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What Is a Healthy Church Member?

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  1,107 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Biblically and practically instructs church members in ways they can labor for the health of their church.

What Is a Healthy Church Member? takes its cue from Mark Dever's book What Is a Healthy Church?, which offered one definition of what a healthy church looks like biblically and historically. In this new work, pastor Thabiti Anyabwile attempts to answer the natural next
Hardcover, 127 pages
Published June 9th 2008 by Crossway Books
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Community Reviews

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Aug 11, 2016 Jimmy rated it it was amazing
Over the last few years I’ve read this book different times with others in different context ranging from our church’s small groups and also one on one. The last time I finished this book was a few months ago. I’m somewhat surprised that I have not written a review of this book until now.
The author Thabiti Anyabwile has written on what is a healthy church member. For those familiar with Mark Devers’ ministry and writing, readers will immediately notice that Thabiti’s first nine of ten points is
Todd Wilhelm
Mar 29, 2016 Todd Wilhelm rated it it was ok
A "9Marx" manifesto of what a good church member should look like. included in this list are, of course, one who seeks discipline, humbly follows leaders, and is committed to local church membership.

Based on my experience, if one attends a local church pastored by a 9Marx devotee, this book is not needed. You will have these core concepts drilled into you ad-nauseum .

If you are thinking of attending a "9Marx" church this little volume may prove beneficial in highlighting what's in store for you.
Nov 03, 2012 Adam rated it really liked it
Good, heartening stuff. In a day when we’re constantly being given reasons why the Church cannot possibly be fully Biblical, an author like Thabiti Anyabwile does a great service in plowing through all of that and simply, clearly describing the duties and character traits of a healthy Church member.
May 09, 2012 Dustin rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dustin by: Joshua Claycamp
Shelves: christian-living
A wonderful, short book that won't scare off those of whom it would be of the most use to. It was a joy to read and where I was strong, I was further encouraged; where I was weak, I was convicted. Every Christian ought to take a few days off from their reading schedule and go through this book.
Jun 17, 2015 John rated it really liked it
I've had this short book for a while, but finally got around to reading it as our church in San Diego recently started membership classes. Anyabwile's book is a companion to another IX Marks book, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever, and follows the same structure of that book, linking the "9 marks" (plus 1) to the church members' responsibility and relationship to those fundamentals of a health church. They are:

A Healthy Church Member is...

An Expositional Listener
A Biblical Theologian
Jan 06, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: gift-i-received
What Is a Healthy Church Member? is a straightforward, quick read which can prove beneficial to the new and long-standing church member alike.

I received my copy upon becoming a member of a local church (an excellent welcoming gift, I might add). However, if church leaders stand behind the points this book covers (or even just a number of them), an even more fitting idea might be to make the book part of a membership class which would take place prior to a membership commitment. That way, potenti
Dec 20, 2012 David rated it really liked it
This book is perhaps the best material I have read to date on Church membership. It covers some very, very, basic material in a very, very, thought provoking manner. It is very, very, well organized and in my opinion, extremely sound doctrinally. It deals with the believers's walk, offering a checklist to help the believer find deficiencies in his conduct. It also emphasizes the LOCAL church rather than the universal kingdom approach so prevelant in theological materials today.

