Jesus loves His church a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Also, being a part of a local church is essential to being an obedient Christian. Therefore, getting our thoughts organized, our heads informed, our hearts inflamed, and our hands guided when it comes to the things of the church is of vital importance. Here are some of my favorites on the subject of the church.
What is the Mission of the Church | Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert (Easy to Medium). What is the mission and purpose of the church on earth? No one answers this better than these two fellas.
Church Membership | Jonathan Leeman (Easy). In a time when Christians often treat churches like a convenience store of spiritual goods or an optional additive in their Christian life, I think this book is one of the most important for the church today. Church Membership may seem like a boring thing to read about, but that is far from the truth with this little gem. Jonathan Leeman is an excellent writer and this is an excellent book.
Why We Love the Church | Kevin DeYoung & Ted Kluck (Easy to Medium). I think J.I. Packer said it well in his blurb on this book. “Two young men, a pastor and a layman, here critique the criticisms of the institutional church that are fashionable today. Bible-centered, God-centered, and demonstrably mature, they win the argument hands down. As I read, I wanted to stand up and cheer.” Anything that makes Packer want to stand up and cheer is well worth your time. Nuff said.
The Living Church | John Stott (Easy). Lifelong reflections from an immensely gifted pastor about the church. A short read that brings out lots of very important truths.
The Church | Mark Dever (Easy to Medium-ish). Dever is decidedly a Baptist Congregationalist and that will come out strong in the appropriate places. But regardless of what church polity/denomination you hail from, this book is well worth your time.
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church | Mark Dever (Easy). Amazon’s description is good: “You may have read books on this topic before—but not like this one. Instead of an instruction manual for church growth, this classic text offers tried and true principles for assessing the health of your church. Whether you’re a pastor, a leader, or an involved member of your congregation, studying the nine marks of a healthy church will help you cultivate new life and well-being within your own church for God’s glory.”
Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church | Donald Whitney (Easy). What place does the church have in my growth in Christ? This is such an important book for our individualistic bent toward our growth in Jesus. We often times believe that our growth is strictly our business and responsibility. Whitney heartily disagrees. Don’t miss this one.