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Quotes of Author: Mark-dever-and-paul-alexander

1.
Loving engagement in each other’s spiritual lives must be normalized in a positive and formative way before corrective discipline can be sustained. Without this context of deeply interpenetrating spiritual relationships, corrective discipline will be like walking up to a child whom you see only once a month and spanking him in the street. It will likely be perceived as harsh, if not abusive, rather than the tough but responsible outworking of loving concern for another’s spiritual good.

Loving engagement in each other’s spiritual lives must be normalized in a positive and formative way before corrective discipline can be sustained. Without this context of deeply interpenetrating spiritual relationships, corrective discipline will be like walking up to a child whom you see only once a month and spanking him in the street. It will likely be perceived as harsh, if not abusive, rather than the tough but responsible outworking of loving concern for another’s spiritual good.

Reference:   Doing Church Discipline, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 69, www.crosswaybooks.org.


2.
If a member shows prolonged negligence in gathering with God’s people, how can he say he loves them? And if he doesn’t love them, how can he say he loves God (cf. 1 John 4:20-21)?

If a member shows prolonged negligence in gathering with God’s people, how can he say he loves them? And if he doesn’t love them, how can he say he loves God (cf. 1 John 4:20-21)?

Reference:   Beginning the Word, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 47, www.crosswaybooks.org.


3.
Praying God’s Word back to Him in the corporate assembly communicates that we want to approach Him in His terms, not ours, and according to who He has revealed Himself to be, not who we would prefer Him to be.

Praying God’s Word back to Him in the corporate assembly communicates that we want to approach Him in His terms, not ours, and according to who He has revealed Himself to be, not who we would prefer Him to be.

Reference:   Applying the Regulative Principle, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 83, www.crosswaybooks.org.


4.
It seems ironic at first, but trading in size for faithfulness as the yardstick for success is often the path to legitimate numerical growth.

It seems ironic at first, but trading in size for faithfulness as the yardstick for success is often the path to legitimate numerical growth.

Reference:   The Four P’s, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 40, www.crosswaybooks.org.


5.
Praying a prayer is never offered in Scripture as a ground of assurance, nor is sincerity. Jesus tells us not to look at prayers and sincerity for assurance, but at our actions – the fruit of our lives (Matt. 7:15-27; John 15:8; 2 Pet. 1:5-12). The New Testament tells us to look at the holiness of our conduct, the love we have for others, and the soundness of our doctrine as the key indicators of our assurance (1 Thess. 3:12-13; 1 John 4:8; Gal. 1:6-9; 5:22-25; 1 Tim. 6:3-5).

Praying a prayer is never offered in Scripture as a ground of assurance, nor is sincerity. Jesus tells us not to look at prayers and sincerity for assurance, but at our actions – the fruit of our lives (Matt. 7:15-27; John 15:8; 2 Pet. 1:5-12). The New Testament tells us to look at the holiness of our conduct, the love we have for others, and the soundness of our doctrine as the key indicators of our assurance (1 Thess. 3:12-13; 1 John 4:8; Gal. 1:6-9; 5:22-25; 1 Tim. 6:3-5).

Reference:   Doing Responsible Evangelism, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 52-53, www.crosswaybooks.org.


6.
The ordinances are the dramatic presentations of the Gospel. They are the moving pictures that represent the spiritual realities of the Gospel, written and directed by Jesus Himself… The ordinances, then, are where we see the Gospel enacted, and our participation in it dramatized. They are where the word of God’s promise is spoken to us in tangible form – we touch and taste the bread and wine; we feel the waters of baptism. They are means of grace instituted by Jesus that God uses to assure His people of the trustworthiness of His Gospel and the reality of our participation in it.

The ordinances are the dramatic presentations of the Gospel. They are the moving pictures that represent the spiritual realities of the Gospel, written and directed by Jesus Himself… The ordinances, then, are where we see the Gospel enacted, and our participation in it dramatized. They are where the word of God’s promise is spoken to us in tangible form – we touch and taste the bread and wine; we feel the waters of baptism. They are means of grace instituted by Jesus that God uses to assure His people of the trustworthiness of His Gospel and the reality of our participation in it.

Reference:   Applying the Regulative Principle, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 85, www.crosswaybooks.org.


7.
Broadly speaking, baptism tends the front door of the church, while the Lord’s Supper tends the back door. Properly administered baptism (i.e., baptism of believers only upon a credible profession of faith) helps to ensure that only genuine believers are admitted into the membership of the church. Properly administered communion (i.e., communion given only to members in good standing of evangelical churches) helps to ensure that those who are under church discipline for unrepented sin do not scandalize the church or eat and drink judgment to themselves by partaking of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:29).

