On April 24th, 1994, I confessed my faith given in Baptism on confirmation at St. John's Lutheran, Wadena, MN. Did I exactly know what I was doing? Not necessarily, but I know I took it serious. But I don't know if I really understood the confession of faith that I was making (I'm lucky that God is patient with me). Over the years, our congregation of St. John's Lutheran Church, North Prairie, WI has had thousands of people confess the same faith in front of God and have become members of our church.
I reflect on our confession of faith we make at confirmation and also when we becomes members in other congregations very often. On the day we confirm our faith we are making a major statement. We are saying that I and this church believes in the truth of God's Word and also saying, THIS IS MY CHURCH! I am a stockholder in God's church and if it "succeeds" I am successful, and if it fails, then I fail. And since the ministry of this church will go beyond my days, what is my part in making sure this ministry continues?
Do we love our churches as much as we ought too? Whether it is as a member, leader, called worker, or pastor, when needs arrive in the church, do we as individuals step it up to make sure that it happens? Do we love the church as what it is, God's church? And am I willing to give everything I got (time, money, talents) in order for the ministry to succeed?
I believe that most people do want to do this, but we also could always do more. As we think about our churches where we hold membership, may we always ask the question, "How can I love my church even more?" This is what I ask myself every day and ask the Lord for strength to do what He has called me to do.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy