I Will is definitely a must read for all Christians. I absolutely love Thom S. Rainer's books. I Will will give you a new perspective on the Church.
Great Book!! I absolutely love Thom S. Rainer's books. I will is definitely a must read for all!!
Becoming An Outwardly Focused Christian
I Will by Thom S. Rainer is a book with a mission to create more outwardly focused Christians and as a result build a church that reaches out instead of being selfish in their focus. It is a short but powerful book that gets us focused on others rather than self.
I found this book especially challenging as I have been in church for a long time and I have been at times quite internally focused. I encourages us to reach out and embrace people who we may not normally associate with to build life changing relationships.
The narration was quite good as it seemed to fit with the tone of the book and wasn't distracting at all, so I could concentrate on content.
This is a book that all Christians could do with reading as we can all become church and other Christian focused at times and not really reach out to people.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
A great resource
For the thousands of passive, nominal church-goers in America, I Will by Thom Rainer is a timely manifesto of initiative; a passionate call for pew-sitters to roll up their sleeves and be the change they want to see in their church. Continuing in the same vein as his 2013 book, I Am a Church Member, Rainer offers a practical resource for church leaders, intended to help them mobilize their greatest assets: the people they lead.
I had trouble approaching this short book and struggled through the first quarter or so. I think my trouble was understand exactly who this book was written for. The story that opens the book and sets the stage, fictional or not, seemed contrived to me. However, after I reached the second of nine “traits of the outwardly focused Christian,” I was hooked in by Rainer’s simple, direct writing style. Once again, this is a call to action.
Each chapter focuses on one of the nine traits, and each chapter title begins with “I Will…” The chapters entitled “I Will Grow Together With Others” (focused on small group involvement) and “I Will Give Generously” (focused on giving of resources) stood out to me as particularly good. However, the chapter entitled “I Will Avoid the Traps of Churchianity” takes the cake as the most potentially helpful, because it offers true insight into the challenges of devoting your life to serving in the church. Every church goer should read this chapter if not this entire book.
This book would be great to hand out to an entire congregation or at least to key volunteer leaders in order to equip them with common talking points. If even a portion of the people in a particular church would grasp on to the principles in this book, that church would be unleashed for tremendous impact. This is a great resource.
The narration of the audiobook version is handled very well by George W. Sarris.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
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It was alright
I would like to begin by just saying this is not the best book I have ever listened too, and it is not the worst. Overall, this audio book was alright.
I like how Rainer not only encourages taking the right action, but also having the right attitude when he speaks on giving to the church and fellow Christians. I also liked how he used many examples from his own life to give an illustration of the point he was making.
But, I am sad to say that I have found more cons than pros when I listened to this book. Rainer's definition of worship seems off, he keeps calling the music leader, the worship leader. If the music leader is the worship leader then someone please tell me, what is the pastor for? People seem to forget that, even though music is a form of worship, as it is a way we give thanks, it is not the highest form of worship. The pastor's duty is to teach us the Bible, and the Bible is God's Word, music is not God's Word. Now, please do not take me wrong, I do believe that music can play a part in the church service(s), but I think it is wrong when it takes the title of worship service and over shadows the teachings God has given us. We sing praises to God because of what we have learned in the Bible, not the other way around!
I also found his stressing the importance of small groups annoying. Once again, do not take me wrong, small groups can play a part in the church family, but they are not to replace the fellowship between ALL of the church members. I also found it shocking how he could be talking so much about the church and these small groups in it, and yet never stress fellowship! If the small groups helped certain churches with having better Christian fellowship then go for it, but do not let those small groups get in the way of everyone in the church fellowshipping. I also found it rude of Rainer to come right out and say that if you are not in a group in your church you are not a real church member. What is the advantage in limiting fellowship to only those in the church who are in small groups? What about small churches that only have one small Sunday School Class for kids? It is not like EVERYONE in the church can help out with the Sunday School Class, that would ridiculous. Why can we not all fellowship in "big church"? Small groups can do amazing things, I am sure. But do not put those small groups above the actual church service(s).
I also found that the reader of this audio book (George W. Sarris) could have done a better job. His voice was good, but his reading was kind of animated and yet calm. At one point I had to cringe when he was reading a passage from the Bible where a women is speaking to Jesus, and Sarris not only makes his voice go higher, he attempted an accent. In fact, every time he quoted a women speaking, he raised his voice. It was weird and unnecessary.
I would like to thank christianaudio.com ( http://christianaudio.com/ )for the book I have just reviewed.
Yes, I Will
The cover and the length of the I Will: Nine Habits of the Outwardly Focused Christian interested me at first glance. The cover looks determined with capital letters and three bold colors - red, black, and white. The length of the audiobook is 3 hours which can easily be enjoyed during my short commute to work.
I was blown away by this short little book. It was packed full of good information about how to focus on God and others rather than yourself, while growing in faith. I'm never read (or heard) anything by Thom S. Rainer before so I didn't know what to expect from this non-fiction title. I enjoyed it so much! Before I finished listening to I Will, I was telling friends about it. Rainer talks about Christians in the Early Church, meeting together in small groups, praying, volunteering, corporate worship, as well as other topics. Every chapter ends with reflective questions. This would be a good book for a Bible Study or a Book Club. I would like to read I Will after listening to it. I want to underline, highlight, and talk to other people about this book. It brings to mind this Proverb in the Old Testament, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)
George W. Sarris narrates I Will. Again, another first for me! Sarris is a new narrator to my ears and he has a wonderful voice. Sarris reminded a little of Bill Pearce from Nightsounds. It was the cadence of Sarris' voice, the inflections he used rather than pitch of his voice. I would definitely listen to Sarris again!
I received this audiobook for free from christianaudio for this review.
"I will..." rather than "I want..."
Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, wants to see Christians take an active role in their churches. There are two words we are all too quick to say in church: “I want…” We easily grow dissatisfied when we’re focused on ourselves. Rainer believes that an outward focus will leave us saying something different: “I will…”
I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian is a follow up to Rainer’s 2013 bestseller I am a Church Member. Here he calls believers to echo the attitude of Christ, putting others first before their own wants. It’s a call to regularly attend and participate in the life of a local church, connecting with other believers in small groups and giving joyfully and abundantly to support the work of the church. It’s a challenge to pray and to step out in faith to witness to others and see how God can use us to be a blessing to our church rather than only looking to receive a blessing ourselves.
These are not new ideas. These traits have been covered in other books at other times by other authors. But books like I Will are necessary reminders of how we are to be involved in the local church and the attitude we must have to be healthy and productive members of the body.
The audiobook is narrated by George Sarris. His narration is top quality, deep, and smooth. Rather than merely read the book, Sarris uses inflection and pauses to make it sound more like someone does when they talk, drawing our attention to what he is saying or pricking our ears for what he is about to say. It’s a top-notch production all around.
I received this audiobook from christianaudio in order to write this review.