by Thabiti (thuh-BEE-tee) Anyabwile

I picked up What is a Healthy Church Member early in 2009 as part of a reading group with a few men. It only took a few days to consume it, but it’s content was meaty enough to chew on for a few weeks following. I have enjoyed the materials coming out of Nine Marks ministries, and this book has found a restful position in my bookshelf. With it’s small frame (117 pages, only 7.1 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches big) it packs a powerful punch. He breaks down the book in the same way Mark Dever breaks down his book 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, but adds a 10th mark for good measure. Chapters deal with what a healthy church member is: an expositional listener, a biblical theologian, is gospel saturated, is genuinely converted, is a biblical evangelist, is a committed member, seeks discipline, is a growing disciple, a humble follower and finally, a prayer warrior.

With each chapter only a few pages long (longest is 12 pages) any member of the church, whether young or old, can easily read through this book in a week or two. I’ve found that most church members desire to be a part of a healthy and growing church, but as Thabiti aptly writes,

“The health of the local church depends on the willingness of its members to inspect their hearts, correct their thinking, and apply their hands to the work of the ministry.” (p.15, INTRO).

I believe this book should be on the required reading list for any prospective member of a local church. I cannot recommend a better book than this one for church members to grow in their knowledge on how to better serve Christ in their local church.

Here are a few more books to pick up for further reading about the church: Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris; What is a Healthy Church? by Mark Dever, and Why we Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung & Ted Kluck.