Monday, October 25, 2010

What Is a Healthy Church Member? – Thabiti M. Anyabwile

©2008 Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL

Thabiti Anyabwile is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman Islands. He is also a former assistant pastor for Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Is it any wonder that he would be part of the Nine Marks team? In a follow-up book to Dever’s Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and What Is a Healthy Church? Anyabwile offers some practical advice on what a healthy, growing church member looks like.

The author lists ten (instead of nine) marks of a healthy church member. The ten are parallels of Dever’s nine marks of a healthy church, and interrelated to them. As dealt with in the book, the marks are:

  • An expositional listener
  • A biblical theologian
  • Gospel saturated
  • Genuinely converted
  • A biblical evangelist
  • A committed member
  • A seeker of discipline
  • A growing disciple
  • A humble follower, and
  • A prayer warrior
Anyabwile includes evidence of scholarly research (though some might argue that it is heavy on Nine Marks theology throughout—but the reader needs to remember that it is part of the Nine Marks reading material) and a sample church covenant appended. The chapters on conversion and commitment are worth the price of admission.

What sets this book apart from most books that are being printed for healthy churches these days? This book is actually written with the church member in mind, instead of the focus on teaching church leaders how to produce healthy churches. The sad thing about this focus audience is that the book will rarely find its way into the hands of pew perchers (but I suspect any number of preachers will read it).

My advice—use this little book as a group study in a discipleship setting, or even as a new members’ class curriculum. It is worth four out of five reading glasses either way.

—Benjamin Potter, October 25, 2010

3 comments:

SmallWorld at Home said...

Sounds like a great book for a small group study. Great review!

Benjie said...

SmallWorld,
I think that would be an excellent use of this book. It is a great book for "not-the-preacher" to read, but will be found mostly by preacher-types like me.

Deni Avant said...

It does sound great! I also enjoy his contributions to Tabletalk magazine.

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