The Bible describes the church as brothers and sisters who must “be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Rom 12:10a). We are to be together each Sunday, during midweek gatherings, and with fellow members as we’re invited to a home or to coffee. God says we are to be “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, . . . [and] practicing hospitality” together (Rom 12:12-13). Church membership is like marriage. With marriage comes responsibilities to a spouse, to your children, and to your spouses’ family. To this end our constitution gives us several responsibilities that we have toward one another as the members of PCC. It says:
The members shall be responsible to the authority (Hebrews 13:17), maintain fellowship (1 John 1:6-7), maintain the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3), esteem others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3), be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), contribute to the needs of the saints (Romans 12:13), assume financial responsibility for the ministry of the church according to one’s ability (2 Corinthians 8:3-4), and be willing workers (1 Peter 4:10). Reconciliation between members will be encouraged in accordance with 1 Corinthians 6:1-4, and Matthew 18:15, 17 and with cognizance of Romans 14:19.
1. The members shall be responsible to the authority. Hebrews 13:17 says “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” We follow our pastor and elders, they lead, we follow. Even I, though I am an elder-pastor, am submitted to our elders.
2. Maintain fellowship. 1 John 1:6-7 says “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Hidden sin blocks fellowship with God and with each other. Confess and repent of your sins.
3. Maintain the unity of the Spirit. Ephesians 4:3 says “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Do nothing that would cause division. Do not put others down. Do not grumble to other members, but do everything to maintain our oneness as Christ’s body.
4. Esteem others better than themselves. Philippians 2:3 says “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” In everything put other church members before and above yourself.
5. Be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12c says “devoted to prayer.” Pray for the spiritual growth and renewal for every church member, constantly.
6. Serve one another. Galatians 5:13 says “but through love serve one another.”
7. Contribute to the needs of the saints. Romans 12:13 says “contributing to the needs of the saints.” If you see a brother or sister who needs anything give them what they need.
8. Assume financial responsibility for the ministry of the church according to one’s ability. 2 Corinthians 8:3-4 says “For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.” Give to PCC regularly, sacrificially, and according to your ability. Figure out the percentage of your income that you are able to give to the church, and give regularly (weekly or monthly). If you have not worked this out, talk it over with your spouse, and make a decision. God expects us to give to our church, if we can.
9. Be willing workers. 1 Peter 4:10 says “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Our church has so many needs that go unmet. Consider helping in the nursery. Consider helping the men with various projects. Consider providing meals to church members, or working in the kitchen for a potluck.
10. Reconciliation. Matthew 18:15, 17 says “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.” We all are sinners, we all sin against one another, so we all need to perfect the process of reconciliation. If one has offended you or sinned against you, go talk to him or her. If it isn’t resolved, call me, or another church member to help you work it out. We must resolve our issues with one another. Church membership is a lot like marriage, divorce should not be an option, nor should leaving the church over unresolved sins and offenses.
God’s Word outlines many responsibilities for us. The church will take one day per week of your life, the Lord’s Day. Use these biblical responsibilities to direct your expectations of one another, and your ideas about church. Let’s link arms together to worship and serve Jesus Christ, we’re a family.