(This sermon is based on the book “I Am a Church Member” by Thom Rainer)
With 9 out of 10 churches declining or growing at a rate slower than their community, church members must take time for careful examination about themselves and their church. Being connected to a local church is essential (not optional) for spiritual growth because one of God’s primary reasons for establishing it is to help and encourage Christians as they grow in faith, hope, and love. Consider that our Church Constitution says, “It is the purpose of this church to promote the interests of the Kingdom of God by evangelizing the unsaved and seeking the spiritual improvement of its members through the Gospel as set forth in the New Testament.” Below are a few important ways to lead your family to be healthy church members:
- Pray Together for Your Church. What do you say about your church to others? Do you normally speak about what you don’t like? It has been jokingly said that many church members eat the same lunch every Sunday: “Roasted Preacher”. Your words are powerful and you should pray for your church regularly. Pray for your church because it is under constant spiritual attack. Pray for unity. Pray for God’s protection on its leaders and members. Pray that all the ministries and activities would result in the spiritual maturity of its members and the salvation of those who are unsaved. Pray that everyone would love one another and share the good news of Jesus Christ with those who are not Christians. Will you commit to praying for your church and leading your family to do so as well?
- Learn Together with Your Church. Do you value the teaching of the church? First Baptist has godly Bible teachers for every age teaching the Bible every week. This is a tremendous blessing that I pray you are taking advantage of and you can show your appreciation to your teachers through your attendance. The teaching of the Church is a valuable supplement to your own Bible Study. God has provided Sunday School classes, sermons, and Small Groups to help you grow in the knowledge of God and the Bible. Also, the church is an ideal place to work on the application of all you are learning. Please do not neglect the valuable teaching and learning that occurs in Sunday School and our various other children’s ministries. Will you commit to learning at church and leading your family as well?
- Worship Together with Your Church. Do you believe worship in the local church is important? Self-professed Christians who choose not to regularly attend worship services give a variety of reasons, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that they do not understand the reason for having worship services. It is not about the music, it is not about the offering, it is not about the “hypocrites”, it isn’t even about the sermon. The only reason we have worship services is because we desire to worship God together. If you come for any other reason than to worship God, you will either become disgruntled about the service or you will find any excuse not to come. Valuing the worship services do not necessarily mean that you have perfect attendance, but it does mean attendance is something you value. Self-professed Christians should never be “too busy for church”. Will you commit to worshipping regularly with the church and leading your family to do so as well?
- Serve Together in Your church. Is your main goal at church to serve or to be served? What do you do when you do not get your way? It is very important that all Church members be servants. What if every Church member served in the local church in at least one area? The result would be an overflow of helpers in every ministry area. Every Christian is called to serve and equipped to serve others in the name of Christ. Every church, including this one, has many opportunities to serve and each ministry needs people to help serve. Will you commit to serving enthusiastically in the church and leading your family to do so as well?
Do you love your church and serve joyfully in it? Are you teaching your family to love the local church? Let us all make the commitment to fall deeper in love with the church because it belongs to Jesus and He gave His life for it.
Grow Group Guide
I Will Lead My Family to Be Healthy Church Leaders
As a result of this sermon, prayerfully consider making the following pledge to God to be a functioning Church member:
I am a church member. I will lead my family to be good members of this church as well. We will pray together for our church. We will worship together in our church. We will serve together in our church. And we will ask Christ to help us fall deeper in love with this church because He gave His life for her.
Questions for Study: (From “I Am a Church Member”)
- How does the biblical teaching of the log and the speck in Matthew 7 apply to church membership?
- What is the relationship of our immediate families and the church family? What biblical texts make this connection?
- What is the role of a believing spouse to an unbelieving spouse? How does that manifest itself in church membership?
- Why is unconditional love such a challenge, especially as it applies to church membership?
- How is Christ’s death on the cross an example for us as church members relating to one another?