Posted tagged ‘What Is a Healthy Church Member?’

On Being Gospel-Saturated

March 22, 2009

For the past couple of weeks, we have been discussing at Grace the third mark of a healthy church member, namely being gospel-saturated.  During this time, I have posted the following blogposts on the subject that I thought I’d pass along here.  In the near future, I hope to begin a series on ths sufficiency of the gospel that ties into this subject very closely.  Here are the blogposts:

1.  Fueling a Gospel-Saturated Lifestyle
2.  Gospel-Saturated Love for Fellow Christians
3.  15 Gospel-Saturated Book Recommendations
4.  You Never, Never, Never Outgrow Your Need for the Gospel
5.  “Don’t I Need More than the Gospel?”
6. Never Empty Your Brain of the Gospel!

More posts are available through subscribing to the RSS feed of the TGG Blog.  You can also get info on new resources, podcasts, and other media via Grace Baptist on Twitter.

Biblical Theology for Church Members

March 12, 2009

For the past couple of weeks, I have been teaching through What Is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile, and last week we broke down the second mark – a biblical theologian.  One of things I have been doing on our church blog is to provide some resources on the various issues or doctrines we have been studying.  This past week, I posted several on biblical theology that I thought you might be interested in checking out.  Here they are:

* Getting Introduced to Biblical Theology
* Books on Biblical Theology
* Why Biblical Theology Is Essential to the Life of the Church
* D.A. Carson on Defining Biblical Theology
* Shai Linne on the Greatest Story Ever Told

The third mark is “gospel saturated” so I hope to write several posts to help fuel a gospel-saturated vision for life in every church member.  If you would like to catch these posts as they go up, you can either subscribe to the RSS feed or if you are on Twitter, you can follow Grace Baptist on Twitter.

The First Order of Business Is to Know the Gospel

October 23, 2008

Thabiti Anywabile, in his excellent little book What Is a Healthy Church Member? has a chapter on being gospel-saturated that is work the price of the entire book.  Allow me to post an excerpt where Anyabwile express the importance and definition of the gospel.

“The first order of business is to know the gospel . . .

The gospel or good news of Jesus Christ is that God the Father, who is holy and righteous in all his ways, is angry with sinners and will punish sin.  Man, who disobeys the rule of God, is alienated from the love of God and is in danger of an eternal and agonizing condemnation at the hands of God.  But God, who is also rich in mercy, because of his great love, sent his eternal Son born by the Virgin Mary, to die as a ransom and a substitute for the sins of rebellious people.  And now, through the perfect obedience of the Son of God and his willing death on the cross as a payment for our sins, all who repent and believe in Jesus Christ, following him as Savior and Lord, will be saved from the wrath of God to come, be declared just in his sight, have eternal life, and receive the Spirit of God as a foretaste of the glories of heaven with God himself.”

– Thabiti Anyabwile, What Is a Healthy Church Member? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), 40-41.

So . . . if you gave your church members 60 seconds to explain the gospel, could they give a similar response?

Book Alert: What Is a Healthy Church Member?

May 8, 2008

Title: What Is a Healthy Church Member?
Thabiti M. Anyabwile
Release Date: June 30, 2008
Pages: 128
Format: Hardcover
ISBN 13-digit: 978-1433-5021-25
Retail Price: $12.99
Table of Contents: Yes
Intro: Yes
Sample Chapter: Yes

From Crossway:

Biblically and practically instructs church members in ways they can labor for the health of their church.

What Is a Healthy Church Member? takes its cue from Mark Dever’s book What Is a Healthy Church?, which offered one definition of what a healthy church looks like biblically and historically. In this new work, pastor Thabiti Anyabwile attempts to answer the natural next question: “What does a healthy church member look like in the light of Scripture?”

God intends for us to play an active and vital part in the body of Christ, the local church. He wants us to experience the local church as a home more profoundly wonderful and meaningful than any other place on earth. He intends for his churches to be healthy places and for the members of those churches to be healthy as well. This book explains how membership in the local church can produce spiritual growth in its members and how each member can contribute to the growth and health of the whole.

Buy @:

Crossway for $12.99
Amazon for $10.39
CBD for $9.99
Monergism Books n/a
Westminister Bookstore n/a

Table of Contents:


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 a 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
Appendix: A Typical Covenant of a Healthy Church

Initial Thoughts:

This little book is the third in a series produced by IX Marks in conjunction with Crossway Books. While there are several good books out which speak to church life and a member’s meaningful participation therein, this contribution by Anyabwile provides a simple, straight-forward, and easily digestible format for understanding what it means to be a healthy church member. It is no secret today that the majority of our churches are unhealthy, and while there are some things that can be done from the influence of an elder/leader, healthy churches are comprised of healthy church members, and any church that wants to become more healthy would find this work grassroots manual for accomplishing that noble and necessary goal. I look forward to reading this important book and passing it on!


What Is a Healthy Church Member? fills an enormous gap in the literature of practical Christian living. The book is extremely valuable as a straightforward, easy-to-read user’s guide to the church. It is also a profound and thoroughly biblical digest of practical ecclesiology, written with a compelling sense of passion and urgency. As such, it is a valuable resource for every church member —from the beginner to the seasoned pastor alike. In an era when Christians in general 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

“Thabiti Anyabwile has filled a great void in contemporary Christian literature. Books on how to be a faithful pastor or church leader are common, but it is rare to find a book that speaks so directly about being a faithful church member. With a wealth of biblical insight and practical instruction, Anyabwile calls Christians to do more than just attend church, but to be the kind of faithful, engaged church members that God intends them to be. 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

“Some books are so simple they are scarcely worth skimming; others are so complex that, unless their subject matter is extraordinarily important, they are not worth the time they demand. But sometimes one finds a book that is simultaneously simple and profound—and this is one of them. In a generation when many people are talking about the importance of Christians living “in community,” few have unpacked, in biblically faithful and personally penetrating ways, just what that means. Thabiti Anyabwile closes the gap. Read it, think about it, pray over it—and distribute it generously around your congregation.”
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“This book provides an excellent and much-needed focus on the individual church member. We can all benefit from this insightful book.”
R. C. Sproul, Chairman and President, Ligonier Ministries; Senior Minister of Preaching and Teaching, Saint Andrews Chapel, Sanford, Florida

“A faithful pastor is also a good church member. Thabiti is evidence of this truth and thus has written with pastoral insight and personal experience on what it means to be a healthy church member. Any church desiring to strengthen its membership would do well to get this book into the hands of its members. Being a faithful church member in an age of overindulgence and selfish impulses is not easy. Yet, Thabiti not only reminds us it is possible, but he also challenges us with the biblical reality that it is necessary. I continue to thank God for the mind and heart of Thabiti Anyabwile.”
Anthony J. Carter, pastor; author; editor, Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church

“Thabiti Anyabwile’s What Is a Healthy Church Member? asks the right questions about the offer of church membership, calling each local body of believers to cultivate and sustain practices of an assembly formed by the gospel. It is a most practical manual, yet it is free from the religious utilitarianism that often marks seeker-oriented works in this genre. Any leadership and laity that would elect to read this book together and embrace its exhortations would find their life as the family of God increasing in its wisdom, power, love, and witness in the world. What a balm we all will find in the words of this book!”
Eric C. Redmond, Senior Pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Temple Hills, Maryland

About the Author:

Thabiti M. Anyabwile is senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman Islands. He holds B.A. and M.S. degrees in psychology from North Carolina State University. He and his wife, Kristie, have two daughters. Thabiti is the author of The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors and The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Accommodation.