Essential Qualities of Active Church Members / How to Spot Active Church Members
Essential Qualities of Active Church Members. As Christians, we know that there are countless struggles that we all face in our walk with God. At different junctures, our faith may wane and seem to detour in the opposite direction.
Still, for those who endure, we find that a deeper relationship with God ultimately changes us and enhances the overall quality of our lives. It changes the way we interact with each other, and it instills qualities, that at a glance, may seem to be common to all active church members.
Recently I read that active church members share three characteristics. These are their attitude to God, their attitude towards their pastor, and attitude to other believers in Christ. While these are indeed great qualities for any Christian to have, more in-depth and instructive attributes can be found in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 in Paul’s address to the people of Corinth. The apostle says, and I’m paraphrasing, that believers should endeavor to do the following things:
- Be on their guard.
- Stand firm in the faith.
- Be people of courage.
- Be strong.
- Do everything in love.
With this mandate, as put forward by Paul in mind, let us explore the top five qualities essential in the lives of active church members.
They Are Active
Members should strive to be alert at all times. The enemy is always on the lookout for the right opportunity to launch a covert attack on our faith.
The Bible says he ‘roams about, seeking whom he may devour,’ which means the minute you let your guard down and find yourself not actively seeking the Lord and his wishes, you are bound to fall victim to the plans of the enemy.
He finds work or distractions for idle hands to do, so taking an active part in your church’s ministry will help you be on your guard.
Knowing your enemy is a key strategy for war. The Bible says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12).
This means we are not fighting against the physical manifestations of the enemy alone.
Strong in Prayer
Further, in the chapter, we are told how to stay on the alert, and that is through Jesus Christ. We are encouraged to “pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18).
They Are Alert
The Bible tells us to “Be on guard so that your hearts will not be weighed down with dissipation, and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.
But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)
Being on the alert also means guarding your heart and mind so that the things of the world, do not enter and overcrowd it. The Lord tells us that He understands that we will be attacked by our enemy, but we can guard ourselves through prayer.
In His own words, the Lord said, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves’ men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. (Acts 20:29-31)
His words ring true for every believer in Christ today. For us to be active in the church and do God’s will, we have to acknowledge that we are in a constant war that we cannot take a time-out from. It is a daily battle that requires our full attention and demands that we are alert at all times, with God’s strength and help.
They Are Faithful
Having faith comes from knowing God and knowing that He will not cause anything to happen to you or around you that you cannot handle. Even if you think you might not be able to handle it, God has given you the strength to overcome any situation.
So, it was with the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. They accused the Lord of bringing them out into the wilderness to die, but the Lord heard their plight, and each day, bread and quail fell from the heavens to sustain them. The Lord provided for them even though they exhibited an utter lack of faith.
They were overly concerned with what they should eat or drink, and rightly concluded that they wouldn’t be able to sustain themselves throughout their seemingly endless trek through the wilderness
. We may read the Old Testament and witness God’s saving grace and wonder how these chosen people could be so doubtful, skeptical, and downright whiny when God had already proven Himself to them repeatedly.
They had witnessed the miracle that resulted in their release from Egypt after being slaves for over four hundred years. You would think that alone would be proof that God could do more than they could think or imagine, but no, not these they listened to complainers.
Before coming down too heavily on the Israelites, however, we should consider ourselves. How many times has God come through for us in one season, only to have us doubt Him in another?
The scripture says, “and without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
It also speaks about the power of those who have faith in God, imploring Christians to be confident in their faith and God’s power. This is the same Jesus who encourages us that, “whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” A mountain is a pretty big thing, but we serve a very big God!
When analyzing our life and challenges as believers, we should see them as the mountains that Jesus spoke about. We should command them, in faith, to be removed from our lives.
We should be willing to go to war on our knees and pray earnestly until God’s will is done.
In Mark, Jesus re-emphasizes the power of prayer and the relationship that prayer has to faith; “Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:22-24)
They Are Courageous/
When the Bible speaks about being men of courage, there were no caveats or exceptions given. The Bible goes as far as to remind us that we were not given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind.
Having walked the earth, Jesus is aware that there are more than enough reasons on earth to stoke the embers of fear within us. It is a natural human response to adversity, but when we take on the robe of Christ, our flesh no longer gets to play the first chair.
Instead, when we feel these responses trying to overwhelm us, we should take comfort in the scriptures such as (Isaiah 41:10-13), where it says, “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
It is good for us to be able to say and believe strongly that the Lord will be there for us. Sometimes, we need to be reminded of who God is and what he promises to do for His children.
