Recently, I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what makes a healthy church member? Over the past few years, books, articles, and journal entries abound on the subject. This is a terrific trend! If I were to boil a healthy church member (not literally) down to a couple of things, here is how I would describe one:
- Authentically Converted– you cannot have true membership apart from a truly regenerate person.
- Text-Driven Listener– they know how to distinguish a sermon geared around morality and topics verses a sermon that is geared around the style, substance, and structure of the text.
- Prayer Driven– the old cliché “little prayer, little power-much prayer, much power,” still holds true. To get an accurate look at where a person is spiritually, all you have to observe is their prayer life.
- Committed Attendance– part of being in a faith community is consistency in the gatherings.
- Gospel Centered– everything the member does, is used to promote, proclaim, and live out the gospel.
- Maturing Disciple– this goes without saying, but when you are genuinely converted, you will progress in your sanctification and make other disciples.
- Humble Advocate– while this person has a deep robust understanding of the Scriptures, they walk in humility with their brethren and seek the welfare of the rest of the body.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but a beginning place nonetheless. Distinguishing health in a member verses holding up a check list of righteousness for them is a delicate act to balance. Some of these are non-negotiables, while others are things to strive for. The bottom line, membership matters and defining what makes a healthy member is foundational to a healthy church.