Countless books have been written on the subject of the local church. Subjects include principles of growth, recovering from hurt caused by, evangelism practices, missional tendencies, and theological types and shadows, to name a few. A discussion that is taking place in the circles of the Christian faith is how does a Christian live out their love for Jesus Christ when the church, the bride of Christ, does not enable that, or at worst, hinders that from happening? Simply put: they love Jesus but not His bride. More and more Christians today are divorcing themselves from the body of Christ. They are saying “yes” to Jesus Christ, but “no thanks” to the church. In John Crotts’ new book, “Loving the Church; God’s People Flourishing in God’s Family”, he sets out to address and give pastoral insight to this issue that is before the church today.
Crotts’ book follows the story of a group of friends who met in a coffee shop, he tells each of their stories as it relates to their experiences in the local church. Some were not challenged by their congregation and leaders while others felt the church took too much time away from their families. One felt as though she had been abandoned by her church because of the personal choices she had made. As these friends meet regularly to discuss and come to terms with the function and purpose of the church, Crotts follows up their discussion by expounding on the scriptural principles and doctrinal matters that deal with the local church. He deals with such topics as the definition and value of the church, fellowship and gifts, and an individual’s relationship to the church staff and each other.
I believe Crotts has written a good book. The manner in which he sets up the book, interjecting this circle of friends into the storyline, makes the book easier to read and kept it from becoming too much like a textbook. It is a fairly easy read at only 131 pages. He gives an accurate picture as to why church and the church body should not be dismissed. There is one point of the book that I did not agree with and felt was severely out of place. In Chapter Five, Crotts says, “The second manner through which Jesus leads his church is a team of elders.” After previously setting up different leadership models often practiced by churches today, Crotts make this exclusive and, in my personal opinion, arrogant statement. Although I don’t personally agree with Crotts’ theology, he has written a good book from which much can be gleaned.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews as part of their Blogger Review 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”