Gathered Together: The beauty of living as God's church
Sunday: time for church.
Do you feel eager anticipation? Or has life or weariness turned church into a dutiful habit?
Either way, it’s useful to pause and ask:
- What is church, and what’s it for?
- Why do we go?
- What does God expect us to do when we’re together?
- What gifts does God give to his church, and why?
- How does our time together influence our time apart?
Long-time pastor and theologian Karl Deenick has thought deeply about these questions and has years of experience in living out the answers. In Gathered Together, Karl helps us to reflect on our relationship with church.
This book is clear, biblical, honest, timely and wise. It’s essential reading for everyone who wants to enjoy being part of God’s people, God’s way.
"This is a wonderful book, full of biblical insight, practical wisdom, and theological depth. It is a great antidote against the individualism, selfishness, and consumerism that constantly seeps from our world into our church. It encourages us to be the church we believe in and want to belong to." – Peter Adam, Vicar Emeritus, St Jude’s Carlton, Melbourne, and former principal of Ridley College, Melbourne
"A clear and compelling book about the church, carefully grounded in the word and insightfully applied to our world. Deenick inspires us with God’s glorious vision for the church, prepares us for challenges and struggles that we will encounter, and equips us to be what God calls us to be. Read this book, and be excited about the church!" – Derek Brotherson, Principal, Sydney Missionary and Bible College
"Church is, or should be, a big part of the lives of all Christians. But many turn up without thinking very clearly, biblically or practically about what church is all about. This great little book will help them do exactly that. Deeply rooted in Scripture, it is a crystal clear, deeply challenging and wonderfully refreshing guide to living in God’s church today. I’d love to see everyone who goes to church read it—they and their churches will benefit greatly." – Murray Capill, Dean of Ministry Development, Reformed Theological College, Melbourne
"Arguably the greatest challenge the pandemic has brought to the church has been in people’s understanding of the purpose and importance of church itself. Against this background, Karl Deenick takes us carefully through the Bible’s teaching on the centrality of the church as the gathered community in God’s purposes for his people and his world. We need this book right now." – Michael Raiter, Director, Centre for Biblical Preaching, Melbourne
"Karl has done us a great favour in writing this book. He shows us simply and clearly from the Bible how Jesus loves and cherishes his church, his bride, and why we should love Jesus’ church too. As gatherings of Jesus’ people, our churches will be communities of joy and love; as gatherings of sinners, they will experience conflict and hurt. All love is costly, but Karl shows us why loving and investing in our church communities will have overwhelming benefits now and in eternity. If you’re having trouble being motivated about church, pick up this book. You’ll be glad you did. Really!" – Al Stewart, National Director, Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), Australia
Table of Contents:
1. Resetting our expectations
2. What is the church?
3. What does the church do?
4. The church gathered
5. The church scattered
6. God's gifts to the church
7. The church and rest
Conclusion: Living as God's church