Dean’s previous post deals with the question, ‘Am I a good person?’  Tough question, even tougher to honestly examine ourselves and answer the question.  Interesting, we must answer that question if we are to rightly apply the gospel to ourselves.  If you have asked Dean’s question of yourself and rightly applied it, then I have another question for you.   ‘Are you a good church member?’

This question opens up two major issues in the mind of the average church-goer today.  First, the issue of church membership.  Second, the idea that there is a distinction between a good and poor church member (I will let Dean deal with this land-mine…j/k).

I will deal with both of these issues in some follow-up posts.  Today, I want to assume that the Bible does present church membership as a normative practice and that there are good church members and poor church members.  If these two propositions are true, as I believe, then it is important to ask the question posed in this post.

Are you a good church member? Thabiti M. Anyabwile has written a fantastic book, What Is A Healthy Church Member? in which he examines the question, ‘How can you, an individual member of a local church, contribute to the positive health of your church?’ (14)  He challenges church members to be part of the ministry of the church.  Instead of complaining, he advises church members to be willing ‘…to inspect their hearts, correct their thinking, and apply their hands to the work of the ministry.’ (15)  How does a church member become a healthier member?  He suggests that we think through our church involvement.  Ask ourselves, am I or do I…

  • An expositional listener? Just as the preacher’s agenda should be driven by the meaning of Scripture, so too, should the Christian’s listening agenda be driven by the meaning of the Scripture.  For this reason, I publish the text for next week’s sermon in our bulletin.  I want our people to be interacting with the text throughout the week so they are engaged on Sunday morning and actively applying the truth of the passage all week.
  • A biblical theologian? Do you know God?  Do you know his story of redemption?  Knowing God and his story of redemption (Creation–>Fall–>Redemption–>New Creation) helps us to understand our place in the story.  It also guards us from starting with ‘I’ in our interpretation and application of Scripture.
  • Gospel saturated? Do you think the gospel is only about getting in?  Or do you understand that the gospel impacts every area of our lives from the beginning of salvation to glorification?
  • Genuinely converted? Do you rightly understand sin, faith and repentance?
  • A biblical evangelist? Are you faithfully sharing the good news of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected?  Are you faithfully calling on people to respond with faith and repentance?
  • A committed member? Do you use your local church or is central to your life?
  • Seek discipline? There are two types of discipline: Formative and corrective.  Are you seeking both so you may be more and more like Christ?
  • A growing disciple? Growth in the church and the life of a Christian is normal.  Are you in the same place you were a year or two ago or are you progressing?
  • A humble follower? What is your attitude towards God’s Word, church leaders and their authority in your life?
  • A prayer warrior?