This is a smaller work based on the larger Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. The book is very easy to read and it's size makes it an easy, essential read for every church member. It is concise, convicting and completely biblical unpacking of the statement, "If you call yourself a Christian but you are not a member of the church you regularly attend, I worry that you might be going to hell." Dever makes this statement right off the start in chapter one and then takes the rest of the book to explain it. I had that quote as my facebook status for a day...the results were...well you can imagine! It is meant to both shock and induce thought.
In the book, Dever outlines what a healthy church is in the first four chapters or part one, the essential marks of a healthy church in part two, and the important marks of a healthy church in part three. For those that don't want to take the time to read the larger (and better IMHO) Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, this is your solution. This is more for the church member than the pastor - "You and all the members of your church, Christian, are finally responsible for what your church becomes, not your pastors or other leaders - you." Do you want to know if your church is healthy - biblically healthy - read this book!
This is the companion work to the above mentioned What is a Healthy Church. In an age when sheep are hopping from church to church looking to tickle their ears, this is a much needed book. It dove tails nicely to its companion with the focus shifting from the corporate to the individual. These days it seems there is a lot of people doing a lot of talking about what is wrong with the Church corporately. Finally there is a book that helps us to realize the main problem with the church is staring each of us in the face when we look in a mirror!
Indeed, the truth hurts, and not just sometimes - most of the time. All ten chapters are a spiritual kick in the pants to help wake the sleeper in all of us. Everywhere you look today people want to be called "a community", "missional", pretty much anything but a church. Most, however, don't know what that is supposed to look like biblically. This book says Don Carson, "closes the gap." "The health of the local church (missional community) depends on the willingness of its members to inspect their hearts, correct their thinking, and apply their hands to the work of the ministry." This one is for everyone!
As a side note, this is really another must for all the men out there. As Anyabwile states in his dedication of the book, "for the church that lives in my home."
Love in the Truth.