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How to Walk into Church

(Brief Books #4)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  38 reviews
If you've been a churchgoer for more than just a few Sundays, walking to church probably doesn't seem like it deserves its own 'how to' manual. Right? In fact, it most likely seems like a pretty straightforward and trivial weekly activity.

But things are rarely as simple as they seem, and how you walk into church reveals a great deal about what you think church is, what it'
Paperback, 64 pages
Published June 8th 2015 by Matthias Media
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  213 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Peter N.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Most of my church is under thirty years old. They are not going to pick up a 300 page book on a topic. Therefore, I am constantly trying to find short reads that will help them understand better God, Christ, the Spirit, and the church. This book does a great job of giving clear reasons why someone should go to church, what they should do when they get there, and when they leave. It is not a guilt trip, but rather a practical and encouraging book on the glories and benefits of belonging to and pa ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
For a small treatment of what the church is, and is called to do in gathered worship, this little book packs serious punch. I'm giving it out to everybody...

Finished again on 7/26/17. Such a helpful little book. Worth many reads.
Tori Samar
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I would call this 64 pages of "just what I needed to read." An incredibly short book (it didn't even take me an hour to finish), but oh, how much it got hold of me in that brief time! Payne boils his main idea down to one statement: we should pray each week about where we sit in church. However, the book's not simply trying to say "Change where you sit each week in church, and the results will be life-changing." It's really trying to emphasize the church as community and family, the mindset invo ...more
Eric Durso
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, church
Would love for lots of people to read this short book.
Kofi Opoku
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Tony Payne has given me the words for something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. He makes the case that ‘going to church’ begins long before you actually put on your clothes and walk out of the door. Likewise, being in church is more than listening to he sermon for that day. Highly recommended.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This little book could be summed up by saying that everything we do “at church“ (beginning with choosing where to sit) should be done conscientiously through prayer, and not thoughtlessly or as a mindless habit.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fast, easy read.
Audrey Jost
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very short, excellent exhortation to be intentional and Biblical in how we walk into church each Sunday. Very encouraging and convicting book that truly stirs up the heart to love and good works!
Kevin Halloran
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Read full review at or buy on Amazon.

How do you walk into church?

This question doesn’t seek to address your walking style, how many kids’ noses you are wiping as you cross your church’s threshold, or how you have on your “Sunday best.”

What author Tony Payne is getting at in his brief 64-page book How to Walk into Church are core issues like “What is church?” and “What is my place in it?” (10). Our answers to these two questions form a mindset that will govern all of our c
CJ Bowen
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So much wisdom packed into a few short chapters. The strength of this book is not that it is new or groundbreaking, but that it is clear, accessible, and practical. If you wonder why you go to church, or if you struggle to feel connected with the church you attend, this book will serve you well, explaining why and how going to church can be so much more than going through the motions. This would be a great resource to give to new members as an introduction to the first steps of what it means to ...more
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A helpful little 64-page book reminding (or exhorting) us that church is not just about the sermon or what we get out of it. As Payne points out, our individual "vertical" experience with God is only half the reason for church and we must not neglect the "horizontal" aspect, searching out “opportunities to encourage and love and build up other people” (p. 52), that is, fellowshipping with our church family. Payne helps the reader think through why we go to church and the manner in which we shoul ...more
Steve Hemmeke
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Written for the average church-goer, Payne gives biblical and practical advice on keeping church attendance an act of deliberate discipleship.

What is church?
Why go?
What should I be thinking about when I go?

I'll give away the main idea: we should go to church expecting to help someone else with our encouraging words, loving presence or acts of service.

Payne does a good job in 64 short pages keeping church God-oriented, while also asserting this main idea. It is a practical and edifying challenge
I appreciate this little book for the its encouragement to really understand and walk by the principles that God has given about how Christians "do" church. The author writes, "How you walk into church will be determined by what you think church is, and what you think you're doing there."

The author gives a quick, but great foundation for how the church came to be and why, based on that, we should seek to fulfill God's purposes and not our own. He writes that "We can make our way through church w
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-life
Very helpful. There's a lot in this readable little book (64 pages, ~$5). It's a super practical book about how Christians should act in church Sunday by Sunday -- preparing to come, during church, and afterwards -- all based on bible passages and well-explained theology. Any church attender would be encouraged by reading it, and would take away some specific things to do. There's also a very good couple of pages near the end on the danger of drifting away from church.
Don Curran
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
A great reminder of what church should be and how we are to love God, love people, serve others, and tell everyone. Good, practical advice on what to do and how to love, encourage, and build up others in the faith.
Kevin Morse
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I seriously bought a case of 25 of these and gave them all away because I thought it was so helpful. No joke. Too many people in our culture think the church exists for their convenience, entertainment, and that's it.
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful, brief account of not only what the church is, but how that plays out in practical living. Nothing overall surprising here, but a couple of good restatements/definitions/questions to be asking that I had not articulated before.
Eric Abisror
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Small, simple, and very helpful.
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Quick read with some great concepts. Anyone (whether you like to read or not) could easily read this and profit from it.
Chris Little
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
So good, and short, that it's worth reading slowly. Very slowly, with prayer and with dedication to put it into practice.
Carl Jenkins
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Simple book, but would be good for a sermon series.
Kyle McManamy
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-theology
Excellent (and very short) book to change perspectives on what we're doing as a part of church and why we gather weekly.
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
pretty basic stuff, but worth a reminder.
Phillip Howell
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My daughter saw this book in our house and said, "that is a dumb book. Who needs a whole book to tell you how to walk into church? Just use your legs abs walk in."

Just like my daughter I think there are many of who think this book is not for them. They don't need encouragement or instruction on how they go about attending their church. Or do they?

Probably like most pastors, I am constantly praying and longing for our church to be more welcoming to visitors, to be more engaged with each other's
Jason Gregory Angulo
Nails it on the head!

5 star rating for expertly handling an issue plaguing many Christians and churches. The understanding of why we go to church. Plainly written so it could be grasped by even new believers. Short and sweet, yet not watered down.
Matt Gass
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I judged this book by its cover and almost missed out. Thanks to a strong recommendation I found a great little resource—something I hope to share with others. There’s something in here that can benefit all of us.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a simple but helpful book. Some good things for me as a pastor to think about, but this is probably particularly useful as a quick study with a small group or even as an orientation book for new church members. Highly recommended.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: evangelism, theology
This is a great little book. I read it in one sitting, it's short but challenging. Very helpful in thinking through why we go to church and how to be intentional before, during and after the service.
Matt Athey
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
Excellent! Every Christian should read this little primer to attending church well.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a simple book that should be required reading for most church-goers. I found it practical and challenging.
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Tony Payne began work as Matthias Media’s first editor in 1988. Since then, Tony has been a busy guy: with his wife, Alison, he has grown a family of five children; he has completed a degree in theology at Moore Theological College; and he has written or co-written numerous ministry resources, and edited many others. Tony’s main responsibilities are to oversee everything we publish (including The ...more

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Brief Books (7 books)
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  • The God of Word (Brief Books)
  • Gospel Speech: A fresh look at the relationship between every Christian and evangelism
  • The Everlasting Purpose: Understanding predestination
  • Fearing God: we don't have to be afraid
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“Love sees a need and tries to meet it, rather than seeing a problem and doing nothing about it—or, worse, complaining about it. Another” 0 likes
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