The question before us is: What is membership? What’s the difference between purchasing a membership at Costco or being given one through baptism? Which do you value more?Discuss preventing suicide:
Silly, sure. Yet we believe there are many church members who do put higher value on their store memberships—measure that by society’s standards of presence and the distribution of resources. Some members go to Costco far more often than they attend church. Some pay more for their annual Costco membership card than they contribute to the general fund of their congregation.
Interestingly, Costco requires commitment every year: Do you want to renew your membership? It doesn’t transfer to children and grandchildren, even if they want to shop only for weddings and funerals.
Consider these differences in what you get or give:
Costco: You’re greeted with a glance at your membership card and handed a cart—to fill up.
Church: You’re greeted with a warm welcome and handed a bulletin to guide you in your time with God, the creator of all things.
Costco: You’re given coupons to save you money—and to encourage you to spend more money.
Church: You’re given empty envelopes—so you can support the roof-repair fund, the youth trip and offer thanks for life and light.
Costco: New products for every season await you. You can buy in bulk and stock up on your favorite foods. No one notices if, and when, you come back.
Church: The gift is the same today, tomorrow and yesterday. God’s love is ever-present and constant. God does care when you come to worship and when you stay away.
Costco: Your kids love to go shopping. They learn the joys of being consumers.
Church: Your kids might balk about getting up and ready to go to Sunday school or church. They learn the joy of being loved by Jesus and living in grace.
Costco membership—what a deal!
Church membership—what an opportunity!
This week's front page features:
This week on our blog:
Discuss suicide's impact on families and suicide prevention with Jerry and Elsie Weyrauch (right).
The Weyrauchs said their congregation, Resurrection Lutheran, Marietta, Ga., supported them after the 1987 suicide of their oldest daughter, Terri Ann, a 34-year-old physician who suffered from major depression.
“We heard how other suicide survivors were condemned, ostracized and were made to feel guilty,” Elsie said. “The most helpful thing for us was when our pastor came to our house and said nothing and cried with us.”
The conversation starts today and continues through July 24.
Consider reading "Facing suicide head on
," "Involvement therapy helps couple deal with daughter’s suicide
," "Living with treatment-resistant depression
" and "On the suicide hot line
" before joining in.Join the conversation > > >
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Andrea Pohlmann wonders if the truth can set people free from speeding tickets.
Amber Leberman asks: Are Christians well-portrayed in movies and television?
Julie Sevig (right) writes about a Chicago media scandal.
Sonia Solmonson blogs about freedom.Check out our blog > > >
Share your evangelism tips:
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