In reading the first chapter of “I am a Church Member” we dealt with the subject of Being a ‘Functional’ Member. The premise behind this chapter was to show us the Biblical view of what it means to be a member. Unfortunately, many people have an UN-biblical view of what it means to be a member.
The author compared church membership to being that of a membership in a country club. In a country club, you pay TO BE Served and to be waited on. It’s a problem when we buy into this view of membership in our churches. An example would be to say things like, “I pay tithes and offering and I expect TO BE SERVED, or I expect to hear good music or expect the preacher to not preach too long or to say things like, “what THEY need to be doing is…””
Not to be Served, but to Serve
Jesus showed us what the church should be doing when He knelt before His disciples and began washing their feet. He was letting them know, and us too, that we are not here to be served, but to serve. In a country club we pay others to do the work for us, but in the church we all have a serving role or function.
Many Members – ONE Body
Scripture reminds us that we who are believers are many members who make up one body. In other words we are all a part of the whole and each part has to do its work. To explain this concept, the Apostle Paul writes and uses the human body to make his point: some are eyes, ears, hands, feet – all of which are important to the functioning of the body even those organs that can not be seen. It is the same with the church, everyone is important and every role and function is an essential FUNCTIONING part of the body. When we ceased to fulfill our role, the entire body suffers as a result.
The Biblical model of membership is ‘EVERYONE’ is involved in ministry and is a FUNCTIONING part of the body. I agree with the author when he says that an inactive member is an oxymoron. Jesus didn’t set up His church that way. We are all to be a part, so we must find our place in the larger circle of ministry.
John F. Kennedy is known for this statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Kennedy was letting America know that we should all be doing our part to make a better America. So it is with the church,
Ask not what your church can do for you, rather what you can do for your church.
Attached is a study guide: Chapt 1 Functioning Church Member that you may find helpful in your small groups.