Every local church is comprised of a diverse group of church members who have been radically transformed by the power of God through the person and work of Jesus Christ. These diverse people have no reason to live and work together, let alone care for each other—and yet, they choose to live in love and unity together, to the praise and glory of the Lord’s name.
Healthy local churches make a powerful and attractive testimony to a watching world. This means that every member has to be devoted to building others up. In a future article, I will discuss four types of church member that don’t build up the church.
6 Church Members Who Build Up the Church
1. Those Who Attend.
Attending is the most basic way members build each other up. It’s the most obvious way to show commitment to the body. There’s something encouraging about knowing a brother or sister is simply going to be present at a church service, and you are going to worship God together.
The writer of Hebrews tells the believers to “stir one another up to love and good deeds” and to “encourage one another.” How are they to do this? By “not forsaking the assembling of the believers” (Heb. 10:23–25). You cannot build others up if you’re not meeting with them regularly and faithfully. It’s therefore no wonder that those who are regularly absent from the gathering often stagnate in their faith or become members who primarily grumble and complain.
Dear church members, church meetings are not about you or your convenience. Build others up by faithful attendance.
2. Those Who Encourage.
Consider Paul’s words about Tychicus in Colossians 4: “I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts” (Col. 4:8). Why does he send his friend? To encourage the Colossians. We should follow Paul’s model.
The encouraging member commends, recommends, praises, thanks, comforts, urges, supports, and compliments other members. We often think of encouraging as merely giving praise, like a spectator in the terraces. However, biblical encouragement is more than that; it’s a fellow teammate urging you to get to work.
Furthermore, encouragement is not mere flattery. It’s not just being nice or telling people what they want to hear. Rather, true encouragement is honest and sincere. It commends those who serve well, and it also urges those who are struggling in their walk with the Lord. Such kind of member is a great blessing to the body. Strive to be one.
3. Those Who Confront Without Indulging Gossip.
Churches are full of sinful people, which means church members sin against each other. This poses a challenge to the unity of the church, and it requires members to confront one another in love and gentleness.
The confronting member is the opposite of a gossip and slanderer. They obey the charge of Scripture to confront and restore people who are living in sin (Matt. 18:15–18, Gal. 6:1–2). What motivates the confronting member is not just that someone’s sin has offended them but that the Lord is offended by sin—particularly sin that is unresolved and left to fester and grow (1 Cor. 5). The confronting member confronts out of love for God and love for other believers.