The Importance of Committing to a Church—Even When It’s Hard

Practical Advice for the Christian Life

The things I talk about in Nine Marks of a Healthy Church are all lessons that have been important to me at various points in my pastoral life. For example, the whole idea of membership is so strange to many people today. When you begin to understand it as committed love, you begin to see why it has to do with the fruit of the Spirit, it has to do with hospitality, it has to do with evangelism and discipling others. It has to do with the responsibilities that every Christian is given when their neck is yoked with Jesus to be a part of his people.

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

Mark Dever

A must-read for church leaders and members alike, this book outlines 9 essential marks that distinguish a healthy, biblical church. This classic book is now revised with a new preface and additional content on prayer and missions. Fourth edition.

So, it begins to get very practical in the way it shapes what your Christian life is to look like—the love that Jesus talks about in 1 John and in the Gospel of John. It’s what the love that’s to characterize every Christian should be like.

In my early years at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, I remember the significance of fleshing out for people what the love that we’re to have for each other looks like. It’s not just a pleasant disposition to be around others for an hour every week. It has to be more of an initiating concern for others’ well-being, including their spiritual well-being.

Mark Dever is the author of Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.

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