Paul refers to four categories of people in Ephesians 2: strangers, foreigners, members of God's own family, those who belong to God's household. Strangers refer to the community of unchurched people. Every person in our neighborhood should be considered as potential members of our church, so that it would urge us to do more to bring them into the fold.
Foreigners in this context refer to those who attend church service, but are not necessarily registered with the church.Members are those who have registered with the church, baptized and confirmed in the name of Jesus Christ.
Those who belong to God's family are those who are committed to the church and contribute to the development of the church. We also have lay preachers/ministers- those who have a sense of ownership in the church and serve the church with their gifts and talents.
The goal of ministry should be to move strangers into the category of belonging to God's household. The growth of each church member should be dynamic not static.
Luke 15:1-7 highlights the desirable traits of a Christian- the ARASC Christian.
- The church must attract people. This goes beyond the edifice, the sermon, the music. The life of a church member outside the four corners of the chapel should attract those who are unchurched into God's fold.
- The church must receive people. Jesus received sinners with love. He wasn't judgmental.
- The church must accept people. Jesus was able to eat with people who were considered sinners.
- The church must be sensitive to people. Jesus told the parable of the man who left the 99 sheep and went in search of that one sheep.
- The church must celebrate people. Appreciate the small things as well as the big things.
We need to actively improve upon the quality of our warmth as a church, so that God will direct his baby Christians to us. Let us work on developing our church membership so that the Lord can use us.