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On Church Leadership (A Book You'll Actually Read) Paperback – June 9, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Mark has a gift of taking weighty ideas and expressing them in clear and lively language."
Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Serious, informed, reverent, but not technical discussions of great themes."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Simply and superbly written! Mark Driscoll has given us tools that can be placed in the hands of a skeptic or seeker, a new believer or mature saint."
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"These accessible books will encourage believers to see that theology is not an afterthought in the mission of God and the life of his church."
Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research; author, Subversive Kingdom

"These books are well worth an hour of your time."
Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor, LifeChurch.tv; author, WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working

About the Author

Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church, a multi-site congregation based in Seattle that spans 15 locations in five states. He is the founder of Resurgence (theResurgence.com), co-founder of the Acts 29 Network, and the author of numerous books, including the #1 New York Times best-selling Real Marriage, co-written with his wife Grace. Pastor Mark’s sermons reach millions of listeners online, and in 2010 Preaching magazine named him one of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 25 years. Pastor Mark and his wife have five children.


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Product Details

  • Series: A Book You'll Actually Read
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1 edition (June 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433501376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433501371
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 6.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a pastor who is sympathetic with the leadership philosophy of Mars Hill, Mark Driscoll, and the Acts 29 Network, you will love this book. It is a concise treatment of elders, deacons, women in ministry and more. If you have people asking how your church does leadership, and this book accurately describes your polity, then you will find it to be a great tool to give to people who would not take time to read Alexander Strauch's book on eldership. I plan on using this as a starting point for elders in process and the more curios lay leaders. Mark's new RE:Lit label with Crossway will no doubt become a great brand for our time.

This series "a book you'll actually read" will be a great series to give to your busy laypeople who don't have time for a 300 page treatment on one of these topics. Pastors will also find Mark's style refreshing, to the point and completely Jesus centered.

I really hate to say anything negative about this series, as Driscoll and Mars Hill have had a big impact in my life, and because I think the series really fills a gap for short but packed treatments of important topics. But the reality is that when you get the books in the mail and then compare their physical size with their cost, you might feel slightly annoyed. The books are small, thin, short, and paperback. Think of this as a really long pamphlet.

No doubt, Mark had nothing to do with the cost. That's a publisher's choice. Hopefully, crossway will drop the price to something more appropriate like $6.99, with a bulk option of 5 packs or something.

Still, I bought all four, and will buy any further books in the series. Driscoll is always worth the time and money.
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Format: Paperback
Like most of the other Driscoll books that I've read, a review of this book depends on whether I'm in a mood to be more aware of the Biblical accuracy of the opinions (which is impressive, with many footnotes and thorough explanations) or the smug and provocative tone in which they're presented. This is a small book which, while almost criminally overpriced, is well worth a read. Driscoll explains the roles of elders, deacons, and church members themselves, and he presents a membership covenant that should help new churches seeking to develop their own. I was also impressed at the humble way that, within certain bounds, Driscoll leaves doors open for different churches to adapt his ideas about leadership to their needs.

Of more concern, though, is the way that Driscoll addresses the controversial issue of women in leadership. His ultimate argument is based on the idea that gender roles are defined in Scripture, which is just fine, but he presents his observations in such a condescending way that even I (a complementarian, like Driscoll, with respect to church leadership) wanted to put as much distance as possible between myself and his views. I know that Driscoll has a reputation for provocative humor, and that's how he draws people in to hear the truths that he then explains well, but it's the kind of "Women naturally like choosing helper jobs" pat-on-the-head stuff that I wish he could put aside to avoid needless controversy for this otherwise helpful little book.
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On Church Leadership was written for a church that lacked authority, formal leaders and structure. As a result, it is an effective guidebook to building and nurturing the people and superstructures necessary for a successful church by a pastor who has done it several times over.

The book begins with an Introduction that explains the necessity of authority and the Biblical principles that guide its operation. Driscoll is the (former) founding pastor of Mars Hill Church, so many of the subsequent lessons have practical examples rooted in real-life experiences. “Pastor Jesus” describes the perfect example that Christ provided in leadership and defines what “church” means. The chapters on “Elders,” “Deacons,” “Members” and “Leadership teams” explain the Biblically defined roles that each of these church organs play in the body of Christ. As Driscoll always does, he intelligently analyzes sound principles and then locates the methods of execution in contemporary settings. The three appendices answer common questions about church leadership (e.g. ought a leader be ordained; the accountability and discipline of leaders), provide further reading suggestions and detail a sample church membership covenant.

By far, the chapter on leadership teams provides the most functional pearls of wisdom for everyday use, and the classification of leaders as “prophets,” “kings,” or “priests” is very enlightening. The discussion of an “air war” versus a “ground war” will also prove valuable to anyone contemplating why their church isn’t filling seats or has a problem in retaining numbers.
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There are several aspects to this short book that I wanted to highlight.
First, its short and to the point.
Second, its well documented; foot notes abound.
Third, the author covers opposing opinions and explains where those opinions are coming from.
Fourth, I appreciate the humor with which the author writes. It has a bit of an edge to it and I find it oddly refreshing.
In conclusion, its a fascinating peak at unique church government system. You really can get through it in about 90 minutes. If it intrigues you as it did me, then you can sink further hours into cross-referencing the foot notes.
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