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

By Jamie Dunlop

... Show All

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

By Jamie Dunlop

... Show All

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.

  • Rooted in Scripture: Examines Paul’s teaching to the churches in Rome who, like us, were struggling to find unity in Christ amidst their own differences of background, priorities, and convictions
  • Reflective: With questions to enhance discussion or reflection, this book helps readers diagnose their own struggles with others at church. Perfect for personal meditation or small-group study 
  • Widely Applicable: Addresses a great variety of conflicts within a church, not merely how to navigate specific issues 
  • Practical: Teaches readers how to love those who drive them crazy, not just why

Read Chapter 1


Jamie Dunlop

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.

Product Details

Title: Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy
Subtitle: Eight Truths for Pursuing Unity in Your Church
Published: November 28, 2023
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8992-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8992-8
Category: Christian Living
Church Ministry
Retail Price: $17.99
Binding: Paperback
Trim: 5.25 in x 8.0 in
Page Count: 176

Table of Contents

Series Preface

Introduction: So This Is What “Christ Alone” Means?
Chapter 1: Why Did God Put Difficult People in My Church?
Truth 1: Insistence on Unity Displays the Glory of God
Chapter 2: How Can I Love “Those” People?
Truth 2: Impossible Love Flows from Impossible Mercy
Chapter 3: What If I Don’t Want to Love “Them”?
Truth 3: Disunity at Church Lies about Jesus
Chapter 4: Wouldn’t We Be Better Off without “Them”?
Truth 4: You Belong Together
Chapter 5: How Can I Be Friends with “Those” People?
Truth 5: Hope in God Creates Affection for Others
Chapter 6: How Can I Really Forgive “Those” People?
Truth 6: Divine Justice Empowers Full Forgiveness
Chapter 7: How Can I Stop Judging and Despising “Those” People?
Truth 7: People You Dislike Often Act in Faith
Chapter 8: How Can I Love “Those” People When They’re Wrong?
Truth 8: We Will Answer to God

Afterword: Under the Surface of a “Christ Alone” Church
A Few Words about Church Structure
General Index
Scripture Index


“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, author; cohost, Priscilla Talk

“True Christians need to be more concerned for the unity of the church. In a time when Christians are often too quick to leave churches because they disagree with or dislike other members, this book is a helpful and much-needed challenge. Read this book and be helped in your ability to love those difficult people today, with whom you will one day be united in Christ for all eternity, thus bearing a beautiful testimony to the power of the gospel.”
Matthias G. Lohmann, Pastor, FEG Munich, Germany; Chairman, Evangelium21

“Rather than detract from the church’s mission, disagreements in the church are an opportunity to display the gospel’s glorious power to unite us in Christ. Jamie Dunlop encourages us to behold the beauty of a Christ alone church built on mercy, hope, forgiveness, love, and faith. This helpful book challenged me to apply the truths of the gospel to my relationships in the church. Read it to be similarly convicted and encouraged. Better still, buy extra copies for your fellow church members for when you drive them crazy!”
Eugene Low, Lead Teaching Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Singapore

Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy isn’t written by an abstract theorist tucked away in an ivory tower. Rather it’s written by a pastor in one of the most politically, ethnically, and culturally diverse cities in the world, which means it’s written by a pastor who regularly sees redeemed sinners come into conflict. And yet, as Dunlop reminds us from Scripture, God can redeem even these conflicts for his great glory. If that seems downright impossible to believe, welcome to the club. And yet in this club, Dunlop’s voice insistently reminds us that with God all things are possible. We should borrow his hope. We should read this book. After all, if everyone were like you at church, church might be easy, but it wouldn’t be glorious. Here is a work that exhorts us toward the glorious while shepherding us through the pains of the inglorious. Let us gratefully receive and read it!”
Isaac Adams, Pastor, Iron City Church, Birmingham, Alabama; Founder, United? We Pray