Love for the Local Church
I love the local church. Ever since I became a member at the First Baptist Church in Athens, Ohio, my understanding and appreciation for the local church has grown and changed. But it was in reading Don Whitney's book Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church that I was given a fresh love for this God-ordained institution.
The local church was set up by God to fulfill many important roles in the life of the believer. In this particular work Dr. Whitney has not only argued Biblically and cogently for membership in the local church, but he has written in such a way so as to implant a delight in the church in his readers. The church is our spiritual friend, this is so because the church is the people of God (not a building). With Biblical support, direct questioning, example stories, and his own personal love for the church Whitney has written a book that every Christian should read. I commend it to all pastors specifically: Read this book that you may not only understand and live out this love for the local church, but that you may infect your people with it too.
Love the local church, because Christ loves the local Church!