Excellent book about what makes the church the church. I love Pastor Joe's writing style. The church is not a meeting around a computer listening to your favorite preacher. A biblical church requires the means of grace and godly leadership. This book is a reminder of what is the church and its mission. I highlighted a large portion of this book.
There are five parts to this book. The first part deals with the Word rightly preached. Joe dives in with The Bible's Authority, Sufficiency and Usefulness. Without a biblical view of the Bible, we have no power or authority. The Bible is God's Word and when preachers proclaim His Word they have all of heaven backing them up. This authority gives pastors the right to speak "Thus Saith the Lord."
The second part of the book deals with the ordinances of rightly administered. Water baptism and the Lord's Supper are necessary in order to have a biblical church. These are commands from the Lord Himself. Joe gives historical as well as practical ways to rightly discern the Lord's body and water baptism.
The third part of the book deals with the leadership of the local church. Without leadership, there is no biblical church. Joe writes about the plurality of elders and how Jesus runs the church through these godly men. Elders are God's gifts to His church. Every church should strive to have godly leaders to lead them.
The fourth part of the book talks about disciplined practiced with grace. This is a part of the Bible that many churches stay away from because of their misunderstanding of such biblical practice. Discipline preached and practiced with love and grace will benefit the church of God. Joe continues to talk about the process of how to go about serving people who have strayed away from the church with love.
The last part of the book deals with the mission of the church. Joe says, "The Great Commission is the central task of the church and can be accomplished only by the church. Our mission, and therefore our primary responsibility is to make disciples." Churches have the tendency of losing focus on this mission through social justice and other important means of outreaches. Carrying out the Great Commission will cause the church to grow spiritually and numerically.
I highly recommend this book.
DISCLAIMER: I received this book free of charge from Moody Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review of it. All opinions are mine, and I was not required to provide a positive review of it.