Saturday, January 16, 2016

Memberships: Investing Time and Money into Your Interests and Passions

January is normally dues paying time for my memberships. So at the beginning of each year, I evaluate my memberships in order to see if there are any I want to add or remove based on my changing interests, financial situation and geographic locale.

With a wide variety of interests and passions, there are many good associations, leagues and societies to support with my time and money. But with limited time and finances--and with only one life to live ("it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment," Hebrews 9:27)--I must choose and be intentional. This includes limited time to read the monthly, quarterly or annual periodicals published and sent by some entities as a membership benefit.

Below are the 19 entities I am a member of because I believe in and want to support what the non-profit entity stands for and does. Most (11) have annual dues ($20-$100), one (1) has a one-time membership fee, some (5) are academic in nature and some (8) are free based simply on gathering together because of mutual beliefs or interest. Six of the 16 entities have origins that date back to the nineteenth century, the oldest forming in 1803. The newest entity formed in 2000.

My fellow kingdom-minded Christian or otherwise, what are you interested in and passionate about? How can you go "about doing good" and bless an entity by your membership dues, involvement and/or advocacy and therefore increase an entity's influence by "strength in numbers (members)"?

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, 
especially to those who are of the household of faith."

"Jesus of Nazareth . . . went about doing good
. . . for God was with him."
Acts 10:38

"learn to do good"
Isaiah 1:17

Local Church & Denominational Affiliation
Immanuel Baptist Church (Louisville, Kentucky)
~ Member, 2013-
~ Est. 1887; "building a community from all cultures where Christ is King"
~ See David N. Theobold, A Great People's Church: A History of Immanuel Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky, 1887-2005 (2005)

The most important membership in life is with a blood-bought local "church
of the living God, the pillar and ground [buttress] of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15),
and which has the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ
as her Head (Eph. 5:23, Col. 1:18):

". . . the church of God, which [the Lord Jesus Christ] obtained
[bought, purchased] with his own blood."

". . . you were ransomed . . . not with perishable things such as gold or silver,
but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot."

~ Recommended resources: Bobby Jamieson, Going Public: Why Baptism is Required for Church Membership (2015); Thom S. Rainer, I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference (2013); Jonathan Leeman, Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus (2012) and The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love: Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline (2010); and Thabiti M. Anyabwile, What Is a Healthy Church Member? (2008) . . . Online, visit 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches

~ Member, 2013-
~ Est. 1837; "The Body shall serve and assist the churches in their sovereign capacity by the providing of resources and the facilitating of cooperation so that both the Body and the churches may fulfill the Great Commission [Matthew 28:18-20]"; consists of nearly 2,400 autonomous churches; bi-weekly newspaper (print and online) Western Recorder (1825- )
~ State affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention (est. 1845, over 46,000 churches)
~ Immanuel Baptist Church is a member of KBC's Long Run Baptist Association (est. 1803)

Pastoral Fellowship
Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (F.I.R.E.)
~ Member (individual), 2011-
~ Est. 2000; "a unifying network for independent Reformed (and Reforming) baptistic churches to experience mutual edification [Romans 1:12], fellowship, cooperation and prayerful support in ministries and missions"
~ Membership includes annual regional (fall) and national (spring) conferences

ALSO: When time allows--and though no formal membership exists--attendee at:

Together for the Gospel (T4G)
~ Est. 2006; biennial conference for pastors; Louisville, KY; attendee, 2012, 2014, 2016; most recent is in April 2016 with the theme "We Are Protestant: The Reformation at 500"

Sovereign Grace Bible Conference (every summer, New Home Missionary Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN, formerly/pre-2010 in Lexington, KY; attendee, 2003, 2004, 2013)
-and- Embracing the Truth Bible Conference (every spring, Hamilton Chapel Church, Lebanon, TN; attendee, 2016)
~ Annual gatherings of African-American Calvinistic Baptist churches--and that are connected to the late D. J. Ward (died 2008), elder/pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Lexington, KY--throughout primarily the American South and Southeast; the two Tennessee conferences are also attended by many who are not elders/pastors--all are welcome and invited to listen to great Christ-centered teaching and preaching, and some of the warmest and sweetest fellowship that exists this side of heaven.

