When I have the privilege of leading someone to faith in Christ, I pray with them, give them a Bible, and always want to give them a book. I’ve gone back and forth with what book I give out, but I have landed on my new favorite: What is a Healthy Church Member?, by Thabiti Anyabwile.
Anyabwile takes Mark Dever’s list of nine marks of a healthy church, and flips them around. He goes through each one and shows how they are the basic commitments of a person who wants to follow Christ. He makes an unassailable case that believers in Jesus need to be plugged into a church, and he gives them 10 ways to do that effectively (he takes Dever’s nine, and adds a tenth on prayer).
This book is perfect for new converts. It covers how to listen to a sermon, how to apply the facts of the gospel to daily living, and the importance of evangelism. He covers church membership, discipline, and leadership. This short book (around 100 pages) is sort of like a Christian survival pack; it contains all a person needs to know in order to grow.
Released in 2008, What is a Healthy Church Member? fills a void in the Christian book market. It is both concise and clear, and I now carry around a few of them in my car…just in case.