It was therefore a pleasant surprise to read Mark Dever and Paul Alexanders book The Deliberate Church. The need for membership underlines a very important point: if the church is to be separate and distinct from the world, there must exist an enforcement mechanism to hold its members accountable. Dever and Alexander devote an entire chapter to this necessary function, and in so doing they make an interesting point that discipline, to be effective, must contain both formative and corrective elements. Teaching, preaching, accountability relationships, pastoral ministry and visitation all contribute to the spiritual health of the church, and like good diet and exercise to a physical body can prevent many later diseases and problems. For the sake of the churchs health, and the purity of its witness before an unbelieving world, Dever and Alexander stress that sometimes a person must be disciplined by the church for their behavior. BIBLICAL ELDERSHIP Dever and Alexanders entire concept is built on the foundation of a particular kind of ecclesiological polity one that could be succinctly described as a plural-elder-led congregational model of church government. Instead, Dever and Alexander stress the necessity of the church elder(s) identifying, training, and nominating potential elders, all of whom must be able to teach, and all to be approved by congregational vote. It must be understood that in Dever and Alexanders thinking, the terms elder, pastor, bishop, and overseer are interchangeable, at most referring to different aspects of the same position of church leadership. Elders differ from the other biblical church officers the deacons in that they are called to be able to perform the teaching ministry and exercise spiritual leadership of the church. Deacons administer the practical and material needs of the church; elders administer the spiritual needs, those being the ministries of teaching and preaching and pastoral care. Third, having lay elders avoids the problem of a professional ministry leading the church, as many of the pastors are in fact laymen. Dever and Alexander make a careful case for plural eldership and lay out a very practical method for making the concept work in the local congregation. Is the church administrator, mentioned several times in the book, one of the elders, or a deacon? Dever and Alexander are right to address the all-too-common scene of the deacons of a Baptist church acting as a de facto board of elders, and clarifying the differences between the two offices is an emphasis badly needed in Baptist circles today. Given that the care of the churchs administrative and practical needs can grow to a point which threatens the gospel ministry of the elders (cf. Church health, when defined biblically in terms of faithfulness to Gods Word and character, is integrally tied to church organization and administration. A deliberate church seeks to develop a body of elders who are generalists, collectively responsible for ministry and able to assume one anothers place. Dever and Alexander point to an uncompromising Christ and the dividing line of Gods Word as the only true basis of a united and peaceful church. This book is highly recommended for any Christian, but for those in pastoral ministry (as pastors/elders, missionaries, or church planters) as well as those in administrative leadership positions in the church (such as deacons), this is an absolute must-read.
Ante todo es un libro que anima al lector (se presume que sería un pastor o líder) que piense de forma deliberante o intencional acerca de cada aspecto de la vida de la iglesia para conformarlo a la Escritura con el fin de glorificar a Dios.
The reason I gave this book 5 stars is because if you are anything like me, you will probably read this book and think, "Hey, I can do that!" This book provides the encouragement needed to begin implementing the 9 Marks in your church.
only one thing thats biblically necessary for building the church, and thats the preached Word of God. One of the most practical things you can do for your own personal prayer life, and for the prayer lives of other church members, is to assemble a church membership directory (with pictures, if possible) so that everyone in the church can be praying through it a page a day. Carving out time in our Sunday morning services to read Scripture aloud, without comment, every week, makes a statement about the value we place on Gods Word. five elements of worship (read, preach, pray, sing, and see the Word) There is actually much wisdom and edification in employing a variety of musical styles so that peoples musical tastes broaden over time with wider exposure to different musical genres and time periods. Sunday morning service - this is where we read, preach, pray, sing, and see the Word of God together every week. Member meetings - Another important measure to take is to distribute the agenda a week in advance so that people can look it over, pray through it, and even air their concerns with you or the chairman in private so that the public meeting is not peppered with thoughtless, divisive, or combative questions. The covenantal, careful, corporate, cross-cultural, and cross-generational love that is to characterize the church and glorify God is at the same time intended to evangelize the world. Praying for the sheep together as a gathered group of under-shepherds is an excellent way to promote the spiritual health of the congregation, to keep each other as elders accountable to faithfulness in prayer for the congregation, and to lead by example. Lead by example, and pray that these qualities and habits would be characteristic and increasing in the corporate life and testimony of your church. As we carry out this commitment to the Word and prayer among the gathered elders, we will be encouraging them to trust not in programs or personalities, not in advertisements or physical amenities, but rather in the powerful Word of God and in the promise of His life-giving Spirit. The elders will also meet with the deacons in leadership meetings, which happen one week before the members meeting. This way, whether a member asks an elder or a deacon, all the officers of the church are on the same page, and everyone will be more likely to give the same answers and present a united front to the congregation. If God decides to bless your church with spiritual maturity and numerical growth, work among your own congregation to cultivate a culture in which helping other churches is a priority. We need to be teaching people that a biblical church is about much more than simply meeting our felt needs for purpose, significance, fellowship, and mutual understanding.
Both authors Mark Dever and Paul Alexander have written a helpful book for pastors and church leaders on doing church ministry according to the Bible and centered on the Gospel. Dever and Alexander writes from being biblically informed and years of wisdom and experience which through their 9 Marks ministry have greatly helped many other local churches including the one I minister at. I thought it was helpful to see the meeting organized in Devers church in the order of membership, administration, ministry, missions, communication with deacons and between elders, etc. I thought it was good for Dever to say that the meeting ought to be encouraging and the suggestion of having a board to write down what elders were encouraged with at the church; it was a good advice for me to hear as ministry can easily become critical in a ungodly way since we are dealing with sin and sinners. It was extremely helpful to hear how Mark Devers church Capitol Hill Baptist Church go about doing there various gatherings throughout the week and the purpose of each one. Here I was encouraged with Mark Dever writing that young pastors spending about twenty five hours a week studying and prepping for Sunday Sermon is normal.
As sessões três e quatro o autor traz uma nova modalidade de lideres para dentro da igreja, os "presbíteros", e aqui neste ponto ele começa a explicar como escolher esses presbíteros entre outros fatores relacionados com o presbitério.
In a society that is so filled with creating the right program or the right niche through entertainment, self-centered, crowd pleasingness, this books grounds the work of the church in pleasing God, and the church functioning to display God's wisdom and glory to the world.
At the very least, this book will help pastors identify holes in their pastoral care and give some practical advice on how to fill them in.
This book is a good complement to Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.
Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Prior to moving to Washington in 1994, Dr. Dever taught for the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University while serving two years as an associate pastor of Eden Baptist Church.