Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Quit Church by Chris Sonksen

I thought the title of this book a bit misleading. One that better represented the book would have been, Quit (taking your involvement in) Church (casually). This book is about your responsibility as a member of God's family and a local church. There is a definite emphasis on doing rather than being. For example, Sonksen says he believes what “...God wants from those who attend a local church: find a need and fill it.” (Loc 761/1694)

Sonksen wants Christians to experience victory in every area of life. Along with that is an emphasis on winning. For example, on giving, he writes, “God will bless those who obey him in their acts of generosity. That's how we win.” (Loc 540/1694) And writing about not leaving a church, “The Bible promises that you will receive honor when you show loyalty. It's simple: you win, the people around you win, and God wins when you show loyalty.” (Loc 393/1694)

I felt the chapter titles were misleading too. The chapter titled “Quit Giving Your Money Away” is really a reminder that it's not our money anyway. God owns everything. We are encouraged to be generous and are reminded that our tithe must go to the church we attend. The chapter titled “Quit Helping Out” is actually an admonition to do our part in the church, such as we do in our own family.

Suppose you have been hurt by the church, perhaps even the church you presently attend. You will find no help to heal in this book. Sonksen writes that he is sorry that happened and says, “You need to seek help to walk through the emotions of this pain. You need to get to the other side of it. I am not saying it will be easy, but you need to do it.” (Loc 1315/1694)

I was an individual who was very active in church, teaching twice a week while also serving on the church board, much to the detriment of my own spiritual life. So I have difficulty liking this book. I feel there is much more to an intimate relationship with the Father than being busy in your local church and laughing at your pastor's jokes even when they're not funny. (Loc 1231/1694)

If you want a book that encourages you to be committed to your local church and very active in it, this book is for you. If you are looking for a book to help you with your own spiritual life and an intimate relationship with the Father, you will need to look elsewhere.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Chris Sonksen came to understand church growth from his own success in pioneering South Hills Church, a multi-campus church that has been recognized for its unprecedented growth and strategic approaches to doing ministry. His church growth experience led him to found Church BOOM, an organization that has provided personal coaching to more than two hundred churches. He and his wife have two children and life in Southern California.

Baker Books, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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