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

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,900 ratings  ·  443 reviews
Best-selling author and ministry leader Thom S. Rainer drew an exceptional response when he posted a 500-word declaration about church membership to his daily blog. "I Am a Church Member" started a conversation about the attitudes and responsibilities of church members -- rather than the functional and theological issues -- that previous new member primers all but ignored. ...more
Hardcover, 79 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by B Books (first published April 13th 2013)
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 ·  2,900 ratings  ·  443 reviews

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Rachel B
May 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, christian
Though the information in this book isn't wrong, per se, it's incomplete and unbalanced.

Rainer says: "You are [in your local church] to meet the needs of others. You are there to serve others. You are there to give. You are there to sacrifice. Get the picture?" (p 34)

While at first glance that might sound biblical, the Bible, in fact, uses one-another terminology to describe what we "should" be doing in the Church body. "Love one another, forgive one another, serve one another..." As in, our ch
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
I recommend a lot of books, but I believe this book needs to become required reading in “new membership” classes or meetings. This small hardback book has six chapters which cover what a church member’s responsibilities are to their church. I have been a church member all my life, I became a Christian and was baptized in 3rd grade, but even though I grew up knowing all these responsibilities it was eye opening and refreshing to read this short book by Rainer. Rainer is someone who, when he speak ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a tale of three books, and which book you read is all a matter of perspective.

Perspective #1: This perspective is illustrated by the 7 full pages of quotes from "professional" ministers recommending the book. These people work in the church all the time, and see the limitations and deficiencies of its membership clearly. They find this book encouraging and approachable because it is short, to the point, and adherence to it's principles by all members would make their job of leading much
James Collins
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church
An Excellent Resource
I read I Am a Church Member after I read another of Dr. Rainer's books, High Expectations. In many ways, this book is a companion piece to that work. High Expectations speaks of a church leader communicating commitment to church membership. I Am A Church Member spells out what it means to make that commitment from the members point of view and comes with a pledge at the end of each chapter. The pledges are I will: (1) be a functioning church member; (2) be a unifying church
Aug 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: finished-2013
This book is typical, legalistic church doctrine, telling the parishioner in order to be a "good Christian" you need to give the church you attend total control of your life. The Biblical references are weak, oftentimes taking one passage out of context to prove the author's points. The points on how to get along are good, no gossip, no complaining, forgiveness etc, but the rest of the book works on shaming the Christian into believing that your loyalty, money and time all belong to your church ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A simple read jam-packed with some practical, powerful + sweet reminders! As Christ as the bridegroom and the church as the bride, I love how Rainer illustrates how to love the bride well, with unwavering and unconditional love.
Valerie Basham
Aug 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Every Christian church member should read this no matter how good you think you are or how long you’ve been a member of a church. Excellent.
May 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religious
A small primer on church membership, geared towards opening the eyes of those that view the church as another institution in place to gratify the hearers. While this book has the right intent to wake the congregation out of complacency, I personally felt that it missed the mark for where I find myself. There is a strong and rightful emphasis on service, but I wished the book had a little more balance on the fact that we should still expect to be blessed by the church (not necessarily the pastor) ...more
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This small booklet is the most relevant title for churches I've read so far this year. I read it a couple of years ago, and read it again today. It's a very quick read (took me about 20 minutes), and is full of pertinent, Biblical truth for all church members. Every church would be much stronger if all members read it, then signed the pledge. It has the potential to change the course not only of lives, but of congregations. It's one of Dr. Rainer's best. ...more
Doug Francis
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read. Would recommend to any church member or leader.
R.J. Gilbert
Oct 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Why is it that, if a “Christian” book about divisions in the church has made it the long road from writer’s desk to printing press—through that vicious gauntlet of submissions editors, corporate fad surfers, and sales projection analysts who keep so many manuscripts from ever making it to the printing press (unless the writers publish independently)—the book is going to be one to favor the pastor and put blame for a church’s problems on rebellious or apathetic members within the body? Why is it ...more
Noah W
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
My mentor selected this book for me to read and discuss later as this was one of our churches' recommended resources.

The main idea of I Am a Church Member is to encourage believers to become committed members of a local church and serve that church.

The enemy: The author seeks to refute "country club church" mentality that many Christians take when attending a church.

Here is a list of commitments(& chapter titles) that Rainer proposes in the book and my take on them:

I will be a functioning chur
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 iss
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-2013
This is a short book. This may be a little off putting to some folks as to whether or not they should purchase it. It is also a simple read. This may also be a deterrent.

Simply put though...Read this book!

