Review of I Am A Church Member by Thom Rainer
This is the first book by Thom Rainer that I have read. In what I have discovered about him in general, but as a result of following his blog in particular, I have developed quite a bit of respect for him. His latest did not disappoint.
Published on April 14, 2013, I Am A Church Member is available in Kindle e-book or hardcover versions and it is just under 100 pages long. I read the book in Kindle form in less than 2 hours. It is easy to read, digest and sensitively but unashamedly addresses issues like gossip, a "what's in it for me" mindset, worship wars and more.
Rainer asks the reader to consider what he believes is a biblical attitude of church membership and how that differs from the culture's definition of membership. Unlike other books of this type, Rainer doesn't ignore Scripture but brings them forth alongside research and experience to offer a compelling description of what a church member is and should be and the difference that would make in our churches and thus in the culture as a whole. The pledges he ends each chapter with and includes in the back are a great reminder of what has been learned so that the reader can put them into action. In addition, each chapter ends with questions pertinent to that chapter's content.
With enthusiasm, I recommend I Am A Church Member. Useful for personal enrichment as well as a group Bible study or even as a resource for a pastor in discussing these important issues with the board or a small group or church setting, I am sure that if you purchase it, it will not go to waste. It is a must read for every church member.
Currently, the book is for sale at Christian Book Distributors for $5.00 in hardcover and $4.99 in e-book form. The audiobook form there is $8.99. Amazon has the e-book for $4.99 in Kindle format, $9.25 hardcover and $8.75 audiobook. Of course these prices are subject to change depending on promotions, etc.
Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. He was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has a blog at www.thomrainer.com