I Am a Church Member: Review

Author: Thom S. Rainer
Pages: 79 pages
Genre: Christian Living
Release Date: May 1, 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Becoming a member of my local church was something I’d wanted to do for a while, but didn’t until recently because I had always believed I wouldn’t be in my city long-term. Once I realized I would be, I sent in my application and refreshed my e-mail about every 20 minutes until I got one back that said I was good to go. The following Sunday I received a little “new members” package which included this easy read (I was pretty excited that a book was one of the goodies). So, I read!

Rainer’s I Am a Church Member is a quick, personal read that takes a different approach to the meaning of the local church. Rather than the self-seeking culture that the world has taken on, Rainer challenges church members to seek to serve the local church instead. With effortless language, anecdotes, and scripture he provides practical approaches on how to do this and how to avoid a “the world is meant to serve me” mentality.

There is inevitably a written work out there that could go more into depth on this topic, which I would be most interested to read. However, for the purposes of this being for new church members who have different experiences, preferences, and may or may not like to read – I think this book hits the nail on the head. For that reason, I’m inclined to give it a 5 out of 5 stars. If you have a spare hour, I’d definitely encourage you to read through it! A great learning experience.

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3 thoughts on “I Am a Church Member: Review

  1. Thank you for these reviews! I’m a very undisciplined reader, and am working to improve that, but I trust your taste enough to know whether I should pick a book up or not.

    I may have to read this one; lately I’ve been struggling with the idea of church membership, as the current church I attend does not incentivize it very much (i.e. non-members can volunteer, go on mission trips, be on leadership, etc.).

    I know you touched on how the book asks us to not so much go to church strictly to look for getting fed (which I agree with), but I guess my question is: does this book address if we as Christians should continue to go to a church with hopes to “fix” it, if the church is a gospel-centered church but does have a lot of issues?

    That would be helpful to know, because I feel like I’ve been alone in my thought process and friends I’ve grown with over the past year or so have no desire to hear my side of things. Thanks, Steph, this was a well-done, concise review.

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    1. Nik, so honored you’re reading my reviews! 🙂

      It doesn’t necessarily address “fixing” the church, but there is one story about a pair of friends talking and one decides to leave the church for a couple of different reasons. His main reason being that he felt like the church was made up of hypocrites. His friend tried to explain that we all are and there was nothing major going on, this particular man just felt slighted.

      I’d have to say that’s the biggest takeaway I’ve gotten from it. There is no perfect church. I’ve felt slighted or upset with the actions that even the church I’m a part of now has made. Ultimately though, I know I’m a sinner and I mess up all of the time and I know the love the church has shown me (the way they’ve taught me, reached out, helped me grow, etc.) outweighs being hurt. We would never be in community with anyone if we just walked away from people when they hurt us, but for some reason we do that with the church. His main point is that if you approach the church to serve, then the problems will “fix themselves”, so to speak, because you’ll have a stronger, more unified church.

      Hope that helps!

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      1. I’m honestly honored to read them! I’ve always thought your opinion on certain things to be profound and well thought out.

        This does help out a lot. I know it isn’t a good vs. bad kind of thing, but you’re right, considering how the church has helped you grow is a good thing to consider. We certainly should go to church to serve, but it’s true that that is one of the primary means by which we as Christians grow. Great point on relativizing ourselves for a second and remembering that we’re all sinners; I guess if we go to a church that acknowledges their faults, that’s all we can ask for.

        Thanks so much; I’m looking forward to more reviews in the future!

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