Deliberate Church

May 27, 2009

The Deliberate Church is, in my opinion,  probably Mark Dever’s best book. Though 9 Marks of a Healthy Church was superb, Deliberate Church covers much of the same biblical material relating to ‘how we do church’ but also blends it with discussion of the pastoral and prudent. It is a theological and practical ecclesiology.


Right now, I’m reading through Deliberate Church again with the elders of Ballymoney Baptist – one chapter per week. Here are some great quotes from chapter 2 (“Beginning the Work”) which should encourage anyone who hasn’t as yet bought this book, to get their hands on a copy:

  • “Patience is a pastoral virtue. But the one thing you don’t want to be slow about is preaching the Gospel.”
  • “What you win them with is what you’ll win them to…If you win them with technique, programs, entertainment, and personal charisma, you might end up wining them to yourself and your methods…but its likely that they won’t be won to the Gospel first and foremost.”
  • “So how do we begin positively? For starters, put yourself in the background and preach Christ crucified.”
  • “The more your congregation is clear on the Gospel, the less likely it is that either tepid nominalism or carnal divisiveness will find air to breath – and the more likely it is that you will forge healthy and growing unity around the Good News that distinguishes the church from the world.”
  • “An uncorrectable pastor breeds uncorrectable people.”
  • “No one is saved by either church membership or attendance. But membership in the local church is a church’s external, public affirmation that the member is continuing to give evidence of genuine Christian conversion.”
  • “Do you really want to be held accountable for the spiritual well being of a member whom you have not seen at church in four years – or worse, a member you’ve never even met?”
  • One comment

    1. Colin

      I agree with your opinion on the importance of this book. IX Marks gives us a great start, but Deliberate Church takes us to a different level. I am glad you and your fellow future elders are reading this. All church members should read this if they are interested in their local church.


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