Like all my books, this one is very closely tied to my own journey. I've learned just how good it is to get serious about the church. I want to see my generation get a hold of God's purpose and plan for the local church, too.
We live in an increasingly fragmented and isolated world, and this has influenced the way we approach our relationship with God. We often see faith as a solo pursuit. Many young adults in particular have given up on the church. If they do attend, it isn't something that they invest themselves in passionately.
I believe the church is the most exciting thing to be a part of on the planet. It's the privilege of every Christian in every generation to play a small part in this very big and very awesome story God is writing.
Here's a clip of me talking about the book:
"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."
-- Charles W. Colson
"When I was growing up we used to sing a song that said, "I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God..." That's what churches are, families, with all their joy and disfunction, fellowship and strife. Joshua Harris reminds us of the great kingdom work we are missing in our lives when we avoid the personal contact that a commitment to a 'home' church brings. Many people seek to be comfortable and well fed in a church, but community is where the real things of our hearts get worked out. It is not always a comfortable thing to work alongside people, and to grow the fruit of the Spirit. but comfort is not the goal. Through the church, Joshua Harris writes, "The power of the gospel is not only changing individuals, it's creating a whole new kind of humanity."
--Sara Groves, singer/songwriter
"When men like Josh Harris, who most of us know as the "dating and romance expert," stop to write a book on the role of the Church, you can sense God moving. Josh understands that divorcing the local Church from the Gospel leaves us with no Gospel at all, and he passionately and practically defends Her in Stop Dating The Church! He communicates both the urgency of God's people becoming the counter-culture that 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 reads it and struggles with us to discover our own place in the local Body of Christ."
--Derek Webb, Singer/Songwriter
"Sadly, many Christians have allowed a consumer-mindset to shape their opinions of the church. Instead of asking what they can give or how they can serve, too many church-goers are only interested in what they can get. In light of this frightening trend, Josh Harris passionately and effectively calls his readers to understand the church's fundamental importance. As part of God's perfect plan for His people, the church deserves far more than the half-hearted 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."
--Pastor John MacArthur
"Joshua Harris has a gift for addressing issues that matter in a way that's clear, powerful, and memorable. He speaks the truth, but you feel sure he understands and experiences our struggles with it. Stop Dating the Church! 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."
--Donald Whitney, author of Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church
"Pastors, are you looking for a good book to help visitors understand why they should join a church? Here it is! Clear, simply, 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."
--Pastor Mark Dever