February 14, 2006
Let me make myself unpopular. One of the reasons we (Capitol Hill Baptist Church) are called a cult is because we limit responsibility for ministry (from leading Bible studies, to being responsible for refreshments after church) to members of our congregation. We figure that we best serve the individuals wanting to minister by requiring them to give us their testimony before we allow them to represent us for others. We first want to know what they agree with or disagree with in what we believe (statement of faith) and how we intend to live (church covenant). We also would like to see some commitment to us as a congregation.
Wayne Mack (who has never been a member of our church!) in his recent book on church membership expressed this idea well: “Whatever the reason, this unwillingness to formally identify with a local church is an indication that they’re not totally committed to that church and therefore should not be given regular, formal, service opportunities. Regular, formal ministry opportunities are a privilege given to people who are willing to commit and submit without reservation to the total ministry of the church.” See Wayne Mack, To Be or Not to Be A Church Member? That is the Question! (2004), page 53.