to stand before a group of people and make the promise to follow God FIRST.

Third, the idea is not a ‘once for all’ admission into ‘membership’ but a daily decision to follow God FIRST.

‘Membership’ means…   follow God FIRST, and together with others, no matter what!

In Acts 2:1-2, the beginning od the account when God gifts God’s FOLLOWERS with the power of God’s Spirit, we read that they are, indeed, together…   and will be for the rest of their lives, following God FIRST:

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

For many new ‘members’ of the church…   this Sunday marks a fantastic beginning of a life devoted to faith, hope, and love in the name of Jesus. The Spirit of God came upon those first followers with the rush of a violent wind. For us, it may come in a variety of ways: the undeniable sense that we have a greater purpose than we are currently living, the signs and signals that God is calling us to something great, or even just the nagging sense that a change of direction is in order…   a shift

to following God FIRST.