Broadly speaking, baptism tends the front door of the church, while the Lord’s Supper tends the back door. Properly administered baptism (i.e., baptism of believers only upon a credible profession of faith) helps to ensure that only genuine believers are admitted into the membership of the church. Properly administered communion (i.e., communion given only to members in good standing of evangelical churches) helps to ensure that those who are under church discipline for unrepented sin do not scandalize the church or eat and drink judgment to themselves by partaking of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:29).

Reference:   Applying the Regulative Principle, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 90, www.crosswaybooks.org.


8.
It cannot be emphasized enough that once a congregation votes a man in as an elder, they should cooperate with and submit to his leadership joyfully. Without a sincere intention and effort to cooperate with the leadership of the church, there is no point in electing elders to lead the congregation. Unless the elders are leading in an unbiblical or sinful way, uncooperative members are simply a bane to the local church and should seek fellowship elsewhere if their presence becomes divisive.

It cannot be emphasized enough that once a congregation votes a man in as an elder, they should cooperate with and submit to his leadership joyfully. Without a sincere intention and effort to cooperate with the leadership of the church, there is no point in electing elders to lead the congregation. Unless the elders are leading in an unbiblical or sinful way, uncooperative members are simply a bane to the local church and should seek fellowship elsewhere if their presence becomes divisive.

Reference:   Getting Started, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 159, www.crosswaybooks.org.


9.
It may be wise to recognize men who are already qualified and are already doing elder-type work rather than to “make” men elders simply by training them.

It may be wise to recognize men who are already qualified and are already doing elder-type work rather than to “make” men elders simply by training them.

Reference:   Looking for a Few Good Men, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 137, www.crosswaybooks.org.


10.
An elder is simply a man of exemplary, Christlike character who is able to lead God’s people by teaching them God’s Word in a way that profits them spiritually.

An elder is simply a man of exemplary, Christlike character who is able to lead God’s people by teaching them God’s Word in a way that profits them spiritually.

Reference:   Looking for a Few Good Men, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 140, www.crosswaybooks.org.


11.
What are the practical benefits of having more than one elder?

1. It balances pastoral weakness.

2. It diffuses congregational criticism.

3. It adds pastoral wisdom.

4. It indigenizes leadership.

5. It enables corrective discipline.

6. It defuses “us vs. him.”

What are the practical benefits of having more than one elder? 1. It balances pastoral weakness. 2. It diffuses congregational criticism. 3. It adds pastoral wisdom. 4. It indigenizes leadership. 5. It enables corrective discipline. 6. It defuses “us vs. him.”

Reference:   Excerpted from: The Importance of Elders, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 133, www.crosswaybooks.org.


12.
Their [godly elders] humility makes them difficult to offend; their holiness makes them easy to trust; their gentle speech makes them easy to hear as sources of correction or critique; and their hospitality provides a context for spiritual encouragement and edification.

Their [godly elders] humility makes them difficult to offend; their holiness makes them easy to trust; their gentle speech makes them easy to hear as sources of correction or critique; and their hospitality provides a context for spiritual encouragement and edification.

Reference:   Why Character is Crucial, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 154, www.crosswaybooks.org.


13.
Sin needs darkness to grow – it needs isolation disguised as “privacy,” and prideful self-sufficiency disguised as “strength.” Once these conditions prevail, sin is watered with the acid of shame, which then makes darkness appear more attractive to the sinner than light.

Sin needs darkness to grow – it needs isolation disguised as “privacy,” and prideful self-sufficiency disguised as “strength.” Once these conditions prevail, sin is watered with the acid of shame, which then makes darkness appear more attractive to the sinner than light.

Reference:   Doing Church Discipline, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 68, www.crosswaybooks.org.


14.
We are not encouraged to forsake our sin by having our senses amused or our preferences coddled. The Gospel is inherently and irreducibly confrontational. It cuts against our perceived righteousness and self-sufficiency, demanding that we forsake cherished sin and trust in someone else to justify us. Entertainment is therefore a problematic medium for communicating the Gospel, because it nearly always obscures the most difficult aspects of it – the cost of repentance, the cross of discipleship, the narrowness of the Way. Some will disagree, arguing that drama can give unbelievers a helpful visual image of the Gospel. But we have already been given such visual images. They are the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper and the transformed lives of our Christian brothers and sisters.

