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Why Church Matters Paperback – 16 Aug 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah; Reprint edition (16 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601423845
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601423849
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.1 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 888,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Praise for Why Church Matters "Instead of asking what they can give or how they can serve, too many churchgoers are only interested in what they can get. The church deserves far more than the halfhearted commitment or apathetic neglect it so often receives. In fact, as Harris astutely observes, the Christian life can never be lived to its fullest apart from a genuine passion for the church. It's time for believers to take the church seriously, which is why the message of this book is so essential."--JOHN MACARTHUR "Evangelical Christians have a good and appropriate emphasis on personal salvation. But that emphasis has not been balanced by the inherently corporate nature of the Christian life. Christians belong in churches--the only places where we can thrive and grow spiritually. In this book, Joshua Harris makes this case with wisdom, clarity, and graciousness."--CHARLES W. COLSON, PRISON FELLOWSHIP, WASHINGTON, DC "Joshua Harris reminds us of the great kingdom work we are missing in our lives when we avoid the personal contact that commitment to a 'home' church brings. Many people seek to be comfortable and well fed in a church, but community is where the real issues of our hearts get worked out. Through the church, Joshua Harris writes, 'Thepower of the gospel is not only changing individuals, but is also creating a whole new kind of humanity.'"--SARA GROVES, SINGER/SONGWRITER "Joshua Harris has a gift for addressing issues that matter in a way that's clear, powerful, and memorable. Why Church Matters is the same kind of writing Josh's readers have come to expect and love--he's right and he's real. He winsomely shows the fallacy of those who want a relationship with Jesus, but not a committed relationship with His people. I believe the Lord will use this book to kindle in the hearts of many a love for what Jesus loves--His bride, the church."--DONALD S. WHITNEY, AUTHOR OF SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES FOR THE CHRISTIAN LIFE "Pastors, are you looking for a good book to help visitors understand why they should join a church? Here it is! Clear, simple, well-illustrated, and compelling. This little book reflects Christ's love for the church and explains it in terms that are simple and passionate. Read it and use it."--MARK DEVER, PASTOR OF CAPITOL HILL BAPTIST CHURCH AND DIRECTOR OF 9 MARKS MINISTRIES "In Why Church Matters Joshua Harris passionately communicates the urgency of God's people becoming the counterculture we're called to be and gives us tools to get started. I appreciate that Josh has written this book with more than instruction; he writes it as one who also struggles with us to discover our own place in the body of Christ."--DEREK WEBB, SINGER/SONGWRITER

About the Author

Joshua Harris lives outside Washington, D.C., in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he is senior pastor at Covenant Life Church . He speaks nationally and has led the New Attitude conferences for college students for six years. Joshua's bestselling books include I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, Not Even a Hint, and Stop Dating the Church. He and his wife, Shannon, have two children, Emma Grace and Joshua Quinn.

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By Wendy on 17 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book on what the church means to Jesus and why we should be supporting our leaders and church great book full of wisdom and great Scripture
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book about the need for commitment to local church, and has some great advice on what to look for in a church. It is a very biblically based book, and is worth reading if you are about to move (eg going off to university) or are unconvinced as to the importance of going to one church on a regular basis.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 87 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Church Is Not a Spectator Sport 2 Sep 2011
By Warren Rachele - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Let's get this out of the way right up front; this is a delightful gem of a book that belongs in the hands of every person sitting in the pews on Sunday. Distracted by something that happened at home. Bored by the preacher. Perturbed at the fact that the praise team went astray from the hymnal again. All of these feelings and more are brought into the church for the most important hours of the week, and we wonder why our body doesn't seem to be more dynamic, activist or interesting.

Could it be us?

It is far too easy for modern Christians to view church from the perspective of a shopper or spectator says Joshua Harris. Our attitude is what can the church do for me or does this church serve my needs. With a little review of the Bible and our hearts, he says, we can ask different questions: what can I contribute to this church or for what purpose did God place me and my family in this church? In seven brief chapters, Harris provokes Christians to view the bride of Christ in a different light, understanding how important the privilege of worshipping and serving together is.

