Review of the Book Everyday Church

By Joshua Earman

Next time you are in the grocery store, ask yourself, “What would it take for those who are shopping with me to hear the message of why Jesus Christ came?” What would it take for the man leaning toward the selection of chicken legs? What about the woman pushing her cart heavy-laden with Pepsi and fruit punch? How could she know God made her and sent his Son to be living water who satisfies our deepest thirst? What would it take for the mom and teenager daughter to hear that God is creating a new family where sins committed against one another are forgiven by a heavenly Father?

In the book Everyday Church, authors Tim Chester and Steve Timmis challenge the church’s evangelism methods of the past and present “every day” solutions.

Surveys show large numbers of Americans have no interest in visiting a church. How then can they know Jesus Christ? Through ordinary, run-of-the-mill, down-to-earth Christians who are good neighbors. The authors write, “We live in a culture where it is all about me: my rights, my pleasure, my fulfillment. God’s people have an altogether different motto: ‘It’s not about me; it’s about God and others.’ That makes a profound difference when we enter the public square or the workplace or the home.”

How do we become good neighbors on mission every day? The core elements are simple: Loving Jesus, Loving People, and Loving Life. Everyday Church makes these points.

Loving Jesus
Loving Jesus is not a technique. Do not think about how you can communicate a passion for Jesus. Be passionate about him. Love and passion and enthusiasm are infectious. Loving Jesus also counters our main impediment to evangelism: the fear of man, or our desire for approval and our fear of rejection. Our willingness to speak of Jesus arises from our delight in Jesus.

Loving People
Step one is being passionate about Jesus. Step two is being passionate about people. As with loving Jesus, loving people is not a technique. We sometimes meet people who are excited about the idea of mission and community but do not love the real people that make up community. Pray that God will melt your heart and give you love for specific people.

Loving Life
As Christians, we see the world as a theater for God’s glory. Sports, gardening, technology, literature, work, cars, food, fashion – all these things are good gifts from God for our enjoyment. Our job is to have fun to the glory of God! This attitude of enthusiasm reflects a robust doctrine of creation, but it is also a great way of connecting with people.

This loving of Jesus, People, and Life when done together demonstrates the new humanity created by Christ. Through the death of Christ and the faithful work of the Spirit, he has empowered us all to live such good lives that others are drawn to Christ.

Get a copy of Everyday Church and read it together with a friend this fall. Ask one another, “How can we spur one another on toward love and good deeds so we are good neighbors?” However we do church at New Life, let it be nothing less than the people of God on mission together.