Here is why Florent Varak recommends reading the book "A call to reform the Church"
What should the Ideal Church look like? According to those who are looking for a Church when they arrive in a city, the most important criteria would be a list of services adapted to their expectations: Sunday school (of quality), group of young people (dynamic), without forgetting (enthusiastic) praise and (interesting) messages.
These criteria are not necessarily bad. Only, they should come second, and should be further specified: textual, redemptive preaching, in worship centered on God and the Gospel, etc. The primary purpose of the Church is not to serve us. She is first and foremost the body, the bride of Christ and the temple of the Lord. She is centered on her Savior.
When asked which Church I was recommending in the city where I was pastor, I would respond with a list of churches and this recommendation: read Revelation 2 and 3, then identify the qualities that Jesus wants to see in a Church, what he approves and encourages, and the faults he denounces. These seven letters that Jesus addresses to these churches in Asia Minor at the end of the 1st century AD are, in part, frightening. Imagine how a dynamic Church, offering useful services to its members, would react to hearing these words from Jesus himself: "I know your works: you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. ] "(Rev 3.1).
John MacArthur offers us a solemn and lucid look at these seven Churches. It is a disturbing reading, because it confronts us with the need for the most serious rigor and dedication. Now it is a necessity that we sometimes lose sight of in the midst of the multiple tasks of the ministry ... But it is also an optimistic reading because it reveals the direction to follow in order to honor God and restore the Church in his piety.
In his familiar style, MacArthur invites the Church to cultivate an attitude of collective repentance whenever she perceives that she has slackened off some of her responsibilities. He then goes through the seven letters that Jesus addresses to these Churches, revealing precisely what Jesus wants or does not want for his bride. It ends with an exhortation to always return to the fundamentals, as formulated by the five pillars of the Reformation (sola Scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, soli Deo gloria, solus Christus).
A book that will not leave anyone indifferent and that will give courage to those who work for the building up of the Church that Christ is building, whether through prayer, teaching or service.
- Florent Varak
Pastor, author, international director of the development of Churches
Encompass, professor at the Biblical Institute of Geneva