There are a number of volumes that delve into this same topic in much greater depth but that is not the purpose of this volume. Harris has written a conversational book, quick to read and digest that will get the reader thinking. If you don't see yourself on one page, read a few more paragraphs and you will see something that reminds you of an attitude that may have flirted with. Pastor Harris is looking you in the eye and asking you to think differently. Think about what it means to be a part of a family where you are important, missed when you are absent and cared for when infirm.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good introduction to subject, reprint of Stop Dating the Church 20 Jun 2012
By Jonathon D. Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Church isn't where we go. It's who we are," reads the back cover of Joshua Harris's book Why Church Matters. This was previously released as Stop Dating the Church, so if you already own that book there's not need to rush out and buy this one, unless you really want the added discussion questions.

Lately it seems I've been reading a lot of books which have something to on the church. From You've Lost Me to A Faith of Our Own, it seems more people are wondering what to do when they see more and more young Christian leaving the church. One of the questions that will inevitably come up: Is Church is even all that important? Harris answers with a firm, "Yes."

Throughout most of the book, Harris uses the image of the Church as the bride of Christ. Given this relational image, Harris argues that Christians have not been faithful in our relationship. We prioritize our time, and there are many things we place before church. Whether sports, family, or work, our time and effort shows what we care about. If the Church is the bride, shouldn't Christians engage with it? Harris explains why participation in the church is important. Faith isn't meant to be lived out alone. He also offers his thoughts on what to look for in a church, and he notes that there are churches which do not truly follow Biblical teachings.

Coming in at well under 150 pages, this is an extremely fast read. In many of the chapters, Harris seems to only skim the surface of the topics. If you're looking a quick pick-me-up, this may be a good one to grab. If, however, you're looking for a deeper look at the function and purpose of the church, you may not find that this goes deep enough. I also thought Harris overly stressed the image of the Church as the bride while largely ignoring other images of the Church found in the Bible. Still, it seemed to be a Biblically solid book and a quick read, good for at least an introduction to the subject.

3/5 stars

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very Sound and Biblically Based 28 Aug 2011
By B. Barden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've never been a member of a church. I have attended the same church for 3 years now but I am not an official member. Our pastor spoke with my dh about being a member but...we are not members. *It was a mostly mutual decision that hubby and I made.* This book is a very good book for those who are contemplating joining a church and also, I believe, for those who are set against joining.

This book talks about the wishy-washiness of many Christians. We (oh, yes, I include myself in this category) get hung up on the way the services are held or the opinions of some of the members of the church- or we simply love the music that is played (or can't stand it!). We cannot commit to a local church because we are focusing on the wrong things. While reading this book I took some notes because this is a very good book.

In Chapter 2, Harris talks about the view God has of the church- and the view that we should have. The Church is the Bride of Christ. But what is the church? Who comprises the Church? Believers comprise the Church- it doesn't matter where we meet but that we do meet. (Hebrews 10:25 clearly directs us to meet together) We should see the body of Christ, the Church, as Christ does: lovingly and adoringly. I cannot, without taking his words, express the importance of the Church to you in this post. When we fail to commit to a church (and the emphasis is on local) we cheat ourselves and others.

In Chapter 3, Thinking Globally, Loving Locally, Harris quotes Brian Habig and Les Wesom, authors of The Enduring Community:

All of us should concern ourselves with the challenges that face people everywhere. But that concern cannot be expressed everywhere. We demonstrate our concern by acting and living where we are.

One way to love locally is to "show your non-Christian neighbors that the new life made available through Jesus' death and resurrection is also the foundation for a new society." A Church does this by living the gospel. Harris points out the three things a church should do:

Baptism (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4)
The Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25)
Discipline (Matthew 18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-9)

These three things make a church different than say a campus ministry group or a study group.

He goes on to give the main reasons why people are opposed to joining and committing to a church:

Self-centeredness
Prideful Independence
Critical Spirit

All of these are bred by the world's negative influence. As David, from New York, came to discover, we need to go to church with the view of being a `communer' and not a `consumer'. We are not buying something, we are being given something. We need to go to church with the mindset that we are meeting God and to let His spirit work in our lives. I especially liked the comment that was made on page 50: It is easy to walk away. It is difficult to stay and let go of our selfishness, pride and criticalness.

