- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Multnomah Books; Corr. 2nd Printing ed. edition (Sept. 23 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590523652
- ISBN-13: 978-1590523650
- Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.4 x 18.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #408,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Stop Dating the Church!: Fall in Love with the Family of God Hardcover – Sep 23 2004
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About the Author
Joshua Harris speaks nationally and has led New Attitude, conferences for college students that aims to spread a love for biblical truth combined with a passion for the presence of God. Joshua lives outside Washington, D.C. , in Gaithersburg , Maryland , where he has been executive pastor at Covenant Life Church since 2001, and will resume role of senior pastor in fall 2004. This role allows him to focus his energy on his young family and the church he feels God has called him to serve. His bestselling books include I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, and Not Even a Hint. Joshua and his wife, Shannon, have two children, Emma Grace and Joshua Quinn.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Path: Harris describes the life of a church dater, or church shopper, who refuses to commit to a real relationship with the Bride of Christ. He explains why we need the church, how to love the church, how to find a church, and how to get the most out of church.
Sources: Harris shares life experiences from confessing church daters. Writers such as J. I. Packer, Donald Whitney, Mark Dever, and C. J. Mahaney all have impacted the author.
Agreement: The central theme of this book is sorely needed. We must listen closely in a time when we can go to any church we want to get our "fix" of socialization, spirituality, positive thinking, "worship", or entertainment.
Jesus Christ died for His Church. Settle down and love what He loves. Loving Her means planning, sacrificing, serving, and committing.
I appreciated his plan for making the most of Sunday.
Disagreement: This is a good book to put into a church dater's hands. It isn't comprehensive. With that said, I would have appreciated a little more depth in the various categories. I think that I would hand this book out first, then follow it up with some of the 9Marks books.
Personal App: Am I loving what Jesus loves?
Favorite Quote: "Because the local church is the key to spiritual health and growth for a Christian" (15).
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it. I also used the free discussion questions found online.
This is the third book by Josh Harris that I've read. One of my favorite things about his books is that his writing style is so conversational and unassuming. I feel when I pick up one of his books as if I've sat down with a friend for a cup of coffee and encouragement sprinkled with confession. He uses a variety of examples, but many of them come from his own life - his own shortcomings and mistakes. And yet, his books are always grounded in scripture and demonstrate a satisfaction in Christ that many only secretly dream of.
In Stop Dating the Church!, Josh breaks down the arguments for church dating and explains why God desires that we have the close relationships with other Christians found only in a local church. Like with any commandment of God, there are real, tangible benefits to obedience. Commitment to a local church takes effort, but the benefits far outweigh that effort. Unfortunately, many of us are too committed outside of the church to have a real relationship with the other members of our local body.
In the book, Josh offers real advice on how to commit to the church and what commitment looks like. He also discusses choosing a church, including what things are a matter of taste and what things are vital to a healthy church family - and, by extension, a healthy Christian. He then talks about how to make the most of Sunday, including the church service and the rest of the day.
I highly recommend that you read this book, whether or not you think you might qualify as a church dater. I found the book convicting, but also encouraging and insightful. It's helped me to look at my own relationship with my church in a new light and I am looking forward to applying more of Josh's suggestions.
Joshua Harris, originally famous for his dating books, moved to Maryland to study under C. J. Mahaney, pastor of Covenant Life Church. After some time there, Harris was given the opportunity to take over as the head pastor when Mahaney stepped aside. This book was the result of all Harris's preparation, his own study of what the local church is and what it should be.
This book's excellence is in its brevity and its teaching. Harris heavily emphasizes the value of the local church, encouraging every reader to deeply invest somewhere. He details the biblical support for church membership, and he explains why sanctification needs deep Christian fellowship through a local church.
As a former "church-dater" myself, I was convicted by this book and encouraged to continue deepening my connection to my church. Even if you are already happily committed to a church, I'd recommend reading this to help you think through your church's role in the lives of visitors and casual attenders.