The Love Your Church book series published by The Good Book Company, is a trio of biblically- and scripture-rich books (with a fourth being added to the series later this year) that expands on the original 2021 book titled Love Your Church by Tony Merida. This series of books, written by a collection of Bible teachers from the Acts 29 organisation, helps readers (whether reading individually or within a group) to learn and understand how they can better serve and love their church family.
The first three books in the series are titled Belong, Gather and Welcome. They are a brilliant collection of resources that have been written to help us not only understand what it means to feel like we belong, how significant it is to gather together and what it means to feel welcomed, but also how we, ourselves, can implement these things within the Church.
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This series helps us to further understand how Christians can play a part in helping other people within the church feel that they belong, feel welcomed, and how we, along with others, can look forward to gathering together. The books also explore why this is important, not only for new church members, but also existing members and those who are visiting.
“This series expands on the concepts in Tony’s original book, going much deeper into how to love your church family in the areas of belonging, welcoming, gathering, caring, serving, honoring one another, witnessing, and mission.” The Good Book Company.
In Belong, written by Barnabas Piper, which also includes a foreword by Ray Ortlund, covers one of many important topics within the church: reflecting Christ to one another. It includes six easy-to-read chapters, with action steps at the end of each one, questions and a time for reflection. At the back of the book is a discussion guide for small groups, but which can also be done individually.
Topics discussed include: What Does It Mean to Belong; What does It Look Like to Belong; You Belong, and Unity: The Only Way Belonging Happens.
The author ends the introduction with the following words: “My hope is that this book shows what it looks like to belong in church, really and truly, and what it looks like to help others to do the same.” This book provides the perfect opportunity, along with the other books in the series, for churches to explore these themes in groups of all ages.
“Discover how you can enjoy, and help create, a church where everybody feels at home… a place of depth and trust and honesty, of real fellowship and community where people truly experience the love of Jesus… a place where you truly belong.” Barnabus Piper.
You can purchase a copy of Belong by Barnabus Piper, here.
Gather by Tony Merida, which includes a foreword by David Platt, helps readers to understand and discover how, when we gather together, what the church does when it gathers, and as you celebrate Christ together, is an important part of the church and our faith. This book provides an exploration of gathering together within the church, including chapters on different topics such as: The Gift of Gathering; Gathering to Stir Up One Another; Gathering to Sing Together; and Gathering to Reach Outsiders.
“Why do we meet on Sunday’s? Discover how what your church does when it gathers is central to God’s purposes and to your faith; and see how to take part in all that’s going on in a way that benefits and brings joy both to you and those around you. Whether you are a new member or a long-timer, this book will show you why there’s nothing greater or more significant that you could do with your time than to gather.” Tony Merida.
This book is divided up into eight easy-to-read chapters, and again, contains action steps at the end of each one, encouraging the reader, and helping them to reflect, whilst also providing gentle prompts that can be implemented daily and within the church. Lastly, this book contains a discussion guide for small groups.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”Matthew 18:20.
You can purchase a copy of Gather by Tony Merida, here.
Welcome by Jen Oshman, which includes a foreword by Tim Challies, explores how we can play a part in helping to make people who come to church feel welcome, along with embracing newcomers, and loving your community. Topics discussed include: How Jesus Welcomes Us; The Radical Welcome of the Early Church; and Welcoming Way Beyond Sunday.
This book covers a wide range of topics on what it means to feel welcomed within the church, and how, by making space for everyone, we can help to make people from all walks of life feel welcome, just like how God lovingly welcomes each and every one of us.
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”Romans 15:7.
I think we can all agree how important it is to feel welcomed within a church. At the church my husband and I go to here in Lichfield, we immediately felt so welcomed into our new church family. I think on that first day we went, most of the congregation came over and introduced themselves to us, and wanted to get to know us. The church even got us a bouquet of lovely flowers, and we have already made some life-long friends.
“As we have been welcomed, so we must welcome. Our God, who made space for you and me, asks us to make space for everyone, so that they can hear and respond to his good news.” Jen Oshman.
This book contains seven easy-to-read chapters and like the others, includes action steps at the end of each chapter for reflection and implementation too. There is a discussion guide for small groups at the back of the book.
“Church should be a place where everyone who walks through its doors feels truly, genuinely welcomed – because Christians are those who have been welcomed into God’s family by Jesus himself.” Jen Oshman.
You can purchase a copy of Welcome by Jen Oshman, here.
Small group resources for the Love Your Church book series can be found over at loveyourchurchseries.com. Available is a free kit which includes a video intro to each session, along with downloadables, discussion guide and worksheets.
The next book within the Love Your Church series, titled Serve by Steve Robinson, is now available to pre-order here.
You can find more reviews over on the book review section on my blog.
How did you feel when you went to your church for the first time? Were you made to feel welcome? What are some of the ways you feel, that we as Christians, can do to love and serve our church family better?
Let me know in the comments!
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[This blog post contains affiliate links. I was very kindly sent a copy of each of these books from the publisher, for an honest review.]