Mark Dever has carved a niche for himself in the Body of Christ as one calling the church back to a biblical perspective. As the influential pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church and director of 9Marks Ministries, he and his team are providing God’s people with excellent tools to accomplish this objective. What Is a Healthy Church?, an abridgment of his larger work Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, is one of those helpful tools.
In a gentle but pointed way Dever cuts away layers of manmade ideas of what forms a healthy church and replaces them with biblical insight. To Dever, a healthy church is not one of a particular size (usually big), nor one with incredible and unending programs, but “a congregation that increasingly reflects God’s character as his character has been revealed in his Word” (p. 40). Correspondingly, the church finds its life as it listens and follows the Word (pp. 49, 55-56). The healthy church then is one that carefully, systematically teaches the Word (not just about the Word) and makes great efforts to help its members obey the Word.
Of a practical nature Dever offers specific signs of a growing church (pp. 109-114), as well as his better known nine marks of a healthy church (pp. 85-120).
This is a book from which every believer, not just leaders, would greatly profit.