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What Is a Healthy Church?

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,167 ratings  ·  122 reviews
What is an ideal church, and how can you tell?

How does it look different from other churches? More importantly, how does it act differently, especially in society? Many of us aren't sure how to answer those questions, even though we probably have some preconceived idea. But with this book, you don't have to wonder any more.

Author Mark Dever seeks to help believers recogniz
Hardcover, 127 pages
Published June 19th 2007 by Crossway Books
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 ·  1,167 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is highly reccomended, don't worry, it's a quick read.

What is essential in a local church? What is important? What really doesn't matter?
I'm seeing the local church in a whole new way! I don't mean to say Mark is writing things I've never heard before, he's just putting them all together for me. I've been humbled by this book and can't say enough about it.
Troy McGahan
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book has been a great read. Not because I agree with all of his conclusions or even believe he rightly applies every Scripture properly (no man is perfect on his understanding of God's Word) but, because he makes some points. I am preaching a series the Church I Pastor about a "Healthy Church". Now I am preaching a series on the "Characteristics of a Healthy Church". This book has been a great help in both series. I appreciate Dever and his books on this subject. I do recommend this book ...more
LeAna Randolph
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Simple but to the point. We all, brothers and sisters in Christ alike, need a crash course on what a healthy church looks like and how to be a active part of a healthy church. A must read for every believer!
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challies-2017
Good thoughts about what a healthy, Biblical church looks like, divided into "essential" marks and "important" marks. ...more
Jeff Short
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is based on Dever's larger work, "Nine Marks of a Healthy Church," and is a briefer and more practical treatment of what a healthy church should look like. He does briefly touch on each of the nine marks, but he divides them into essential marks and important marks. I appreciate how he emphasizes that the Bible is the rule of faith and practice. He asks for a hearing and that if the reader disagrees with his conclusions, it will be because, through studying the Bible, the reader believ ...more
Joseph Abudar
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Solid, quick and easy-to-read!
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mark Dever opens What Is a Healthy Church? by pointing out that much of what we look for in a church is determined by our own particular culture: the type of music, pastor, preaching, etc., that we’re used to. He encourages readers to consider Biblical marks of a healthy church. Why does he address a book like this to Christians in general rather than church leaders? Because, he points out, most of the NT epistles, which contain much instruction about church as well as personal life, were writte ...more
Dec 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion, philosophy
"You and I cannot demonstrate love or joy or peace or patience or kindness sitting all by ourselves on an island. No, we demonstrate it when the people we have committed to loving give us good reasons not to love them, but we do anyway."

In this small book, Mark Dever surveys the role of the Church (and the church) in the lives of the Christian. He shows how life in the "body of Christ" is a vital component of Christianity.

I think the thing I liked most about the book is that it is very practical
Marguerite Harrell
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am reading this book for the second time. I am trying to encourage other to join church since they aren't going to church but staying at home. It is sad to see my Christian friends being burned out from going to church. How can we encourage one another to start going to church again? Looking forward to finish this book later this week. I know this is a great book and I do wish that every people that is currently not going to church to read this book and those who are currently looking for the ...more
Sep 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
A great little book on what a healthy church looks like. What I appreciated about it was that it was not a dissertation on how to become a healthy church, though you should take the markers of health and strive to make them a reality in your church, instead it was a picture of the things that would be evident in a community that was healthy. This book was short and easy to read, a great resource for anyone in the church.
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book despite having listened to the 9 marks series. I found it to be just the right size to use as a sort of handbook or to give to someone considering a church situation or looking for a church. The content is solidly planted in the Bible & concisely & clearly presented.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent little book on the "why and how" of a healthy church. I read it to be reminded and encouraged of the importance of the local church, and was. ...more
Ben Robin
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a spectacular little introduction to the 9Marks corpus, and thus, the biblical design and definition of a healthy church.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A heart wrenching read that brought me face to face with my own inadequacies and failure to be plugged into the word concerning my efforts within the church. Each member has duty to perform toward his fellow members as well as the outside world in living a bible centered life that mirrors the life of Christ. More often than not we consider leaving a church if things don’t seem to be going well for us in one way or another. In this book Mark Dever takes us through the marks of a healthy church as ...more
Bro. Austin McCormick
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Blunt, clear and surprisingly humble, this short book is worth a read. Dever claims that it's not just for church leaders, but for anyone who calls themselves a Christian. And as someone who is not in church leadership but would call myself a Christian, it's understandable, well set out and easily digestible. As it is written with an American readership in mind, and I attend an evangelical Anglican church in the UK, there are a few things I found hard to relate to - talking about the importance ...more
Ryan Hawkins
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ministry, theology, church
Not as good as I hoped it would be. That being said, it clearly is a shorter version of a much longer book, and you can tell many of his ideas he is cutting short and explaining fast in order to avoid writing too long. So, I think the idea of a healthy church with these 9 marks is commendable and right. I just think this book wasn't as interesting, compelling, or convincing.

