Ok - so I stuck another book in there to be read this week. I read this in light of joining a nw church and my meeting with one of the pastor's next week. I have been meaning to read this for a while, but just am now getting around to it.
Mark Dever is the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. I tried to go there once, but couldn't find it - somewhere in dtown DC. It is a SBC church though much more conservative than many SBC churches today. He is part of the T4G group and some of his friends include: Piper, Mahaney, Mohler, Duncan, JD, etc.
I won't list the 9 Marks because you can go read them for yourself, but I will pull out some of my underlined things:
"What can you do to encourage biblical, sustainable, God-glorifying growth". I don't think this statement applies to just pastors (because he isn't writing to just pastors). This applies to every member of any church. We are all part of the body.
"A church must never charge a person with the spiritual oversight of the flock who does not in practice show a commitment to hear and to teach God's Word." - I'm so thankful for this trait in my pastors, both now and in the past, and in blogs of pastors I know. This should be the highest qualilty of any pastor.
"A healthy church is filled with people who have a heart for the gospel, and having a heart for the gospel means having a heart for the truth - for God's presentation of Himself, of our need, of Christ's provision, and of our responsibility." We should passionately beat for the gospel - but so many of our church, while passionate for the gospel, are not passionate for the truth. They water down the gospel and don't like to talk about SIN, HELL, SELF, WRONG, CHANGE, TRUTH, BLOOD, ABSOLUTES. These are vital to the gospel - just like SALVATION, HEAVEN, JOY, PEACE, GRACE, etc., are.
"We will begin to view membership...as a regulare responsibility involving us in one another's lives for the purposes of the gospel." - This is what we do in good, biblical small groups. This is where accountability takes place. This is where relationships happen. Churches without small groups (biblical ones, not gossip circles) can't effectively be doing accountability, ministry, discipleship, and discipline.
Alright - there are my two this week - but I'm still plugging along with Feminine Appeal and I brought some more out of my boxes today while looking for some other ones.