CL winter 09-10 - Evangelical Church Library Association

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CL winter 09-10 - Evangelical Church Library Association

Grow a Healthy Church

by Cindy Grabill

The church is often thought of as

the building on the corner of

Third and Walnut or maybe the

place that hosts the annual memorial

service for the homeless. My church

was once identified as the one across

the street from the pawnshop.

Yet the following books emphasize

that the church is much more than a

building but is, instead, a body of believers,

each one with a specific function.

If these books are in the library,

all parts of your church body will benefit.

THE BERENSTAIN BEARS GO TO

SUNDAY SCHOOL

by Stan & Jan Berenstain

Zonderkidz, 978-0-310-71248-0, PB, 32

pages, $3.99

Mother Bear suggests to her family

one Saturday night that they start going

to church again. She points out that

church is like glue that holds the family

together. The others remind her of

their “more important” Sunday activities:

soccer practice, ballet lessons, and

chores around the house. However,

they agree to attend the early service.

Brother and Sister Bear learn the story

of Noah’s ark and participate in an activity

to re-enforce learning. They

agree that it was “kind of interesting”

and will even return the following

week.

This children’s book serves as a reminder

to the whole family of the importance

of regular Sunday worship.

12 12 12 Church Libraries • Fall 2009

B B O O O O K K R R O O U U N N D D U U P

P

THE CHURCH GOD BLESSES

by Jim Cymbala

Zondervan, 978-0-310-24203-1, PB, 168

pages, $9.99

God blesses a church with members

who are willing to confess even their

smallest sins and strive to change. They

are excited about the Lord, long for

God’s approval, and replace selfishness

with sacrificial love. They draw

on God’s power as they leave their

comfort zones to try new challenges.

They listen to and obey God as He

gives them daily instructions and follow

Him step-by-step.

Following this description of a

church can reap positive changes in

your own body of believers.

THE CHURCH IN GOD’S PROGRAM

by Robert L. Saucy

Moody, 978-0-802-415-448, PB, 254

pages, $15.99

Every library needs a theology book

on the church, and this one is an excellent

choice. Backing up each point with

illustrations from Scripture, Saucy examines

the early beginnings of the

church, emphasizing that it is not a

building but a group of believers who

have been called to evangelize at home

and worldwide.

He stresses that each believer

indwelt with the Holy Spirit has spiritual

gifts God can use in ministry. He

shows how the church will fall into ruin

without discipline but points out the

importance of forgiveness and restoration—or

excommunication if the offender

refuses to repent. He also lists

qualifications and responsibilities of

elders, deacons, and deaconesses.

CHURCH: WHY BOTHER?

by Philip Yancey

Zondervan, 978-0-310-24313-7, PB, 112

pages, $12.99

Yancey’s boyhood church taught

that skating, going to movies, bowling,

and reading the Sunday paper were all

sins. He left when the pastor preached

that African-Americans were subhuman;

and he stayed away from church

for a long time. Later, he tried it again.

This is his story of the lessons he

learned in his journey from being a

skeptic to an advocate of the church.

For example, he learned that church

brings generations together and is a

place where anyone is welcome. There

sinners hold each other accountable,

bear each others’ burdens, share pain,

and minister to the needs of the neighborhood

in which the building is located.

Since the building may be the

place where someone will hear the

message of God’s love, church is worth

the bother.

FUSION: Turning First-Time Guests

into Full-Fledged Members of Your

Church

by Nelson Searcy with Jennifer

Dykes Henson

Regal, 978-0-8307-4531-9, PB, 176

pages, $14.99

We make preparations when we are

expecting company for dinner. In the

same way, we may have first-time visitors

in our churches this Sunday, so we

need to be ready. Searcy points out that

first-time guests will make a decision

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