5 Metaphors for Your Church Membership | Christ Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC)

5 Metaphors for Your Church Membership

David Schrock

The term “membership” is misleading because of how it’s commonly used. Often it connotes privilege in a club. Costco members get access to deals. Country club members get reduced green fees. If you pay your dues, membership entitles you to get something. And because of these various commercial “memberships,” we’re conditioned to misunderstand membership in the church. We may even oppose it because we conceive of it in terms of economic status or social privilege. But such an aversion to membership overlays a worldly view onto a biblical idea.

In one sense, Scripture doesn’t speak of membership. The word “membership” is noticeably absent from your English concordance. It might seem churches who stress membership, then, are adding to the text. “Membership is a matter of tradition,” some might say.

But this view misses a rich collection of biblical metaphors that do speak of membership. Let’s consider five of them.

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David Schrock (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as preaching pastor at Occoquan Bible Church in Woodbridge, Virginia. David and wife, Wendy, have three sons, Titus, Silas, and Cohen. He blogs at Via Emmaus.