So this past Sunday was the official “new member welcome” at church. Towards the end of both services the new member came up, answered three questions (I believe the answers were “yes,” “yes, with the help of God,” and “I do so intend with the help of God,” although maybe not in that order), and then received packets. Even though we’ve been at the church since the end of January, I got to go up for it. I guess I didn’t technically have to, but during the early service only one other new member was present, so I told him in advance I would go up with him so he wouldn’t be alone.
This morning I finally opened up the packet to see all of the information enclosed. A cover letter, forms to fill out, a history of our church, the consistution and bylaws and the policy for working with youth are all part of it. Very thorough, almost information overload. I was laughing about the forms – name, address, phone, etc. for the directory, plus willingness to get involved in church activities and basics like baptism and confirmation dates. I laughed because most of that info is stuff they have already for us. Then I turned back to the cover letter to find a note written by the office administrator, saying it wasn’t all necessary but she wanted us to have it to see what they give out.
It is a delicate line to balance between being a member of the church and being the pastor’s wife. I constantly struggle with knowing where to get involved, and how much to get involved. It’s a lot harder to detatch from a ministry when you aren’t just a member. Of course, I think the more involved members have the same struggle of detatching from expectations when they’ve been doing something for a long time. For example, every church has that team of two or three people who ALWAYS do crafts for VBS. What if one summer they were all busy that week? This is true for many ministries at church – once you get involved, you can’t get out unless you have a REALLY good reason. I do like that at our new church there is a quicker turnover for leadership. I’m not sure what the exact term is but I think it’s 2-3 years and that’s it, no serving a second term. Our last church had three years per term, maximum of two terms, but almost everyone would run again unopposed so the leadership rarely changed. Not a good system, in my opinion. Creates stagnation of ideas.
So I guess I’m OFFICIALLY a member of Gloria Dei. Good thing, since I’m not going anywhere and I’m already signed up for serving in a few areas.