People who work in the market place would covet an opportunity to become a partner at their company. Many people are willing to work unreasonable hours sacrificing their own personal well being and the overall health of their family so that they can become a partner/owner of the company. We can understand for obvious reasons why people would sacrifice so much to become a corporate partner: more money, powerful job title, and greater network opportunities. It would be foolish to reject partnership if it were offered to us.
How about partnership at church? At Metro, we do not use the word “membership,” because membership does not foster ownership. Therefore, we have partners at Metro, not members.
In the New Testament, we clearly see Christians identifying themselves with a church. Their ownership of the church was so great that they were willing to sell their homes and give the money to church, so that the church leaders can distribute it to the financially marginalized. They gathered together daily sharing a meal and studied the Bible together. And because of the type of community they were able to achieve, more and more people came to the church because they too wanted a taste of this sweet community (Acts 2:42-47).
Our culture is commitment phobic. We do not like to commit to things in general, but I also believe that we do not like to commit to things where we are being asked to step up and sacrifice. We would rather sit on the sidelines, or just embrace the status quo. As a result, our marriage is on life support, our relationships with family and friends are strained, and we are living isolated lives devoid of any real joy, hope, and love. Unfortunately, we do the same when it comes to our participation in the church. We would rather be consumers just getting from God, rather than actually giving back to Him for all that he has done for us.
Jesus Christ came and died for us on the cross and then resurrected on the third day not just so that we can have a first class ticket to heaven. Good Friday and Easter opens a new door for God’s people to taste a little bit of heaven here on earth. The best and most effective way for us to sit at this heavenly table and taste of its goodness is by becoming a partner of a church. Can we taste a heavenly treat without becoming a partner of a church? Perhaps. But the most effective way to dine at God’s banqueting table while we are here on earth is to take the step of becoming a partner of a church.
If you attend Metro, I hope you can take this step towards partnership, and begin to dine with us at God’s table, tasting His heavenly goodness together as a family. In order to do that at Metro, you will first need to attend the Connection Dinner and then the Partnership Class. For the next Connection Dinner and Partnership Class, please contact Steve Bang at firstname.lastname@example.org.