Can I become a member of Resurrection if I worship online?

Another question that I receive as Pastor of Resurrection Online is this:

Can I become a member of Resurrection if I worship online?

My hope is that Resurrection Online will be a tool for people to become more engaged in their faith and not less engaged. If someone is connected with a local church I hope that she or he will continue to stay connected there. The way that you join Resurrection is through Coffee with the Pastors. You can find more information about Coffee with the Pastors at http://cor.org/coffee.

Currently we are not offering Coffee with the Pastors online, however I hope to be able to offer that possibility in the next few years. Being a member offers no benefits at Resurrection and only expectations. You can participate in nearly everything at Resurrection as a member or a visitor. Our membership expectations are to:

  • Be in worship every weekend
  • Be actively growing in your faith outside of worship
  • Serve God both inside and outside the congregation
  • Give in proportion to your income with a tithe (10%) being the goal.

I want to make sure that people who join online would have the opportunity to live out their membership expectations online. We are not there yet.

For those that worship regularly at Resurrection Online and are interested in becoming a member, I suggest two possibilities: Seek to live out Resurrection‘s membership expectations where you are. If you want to travel to be a part of a Coffee with the Pastors in person, you could become a member of Resurrection in that way.

Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about all this?

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4 thoughts on “Can I become a member of Resurrection if I worship online?

  1. I really wonder about how many small churches across the connection would benefit from Adam’s weekly messages. Churches that have paid off their mortgage but aren’t blessed with a person in the pulpit delivering high-quality inspirational messages each week.

    Lyle Schaller talked about this path for small churches many times. We have the technology to make it happen either in real time or using archived video.

    • Creed – I agree that this might be beneficial for certain congregations. This is an idea that Resurrection is pilot testing this year. We will see if it will be effective.

  2. Andrew,
    In light of the recent “Call to Action” and what I infer is an emphasis on the bottom line, your comments about the expectations of membership bring forth a series of questions.

    A member of the church is expected to be in worship every weekend. From a technical standpoint, I guess I wouldn’t qualify. During each of the past three years, I have missed 24 of the 52 Sundays that my church has a worship service. Of course, the kicker on this is that I was serving as a certified lay speaker at another church in the district/conference so I was in worship. And there were the summer Vespers services that we held in the church’s gardens on Fridays so that might count as well.

    But what about the person who works weekends or has a swing shift? Clearly they cannot be in two places at the same time. What do these individuals do?

    How do you know if a person is actively growing in their faith? How is this growth measured? Can it be measured?

    Similarly, how do you serve God (and why have a link to wikipedia?) outside the congregation?

    I know that when I became a member of the United Methodist Church and when I transferred my membership to my present church, I reaffirmed my vows to support the church with my prayers, my presence, my gifts, and my service. I feel that I do that as well as some but perhaps not as well as some others. Do I need to fill out some sort of form each week that lists what I did and did not do?

    Perhaps I am reacting in the wrong way but when I join a particular United Methodist Church it is done so that I can continue serving God and Christ in the way that I have been called. I joined a church one time and received a note about new membership classes. It was a automatic note sent out to all those listed as new members. When I called the pastor, who knew what I was doing, I asked if I was supposed to teach the course.

    She laughed because she knew that I shouldn’t have received the letter (I was serving as a lay minister for another church in the district). But she did ask if I wouldn’t mind teaching the part of the course that dealt with the union of the Methodist and EUB churches since I came from the EUB church.

    And finally, what does Resurrection (or for that matter, any United Methodist Church) do to help the members meet the expectations that they put forth?

    In peace and with Christ,
    Dr. Tony

    • Tony – Thank you for sharing your opinions and great questions. Let me see if I can address them.
      * When you are serving in a worship leadership role, you are clearly in worship. I would not interpret your service as a certified lay speaker to be ignoring the vow to support the church with your presence.
      * For someone who works weekends or has a swing shift, Resurrection has worship times across our locations from 5:00 PM on Saturday to Sunday at 6:00 PM. There are a lot of options to worship for those that are not worshiping. Currently we offer additional opportunities to worship throughout the week at Resurrection Online – one time each day. This is another way to be present for worship each week.
      * How do you know if someone is growing in their faith? How can it be measured? This is a great question and I believe that it cannot as easily be measured as participation numbers in various ministry areas. One way that I believe this is captured is through stories of transformation that are shared with others. These questions are good and ones that make a clear difference in the life of the church. Any further thoughts that you have about this would be greatly appreciated.
      * The link to Wikipedia is generated from my blogging platform, WordPress.com through a service called, Zemanta. I add links when I can if they seem somewhat related.
      * Do you think you need to fill out a form to share what you did or did not do? This might be best shared in the context of a small group.
      * We hope to make it possible for every member to live out their membership expectations. We have worship every weekend in a variety of styles, times and locations. We offer single session classes, 5-6 weeks classes and the opportunity to be part of ongoing group life to grow in faith outside of worship. Opportunities to serve in the church, outside the church in Kansas City and beyond Kansas City are available throughout the year and shared in a variety of ways with the congregation and community. Each year we have an opportunity for people to make a financial commitment to support God’s work through the church, as well as receiving tithes and offerings in worship and electronically.
      While it is possible to provide every opportunity for someone to live out their expectations, it is still up to the individual to engage in these opportunities. For myself, I find that the issue is not usually a lack of opportunity, but instead a lack of motivation.

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