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Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy: Eight Truths for Pursuing Unity in Your Church (Dunlop)

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Loving Those at Church Who Are Hard to Love

Churches are full of differences. Those differences might be rooted in culture or personality or even musical style. In recent years, differences over political and social issues have frayed the unity of many churches. Yet if a church is centered on Christ alone, then unity at church will sometimes require building genuine friendships that bridge across all those differences. How can Christians navigate those relationships? Can they really love people at church who sometimes drive them crazy?  

This practical guide explores 8 truths from Romans 12–15 that show us how to find God-exalting unity at church with those we struggle to love. Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy is a roadmap to finding joy in Christ through the many differences we have with fellow believers, a joy that powerfully declares the glory of God. Because easy love rarely shows off gospel power.


Jamie Dunlop serves as an associate pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. He is the coauthor (with Mark Dever) of The Compelling Community and author of Budgeting for a Healthy Church. Jamie and his wife Joan have three school-aged children and live on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.


“One of my favorite pastimes is reading the sermons of preachers who have long since gone to their reward. And one of my least favorite realizations along the way has been that few of the churches these preachers once led so well survived much longer. In fact, some of the churches I have attended in my own lifetime—some of the churches where I was once taught so well—have already decayed and been disbanded. In so many cases, it was not false doctrine or false teachers that undermined the church but a simple failure to love—to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It’s for this reason I’m so grateful for this book and for Jamie Dunlop’s clarion call for you—yes, you!—to pursue unity in your local church. May God use it to convict his people and protect his church.”
Tim Challies, author, Seasons of Sorrow

“Needed! Yes, that’s what I thought through reading each chapter in Jamie Dunlop’s Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy. I needed this book during four decades of pastoring. I need it now as a church member. Dunlop takes difficult situations we face in the local church and helps us see the power of Christ alone to truly love one another in Christ’s body. I highly recommend this book!”
Phil A. Newton, Director of Pastoral Care and Mentoring, Pillar Network; author, 40 Questions about Pastoral Ministry and Shepherding the Pastor

“You don’t have to be a member of a local church for many Sundays before you discover that the people in the pews around you can be challenging. Their social media posts make you cringe, their parenting choices make you concerned, and their personalities sometimes just rub you the wrong way. (Of course, you almost certainly do the same to them!) Jamie Dunlop’s book is a lifeline for those days when you question whether you’re in the right place on Sunday morning. As I read, I was both encouraged and convicted that loving the people in my local church just might be the most radical testimony of Christ that I could make in this world. Whether you are a church member or a church leader, Dunlop’s robust theology, practical application, and warm tone will help you push beyond personal comfort toward displaying the glorious name of Jesus. I highly commend it.”
Megan Hill, pastor’s wife; author, A Place to Belong; Managing Editor, The Gospel Coalition

“The world is infatuated with the idea of love but hates its biblical implications. We love for selfish reasons and want to love when it’s convenient. Loving unlovable people is countercultural and, in the world’s eyes, scandalous. That’s what makes the church unique, because people who have no business getting along selflessly seek each other’s good. In Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy, Jamie Dunlop calls us to obey the commands of Scripture and follow our Lord’s example to selflessly and sacrificially love one another and pursue unity in diversity.”
Chopo Mwanza, Pastor, Faith Baptist Church Riverside, Kitwe, Zambia

Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy is a must-read for every Christian. Our world is full of conflict with people dividing over everything—race, healthcare, the environment, even the food we eat. But Christians are different. Our unity is in Christ alone. This unity isn’t easy but displays Christ to the world and can prevail over anything that threatens to divide us. Read this book to stoke your affections for your church and grow in loving others from the heart.”
Keri Folmar, pastor’s wife in Dubai; author