Why Would Anyone Go to Church?
A Young Community’s Quest to Reclaim Church for Good
A young community discovers why, despite everything, church still matters
There are plenty of reasons to criticize, judge, and even walk away from the church. When Kevin was twenty-three and didn't know any better, he started a congregation with some friends who were on the edge of faith. Together they hoped to discover whether the church was worth fighting for. In this brutally honest account, he shares their story of becoming a community of misfits, outcasts, and oddballs who would learn that, even with all its faults, the church is worth being a part of . . . and must be reclaimed for good.
If you've been burned or burned out by the church, if you've been silenced or misunderstood, if you've left or never even joined in the first place, this candid, hopeful book is your invitation to consider what you miss out on when you give up on church--and what the church misses out on when it gives up on you.
"My generation is searching for things we've lost: a sense of community, a sense of the sacred, healthier lifestyles, and places where our best values and ideas are encouraged and practiced. Kevin does the hard work--intellectually and practically--of championing church as a potential resolution to these searches."--Shad (Shadrach Kabango), artist and host of Netflix's Hip-Hop Evolution
"I love Why Would Anyone Go to Church? for its unvarnished, unflinching honesty; incisive, beautiful writing; authentic belly laughs; and for the many moments I had to put it down, gut-punched by the sheer holiness and humanity in these pages. It made me fall in love with the church again, despite myself."-- Jonathan Martin, author of How to Survive a Shipwreck and Prototype
Kevin Makins is the founding pastor of Eucharist Church in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada, which has been recognized as one of the most creative and innovative churches in the country. A frequent speaker at conferences and churches, Kevin also performs one-man shows in bars and makes videos for thousands on YouTube. His audience includes the faithful and the skeptical, those hungry to learn, and those who just want to hear a good story. He lives in an old house downtown with his wife, kids, and housemates.
"Why Would Anyone Go to Church? tells a story about a church, a place, and a people. Ultimately, though, it is a story about the incarnation of the gospel. Read this book and realize that what the world needs now is incarnation. Read it and discover all over again what is so compelling about not just going to church but being the church."
David Fitch, author of Faithful Presence and professor at Northern Seminary, Chicago
"My generation is searching for things we've lost: a sense of community, a sense of the sacred, healthier lifestyles, and places where our best values and ideas are encouraged and practiced. Kevin does the hard work--intellectually and practically--of championing church as a potential resolution to these searches. And as the title suggests, Why Would Anyone Go to Church? doesn't avoid any of the hard questions this proposition raises. Best of all, it is not theoretical; this book is the story of ordinary people in Hamilton, Ontario, doing something wonderfully old and new at the same time."
Shad (Shadrach Kabango), artist and host of Netflix's Hip-Hop Evolution
"Right from the beginning, this book doesn't shy away from the frightening questions being asked about what is happening to church and whether there is any hope for it. Because of this, I knew I could trust Kevin as he led me through his difficult and joyful journey of pastoring a church. I thoroughly enjoyed Why Would Anyone Go to Church? not just for its great storytelling and insightful practices but because of the revelation that those involved in participating in the church are not the ones who win or lose but the ones who are irrevocably transformed."
Scott Erickson, artist and coauthor of Prayer and May It Be So
"Why Would Anyone Go to Church? inspires people to experience and express the beauty and brokenness of life in the local church. Thank you, Kevin, for helping the Good News message shine more brightly as we join together in true community in the places where Jesus has put us."
Bruxy Cavey, teaching pastor at The Meeting House and author of The End of Religion and (re)union
"Why Would Anyone Go to Church? is a spiritual memoir of millennial church planting in a post-Christian world. Makins's love for his city and his neighborhood shines brilliantly through this exploration of failure, community, and loving the universal by focusing on the particular--in this case, the local church."
D. L. Mayfield, writer and neighbor
"I can think of no other subgenre of literature more preferable to avoid than memoirs from faith leaders and first-person accounts of their own faith communities--inevitably more hagiography than biography, real stories are flattened in the process of making saints and manufacturing meaning. And then along comes this surprising, astonishing gem of a book. I love Kevin Makins's Why Would Anyone Go to Church? for its unvarnished, unflinching honesty; incisive, beautiful writing; authentic belly laughs; and for the many moments I had to put it down, gut-punched by the sheer holiness and humanity in these pages. It made me fall in love with the church again, despite myself. This startling book on Christian community is too unlike anything else to be the one you came looking for but, if you're like me, precisely the one your soul has craved. Bonhoeffer gave us Life Together; Kevin Makins has given us a less reverent, more complex, more human story of what life together looks like here and now."
Jonathan Martin, author of How to Survive a Shipwreck and Prototype