It's been a while since I finished Mark Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church but it deserves a review.
Aimed at church leaders Dever deals with areas he feels has been largely forgotten. These include expository preaching, biblical theology, the Gospel, a biblical understanding of conversion, evangelism, church membership, church discipline, a concern for discipleship and growth & biblical church leadership.
What I appreciated was Dever's serious concern for the health of the church. Too often we associate health with numbers of chairs filled on a Sunday morning and the topics Dever chooses takes the focus from quantity and puts it on quality.
Clearly not everyone will agree with this Baptist pastors take on many of the issues but that's hardly the point, simply by writing a serious, well thought through treaty on healthy churches it should prompt discussion and thought and the health of one's own local church. If I asked you the question 'is your church healthy?' what would you say and why? If I asked you, 'do you want your church to be healthy?' we would surely answer 'yes' and that being the case we should then ask ourselves some of the following questions. 'If these aren't the marks, then what are? How would I describe them and how would I know if they were healthy or not?
It's thought provoking and if you're in leadership or considering a leadership role in a church, then this book should be added to your reading list.