One of the many reasons young people are leaving the Church is that they don’t see the benefit in community. It’s no wonder that a generation left to basically raise themselves doesn’t understand the benefits of being in relationships that can help them grow and mature – most haven’t experienced one. Instead, the world we have created where children are left to figure out life by themselves is making them notice only the negative aspects of community – in our case being part of a Church family.
I was interested when offered the chance to review Better Together by Rusty George. The book is advertised as a way to discover the power of community and in this case, the advertising fits. The book is divided into four major sections – dealing with the negatives of others, using community to help you connect to God in deeper ways, using community to help overcome your weaknesses, and using community to help you leave a legacy.
Each section contains several chapters with discussion questions at the end. The book is easily read and contains lots of references to stories in the Bible and scripture. It also has plenty of personal stories and real life examples to show what the concepts may look like in the life of the reader.
The points the author makes are in general, excellent. He makes a lot of practical arguments for overlooking the negative aspects of community in order to receive the benefits. The only place where I really differ with him is in a section on ignoring faith differences. Unlike the author, I do believe some doctrinal issues do matter and can have an impact on one’s eternity. While I agree, we shouldn’t be out to destroy one another and that Christians of various “stripes” can work together, I also believe it’s important to help each other make sure we are indeed doing God’s Will. Merely saying everything pleases God as long as we love Him (implied, not stated by the author) does not make it biblical or correct.
If you can skip that one section though, or view it through a slightly tighter lens, this book is excellent. I believe those struggling with being a part of a Church family will finish the book with plenty to consider. Hopefully, it will cause readers who aren’t currently part of a Church family to find one. It may also help those who are struggling because the human side of their Church family’s personality is making them consider leaving the Church entirely.
For all of us, it’s a great reminder to take full advantage of our Church community. God created them for a reason. I believe at least part of it is that He knew we needed others to encourage us and hold us accountable to be the people He calls us to be. This book may just remind you to take advantage of God’s creation of the Church.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.