Those who join themselves to your church are not all on the same level. There are five categories by which you can distinguish between them:
Believers are only interested in their own relationship with Christ. They have little interest in church life. Believers always have to hear God for themselves, even if a proceeding word has come from the father of the house. Also, Believers enjoy the “benefits” of salvation but they refuse the “responsibility” of it. They attend church primarily for what they can get out of it and how it can benefit them personally.
Believers interpret the Bible personally. They don’t understand that the promises of the Bible are for a collective community and not individuals. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit was not poured out on an individual but on the 120. However, the prayers and efforts of Believers center around their own personal breakthroughs. Their mentality is established on personal edification and personal achievement. Everything is personalized, and they receive everything subjectively.
Members have discovered that the church is their home and not just God’s house. Their mentality has changed from a Believer to a Member of the church. The Member is no longer an individual but has come home to a family. He is no longer alone with God; now it is God, him and the church. He understands that he must embrace corporate lifestyle and he is prepared to adjust his personal life to fit into it. He reschedules his life around the activities of the church. He is prepared to make sacrifices to fulfill a common destiny.
Members are learning to bring themselves under proper spiritual covering. They learn to respect the authority structures in the church and are prepared to live in accountability to them. They receive the godly counsel and advice of those in authority. They also communicate and relate well with spiritual authority and have a personal relationship with them.
This should be the minimum starting point in the local church. Disciples are those who embrace the Word declared in the church and live it out as a lifestyle. They are doers of the Word and not just hearers. They build and model the teachings in their lives. Disciples are willing to change their thinking patterns according to the fresh truths they receive. They are able to hear the new and follow progressive revelation quickly. Their minds are not locked to the past but are opened to the new. They are willing to change and move on in God.
The Disciple has a leader from whom he is drawing as his source of truth. He is selective not to draw from anywhere or anyone. He draws from the primary source. He is clear about who his leader is and he commits to him for life, duplicating the life of Christ emulated by his leader. The Disciple has an innate nature to be like Christ.
The Minister is one who functions. He contributes his grace and gifts to the overall edification of the church. He uses all that God has given to him to make certain that others are growing. The Minister moves in a spirit of excellence and provides maximum contribution in the house. He has to be one step above the rest and excel in every good thing. Ministers function under authority and live in total accountability to the leaders they represent.
Sons are connected to the father of the house and not just to the meetings. They not only share ministry responsibilities; they have a personal relationship with the father. Their connection to the father is not a loose connection because they are connected to his heart.
Sons also connect to the people in the house knowing they are their father’s other sons. They love the church in the same way the father does. They are also connected to the purpose and vision of the house. The Son doesn’t have a vision of his own but discovers the vision and walks in the vision that is already there. Sons also provide for the vision of the house. They become a constant supply of time, energy, capacity and resources. Sons continue to perpetuate the legacy and dreams of the father.