We are not encouraged to forsake our sin by having our senses amused or our preferences coddled. The Gospel is inherently and irreducibly confrontational. It cuts against our perceived righteousness and self-sufficiency, demanding that we forsake cherished sin and trust in someone else to justify us. Entertainment is therefore a problematic medium for communicating the Gospel, because it nearly always obscures the most difficult aspects of it – the cost of repentance, the cross of discipleship, the narrowness of the Way. Some will disagree, arguing that drama can give unbelievers a helpful visual image of the Gospel. But we have already been given such visual images. They are the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper and the transformed lives of our Christian brothers and sisters.

Reference:   Doing Responsible Evangelism, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 55, www.crosswaybooks.org.


15.
So what are the essentials of [the Gospel]? We can sum them up in four words: God, man, Christ, and response.

1. God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Gen. 2:7, 16-17; 18:25; Matt. 25:31-33).

2. But mankind has rebelled against God by sinning against His holy character and law (Gen. 3:1-7). We’ve all participated in this sinful rebellion, both in Adam as our representative head and in our own individual actions (1 Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:23; 5:12, 19; Eph. 2:1-3). As a result, we have alienated ourselves from God and have exposed ourselves to His righteous wrath, which will banish us eternally to hell if we are not forgiven (Eph. 2:12; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Matt. 13:50).

3. But God sent Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to die the death that we deserved for our sins – the righteous for the unrighteous – so that God might both punish our sin in Christ and forgive it in us (John 1:14; Rom. 3:21-26; 5;6-8; Eph. 2:4-6).

4. The only saving response to this Good News is repentance and belief (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 3:7-9; John 20:31). We must repent of our sins (turn from them and to God) and believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God.

So what are the essentials of [the Gospel]? We can sum them up in four words: God, man, Christ, and response. 1. God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Gen. 2:7, 16-17; 18:25; Matt. 25:31-33). 2. But mankind has rebelled against God by sinning against His holy character and law (Gen. 3:1-7). We’ve all participated in this sinful rebellion, both in Adam as our representative head and in our own individual actions (1 Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:23; 5:12, 19; Eph. 2:1-3). As a result, we have alienated ourselves from God and have exposed ourselves to His righteous wrath, which will banish us eternally to hell if we are not forgiven (Eph. 2:12; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Matt. 13:50). 3. But God sent Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to die the death that we deserved for our sins – the righteous for the unrighteous – so that God might both punish our sin in Christ and forgive it in us (John 1:14; Rom. 3:21-26; 5;6-8; Eph. 2:4-6). 4. The only saving response to this Good News is repentance and belief (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 3:7-9; John 20:31). We must repent of our sins (turn from them and to God) and believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God.

Reference:   Doing Responsible Evangelism, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 51-52, www.crosswaybooks.org.


16.
Deacons…serve to care for the physical and financial needs of the church, and they do so in a way that heals divisions, brings unity under the Word, and supports the leadership of the elders. Without this practical service of the deacons, the elders will not be freed to devote themselves to praying and serving the Word to the people. Elders need deacons to serve practically, and deacons need elders to lead spiritually.

Deacons…serve to care for the physical and financial needs of the church, and they do so in a way that heals divisions, brings unity under the Word, and supports the leadership of the elders. Without this practical service of the deacons, the elders will not be freed to devote themselves to praying and serving the Word to the people. Elders need deacons to serve practically, and deacons need elders to lead spiritually.

Reference:   The Importance of Elders, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 132, www.crosswaybooks.org.


17.
What we need most are seeker-sensitive lives, not seeker-sensitive services.

What we need most are seeker-sensitive lives, not seeker-sensitive services.

Reference:   The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 209, www.crosswaybooks.org.


18.
The way we understand the Gospel will inform the way we do evangelism. The way we do evangelism will inform the way our hearers understand the Gospel. The way our hearers understand the Gospel will inform the way they live the Gospel. The way our hearers live the Gospel will have a direct bearing on the corporate witness of our churches in our communities. The corporate witness of our churches will in turn make our evangelism either easier or harder, depending on whether that witness is a help or a hindrance. And difficulty, or lack thereof, in evangelism will come to bear on our church planting efforts, which brings us back to laying foundations.

The way we understand the Gospel will inform the way we do evangelism. The way we do evangelism will inform the way our hearers understand the Gospel. The way our hearers understand the Gospel will inform the way they live the Gospel. The way our hearers live the Gospel will have a direct bearing on the corporate witness of our churches in our communities. The corporate witness of our churches will in turn make our evangelism either easier or harder, depending on whether that witness is a help or a hindrance. And difficulty, or lack thereof, in evangelism will come to bear on our church planting efforts, which brings us back to laying foundations.

