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Andy Percey – Made to Belong: Moving beyond tribalism to find our true connection in God

Authentic 176 pages ISBN 978-1-78893-185-4 £9.99

In an era that has seen a move towards exclusion and tribalism, it’s hugely welcome to read this thoughtful, powerful and insightful book by Andy Percey.

Many are no longer asking the old questions about the Christian faith, but are instead starting far further back in their search for significance and meaning. They’re looking for evidence that their life has value, that there is something bigger that they are a part of - somewhere they can belong.

Baptist minister Percey draws on his own experience of family in carefully digging into the human need to belong, and how important it is that the Church is a place with a genuine welcome in the midst of a society that seems more divided and separatist than ever.

It’s not a long book, but the nine chapters chart a helpful journey that encourages the reader to think long and deep about tribalism, identity, loving yourself and your family, and how Christian connection goes far beyond our relationship with God and one another, to our relationship with our created world and ultimately our destiny in God’s new heaven and earth. And references to the pandemic feel totally appropriate rather than bolted on.

A chapter on the Old Testament book of Ruth is telling and bears repeated reading to tease out all the nuggets.

As he writes near the end of the book: “The search to belong is deep within us because it was something we were made for. You and I were not simply created to exist or to co-exist, we were made to belong. It is imprinted on our DNA, it is stitched into our souls, it occupies our minds, it is the cry of our hearts”.

This would benefit from being expanded into small group study material. Apart from a little more precision in the editing and proofreading, the only thing that I’d recommend to improve this book would be some questions and Bible study takeaways at the end of each chapter.

Highly recommended and very timely.

Russ Bravo is editor of Inspire. His tribes include runners, record collectors, guitar players, Brighton & Hove Albion fans, and lovers of dark chocolate.

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