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What Does it Mean to Be a “Member”?

Thanks, Dr. Bob!

Is a member someone who was baptized in the 1960s following  Vacation Bible School, but has not been seen or heard from since?

Is a member someone who was once active in our church but moved away years ago and never joined another congregation? And what exactly is a “non-resident” member? How can one be a member of a church without being ever being present to the church?

Is a member someone who drifted out of active participation with a local community of faith, years ago, but still shows up for the Christmas Eve Service?

Or is a member someone who worships with us most Sundays, supports the church with her prayers, presence, and financial gifts, is willing to help with Vacation Bible School or go on a mission trip, when asked, but has never “walked the aisle”?

According to the formal canons of membership in most churches, everyone described above is considered a member of the church except the last! Go figure.

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