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The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel Paperback – September 9, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Here is one of the most faithful and insightful pastors of our time, addressing the most crucial issues of church life. Mark Dever refuses to separate theology and congregational life, combining pastoral insight with clear biblical teaching. This book is a powerful antidote to the merely pragmatic approaches of our day-and a refutation to those who argue that theology just isn't practical."
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"This book is the perfect example of what a truly practical book on church health and growth should be-it gives concrete guidance for and examples of biblical principles being put into practice in the life and ministry of the local congregation."
J. Ligon Duncan III, Chancellor and John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi

"Rare indeed are books on the church that begin with the Gospel. Rarer still are books that derive methodology for building the church from the Gospel. This excellent book does both."
C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

"The Deliberate Church shares many of the ministry lessons that Dr. Dever and his colleagues have learned from Scripture and sought to implement in the life of their church community. This book is for anyone who wants to get serious about following the biblical pattern for the church and is looking for down-to-earth practical help."
Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College

"Here is a novel idea: use the Bible as a handbook to gather and guide the church! And The Deliberate Church is a novel volume indeed, standing amid the spate of 'church-as-corporation, pastor-as-CEO' manuals that glut church life. Here is a book that wafts a radical, refreshing breeze from the pages of Scripture that will breathe life into the church. A crucial read."
R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

From the Back Cover

"Here is one of the most faithful and insightful pastors of our time, addressing the most crucial issues of church life. Mark Dever refuses to separate theology and congregational life, combining pastoral insight with clear biblical teaching. This book is a powerful antidote to the merely pragmatic approaches of our day—and a refutation to those who argue that theology just isn’t practical." —R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"This book is the perfect example of what a truly practical book on church health and growth should be—it gives concrete guidance for and examples of biblical principles being put into practice in the life and ministry of the local congregation." —J. Ligon Duncan III, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

"Rare indeed are books on the church that begin with the Gospel. Rarer still are books that derive methodology for building the church from the Gospel. This excellent book does both." —C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries

"The Deliberate Church shares many of the ministry lessons that Dr. Dever and his colleagues have learned from Scripture and sought to implement in the life of their church community. This book is for anyone who wants to get serious about following the biblical pattern for the church and is looking for down-to-earth practical help." —Philip Graham Ryken, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

"Here is a novel idea: use the Bible as a handbook to gather and guide the church! And The Deliberate Church is a novel volume indeed, standing amid the spate of ‘church-as-corporation, pastor-as-CEO’ manuals that glut church life. Here is a book that wafts a radical, refreshing breeze from the pages of Scripture that will breathe life into the church. A crucial read." —R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor, College Church in Wheaton (Illinois)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (September 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581347383
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581347388
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
If you are a church leader, I would highly recommend that you read this book.
Mike Parks
Bibliographic material is interspersed throughout the text as well, which enhances the book's overall value.
Amazon Customer
The Deliberate Church makes a good companion to Dever's book, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Neal Stublen on January 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
What's wrong with church growth? Nothing, necessarily. But here's an excellent book to encourage pastors to pursue church health and allow the growth to be a natural result of a healthy church body.

Mark Dever and Paul Alexander advocate a strong dependence on the Word of God and prayer to build a healthy church. Even better, they share how they have sought to promote these aspects of pastoral ministry at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. It is evident that Mark Dever has sought to be "deliberate" in his service as a pastor and he has done a great job of sharing some of the practical wisdom that he seeks to live by in this book. You will find that even when he departs from some more popular approaches to pastoral ministry and church growth (e.g. multiple services, pastoral specialization), he expresses his views with humility and kindly invites you to consider the reasoning behind his position.

Among other things, you will learn how the pastoral staff at Capitol Hill Baptist Church conducts public worship, evangelism, membership interviews, discipleship, church discipline and elders meetings - and you will see that it is all done in an attempt to "deliberately" display God's glory to one another and the world around them. Most importantly, you will see that they are always seeking to base their practices on biblical teaching, keeping the proclamation of the Gospel central and relying on the power of God's Spirit to make their work effective.

If you are a pastor, I would encourage you to read this book. If you are not a pastor, I would encourage you to read this book and give a copy to a pastor you know.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mike Parks on July 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
We live in a day and age where biblical preaching and good old theological teaching has taken a back seat and the CEO Pastor is in the front! This is not the case with Mark Dever. I read this book right before I became an elder, which helped me greatly.

Once I finished the book, I thought, is this really, how this church functions? I had to find out, so I took a trip to Capital Hill Baptist to see for myself. It was nice to see that Capital Hill Baptist operated in the exact way described in Devers' book. Not only that, but I "interrogated" one of the interns, and he described their elder's meetings exactly the way the book did.

If you are a church leader, I would highly recommend that you read this book. This book was intended to be the sequel to Devers' previous book, 9 marks of a healthy church, which is also fantastic!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jim on November 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Finally--a book that commends true church health in the context of a church that is growing! This is a book that describes a church (Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.) that can serve as a model for churches large and small who want to minister relevantly in a postmodern world without sacrificing numerical growth. This book moves beyond the "modernist" accounts of church life and growth--with all their facts and figures and statistics and styles and trends and scientific formulas. But it is truly "postmodern" in recovering Reformation ecclesiological wisdom and contextualizing it in a contemporary environment. Yet it does this in a way that does not fall prey to so much that is faddish in the postmodern or emerging church movement (a movement, which, in effect, criticizes the seeker-sensitive movement by saying, "I'm tired of the church marketing to a baby-boomer niche market. I'm twenty-something. I'm the seeker now. Market to me.")

This book transcends so much of the same old Christ-of-culture, capitalistic market talk we read these days in church-life and church-growth books. Yet at the same time it is a real-world book that gives real answers and a model by which real churches can attain real growth (numerically and spiritually!). There is an obvious backlash in our time against niche-market Christianity, and this book will be a leading voice in that backlash.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jB [hubmaier.blogspot.com] on June 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Deliberate Church (TDC) is a self-conscious attempt to make some headway into the overblown "The ___________ Church" genre by teaching pastors how to build "the church on and around the Gospel of Christ" (21) with the goal of liberating "both leaders and members from the tyranny of popular growth models and church fads" (202).

A deliberate church intentionally infuses absolutely everything it does with the Gospel! My goal here is to overview the book, and give some highlights.

On the first page of the introduction the authors write their thesis: "Ignoring God's plan for the church and replacing it with your own will ensure the eternal futility of your work" (25). Let that sink in! Along those same lines they write: "Our power is not in having small groups, or meeting the felt needs of our target audience, or using the right evangelism program, or having funny skits, or providing plenteous parking, or targeting our ministries to postmoderns. Our power is in our unique message--the Gospel (27).

The introduction and conclusion alone are worth the retail price. Overall, the book is divided into four sections that help the reader deliberately apply the gospel to the growing of a church, the gathering of a church on Sunday, the choice of elders and the elders meetings.

The first section was a 75-page summary of Dever's 9 Marks of a Healthy Church; however, it was geared towards practically doing what was written as theory in 9 Marks.

My favorite parts were his understanding of the pastor's job--the 4 P's = expository Preaching, Praying, developing Personal discipling relationships, and being Patient (ch.
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