Loving the Church: God’s people flourishing in God’s family by John Crotts is divided into two sections, the first looking at what God’s family is, and the second considering how the reader fits into that family. Each section comprises six chapters. The setting is a coffee shop where a group of characters at differing stages in their church lives begin meeting together regularly to study how Jesus designed His Church to work. Each character has a different view of what church should be like, and their experiences are varied. Through their regular studies over coffee, John Crotts shares with the reader biblical principles for church life. The coffee shop setting of this group of unlikely friends provides a strong framework to paint a picture of what church should be and the responsibility for each believer to be a part of the local church. The author argues his points persuasively and well from Scripture.
This book would, I think, be useful for any Christian struggling with their local church. While no church is going to be perfect, John Crotts explores Jesus’s blueprints of how local bodies of believers should function. Two chapters are dedicated to the different roles of elders and deacons.
Whether the reader is no longer part of a local church, actively involved, or struggling with ungodly leadership and unbiblical teaching, John Crotts raises food for thought in each chapter. The reader can be left in no doubt that the church needs each believer; where a Christian fails to be involved in their local church for whatever reason, the whole local body of believers misses out. Each one has a vital role to play in serving their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Loving the Church is a thoughtful and well-presented book about the crucial role of church life in each believer. I couldn’t agree with John Crotts on his teaching on baptism in the Spirit, but this was a tiny part of a biblical and helpful book. I happily recommend it to anyone wondering what church is all about.