As we journey together through the summer rediscovering from scripture what it means to be a member of Walnut Street Baptist Church we have relied on Thom Rainer’s book, “I Am a Church Member” for context and background. One of the most difficult truths of Church membership is that church is not about me, my desires, preferences, or rights.
It’s all about Jesus and it’s all about serving. Here is an excerpt from Rainer,
The word servant occurs 57 times in the New Testament. Sometimes it refers to a person who has that official role in a household. But many times it refers to the role we are to assume as Christians. Also, serve occurs 58 times in the New Testament. Get the picture?
Serving is important in the Bible. Jesus said we must be last of all and servant of all. That doesn’t sound like all the church members we may know. Many church members demand their preferences, their desires, and the way they’ve always done it. But Jesus said we are to serve. Paul said it as well. After he became a Christian, the apostle declared, “I was made a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of His power” (Eph. 3: 7).
We will never find joy in church membership when we are constantly seeking things our way. But paradoxically, we will find the greatest joy when we choose to be last. That’s what Jesus meant when He said the last will be first. True joy means giving up our rights and preferences and serving everyone else. And that’s what church membership means as well.
We Labor together With God,