Why Church? : A Basic Introduction

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN


Why Church? : A Basic Introduction


 Scott W. Sunquist


 InterVarsity Press


Publication Date:

July 9, 2019




224 pages


Most Christians know they’re supposed to go to church, but why do Christians actually do it? In an increasingly post-Christian West, many Christians don’t have the Bible knowledge to understand what attending church is really for. As a missionary who’s served in Asia as well as a pastor, Scott Sunquist has seen church services in various cultures and the basic principles that apply to every church. He argues that churches have two basic purposes: worship and witness. From there, he considers five basic actions that Christians do at church:

  • Come together
  • Stand to praise God
  • Kneel to confess sins
  • Sit to listen to the Word of God
  • Go out into the world

In a chapter devoted to each action, or “movement,” Sunquist explains what it looks like to do each one and the common obstacles to avoid.

Sunquist balances theory and application very well throughout this book. Using Scripture and church history, he makes it clear that these five actions are things which all churches are commanded to do, but never makes them too abstract. He always explains what each action means in clear language that shows church leaders or congregants how to carry the ideas out. On top of that, his writing style hits the right balance between inspiration and humility. Sunquist knows that many churches don’t live up to their own standards, and he gently notes mistakes that churches frequently make. By being gentle, his critiques come across as honest attempts to help churches do better, not cynical attacks. Without claiming that any church has perfectly followed these principals, he shares stories about churches that have accomplished good things when they aligned with these ideas, giving readers an idea of what Christians are capable of when they meet together as Christ’s Bride.

A wonderful, simply-told explanation of what Christian communities are called to be.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians (church leaders, churchgoers and others) seeking to understand what the point is of going to church, and what is accomplished when Christians come together. 

Christian Impact

Sunquist uses a mix of personal experiences, Scripture and church history to make his points about churches’ functions and goals. Throughout, he builds a vision of church that is humble yet inspiring, helping readers to understand the good that churches can accomplish even as they seek to overcome their particular flaws.

Why Church?: A Basic Introduction

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.


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