Volume. XXX, No. 37
Sunday, 06 March 2016


Duties of Church Members in the Local Church


Every ordinary church member has privileges and duties in a local church. Every single member has a spiritual job to do for the Lord. What then are the responsibilities that come with responsible church membership? Consider the following:
 
1. Attend All Church Services Regularly 
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, ‘And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ You, as a baptized Christian and ordinary member of a church, are responsible to attend Sabbath Services (and Holy Communion) and prayer meetings in your church to worship the Lord regularly. Scripture could not be clearer about this fundamental responsibility. Therefore, give yourself to the reverent worship of God, to take the Lord’s Supper, attend also the Sunday School and membership or catechism classes and be involved in the edifying work of  love and service deeds to the mutual encouragement of the body. If you do not attend church, you forfeit yourself of the privilege of worshiping God and may not be able to fulfill the next few responsibilities. Attendance makes it possible.
 
2. Witness and Propagate the Gospel and Support Missions
As a baptized Christian and ordinary member of a church, we are responsible for the sharing of the gospel of Christ to the saving of souls and to the proper sharing of the gospel and the missions in your church. Be actively involved in missions and in evangelistic outreaches. Romans 1:16 says, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’ Think about Paul’s “shock” in Galatians 1:6-9 that the people were turning to a different gospel (v. 6). He strongly warned the members, and told them to reject even so-called apostles or angels who teach a false gospel (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).

We are to know the gospel and know how to share it. Can you share the gospel in a few minutes? Can you explain the relationship between faith and salvation? Can a Christian live in unrepentant sin? Why is it important for a Christian to affirm the doctrine of Christ or God? What role do fervency, love, service and faithfulness have in promoting a church’s gospel ministry? How can a church not let its ministry be undermined by the world? Be ready to answer queries to guard the gospel. 1 Peter 3:15 says, ‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:’ You should be equipped to answer questions on the faith and be a good testimony for Christ. Know the gospel well to witness for Christ effectively.
 
3. Encourage, exhort, comfort and reach out to other Christians and visitors
As a baptised Christian and ordinary member of a church, we are to exhort others and be willing to share the gospel and support the missions and other ministries in the church by prayers and tangible service.

In a matter of church discipline, Paul addressed the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 5:1–13; 2 Corinthians 2:6–8). Likewise, it is your responsibility, Christian, to receive and welcome members. For you to neglect this work only cultivates complacency, and eventually ecclesiastical liberalism. At members’ meetings, it is both voting for new leaders and members and working to know and be known by your fellow members. You cannot affirm a person you do not know. You are to know personally every member of your church if possible. We can do this work collectively.  Ephesians 4:2-3, ‘With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’

4. Attend Prayer Meeting, Fellowship, Bible Study and Members’ Meetings
2 Corinthians 1:11 says, ‘Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.’ So how do you preach or share the gospel and affirm other members? By showing up consistently for regular Wednesday night prayer meetings, ACM and other members’ meetings and be concerned for others.

Different churches make decisions in different ways. The Presbyterian system of church government is the closest to the Bible. But whatever polity your church uses for making the decisions concerning the work of God, it should be done biblically.

In every church, the prayer and members’ meetings have their challenges. By God’s grace, the church prayer and members’ meetings can be edifying and encouraging to the building up of the flock. The attendance and leading of the pastors, elders and deacons in those meetings are important. Philippians 4:6-7 says, ‘Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’
 
5. Serve God as a Faithful Steward of His Resources and Support the Church
Romans 15:1 says, ‘We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.’ As a baptised Christian and ordinary member of a church, you are responsible for protecting the gospel and the gospel’s ministry in your church by disciplining other church members.

Remember Ephesians 4:15–16. The church grows when we do our part with God’s help. We need to use our time, treasure and talents in building up the church. This includes the ministry of service, ushering, praying, giving to God, fellowship groups, neighbourhood Bible study meetings, Sunday School, evangelism and supporting the church ministry. Let us learn to speak in truth, and help others to grow in the Lord. Be available to serve and support your deacons, elders or pastor in their stewardship.

Basic Christianity involves building up other believers. It is a part of fulfilling the Great Commission and making disciples for Christ.
 
6. Be a Tangible Blessing to Others and a Good Example
Romans 12:11-12 says, ‘Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;’ Your whole life should reflect the love of Christ in word and deed. You are an ambassador and servant of the Lord. Every Christian has been saved by grace through faith in Christ and we are ambassadors for Christ, pleading with sinners to be reconciled to God. This, too, is a part of your calling. The command is to ‘Go and teach (or make disciples) of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19).That includes our dressing (ie modest and appropriate for worship of a thrice holy God and that it will not stumble any one), gait, demeanor and decorum, and our thought life and speech as well, that it will be befitting of our calling as a Christian. Punctuality in worship honours God and continual lateness shows an irreverent attitude and can be a potential stumbling block to others as well
 
7. Support and Pray for Your Pastor, Missionaries and Leaders
 It is the duty of the pastors or elders to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). Pastors, preachers and missionaries and elders are to teach the word, catechising the members of the church in the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF), teaching them the Word of God as they equip the church for effectual service and worship.

