open enrollment at church?

Joel Zehring often makes thoughtful comments on this site, but I especially appreciated his response to my blog last month on whether we are asking the wrong questions. I invited him to share some of his thoughts in a guest post and I love the questions he’s asking. Read more from Joel here.

Dealing with¬†health insurance¬†is not exactly inspiring, but more and more insurance providers are trying something clever: mandatory annual open enrollment. Every year, these insurance companies are requiring all their subscribers to review the available plans and sign up for health insurance based on the most appropriate option for that year. I’d like to be a part of a church that does something similar.

What if, every year, all the members of my congregation reassessed and recommitted to membership together as a church? Every year, I would have to opt back in to commitments we’ve all agreed on. If I felt God calling me and my family to something else, we could go with blessings. If we felt God drawing us together with the same group, we could recommit, voluntarily, with no pressure to maintain the status quo or prop up the organization for the sake of the organization.

This would probably make a church organization way less viable as a borrower in the eyes of banks. This would also make church organizations way less dependable as employers. What churches might gain is a greater sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures. They might gain greater agility to go and join God in the work he is doing in a town, rather than hoping and praying that he blesses the activities they put together. Best of all, they might shed the chains of self-preservation that prevent so many believers from joining God in his work.

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