What is a Healthy Church Member?

Health takes discipline. Health takes work. Health takes self-denial. Health takes grace. Health takes love. Health takes honesty. Health takes relationship.

It’s easier to be unhealthy. Bottomless bowl of chips. Limitless soda pop. More pie, please. A Hallmark movie later (or Sunday afternoon football game) and a downed tub of bean dip: it sounds like fun, but the ramifications of regularly living life like that would be devastating. So are the ramifications of living an unhealthy spiritual life as a believer. The physical body is as healthy as its members, and so the church body is as healthy as its members. What are practices for a healthy believer?

Loves Listening for God’s Voice. Have you trained yourself to listen to God’s voice? God speaks to us through His Word as we read it and as we hear it preached. God even uses a well-timed conversation or an appropriate comment. The Holy Spirit uses those conversations to either confirm or challenge our thought processes and decision making. Do you take the time to listen to God’s voice by reading the Bible on a daily basis? Do you make time to hear the preaching of God’s Word beyond even Sunday morning services? As you listen to the preaching of God’s Word, listen for God’s voice for your life and your family.

Loves God. A healthy church member simply loves God. They find themselves thinking about God, talking to Him and singing to Him beyond Sunday. They attempt to be aware of any rival that would dethrone God as first place in their life.

Loves Encouraging Believers. I notice that healthy church members are encouraging people to be around. They have learned to look at life through God’s viewpoint. Instead of pointing out the obvious they look for meaningful ways to help fellow believers. I’ve been on the receiving end of kind and encouraging notes, emails, text messages and even Facebook wall posts. There are countless ways to encourage, but I’ve seen some put it into the following categories:

  • Act of service: babysitting their children, preparing a meal, mowing their lawn, shoveling their sidewalk
  • Spend time: enjoying a cup of coffee, watching a ball game, going shopping
  • Word of Encouragement: email, note, postcard, text messages
  • Thoughtful gift: gift cards or some other small gift to meet a need
  • Sometimes a simple pat on the back, a knowing glance or a reassuring hug is what some need

Loves their Church Family. Often times church can become a place where we worship and attend once a week, but nothing more than that. The New Testament portrays a different picture. It portrays a church as a family. Look for additional opportunities to get to know your church family. Determine to introduce yourself to people you don’t know even if they’ve been a member since before you came. Not the greatest hostess, not a problem, invite a family to go get Dairy Queen blizzards together or some other after church snack. Train and teach yourself to love your church family.

Loves their Pastor. I really believe a healthy church member must have a genuine love for the shepherd that God has placed in their lives. A critical spirit often times becomes the open door to which the Devil side tracks a believer spiritually. Be careful with what you allow you or your family to say about your pastor. It is through him, as you sit under his preaching on a weekly basis that God is going to grow you spiritually. When this relationship is undermined often times it can be the beginning of a downward slide spiritually.

These are essentials that I find in a healthy church member. What are some essentials of spiritual health that you have noticed?

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