Reference:   Doing Responsible Evangelism, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 51, www.crosswaybooks.org.


19.
So what are the essentials of evangelism? We can sum them up in four words: God, man, Christ, and response. God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Gen. 2:7, 16-17; 18:25; Matt. 25:31-33). But mankind has rebelled against God by sinning against His holy character and law (Gen. 3:1-7). We’ve all participated in this sinful rebellion, both in Adam as our representative head and in our own individual actions (1 Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:23; 5:12,19; Eph. 2:1-3). As a result, we have alienated ourselves from God and have exposed ourselves to His righteous wrath, which will banish us eternally to hell if we are not forgiven (Eph. 2:12; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Matt. 13:50). But God sent Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to die the death that we deserved for our sins – the righteous for the unrighteous – so that God might both punish our sin in Christ and forgive it in us (John 1:14; Rom. 3:21-26; 5;6-8; Eph. 2:4-6). The only saving response to this Good News is repentance and belief (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 3:7-9; John 20:31). We must repent of our sins (turn from them and to God) and believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God.

So what are the essentials of evangelism? We can sum them up in four words: God, man, Christ, and response. God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Gen. 2:7, 16-17; 18:25; Matt. 25:31-33). But mankind has rebelled against God by sinning against His holy character and law (Gen. 3:1-7). We’ve all participated in this sinful rebellion, both in Adam as our representative head and in our own individual actions (1 Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:23; 5:12,19; Eph. 2:1-3). As a result, we have alienated ourselves from God and have exposed ourselves to His righteous wrath, which will banish us eternally to hell if we are not forgiven (Eph. 2:12; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Matt. 13:50). But God sent Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to die the death that we deserved for our sins – the righteous for the unrighteous – so that God might both punish our sin in Christ and forgive it in us (John 1:14; Rom. 3:21-26; 5;6-8; Eph. 2:4-6). The only saving response to this Good News is repentance and belief (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 3:7-9; John 20:31). We must repent of our sins (turn from them and to God) and believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God.

Reference:   Doing Responsible Evangelism, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 51-52, www.crosswaybooks.org.


20.
A healthy church is a Godward-looking church. We look in dependence on Him for our message, our method, and the transformation of our churches into the image of Christ.

A healthy church is a Godward-looking church. We look in dependence on Him for our message, our method, and the transformation of our churches into the image of Christ.

Reference:   Conclusion, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 197, www.crosswaybooks.org.


21.
If we are coming to church only as consumers, to get our own needs met, then we have missed the point of the church. We are not merely intended to get our needs met. We are intended to be part of God’s plan for drawing other people to Himself, for encouraging and building up those who are already His children. Each member is not simply intended to be a consumer. We are all intended to be providers. We are colaborers with God Himself in the work of the Gospel (1 Cor. 3:9)! Some of us may well be introverted or less talkative. But none of us are designed merely to be ministered to, as if the whole church revolved around our own felt needs and desires. We are all called to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds” and to “bear one another’s burdens” (Heb. 10:24; Gal. 6:2).

If we are coming to church only as consumers, to get our own needs met, then we have missed the point of the church. We are not merely intended to get our needs met. We are intended to be part of God’s plan for drawing other people to Himself, for encouraging and building up those who are already His children. Each member is not simply intended to be a consumer. We are all intended to be providers. We are colaborers with God Himself in the work of the Gospel (1 Cor. 3:9)! Some of us may well be introverted or less talkative. But none of us are designed merely to be ministered to, as if the whole church revolved around our own felt needs and desires. We are all called to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds” and to “bear one another’s burdens” (Heb. 10:24; Gal. 6:2).

Reference:   Conclusion, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 198, www.crosswaybooks.org.


22.
According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, the Lord’s Supper is several things all wrapped into one. It is first an opportunity to express the unity of the church (vv. 18-19, 33). It is therefore, second, a fellowship of God’s people (vv. 20-21, 33). Third, it is intended as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s sinless life and atoning death on our behalf (vv. 24-25). Fourth, it is intended as a proclamation of Christ’s death, resurrection, and return (v. 26). And fifth, it is a built-in opportunity for self-examination (vv. 28-29).

