What should a church expect from its members?
A church should expect that its members will:
- Attend services regularly. Hebrews 10:25 commands Christians not to forsake assembling together. Attending services regularly is one of the basic commitments of membership and one of the basic ways that a church member can grow in the faith, get to know other Christians, and allow the church leaders to shepherd and watch over his life.
- Attend communion particularly. Members should strive to be present when Christ’s death is commemorated and the church’s unity is displayed in communion.
- Attend members’ meetings consistently (if the church is congregational). This is when the church makes decisions as a church that affect the whole church.
- Pray regularly. If your church has a membership directory, consider encouraging members to use it as a prayer list.
- Give regularly. The apostle Paul writes, “One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches” (Gal. 6:6).
- Build relationships with other members. Being a member in a local church is like being a hand or an eye (1 Cor. 12:21). You can’t function without all the other parts of the body. Just as a body functions when each part does its job and works together with all the other members, a local church is built up into maturity in Christ as the members minister in an intimately interrelated way (Eph. 4:15-16, 1 Cor. 12:12-26). So a church should expect that its members will build relationships with other members.
- Submit to the church’s leaders. The Scripture says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Heb. 13:17).
- Serve as God gives opportunity. God has given spiritual gifts to every member of the body of Christ so that everyone would use his or her gifts to build up the entire body (1 Cor. 12:7). A church should expect that all of its members will serve the whole church as God enables.
(Some of this material has been adapted from Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever, pages 161-163)