Attendance is necessary, but members should do more than just attend. They should serve. They should “do the work of ministry” (Eph. 4:12). They use their gifts to serve God and other members, building up the church in the process. Great encouragement comes from knowing you’re not the only one on the team. Great comfort comes from knowing you have teammates fighting with you and encouraging you as you go.
Every local church is comprised of a diverse group of people 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.
The member who attends.
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 no wonder that those regularly absent from the gathering often stagnate in their faith or become members who primarily grumble and complain.
Dear church member, church meetings are not about you or your convenience. Build others up by faithful attendance.
The member who encourages.
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 on 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.