first book deals with what the church believes while his second book deals with what makes up the church. This book deals with what the church is suppose to do in three certain areas as the mentioned in the subtitled: the table, pulpit, and square.
In the first section of the book, Thorn talks about the church as a community. It is no secret that most of our culture believes the church is the building, which the Bible tells us it is the people. Joe addresses our need for the community of faith and how it strengthens us as we walk with Jesus. Joe talks about the need for the church to meet in small groups whether in a home or another location where believers can read the word and pray together. Finally, in this section Joe addresses hospitality. Many people think hospitality is letting people into their home, which there is nothing wrong with that. Joe says hospitality is allowing people into your life at great costs to you. This little chapter on hospitality is much needed in the church today because many people have no idea what Biblical hospitality is.
The next section of the book deals with the pulpit, which is a no-brainer for most believers. Joe says a church is to worship God together. Yes, we can worship God alone, but a true believer seeks community with fellow believers and worships God together as a family. As we worship, we are to worship God in spirit and in truth based on the written of Word of God. Speaking of the Word, that is what the church is to be proclaiming. Joe mentions Liturgy which many churches don't know what this is. A good liturgy, according to Joe, takes the Christian from guilt to praise. To make the Christian see the ruin of their sin and the grace that God has given them in Christ. Joe does say there is no Biblical grounds for a liturgy, but he can testify to the benefits it can bring.
The final section of the book deals with the church being sent out into the world. The church is not a retreat for the saved, though many churches have made it that way, but it is where we receive our marching orders from the Savior. Joe encourages his readers that we must participate in the culture around us. Whether it is a neighborhood watch program or a soccer team. We must be engaged with the culture in various ways. We are also to be in conversations with the culture. That means evangelize. Share Jesus using words, which is something Joe stressed on. Finally, Joe addresses multiplication which means being involved and interested in churches beyond your walls. Being involved in church planting and church revitalization.
Joe Thorn once again delivers another great book on the church. Just like his other books, the chapters are to the point for anyone to pick up and read.
Thanks Moody Publishers for letting me review this book.