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About Stop Dating the Church!

"Christians belong in churches--the only places where we can thrive and grow spiritually. In Why Church Matters, Joshua Harris makes this case with wisdom, clarity, and graciousness."
--Charles W. Colson

Church isn't where we go. It's who we are.

We were never meant to live our faith in isolation. The church is the place God uses to grow us, encourage us, and use our gifts for His glory. In this honest, personal, and practical book, Joshua Harris shows you why it's time to say yes to church and how to find the right one for you--the place where you can fall in love with the family of God.

What you miss when you miss church
Ten questions to ask before you join
How to get more out of the best day of the week

What Readers are Saying:

"This book shows the place of great honor that church holds in Christ's heart and encourages us to value what He values. I've bought multiple copies to give away."
--Mike Neglia; Cork, Ireland

"Josh Harris does an excellent job of addressing our impulse to church hop."
--Garrett Watkins; Atlanta, Georgia

"When our family was in the midst of a transition, Why Church Matters helped us find the right local church. It will do the same for you."
--Andrew Hall; Ilderton, Ontario

Previously published as Stop Dating the Church


Praise for Why Church Matters

“Instead of asking what they can give or how they can serve, too many churchgoers are only interested in what they can get. The church deserves far more than the halfhearted commitment or apathetic neglect it so often receives. In fact, as Harris astutely observes, the Christian life can never be lived to its fullest apart from a genuine passion for the church. It’s time for believers to take the church seriously, which is why the message of this book is so essential.”

“Evangelical Christians have a good and appropriate emphasis on personal salvation. But that emphasis has not been balanced by the inherently corporate nature of the Christian life. Christians belong in churches—the only places where we can thrive and grow spiritually. In this book, Joshua Harris makes this case with wisdom, clarity, and graciousness.”

“Joshua Harris reminds us of the great kingdom work we are missing in our lives when we avoid the personal contact that commitment to a ‘home’ church brings. Many people seek to be comfortable and well fed in a church, but community is where the real issues of our hearts get worked out. Through the church, Joshua Harris writes, ‘The
power of the gospel is not only changing individuals, but is also creating a whole new kind of humanity.’”

“Joshua Harris has a gift for addressing issues that matter in a way that’s clear, powerful, and memorable. Why Church Matters is the same kind of writing Josh’s readers have come to expect and love—he’s right and he’s real. He winsomely shows the fallacy of those who want a relationship with Jesus, but not a committed relationship with His people. I believe the Lord will use this book to kindle in the hearts of many a love for what Jesus loves—His bride, the church.”

“Pastors, are you looking for a good book to help visitors understand why they should join a church? Here it is! Clear, simple, well-illustrated, and compelling. This little book reflects Christ’s love for the church and explains it in terms that are simple and passionate. Read it and use it.”

“In Why Church Matters Joshua Harris passionately communicates the urgency of God’s people becoming the counterculture we’re called to be and gives us tools to get started. I appreciate that Josh has written this book with more than instruction; he writes it as one who also struggles with us to discover our own place in the body of Christ.”

About Joshua Harris

Joshua Harris is senior pastor of Covenant Life in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is the best-selling author of Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last and several books on relationships, including the run-away bestseller, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. He and his wife, Shannon, have three children. Find out more at

Product Details

160 pages | Published by Multnomah

On Sale Date: Aug 16, 2011

Trim Size: 5-3/16 x 8

Carton Quantity: 24

Sneak Peek

“It’s time for believers to take the church seriously, which is why the message of this book is so essential. “ – John MacArthur

Click here to download chapter one of Why Church Matters.

Why Church Matters reminds us that faith was never meant to be lived in isolation. The church is the place that God uses to grow us, encourage us, and use our gifts for his glory. Loving Jesus Christ involves a passionate commitment to His church—not just a your presence in the pew.

Click here to download chapter one of Why Church Matters.

By Ching Wan

It is difficult to find a book talking about church without being too technical and boring.  But this book is an exception.  The content shows that the author has an in-depth knowledge of the subject and profound experience with the Christian community.  The book can readily be used for Sunday school classes, and at the same time, be easily adopted for Bible study groups.  Hope that it can be widely read and highly recommend for anyone...

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By Kate Schermerhorn

We easily fall into routines. Routines with work, routines with kids, routines around the house, and yes routines with church. We shouldn't just do church. Church is not somewhere just to go on Sunday morning and maybe Wednesday evening. Church is also not something you do if you have time or it fits into your ever growing schedule. "Why Church Matters" helps you discover the importance of church as your place in the family of God. An...

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By Ben Birdsong

In Why Church Matters, Joshua Harris presents a short but challenging book about the importance of being involved in a community of believers through a local church. This book was originally released under the title Stop Dating the Church and builds off of the theme of church hopping as "church dating." Harris seeks to call Christians who have opted for a version of solo Christianity to be a part of what God is doing in and through the...

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By Brian Schulenburg

Joshua Harris clearly loves the church, warts and all. His excellent book, Why Church Matters, was previously published as Stop Dating the Church. In it you get a clear picture of why commitment matters to God and why membership in the body of Christ is a good thing. In a generation that devalues membership in a local church body, Harris has given us a gift. His book offers compelling arguments from personal experience as well as...

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By Matt Heerema

This is an important book on the church. You should read it. It is important for two reasons: 1) It's short 2) It's solid Why short is important: Many of my non-reader friends scoff at the length of books (typical Christian living books are around 250 pages. An artifact of the economics of the industry which stretches some books out beyond their worth, and compresses others into an impossibly short format), and they despair of...

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