Few issues are as important or as neglected as biblical church membership in our day. Following his successful book I Am A Church Member Dr. Thom Rainer has recently written I Will! Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian which advances the conversation he started in his previous book I Am A Church Member. I Will moves this conversation from “a right attitude (“I am”) to right actions (“I will”).
Many church members wonder what they should do in the church. They think that if they aren’t preaching or visibly leading in some way that they aren’t doing anything of significance in their local churches, however, every work in the local church is equally important. Just as important as leading worship or even preaching—the sanctuary, foyer, and floors need to be cleaned throughout the whole church. Every task in a local church is important none are greater than each other—although in the case of the Sunday service everything culminates on Sunday through the preaching of the Word.
We move from I Am to I Will by having the right attitude in our service to the Lord. Dr. Rainer notes, “If we have the right attitude, doing becomes natural. It becomes joyful. In other words, if you have a right biblically directed attitude you will experience joy in church membership (14). To this end, Dr. Rainer helps Christians in chapters two through six understand how they will worship with others, grow with others, serve with others, go in missions, and give generously. In addition to this he helps readers understand in chapter seven the reason why people drop out of the church and in chapter eight how to avoid the trap of walking through the motions of Christianity. Chapter nine calls readers to make a difference to the glory of God. The book concludes with an appendix that contains a commitment to the “I Will” principle.
I Will is a short but powerful book that will help church members to understand how to grow in the grace of God and serve by the power of the Holy Spirit. Some Christians have no problem with becoming a member but may have issues getting involved in the life of the church. This book will help readers struggling with how they view their local church to understand that people all around them don’t have it together and we all have a role by God’s grace to play in each other’s lives.
This book will help Christians in the pew to understand the role they can play in the life of others all around them. You never know what the person sitting next to you is going through. By having a joyful attitude (not fake either), you can make a difference in the life of people all around you. By regularly attending and getting plugged into the life of your local church you are doing one of the most countercultural things you can do—you are submitting to the rightful King Jesus Christ and placing yourself under biblically qualified godly men who will care for your soul. You are also committing to honoring the Lord by fulfilling the fifty-one another passage in the New Testament. I Will is an excellent follow-up to I Am a Church Member. Pastors should buy this book by the case load for their parishioners. This excellent book has many uses from a sermon series on church membership, small groups, or Sunday school to one-on-one discipleship. I highly recommend I Will and believe every Christian will benefit from reading it slowly and prayerfully.
I received this book for free from B&H for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.