Harris talks about joining a church and what one should be prepared to `give' when they do: obedience, of themselves, make connections with others, and then to share the passion with others outside of the church.

Chapter 5 is titled Choosing Your Church and it goes through 10 important questions to ask when contemplating joining a church. For the most part I was not surprised by his list but for a couple of questions. One of those questions is "Is this a church that is willing to kick me out?" Who wants to be kicked out!? But that is exactly what Harris is getting to, we want to do what is right but in order for the church we have chosen to be right it has to discipline. That means that if its members are doing things that are unbiblical and/or morally wrong, the church must be willing to admonish them to prevent bad associations from corrupting the rest of the church. That is one reason so many people have a problem with churches! They are not consistent, they are not really different from the world and yet they say they are.

Chapter 8 gives good advice to pray before attending a church. Always have a humble attitude. Those two things will go a long way in helping one to see a church for what it truly is. It is important to find a church that teaches, values, and lives God's Word.

Towards the end of that chapter Harris talks about `tough situations' and when one would want to leave a church. I won't outline those here but I found them all to be sound reasons. The book ends with how to `rescue' Sundays (how to prepare oneself to actually enjoy and get the most out of the day) and more encouragement to go ahead and say `yes' to joining a local church.

Overall a very good book. It was a quick read but had so many good points. And biblically it is supported throughout. Only occasionally (perhaps it is only really once?) does Harris make a statement that I believe is his opinion and really cannot be backed completely by scripture. I want to give this book to my husband, to my sister, and to a few friends to read! It is good.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to give a positive review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Church Matters, pain matters too... 31 Jan 2012
By Chris Kinner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Joshua Harris writes what he knows about in this quick read. He "Kissed Dating Goodbye" and now as a Pastor he is attempting to give church hopping a fond farewell. This book follows a somewhat predictable theme. First, love the local church. Next become the person you should be for her and finally choose the right congregation based on key values God's word directs you toward.

For a believer growing in health and personal awareness as directed by the Holy Spirit this is extremely helpful material. For a growing local church who desires health, spiritual accountability and maturity this book can also be an encouragement to stay on track. However there are people who have been hurt deeply in life and can't sit still anywhere. There are churches doing and saying anything to keep numbers up. The problems are much deeper than Josh explores in this basic treatment. To the healthy what he says makes sense; to the wounded, I doubt this book will connect.

The local church is important, but the deep needs of broken people are also important. It's one thing to tell people to connect, but another to help them heal so they can. There is nothing here to support that need. This book concludes with an oddly placed chapter on personal preparation for the Sunday morning experience. That's not enough. The future of God's church is how we connect with Him and others throughout the week.

I didn't come away from this read encouraged to seek and see Christ in the local church and I believe I should have. Perhaps over the years this young author will be broken with the community and his writing will become more reflective and resonate with me. Impassioned stories of people blessed by connecting with a local church would have been helpful to his endeavor, I missed them. He talked of a love affair and never let me see what it looked like. Maybe a date is in order?

I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah publishing in exchange for this review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
So Why Does Church Matter? 26 Aug 2011
By Carl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In his book, "Why Church Matters," Joshua Harris outlines the absolute importance of being a member of a local church body, and not just being a member, but rather being an active participant.
We live in a consumer society, which translates to a "I need this... Can't live without this... What can this do for me?" attitude, which is not at all how Christ intended His bride to be. He is our groom and we are united with Him through the CHURCH. Christ calls the we CHURCH his bride, and I think it is really important to remember that. This is foundation to Joshua Harris' book. Also included in this book are discussions about why we need the local church. This life is not about us, and this chapter will allow us to see the importance of the church is a global and local way.
Another great aspect of this book are the 10 things that matter most when choosing a church. As someone who moves frequently because of employment, this is a great tool to go back and reference when choosing a new local church to place membership.
I really enjoy reading Joshua Harris' books, and was quite excited to see that he had come out with a new book. As I was reading this book though, it sounded really familiar. I went and looked at another book of his that I had "Stop Dating the Church," and realized it is the exact same book, just a new name and different cover. If you have already read this book of Harris', you don't need to purchase this one. I would highly recommend this book to all Christians though. I even went through "Stop Dating the Church" with a prior church and really enjoyed it. Great book! Biblical advice!
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