Title: Why Bother with Church?
Author: Sam Allberry
Publisher: The Good Book Company
Publishing Year: 2016
My Rating: 5 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)
If there is one conviction of mine that has grown over the years it is the necessity of the church in the life of the Christian. I hold this conviction in spite of the fact that it seems as though more and more Christians feel like the church is not necessary for their spiritual walk. Some claim the church is simply irrelevant to their lives while some would even go so far as to say the institutional church is actually a deterrent to their relationship with Christ. Still others don’t see the need for a weekly hour long service when they already participate in small groups and Bible studies with like-minded believers.
Why Bother with Church by Sam Allberry is a great tool to share with friends who may hold to these errant views. It’s a short, easy read that won’t intimidate the reader or confuse anyone with theological jargon. It’s a straightforward look at what the church really is and one by one knocks down common objections against the necessity of church involvement.
God does not have a person, but a people. We often speak of our personal relationship with Christ or our personal time with the Lord, but what Allberry makes clear in this book is that the Christian life was never intended to be solitary. God does not merely have lots and lots of individual people scattered throughout the world trying to make it their own. Often times this just leads to people worshipping a God of their own creation. No, Allberry instead asserts, “God’s purpose is not to have persons relating to him individually, but people that, together, are his.” (page 38)
The book basically serves as a primer to those who may not be familiar with church or those who are unsatisfied with broken churches and are interested to see God’s original design for this institution of his own creation. This would make a great discipleship tool for new believers or new visitors to your church.
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“If you want understand how committed Jesus is to the church, here’s your answer. He doesn’t just create it and let it be. He marries it. He is not just our almighty King; he is also our perfect Husband. That’s how much concern he has for every member of his church. That’s how much he cares about local church. That’s how committed he is to us, for ever.” – page 22
“The point of preaching and worship is that they are corporate activities. And therein lies the heart of what a church-skipping believer misses out on: God’s people.” – page 32
“For all its faults and idiosyncrasies, your church is still a community that God has gathered together and in which he is present by his Spirit. If the idea of that is boring, then the problem might be with us and not with the church. Perhaps we’re just interested in the wrong things.” – page 75
“After all, your church is a miracle. Next Sunday, look at those sitting around you. It’s amazing that they’re there. It’s amazing that they’re still trusting Jesus this Sunday – another week of God’s grace to them. It’s amazing that you’re there, trusting Jesus this Sunday – another week of God’s grace to you. And it’s amazing that you, with your differences and sometimes disagreements, are sitting in the same room, serving the same God and encouraging one each other – a wonderful visual aid of God’s grace to his people. Your church is imperfect. And that makes your church all the more miraculous. Its imperfections are in themselves exciting, because they show just how powerful and loving the God who has brought you together must be.” – page 83
You can purchase the book here.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.