6 Wonderful Benefits Of Church Membership

This is a guest post from Patricia – a Church Management Consultant and blogger at Smart Church Management where she writes about strategic planning, goal development, church volunteer management, employee development and offers pointers on church administration. According to a report in the Christian Post , church membership is down in the two largest Christian denominations – The Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church. While the article admits that further research needs to be done to answer the question “why”, the report does state that “church-goers” who are in their 20s and 30s may attend a congregation but “resist” joining them. This kind of report is poignant because of all of the benefits there are to being a member of a church. A well run church provides the atmosphere for spiritual, social and physical support that is not available in other social organizations. When I reflect on my own church experience, I think of the those things that drew me to a church body and those things that keep me engaged with other Christians. Benefits of Local Church Membership 1. Friendships Most of my life-long friends have developed through a connection to a church family. Whether it was people I knew through church as a child or the parents of children my kids played with or friends I made belonging to varies church activities – most of my current relationships are tied to that church anchor. Making and having friends that share the same beliefs and values help us all navigate this bizarre world we live in. 2. Opportunities to Make a Difference One of the biggest benefits of church membership is its collective resource that provides opportunities to help others and make a difference. Church volunteer opportunities are available at most churches and these opportunities provide the system and structure to serve or support a cause. For example, my church does disaster relief work and provides the structure for Volunteers to get involved in helping other people. These kinds of experiences reinforce the Christian call to love and help other people. When we know we make a difference for a cause it gives us hope for a better world. 3. Accountability Belonging to a church provides a level of accountability for its members. Members that receive good biblical teaching learn to make good decisions , are held accountable by just showing up and being reminded of their core beliefs. The world offers many distractions and contradictions to Christian beliefs so having a community of people to interact with who think the same way helps to reinforce and hold us accountable to biblical principles. 4. Sense of Community Our fast paced culture has many of us living in isolation so much that we often live in neighborhoods and don’t even know the people down the street. Belonging to a church body provides interactions with other people and creates a social community. 5. Personal Development As Christians we are all on a journey of personal, spiritual and ethical development. Whether we are new Christians or have been a Christian for a long time, a dynamic church can offer church leadership , discipleship and spiritual development and growth. 6. Social Events One of the many perks of being part of a church body is the availability of social events and interactions with others. Whether it is participating in a bible-study, a baby shower, or the Wednesday night pot-luck dinner – the opportunities are there to participate in church events with friends and other church members. It breaks my heart when I speak to people who don’t go to church because of some misperceptions about the church experience. It is common for people to get offended or hurt by someone at a church and they decide to boycott the entire institution. I’m not suggesting that churches are perfect places with perfect people – because they are not – but I am suggesting that finding a great church that you can call home and make life-long friends is well worth the time and effort. I challenge you to step up and get involved if you have a church and if you don’t have one, find a church get involved and watch your life get transformed! Any other benefits I missed? Share them in the comments below! Church image from Shutterstock Related Articles: Creating A Church Website: How You Can Do It Very Cheap Pray for your pastors Public Transportation | Saving Money & Other Benefits The Diminishing Value of Money, the Jerusalem Church, and You This article was written by a Guest Author. If you would like to write a guest post for our personal finance blog , you can find out how here .

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What Really Stands Out To Me From Jesus Feeding 5000

I just read John 6 today and the same verse stuck out to me that usually does. It is  a verse that doesn’t really seem like it should make sense, but for that reason just the fact that Jesus said it makes it all the more important for us to understand and live by. I don’t think I have ever heard a preacher talk about the verse, even though I have heard this story mentioned many times – as it is one of the more famous ones. The verse was the first thing that Jesus said after he performed a miracle and fed 5000 from a few fish and loaves. So Jesus, took a few loaves and fish and turned it into thousands of loaves and fishes to feed all these people – without even breaking a sweat. It was not difficult for Jesus to accomplish, and if it was anything like some of his other miracles it may have been as simple as Him believing and speaking it into existence. But even with as seemingly simple as it was to feed these 5000 people, after they ate He immediately told the disciples to: “Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost “ John 6:12 NASB What is so interesting to me is that if I had a party and fed 5000 people, I would expect there to be a lot of leftover food. I would probably try to save some of it, but realistically I would expect there to be a lot that would go to waste and I would just figure that to be appropriate given the size of the group. Even if I would have personally spent 3 days preparing food for the people and invested dozens of hours of my precious time into it, I would still be okay with some waste just thinking it comes with the territory of feeding this many people. But Jesus treated this situation completely different: He didn’t spend any time (from what we can tell) preparing it. If he had spent  3 days preparing it, it might make a little more sense if He said something like, “I just spent 3 days and thousands of dollars to get this food for you – therefore I don’t want any of it to go to waste. But instead, it was more like the bread continued to pour out of a never-ending basket. Even though waste should have been expected (for a crowd of 5000) He made sure there wasn’t any. If I were one of the disciples I probably would have thought to myself, “Why are we picking up these scraps? He just created thousands of loaves and fish out of thin air – do we really need the leftovers?” Clearly the Lord was trying to make a point. My Takeaway As an American I am part of a society that, because we are rich, we waste a lot of stuff. In fact, 1.3 BILLION tons of food get wasted each year. And what I have noticed in my own life is that when I have more, I care less about wasting stuff. In my own life I try to, regardless of how things are going financially, keep this verse in mind. It is a bit easier when money is tight, but when things are going better it can be really difficult to care about the “small change”. But clearly the Lord wants us to minimize waste whether we have to work hard for the excess or whether it comes easily. Keeping things balanced It can be easy to take a verse like this and go to the extreme, but I really do believe that keeping it in balance is key. On the other end of the spectrum in Matthew 26:6-10 we see Jesus defending what the disciples view as waste with the woman with the alabaster jar. In this passage Jesus defends the woman and says that what she is doing is “beautiful”. So, it seems to me that there are appropriate times to spurge and appropriate times to save. What do you think? Related Articles: Was Jesus a tightwad? How Do You Respond to Impossible Challenges? He fed four thousand, He will feed you Can a Camel fit through a Needle? God’s Provision During a Recession 10 ways to become poor Bob enjoys dark chocolate, paying off debt, giving, Foosball, loose-leaf tea, helping people succeed, learning, anything God created, playing guitar, doing things the “long” way, Philippians, excellence, Chick-Fil-A, and making his wife smile. He started ChristianPF in 2007 and has been having a blast ever since. Find him on Facebook & Twitter . The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .

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