A Manual for Members
by Rev. David T. Myers
What should we expect ourselves and our fellow members to be doing for the Lord through our respective congregations? Various answers might be forthcoming, but it is interesting what a famous congregation in the Bible Presbyterian Church specified were its members responsibilities to the Lord.
In a leaflet written on March 3, 1946, a pamphlet was published of the Collingswood, New Jersey, Bible Presbyterian Church. After listing its pastoral staff, including the Rev. Carl McIntire, and recording the names of the Session of Elders, Trustees, and Deacons, as well as specifying all the ministry opportunities of the church in home and abroad, there was a section stating the purposes of its members. It read:
“Every member a worker” is the idea for our church. The church is falling short of its goal unless every member attends its services regularly and engages in at least one specific service or ministry. Here is our program for every individual member:
- Read the Bible daily
- Pray every day
- Give thanks at every meal
- Have regular family worship
- By example and speech moment by moment, honor the Lord Jesus Christ
- Attend church services on the Lord’s Day regularly
- Attend the mid-week service
- Contribute your tithe regularly and proportionately to the work of the church
- Take an active part in at least one of the organizations or projects mentioned in this pamphlet, and
- Invite at least one person a month to attend the services of the Church — someone who is unsaved or unchurched.
Now, in conclusion, some of our readers, and even some of the ministers, might have objections to this list, but as you read them again, there are very few items which are not taught or inferred in the Bible as necessary traits of the disciples of the Lord Jesus. Nevertheless, however we might think of it, this is one congregation’s attempts over eighty years ago which sought to help its members by being faithful members of the local congregation to which they were committed.
Words to Live By: Let us seek to fulfill our promise as members of the local church to which we are committed, to live as becomes the followers of Christ Jesus.