Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community calls Christians to embrace, rather than avoid, the necessity of grounding their faith in a local church context, however uncomfortable/awkward/frustrating it may be. What if we learned to love churches even when—or perhaps because—they challenge us and stretch us out of our comfort zones? 

This book argues that believers who accept the uncomfortable and even awkward aspects of Christianity in the context of the local church—believing difficult truths, embracing sacrifice, pursuing holiness, and loving the people around them—are the ones who will see the church grow most significantly and the gospel advance most powerfully.


Praise for Uncomfortable

“What if not only our answers but our questions are wrong? We think we know what we want, but as Brett McCracken explains, with persuasive wit and wisdom, Jesus knows better. Uncomfortable is just the message we need to hear, especially right now.” – Michael Horton

“Anyone who looks closely at modern Christian life can see signs of the insidious self-centeredness by which we sinners are tempted to transform the gospel into something that suits our tastes and fits our plans. McCracken carries out that close examination; in fact, in this book he equips us to pursue that false comfort into all of its hiding places and, in Jesus' name and for the sake of the gospel, root it out.” – Fred Sanders

“We live in a culture oriented entirely toward comfort, and the church is not immune from its lure.  Brett McCracken offers a timely and needed reminder the call for Christians is a different one, but one that brings blessings richer than mere comfort. Uncomfortable will make you uncomfortable in the best of ways. Every believer needs to read this book and heed its call.” – Karen Swallow Prior

“Brett McCracken is the herald of a counter-intuitive gospel: 'Take comfort! Church is supposed to be uncomfortable!' That’s because McCracken knows it’s precisely in embracing the uncomfortable truths of the gospel, immersing ourselves in the uncomfortable unity-in-diversity of the Body, that we are transformed into the image of Christ—the God who endured the discomfort of the cross to bring us resurrection life.” – Derek Rishmawy

Uncomfortable dismantles some of our most treasured hopes and dreams about what church could and should look like, revealing the pride and self-will that lurk beneath even the noblest of our ideals. It grounds us instead in what church really is—a place where we are called to love our fellow sinners and be loved by them, acknowledging our shared sinfulness even while we challenge each other to leave it behind. For all who care about the church, this is invaluable reading.” – Gina Dalfonzo

“For any serious Christian, Brett’s words are a wake up call to engage – indeed, to love and devote ourselves to – this often messy, high maintenance, painfully ordinary…and also glorious, life-giving, and forever beloved band of misfits that Jesus calls his Wife. If Jesus has so tethered himself to the church, dare we untether ourselves from her?” – Scott Sauls

“As C.S. Lewis reminded us, if we want a comfortable faith, we best not give ourselves to Jesus Christ. But if we want a faith grounded in ultimate reality, and one that matures and therefore ennobles us, then Jesus is indeed the way, the truth, and the life. In this book, Brett McCracken not only 'counts the cost' of life in Christ, but also shows why this uncomfortable life is also the most blessed.” – Mark Galli

“In Uncomfortable, Brett McCracken alerts us to the toxic ways comfort infects and hinders our faith—and how all God meets our heart’s desire for comfort in gloriously unexpected ways. McCracken urges us to seek something greater than comfort: true life and true faith in Christ, found just beyond the borders of our comfort zone.” – Erin Straza

“In this book, McCracken shows how the greatest glories for a disciple of Jesus are often found in the most uncomfortable places his voice calls us, and how the real church is not an idealized utopia beyond the fray of history, but rather Jesus powerfully present amongst his often muddled, messy, and awkward—yes, uncomfortable—bands of followers today.” – Joshua Ryan Butler

“Sometimes church feels like an annoying family member you would rather see only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We want a church that is cool and suits our tastes, not the frustrating institution that carries around "the shame of the cross." Brett's smoothly written book has cast all the awkwardness of church in a new and meaningful light for me. Like a Puritan voice for the cool, anti-institutional 21st-century Christian, Brett charges his readers to stay and commit to the church as Christ's bride.” – Emily Belz

“In this excellent book Brett McCracken identifies and prods around many of the things that make Christian community uncomfortable: he had me itching and scratching! Brett demonstrates how rather than fleeing this discomfort we need to lean into it, and in so doing find what is more deeply satisfying than the shallow comforts of our consumer age. I encourage you to read this book, and embrace the itch!” – Matthew Hosier

“Brett McCracken challenges us to face one of the greatest fears of contemporary culture: Discomfort. Rather than retreating into a soothing world where everyone’s 'just like me' and rather than embracing the distractions of technology and consumerism, Brett calls us to life in community with God’s people, where awkwardness, disappointment, and frustration are the norm. It’s in this way of life – embracing the uncomfortable – that we’ll find the richest experience of God’s grace and the community our hearts truly desire. In a world where church is just one more consumeristic choice, this is a much-needed book.” – Mike Cosper

“In an anti-institutional age, many wandering souls are hungry for something bigger than themselves. Brett McCracken’s vision of the church points us to this reality, which is rarely what we expect and always what we need. Readers of diverse backgrounds—and differing viewpoints—will profit from considering these reflections. McCracken is a prophetic voice within the rising generation of evangelicalism, and I am thankful for his contribution.” – Owen Strachan