One of the reason
Jun 24, 2013 Johnny rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
What is a Healthy Church Member? is the second book in the IX Marks series which began with What is a Healthy Church?. In many ways, it’s the kind of book I avoid. It’s a short work filled with short prescriptions which are supposed to fit every believer and every church. I like complexity and ambiguity. Once in a while, though, we need to remind ourselves of fundamentals of what we do, just like major league baseball players need to reinforce throwing motions, fielding procedures, and bunting, ...more
Daniel Melvill
Oct 09, 2010 Daniel Melvill rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any serious Chirstian
In What is a Healthy Church Member? Thabiti Anyabwile asks the question, “What does a healthy church member look like in the light of Scripture?”(14) The author answers his question with ten chapters, each addressing a mark of a healthy believer. The first five marks, Expositional Listening, Biblical Theology, Gospel Saturated Life, Genuine Conversion, and Biblical Evangelism, are calls to pursue a more biblical theology, while the final five, Committed Membership, Seeking Discipline, Growing as ...more
Jul 31, 2013 Marshall rated it liked it
Quick thought: I generally liked the book and thought he had some helpful insights for pastors and church goers. I especially enjoyed the exhortation to be a good, expository listener to the sermons that are preached by the pastor.
That said, I believe he misrepresents the gospel horribly when he conflates justification and sanctification in his segment on true conversion. He quotes Michael Andrus below: (from loc 757 in Kindle Version)
In order to keep a healthy view of conversion in mind in o
Clark Goble
Dec 20, 2012 Clark Goble rated it really liked it
This little book by Thabiti Anyabwile should be required reading for anyone who attends church. Unfortunately, many of us do not understand the importance of being involved in the local church and see it as an optional (and even sometimes offensive) aspect of our faith. Those of us who do attend often refrain from getting too involved and leave all the work of the church in the hands of a small minority.

Anyabwile, however, has provided readers with a wonder tool to benefit an individual who wan
Dan Curnutt
Mar 01, 2011 Dan Curnutt rated it it was amazing
Thabiti Anyabwile gives us a great little tool to help each of us who are church members to understand what it is that will help us grow to our full potential in a very healthy manner. Often times we attend church without a clue as to what our responsibility is, what our reason for being there truly is or we think that just because we attend that gives us brownie points towards the ultimate goal of being allowed into heaven.

Thabiti though gives us very practical guidelines to remind us that we
Aug 08, 2016 Drake rated it really liked it
Thabiti Anyabwile's short but excellent book was exactly what I needed to read at this particular juncture of my life. It is all too easy to become a professional "church critic" and sit in judgment over every little detail of church life while neglecting to ask myself the question: "Am I a spiritually mature member who contributes to the overall health of the church?" The chapters on being an "expositional listener," "growing disciple," and "humble follower" were particularly (and painfully) co ...more
Chad Grindstaff
Sep 02, 2015 Chad Grindstaff rated it really liked it
Overall a good little book. Something that would be beneficial for every church member (i.e. Christian) to read. For the most part it follows along with Mark Dever's "Nine Marks of a Healthy Church" and applies it to church members. There is certainly more that could be said, and more that Scripture addresses, but with that said this is a solid book that should be encouraging to readers and I know that if entire congregations read this book it would certainly encourage the leadership, and my gue ...more
Danny Daley
Jan 25, 2015 Danny Daley rated it liked it
Short and easy to read, this book offers a solid starting point to new church members, or church members coming out of unhealthy church environments. By nature, it is a bit oversimplified in many places, and it should be emphasized that this is only a starting point. Much of it would be fairly self evident to someone in a healthy church, but overall it is an excellent tool that can benefit the church.
Dec 26, 2013 Charles rated it liked it
This book is very practical. It offers some very clear guidance on areas that church members can focus in order to become "more effective" believers. Of course to some people this terminology is scary, to Thabiti never lets you doubt his heart behind his recommendations.

Instead of being scared of legalism and works-based salvation, Thabiti whole-heartedly sets forth the recommendations of how we can increase our love for other church members in practical ways.

We should not be scared to "work ou
Jaison Abraham
May 25, 2015 Jaison Abraham rated it really liked it
I read this book a while back, but I remember it being both very simple and Biblical. As a Christian in America, the church has taken on many forms, but books like these always bring us back to the tenets of the Gospel and its implications for how we need to act in church. I think its a good book for anyone looking for a refresher on what it means to be a good church member.
Iain Hamill
Jan 04, 2016 Iain Hamill rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-study
Brief but helpful little study on church membership. Good to have the focus on the church family and prayer in particular.

Liked the paraphrase and application of Augustine of Hippo as well:

'In all things essential - unity, in all things non-essential - liberty, and in all things - love'.

