by William Worrell
The old adage “I’m just a church member,” couldn’t be further from the truth. Friends, God has good news: You are important, and you have a vital role to serve here in your fellowship. Yes, You!
How, you might ask? That’s easy! God has saved you, empowered you, and armed you. If that wasn’t enough, He has commissioned you for service. You are important to your fellowship and your pastor. Remember, a shepherd needs sheep to shepherd, and he expects certain things from you.
The information for this article comes from a survey of local pastors. Done from a cross-denominational perspective, it yielded five fundamental qualities that pastors would like to see demonstrated and developed. WARNING: The following information is not for the weak of heart, nor for those simply with “itchy ears.” This is “shootin’ from the hip stuff’. This article is for those who want to get involved. Ready? Here it comes.
The pastor expects the member to be dependable and responsible. Everything should be seen as a privilege in being “laborers together with God”. Vacuuming the sanctuary, shoveling snow off the church steps, and tithing is a responsibility; teaching is a privilege.
Your pastor expects you to be a team person. For example, you may be asked to flow toward a goal with which you don’t agree. If that is the current goal of the assembly, it must be your goal too. We’re to be supportive in both attitude as well as action. Many times we think our attitudes aren’t noticed, but they are—by pastor and others.
If you are a new member, or a new Christian, there may be certain classes to attend, but when you decide to become involved, do so with as little disturbance as possible. It’s like entering a swimming pool. You can choose to leap in—doing a cannonball and making a huge splash—or, climb down the ladder, entering unnoticed. The Pastor expects the entrance into the flow to be gradual and unspectacular. Tip: If you’re drawing attention to yourself, it means you’re taking attention away from the goal of the assembly. This leads to another expectation.
The pastor asks you to stand with him, not against him, to help and under gird, not to undermine. Be involved, and not in the role of chief critic. This expectation carries with it the belief that you can stand on your own—and not be swayed by peer pressure. Peer pressure? You know! Listening to the latest gossip about brother so-and-so! Being able to stand against peer pressure demands the ability not to yield to temptation. And in order to insulate yourself from temptation, you need a good dose of The Word.
The pastor expects you to be obedient to the scriptures, because the key factor to involvement is Christian maturity and emotional stability. Both come from obedience. Both come from obedience to the Word of God. The expectations stated by our panel of pastors beautifully reinforce the Apostle Paul’s writing in I Corinthians 12:27-28. Paul states that each part is vital, and no member is greater than the other part.
Your pastor expects support and involvement from you. Most of all, he desires for you to grow into all you can become with God’s enabling. If you’ve been knocked down and experienced set backs due to church involvement or family problems. Stand up! Dust yourself off! Remember, you are empowered, armed, commissioned, and important! Roll up those sleeves, and get involved! God will bless you. He really will! Stick your chin out and serve notice to the enemy: Your Faith is Alive and well!