All too many people are disappointed with the church, struggle with the church, or have already left the church. For example, Josh is the father of a young family. The demands (and illnesses) that go along with little children, traveling, friends coming for weekend visits and general busyness have kept him from getting his family very involved in church. Mason is an extremely successful businessman. He thinks the church is slow and inefficient. He shows up most weeks because his wife wants him to, but he hangs out with wealthy friends from around the country. They get together on a regular basis, pay for a speaker to come and talk to them and call it good. Jerrys is aware that he is not supposed to stop assembling together with other believers, but that is what he is doing, so whats the big deal? Mark is a single young adult who was coming to church and was getting involved, but his girlfriend pulled him away from church and hehas no rationale for why he should fight to stay involved. He drifted away and although people told him he needed to stay connected, he didnt see why they were so concerned. Char is a high school girl who doesnt like the youth group at church and only comes because her parents make her. She has asked her parents why she has to go to church and they havent been able to give her a good answer, except that it is something that she needs to do. In each of these cases, if they might not naturally pick up this book, Joshs brother, Masons son-in-law, Marks friend and Chars dad can give it to them to read. Or these who have influence with them can read it themselves to have a better understanding of the absolute necessity of active participation in a local church so that they could share verbally. Pollster George Barna claims in Revolution, that millions of American Christians are moving away from the traditional local church to alternative Christian communities or to no community at all. Leadership Journal published an article that argues that people want to turn to places other than the local church for community and teaching. The Pew Report released a study showing the number of people switching churches and those with no church affiliation has grown considerably. This is a very important and issue that needs to be addressed. This book addresses the issue so that church or parachurch small groups can read together and discuss the questions at the end of chapters. The book is designed to help readers more deeply value church and what church ought to look like. Five short chapters provide a helpful overview of the case for the church, using scripture and illustrated with stories from real life.
Jim Samra is a servant of Jesus Christ currently ministering as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, MI, a job which forces him to depend on God daily. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Dallas Theological Seminary, and the University of Oxford, and is also the author of the book Being Conformed to Christ in Community. Jim and his wife, Lisa, have four very young children and are happy but tired most of the time.
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