unusual commitments

Erin was here this past weekend and mentioned the unusual membership "commitments" at Plow Creek church (at the farm I've been visiting and hope to move to). They aren't very unusual commitments for Christians—I'd say I'm already committed to these things—but I don't think I've ever seen church membership vows that look like these. And I've been to a lot of churches.

Here are the membership commitments at Plow Creek church (from their website):

  1. Do you commit your life to Jesus as Lord?
  2. Do you commit yourself to speaking the truth in love following Matthew 18:15-17 to address sin and reconcile interpersonal conflicts?
  3. Do you commit yourself to fidelity in marriage and chastity outside of marriage?
  4. Do you commit yourself to forsake war and violence and love enemies?
  5. Do you commit yourself to turn from wealth and seek justice for the poor?
  6. Do you commit yourself to using diverse gifts, abilities and tithes to build up the body of Christ at Plow Creek and beyond?
  7. Do you commit yourself to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ?
  8. Do you commit yourself to entering with trust and openness into church decision-making?
  9. Do you commit yourself to seek counsel and advice in decision-making?
I've written about church membership before; I usually don't like how it's done. But I'm impressed by they way they do it at Plow Creek, because it really seems to be more about being a Christian than about institutional membership, and it even emphasizes some of the most challenging aspects of being a Christian. The only thing I personally might want to have said differently (if I'm going to answer these in church) is "Are you committed to..." To emphasize that I am already a church member, a part of the body of Christ, and that this is just a public declaration and acknowledgment of that among brothers and sisters in this particular place.

An encouraging discovery...