What is a healthy church? It's a question that seems to be asked more and more these days, and one that desperately needs to be answered—not with human opinions or market research, but from the clear teaching of the Word of God. As a church leader whose deepest desire is to see Christ's body fluorish, Mark Dever has written a series of group studies on what he identifies as nine characteristics of a church that is thriving internally and externally.
Based on Dever's book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, these ten study guides (one for each of the nine marks, plus an introductory study) are equally useful for church leadership and laypeople. Topics include church leadership and discipline, sharing the Gospel, biblical theology, and expositional preaching. Every guide begins with the applicable chapter from Dever's original book, and proceeds to a 6-7 week study outline.
Each weekly study begins with a "Getting Started" section which usually includes questions to get discussion started. Then Dever identifies the "Main Idea," and gets into the meat of the study with a "Digging In" portion that presents content to be presented to the group along with tough questions to talk about together. At the back of each guide is a section of teacher's notes for each of the "Digging In" portions, offering answers/resolutions for the discussion questions and some extra insights.
A number of books bear the 9Marks stamp, all of them elaborating the central issues presented in Mark Dever's book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, and all of them best suited for individual reading. This series is unique in that it's designed specifically for use in a group setting, making it an excellent choice for churches wanting to educate their congregants, pastors and elders looking to revitalize the life of their congregation, and laypeople simply wanting a firmer grasp on the essentials of church polity and doctrine.
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