Thom Rainer’s new book “I Will: 9 Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian” digs into the heart of the cultural consumer mindset that people can carry over into their faith. Highlighting the internal and external actions of the “I Can” Christian, the author points to nine key areas that can help the person turn outward into an “I Will” Christian.
One area of particular note is the chapter I Will Grow Together With Others. The author highlights that those who engage in something more than a Sunday worship service, such as a small group, were five times more likely to still be active in the church five years later. “More than 83 percent of those who joined and were involved in a small group were still active in the churches. But only 16 percent of those who attended worship services only remained in the churches five years later” (p 37). This bit of information shows the importance of getting involved in community to both the individual Christian and to the church at large.
The chapters make the book a good one to use for a potential discipleship tool to help people take steps from navel-gazing Christians to outwardly focused Christians.
The book has many strengths, but one area of weakness is that some of the information seems to assume a church-friendly or church-neutral demographic…like the South. It would be interesting to see how some of the language may change if the book had the Northeast or the West demographics and thought patterns in mind.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of “I Will” free from B&H Publishing Group for the purpose of reviewing the work. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.