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Church: Why Bother?: My Personal Pilgrimage
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Church: Why Bother?: My Personal Pilgrimage

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  381 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Philip Yancey offers an honest and insightful book to help readers explore their need to find spiritual connection and community.
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Published August 3rd 2010 by Zondervan (first published December 23rd 1997)
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Yancey's background was one of strict fundmentalism in Georgia. He rejected the narrowness and prejudices of the members and was away from the church for a number of years. It was years later when he heard preached and understood grace that he came back to appreciate the fellowship of local believers. One point that he made and I've often appreciated about my early church background was "the very strictness of fundamentalism kept me from deeper trouble." His main point seemed to be the freedom t ...more
As the daughter of a minister (my mom is a Southern Baptist children's minister, and I often felt I got the short side of the stick - she was available to all of God's children, it seemed, but not her own as I was growing up and the members of the congregation pushed her well beyond her job description) I very much related to much of what Yancey said in this short but invaluable little work.

He walks the fine line he is so adept at walking - he does not sugarcoat but at the same time he does not
I read this book during a time when I was taking a sabbatical from church. Yancey himself has had doubts about whether or not church was worth it (thus the title), but makes the argument that ultimately it is worth it. I have since disagreed, but still think he makes good points in the book.
I tripped upon this book "accidentally and it really drew me to focus on the essentials of church and why it is worth the bother, almost no matter what.
Oct 16, 2013 Pat rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone disenchanted with church.
Recommended to Pat by: No one.
Shelves: stopped-reading
This was the first book of Philip Yancey's that I'd ever read. He's a good writer and the book itself is good, but it's effectiveness or applicability is in direct proportion to where one is in their spiritual journey. Much of what Yancey offers up is the usual advice given to those who have given up on church. In fact, I may have given some of this same advice to others in years past. Things like:

"I had a knee-jerk reaction against anythng that smacked of hypocrisy until one day the question oc
Cassidy Hastings
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is definitely a personal pilgrimage, and one that I identified with in certain ways as early as the first paragraph. I agree with much of what the author observes. "The focus has shifted from families to institutions. Yet the New Testament stubbornly presents the church as being more like a family than an grieves me to see local churches that run more like a business institution than a family." (pgs. 62-63)

However, I found parts of this book iron
Ben Zajdel
I've been reading a lot of books lately to help me deal with my growing apathy with church. Most of them have "disillusioned" somewhere in the title. I decided to give this one a try for two reasons: first, it's by Philip Yancey, and secondly, it didn't seem as cynical as the other books on the same subject.

This book is short, only 100 pages long, but still has enough depth to inspire you to believe in church again. Yancey details his own journey away from and back to the church. He also spends
Emma Lavern
Yancey gives a beautiful depiction on God's love for church and community. When speaking about church, He gives His personal pilgrimage from seeing the hypocrisy of what goes on within most churches today, and shows how he came to understand a church full of imperfect people is God's risk and only way to reveal His grace and love on humanity, while also exerting the importance that what matters most is worship to God rather than entertainment for the crowd. He also writes of the need for a serva ...more
Paul Van buren
This is an interesting read for another perspective on the Church. It is well written, makes for smooth and quick reading. The author does a good job to point out cause and effects as well as some possible approaches and changes of attitudes for overcoming certain pitfalls. It was pleasant to read a testimony of someone who struggled over the Church but understood her value enough to not give up.
Some worthy food for thought. I'm still not very convinced everyone needs to belong to a church, especially huge mega churches that can be pretty cold and impersonal. I would like to belong to a community of believers but sometimes I think such a community need not be church members. Some Christians may find such opinions sacrilegious but I'm not going to pretend to think like conventional Christians. I've gotten jaded with churchy stuff. Need a break.
Well written and very "readable." Yancey provides an engaging narrative that helps his audience think through some of the reasons and excuses why "drop-outs" should seriously re-engage the church.
Peta Hay
Philip Yancey does it again. Another brilliant book
I always love Philip Yancey.
Jane Fong
Plan to read once more.
Lighter than most of Yancey's work, but well worth reading nonetheless. He talks about 'church' as the Christian community, undoubtedly with problems, but - he concludes - it's worth persevering. Anecdotes, Scripturally based explanations, and general encouragement. Recommended.

Re-read after eight years and found it a bit light-weight, with one or two assumptions about 'church services' that didn't really fit.. but still, good stuff and well written. Perhaps three and a half stars would be bette
Don't get me wrong I enjoy Philip Yancey's books . This was required reading for one of my courses and it doesn't necessarily apply to me . I LOVE Christ's Church - but I am not a person who needs his apologetic reasoning to see the blessings the Body provides . Definitely recommended for those who have never been exposed to church or those who have been burned by the Body of Believers before in an unpleasant experience at a church .
Author cites his own journey of what the church is supposed to be and how it often falls short. Yet the importance of community is stressed, in spite of its flaws.

Quotes:“Christianity is not a purely intellectual, internal faith. It can only be lived in community.”

“We humans cause God great pain, yet God remains passionately involved with us. Should not I have something of that same attitude toward the church around me?”
This short little book is a gem.
Milan Homola
I really like this book because it is the perfect length for a Yancey book. It is short and sweet and makes its point well. There are lots of great sub points that will make you think about your relationship as the church to the church. He does a superb job of addressing the real issue "me" and "you"
As a reader who goes to church habitually, I was happy for the insight Mr. Yancey provides regarding how congregational worship supports individual worship, and how the congregational community opens doors for individual progression. A short but fulfilling read.
Michelle Young
Every time I ask myself this question (I've probably asked it three times in the eight years I've been walking with Jesus), I come to this book and remember why I do bother.

This is the fourth time reading it in 2013 and it convinces me every time.
Margaret Chan
It's a must-read for those who have the same question. The author insightfully analyzed the purpose and role of church in this world, even though none of them will ever be a perfect one. :-)
Jimmy Winfrey
This book kind of tells Philip Yancey's experience in his disfuntional church as a child. It dealt with many issues about disfuntional churches and gave some positives for church.
This was added encouragement for me who really got frustrated with the church we were attending. I really am glad we moved on and I am also becoming a Philip Yancey reader.
This book was not as impactful as I was hoping. However, as always, I enjoyed Philip Yancey's thoughts and all of the anecdotes from his life.
Great read for anyone wondering why church is important/worth it and a good reminder for those who attend about what the point is
This book shares some very important truths about the value of worship. It is very misunderstood gift of God.
Choong Chiat
A simple yet elegantly written book which manages to put forward its arguments without trying too hard.
so far quite impressed. i skim anything that isn't for me. everything else is inspiring.
Not bad, however not as good as the other Philip Yancey books I have read.
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A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Philip Yancey earned graduate degrees in Communications and English from Wheaton College Graduate School and the University of Chicago. He joined the staff of Campus Life Magazine in 1971, and worked there as Editor and then Publisher. He looks on those years with gratitude, because teenagers are demanding readers, and writing for them taught him a lasting principle: ...more
More about Philip Yancey...
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“As I look around on Sunday morning at the people populating the pews, I see the risk that God has assumed. For whatever reason, God now reveals himself in the world not through a pillar of smoke and fire, not even through the physical body of his Son in Galilee, but through the mongrel collection that comprises my local church and every other such gathering in God’s name. (p. 68, Church: Why Bother?)” 13 likes
“Jesus gave us a model for the work of the church at the Last Supper. While his disciples kept proposing more organization ─ Hey, let's elect officers, establish hierarchy, set standards of professionalism ─ Jesus quietly picked up a towel and basin of water and began to wash their feet.” 8 likes
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