Theology (Protestant)
Evangelical Theological Society
~ Member, 2007-
~ Est. 1949; "a professional, academic society of Biblical scholars, teachers, pastors, and others involved in evangelical scholarship. We serve Jesus Christ and his church by fostering conservative, evangelical biblical scholarship"
~ Membership includes receiving the academic quarterly Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS); presenting papers/lectures at ETS regional (spring) and national (fall) conferences; book and conference registration discounts
~ See Andreas J. Kostenberger, ed., Quo Vadis [Where Are You Going], Evangelicalism? Perspectives on the Past, Direction for the Future: Nine Presidential Addresses from the First Fifty Years of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (2007)

Missions (Protestant)
Evangelical Missiological Society
~ Member, 2007-
~ Est. 1990; "exists to advance the cause of world evangelization. We do this through study and evaluation of mission concepts and strategies from a biblical perspective with a view to commending sound mission theory and practice to churches, mission agencies and schools of missionary training around the world"
~ Membership includes receiving EMS's annual academic book published by William Carey Library (e.g., in 2015, the complementary book was Diaspora Missiology: Reflections on Reaching the Scattered Peoples of the World, in 2014 The Missionary Family: Witness, Concerns, Care); presenting papers/lectures at annual regional (spring) and national (fall) conferences

History (4)

American Society of Church History
~ Member, 2007-
~ Est. 1888; "a scholarly community dedicated to studying the history of Christianity and how it relates to culture in all time periods, locations and contexts"
~ Membership includes receiving the quarterly academic journal Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture; presenting papers/lectures at ASCH national conferences
~ See George H. Shriver, Philip Schaff [1819-1893]: Christian Scholar and Ecumenical Prophet; Centennial Biography for the American Society of Church History (1987)

Nineteenth Century Studies Association
~ Member, 2016-
~ Est. 1979; "purpose of this non-profit educational organization shall be to advance research and scholarship, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary studies, in all aspects of nineteenth-century culture"
~ Membership includes receiving the annual interdisciplinary academic journal Nineteenth Century Studies, and presenting papers/lectures at NCSA's annual national conference
--> NOTE: My areas of interest and scholarly pursuits regarding the "long" nineteenth century--chiefly America's antebellum (pre-Civil War) period--include the Second Great Awakening (1790-1830) and especially in New England and the Connecticut-born evangelist James Brainerd Taylor (1801-1829); early years of the American Protestant foreign missionary movement (mostly the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, est. 1810); origins and growth of Evangelical Protestant theological education (1807- ); Lewis and Clark/Corps of Discovery expedition (1803-06); westward expansion frontiersmen, emigrant trails (California TrailOregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail, etc.) and Protestant pioneer missionary activity in The Great American West; relations between Native American tribes and the U.S. government; and British and American involvement in the Middle East (mainly Palestine/Israel)

Filson Historical Society 
~ Member, 2013- 
~ Est. 1884; "Kentucky's oldest and largest privately supported historical society" whose mission "is to collect, preserve and tell the significant stories of Kentucky and Ohio Valley history and culture"; headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky; covers entire Ohio River Valley ("The First American West") and thus the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia
~ Membership includes free lectures and archival research visits; members-only access to online podcasts and research tools; receiving the quarterly newsmagazine The Filson and the quarterly academic journal Ohio Valley History (published collaboration of FHS, Cincinnati Museum Center and University of Cincinnati)

Louisville Historical League
~ Member, 2013-
~ Est. 1972; "dedicated to promoting the appreciation and preservation of our cultural heritage and historic environment in the metro Louisville area [est. 1778]"
~ Membership includes free lectures

