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

4.7 out of 5 stars 67 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) serves as a pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC, and is the author of numerous books. He serves as a council member of the Gospel Coalition, is a lead writer for 9Marks Ministries, and regularly blogs at The Front Porch and Pure Church. He and his wife, Kristie, 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: 5 x 0.6 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 Verified Purchase
Over the last few years I’ve read this book different times with others in different context ranging from our church’s small groups and also one on one. The last time I finished this book was a few months ago. I’m somewhat surprised that I have not written a review of this book until now.
The author Thabiti Anyabwile has written on what is a healthy church member. For those familiar with Mark Devers’ ministry and writing, readers will immediately notice that Thabiti’s first nine of ten points is borrowed from Dever’s book on the nine marks of the church. However what I like about this book in contrast to Dever’s book is that the emphasis is not so much on the church but now the individual readers (after all its about healthy church members). I like the focus on the readers as members of a church since too often today we have those in the church who can be hypocritical in focusing on what’s wrong with others in the church without seeing the need for themselves to be healthy and godly church members. It’s a great tool for discipleship to focus on members being healthy church members.
I appreciate the author’s tenth mark on a healthy church members. A healthy members as the author pointed out is one who is a “prayer warrior.” Church members and prayers should go together. Personally God has been teaching more the importance of prayer so this is great to see in the book. I’ve enjoyed this book that I bought it for myself and others as gifts. It should be no surprise then for me to say that I recommend this book.
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