Many passages in the New Testament refer to the church being like a family household, and its members as brothers and sisters. Just as you are part of your own family, you are part of your church – it’s not something we should feel separated from.
Gal 6:10 (NLT) Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
As members of our church family we each need to take responsibility for our contribution to it. We can all play a part: with regular, punctual attendance at meetings, prayer and support, giving finances, joining a team, and by helping out in practical ways.
Here is our ‘Job Description’ as brothers and sisters, according to various New Testament scriptures:
- Act 21:17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly.
Welcome guests warmly. We are not a closed-off family. This is everyone’s job – not just that of the host team/door-greeters.
- Rom 1:13 (NLT)…I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles.
Grow spiritual fruit. Numbers are not the issue – the focus is on quality growth in the members’ lives.
- Rom 16:17 …I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.
Be on the lookout for people who cause divisions in the church. Watch out for criticism and avoid getting caught up in it. The enemy can use it to wreak havoc.
- 1 Cor 3:1-4 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
Be spiritual people. Be hungry for more of God in our lives. We need to grow into spiritual maturity, becoming able to encourage others.
- 1 Cor 14 (whole chapter): 26…Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
Maintain the order of church services. There are reasons why we do what we do. Be supportive – learn to flow with how things are done.
1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Work enthusiastically. Do what you do with excellence and initiative, without needing to be checked up on. Stay motivated.
2 Cor 13:11-12 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Greet one another with spiritual love. Show care and appreciation for all members. Newcomers will notice! (‘They will know you by your love for one another’)
Gal 6:1-2 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
Gently help those who are struggling or going astray. Don’t come down hard and judgemental on people who are dealing with problems. We also need to guard ourselves from getting caught up in the same traps ourselves.
1 Thess 5:12-13 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
Honour pastors and leaders. Don’t scoff at or resist those who have a position of authority – speak well of them; pray for them. Honour unlocks rewards and benefits.
James 2:15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
Love each other. Put love into action. Don’t say “The church has a program for doing that” – get out and do it yourself. No amount of programs can meet all the needs.
1 John 4:21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Love each other. Foster connections.
1 Cor 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Live in harmony with each other. Be united in thought and purpose. Focus on agreement.
Lastly: don’t assume you can ‘pay’ yourself out of responsibility simply by giving financially. Get personally involved in meeting others’ needs.
Something to think about: What would the church look like if every member had the same attitude towards it as me?