What God Is Telling Me (Jasper) About Being A Church Member
January 08, 2015
What does it mean to be a member of a church? Pastor Blankenship will be sharing from God’s Word about this topic for several weeks. This question has given me pause to contemplate these things myself. I want to be the best church member that I can be. Here are some of the things God is teaching me:
1. A Church Member Dies to His or Her Own Preferences
"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3
A church member realizes that they are dead. Now I don’t mean that a church member is a pew warmer whose lack of life requires nothing of them. I mean that when we begin a discipleship relationship with Christ, we die to ourselves. We seek out the better for the body of Christ. This can be hard because we all have things that we prefer. Kendra and Jackson love to swim. I am not much of a fan. Still, there are times that I go with them to swim because I realize the importance of shared experience in our family. It is not my preference but I put aside my own desires so that my family can benefit. A church member is committed to doing the same. The style of worship or the activities of the church may not always match what the church member prefers but they try to die to their own desires for the good of the Kingdom.
2. A Church Member Gives
"Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." Luke 6:38 (NLT)
Giving is about much more than money. Good stewardship requires time and talents as well. There are false teachers who claim the more you give financially the more God will give you financial gain. Although Scripture speaks of the benefits of giving, it is a shallow exegesis to see that as an earthly fortune. God wants all of a person. When we surrender our lives to Him that surrender comes body, mind, spirit and wealth. A church member realizes all that he or she has comes from God. It is a privilege to return our time, talents and money to The Giver. Many churches have 10% of their membership doing 100% of the work. A church member realizes that God requires us to give selflessly for the advancement of the Kingdom. A church member, myself included, should see giving money and effort as a requirement to being a part of a body of believers.
3. A Church Member Cares
"Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
If you are like me, you find it hard to fathom how people get through the difficulties of life without a church family. A church member understands that we are one in Christ. When one of us is hurting, we are all hurting. A church member feels the pain of those around him or her. Since we have already died to ourselves, it becomes natural for a church member to care for his or her brothers and sisters. God saw the need for a lifting of our burdens being so important that He became one of us. He became flesh and dwelt among us so that we could receive His ultimate comfort. As a church member, I need to reflect the love of Christ by being willing and available to help others through the hard times in life.
There are many other things that are required of church membership but at this moment in my own walk with The Lord, these three are what he has laid on my heart. I want to be a selfless, giving, caring church member. My prayer is that you will have that desire as well.
-Jasper Rains is our Minister of Discipleship and Administration. He has been a part of the Parkway Family since 2005.