Last Sunday’s Bible message was from Matthew 16:21-28 where Jesus issued this challenging call:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ÔÇ£If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24 (NIV)
You can listen to the whole message here.
I used the image of the church as being a lifeboat rather than a cruise ship. Cruise ships take on passengers for their entertainment and pleasure. The church can’t be like this. We’re more like a lifeboat, taking on hard-working, life-risking crew members who all know that the mission is to save lives.
So how do you know which kind of boat you’re on as a church member? Here are three signs that suggest someone is a crew member not a passenger…
1. They don’t just turn up, they belong.
Someone who turns up on Sunday every other week or so, but doesn’t spend any other time with people from church, doesn’t really belong. The person who belongs makes it their goal to be sharing their lives with others in the church and outside the church. They are an active part of a homegroup. They meet to pray. They look out for opportunities to build relationships and invest in others.
2. They don’t just take, they give.
We are living in a consumer culture which sadly creeps into the church as well. But “lifeboat” church members are constantly looking for ways to give of their time, energy, gifts, resources, money, and much more. In short, they’re prepared to give of themselves for the benefit of others. Sometimes this means serving on a team; other times it means casually meeting for a coffee to catch up with someone.
3. They don’t divide, they unite.
There will be a lot that we don’t like about our church. The music. The coffee. The length of the sermons. You name it: someone doesn’t like it! But the crew member, who is here to work hard as part of the team to save lives, is able to either overlook their complaints or adjust their preferences. Or else, they won’t allow their dislikes to stir up division and so break up the team.
There are probably lots of other signs of a healthy church member.
Comment below with your thoughts!