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Author: Thom S. Rainer
Publisher: B Books
Publication Date: 05/01/2013
Synopsis from Goodreads: Best-selling author and ministry leader Thom S. Rainer drew an exceptional response when he posted a 500-word declaration about church membership to his daily blog. “I Am a Church Member” started a conversation about the attitudes and responsibilities of church members — rather than the functional and theological issues — that previous new member primers all but ignored.
Thoughtfully expanded to book form, I Am a Church Member begins to remedy the outbreak of inactive or barely committed church members, addressing without apology what is expected of those who join a body of believers. When a person’s attitude is consistently biblical and healthy, matters of giving, serving, and so forth will fall into place more naturally.
Six intentional chapters with study questions guide this rising discussion:
1. I Will Be a Unifying Church Member
2. I Will Not Let the Church Be About My Preferences and Desires
3. I Will Pray for My Church Leaders
4. I Will Lead My Family to Be Healthy Church Members
5. I Will Be a Functioning Member
6. I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift
Once again, I must disclose that I am not, in fact, a Christian. That does not mean that I do not have the ability to try and understand how Christians think or how they might come to believe the way they do.
I’ve been a Christian before… or at least called myself one. And while I admit I recognized some things that I did in this book, I also recognized things that seemed to run rampant in the churches I was part of. Those things were a big reason why I actually stopped being a Christian.
This book teaches how to be a Biblical church member – not just a church member who pays tithes like they are membership dues and expects to be treated with kid gloves because he/she helps to pay the pastor’s salary with those “dues.” Thom S. Rainer is right – a lot of church members do act as though the church is there to serve them. He makes it plain that this isn’t the way we need to be and he provides steps and explanations as to what a “real” church member should be like.
I found the book very easy to read, quick to read, and enjoyable. There wasn’t any of the harsh criticism that I often find in books that are going to tell you how to be a good Christian. I definitely give this five stars. I would actually recommend church leaders consider this book for a six to twelve week course (the chapters are short but you could take two weeks per chapter to really drive the points home) for church members to show them how church members should be.
I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.