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Summary: The message today is based on a book written by Thom Rainer, titled, “I am A Church Member.” Thom is the President of Lifeway resources and spends a great deal of time researching all different kinds of churches!

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Good morning. Last week Pastor Steve talked a little bit about how we all have our preferences when it comes to where we sit. Personally I sit in a different spot most weeks…

And I have met lots of great neighbors. Sometimes though I wonder how YOU feel when one of the pastors sits with you. Well, no matter where you’re sitting, we’re glad you are here.

We are in a series called, Membership Matters. At the end of this series on March 26th those of you who have attended the series or have listened to or watched the services online, you will have an opportunity to join the church as a member. Those who are already ,members you will have the opportunity to reaffirm your membership.

The message today is based on a book written by Thom Rainer, titled, “I am A Church Member.” Thom is the President of Lifeway resources and spends a great deal of time researching all different kinds of churches!

So the points I’m sharing come from Thom Rainer. The rest of the sermon, that’s all me. Basically, the parts that are good…those are mine, the rest is Thom Rainer! No, seriously, His book really captures what I personally believe are characteristics of great church members. (slide)

We thought about buying you each a copy of “I am a church member” but most of you don’t even read the bulletin so what are the chances you’d actually read the book? So, instead I thought we’d talk about it here, this morning as a part of our series, “Membership Matters.”

If you look at people born before 1946 you would discover that 66% of those people are members in churches, somewhere, some kind of church. If you look at millenials, young people today, who were born in the 80’s and 90’s, you would discover that only 15% of them are church members. BIG difference there.

Often when we hear about such differences we tend to get into critical mode. The older generation might say something like: “Well, young people don’t respect the things of God like we did…” or the millenials might say something like: “Well back in that day people just believed what they were told, they didn’t question the church or authority.”

Today I want us to avoid the temptation to look at others and make judgments about what kind of members THEY are, instead I want each of us to look in the mirror and ask the question: (slide) “What kind of church member am I?”

I remember going to my first 6th grade basketball game as a parent. I had to continually remind myself, “Self control Art. Self control.” I wanted to yell when the ref’s made a bad call. I wanted to critique the subs who went in instead of one of my sons. I wanted to let them know that MY child is better than that other kid! But I was aware that how I behaved reflected well or poorly on my church and more importantly on my Savior.

As a church member you are part of a local body of believers and how you behave both in the community and in the church will reflect well or poorly on EWC. So I want to talk to you today about 6 characteristics of great church member.

Open your Bibles or your Bible apps or look up at the screen as we take a look at 1 Corinthians chapter 12, beginning in verse 12. (slide)

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

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