Occasionally a book comes out that I want to give to every member of our church. This is one of those. Tony Merida has a very simple aim in this book – to encourage its readers to love the church – not merely the global historic church, but the local church to which they might belong. Through this book he instils a theological vision for what the local church is and who we are as its members. It’s intended to be a book accessible for your average Christian, which I think it does well.
The bulk of the book is eight chapters, each spotlighting an area of responsibility that is also a privilege for every member: belonging, welcoming, gathering, caring, serving, honouring, witnessing and sending. It would be so easy for a book like this to bang people over the head, or to coerce with guilt. This book, however, encouragingly and endearingly draws the reader into these areas, explaining them carefully from the Bible and bringing them into practical ways of living them out.
Since this book would suit a group study, there is a helpful discussion guide at the back which would enable a group to go into greater depth, maximising its usefulness.