Sunday, November 20, 2011

Loving What Jesus Loves: A Review of Why Church Matters by Joshua Harris

The church as Jesus envisioned it and as the New Testament describes it was to be a place where people in love with Jesus came together and shared their lives with one another as a committed family. The church wasn't boring. The church wasn't a place to insist on personal preferences. The church was a place where believers selflessly loved one another and helped to cultivate each other's hearts to experience more and more the love and transforming power of Jesus. The writers of the New Testament understood the church as vital to their spiritual growth.

Today, however, believers often see the church as a highly encouraged, but optional part of their Christian life. The church, for most people, seems very boring, overrun with church politics, and rarely seen as a source of spiritual encouragement. Who really needs the church when it's full of hypocrites? Why can't I just settle for Jesus without the church?

Joshua Harris, in his book WHY CHURCH MATTERS, calls Christians to reconsider their perspective of the church. Using Scripture as his basis, Harris shows us that Christ loves the church and gave his life for it. Christians are called to love what Jesus loves, which includes the church. Harris elaborates on the biblical basis that commitment to a local church is not only expected, but vital to our spiritual journey. He encourages believers to abandon church "dating" and commit to a local church.

Harris also gives list of ten qualities to look for in a church:
1. God's Word is faithfully taught
2. Sound doctrine matters
3. The gospel is cherished and clearly proclaimed
4. Committed to reaching non-Christians with the gospel
5. The leaders are characterized by humility and integrity
6. The people strive to live by God's Word
7. I can find and cultivate godly relationships there
8. The members are challenged to serve
9. The church is willing to kick me out
10. With enthusiasm and faith, I'm willing to join this church "as is"

WHY CHURCH MATTERS is a timely message for Christians about falling in love with the church and belonging to a faith community.

I received this book for free for review from Waterbrook Multnomah through Blogging for Books

What emotions come up when you think about the church?

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