This is a review for Ed Welch’s book Side By Side which is published by Crossway.

Who needs to read this book?

This is one of those books that every believer needs to read. The practical wisdom that Welch put in this book needs to be read by every Christian for these reasons: to be encouraged and to be humbled.This is essentially a book about discipleship. There are some who feel that they need to hide their struggles and sin while ministering to others. In the process they tend to start operating on their own strength and pride starts to grow. Welch gives great counsel through this book that it’s okay to not be okay and to start seeing the weight of our sin in order to be humbled. There are also some who feel that ministry or discipleship needs to be done only by the professionals (staff, counselors, pastors, etc). Welch crushes this lie by encouraging everyone who is a follower of Christ that God wants to use them in the lives of others.

Why is this book needed?

We live in a day and age where focusing on yourself is the cultural norm. And unfortunately this focus is not an inward reflective focus, but one of selfishness and pride. This is not only an issue outside the church, but many of us have become so caught up in ourselves and our devices that we neglect walking with others. As I read this book it convicted my heart that I need to be involved in the lives of others more. Many of us can go through the motions: attend church on Sundays, community group during the week, and other events…but we can still miss out on the life God has for us. Welch’s practical steps on learning to be “needy and humble”, but also walk with others in their neediness is a refreshing and necessary for the church today.

We need to take some time to see the weight of our sin and to ask the Lord and others for help. This book gives practical ways to go about this.

We also need to see that God wants to use us. This book encourages us in this and gives us practical steps in order to start walking with others.

Things I liked:

I liked that this book is very practical but at the same time very biblical. It is laid out in a way where it focuses on the reader first (focusing on the heart) and then his/her influence. One of the things I really appreciate from Welch’s writing is that he is very aware of the importance of application. He would use multiple examples from different angles in order to bring his point home. I liked the focused on my heart to trust in the promises of God rather than my circumstances. To know and be okay that I am needy and don’t have to wait until I reach a certain level of age, status, or title in order to minister to others. Overall, this was a very easy read and a book I know I will go back to many times in the future.

You can order via Amazon for a good price.

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