In every healthy congregation you will find certain people that comprise the essential "heart and soul" of the church. Note . . .

-- They are always present at the assemblies. They make it a point to never miss any of the services. If it is necessary to make changes, adjust schedules, suffer inconvenience or simply miss out on other activities, they will do so because they are committed to being present every time the doors are open.

-- These folks actually look for opportunities to serve. If there is work to be done, Bible classes to be taught, weak members to be encouraged, sick folks to be visited, menial chores to be fulfilled, they will step up and get the job done. They are not waiting to be told what to do. Instead they are searching for more and more that can be accomplished.

-- In matters of personal purity and morality, these people are setting a worthy example. They don't look for "loopholes" to justify untoward behavior. Rather they "go the extra mile" to make sure that there is not even an "appearance of evil" (1 Thess. 5:22). In the clothes they were, the language they use, the places they go, the movies and TV they watch, these brethren are determined to do the right thing.

-- Most surveys indicate that 80% of what is contributed in any church comes from about 20% of the membership. The kind of people we're describing here are among that 20%. They are truly sacrificial in their giving.

-- When conflicts arise in the church, these people can be counted on to help make resolution. They are not the sort to get their feelings hurt easily. Instead, they work hard to address situations that -- unheeded -- could lead to serious division. They stand firmly and without compromise for the truth, they love their brethren, and they care about the church.

More could be said, but the picture is pretty clear. Local churches depend on these members. In fact, without them a congregation will never prosper. Now, the simple question is: Are you one of these 'essential' church members? Think!

By Greg Gwin

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