In preparing for our Church Membership Class, I came across this book by Thom S. Rainer. The title, “I Am A Church Member” caught my attention and I purchased copies for the class.
When I sat down to read, I concluded that this is a great book for both new and old members.
It is a book that can transform the culture of a church. This small book is 79 pages long and only takes about an hour to read. It was an hour well spent. I have been a member and pastor at three different churches. Still, I felt challenged to become a better church member.
Thom Rainer draws a contrast in membership mindsets. He asks whether we think of our church as a country club or as the body of Christ. Membership in a country club is all about privilege and what the club can do for us. Membership in the body of Christ is more about how we connect to other believers and about finding our place in service to the Lord. We benefit greatly by being part of a church like Central Manor. It is a place we can worship, hear God’s word, and be loved by other Christians. If we have a family, then we can benefit from wonderful programs for our children and youth. But God does not want us to approach our church with a consumer mentality. We receive much, but we are also called to serve.
The book includes 6 commitments or “pledges” that we should make as church members:
- I will be a functioning church member.
- I will be a unifying church member.
- I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires.
- I will pray for my church leaders.
- I will lead my family to be a healthy church member.
- I will treasure my church.
I plan to read this book with my wife and share it with our daughters. If we want a better church, then we need to be better church members. We are the body of Christ, and we need to work together to have a church that glorifies God and makes a difference in our world.