According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, the Lord’s Supper is several things all wrapped into one. It is first an opportunity to express the unity of the church (vv. 18-19, 33). It is therefore, second, a fellowship of God’s people (vv. 20-21, 33). Third, it is intended as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s sinless life and atoning death on our behalf (vv. 24-25). Fourth, it is intended as a proclamation of Christ’s death, resurrection, and return (v. 26). And fifth, it is a built-in opportunity for self-examination (vv. 28-29).

Reference:   The Role of the Ordinances, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 107, www.crosswaybooks.org.


23.
Worship is a total life orientation of engaging with God on the terms that He proposes and in the way that He provides.

Worship is a total life orientation of engaging with God on the terms that He proposes and in the way that He provides.

Reference:   Music, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 115, www.crosswaybooks.org.


24.
When the Gospel enables us to live in love, even though we may have nothing else in common save Christ, it is a testimony to its power to transform a group of sinful, self-centered people into a loving community united by a common relationship with Jesus Christ.

When the Gospel enables us to live in love, even though we may have nothing else in common save Christ, it is a testimony to its power to transform a group of sinful, self-centered people into a loving community united by a common relationship with Jesus Christ.

Reference:   Loving Each Other, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 111, www.crosswaybooks.org.


25.
The authority of the pastor is derived and declarative. In other words, the pastor has authority only insofar as what he is saying is faithful to the Message of the One who has sent him.

The authority of the pastor is derived and declarative. In other words, the pastor has authority only insofar as what he is saying is faithful to the Message of the One who has sent him.

Reference:   Decision Making: How to Talk About It, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 191, www.crosswaybooks.org.


26.
Music is a subset of our corporate worship, and corporate worship is a subset of our total-life worship.

Music is a subset of our corporate worship, and corporate worship is a subset of our total-life worship.

Reference:   Music, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 115, www.crosswaybooks.org.


27.
If what we’re doing on Sunday mornings is corporate worship, then it makes sense to give deliberate preference to congregational singing – singing that involves the active participation of the whole congregation.

If what we’re doing on Sunday mornings is corporate worship, then it makes sense to give deliberate preference to congregational singing – singing that involves the active participation of the whole congregation.

Reference:   Music, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 117, www.crosswaybooks.org.


28.
A steady diet of performances by soloists or even choirs can have the unintended effect of undermining the corporate, participative nature of our musical worship. People can gradually come to think of worship in terms of passive observation, which we do not see modeled in the Bible. Such a diet may also begin to blur the line between worship and entertainment, especially in a television-sopped culture like ours, where one of our most insidious expectations is to be always entertained. Of course, this blurring is hardly ever intended. But over time, separating the “performers” from “the rest of the congregation” can subtly shift the focus of our attention from God to the musicians and their talent – a shift that is frequently revealed by applause at the end of some performance pieces. Who is the beneficiary of such applause?

A steady diet of performances by soloists or even choirs can have the unintended effect of undermining the corporate, participative nature of our musical worship. People can gradually come to think of worship in terms of passive observation, which we do not see modeled in the Bible. Such a diet may also begin to blur the line between worship and entertainment, especially in a television-sopped culture like ours, where one of our most insidious expectations is to be always entertained. Of course, this blurring is hardly ever intended. But over time, separating the “performers” from “the rest of the congregation” can subtly shift the focus of our attention from God to the musicians and their talent – a shift that is frequently revealed by applause at the end of some performance pieces. Who is the beneficiary of such applause?

Reference:   Music, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 117, www.crosswaybooks.org.


29.
Two of the most godly and disarming ways to display humility are accountability and correctability.

Two of the most godly and disarming ways to display humility are accountability and correctability.

Reference:   Beginning the Word, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 46, www.crosswaybooks.org.


30.
Church leaders who have been committed to seeing the church reformed according to God’s Word down through the ages have had a common method: read the Word, preach the Word, pray the Word, sing the Word, see the Word (in the ordinances). Often referred to by theologians as the elements of corporate worship, these five basics are essential to the corporate life, health, and holiness of any local church.

Church leaders who have been committed to seeing the church reformed according to God’s Word down through the ages have had a common method: read the Word, preach the Word, pray the Word, sing the Word, see the Word (in the ordinances). Often referred to by theologians as the elements of corporate worship, these five basics are essential to the corporate life, health, and holiness of any local church.

Reference:   Applying the Regulative Principle, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 81, www.crosswaybooks.org.


