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What Is a Healthy Church Member? (IX Marks) Hardcover – June 9, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"In an era when Christians 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, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; President, The Master's College and Seminary

"Given the state of so many of our churches today, this book arrives not a moment too soon."
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"This book provides an excellent and much-needed focus on the individual church member."
R. C. Sproul, President, Ligonier Ministries; Senior Minister of Preaching, St. Andrew's Chapel, Sanford, Florida

About the Author

Thabiti M. Anyabwile (MS, North Carolina State University) is a pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington, D. C. and the author of numerous books, including What is a Healthy Church Member?, The Faithful Preacher, and Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons. He serves as a council member with the Gospel Coalition, is a lead writer for 9Marks Ministries, and regularly blogs at Pure Church, hosted by the Gospel Coalition. He and his wife, Kristie, have been married for over twenty years and have three children.



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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; First Edition edition (June 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781433502125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433502125
  • ASIN: 1433502127
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I love the Lord because He first loved me. I love His people because He has given me a new heart. I have received God's favor in the form of my wife, Kristie. And together we know His blessing through three children. I was once a Muslim, and by God's grace I have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. By God's unfathomable grace I am a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in which I hope to serve Him until He returns or calls me home!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover

What is a Healthy Church Member? is the latest addition to the 9Marks series of books, however this installment is not authored by Mark Dever who is commonly associated with this ministry, rather it has been penned by Thabiti M. Anyabwile. Anyabwile is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman Islands, and from the glowing endorsements by men such as Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., and Dr. R. C. Sproul Sr., to the rather personal and insightful foreword written by Mark Dever, he appears to be more than qualified to write this book.


Anyabwile's introductory chapter describes the story of "Jenny", a typical Christian who upon becoming part of a local church felt as if she was pushed to a corner with no clear guidance as to how one was to live the Christian life. From this impetus, What is a Healthy Church Member? attempts to help those in situations like Jenny's, but also to be a journey of rediscovery for those who do not identify with such an experience. Anyabwile states:

"This little book is written in the hope that you might discover or rediscover what it means to be a healthy member of a local church, and what it means to contribute to the overall health of the church." (p.14)

Following on from his introduction are ten short chapters that outline what Anyabwile believes are the ten marks of a healthy church member. These ten include one who is an Expositional Listener, a Biblical Theologian, Gospel Saturated, Genuinely Converted, a Biblical Evangelist, a Committed Member, one who Seeks Discipline, is a Growing Disciple, a Humble Follower, and finally one who is a Prayer Warrior.
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Format: Hardcover
Building upon the excellent foundation of Pastor Mark Dever's "What Is a Healthy Church?" Thabiti Anyabwile does not just repeat Dever's philosophy. He develops it with pertinent insight for the people (not just person) in the pew. As such, this is the perfect compliment to Dever's work which focuses more on the role of the pastoral leadership team in developing a healthy church.

The list of recommendations forms a veritable "Who's Who" of conservative Evangelical leaders: John MacArthur, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., R. C. Sproul, etc. They accurately extol the virtues of the book as a biblical handbook on true Christian community. Every pastor should be so delighted by this book that they order a copy for every member. For no pastor can work alone in moving with the Spirit toward the biblically healthy church. It must be a joint effort of equipping pastors and equipped people (see Ephesians 4:11-16).

Pastor Anyabwile (note--Pastor--he practices what he preaches) outlines the ten marks (he adds a tenth that surely Pastor Dever approves of) as follows. The healthy church member is:

1. An expositional listener
2. A biblical theologian
3. Gospel saturated
4. Genuinely converted
5. A biblical evangelist
6. A committed member
7. A seeker of discipline
8. A growing disciple
9. A humble follower
10. A prayer warrior

Each chapter includes a built-in discussion guide, making the book very effective in church small groups and in adult Sunday School classes.

Some reviewers have expressed that Anyabwile has not broken new ground. While I understand what they mean and while I sense their positive meaning in that comment, I would say it differently.
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Format: Hardcover
"How are we doing in our marriage?" "How are we doing as a family?" "How am I doing as an employee?" "How am I doing as a church member?" I'm guessing you may have asked or been asked one of the first three questions, and probably have a sense of how to answer them, but how would you answer that last one? For a church to be healthy and to fulfill its calling, it is vital to have healthy members. Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile understands this and has written this wonderful little book to help every believer see their calling as members of the body of Christ. As he writes in his introduction, "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 the ministry." (pp. 15.)

He describes ten marks of a healthy church member. A healthy church member: is an expositional listener, a biblical theologian, gospel saturated, genuinely converted, a biblical evangelist, a committed member, seeks discipline, a growing disciple, a humble follower, and a prayer warrior. Each of the ten marks is described in clear, straightforward language in ten short chapters. Each chapter contains practical ways to grow in each of these areas, suggestions for further reading (if interested) and an explanation of why each mark is both biblical and crucial for both the church and its individual members. And each chapter concludes with a few questions for application and reflection.

If you are thinking this sounds like a massive to-do list, let me encourage you. It is challenging, but it is not legalistic or overwhelming. Pastor Anyabwile is writing for people like you and me, who know that we need the grace of God for any progress in the Christian life!
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