Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Church membership idea

Update: My AgapePress column on this matter

What if we got tougher
? I thought this bit from Mark Krikorian from "The Corner" was interesting...could it be adapted for the local church?

I’m just now finishing the current version of the print NR (National Review), and the review of Priscilla Buckley’s memoir about NR says that early on, subscribers who angrily cancelled their subscriptions because of some perceived ideological deviation on the part of the magazine were threatened with not being allowed to re-subscribe. One particularly hard case had to beg for three months, finally writing to the WFB sister in charge of such things: “I surrender dear. Maureen, please, please resubscribe me. I promise to be good.” Note to Kathryn et al.: you think this kind of “No soup for you!” reverse psychology would help subscriptions?
OK - someone decides to leave church angry over the color of the carpet, or the bad ideas from the pulpit, or the ridiculous ideology of the Sunday School. "Fine - leave - but you are not coming back. The Baptists have 'once saved, always saved.' We have 'once storm off in a huff, always stormed off in a huff (never to return).'"

Would it make 'em think twice? Maybe not, but actually, I am reminded that one of the lessons of much research in past years is that "churches that demand more of their membership, on the whole, grow more because of their demands."

So - leave at your own risk, ye great saints of God! Yes? Or, at least, should we rethink "standards" and discipline?


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