Monday, June 09, 2008

Reforming the Pew

I'm a rank novice at promoting books and the like. I don't have creativity of younger folks who invent really clever things like "book bombs." Nor am I the kind of blog sophisticate who plans a book tour on various blogs. I'm afraid I may be the Hillary Clinton of book campaigning. I know... really sad comparison :-).

By the way, have you ordered your copies of Do Hard Things and Spiritual Discernment. I'm afraid that when the initial push goes away, too many people miss out on reading really important and helpful works. These are two--go buy them.

I'm really quite happy about the June 30th release of What Is A Healthy Church Member?

As you might guess from the title, it is a companion volume to What Is A Healthy Church by Mark Dever. Both books are in the Crossway series of 9Marks titles.


While 9 Marks of a Healthy Church was written primarily with pastors in mind, What Is a Healthy Church Member? is written for the average person sitting in the pew who wants their church to be as strong as possible and to play their part in it. It's a primer on contributing to church reform for the church member (or prospective member). I try to answer the natural question: “What does a healthy church member look like in the light of Scripture?”

What faithful pastor doesn't wish he had an army of members (every member!) "being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose" (Phil. 2:2)?

Because Phil. 2:2 is the Lord's heart for the church, I honestly think this is the most important book I've had the opportunity to write. To my knowledge, most books either target pastors when it comes to thinking about the church, or they target laypeople with books focused almost exclusively on individual devotion. Few books target individual laypeople with the aim of focusing them on the church, trying to center their spiritual lives in the corporate life of the body.

The health of the local church should be an every member concern (1 Cor. 12:25), not solely a pastoral concern. And the personal spiritual life of the Christian is inseparably connected with the life of the church as a whole (Eph. 4; 1 Cor. 12). I pray this books helps some Christians shift their thinking to combine concern for their personal spiritual health with concern for the collective health of the church.

I'm thankful for the endorsements the book has received:

“In an era when Christians seem confused about what kind of community the church ought to be, here’s a helpful handbook outlining the church’s true biblical priorities, especially as they apply to individual church members.”

John MacArthur, President, Grace to You

“Given the state of so many of our churches today, this book arrives not a moment too soon.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“This book provides an excellent and much-needed focus on the individual church member.”

R. C. Sproul, Chairman and President, Ligonier Ministries; Senior Minister of Preaching and Teaching, Saint Andrews Chapel, Sanford, Florida

Foreword by Mark Dever
1. A Healthy Church Member Is an Expositional Listener
2. A Healthy Church Member Is a Biblical Theologian
3. A Healthy Church Member Is Gospel-Saturated
4. A Healthy Church Member Is Genuinely Converted
5. A Healthy Church Member Is Biblical Evangelist
6. A Healthy Church Member Is a Committed Member
7. A Healthy Church Member Seeks Discipline
8. A Healthy Church Member Is a Growing Disciple
9. A Healthy Church Member Is a Humble Follower
10. A Healthy Church Member Is a Prayer Warrior
A Final Word
Scripture Index
Each chapter concludes with a short list of questions for further reflection and recommended books for further study.

My hope is that What Is a Healthy Church Member? would be the kind of book that pastors and church leaders would want to see in the hands of every person they contact. Here are a few ways I pray the book proves useful:

1. Small group study.
2. New member orientation.
3. Gifts to Christian friends who uncertain about church membership.
4. One-on-one discipleship.
5. Gift books to visitors searching for a church to join.
6. Training elders, deacons, small group and other ministry leaders.
7. Sale through your church bookstore.
8. Share copies at your ministers' association.

ORDER Healthy Member ONLINE
Berean Christian Stores:
Christian Books:
LifeWay Stores:

Please tell a friend about the book and pre-order your copies today! I pray it's a blessing to the Lord's church.


Anonymous said...

I am very much looking forward to this book. I have found the other books from 9Marks to be very helpful. Combined with your insight and heart for the church I am sure this will be no exception.

GUNNY said...

One of our adult Sunday school classes studied the companion volume in the past and at times I thought it was not as well suited as much as for church leadership.

This sounds like an ideal way to communicate the same values and priorities, but in a manner more beneficial to the common man.

Wyeth Duncan said...

I just emailed my pastor to let him know, will recommend the book to others I know, and look forward to getting a copy for myself. I'm also looking forward to seeing and hearing you next week at the New Life Conference here in Chicagoland.

May God speak to you so that you may speak to us.


pastor justin said...

Yes, I am excited about this book. We plan to use it to give to visitors and for our current members to go through. Thanks for writing this book.

Anonymous said...

wow just the titles alone are convicting! look great. how long did it take you to write it?

Anonymous said...

Brother thank you in advance for all the work you poured into this. I can't wait to read it and benefit from it myself, as well as commend it to our small groups here at my church for study.

Lisa said...

I am looking forward to getting a copy of this book!

danny2 said...

this looks wonderful thabiti! thank you.

don gale said...

Will there be anything in here about how to discern when it's time to leave a church? It's a question I've been wondering about. How do I discern whether the reason I want to leave is just my selfish desires not being met (aka a bad reason to leave) OR a genuine, godly desire to be at another church that offers other opportunities (like an inner-city church vs. a suburban church...or a middle-class, white church vs. a multi-ethnic church...or a church that serves city schools vs. a church that serves nursing home residents)?


Unknown said...

I am very excited about this book! May God use it to bring reform to his church.