I am considering writing a series of posts on why it is good and healthy to be a member of a local church. If I do it I will call it ‘Church With Benefits.’ These benefits are not just for you the member, but you being a part of a local church benefits everyone, from the teaching pastor, to the volunteer teachers to the ushers.

Our family have been involved with Momentum Church since just before Christmas 2009. Before that we were just looking around to find a church that we wanted to give our time to. It is not, nor should it be an easy decision to get involved in a specific local church. Your involvement means you are giving of your time, your money, your family and your self. You don’t just trust those things with anyone, it has to line up and fit.

Momentum Church has done just that for us. We have given of ourselves to it, through money, time and emotion, and the church has given back to us. A perfect example and the motivator for this post and the series of posts I hope to write happened last week. I received an email from one of the ladies in the church who helps out with foster kids. She had two extra tickets to go to the Padres game and sit in the owners box. She asked if Emma and I would like to go. Long story short, we went.

Now I go to games once in a while, but usually I am sitting in the $6 lawn seats, not in the $100 padded seats. We showed up at the game, entered in the security entrance and walked up to our padded seats located behind home plate. At the game we could eat whatever food we wanted, and as much as we wanted. So there we sat, Emma and I eating hot dogs, cotton candy, nachos, frozen lemonade, peanuts, chicken wings, veggies and more, and all for free.

At one point in the game I looked over at Emma and she said “dad, this is like a dream” Then, we were ushered down to the bull pen seats. There we watched 2 innings 6 rows from the field. Troy Aikman formally from the Dallas Cowboys sat in front of us and the players were sitting beside us. There we had more food and drink and Emma got a game ball from the catcher. Now baseball is not our favorite thing to do, but I wouldn’t have cared if it was the ballet, this was rad.

Upon leaving I started thinking that the reason we were at the game was because we were involved in a local church and one of the members who knew us had tickets. I see this all the time in our church. We have moved people, have baby sat the pastors kids so they could play and they have watched our kids overnight so Amy and I could play. Our kids have met friends and we have developed very cool relationships. We are learning about Jesus and about loving others. I love it.

So, let this be the start of many posts of why I believe it is beneficial in many ways to join become involved in a local church.

Cheers.

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5 comments so far on “Church with benefits

  1. Alice says:

    Really? The reason we should be a part of a local church is so that we can score good seats at baseball games? We give and receive benefits in return? Glad Jesus could die on the cross so that you could have a great day on the field. I am sure that was not your intention in writing this, but friend, it comes off as transactional faith- where you get a good return on your investment. What if being part of the local church got you publicly scorned or ultimately persecuted and killed? Would it be worth it then?

  2. philnamy says:

    Hi Alice, Phil here. Thanks for the comment. I guess my reply is in the original post. This is going to be a series of posts that was sparked by this. I have been involved with the local church for 30 year now and I love it. I have had hard times, beautiful times, time of growth, tears, joy, etc. I have worked with the church and tried to serve the church in any way I can. And yes, if I got publicly scorned or persecuted or killed it would be worth it. I am not in this for the benefits, but because I believe in it with all my heart.

    I wonder what your experience has been with the local church? In reading your comments I feel a bit judged by you even though you said that my intention in writing this was not about getting befits. I also said

    “Upon leaving I started thinking that the reason we were at the game was because we were involved in a local church and one of the members who knew us had tickets. I see this all the time in our church. We have moved people, have baby sat the pastors kids so they could play and they have watched our kids overnight so Amy and I could play. Our kids have met friends and we have developed very cool relationships. We are learning about Jesus and about loving others. I love it.”

    I hope that you don’t write me off by this post, but that we can have a bit of conversation about it.

  3. Alice says:

    Phil, my intention was not to judge, but I did feel the need to express my surprise. In fact, the very title of you post links church with benefits, so if that isn’t central to your point, you might reconsider the title. Perhaps you were thinking it was a clever play off the “friends with benefits” (which might have even worse connotations).

    My concern is not that you have these great relationships, but that you relate the specifics of these “benefits” with being part of a church. Implicitly it suggests that if others participate in local churches, they too can have the same or similar benefits. However, a lot of the benefits you listed here are reflections of privilege. I don’t have a problem with sitting in the $100 seats (well, not a big problem), but your post linked the privilege with attending church when in fact it was a privilege linked to middle-class, Western wealth.

    I have not written you off. If I had, I wouldn’t have written. I wrote these comments because this seems so out of character from the other things I have read here.

  4. Alice says:

    P.S. I have had some good and bad experiences towards local church. However, I am not bitter about the bad. I love the good. I just have an issue with how we make local church a commitment motivated (in part or in whole) to benefits.

    • philnamy says:

      Hi Alice, thanks for writing back. As far as the Church with Benefits title goes, it was a bit of a play on words, but I mean it in the sense of the church being something that is super important for a follower of Jesus to be involved in. It is a place that brings growth, hope, love, family, community and much, much more to those involved. Any yes, it goes both way’s. I give of my time, my money, and my family for the church because I believe in it with much conviction.

      I am not saying that if others participate in church they can have the same of similar benefits, benefits of privilege. I did talk about the tickets that we received from the wealthy, and I will take it for sure, but that is just a small small minuscule part. So small in fact that if it never happend again I wouldn’t care. I just saw it as a blessing that I could do that with my little girl.

      I am intending to write more about the church and how it is a place that feeds the hungry, visits those in prison, takes care of the sick and lives and serves among the poor. These are also benefits of being a part of the church, carrying out the will and call of Jesus. Maybe starting with the benefit of getting $100 tickets was not the strongest way to start 😉 but it sparked it in me to start these posts.

      The other thing is that I process out loud, which can be frustrating to people, specifically my wife. So, I love the discussion. Where are you at Alice and how did you come upon this blog?

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