photo by merfam
Guest blogger Tamara Thompson offers this week's review. As is usual for Tamara, her writing is full of insight and relevance.
After reading Joshua Harris' book Stop Dating the Church: Fall In Love With The Family Of God, I instantly knew it was a message dear to my heart. After abruptly moving across the country for my husband's job change, our family learned some very important lessons about ourselves. For one, we realized that we really had taken our great relationship with our church family of the last ten years for granted, and two, finding a new church is not the easiestthing to do!
As a biblical counselor, I've heard many excuses for why someone is no longer attending a church. Looking back, and sorry to say, I really had little compassion to offer any of these women, but over the last couple of years, while I've been struggling to "fit in" to a new church family, I have developed a whole new understanding of the kinds of things that held them back. I know that in God's providence, by uprooting us from all that was comfortable, He shook up our lives to strengthen us and mature us. For this, I am thankful. I am also very thankful for all the struggles I've had to "fit in" to my new church family. Josh Harris' book stirred me up and forced me to look at the sin in my own heart,deal with it, and left me in this place of thankfulness!
In light of the glorious truth that His Church is the bride of Christ, just dating the local church is not enough. In fact, it is sinful, and I'm the first to admit, before picking up Stop Dating The Church, though I was regularly attending the same church every week, I was quickly becoming a church dater! In the Joshua Harris style that I love, Harris takes us back to his own experiences as a "church dater" and teaches us through his own growing that "God has something better for you and me than dating the church".
Harris starts out by showing us what we are missing by just dating the church. Believe me, this alone, will whet your appetite to quickly read through the rest of the book! After this challenging introduction, Harris will change your perspective, correct your thinking, move you to love the body of Christ, and give you a vivid picture of what this will look like! Harris doesn't leave us hanging with just a desire for a true relationship with a church family, he also clearly explains how to turn your relationship around and how to get the best out of your Sundays! Finally, he encourages us by reminding us that Jesus loves His Church, and because we love Jesus, we should love what Jesus loves!
You don't have to be a church dater to benefit from Stop Dating The Church. I already know that I will go back to it often throughout my life. Even if you are actively serving in your local church, this book will be very refreshing for you! I also highly recommend it as a resource for families to study together. Parents can read the book and then teach it to younger children in the home, and older children can read it for themselves!
This is definitely a must-have resource if you are struggling with a child not wanting to go to church! Harris has filled his book with Scripture and timeless quotes from great men of God making Stop Dating The Church a great tool for biblically teaching your children the importance of the local church and I pray that you and your family will be as blessed as we were after reading it!
Every Friday is Resource Friday! Share what has worked with your family: devotionals, supplemental materials, books, software, games, camps, etc. Your contribution could be answered prayer for another family. Simply email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment about your recommendation.