Monday, February 7, 2011

Thoughts on our Membership Class

Three or four times a year we offer our membership seminar – “Discovering the PCC Family.” I love this class. It has always been very effective for us. Plus, I really enjoy meeting and talking with all the newcomers. Although the class is about 3 ½ hours long, it doesn’t seem that long. It’s a lot of fun and very informative. Over the years, most people who have taken the class have joined PCC.

Here are a few reasons we offer this seminar:

1. Confusion over what the gospel is. A lot of people today simply do not know what the gospel is or cannot articulate it. The gospel is not that you don’t do drugs anymore, go to church every Sunday, or are a good person who grew up in church. If we don’t get the gospel right, then everything else is tainted and twisted. Session one in the class is a brief teaching on salvation and what it means to be a Christian.

2. PCC’s Distinctive. We have a vision, a purpose statement, and a strategy for carrying out the Great Commission. We have a doctrinal statement, and three rules that govern what we believe. Regarding the role of women in the church, we tend to lean towards a blended view of the Complementarian and Egalitarian positions. Our church is an elder led church (not the Presbyterian model), but more of a staff led model. And when we talk about membership at PCC, the emphasis is upon being a member of our family, which is relational in nature, not a member in a legislative body.

There is no way I can cover all this material on Sunday mornings, so we use our membership class to do it. We teach these distinctive features about PCC so that people who join our church don’t teach contrary to our position or find out what we believe a year later and blow up. If people are not agreement with our distinctive positions, I would rather they leave our church early than leave angry years later.

3. PCC is a Growing Church. We are not a very large church, but we are not a small church either. Even at our current size (in the 400s) you will never know everybody, and we are planning to grow even more. The membership class teaches you how to become part of the family, how to form friendships, experience fellowship, and how to belong.

4. We Protect and Shepherd this Flock. Church leaders are commanded in the Bible to keep a watchful eye over the flock of God. As such we are charged with protecting, feeding, nurturing, and shepherding. I try to be honest about this as often as I can. We are not as interested in building a big church as we are a deep church. There’s nothing wrong with big unless its bigness is attributed to the shallow nature of the teaching and its worship. Depth over width is better. We guard against doctrinal error, and will run to conflict (not away from it). Since sowing discord among the brethren is something God hates, we are watchful for those who might like to cause division. We regard harmony and unity as a high value at PCC.

I feel like once you know all these things about us, you will have a good picture of who we are and what we are called to do. This protects the flock. We take seriously God’s call on our leadership to shepherd and steward the men, women, and resources at PCC.

PCC’s next membership class is Sunday, February 27 at 4:00 PM.

I’d love to have you join us.

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