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In the Building Healthy Churches series, each of these 14 hardback books covers one of the marks of a healthy church in an accessible manner. We recommend these books, for church leaders and members alike!
Why should you join a church? 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.
Church discipline is essential to building a healthy church. So how exactly do we practice church discipline? 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.
How Does Understanding Conversion Shape Ministry?
The way a church operates says a lot about how they believe people are saved. When a church truly embraces the Bible’s teaching on conversion, they will call people to repentance and faith—not just one-time decisions, therapeutic healings, or moral lifestyles. This short book was written to help churches rightly understand the difference that a biblical doctrine of conversion should make for teaching, evangelism, discipling, membership, and every other facet of the life of a local church.
How does the church guard against false gospels?
Every week, many churches around the world read the Bible but miss the main point—and end up teaching false gospels week in and week out. One of the most important safeguards against this danger is an understanding of biblical theology: reading the Bible in light of its main message, culminating in Jesus Christ. Starting with a framework for understanding the storyline of the Bible and then explaining basic principles for prioritizing the teaching of this message, this book aims to help churches guard the truth of the gospel.
How do you feel about doctrine? Whatever answer comes to mind, this book will not only convince you that sound doctrine is vital for living a godly life, it will also explain the essential role of theology in the life of a healthy church. Thinking rightly about God affects everything, from guiding us in practical issues to growing a church’s unity and witness. This short, readable book shows how good theology leads to transformation, life, and joy.
What does effective church leadership look like? In this conversational book, pastor Jeramie Rinne sets forth an easy-to-understand “job description” for elders drawn from the Bible’s teaching on church leadership.
Offering practical guidance for new elders and helping church members better understand and support their spiritual leaders, this succinct volume will encourage elders to embrace their calling with grace, wisdom, and clarity of vision.
What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.
Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul’s systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.
What makes for good preaching? In this accessible volume—written for preachers and preachers in training—pastor David Helm outlines what must be believed and accomplished to become a faithful expositor of God’s Word. In addition to offering practical, step-by-step guidance for preachers, this short book will equip all of us to recognize good preaching when we hear it.
Evangelism is more than a program. Every few years, churches jump into the latest evangelistic fad. Leaders administrate the new program, and members go on a raid. But picture a church where evangelism is simply part of the culture. Leaders share their faith consistently and openly.
Members follow, encouraging one another to make evangelism an ongoing way of life. Such is the way of evangelism presented by this brief and compelling book. No program here. Instead, it just might give your church a new way to live and share the gospel together.
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus instructed his followers to “make disciples of all nations.” But what does this command actually entail? What does it look like for Christians to care for one another’s spiritual well-being and growth? In this introduction to the basics of discipling, veteran pastor and author Mark Dever uses biblical definitions and practical examples to show how Christians can help one another become more like Christ every day. The eighth volume in the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series, this short book explains how discipling should function in the context of the local church, teaching pastors and church leaders how to cultivate a culture of edification and growth in their congregations.
Who is responsible for global missions?
Even though most Christians will never move overseas, the Bible enlists every Christian and every local church in the grand project of global missions. The local church is the engine of world missions. But where should a church begin?
Churches don’t need a complicated missions program. They need the Bible and the wisdom to know how to apply it. This book points to Scripture and offers practical steps for training and supporting missionaries, forming international partnerships, sending short-term teams, and engaging the nations both at home and abroad.
Prayer is as necessary to the Christian as breathing is to the human body—but it often doesn’t come quite as naturally. In fact, prayer in the church often gets subtly pushed to the side in favor of pragmatic practices that promise tangible results. Rather than being a hallmark of churches, dependence on prayer is usually emphasized only in times of major crisis—if at all. The latest book in the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series focuses on the necessity of regular prayer as a central practice in the local church. Examining what Jesus taught about prayer, how the first Christians approached prayer in the early church, and what steps can be taken to prioritize prayer in churches, this book is intended to awaken readers to the need and blessing of prayer in their personal lives and in the life of their local church.
What Is the Role of Corporate Worship in the Church?
Christians worship God at church every week, but many don’t know exactly what worship is or why they do it. For some, it’s a warm-up for the sermon. For others, it’s a “me-and-Jesus” moment. What is the biblically informed way to view corporate worship?
In this book, Matt Merker shows that corporate worship is the gathering of God’s people by his grace, for his glory, for their good, and before a watching world. He offers biblical insights and practical suggestions for making worship what it truly is meant to be: a foretaste of God’s people worshiping together for eternity in the new creation.
Deacons are essential to a church’s health—yet confusion abounds regarding their biblical job description. What’s their God-given role in a local congregation and how do they relate to the church’s overall mission?
In this short book, Matt Smethurst makes the case that deacons are model servants called to meet tangible needs, organize and mobilize acts of service, preserve the unity of the flock, and support the ministry of the elders. Clearing away common misconceptions, Smethurst offers practical guidance for deploying deacons and helping churches to flourish.
Andy Johnson, Bobby Jamieson, David Helm, Greg Gilbert, J. Mack Stiles, Jeramie Rinne, John Onwuchekwa, Jonathan Leeman, Mark Dever, Matt Merker, Matt Smethurst, Michael Lawrence, Nick Roark, Robert Cline