Yet, on each of the marks, he has some good insights--particularly about conversion, evangelism, and eldership. It just se
Kacie Woodmansee
I thought this book did a good job of sharing the importance of the local church and the essential and important characteristics of a healthy church. In a day when church hopping is the norm and people leave a church because bless you when they sneezed, it's critical to know what the Bible says about the local church. The book was concise but contained enough information for someone to analyze their view of the church as a whole as well as the health of their own church. One of the most importan ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this book. Reminded me what is important to look for in a church. Not only that but how to help my current church to be a healthy or healthier church. It isn't just leaderships job to create a healthy church, it is also responsibility of church members as well. We are all in this together. Also liked the reminder that no church is perfect because we are all sinners. We all know this, but was refreshing how he approached this. He urges people to take great care before leaving a churc ...more
Mitch Bedzyk
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
A short, accessible, and important work on the marks of a healthy church. It is basically a condensed version of Dever's popular book, 9 Marks of a Healthy Church.

In part 1, Dever begins by establishing what a healthy church is, why Christians must be a part of a church, and why churches should strive to be healthy. In Part 2 he tackles the three "essential" marks of a healthy church: expositional preaching, biblical theology, and the gospel. In part 3, he discusses the "important" marks of a h
Kyle Briggs
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Compressed version of Mark Dever's book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Excellent read with a ton of biblical content to make you think...In what areas is my church doing well in?...Poorly in?...Is my church a healthy (read: biblical) place for me to be in? If not, how do I graciously leave and what do I look for in a new church?....Oh, this thing is something we should be doing. Maybe someone should change or start doing that. Maybe I should be the one to take the initiative and do something. C ...more
Jordan Brown
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
You need your church and your church needs you. Want to know what a healthy church looks like? This short book will bring biblical clarity to anyone searching.

"You and all the members of your church, Christian, are finally responsible before God for what your church becomes, not your pastors and other leaders—you."

Nine marks of a healthy church:
1. Expositional Preaching
2. Biblical Theology
3. A Biblical Understanding of the Good News
4. A Biblical Understanding of Conversion
5. A Biblical Understa
Luke Schmeltzer
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
As a shorter summary of Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, this book stands as a clear and concise picture of what the Church is called to. Doctrinally sound and pastorally informed, Dever paints a picture of a church that reflects the glory of her Savior, even as its members contend against sin day by day. An excellent work in ecclesiology that every church leader should give some attention to. ...more
May 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thoughtful book for discussion and meditation on asking the question, "What is a healthy church?" I especially appreciated the author's "note to the pastor" (p. 124) that concludes his survey: "If you have been encouraged by any of the content in this book, take care in how you introduce change to your church. Be patient, love people, and preach the Word." Amen. ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent little book - clear, concise and full of wisdom. I would absolutely recommend this very highly to any and all Christians, it is surely a must-read for any wishing to grow in their faith and understanding of the Church.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Concise summary of 9Marks thesis that these are the signs (3 essential, 6 important) of a healthy church. A longer work detailing all nine is also available as is individual short works on each mark. Worth the read first before diving into the other categories in depth.
Jonathan Penn
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book was good or maybe just okay. In a different or future season of life it might receive a different rating from me.

It felt like a fast drive by of topics. Which is probably was it is intended to be.
Steve Alde
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Concise version of Dever's 9 Marks of a Healthy Church. Great book for church members to read to better understand the purpose of the church, each members responsibility in it, and the characteristics of a healthy church. Well worth reading. ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was really surprised not to like this book. I can still tell by my highlighting that at the beginning of the book, I was fully expecting to like this book. But in the end, there's no way around it. I really did not like this book. Verdict: Very Unhealthy.

Jose Jimenez
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick read on what to look for in a Healthy Church. Will keep as a reference book. Definfietly recommend for those looking for a healthy church community, or those assessing their current community. Doesn't get deep into emotional health. ...more
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Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Since his ordination to the ministry in 1985, Dr. Dever has served on the pastoral staffs of four churches, the second being a church he planted in Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Washington in 1994, Dr. Dever taught for the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University while serving two years as an associate ...more

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