I recently completed the book Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God by Joshua Harris. (Click here to see my review of the book.) The book is one that addresses a question of commitment among believers—especially young believers. The term “young” here is a double-edged sword because it could refer to the younger generation, those who are disenchanted by establishment wherever they find it. This disenchantment applies especially to the established church. There are areas where the emerging generation finds it difficult to trust what is older and set. The argument is expressed in a variety of ways depending on the decade the speaker is spending his youth. One popular saying several decades ago was, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” Comically, those who made popular that idea have long since passed the age of trustworthiness.

            The conclusion of Stop Dating the Church is that it is time for believers to commit themselves to being a part of the on-going work of God, which is best done through the local church.

            The individual is not the only one who must answer the question of commitment, however. It is also an issue to be addressed by the local church. Will we as a body rise to the occasion of becoming the instrument through which the world is reached? Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger seem to think that we can do just that, but it requires a deeper level of commitment on the part of the church. They speak to this issue in their book Simple Church (see review). The question on the church level is not so much one of being committed to Christ and His cause, but more so, one of over-commitment of our resources that can be corrected by focusing on the one or two things we can do and do well.

            I recommend both of these books as you look to finding what it is God wants you to do as a believer and as a church. I also recommend commitment—it frees you up for Kingdom advancement.

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