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Church membership and being "fishers of men"
Have you ever thought of yourself as a “fisher of men”?
You are probably familiar with the term from the Bible account of Christ Jesus calling Simon and his brother Andrew to leave their fishing nets and “follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 ). He made this demand for all Christians.
Mary Baker Eddy took this idea one step further when she described Christian Scientists as “fishers of men” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 295 ). In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mrs. Eddy uses Christ Jesus’ commands to elaborate on the demands of a Christian, “ ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect!’ ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature!’ ‘Heal the sick!’ ” She continues: “Why has this Christian demand so little inspiration to stir mankind to Christian effort? Because men are assured that this command was intended only for a particular period and for a select number of followers” (pp. 37-38 ). Instead, Christianity is meant to be spread “to all mankind and in every hour” (Science and Health, p. 494 ).
Christianity is meant to be spread “to all mankind and in every hour”
Sharing Christian Science can come very naturally — perhaps with a comforting Bible verse, a quote from Mrs. Eddy's writings, or even a relevant article from the periodicals. What about sharing membership? Have you ever considered inviting someone who has been practicing Christian Science to become a member? In the early days of the Church the only way to join was by an invitation from a member. Because more people wanted to join the Church than members were inviting, they needed to change their approach to one where membership could be initiated by the applicant.
But isn't approving an application a huge responsibility? If spiritual sense and inspiration guide thought, it can be an experience filled with growth and joy (for both the applicant and approver). Nathan Talbot provides some great insights on approving applications in his article, One way to shine.
Applications for membership with The Mother Church are welcome at any time throughout the year. Completed forms for the next admission should reach the Clerk no later than May 28. Download an application today!