If we allow him to, the enemy will cloud our minds and lead us down a dark path of worry and despair. We start to see our problems as being bigger than God is, and this affects our service in ministry as well as our faith in God.
Believers are left with weapons of war in the form of scripture. Active Christians restock their armory every day with ammunition such as:
- “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall, I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
- “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God, I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4)
Courage is a by-product of being in a committed relationship with God. The active church member knows that his courage is not to be planted in himself or herself but should begin and end with God.
They Are strong
Courage and strength may be siblings, but they are not twins. Courage speaks about the ability to take the initiative to go out and do something even in the midst of fear. Strength, on the other hand, speaks about the endurance of a person during the hard times.
This is the charge to all believers and is an essential quality for all active Christians to not just possess but to cultivate. Strength as a requirement for the fight is reiterated throughout scripture. We see it in Ephesians 6:10, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Deuteronomy 31:6, and Isaiah 40:31.
What all these texts have in common is the command or call for courage, followed by a reminder of where this courage should lie. There are many brave and courageous men and women in the world who base their courage on things that have nothing to do with God.
While this courage may serve them for a time, it is not eternal. For courage to be long-lasting, it needs to be fixed on something that can never fail. Search all over for an infallible substitute for God, and you’ll find yourself searching for the rest of your life.
Physical Strength of Samson / Spiritual Strength of Job
We should prayerfully seek to emulate the physical strength of Samson and the spiritual strength of Job. Their endurance was parallel to very few in the Bible. Though having been disobedient to God and fallen short of his glory, Samson called upon the Lord in his time of need.
He had not given up hope when he was chained to the pillars in the courtyard. Instead, he patiently waited while the Lord restored his strength, and he was able to break the barriers that constrained him to destroy the enemies of the Lord.
Job faced adversities and trials because he was loyal to God. Job had to prove himself strong when his cattle started dying, his children started dying, his wife telling him to curse God and die, and his friends turned their backs on him. Even when his health failed, and by all accounts, Job was next to death, he would not curse God.
He found strength by asking God for mercy and letting him do his will. There are times when the devil will test our loyalty to God by placing things before us that he believes will be a hindrance to God’s blessings in our lives. People of God are called to be strong and hold steadfast to His words, and we will be alright.
They Are People of Love
Love is a word found extensively within the Bible because we are taught that God is love. Without God, love would not exist. The Christian faith is built around the concept of love as the greatest act of love was shown by God.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
It is therefore left to us to show love to everyone to bring people closer to God.
Being an active church member without love is impossible. Our love for God as we develop a tighter bond with God will naturally spill over into our interactions with everyone else.
The more active a Christian is in ministry, the more time they spend observing and experiencing the deep love God has for all of us. There is just no way to authentically be in that space without developing the emotional bandwidth to love.
It is this love that will push people to lend a hand to those in need, feeds the hungry, takes care of the sick, and be our brothers’ keeper. As an active member of the church, it is expected that you will greet visitors and never let them feel out of place or unwelcomed.
They Are Forgivers
The principle of forgiveness can only be exercised as an act of love. This is key for Christians in general, but it is also essential for active church members as they represent the body of Christ. More active members are easily and more readily identified by people in the wider community.
They become the “poster-children” for Christ and what Christianity is all about. This is a huge responsibility, and unforgiveness can rear its ugly head in the middle and completely shatter the perception of Christ. What do we all have in common? Sin and our weakness to temptations.
As a result of this, what do we all need? Forgiveness. When Christians fail to forgive, we misrepresent God. Jesus says it best when he explains that “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have a love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
If everything we do should bring glory to God and lead others into a closer relationship with Him, forgiveness is no small matter for active members. Through love, we can forgive those who have wronged us.
We are told to love not just those who love us but also those who persecute us or have done us wrong, displaying the love of Christ on earth is our responsibility. We demonstrate God’s love when we forgive those that wrong us, “since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
They Are Willing to Go
However, in Matthew 28:18-20, the great commission was handed down to the disciples, which has been picked up and carried on by the church. Attendance alone cannot save anyone, but believers are strengthened by surrounding themselves with like-minded Christians who are heaven-focused and homeward bound.
When considering how to take your relationship with God to another level and seeking out the essential qualities that Christians and active church members should have, look to the Word. It is profitable for sound doctrine and will guide you into all truth.