I remember reading a book in Seminary entitled, The Death of the Church. Frankly, any notion of the final demise of the church runs counter to the promise made by our Lord in Matthew 16:18 namely – the gates of hell shall not prevail.” And while the church is, in the final analysis, an indestructible organism, it does appear to be waning in America, especially among the so-called Millennial generation. Thom S. Rainer offers thoughtful and timely advice for the church in his latest work, I Am a Church Member.
Rainer’s work gets to the heart of the matter by reminding readers that the notion of church membership is intensely biblical: “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27, ESV). Six commitments undergird this biblical imperative:
1. I Will be a Functioning Church Member
2. I Will Be a Unifying Church Member
3. I Will Not Let My Church Be About My Preferences and Desires
4. I Will Pray for My Church Leaders
5. I Will Lead My Family to Be Healthy Church Members
6. I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift
Each commitment is grounded in Scripture and conveyed in gracious and meaningful ways. The author challenges readers but never comes across in a legalistic or demeaning way. He hits the biblical balance with great wisdom and skill.
I Am a Church Member is helpful for both parishioners and pastors alike. It is a solid boost of encouragement to Christ followers in a day that is characterized by apathy and laziness.