Five Ways Your Church Can Use I Am a Church Member


That’s the first word that comes to my mind when I see the early reaction to I Am a Church Member.

Perhaps better words would be “thank you” and “to God be the glory.”

I am both overwhelmed and humbled by the early response to my book. Current trajectory indicates that it will soon surpass my previous bestseller, Simple Church.

But enough about my sales and me. I am already getting questions about how to use this book most effectively. Of course, many have already read the brief tome on their own. But is there a context in the church that is effective for studying this book? Absolutely!

I actually wrote this book with a group context in mind. That is why I put study questions at the end of each chapter.

For now, I have five key ways to use I Am a Church Member in your congregation. The good news is that I know of different churches already using these five approaches.

  1. New members’ class. There is no better time to set attitudinal expectations about church membership than on the front end. I am gratified to hear of hundreds of churches already making this move.
  2. Small group study. There are six chapters and an introduction in the book. With the study questions at the end of each chapter, it is perfectly suited for a multi-week study.
  3. Gifts for guests. Two churches let me know that they will be giving every first-time guest one of these books. They told me that it helps to share the membership philosophy as soon as possible.
  4. Leadership groups in the church. I am encouraged to hear about elders, deacons, church staff, and others coming together to study the book. One pastor sent me a tweet that said his leadership group made a decision to scrap and reinstitute their membership process after studying the book.
  5. All church members. I have been especially gratified to hear of churches that are providing the book to every church member. One pastor told me that if the book has an impact on just 10 percent of those who receive it, the church could see its greatest days ever. That statement was really encouraging.

I Am a Church Member provides a short yet poignant description of the right and biblical attitude of church members. It can be read in one or two hours, or it can be studied over several weeks.

I really owe a great deal of appreciation to you readers. The book began as a blogpost, but your responses to it led me to put it in book form. I believe I have some of the sharpest people in the world reading this blog. I pray that, in some way, this book will help you and your churches. It’s the least I can do for you.

I Am a Church Member was also the subject of a recent episode of Rainer on Leadership. You can listen to the podcast here.


  1. says

    I read some of the information online and then picked up a copy at our local LifeWay on Saturday. At this point, I sense the Lord leading me toward a six-week sermon series this Fall, each week highlighting one of the commitments to living as a faithful church member. I will encourage all church members to buy a copy of the book and read a chapter as we go along each week. We will likely end the series calling church members to personally affirm each pledge. We will also be using it, as you noted, to give away in our New Members Class. Thank you for your commitment to the Lord and to His Bride!
    For God’s glory,

  2. says

    I have been using my review copy of this book to lead a 6 week study in my Sunday School class. It has been well received and has inspired a lot of discussion and reflection among the group.
    They were all excited this week to learn that they could now purchase the book. We have already made plans to add the book to our church library.
    The book has certainly changed my view of my own church membership and together with my class we have set out to change the attitude of membership in our church.
    One statement that you make in the book that I agree with 100% is that by reading this book:
    “Second, your church will begin to change. It will become healthier because one of its members is healthier. And as the church gets healthier, it will have a greater impact on its community and the world.”
    Thanks for writing this book, it is making a difference!

  3. says

    Thanks for your thoughts on using the book in local church ministry. Our missionary team is planting 100 churches in SE Asia, and I’m excited to get this book and see how we can use the ideas with our people here in the Philippines.

  4. Jim Upchurch says

    Hi Thom,

    Thanks for the book. It’s a great, readable, accessible, little book! We’ll be using it for a six week sermon series on church membership. We also bought 20 copies we’ll be giving away for people to read and pass around the church.

  5. Ned Nugent says

    Read the first chapter online today and I am instantly aware how much we have cheapened church membership today. I look forward to reading the rest of the book when it arrives and using this for our new members class we are starting this fall here at church. A very timely word that is much needed today!

  6. Pastor Wayne Greene says

    Just bought the book—already find it very interesting and clarifying… Is there a sermon series based on the book?

  7. says

    I bought a copy within the past two days in Kindle form. I read it and posted a review on my blog. I will also post the review on Amazon and on Thanks and I hope that this book changes lives, families, churches and communities.

    God bless you and your work

  8. Duane Boady says

    Last Sunday I started a sermon series titled, I AM A Church Member. The book is a great resource for New people and for people who have been around for awhile. The first message was warmly received. I am looking forward to subsequent weeks. This week we are looking at Chapter 2, Unity. This book is a great resource. It came out in the fullness of time. Our churches in America have become social clubs. My hope is that we will find the biblical understanding of membership as our baseline. Thanks for the book.

  9. says

    I am beginning a 6-week series of messages on the book, and our church is meeting in small groups to study it weekly during the series. I am excited about the impact this could have on our church! Are there messages that have already been put together which I can glean from?

  10. Roger says

    We are in week 6 of a sermon series based on this book. We originally intended for these as gifts for new members. However, this series has totally transformed the way we approach church. Old mindsets are being transformed, insights in ministry are being revealed, and spectator-based attitudes are evolving into action.

    Thanks Thom for such a dynamic work that speaks plainly and boldly to the church family. Our sister churches are hearing about “I Am” and they are developing works based on the book as well.

  11. says

    Thom, I was handed your book by a fellow pastor. I am going to start a series from the book and am encouraging people to pick up your book as we head into the series. I am excited to refresh my people about attitudes when it comes to church membership, and look forward to see how God is going to use this! We are also integrating it into our Wednesday night small groups! Thank You! I also picked up a few copies and gave them to our deacons. Thanks for all you do for the Lord and His kingdom.

  12. says

    We are currently taking our entire congregation through “I am a Church Member.” The response has been overwhelmingly positive and, for many, transformative. Yesterday, one of my members asked if you could name the specific poll/survey that provided the data leading to the statement that only 15 percent of the millennial generation is christian. This was not offered in a critical spirit, just from a desire to be able to provide documentation. Thanks for your help with this request, and for all that you do to enrich the lives of fellow christ-followers.

    • Thom Rainer says

      Happy to respond. The study was done by LifeWay Research. The explanation and interpolation of the data is specifically explained in the book, “The Millennials” by Jess Rainer and me.

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