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Church Membership Pt.3

Church Membership Pt.3.pdf

Church Membership Pt. 3
Ephesians 3:4 - 7

I. Intro
  A. READ Ephesians 3:4 - 7
 B. ASK: How does this passage relate to church membership? All believers
servants of the Gospel; all believers - the body of Christ (the church)
  C. Comments on statement from book: The strange thing about church
membership is that you actually give up your preferences when you join;
ASK - What does that say to you?
  D. Chapter entitled: I will not let my church be about my preferences and
desires; other words - my church membership is not about me
  E. Jesus to His 12 disciples: Mark 9:35 (NIV)
35 ... "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of
  F. Later argue over who will be greater in God's kingdom

II. Servant in Scripture
  A. Word servant occurs 57 times in NT; word serve occurs 58 times
  B. ASK: Does being last of all and servant of all sound like most church
  C. Refer v. 7: To be a servant a gift; especially, servant of the Gospel
  D. FACT: You'll never be happy in any church when seeking to have things
YOUR way; Ironically, we find the greatest joy when we choose to be last
- when we choose to give up our rights and preferences and serve
everyone else

III. Survey of Self-focused Churches
  A. 10 dominant behaviors of inward focused church
      i. 1 - Worship wars: one group demanding certain style music; order of
service set in stone; certain instruments required, others prohibited
      ii. 2 - Prolonged, insignificant and meaningless meetings: inordinate
amount of time spent in meetings; Great Commission and Great
Commandment rarely topics of discussion
      iii. 3 - Facility focused: highest priority in church is protection and
preservation of rooms, furniture, other visible parts of church's décor,
buildings and grounds
      iv. 4 - Program driven: at times doing ministry certain way can take on
programmatic status; program becomes an end instead of means to
greater ministry; programs that have no benefit on salvation of people
      v. 5 - Inward focused budget: disproportionate share of budget used to
meet needs and comforts of church members instead of reaching
beyond the walls of the church
      vi. 6 - Inordinate demands for pastoral care: all members deserve care
and concern, especially in times of need or crisis; but problem is when
members have unreasonable expectations for even minor matters; even
includes expectation of regular pastoral visit just because person is
church member (not include homebound)
      vii. 7 - Attitude of entitlement: one of demanding and having a sense
of deserving special treatment - due to length of time being a member
or amount of money being given to church, etc.
      viii. 8 - Greater concern over change, or not changing, than the
sharing of the Gospel: more passion expressed over a change taking
place than over the spread and work of the Gospel for changing lives
      ix. 9 - Anger and hostility: consistent anger; commonly heard/expressed
hostility toward church staff or other members
     x. 10 - Evangelistic apathy: Few members sharing their faith on regular
basis; more concerned about their own needs than eternal needs of
others in community and world
  B. Biblical church membership is about servant-hood; being last of all and
servant of all
IV. The Christ-like Church Member
  A. READ Philippians 2:5 - 11
  B. ASK: From passage, what characteristics would describe a Christ-like
church member?
      i. 1 - Our relationship with Christ, part of body of Christ not to be used
for our own advantage
      ii. 2 - Emptying ourselves of pride, selfishness and taking on the nature
of a servant
      iii. 3 - Humility
      iv. 4 - Obedience; no matter the cost, obedient to death, sacrifice - even
death on a cross
  C. ASK: For a Christ-like church member, what does v. 5 say?
  D. Famous line for JFK inaugural address: Ask not what your country can do
for you, but what you can do for your country; Same true for church
membership - ask not what your church can do for you, but what you can
do for your church
  E. ASK: Church membership is all about what? It's not about what?

V. Close
  A. Questions and Pledge
  B. Next week - praying for church leaders



Church Membership - Pt. 3
Pledge and Questions

Pledge 3:
I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires. That is selfserving. I am a member in this church to serve others and to serve Christ. My Savior went to a cross for me. I can deal with any inconveniences and matters that just
aren't my preference or style.

Will you commit this pledge to yourself, your church, and your Lord today?



  1. Show from key Bible verses the difference between church membership and country club membership from the perspective of personal preferences and desires.
    Of course, the Bible doesn't speak of country club membership, so you will need to assume the benefits of belonging to one.
  2. Find and explain key passages in the Bible that talk about Christians being like servants. How would you describe a servant as it applies to being a member of a
  3. Why do many churches have "worship wars"? What does that have to do with the right or wrong attitude about church membership?
  4. Describe someone in your church that best fits the description of having the mind of Christ and a servant attitude. Find key New Testament passages that would fit
    him or her.
  5. Go verse by verse through Philippians 2:5 - 11. Explain how the attitude of Christ
    in each verse becomes a pattern for us as church members.