Church Membership Expectations

We live in a time when people change churches like they change t-shirts.  Churches often expect little of their members and members respond in kind.  But Church membership has its privileges and responsibilities. It is a fearful thing to be called out of darkness and brought into the light by the grace of Christ.  We were once not His people but now by His grace are His.  We are united by covenant together.  We are a holy nation- a holy family.  Just as we would not take the duties to our natural families lightly neither should we disregard our holy duty to each other in the church.  Members of Sovereign King Church are expected to:

1.  Be faithful in their attendance of the Lord’s Day worship.   Scripture tells us not to neglect the gathering of believers as some are in the habit of doing.   It is easy to fall into the habit of skipping worship.  Sovereign King Church members make it a habit of gathering together with each other weekly on the Lord’s Day.  Of course, there are emergencies and other times when attendance will not be possible, but you should make every effort to be together with the church in worship.  When there are times that you will be absent, make all reasonable attempts to let leadership know and make sure any ministry that you are serving in is being filled.  

2.  In addition to being in attendance on the Lord’s Day, members are expected to be on time and prepared for worship.    Preparation for worship begins before ever stepping through the doors of the meeting place.   Preparation begins on Saturday evening as you try to get a good night’s rest.  It might look like having all the clothes set out the night before worship to be washed, ironed, and ect.  It means preparing not just physically but mentally and spiritually.   We prepare our hearts by repenting of sin and praying that God will open our hearts to hear from his word.  Preparation keeps worship from being just an afterthought or something we do to go through the motions.  It also means working hard to be on time.  When we are late for worship, we cause others to be distracted.  We miss out on different aspects of the worship gathering that are important for our growth.  Now, we know that there are times when unforeseen circumstances cause you to get off schedule.  We would rather you be late than not in attendance at all.  But members will work so that tardiness is not habitual.  

3.  Members are expected to use their God-given talents and callings in the various ministries of the Church and for the Kingdom.   The bible compares the church to a body with different parts.   There are parts like the eyes, nose, hands, and feet.  They have different purposes and uses but all the parts of a body are important for the function of the body.  In the same way, God has gifted each of us with different skills, talents and spiritual gifts.  Each of us are to use these individual giftings for the benefit of the building up of the church in love (Ephesians 4:16).   This means that every member of Sovereign King Church has something to contribute to the growth of the church and its kingdom work.  Members are expected to use the gifting God has given them through the various ministries of the church.  

Sovereign King Church has various ministries to each other and to the world.  Ministries include nursing home ministry, women’s bible studies, men’s workshops, abortion ministry, the worship team, street evangelism, door to door evangelism and etc..  We recognize that God has given each of us different passions, skills, and giftings and therefore, we do not expect every member to participate in every ministry. For example, you are not less of a member if you do not participate in abortion ministry.  But we do expect every member to find at least one ministry that they can be involved with and contribute.  If you see an area of need that is not being met and you have the skills to do so, we are always open to beginning and supporting new ministries so that everyone may be used by God for the kingdom.

Lastly, we do expect all of our members to support all of the ministries in prayer and supplication.  You may not be called to a particular aspect of ministry, but we still expect you to pray for and even be willing to help where the Lord permits.  Sometimes this means pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones and trying things for the Lord we would not naturally want to do.  

4. Members are expected to support the work of the church with their giving of tithes and offerings. Our Father above is a giver of good gifts (James 1:17). Therefore, the Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver. We can be cheerful givers when we recognize that everything that we have is from the Father above.  In gratitude, we give back an offering of thanksgiving to God.   Members are expected to be cheerful givers to the work and ministry of the church with their finances, time, and talents.  There are several ways to give financially to the church.  Each week during worship we take up an offering for the work of the church.  You can also give online or through your cellphone.    

5.  Members are expected to strive for holiness and to be faithful to the different stations God has called them to.    We are saved by the grace of God through faith.  It is the finished work of Christ on the cross which causes us to be forgiven of our sins and declared righteous.  This is the foundation of all that we are.  Yet the grace of God is given to us for a purpose.  God saves us by grace to walk in holiness.  He calls us to strive for obedience to God.   Members of Sovereign King Church are expected to strive for growth in love and obedience to God.  Members are expected to forsake sin while also growing in the knowledge of the faith.  Members should want to read and study God’s word.  Members should refrain from things they know will bring shame upon themselves, their families, and the church.

As a church, we recognize that God has called us at different points in our lives.  Every member will be at different places in their walk with God.  Yet, whether someone is a new believer or has been walking with the Lord for a long time, all members are called to be faithful where God has placed them.  This includes the different stations that God has assigned to us in life.  Men are expected to strive for holiness as men and women as women.  Fathers are expected to lead their homes according to God’s commands.  Children are expected to obey and honor their parents.  Church members are expected to submit to the officers of the church, pastors, elders, and deacons, in their rightful sphere of authority.  Lastly, part of being faithful to Christ will include the desire to see his kingdom expand. This means that members will be people who share the gospel with those they come in contact with.  They will love their neighbor in word and deed.  

6. It is expected that members will sin.  All of the previous expectations have been things that we want members of the church to do.  We do not want members of the church to sin but because we believe what God’s word says regarding believers having a battle between their sinful nature and the spirit, we expect that you will sin.  We expect that you will strive for and fall short of the other expectations.  This is not to make excuses for sin but to simply acknowledge that even the most mature believers will struggle with indwelling sin.   With this in mind, members should be charitable toward each other.  1 Peter 4:8-9 says Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint.  Members should love each other.  When another member falls into sin, we should seek to correct and restore them in love and charity with the word of God.  And when we sin, we should be open to the correction and love of others.  

This means that members are expected to submit to the discipline of the church.  The D-word, discipline, is an often-misunderstood word.  We immediately associate it with punishment.  But discipline means more than merely negative consequences.  Discipline is training and instruction for a purpose.  The discipline of the church happens week in and week out through the preaching and teaching of God’s word.  It happens as we council each other and encourage each other towards faith and obedience.  Discipline is an ongoing and perpetual activity of the church.  Discipline does also include the more formal work of correction and consequences carried out by the elders of the Church. Sovereign King Church practices formal discipline for the glory of Christ, to protect the purity and reputation of the church, and for the purpose of restoring those caught in sin.  Members of the church are expected to submit to the discipline of the church if and when it becomes necessary.  

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