Lynette Karg
Feb 18, 2016 Lynette Karg rated it really liked it
A biblical, thorough, yet accessible book directed toward the average church member. I found this to be more helpful and complete than "I am a church member". It borrows heavily from 9 marks of a healthy church, yet manages to apply those principles to individuals within the church in a concise but helpful way.
Adam Townsend
Jan 20, 2016 Adam Townsend rated it really liked it
This is a very clear, concise book regarding the essential qualities of a church member. Church membership is something that many churches and individuals struggle with and this book helps clear up some misconceptions regarding membership. An excellent read.
Zachary Martin
Nov 16, 2014 Zachary Martin rated it it was amazing
Great book on what it truly means to be a part of a faith family. The chapters on expositional listening and evangelism are excellent! A must read for individuals desiring to join a local church or for those who have been members for a while and need a reminder of how they should function within their membership role.
Sep 28, 2015 Jan rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Jan by: can't remember
Read for book club. 1.5 stars out of 5. Okay but I've read better books on the subject. Churches (esp. church denominations) used to write their own membership books that were much more extensive than this.

After reading some of the author's more recent blog posts at TGC, I'm not sure I want to spend the time reading this after all, even though I bought it when it was discounted on Kindle. I used to think he was pretty good but have lost a lot of respect for him over the last y
Mar 23, 2014 Calvin rated it really liked it
A gift from the Pastor on joining Greenisland Baptist Church, this little book contains much wisdom and practical guidance on how church and being in church should look and feel. A God centred and God honouring little volume. I needed to read this. We are needy people. God is a gracious giver. Thanks for the book.
Bill Simmons
Aug 18, 2016 Bill Simmons rated it really liked it
Well written and full of practical uses for the body of believers who make up the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are using this book as a starting point in our church discipleship ministry. The person we were teamed up with were the result of our Pastor and his wife praying over the members and seeking God's will in matching them up. To say that the matches were perfect is over reacting, but the Lord had his hand in this from start to finish. I have personally read through this 3 times, and ...more
Chad Duke
Mar 04, 2016 Chad Duke rated it it was amazing
Really good book. Found this necessary for all Christians as a reminder about how important the Church is, and how as Christians can serve one another.
Doug Payne
Aug 06, 2015 Doug Payne rated it really liked it
Good stuff in this book. Being a healthy church member is more about our intentionality to pursue Christ than it is anyone else's.
Jonathan Keisling
Feb 15, 2016 Jonathan Keisling rated it really liked it
Clear, concise primer on what it means to be a healthy church member. While it certainly isn't comprehensive, it is a helpful way to begin thinking about the topic.
Natalie Rehurek
May 30, 2014 Natalie Rehurek rated it really liked it
This was an easy read and extremely helpful in my Christian walk! Very practical and well written.
Apr 04, 2014 Liz rated it liked it
Short and to the point, really clearly outlines 10 key characteristics of a healthy church member. Helpful and good reminders!
May 07, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it
I enjoyed giving this book a careful, slow read this past week while Ashley and I were on Bryan College's senior trip (cruise to the Bahamas!). Many of the chapters were very convicting and others were very affirming and encouraging. For new and old believers alike, this will prove to be a helpful read. I loved how he balanced the necessity of both devotion to God and God's people with being an accurate student of the Biblical text. I also enjoyed his emphasis on seeing Christianity as a corpora ...more
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  • What Is a Healthy Church?
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  • What is the Mission of the Church?: Making sense of social justice, Shalom and the Great Commission
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  • Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry
  • What Is the Gospel?
  • Why Small Groups? Together Toward Maturity
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  • Church Planting Is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things
  • Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide for Ministry
  • The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians
  • Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Churc
  • Total Church: A Radical Reshaping Around Gospel and Community
Born Rob Burns, and raised in a nominal Christian household, Thabiti took an African-sounding name during his phase experimenting with the Nation of Islam (a Black supremacist movement, not to be confused with the religion of Islam) in college. Shortly thereafter he returned to Christianity, and is now pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, D.C. and a member with The Gospel Coalition.
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“If churches are to be healthy, then pastors and teachers must be committed to discovering the meaning of Scripture and allowing that meaning to drive the agenda with their congregations.” 1 likes
“Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7), but it is the nature of true godliness, maturity, and health in church members to accept the loving instruction and rebuke of others.” 0 likes
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