I am an avid reader of Thom Rainer’s blog and many of his books. He is a perceptive analyst of church life: its challenges, culture, growth and decline. His latest little book (112 6×4 pages) addresses the problem of inwardly focused church members whose priority for their church is getting their own needs met. In other words, Christians who are selfish complainers, and who are not interested in serving others in their community.
It is entitled, I WILL! Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian. He lists the right attitude church members should have: unifying, sacrificial, prayerful, and joyful. He condemns seeing church as a spectator sport, as being about meeting my needs, dwelling on its flaws, having low expectations and cliquish membership.
He concludes with a commitment to “I Will”
- I will have the attitude of Christ and put other church members before my wants and desires.
- I will gladly participate in corporate worship with my fellow church members as long as I am physically able.
- I will get involved in a group or a class so that I might grow spiritually together with others, and so that I might be accountable to them.
- I will go and share the gospel with others in words and deeds, and not be ashamed of my Savior.
- I will give abundantly and joyfully, recognizing that God is the owner of all things I currently steward.
- I will participate in the life of my church because God leads me to do so, not because I feel compelled to please people or to feel guilty for say “no.”
- I will focus on the positive ways God is using my church, and not on the flaws of my church, its leaders, or its members.
- And I will pray that God will use me as an instrument to revive His church, for His name, and for His glory.
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources.