The last couple of weeks we reflected on what individuals should expect from the congregation.
This week our attention turns to what individuals should be doing for the body of Christ that meets on Marsalis Avenue.
In our culture of low expectations, a church having expectations of members may seem like a foreign concept. However, when we examine scripture, we clearly see that God expects certain things from members of the body.
Members should seek to protect the unity of the congregation. Ephesians 4:3 reminds us that we should “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (NIV)
Being united is an indicator that the Spirit of God is working in us and through us. We all play a role in keeping the body of Christ united. Here are some ways in which we can each work to preserve the unity that we have.
•Love God with all of your heart and love your fellow believers in Christ.
•Refuse to gossip or listen to gossip. Talk to people, not about people.
•Pray for, encourage and follow the leaders of congregation. (Hebrews 13:17)
•Put others before yourself. (Philippians 2:3)
•Be a part of the change you want to see. (Matthew 7:3-5)
•Be willing to not get your way if it means advancing the mission of the church.
• (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
•Don’t compare the congregations with others. (2 Corinthians 10:12-18)
This week we continue our reflections on expectations. Last week we examined three things that individuals should expect from the congregation and its leadership. Additionally, members should expect the congregation to:
Provide you with opportunities to impact the lives of others. God has called us to serve Him by serving others. The congregation has organized ministries to assist you in doing what God has called you to do. God provides us with opportunities to impact lives both individually and collectively.
Encourage you to grow in the Lord. Teaching and preaching are all about growth. God wants us to look more and more like Jesus every day. The church cannot make you grow. The church provides the opportunities for growth and equips you to thrive. We help make sure the soil is nutritious enough to promote healthy growth of the seeds planted.
Cultivate an environment of responsibility and accountability. Responsibility and accountability are two words that many people steer clear of. However, both are necessary for a healthy congregation. We must take ownership of what we do and how we respond to what others do. We also need others to awaken our consciences so we do not drift away from God.
Place you in a shepherding group where you can build relationships and be ministered to by the shepherds and minister. Our shepherding groups are a place where you can connect. Stay tuned for some exciting news about how you can connect with others in your shepherding group!
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.