Thom Rainer, president of Lifeway Christian Resources, has an excellent small book that I would highly recommend that grew out of a popular blog post he did. The book is called I Am A Church Member. Church membership has grown out of style in the last several years with people of all ages. Occasionally, this happens because people don’t want extra responsibilities and obligations in their life. However, for many churches, people don’t join because there are no obligations. One friend explained to me that he wasn’t a member of his church because it meant nothing to be a member so there was no use joining.
Thom Rainer explains it by saying that every member should be a functioning church member. This means that everyone is different but that all the parts make up the whole. Everything is built on a Biblical foundation of love rooted in the truth of the gospel. Secondly, a church member must be unifying.
“You have a responsibility as a church member. You are to be a source of unity. You are never to be a divisive force. You are to love your fellow church members unconditionally. And while that doesn’t mean you agree with everyone all the time, it does mean you are willing to sacrifice your own preferences to keep unity in your church.”
Thirdly, a church member does not let the church be about personal preferences or desires. As a church member, you actually get more out of it if you try to serve others first. Next, a church member prays for the church leaders and leads his family to be healthy church members. And finally, recognize that church membership is a gift. It’s the visual body of Christ.
Churches need to have meaningful church membership with Biblical expectations. Some people have summarized their church’s membership requirements by saying that as a member you will commit to being involved with your time, talent, and treasures. What does your church expect of you? What do you think your church should expect of you?