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Healthy Targets

Healthy Structures – Membership

This week I share the eighth of nine targets for healthy churches – Membership.  The three targets under the category Healthy Structures are Leadership, Membership, and Discipleship.  One of the New Testament images of the church is that of a Body made up of many members (1 Cor. 12:12-14, 27).  Paul goes on to address that as a member in one unified Body we have a symbiotic connection with others in order to help the whole Body accomplish its designed purpose, namely, to fulfil the Great Commission.  Jesus never intended his followers to live in isolation, we need one another.  Therefore, every follower of Jesus is called to covenant with a local church through membership in order to live out the “one another“ commands of the New Testament.   Within the context of a church, members are to yield and be accountable to the leadership of those appointed and ordained as pastors, and mutually to one another as a congregation. But more than mere members we are family as well.  Often the New Testament writers used the terms “brothers” and “sister” when addressing the saints. In this context we gather not only to love and serve the Father who has adopted us as his children, but also to love and serve one another as family members and heirs of a shared promise.  As fellow saints let us seek to persevere together in growing in godliness, pursuing holiness and accomplishing God’s mission.  Let us then endeavor to worship, work, and witness and together glorify our Father who loves us and made us one big family. Dr. Gary Mathes