I am a Church Member

Definition of a church according to the Bible:
  • An organized body of baptized believers who are equal in rank and privileges – not just anyone and everyone that shows up
  • People united in the belief of what Jesus taught – commitment to know, believe, and follow what the Bible say
  • Covenanting together to do what He commanded – encouraging each other to obey and follow Jesus faithfully
  • Cooperating with other like churches or people in kingdom ministry – we recognize that not every church is striving to follow God’s Word, so we need to be discerning about the churches, missionaries, and ministries with who we cooperate.

I Will Be a Functioning Church Member

Function means to work or operate in a proper or particular way. To fulfill the purpose or task required.

I Will Be a Unifying Church Member

In John 13:35 Jesus said people will know you are my disciples because of your love for each other. Not for the big church buildings, or for the great soup kitchens, or the impressive worship team. All people, outsiders, unbelievers will know how much we love and follow Jesus by how well we love each other. In the verse preceding this, Jesus said I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other like I love you you. How does Jesus love you? Completely, patiently, kindly, unconditionally, sacrificially, humbly, joyfully, mercifully, graciously, forgivingly (all right I made that one up) but any more ways you can think of Jesus love – that’s how we should love each other. Why? Because Jesus is the one thing that unifies us. The Eph 4 passage I read says be be eager to maintain the unity in peace.

I Will Not Let Church be about my Preferences and Desires

In Matthew 20:28 Jesus said, “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”” The word servant appears fifty-seven times in the NT. And the verb serve occurs fifty-eight times. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ; being a member of a church is all about serving. The Apostle Paul said

I Will Pray for My Church Leaders

Paul asked the churches numerous times to pray for him and other church leaders that their ministry would be effective, that they would have opportunities to share the Gospel, that they would have courage to speak when they should and more.
Here are some specifics you can pray for – for me and for our deacons and other ministry leaders too.
  • For preaching and teaching
  • For our marriages and families
  • For protection, reputation and staying above fault
  • Self control and humility
  • For physical, mental, and spiritual health

I Will Lead My Family to be Healthy Church Members

The Bible has a lot to say about how families should be structured. Particularly in Ephesians 5:22 through 6:4, the husband is the leader and has a responsibility before God for the spiritual environment of his home, the purity of his wife, the discipleship of his children. He is called to love his wife unconditionally and sacrificially as Jesus loves the church. And wives are called to respectfully submit to her husband as the church does to Jesus our head.

As a church member, I am responsible to encourage and lead my family to worship, grow, and share together in the church. If you have an unbelieving spouse, the Bible even addresses that saying you have an opportunity to show the love of Christ and have a godly testimony to all in your family.

I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift

Do you want the best church member you can be? It’s all about loving and serving others by treasuring them as gifts from God. Some of those gifts will encourage you and help you. Others will give you opportunities to learn patience, humility, and selflessness. They are all gifts from God.

Your membership at First Baptist or any other church is not about what you are entitled to – it’s about how much you can be thankful for and appreciate the gift God has given you in the church.
God gave you the church as a family to belong, with a pastor and leaders who care for your soul. You will be equipped for ministry. You will be built up in Christ. You will find unity in the faith and greater knowledge of the Son of God. You will be maturing spiritually.

Take Aways

The Biggest question is have you received the gift of salvation? With it comes forgiveness, peace with God, redemption, adoption into God’s family, the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance and eternal life.

Have you recognized the gift God gave you in the church? Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ means you are part of a global family of other believers.

Have you found a local church to call home? Attending is great but belonging is so much greater. Church membership is making a covenant commitment to a group of believers and saying we have unity in the faith, in Jesus Christ and we have a mission to accomplish.

As you saw these six pledges, can you honestly make them and seek to follow them? We take membership seriously because we think it is vitally important for the health of our church. If you are attending regularly, we love having you here, but you haven’t officially said I want to be part of this family.

Are you functioning and serving somewhere in the church? Do you seek to maintain unity and work for peaceful resolutions or is it my way or the highway? Have you been focusing on your preferences instead of loving others? Are you regularly praying for our church leaders? Are you leading your family to be healthy members? Do you value and treasure your church membership?

When you join a church you are asking for help growing and maturing as a follower of Jesus Christ. You are submitting to the authority of church leadership to teach and guide you in your faith. And you have lots of brothers and sisters who want to encourage and build you up. Jesus told his disciples they would need each other after he returned to heaven. Don’t try to go it alone. God knows we will accomplish so much more for His kingdom when we strive together in a church family.
source of six statements: I Am A Church Member by Thom Rainer
We use this book in our Intro to FBC class.