Don’t Miss “I Will”: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian

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i willA few weeks ago I received an email asking if I’d like to review a new book by Thom Rainer, the co-author of Simple Church (with Eric Geiger) and Transformational Church (with Ed Stetzer), two books I highly recommend.  The new book was called I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian.

Can I let you in on a secret? When I saw the title I was intrigued and even a little hopeful, but not at all confident that I’d find it helpful.  Nothing to do with Thom Rainer’s writing.  I’ve loved many of his books (and he has a very helpful blog).  I just wasn’t sure how well his ideas about an outward focus would line up with others who have championed an externally focused or missional approach.

Know what I found?  Just like my experience with I Am a Church Member, I could not put it down!  Read the whole thing in one sitting.  Again, it’s a short book. Just over 100 pages and it’s an easy read. Don’t be fooled though. I Will is packed with many powerful insights that will leave you nodding your head in agreement and vowing to do something with it.

I really like the way Rainer framed the discussion at the outset by contrasting the typical self-serving, the-church-exists-to-meet-my-needs church with a church with an others-centered approach.

Rainer’s I Am a Church Member was about being a part of the body of Christ. I Will is about the move from a right attitude (I am) to right actions (I will). What are the nine traits?

  • I will move from “I am” to “I will”
  • I will worship with others
  • I will grow together with others
  • I will serve
  • I will go
  • I will give generously
  • I will not be a church dropout
  • I will avoid the traps of Christianity
  • I will make a difference

Can you see where this goes? I Will assembles a very practical set of commitments that could form the basis of a church-wide campaign or assimilation class. In fact, you’ll find a fairly complete church resource kit at

I’m glad I took a look at I Will. If you’re on the lookout for some ideas that will help move your church from self-centered and self-serving to others-centered…you need to take a look at I Will. I found it very helpful and I think you will too.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am also the Small Group Specialist for LifeWay. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 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.”

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