The Counsel of the Godly – Part 3 |

Sunday Service – 26 September 2021

Psalm 1 (TPT)
1What delight comes to the one who follows God’s ways! He won’t walk in step with the wicked, nor share the sinner’s way, nor be found sitting in the scorner’s seat.

Psalm 1 (KJV)
1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful

Church Attendees

  • Hypocrite. I don’t know another way to describe this church member. He’s not a Christian.
  • Straddler. This church attender has one foot still in your church, but the other foot has begun searching for a new place to worship.
  • Napper. Church is a place to find rest, even if that means you fall asleep during the sermon every week. . . . .
  • Lobbyist. This person has a single-cause focus, and nothing else matters.
  • Baby. This church member could be a new believer who’s not yet been discipled – or, he could be a long-term believer who whines about everything.
  • Complainer. No matter what’s happening, these folks find something wrong with it.
  • Spectator. They come every week, but they only sit in the bleachers and watch. And, watching is usually as far as it goes.
  • Caregiver. These members love ministering to the needy and the hurting. They’re important in your church, though they can quickly forget about evangelizing others.
  • Workaholic. They serve well, but they serve everywhere. Some do it because they genuinely love the Lord (and others let them work), even though they may be in the wrong positions. Others do it because they want control.
  • Banker. This attender gives really well, but he also assumes he should get special treatment because of that.
  • Warrior. This is a church attender you want on your side. He or she knows how to pray.
  • Partner. This type of church leader realizes that we cannot do this work alone, and he or she walks with God and welcomes people to the team.
  • Servant. All of us need this kind of church member who serves faithfully without expecting or demanding anything in return.
  • Prodigal. He’s not fully home yet, but he’s on his way back. The father is waiting for his return.

Counsel 1

Everybody’s important, but nobody other than Christ is irreplaceable. The church will go on without any of us. If you think you’re irreplaceable, God will show you otherwise. Trust me.

Counsel 2

How God brought you here matters, but how you leave matters even more. How you leave is what people remember. Leave poorly, and that’s all people will remember about you.

Counsel 3

Church membership assumes members are Christians, but no one should assume that every member is a believer. The Bible does not allow us to ascribe Christianity to people who consistently live like the world – and even Jesus had a fake among His group.

Counsel 4

Giving financially is a part of Christianity, but Christian giving means giving yourself fully. Money is one necessary part of that expectation, but money is not a weapon. As soon as you try to manipulate the church through your giving, you’re no longer giving yourself.

Counsel 5

Membership is about being a family, but being family doesn’t mean everybody gets to know everything. Some issues require confidentiality—or at least a limited sphere of folks who know the details. That choice is actually a loving one for the people involved.

Counsel 6

You should love your church, but know it’s not your church. Nor is it your pastor’s church. Or mine. Or anyone else’s, other than God. Even if your name is on the church building, it’s not yours.

Counsel 7

The church consists of volunteers, but serving through the church is not optional. The New Testament knows of Christ-followers who wander and congregations who fight, but still it calls us to gather with believers (Heb. 10:25). Our volunteer status does not give us permission to live apart from the church.

Counsel 8

You have a voice, but the significance of your voice is directly proportional to the level of your involvement. In my judgment, uninvolved people should not have much say in what the church does. A lack of commitment weakens one’s opinion.

Counsel 9

The gospel offers rest, but church membership assumes work. Nothing in the Bible gives us room for an “inactive” church membership; instead, being part
of the body of Christ means you will fulfill your unique role in the work.

Counsel 10

We want you to come, but we’re going to challenge you to go. That’s what the gospel does, so we’re going to do the same. We want you going . . . to your neighbors to tell them the gospel . . . to the poor to minister to them . . . to the nations to introduce them to Jesus. Don’t come with the assumption that you’ll get to sit.

Conclusion

  • The people who surround you are the index of your life People To Surround Yourself
  • Those who serve in major leadership positions at work, but who graciously follow and serve in the body of Christ.
  • Those who have very busy lives, but who find time to serve the church well.
  • Those who have few rands, but who give sacrificially to the church.
  • Those who have no theological or practical training, but who powerfully share the gospel with non-believers.
  • Those who seek no glory for themselves, but who intentionally honor and praise others.
  • Those who’ve never left their home county, but they’re following God’s leadership to the nations.
  • Those who stand along the wall as introverts during fellowship times, but who light the room with the gospel when they teach or preach.
  • Those who have legitimate reasons to miss church occasionally, but who get there anyway.
  • Those who confess their struggle with church changes, but they still get on board.
  • Those who face a tough life, but who continually show the joy of Christ.
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