Yes, it short, yes it is simple, but immediately after reading this book, I said to myself, "I want everyone in my congregation to read this book!" I am thinking of placing his steps for congregational healthiness at the forefront of our next council meeting. They are easy and simple guideline
Elizabeth Johnson
A helpful - and short! - reminder of what church membership really involves. It only took me about an hour to read, but it contained so much truth about the individual's responsibility to care for others with their local church. Even as a lifelong church member, there were some aspects I'd never really considered - like chapter 5's exhortation to lead your family to healthy church membership - and found other chapters a useful and timely reminder of my responsibilities to pray for the church lea ...more
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great little book. We need to encourage our church members to be more than pew sitters and this book will encourage that.
Isaac Hicks
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nice quick read defining biblical church membership.
Melvin Benson V
Jul 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
I state this with every Christian non-fiction read, but they all read the same. Strip the author away and you have someone influenced by the same determined language and definitive exclamation as the Puritans. Often, the Christian non-fiction literature of our day is more attune with a time long since past than the time they try to write for. The only times they often dip into the current time is to mention how one is "binging Netflix too long" or "spending too much time on the internet". In pur ...more
Luke Tappen
Nov 07, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was given to anyone attending my church’s membership class. It wasn’t required reading but a few of the pledges were touched on briefly.

The book was alright, and I can see where it may be beneficial to give to new church members. The content was disappointing, though. In short, it was very surface level and had no references for supporting data. Even if everything in the book is correct, the writing didn’t sit all that well with me—and I pretty much agree with everything the writer sai
Evan Steele
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars. - This is not a theological classic, but it should be read by every church member.

Rainer boils down the basic responsibility of a church member into a masterclass that is as powerful as it is short.

The book outlines some basic responsibility of functioning and serving as a part of a local church. This is an excellent first place to start for a new church member and challenging reminder to a long time church goer.

At 70 something pages, this wont take but a couple of short sittings to
Jul 23, 2022 rated it it was amazing
We received a copy of this when we joined our new church. We were regular and active members of our previous church, so we are not new to the concept of church membership. Church membership is a 2-way relationship. Yes, the membership serves and ministers to us, but also we are to plug in, serve, and minister to others. There are some books worthy of reading to refresh or reset your perspective. This is one of those books. I was able to read the whole thing in an afernoon and it helped me reset ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I hesitate to say this should be required reading but I do think it is a book that one should give serious consideration to reading. It opens with A Tale Of Two Church Members and moves on to six steps to seriously and prayerfully consider with regards to what kind of member do you want to be in the church. I highly recommend it.
Lauren Fee
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an encouraged read for individuals going through membership at our new church. It’s a super quick read that focuses on the attitudes that members should have concerning their membership in a local church. We should not view this membership like a country club membership, but as a an opportunity to make ourselves low like Christ made himself low in washing the disciples feet. We are members to serve as Christ served. I didn’t find anything new here, but it was a good heart check and remi ...more
Joel Lomman
Nov 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Great little book that provides a strong intro to what is required of a biblical church member. Doesn't really include anything on church discipline, but other than this it is a great tool for any joining a church.

A Biblical church member is functional in that they give generously and eagerly serve.
Nathan Harris
Jul 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Great little book! Perhaps surface-level, but none-the -less new and revolutionary for many congregants that have only known a consumeristic church experience. I will probably be using this for a group study in the near future.
Misty Althouse
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Took less than 2 hours to read but packed with info. Every member of the church should read.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
My church used this as small group studies (over Zoom) over the last several weeks. It's short, and Rainer challenges church members to change their approach to membership. Being part of the body is about serving, not being served. Building unity means refusing to gossip and foregoing criticism about minor preferential issues. The second half of the book deals with how loving the church means praying for the leadership, leading others (our families) by example, and recognizing membership in a lo ...more
Jamie Bates
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was delightfully simply and yet very engaging. I enjoyed the questions at the end of each chapter that, if you chose to engage, really pulled you deeper into the short teachings.
Angela M. Artis
Sep 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Excellent read !!! Every church member should read.
Stephen Bedard
Dec 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
A church member doesn't mean looking to get entertained at church. There are expectations and this book lays out those roles. ...more
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Thom S. Rainer is the founder and CEO of Church Answers and Executive Director of Revitalize Network. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama where he received his degree in business administration. He received both the master of divinity and the Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary.

Dr. Rainer has served as pastor of four churches. He is the former president of Rainer
Group consulting. He ser

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Here at Goodreads World Headquarters, we tend to read a lot of books. Like, a lot a lot. And every December, as we finish up our...
37 likes · 16 comments
“If outside forces and culture were the reasons behind declining and non-influential churches, we would likely have no churches today. The greatest periods of growth, particularly the first-century growth, took place in adversarial cultures. We are not hindered by external forces; we are hindered by our own lack of commitment and selflessness.” 6 likes
“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.” 1 likes
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