There are many people looking for a church. Some are looking for a bible-preaching church. Others are searching for a Spirit-led church. More are looking for a church where their family can connect. There are those who want to join an evangelistic church or a mission church or kid-friendly church. Then there are some who are looking for a church to serve as their chapel, just in case they need someone during a birth, a marriage or a death.
Perhaps we would have stronger churches in our day if people asked what kind of person joins a church. Or, to word it another way, what does a member of a church look like?
Here are my answers.
1. First and foremost, a member of the church must be BORN AGAIN.
You can say you are member of the church, yet until you are born again in Christ you are only a spectator. Jesus said,
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
So, the first requirement for church membership is to be saved.
2. A member of the church must be SPIRIT-FILLED.
Too many in the church are led by a religious spirit rather than by the Holy Spirit. Church members should be filled and led by the Holy Spirit.
Eph 5:18b says, “…but be filled with the Spirit…”
3. A member of the church must be a GENEROUS, CHEERFUL GIVER.
I am continually amazed at how many people claim to be a member of the church and yet not give one dime to the kingdom of God through their church. The Bible calls that person a thief (see Malachi 3:8-10).
The Bible teaches this about giving:
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
4. A church member must be a MINISTER IN THE CHURCH.
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11
When God saved you, He gifted you. Your gifting serves a very real purpose. You are to use our gifts to serve others in the church.
5. A church member must be a MISSIONARY IN THE WORLD.
Jesus gave the following instructions to the church:
8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This was not a suggestion. These words were not preferences. This was a mandate for the church – for every member of the church, not just the church leaders. Every member of the church is a missionary to the world. It is every member’s call to take the Gospel into the world.
We complete our study tomorrow.