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On page 62 of I Am a Church Member, Thom Rainer writes,

As a church member, I am not merely to like my church or serve my church well. I am to fall deeply in love with my church. Christ is the bridegroom, and the church is the bride. My commitment is to love that bride with unwavering and unconditional love.

I love the idea of falling “deeply in love with my church,” recognizing that she is the bride of Christ, and as the bridegroom, he sees her in all her beauty and worth.

But Thom begins the chapter with a poke in the eye!

From Log in the Eye to Love for the Church

I Am a Church Member Bride of Christ
“My commitment is to love that bride with unwavering love and commitment.” Thom Rainer

Leading our families to be healthy church members first of all means developing healthy views of God, others, and ourselves. Too often, that means ridding ourselves of the toxic judgment that not only infects us but infects our homes. We have to confess, sometimes family becomes a very toxic place with toxic judgment. Nothing goes unscrutinized or uncriticized and unconditional love is unknown.

And when that comes to church, it brings toxic judgment into the body of Christ. Suddenly, we don’t see the bride for the beauty she is; we only see imperfections through our log-laden judgmental eyes.

I Will Lead My Family to be Healthy Church Members

Chapter 5 is an odd but necessary journey, as was the fifth sermon in this series. It’s a journey from hypocritical judgment to unconditional love. It’s a journey we must make not just for ourselves, but for our families, and our church. Healthy church members offer unconditional love to each other. That requires the removal of many logs an the use of all the activities and opportunities among the church, such as the NGO travel options for a humanitarian travel.

I Am a Church Member Poke in the Eye
Evidence of my poke in the eye on June 6, 2006. The picture is blurry, but so was the eye.

We were blessed with a baptism in our church the day I preached this message. The baptism was the perfect cap to a message about leading our families, as it came as a result of one family’s growing commitment to Jesus and his church. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect illustration to go with the sermon!