Touché February 2, 2018
Posted on February 2, 2018 by under Touché,


Membership Matters

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.

(Romans 12:4, 5)

Last night our outgoing elders, Shurawl Sibblies and Kurt Knoernschild met with our incoming elders, Cindy Gerber, Henry Mikhail and Sheryle Silvern to help with the transition of leadership.  (Kevin Warren, who has finished his term as an elder, was not able to be with us.)  The seasoned elders, including John Young and Bruce Smith, shared their wisdom on what they wish they knew before they began as elders and shared insights on how to be effective in leadership.

Following this session, I handed out our membership lists for 2018 to all the current elders.  We talked through each category.  I share with you those categories and numbers here:

Active Members – 277:  These are people who have joined the church and confessed Christ as Lord and Savior.  They make faithful use of the means of grace, especially hearing of the Word and receiving the sacrament.  In other words, they are in worship regularly.  Each year we report these numbers to the denomination and our assessment is based on this figure.

Inactive Members – 124: These are people who have joined the church, but currently are not attending and are not active.  This is a list that the elders will work through in seeing who is leaving and why, or what circumstances have caused someone who joined the church to now be distant from the church.

Adherents – 133: These are folks who attend regularly but, for whatever reason, have decided not to join.  They may have been attending regularly, but are no longer new, or they have been attending many years.  It’s always interesting for new elders to see the names that are on this list.

New – 56:  These are people who have been coming to the church for the last year or so.  They will be invited to membership groups and the elders are encouraged to meet and connect with these people as their stories join the story of Hopewell.

Student Members – 101: These are young people who have been confirmed and joined the church and are around and active or inactive, or may be away at school.

Baptized Members – 219:  These are kids who are baptized but not confirmed.

Membership is a word that sounds institutional to our ears, but Paul uses it in an organic sense of our relationship to each other.  Our goal as elders and the body of Christ is to recognize that we are members one of another.

For the Body, Taylor