Motorcycling (2)
American Motorcyclist Association
~ Member, 2007-
~ Est. 1924; "to promote the motorcycle lifestyle  and protect the future of motorcycling"; headquartered in Pickerington, Ohio; USA's largest motorcycle advocacy organization (over 200,000 members)--including for women riders--with an emphasis on "Rights, Riding, Racing"
~ Membership includes supporting AMA government relations/activism in Washington, D.C.; monthly magazine American Motorcyclist; online access to members-only area; AMA Roadside Assistance (for motorcycle and car); money-saving discounts at many motorcycle retailers, hotels and motorcycle/car rental agencies, and with certain motorcycle magazines and at certain motorcycle events and races (AIMExpo, AMA Supercross, Arenacross); riding events and rally opportunities with the AMA Premier Touring Series and/or with a local AMA Club; discount to annual AMA Convention and AMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (every October in Orlando, Florida), AMA Championship Banquet and AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days (every July in Lexington, Ohio); admission discount to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame (opened 1990)

Iron Butt Association
~ Member, 2015- 
~ Est. 1984; "The World's Toughest Motorcycle Riders"; "Dedicated to the Sport of Safe Long Distance Motorcycling"; over 60,000 members; one-time membership fee (no annual dues)
~ I became an IBA member after completing a "Saddlesore 1000" (1,000-mile motorcycle trip in 24 hours or less): rode 1,053 miles in 21 hours, Louisville, Kentucky to Dryden, Ontario, Canada, August 8, 2015, on my 2004 Suzuki V-Strom DL650

Public Safety (2)
Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)
~ Member, 2016-
~ Est. 1999 by Louisville Metro Police Department; LMPD volunteers provide about 1,900 hours of monthly service

Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association
~ Member, 2016-
~ Alumni, LMPD Citizens Police Academy (led by Community Services Division), Class No. 27, 13 sessions, Sept.-Nov. 2016

Local Community Leadership
Louisville Leadership Center
~ Member, December 2016
~ Est. 1979; LLC "is a non-profit, member-oriented organization whose mission is to grow and connect a diverse network of leaders who serve as catalysts for a world-class community."
~ Alumni, LLC's 2.5-day "Focus Louisville" program, December 2016

Healthcare (Infection Control, Sterile Processing of Surgical Instrumentation) 
International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM)
~ Member, 2014-
~ Est. 1958; headquartered in Chicago, Illinois; "Instrumental to Patient Care"; over 26,000 global members
~ Is the international certification association for my "tent making" (Acts 18:3) Louisville hospital job (2013- ) as a Sterile Processing Technician--see my "Perspectives" op-ed articles in Infection Control Today magazine: "Reflections on My First 18 Months as a Sterile Processing Technician" (August 2015, pages 8 and 10) and "Just a Tech? The Benefits and Greatness of Being--and Remaining--a Sterile Processing Technician" (February 2016, pages 8 and 10)
~ Membership includes the bi-monthly newsmagazine Communique: A Publication of IAHCSMM and bi-monthly e-newsletter Central Source; discounts on IAHCSMM resources and for annual national conference; member-only online access to various sterile processing resources
~ See photos and feature cover article in IAHCSMM's September/October 2015 Communique (pages 56-60) of the hospital department I work at: "Triple Crown Certification: How One CS Department is Winning the Race for Quality, Safety and Professionalism"; also see here for additional information on the feature magazine article
~ See also photos and feature cover article in Healthcare Purchasing News, May 2016 (Vol. 40, No. 5, pages 10-17), "Jewish SPD Bolsters Package Deal within Regional IDN: Winning team weathers past, present and future in positive flux" (our department was HPN's "2016 CS/SPD Department of the Year"); see also here for the digital copy of the May 2016 issue
~ I initiated and helped organize the "Jewish Hospital: Past, Present and Future" program at Louisville's Jewish Hospital (est. 1903), August 21, 2016; co-sponsored by KentuckyOne Health and the Louisville Historical League; see's pre-event coverage "Jewish Hospital explains guiding principles, recent feats and new initiatives" and's post-event coverage "Presentation showcases Jewish Hospital Past, Present and Future"

Kentuckiana IAHCSMM Chapter
~ Member, 2016- ; vice president, 2016-17 (former secretary, April-Sept. 2016)
~ Est. April 2, 2016; regional IAHCSMM chapter for Kentucky and southern Indiana

Physical Fitness
Planet Fitness
~ Member (home club, Louisville, Kentucky), 2015-
~ Est. 1992; "a unique environment where anyone--and we mean anyone--can be comfortable. . . where a lasting, active lifestyle can be built"; headquartered in Newington, New Hampshire