Quit Church

Chris Sonksen: Because Your Life Would Be Better If You Did

Quit Church
Because Your Life Would Be Better If You Did
(Baker, 2018)

WHO: Chris Sonksen, founding and lead pastor of South Hills Church and founder of Church BOOM.

HE SAYS: “I can’t stand seeing God’s people walking, talking, speaking and acting as if they are second-class citizens in his kingdom. This is not God’s intent for our lives.”

THE BIG IDEA: This book is a call to quit our casual, cultural commitment to church as we know it and instead partake in the spiritual habits that release the blessings of God.

Chapter 1, “Quit Expecting to Wake Up in Heaven,” deals with what happens when we get frustrated by the church and how it hurts both us and the church as a whole.
Chapter 2, “Quit Giving Your Money Away,” discusses our misguided mindset regarding finances and tithing, while Chapter 3, “Quit Helping Out,” encourages readers to find a need and fill it.
Chapter 4, “Quit Hoping People Will Come,” concretely shows how we should be inviting people to church; Chapter 5, “Quit Stopping By,” explains the importance of dependable church attendance.
The book concludes with “Quit Your Church Friends,” a look at the importance of connection and community. Each chapter ends with an explanation on how the reader will benefit by taking these actions, how the church will benefit and discussion questions.

“Become an expert at investing, inviting, and including. Help people find Jesus.”

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How do commitment and dependability relate to God and the church?

If you go back a few decades the idea of brand loyalty was much stronger than it is today as it pertains to the local church. People would always stay faithful to their church family. They wouldn’t leave just because they didn’t agree with something or because they didn’t like the way something was said or done. That brand loyalty doesn’t exist anymore and it is showing up in our commitment to the church we call home.

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People are attending fewer Sundays throughout the year and are quick to leave in the face of indifference. When you think about the word dependability it’s not that sexy. Most people want to be described as confident, brave or strong. They want people to see them as someone who perseveres, never gives up and fights to win. Those sound strong and we all like those characteristics, but the one word that most people are not described as is dependable. But the fact is that although others may not honor dependability, God does. He not only honors it, he rewards it. When we show dependability to our church, when we show that even when things don’t go our way we hang in there, when we exercise the kind of dependability that doesn’t gossip or run to social media to air out our feelings, God will always honor and reward that type of behavior. Being a person of commitment and dependability makes us better, makes our churches stronger and demonstrates a godly and Christ-centered model to our family.

How can pastors best model good spiritual practices?

Of the six spiritual behaviors outlined in Quit Church, there are a few that pastors, at times, don’t seem to fully model in their lives. As a result, they find themselves preaching on subjects they find difficult to practice. It’s been said that churches become like the pastor who leads them. If that’s the case, then implementing the six spiritual behaviors are crucial to the growth and health of the church that pastor leads.

Probably the most common behavior addressed in Quit Church that pastors find difficult to practice is the area of “inviting the unchurched.” Most pastors either haven’t personally won someone to Christ outside of Sunday morning or haven’t been personally responsible for bringing an unchurched friend or neighbor to a Sunday morning service. This may be difficult for some pastors to implement in their lives, but if they can figure out how to do this, it could revolutionize their church and create a new wave of growth.

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