January 20, 2016


I’m writing articles on various clubs and service clubs in our community and already I see a pattern in membership participation. One club averages of 100 members, charges dues of about $900 a year, and has an 85% participation rate. Three other clubs with membership ranging from 100-165 charge modest dues and have participation rates of less than 10%. The group with 85% participation is obviously more invested…financially as well as emotionally. It occurs to me that in the church we dismiss membership participation rates by simply saying believers are non-active. Many people claim they have a relationship with Christ, yet they are not invested in fellowship within the body of Christ. Jesus said, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matt 16:18 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----What a great analogy! Of course, fellowship is not the investment which gets us into heaven. The only investment which will do that is your self paid into Christ Jesus. But we think we own our selves, at least in the sense of being able to do with them whatever we will so we can pay them into Jesus. I had an experience early in life which had me laughing at that proposition (although it was not a laughter producing experience.) I now understand how much more we are owned by ourselves rather than owning ourselves. Paul said it this way, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do…So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.” (Rom 7:15-23)
-----Many years ago I began viewing the body of Christ like a lifeboat. It floats safely on the high sea of deceit and destruction, hanging around disasters where victims flailing in the water have become ready to accept safety (others become comfortable back floating in the sunshine.) These victims with eyes to see real safety are drug into the lifeboat. But being in the lifeboat does not require any certain amount of life function to be happening. After dragging someone aboard and clearing the water out of his lungs until he’s breathing on his own, when he’s found to have gone unconscious again, we don’t throw him overboard. It does not matter how tiny the life process has become. If life is there life is valuable (speaking of eternal life. I won’t give a nickel for my temporal life.) And some are indeed passed out on the floor of the lifeboat just as much riding to the shore as are the rowers. You might ask what the passed-out-one contributes to the boat. He gives the rowers more incentive to row. That’s a good thing, although a it’s bit passive (no pun intended.)
-----”…a bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench; He will faithfully bring forth justice.” (Is 42:3) I had to reboot my life as a young man. I’m not referring to dying to sin to be reborn in Him. I had to reconsider everything I had accepted up to that point. I had to wipe the table empty and clean, as I thought of it in that moment, for I had failed pitifully in developing stable emotions and a mental forte of rational thought. Even though I was very rational, I failed to abide by what I had found reasonable (I don’t want to come right out and say it, Troy, uh, I was disobedient.) I was passed out on the lifeboat floor, drunk with seawater. One thing I would not allow myself to wipe off the table, the only thing acceptable in and of itself, for it was my rock, my safety, and my help, was Jesus. I began my reboot with the image of my holding nothing else at all except for that one unbreakable, golden thread of life gifted by Christ.
-----It isn’t that I think passed out on the lifeboat floor is the way and place to ride out the high sea. But it is that I think it is the starting place for many. It was a restarting place for me. And some stay in that state longer, sometimes much longer than do others. A few rowers even wind up there again before the boat reaches shore. What we have to remember when experiencing any fellow believer in this same boat is that we are experiencing what he is at only the moment in which we experience him. Everything else he is is both in many moments of his past as well as many more moments to come. God experiences each of us in all our moments. He understands us better, so He sympathizes with us more when we’re passed out on the lifeboat floor. Thank God, we’re still in the boat.

Love you all,
Steve Corey