The tag line from the old American Express commercials said, “Membership has it’s privileges.” This is also true for church members. However, it is also true that “Membership has it’s responsibilities”. I am sharing this article today, from “Nine Marks Of A Healthy Church”, by Mark Dever, Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.
I would ask each church member, “active” and “inactive”, (my personal opinion is that the term "Inactive Member" is an oxymoron) to prayerfully read this article and consider our own relationship to the church.
A church should expect that its members will:
- Attend services regularly. Hebrews 10:25 commands
Christians not to forsake assembling together. Attending services
regularly is one of the basic commitments of membership and one of the
basic ways that a church member can grow in the faith, get to know other
Christians, and allow the church leaders to shepherd and watch over his
- Attend communion particularly. Members should strive to be
present when Christ’s death is commemorated and the church’s unity is
displayed in communion.
- Attend members’ (business) meetings consistently (if the church is
congregational). This is when the church makes decisions as a church that
affect the whole church.
- Pray regularly. If your church has a membership
directory, consider encouraging members to use it as a prayer list.
- Give regularly. The apostle Paul
writes, “One who is taught the word must share all good things with the
one who teaches” (Gal. 6:6).
- Build relationships with other members. Being a member in a
local church is like being a hand or an eye (1 Cor. 12:21). You can’t
function without all the other parts of the body. Just as a body func
tions when each part does its job and works together with all the other members, a local church is built up into maturity in Christ as the members minister in an intimately interrelated way (Eph. 4:15-16, 1 Cor. 12:12-26). So a church should expect that its members will build relationships with other members.
- Submit to the church’s leaders. The Scripture says,
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over
your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this
with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you”
- Serve as God gives opportunity. God has given spiritual gifts to every member of the body of Christ so that everyone would use his or her gifts to build up the entire body (1 Cor. 12:7). A church should expect that all of its members will serve the whole church as God enables.
(this material has been adapted from Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever, pages 161-163)
How about you? What does your church mean to you? Do you take your church membership seriously? May God speak to all of our hearts through this article!