About twelve years ago, someone (who no longer attends EBC or even lives in SC) came to me and told me I should produce a document outlining the rights and privileges of being a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Hmmmph. After a dozen years, I’ve got a rough-cut list.
But, first: DID YOU COME TO SERVE, OR TO BE SERVED??
SERIOUSLY?? Do you seek membership with a church BECAUSE OF THE BENEFITS YOU GAIN?? IS THAT WHY JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS, SO YOU COULD HAVE FAMILY LIFE CENTER PRIVILEGES???
Here are the top ten benefits of being a member of Ebenezer (or, pretty much ANY Baptist church):
1. You have the right to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus Christ. COMPLETELY.
2. You have the right to LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD with all of your body, mind, soul. and strength, and you have the right to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as you love yourself.
3. You have the right to go and sin no more, as commanded to by Jesus.
4. You have the right to give your TIME, your TALENT, and your TITHE to God. You also have the right to GIVE YOURSELF COMPLETELY TO HIM AND HIS WILL.
5. You have the right to be judged by the ONE TRUE JUDGE. Jesus Christ. You DO NOT have the right to JUDGE OTHERS, as NONE OF US ARE QUALIFIED.
6. You have the right to DISCOVER THE GIFTS AND TALENTS GOD HAS GIVEN YOU and to exercise them with the full empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
7. You have the right to know the Holy Spirit walks with you, intercedes for you, prays for you when you don’t even know what to pray, gives you the words you need when you just can’t come up with them, and in every other way comes alongside you and holds you up for the purposes of the Kingdom of God.
8. You have the right to be salt to a rotting world and to be light to a dark world.
9. You have the right to find God’s perfect plan for your life, and to follow Him into it with great passion!
And, finally …
10. As a Baptist, you have the right to grape juice and tiny crackers about four times a year.