Why bother with church? And other questions about why you need it and why it needs you, by Sam Alberry. The Good Book Company, 2016. ISBN: 9781909559141
As Christians, I think it is safe to say we’ve all been there. Whether due to discouragement, laziness or the enticements of the world, there are seasons when we just don’t want to be involved in a church. And there are plenty of professing Christians that simply don’t see the importance of being part of a church. If you are struggling with the idea of church or haven’t even given it much thought, Sam Allberry’s Why bother with church? is a helpful book.
Allberry writes in a friendly, conversational style in this easy read. Acknowledging that church is not a popular notion in our society, he then proceeds to show how the church is vital for growth as a Christian. By surveying various passages of Scripture, the reader is shown how Christians are meant to assemble as the church. More than that, we are encouraged to not just attend church, but be involved in the lives of those who are part of our local church.
After making his case to join and be involved in church, Alberry goes on to provide several chapters filled with guidelines to help one find a good church to join. The correct priorities of a church, the role of elders and deacons, various forms of church government, and church discipline are all explained. He addresses those who have found church boring, been hurt by church in the past, or have experienced burnout from a church. His treatment of those situations acknowledges what some have experienced while gently encouraging those to not withdraw from the idea of being part of a local church. Finally, Alberry describes how to be a good member of a church. He mentions several duties of members and explains each one.
Throughout the book there are answers to common questions such as “Hasn’t the church done more harm than good?” “Why can’t I view my small group as my church?” “Why are there so many denominations?” Pausing in the midst of the chapter to address these concerns makes this book particularly valuable to give to those who are new to the faith.
Due to its friendly, sympathetic tone, its ability to point biblically to the need of church, and its thouroughness in explaining what constitutes a healthy church and church member, I recommend this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Cross Focused Reviews.