You are responsible to avail yourself to the elders’ instruction and counsel. Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching you’ve learned from them (2 Timothy 1:13). Follow their teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, love, endurance and praying along with their persecutions and sufferings (2 Timothy 3:10–11).
 
7. Membership has Privileges and Responsibilities
The Bible gives blessings and responsibility to the gathered congregation. With authority comes responsibility. By joining a church, you are responsible for what your church teaches and for the member’s discipleship.
You are to discern if a speaker is teaching the true or false gospel (Acts 17:11).
You are to help a new friend to adequately understand the gospel and feel welcome in church.
You are to assist in the discipleship of young believers in Christ, and that he or she’s being cared for and nurtured toward Christlikeness.
You are to reach out to the erring or unrepentant member in love with the gentle correction from the word of God (Galatians 6:1-2).
Pray for our pastors, elders and deacons that God will give them wisdom to do His will and His work among us.
 
8. Joining and Being Part of the Church  
When a person comes to join our church, they are asked to go for an interview with the elders, where they are asked to share their testimony and to explain the content of the gospel. At the conclusion of any interview of a person for transfer of membership or baptism by the Board of Elders, we will share the Word of God (on the meaning of church membership, salvation and baptism) after examining him or her and praying with him or her as well.
 
Conclusion
There are privileges and sacred duties of being a member of a local church and we want to fulfill them in the Lord. Pray about how you can play an effective role to serve the Lord and edify the saints in your church. Ephesians 4:16 says, ‘From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.'

Rev Jack Sin
 Maranatha BPC, Singapore

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Kitchen Roster - Helpers today: Bros Danny Chu & Daniel Volvricht; Sis Daphne Lai. Next Lord’s Day: Bros Eric Lai & Houston Li; Sis Grace Gan.
*30th Anniversary Concert rehearsals commence this week. All Hopefuls encouraged to participate. Please see Sis Sally Teng if interested.
*Camp Registration & special diet forms available on sideboard outside Sanctuary. Early bird registration discount ends today.
*Resignation from Lively Hope Committee: Sisters Xandrea Cai & Corinne Teng. Special thanks to them for their dedicated service, help & contribution to the Committee over the years. Anyone wishing to join the LH Committee, please see Elder Michael Lee or Sis Marion Chan.

Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Vietnam); Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan & Joel (Japan); Bro William Song (Phnom Penh); Sisters Shu Ai Cho (Adl), Rosalie Gan (Melb) & Kristy Low (Adl); & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in past week.
Baptism - Sis Sherilyn Wong; Transfer of Membership: Bro Danny & Sis Seong Yeng Chu.
Good results from endoscopy: Bro Tony Law.

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore) & Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bros Herbert (Dilly) Anderson (Kenya), Raymond Ang’s father (S’pore), Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Peter Lkayo (Kenya), Elton Law, Tony Law, Tien Lee’s father (Penang), Grant Munchenberg, Paul Sokha’s daughter– Jemima, & Tony Zhang; Sisters Margaret Hooper, Myung Ki, Wol Hee Kim & family (S Korea), Grace Gan’s father (healing), Queenie Lau (Canberra), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Margaret Pearson, Yashu Qin’s father (China), Christabelle Selvanayagam, Corinne Teng, Susan Weng, Mavis Wong’s mother (salvation & healing) & May Zhang; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong; Mr Lucas Lee; Mrs Eva Allocod (stroke-Cebu), Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Mumbai), Mrs Janet Jara (Chile), Mrs Poh Lin Lim (Melb), Mrs Pat Johnson (W Virginia); & others in affliction.
Special Prayer: Sisters Nita Chong, Thoko Ngoma (fracture), & Linda Tan (S’pore); & Mrs Siew Fong Cho (M’sia).
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.
Cambodia Missions: Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry; Bro Sun Sokha (Phnom Penh).
Other missions: Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry (Laos)
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.
Bro Kevin Low & family as he prepares for ministry at Hope BPC.
Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
Journey mercies: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Vietnam); William Song (S’pore) & Bros Jason Teng (Tanzania); & all those who are travelling.
Working away: Bro Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo); & Sisters Jen Xin Li (Barossa Valley) & Iris Surman (Syd).
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.
God’s guidance & provision of new church property for worship, office & fellowship activities.
Easter Family Bible Camp: Australian Embassy in US to approve visas for speakers (Dr Johnson & Sis Susan George); & camp preparations.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063