Exploring Church Membership
On February 26, 2017, five months after attending our first church service at Sovereign Grace Church, my husband and I began Starting Point classes. About five months after that, on June 11, 2017, we became members. If it were up to me, I would have started classes sooner. For me, attending church on Sundays and care group on Thursdays did not grant me enough insight. This is why I could not invest any more of my time as a “visiting member.”
Starting Point provides more understanding about the mission of SGC, the leadership and the community it serves. Think of it as a movie trailer compelling you to see one of the best movies all year. If you decide to pay to go see the film (invest your time to complete the classes), you’ll gain a better understanding of who God is, what He is doing at SGC, and where He is leading you. In the six Sundays of classes, we dive into all of that and more. As an introvert, I understand the apprehension or fear that sometimes arises when deciding to make a big commitment, so let me reassure you – this is NOT that. There is no obligation to pursue membership after taking the class if you feel called to another church. Rather, this class helps you explore if SGC is the right church for you.
These classes were full of discussions about God, the beginning stages of SGC and the direction of the church. We shared our life adventures, our hang-ups and laughed…A LOT. It was not at all what was expected when I envisioned a “new members” class. Questions of concern were answered, and friendships were born. This particular experience made the commitment ceremony all the more rewarding. I’m more of a behind-the-scenes type of person, so it was comforting to see some familiar faces on stage…faces that reassured me that we are where we are supposed to be in this very moment…faces that reminded me that we are taking this next step together as a family.
In the beginning, Pastor Warren made it clear to all of us that the ultimate concern and focus of the class is not about gaining members. The ultimate concern is about you being where God needs you to be. And while it is awesome to connect with people who feel called to serve at SGC, it is equally satisfying to know that God could be calling you to serve at another church in a greater capacity. After all, the mission of Jesus Christ does not begin or end with SGC. The church family is universal. This reminds me of a quote that Pastor Warren shared in class by Charles Spurgeon:
“If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all; and the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.”
Remember that no church is perfect, but the family of Christ, however imperfect it may be, is very much important in this walk with God. Should I stay at SGC or should I go? Taking Starting Point is how you put an end to the nagging and find out.
********** Join SGC (formerly Starting Point) classes begin October 1, 2017 **********