Each of us is important to the Body of Christ. Everyone is essential to a healthy and properly functioning local church. This sermon series and bible study will use the book “I Am a Church Member” by Thom S. Rainer. This short but extremely helpful book focuses on two very different perspectives of church membership. The author has tapped into the challenge that every church is facing today, declining attendance, and dwindling membership. Every believer must see his or her church membership as an honor, privilege, and joy.
Rainer writes, “I am suggesting that congregations across America are weak because many of us church members have lost the biblical understanding of what it means to be a part of the Body of Christ. We join our churches expecting others to serve us, to feed us, and to care for us. We don’t like the hypocrites in the church, but we fail to see our own hypocrisies. God did not give us local churches to become country clubs where membership means we have privileges and perks. He placed us in churches to serve, to care for others, to pray for leaders, to learn, to teach, to give, and, in some cases, to die for the sake of the gospel.
The book is divided into six chapters with each title declaring something about the type of church member we should be.
Ch1: “I Will Be a Functioning Church Member” Every member is vital to the body of Christ, but when many of the members fail to use their gifts, the church suffers.
Ch2: “I Will Be a Unifying Church Member” Church members have a responsibility to fight for (no pun intended) church unity at all times.
Ch3: “I Will Not Let My Church Be about My Preferences and Desires” This chapter is probably the most important. Serving others is what Jesus did and what He calls us to do within the church.
Ch4: “I Will Pray for My Church Leaders” Rainer emphasizes that God works through the prayers of believers –church members should diligently pray for their pastors and leaders.
Ch5: “I Will Lead My Family to Be Healthy Church Members” The church desperately needs more families who love the church and who worship, serve, and pray for the church.
Ch6: “I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift” The book ends focusing on the need to see church membership as a precious gift. We need more church members who are grateful for the gift of the local church and their membership within the Body of Christ.
Pastor C.A. Lundy