Book Review: Quotes from What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile


Quotes from What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile

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 ministry. (15)

The mark of Christian discipline is love – love of the kind that Jesus exercised toward his followers, love visible enough that men will recognize it as belonging to those people who follow Jesus. Not surprisingly, then, a healthy Christian is one who is committed to expressing this kind of love toward other Christians. And the best place for Christians to love this way is in the assembly of God’s people called the local church. (67)

Members of Christian churches continue to think small thoughts of God and great thought of man. This state of affairs reveals that too many Christians have neglected their first great calling: to know their God. Every Christian is meant to be a theologian in the best and most intimate sense of the word. If churches are to prosper in health, church members must be committed to being biblical theologians in whatever capacity they can. (27-28)

As healthy church members endeavoring to strengthen our churches, we can participate in the discipline of the church with joy and faith, knowing that our loving Father graciously and faithfully corrects those whom he loves. It’s our delight to see the tracings of God’s handiwork displayed in the growth, repentance, and restoration of those who receive the grace of discipline. (81)

Whether your Christian life began yesterday or thirty years ago, the Lord’s intent is that you play an active and vital part in his body, the local church. (14)

When we listen to the preaching of the Word, we should not listen primarily for “practical how-to advice,” though Scripture teaches us much about everyday matters. Nor should we listen for messages that bolster our self-esteem or that rouse us to political and social causes. Rather, as members of Christian churches we should listen primarily for the voice and message of God as revealed in his Word. (19-20)

…healthy church members give themselves to understanding the unity and progression of the Bible as a whole – not just isolated or favorite passages. They approach the Bible knowing that they are reading one awesome story of God redeeming for himself a people for his own glory. (28)

The gospel is absolutely vital to a vibrant, joyous, persevering, hopeful, and healthy Christian and Christian church. So essential is the gospel to the Christian life that we need to be saturated in it in order to be healthy church members. (39)

As church members, our aim is to understand the gospel so deeply, so innately, that it animates every area of our lives. We want the gospel central to our communication with others, central to how we encourage and correct, central to individual career and relationship decisions, central to the decisions the church makes corporately, and central to all our habits of life. We want the gospel, the God of the gospel, to take priority in every area of life. (43)

The healthy church member – the true church member – must know the work of God’s grace in his or her own soul. We must be converted ourselves. (48)

Conversion is the radical turn from an enslaved life of pursuing sin to a free life of pursuing and worshipping God. Conversion is a change of life, not merely a decision. (49)

Many people think that church – especially church membership; that is, actually signing up and joining – is a spiritual relic destined to hinder spiritual freedom and fruitfulness. (63)

To fail to associate ourselves in a lasting and committed way with the Head of the church by joining his body is surely a sign of ingratitude, whether from an uninformed or a dull heart. (70)

…order is also necessary in spiritual matters. Without the proper establishment of routines, boundaries, and patterns, thriving spiritually most likely will not occur or will be haphazard at best. (74)

No one lives an entire life without the need of discipline, whether positive or corrective. So the healthy church member embraces discipline as one means of grace in the Christian life. (76)

It is impossible to separate the health of a local church from the health of its members. And it’s impossible to divide the well-being of a church member from his or her spiritual growth and discipleship. (83)

Holy Scripture tells us that our progress in discipleship and spiritual maturity depends on the grace and will of God, not on our self-effort and strength. (87)

A healthy church member has a pervasive concern for his or her own personal growth and the growth of other members of her or his church. (88)

The health of a local church may ride exclusively on the membership’s response to the church’s leadership. How the congregation receives or rejects its leaders has a direct effect on the possibilities of faithful ministry and church health. (96)

If we would be expositional-listening, gospel-saturated, biblical theologians, we should pray with the confident knowledge of what God is doing in the world through Christ his Son and pray for the worldwide advancement of his gospel and will. (113)

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