Church

The following books are recommendations for further learning on the characteristics of a healthy church.

 
 

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever

You may have read books on this topic before—but not like this one. Instead of an instruction manual for church growth, this classic text offers tried and true principles for assessing the health of your church. Whether you’re a pastor, a leader, or an involved member of your congregation, studying the nine marks of a healthy church will help you cultivate new life and well-being within your own church for God’s glory.

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Church Membership by Jonathan Leeman

Becoming a member of a church is an important, and often neglected, part of the Christian life. Yet the trend these days is one of shunning the practice of organized religion and showing a distaste or fear of commitment, especially of institutions.

Jonathan Leeman addresses these issues with a straightforward explanation of what church membership is and why it’s important. Giving the local church its proper due, Leeman has built a compelling case for committing to the local body.

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Church Discipline by Jonathan Leeman

Jonathan Leeman helps us face the endless variety of circumstances and sins for which no scriptural case study exists, sins that don’t show up on any list and need a biblical framework to be corrected appropriately in love.

Here is a contemporary and concise how-to guide that provides a theological framework for understanding and implementing disciplinary measures in the local church, along with several examples of real-life situations and the corresponding responses.

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The Compelling Community by Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop

God’s people are called to a togetherness and commitment that transcends all natural boundaries—whether ethnic, generational, or economic. But such a community can be enjoyed only when it relies on the power of God in the gospel.

In The Compelling Community, pastors Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop cast a captivating vision for authentic fellowship in the local church that goes beyond small groups. Full of biblical principles and practical advice, this book will help pastors lead their congregations toward the kind of community that glorifies God, edifies his people, and attracts the lost.

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The Gospel by Ray Ourtland

How does the church portray the beauty of Christ?

The gospel is a theological message. But this message also creates human beauty—beautiful relationships in our churches, making the glory of Christ visible in the world today.

In this timely book, Pastor Ray Ortlund makes the case that gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. In too many of our churches, it is the beauty of a gospel culture that is the missing piece of the puzzle. But when the gospel is allowed to exert its full power, a church becomes radiant with the glory of Christ.

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The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne

All Christian ministry is a mixture of trellis and vine. There is vine work: the prayerful preaching and teaching of the word of God to see people converted and grow to maturity as disciples of Christ. Vine work is the Great Commission. And there is trellis work: creating and maintaining the physical and organizational structures and programs that support vine work and its growth. What s the state of the trellis and the vine in your part of the world? Has trellis work taken over, as it has a habit of doing? Is the vine work being done by very few (perhaps only the pastor and only on Sundays)? And is the vine starting to wilt as a result? The image of the trellis and the vine raises all the fundamental questions of Christian ministry: * What is the vine for? * How does the vine grow? * How does the vine relate to my church? * What is vine work and what is trellis work, and how can we tell the difference? * What part do different people play in growing the vine? * How can we get more people involved in vine work? In The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne answer these urgent questions afresh. They dig back into the Bible s view of Christian ministry, and argue that a major mind-shift is required if we are to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ, and see the vine flourish again.

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The Deliberate Church by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander

Dever and Alexander propose a model of complete reliance and submission to the gospel when building a healthy church. Great resource for pastors, elders, and others interested in the vitality of their church.

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Worship by the Book by R. Kent Hughes

“What is at stake is authenticity. . . . Sooner or later Christians tire of public meetings that are profoundly inauthentic, regardless of how well (or poorly) arranged, directed, performed. We long to meet, corporately, with the living and majestic God and to offer him the praise that is his due.”―D. A. Carson Worship is a hot topic, but the ways that Christians from different traditions view it vary greatly. What is worship? More important, what does it look like in action, both in our corporate gatherings and in our daily lives? These concerns―the blending of principle and practice―are what Worship by the Book addresses. Cutting through cultural clichés, D. A. Carson, Mark Ashton, Kent Hughes, and Timothy Keller explore, respectively: · Worship Under the Word · Following in Cranmer’s Footsteps · Free Church Worship: The Challenge of Freedom · Reformed Worship in the Global City “This is not a comprehensive theology of worship,” writes Carson. “Still less is it a sociological analysis of current trends or a minister’s manual chockfull of ‘how to’ instructions.” Rather, this book offers pastors, other congregational leaders, and seminary students a thought-provoking biblical theology of worship, followed by a look at how three very different traditions of churchmanship might move from this theological base to a better understanding of corporate worship. Running the gamut from biblical theology to historical assessment all the way to sample service sheets, Worship by the Book shows how local churches in diverse traditions can foster corporate worship that is God-honoring, Word-revering, heartfelt, and historically and culturally informed.

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Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin

Nothing is more essential than knowing how to worship the God who created us. This book focuses readers on the essentials of God-honoring worship, combining biblical foundations with practical application in a way that works in the real world. The author, a pastor and noted songwriter, skillfully instructs pastors, musicians, and church leaders so that they can root their congregational worship in unchanging scriptural principles, not divisive cultural trends. Bob Kauflin covers a variety of topics such as the devastating effects of worshiping the wrong things, how to base our worship on God's self-revelation rather than our assumptions, the fuel of worship, the community of worship, and the ways that eternity's worship should affect our earthly worship.

Appropriate for Christians from varied backgrounds and for various denominations, this book will bring a vital perspective to what readers think they understand about praising God.

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