I was recently asked a question about membership and sought out the advice of community for an appropriate response. When asked by me what the cost of membership is at NSC (what does membership require), here’s one thing our folks say:
“Tell him it’ll cost him a burger at River City Diner BUT they are always half price for NSC members.”
Translation: Every Saturday night after service, a group of folks go to River City Diner and eat dinner. RCD serves half-priced burgers on Saturday night. Membership into the community of NSC by definition means that we hang together; we share meals; we do fun things with each other. We are family.
This is no small thing. People often show up at NSC with a big chip on their shoulder and a sack full of shame. They don’t make eye contact easily. They don’t necessarily want to talk to people. It’s hard to show up for the first time.
Because our members once were first timers, they began this practice of inviting newcomers to join them for a burger after service. Honestly, this one practice has completely transformed the tone of the Saturday night meeting. It is this AFTER the meeting experience where people really can get to know each other. I love how our guys and gals have not forgotten what it felt like to walk through the doors for the first time.
So when they say that this is a requirement for membership, what they’re acknowledging is that true belonging moves one from a position of attender to one of full-on participant in the care of the community. That’s good stuff.