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A Letter to the Inactive Church Member

Third, I want to encourage you because of your spiritual growth. God doesn’t intend Christians to grow all by themselves. Rather, we are to grow together. Again, Paul wrote that we have the ministry of the church so that “we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). I’m afraid to say it, but it’s a biblical assumption that your inactivity means you’re not growing spiritually. You’re not growing in a love for God or for your neighbor; you’re not growing in your knowledge and understanding of the things of God. This isn’t a good place to be and we don’t want you to be there.

Fourth, I want to encourage you because of the wiles of Satan. Peter wrote: “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). I don’t know a lot about the habits of lions, but I do know that they prey on those who are detached from the herd. I worry that in being inactive and not participating you’ve separated yourself from the herd and have become easy prey for Satan—his lies, flaming darts and temptations. There’s a reason that just before this Peter wrote “Be alert.” We don’t want you to be resisting the devil all on your own, that’s why God has given you to us and us to you.

Fifth, I want to encourage you because of mutual edification. Even Paul who was an Apostle wanted and needed to be with the church. To the congregation in Rome he wrote: “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12). You’re a member of this church and you’re also a friend and family member in Jesus. We want to have opportunities to edify you and also to be edified by you.

Sixth, I want to encourage you because of joy. In writing to a church, John said: “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 1:12). Everyone wants to be happy, glad and joyful. The Bible reminds us that we find joy in the face to face presence of one another. That is to say, you contribute to our joy when you are present and we contribute to yours.

Finally, let me encourage you because of the promises you made. When you became a member of this church, you promised to throw your weight into this congregation—your devotion, service, influence, encouragement and help. You and I know both know what it’s called when we’re not true to our word. Would you allow me to ask: Were you being honest when you made that promise?

We all need encouragement from time to time to not quit but to keep with it. I hope you know that just as you need us, so we need you: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

In Jesus,
Your Pastor

This article about a letter to an inactive church member originally appeared here.