My short response is “ditto” (see previous post).
I appreciate your thoughts on this question. Honestly, I think I would agree with everything you said. One aspect of membership that I would like to see done more effectively is fostering the ‘family’ mentality. I don’t know that I have any great suggestions for making this happen. I don’t want church membership to take on a ‘club’ or ‘fraternity’ atmosphere. I would like to see our churches lean more heavily on the family aspects of membership.
There is a church in the Chicago area that requires any prospective member to be recommended by the small group of which they are a part. Regular attenders at this church are encouraged to be a part of a small group. These small groups are the vehicle they use for accountability and life together. The small group leaders encourage the people in their small groups to consider membership. At this church you are not allowed to be a member without first being in a small group. I don’t know if I would take things that far but this process certainly reveals the community mentality of the church. Again, I don’t know if I would go this far but I appreciate their desires. I believe we need to work at correcting the business transaction feel of membership and make it into a relational or family adoption.