Why Church Matters is a book by Joshua Harris (an author who I have been really digging over the past few months) all about how we need to commit to a local church. (It was previously published as Stop dating the Church, but has now been revised and re-titled). It is a great book for people who are in their late teens or early twenties and are moving away from home for the first time and starting to think about going to a new church, or for people who have never really been regular church attendees. He goes through Biblical reasoning as to why we should make a habit of not just going to a church, but be a part of it, contributing what we can to help it. And there is a great chapter that looks at what things are important for us to consider when thinking about what church to go to (and what things are less important).
Joshua Harris also makes a great argument for how different denominations can help the church achieve unity by allowing people to worship in a style that they are comfortable with, and appreciate the important beliefs we have in common, rather than get caught up in debates about the lesser issues that so often divide us.
Why Church Matters is a very easy read – you do not need a theology degree to be able to understand it, but at the same time it is not so dumbed down as to be patronising. Everything is backed up with Scripture, and it clear that Harris has a strong heart for people to be growing in the community of a local church rather than just listening to their favoured big name preacher’s podcast. For anyone thinking of joining a new church (either due to moving house, moving to university, because you don’t have a home church, or any other reason) this is a very worthwhile read.
NB legal bit to keep Obama etc happy – Waterbrook Multnomah provided me with a free copy of the book for review ppurposes. My views are my own and were not influenced by that.