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I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference (2013)

de Thom S. Rainer

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1,082614,393 (3.9)1
Rainer takes you on a journey to discover-- or rediscover-- the privilege and the joy of church membership. He shows you how to make a real commitment to your church, and make a positive impact on its community and the world.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Short, lightning fast read that could form the basis for a solid sermon series or class on membership. ( )
  nicholasjjordan | Nov 13, 2019 |
Great book with great insights, a must read for any church member old and new. If you are unhappy with your church or thinking about leaving read this book first. ( )
  nirrad | Oct 13, 2017 |
If you belong to a church or profess to be a Christian, then this little book could be an important read for you. It can be read in about an hour, but it's full of good advice about being an effective church member. It will make you think about your role within the church and the way we should approach our membership. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Feb 5, 2017 |
A great and easy read discussing what really should be the inherent understanding of commitment to the body of Christ.

Each chapter provides an element of being part of a church: the need for commitment, activity, prayer for those in service, etc., and provides a sample commitment declaration which flows from what has been discussed.

For too long too many have focused on "getting people saved" far more than "getting people incorporated into the Body of Christ"; combine that with a historic turning aside from community commitment, religious and secular, and it's little wonder why churches are in trouble. This kind of resource is useful for Christians to see and recognize what being part of a church is about. This would be a great resource, save some of its Evangelicalism bordering on Calvinism, to help new converts understand what is involved. ( )
  deusvitae | Mar 23, 2016 |
Thom S. Rainer. I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference. Nashville: B & H Publishing, 2013. 79 pp. $12.99.

Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. He is the author of two dozen books, including being the co-author of the best-selling Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples.

Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are a lost generation. Only 15% identify themselves as Christians. Churches often blame secular culture or uncaring pastors. However, Rainer writes, “I am proposing that we who are church members need to look in the mirror. I am suggesting that congregations across America are weak because many of us church members have lost the biblical understanding of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. We join our churches expecting others to serve us…” (5). He then attempts to right the ship in the following pages.

I Am a Church Member is a short and easy-to-read volume of only six chapters. The 79-page book is further shortened by the 5 x 7 inch pages. Each chapter focuses on the behaviors and attitudes of biblical church members. Each chapter ends with a covenantal pledge and a designated place for readers to sign and date their name. The goal of these six pledges is to make for healthier Christians and ultimately healthier churches. Rainer’s vision is for individual members to mature in the faith and for the corporate body to become stronger as a result.

Rainer argues the majority, around two-thirds, of church-attending Americans have adopted an unhealthy view of membership. This dominant perspective envisions the church through the lenses of a country club. The result is due-paying members who have an entitlement mentality. Thus, their church attendance means they are entitled to certain perks where timely service is expected. In other words, members have rights instead of responsibilities. Sadly, the common view of church membership is far from the biblical vision of what it means to join a local church body.

First, biblical church membership means Christians will use their God-given gifts to contribute to the mission of the local church. Second, a healthy view of church membership means taking personal responsibility in protecting the unity of the church by refusing to gossip and by rebuking those who do. Third, a biblical view means having a servant’s heart while rejecting the notion churches exist to please their members. In a powerfully insightful section, pages 36-38 outline ten behavior patterns of inwardly-focused churches. When churches become self-centered rather than others-centered, they fail to reflect the mind of Christ. Rainer concludes by stating, “When you think you’ve had it with making sacrifices for others, remember the cross” (40).

Furthermore, a fourth topic focuses on actively praying for church leaders. Our author reminds his readers the church pastor is a threat to the devil (cf. 1 Timothy 3:7). A practical application of the text requests Christians pray for their pastors for at least five minutes on a daily basis. Fifth, membership should mean loving the imperfect church unconditionally and helping our families to love the local church as well. Rainer succinctly outlines a common pattern: “Get excited about church. Get more involved. Discover the imperfections of the church. Get discouraged about the church. Leave the church” (56). Sixth, Rainer encourages Christians to view their church membership as a gift from God. If we see membership as a gift, opportunities to serve will be met with joy instead of a begrudging spirit.

The text paints a clear picture of two competing views of church membership. It then outlines practical applications for its readers to model a healthier Christian walk. Each chapter steps on proverbial toes and calls for a higher level of commitment than is common in most churches today.

The book opens with a story of two fictional men named Michael and Liam. Unfortunately, their tale of conflicting ecclesiastical paradigms is dropped without a continued plotline or resolution.

I think this book would best be used as a gift from the church to guests who attend an assimilation class. For churches to build healthy church members we should begin discipling them with resources such as I Am a Church Member shortly after they begin attending. Likewise, for existing church members the volume would be a great discussion-starter in the small group context.

Andrew Ramey
Senior Minister ( )
1 vota amramey | Dec 4, 2013 |
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Rainer takes you on a journey to discover-- or rediscover-- the privilege and the joy of church membership. He shows you how to make a real commitment to your church, and make a positive impact on its community and the world.

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