Having finished Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever I think I’ve changed my mind about this book.  I was initially sceptical about 9 Marks. There are enough church success models and books to drive you crazy so the concept of reading another one didn’t fill me with joy.  However having read it I think this is a bit different and definitely worth a read.

Mark Dever doesn’t set out to give an exhaustive list of the characteristics of a good church but picks 9 areas of weakness and says why he thinks these are important. The 9 Marks are:

  1. Expositional Preaching
  2. Biblical Theology
  3. The Gospel
  4. A Biblical Understanding of Conversion
  5. A Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
  6. A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership
  7. Biblical Church Discipline
  8. Concern for Discipleship and Growth
  9. Biblical Church Leadership

Although I didn’t agree with all the detail I found his diagnosis really helpful in seeing areas of weakness in my own thinking and our church life.  So don’t just get the book if you think you’ll agree with him even if you think you’ll disagree it’s worth being made to think.

Two concerns:

  • I felt that the leading of the Holy Spirit and corporate prayer were distinctly lacking for me they need to be up there with expositional preaching.  The Bible is important but I come from a background of church being based on Word and Spirit.
  • Another frustration was the regularity with which Capitol Hill Baptist Church(where Mark Dever is pastor) is mentioned as a good model.
Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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