So Does Church Matter and Why?
A Review of Why Church Matters by Joshua Harris
I wanted to give a note of explanation as I begin this review. The church, small “c,” is used to speak of the local church. The Church, big “c,” indicates the Christian family as a whole both living and those who came before us ever since the start of the Church 2,000 years ago.
Many may know this author from his more famous work, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Essentially, the principle is similar but applied to the Church. Joshua Harris was a church shopper/church hopper himself. However, he came to the point where he felt that he needed to stop consuming and begin committing to the Church. Not to do so would be missing out on God’s program through the Church to fulfill the Great Commission.
In this book, he identifies church as many of us have come to know it. He then explains the biblical nature of the Church and the word pictures that the Bible uses to describe it. With metaphors such as the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ and a Temple, the Word of God is pointing at something greater going on than most people realize and have personally experienced.
Each of us has passion for various things and Harris urges a passion for the Church, both the big and little "c." The lifestyle of the Christian should be such that we prepare for Sunday, invest in our churches passionately and in a variety of ways and that we live out what we have heard and believe. All of this is crucial as it is our time to carry forth the Gospel to a new generation even as it has been brought to us and God’s chosen vehicle then and now is the local church.
Harris helps the reader to think about what is important in looking for a church. Just like in choosing a marriage partner, there are certain qualities or preferences that can be jettisoned for the more important elements. For those who don’t have a church near them with all of those qualities, Harris gives some advice that may seem surprising but doesn’t leave the person off the hook in going deep with a local church family.
This book is a good one. It is practical, easy to read with lots of great quotes from a spectrum of Church leaders both present and past. I would encourage anyone who has struggled with church attendance or moving beyond showing up on Sunday morning to real commitment to read this work.
I received this book from Multnomah as a review copy. The views expressed in this review are my own.