Book Review: I Will

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It’s what Thom Rainer does. He makes sense.

In a world that is constantly failing a basic orientation class and being led by a compass that seems to point anywhere but north, Rainer’s latest book spins the compass back where it needs to be. Without any desire on my part to be condescending, the book and its premise are rather simple: to stir church members to look beyond themselves and their needs.

He doesn’t muddle the water. He doesn’t tip-toe with political correctness. He makes sense.

Beginning with the title, I Will, the best-selling author weaves a tapestry of straightforward invitations, spot-on anecdotes and biblical applications that together call for a revolution in the mindset of the average church member. Early and often he gives quotable material that doesn’t just belong on Twitter. He packs a punch. Several times while reading I Will, I simply had to close my iPad, meditate on what I had read and pray for grace.

Case in point, “The health of any group is tied to its unity.”

With a series of declarative statements, he makes this call for a revolution by asking his readers to simply say, “I will…” He invites people to clearly define priorities and declare their allegiance to faithfully attend worship services, not out of a sense of legalistic obligation but out of a holy desire to worship God with other believers. He invites people to spend time in prayer before these worship services. He wants you to say, “I will,” but he also wants you to follow up and make good on that declaration.

However, perhaps the most convicting of all the invitations that he extends is the one where church members declare that they will pray to be a worshipper instead of a judge. Rainer makes so much sense when he says that in a corporate setting we need to focus more on recognizing the worth of our great God than we do evaluating the performance of those leading and participating in worship. How often have I found myself doing just that?

Growing together with others, serving, going out into the community are all areas that force us to look beyond ourselves and consider those in need, and they are areas that Rainer tackles here. He takes on what he calls, “The terrible shift to the preference driven church,” and does so gracefully.

If I had to point out one area that I thought the author over-stretched, it would be in his dependence on the feedback he gets on his blog. Comments are important and feedback is helpful, but there were times in the book when it felt over-emphasized to me.

Yet, without any hesitation I would recommend this resource to anyone looking to get out of the spiritual rut that’s so often a by-product of a critical spirit.

Again, the premise is simple. The nine traits are basic, and the truths are foundational. If you’re unhappy with your church, pick up a copy of I Will and learn how to become part of the solution instead of the continuing the problem.

In closing, a quick word of thanks goes to B&H Publishing for providing me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for this review.

About the Author

Michael Andrzejewski

Michael Andrzejewski is a missionary in western Europe who loves to share his stories. An introvert by nature, he swims upstream while struggling to pastor cross-culturally. Passionate about both the Gospel and football, he constantly searches for really good sushi.