I am a Church Member is a simple little book that scratches the surface of true Christian community with one another. Though it doesn’t go very in-depth (how could it, in only seventy-nine pages?), Rainer’s book serves as a good introduction to true church membership, and, properly read, should work as a jumping-off point to more exploration and study on what it truly means to be a church member.
Rainer breaks the book up into six main points. Each chapter is concluded with a pledge which summarizes the chapter and calls the reader to continuing action. I am a Church Member is very action-oriented, and though the book does not go in-depth in explaining the points, the pledges seem to be the way that the author hopes to keep these topics in his readers’ minds.
Rainer begins by smashing the idea of the church as a country club. Though many members treat it as such, expecting benefits and perks for their contributions (tithing, serving), Rainer turns this concept on its head, arguing that the church body is not made to give to us, but us to the church body. We are all members of one body and all have a unique role to give to the church.
Yeah, not too terribly ground-breaking of an idea. We’ve heard it before, but probably never done much about it. But reiterating the idea of humility, Rainer tries to exemplify it with his six main points, which are all certain actions that spring from being a church member:
- Church members are functioning (In which he unpacks the country club idea and breaks it to pieces)
- Church members are unifying
- Church is not about our preferences and desires
- Church members pray for their leaders
- Church members lead their families to be healthy church members
- Church members treasure church membership as a gift
Though the book really is short, Rainer doesn’t waste any time. He distills the six most important aspects of church membership into short, action-oriented chapters that pack a large punch. The ideas in this book are easy to apply, and difficult to master. In that way, really, the book has served its purpose. While it’s not enough to be the be-all and end-all of church membership, it’s not meant to be. Rather, this book will push readers to action and to further study in the Bible. And that, I suspect, is exactly what Thom Rainer hoped to accomplish.
I recommend this book. May reading it spur you on to greater involvement in your own church, sparking a hunger to study the word of God, growing in knowledge and growing deeper into the body of the church around you.
Published on 16 April, 2014. Last updated on