A 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 ThomRainer.com/iwill/#kit.
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.
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