31.
According to the Bible, baptism is fundamentally a physical sign of a spiritual reality. Matthew 28:18-20 indicates that it is for believers only, the initial step of obedience in our new life of discipleship to Christ. Romans 6:1-4 is even more specific, indicating that baptism symbolizes our death and burial with Christ as our representative head, and our spiritual resurrection with Him from the symbolic grave. Colossians 2:11-13 indicates even more specifically still that baptism is the physical representation of the spiritual circumcision of our hearts.

According to the Bible, baptism is fundamentally a physical sign of a spiritual reality. Matthew 28:18-20 indicates that it is for believers only, the initial step of obedience in our new life of discipleship to Christ. Romans 6:1-4 is even more specific, indicating that baptism symbolizes our death and burial with Christ as our representative head, and our spiritual resurrection with Him from the symbolic grave. Colossians 2:11-13 indicates even more specifically still that baptism is the physical representation of the spiritual circumcision of our hearts.

Reference:   The Role of the Ordinances, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 105, www.crosswaybooks.org.


32.
These are the hallmarks of good worship songs, whether they’re hymns or choruses: biblical accuracy, God-centeredness, theological and/or historical progression, absence of first-person singular pronouns, and music that complements the tone of the lyrics.

These are the hallmarks of good worship songs, whether they’re hymns or choruses: biblical accuracy, God-centeredness, theological and/or historical progression, absence of first-person singular pronouns, and music that complements the tone of the lyrics.

Reference:   Music, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 120, www.crosswaybooks.org.


33.
It makes sense that we only sing songs that use [God’s] Word both accurately and generously. The more accurately applied scriptural theology, phrases, and allusions, the better – because the Word builds the church, and music helps us to remember that Word, which we seem so quickly to forget.

It makes sense that we only sing songs that use [God’s] Word both accurately and generously. The more accurately applied scriptural theology, phrases, and allusions, the better – because the Word builds the church, and music helps us to remember that Word, which we seem so quickly to forget.

Reference:   Applying the Regulative Principle, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 85, www.crosswaybooks.org.


34.
God’s Word has always been His chosen instrument to create, convict, convert, and conform His people.

God’s Word has always been His chosen instrument to create, convict, convert, and conform His people.

Reference:   The Four P’s, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 33, www.crosswaybooks.org.


35.
Factors taken into consideration [when evaluating the potential for missionary support]:

1. The strategic nature of the work.

2. Relationship to “our” church.

3. Amount of money already in hand.

4. Competency.

Factors taken into consideration [when evaluating the potential for missionary support]: 1. The strategic nature of the work. 2. Relationship to “our” church. 3. Amount of money already in hand. 4. Competency.

Reference:   The Agenda: What to Talk About, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 183-184, www.crosswaybooks.org.


36.
God’s Word is His supernatural power for accomplishing His supernatural work. That’s why our eloquence, innovations, and programs are so much less important than we think; that’s why we as pastors must give ourselves to preaching, not programs; and that’s why we need to be teaching our congregations to value God’s Word over programs. Preaching the content and intent of God’s Word is what unleashes the power of God on the people of God, because God’s power for building His people is in His Word, particularly as we find it in the Gospel (Rom. 1:16). God’s Word builds His church. So preaching His Gospel is primary.

God’s Word is His supernatural power for accomplishing His supernatural work. That’s why our eloquence, innovations, and programs are so much less important than we think; that’s why we as pastors must give ourselves to preaching, not programs; and that’s why we need to be teaching our congregations to value God’s Word over programs. Preaching the content and intent of God’s Word is what unleashes the power of God on the people of God, because God’s power for building His people is in His Word, particularly as we find it in the Gospel (Rom. 1:16). God’s Word builds His church. So preaching His Gospel is primary.

Reference:   The Four P’s, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 35, www.crosswaybooks.org.


37.
A man may have a charismatic personality; he may be a gifted administrator and a silken orator; he may be armed with an impressive program; he may even have the people skills of a politician and the empathic listening skills of a counselor; but he will starve the sheep if he cannot feed the people of God on the Word of God. Programs and personalities are dispensable. But without food, sheep die. Feeding the flock is therefore the pastor’s first priority. “Feed my lambs” (John 21:15, ESV).

A man may have a charismatic personality; he may be a gifted administrator and a silken orator; he may be armed with an impressive program; he may even have the people skills of a politician and the empathic listening skills of a counselor; but he will starve the sheep if he cannot feed the people of God on the Word of God. Programs and personalities are dispensable. But without food, sheep die. Feeding the flock is therefore the pastor’s first priority. “Feed my lambs” (John 21:15, ESV).

Reference:   The Role of the Pastor, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 94, www.crosswaybooks.org.