Church Membership Responsibility
1 Corinthians 12:12-14
By Glenda Ward
How fortunate we are to be a part of our church through Church Membership. As a Church Member, we bear significant responsibilities. Responsibility and church membership go hand-in-hand. You simply can’t have one without the other. A local church is not a building or a place. A church is the people in the congregation. More specifically a church is born-again, Spirit-filled people who gather regularly in the name of the Lord Jesus and under the authority of God’s Word to profess the true gospel and affirm each other’s citizenship in the Kingdom of God. Church membership shows two important things about the church: the church has a unique identity and the church has a unique authority.
Our membership in our church of Spirit-filled people creates its identity. No longer spiritually dead. We have been made alive in Christ Jesus. We are a new creation, forgiven of our sins, and adopted as God’s sons and daughters (Jeremiah33:31-34; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:7, 13, 22; Romans 8:15). Each church member bears a responsibility to become who we already are in Christ by walking in a manner worthy of the gospel (Ephesians 4:1). Being leads to doing. God has also entrusted our church with a unique authority to render decisions on earth on behalf of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:18). Local churches are embassies of God’s Kingdom.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
In light of the church’s identity and authority these six points summarize the Bible’s teaching on the responsibilities of membership.
If church members don’t assemble, then there’s no church. Our gathering together in the name of the Lord Jesus is part of what makes a church a church. (Hebrews 10:25). Every church member should prioritize the Lord’s Day worshipping with the people of God. Church members may need to assemble for other reasons other than regular church services on Sundays and Wednesday evenings, then church members have a responsibility to gather at those meetings as well.
Protect The Gospel
Entrusting fidelity to the gospel isn’t the responsibility of pastors alone. Every church member is responsible to uphold and affirm the gospel. In Galatians 1:2, 6-7 Paul held the congregation of church members accountable for allowing error to creep in and distort the gospel. Every church member should be able to articulate and defend the substance of the gospel. Christian believers should mature in Christ’s teachings, enabling them to discern true and false doctrine (Ephesians 4:13-14; Philippians 1:9-10; 1 John 4:1-6). When every member accepts the responsibility to protect the gospel, the whole church benefits. Together, we mature in the truth and build ourselves up in the knowledge of the Son of God (Ephesians 4:13).
Define Your Church’s Membership
Together, we as church members are responsible to define our membership. By receiving new members through baptism, transfer by a letter from another church, or by personal statement; a local church tells the watching world, “this person is a member of God’s Kingdom” (Matthew 16:18-19; 18:17-20; 28:16-20). By regularly fellowshipping around the Lord’s table, the members partake of the ongoing sign of church membership, while affirming each other’s status as members of the new covenant (1 Corinthians 10:17; 11:23-26).
Love One Another
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples. If ye love one to another” (John 13:35). Affection for God’s people defines our new identity in Christ Jesus (1 John 4:7). In the New Testament, love is tangible, active, and expressed through service. Every church member is responsible to fulfill the “one another” passages of the New Testament.
If we take responsibility to love one another, then we will actively seek to be discipled and disciple others. We won’t be passive about the church’s unity, but eager to maintain and promote a spirit of unity in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). We will take prayer seriously (1 Thessalonians 5:16; Ephesians6:18), bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), show hospitality (Romans 12:13), and put others’ interests ahead of our own (Philippians 2:4), and seek to develop meaningful relationships.
Evangelize For The Lord
The Great Commission is for every Christian. Jesus has commissioned every church member to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). As a people reconciled to God, we have a responsibility to announce the message of reconciliation to people separated from Christ, without God, and without hope in the world.
Sick And Shut-In
If you are being physically hindered from attending the church of which you are a member, you too still have a Christian responsibility to participate in the up-lifting of the church. Be a prayer warrior for your church praying for the members, specifically those who voiced prayer concerns that are requested by fellow church members. Pray also for your church leadership, for God’s guidance in their church leadership responsibilities as called of God.
Church membership provides you with a number of benefits, such as providing spiritual accountability, connecting you more intimately with the body of Christ, and opening up greater opportunities to serve and be served.
Living out a commitment to your church involves many responsibilities: exemplifying a godly lifestyle in the community, exercising your spiritual gifts in diligent service, contributing financially to the work of the church ministry, giving and receiving correction with meekness and in love, and faithfully participating in congregational worship. Much is expected, but much is at stake. For only when every believer is faithful to this kind of commitment is the church able to live up to its calling as Christ’s representative here on earth. Your membership matters.
Joining a church is not only about what you will gain. Church membership also brings with it several important responsibilities and expectations.
These are common ways in which church members contribute to the life of their church:
Attend Church Services Regularly Give Generously
Pray Consistently Serve Faithfully
Submit Humbly Pursue Holiness
Read and Study Scripture on a Daily Bases Preserve Unity
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County. She is the mother of five grown children. Glenda is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She writes Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. Also testing the field in tributes, individual memorial writings, etc. You can read more good Christian news from Glenda HERE.