Bill Donahue’s The Irresistible Community Book Review – Rating: 8.9

“The Irresistible Community: An Invitation to Life Together” by Bill Donahue is a very interesting read.  Baker Books generously sent me a copy of this book for me to do a review.

Normally, I do reviews on Bibles and reference books, however I wanted to take a look at this book from the perspective of looking at church community.  It did not disappoint in giving some fresh ideas on working toward a community that others can look to and see the love of Christ.
I would give this book a 8.9 out of my normal 10 point rating scale.  On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a soft 5 as I feel it deserves more than 4 stars, but not quite a very strong 5 star rating.

In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Baker Books to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Bill Donahue’s “The Irresistible Community: An Invitation to Life Together” is a very engaging book and easy to read.  The author uses many of his own life experiences and scripture to challenge us to view the community of church in a different way.  He does this by comparing the last supper in the upper room with Jesus and his disciples using three major aspects.  First through a “table” where he compares the different types of tables (virtual or real) we have in church communities to the table of the upper room.  Then, he compares using a “towel” regarding a servant’s heart and how Jesus used a towel to wash the disciples feet demonstrating how to minister to one another by being a servant.  He wraps up the comparisons with showing how we can use truth to solidify our community similar to how Jesus spoke the truth to his disciples in the upper room.
Overall, the author did a nice job giving examples and ideas of how we can develop a functional community working together while living a life of service to one another.  I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea of using fictional “letters” or “monologues” that were “authored” by each of the disciples, but it does help to give some color to the point that the author was trying to make.  Not that the “monologues” were bad – it’s just that they were written in an embellishing manner, but as long as the reader doesn’t put too much weight on those fictional monologues, then it’s not bad.  A couple spots in the book were a little slow for me personally, but overall, it easily engaged me when I was reading it.  I received a copy for this review from Baker Books and all opinions are my own.



Type of Book:  Christian Life Book
Publisher: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-0-8010-1709-4
Price: At the time of writing this, you can get new from for $10.73 (suggested retail is $14.99 per the publisher)

Physical Characteristics:

  • Paperback
  • Patent (perfect/square back) bound
  • 256 pages (including foreword and 5 pages of bibliographical references/notes)
  • Foreword by Dr. Henry Cloud
  • Dimensions: 5 1/2 wide  x 8 1/2” high

Goal of Book:

The author’s goal is to show a simple way that we can use the example of Jesus and his disciples in the upper room and how we can develop a community that can change lives.  I feel that the author did do a good job in keeping it simple.  There are a lot of practical examples on how to do this and this book could easily be used as a reference book on developing community.

Tone of the Book:

I did appreciate the author’s tone which was informative, but also had splashes of humor and a touch of sarcasm at some points.  His style kept me engaged while I was reading.

My Favorite Part:

I think my favorite part of the book was where the topic of conflict resolution was covered.  It was a very practical and solid approach to handling conflict.  Some of the points in this section would be good to have handy whenever facing conflicts within your church community.

My Least Favorite Part:

There wasn’t much that I would call my least favorite part.  However, if I must give one thing, I would say it would be how many quotes from other authors that are in this book.  It’s a minor point, but there are quite a lot of quotes from other authors that was a touch distracting for my taste.  You may not feel the same, and like I said, it was only a minor point for me.  Some may find the fictional “letters” or “monologues” from the disciples could be not favorable, but you have to remember that these are fictional to drive home the point that the author is making.  I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but these letters are not pulled from scripture.  🙂


I would recommend this book if you are interested in ideas of developing a community that could be functional.

Who Would Enjoy This Book:

Anyone in a leadership position within church (pastors, elders, deacons, ministry leaders, etc.) that are wanting to change their church community to be more effective would find this book very helpful.

Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

– Michael

This entry was posted in Baker Books, Bill Donahue, Church Life, Community, Other Book Reviews >>, Pastoral Book Reviews, Spiritual Growth Book Reviews, Spiritual Life. Bookmark the permalink.

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