A healthy church member is someone that, in one sense, shares all the sensibilities of a good pastor. They have a concern for the spiritual growth of others, a concern for the right teaching of God's Word and a concern for the church's witness to the community, for reaching their neighbors and friends. They are people who have a high view of what it means to be a member of a church.
When we talk about being members of a church, we're not at all borrowing from the idea of membership in a rotary club, Sam's Club, or bridge club. We're actually using a term that's distinctively Christian. It comes from the image that Paul uses of the church being the body of Christ, and we are members of that body.
Healthy church members are attentive listeners. They read and listen to Scripture, look for the meaning of it, and apply it to their lives. They are Biblical theologians—not necessarily in the ivory tower with academic degrees, but endeavoring to understand how the Bible fits together from beginning to end and to understand how each part fits into that story of redemption. They care about genuine conversion, that people really are turning from sin, turning to Christ, growing in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord, and abounding in thanksgiving.
What Is a Healthy Church Member?
God intends for all of us to contribute to the mission of the local church and experience profound spiritual growth as a result. Healthy church members are people who support godly leadership and know how to humbly submit to it as Hebrews 13 calls us to. That's going to be part of what leads them to embrace, as a grace from God, the Scriptures on discipline, both the formative discipline of listening to God's Word and also, from time to time, the sad and hopeful corrective discipline of addressing people who are unrepentant of their sin with the hopes of restoring them.