I just finished re-reading Mark Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (expanded edition). I am preparing to go up to Capitol Hill Baptist Church for a "Weekender." I enjoy Dever's unwavering commitment to the Scripture. Here are the 9 Marks and a brief comment about them:
Mark One: Expositional Preaching
This is the most important mark of the nine. Expositional preaching is simply that the sermon has as its main point, the point of the text. Mainly, this is done by preaching through books of the Bible as opposed to topical.
Mark Two: Biblical Theology
A church must have a Biblical view of God. This chapter explains God as Creating, Holy, Faithful, Loving, and Sovereign.
Mark Three: The Gospel
A church must be centered on the good news. This chapter is an explanation of what the gospel is and is not.
Mark Four: A Biblical Understanding of Conversion
A church must understand and preach true conversion. A major problem today is that many of our members are simply unconverted. God is the one who saves, not us.
Mark Five: A Biblical understanding of Evangelism
The church must be committed to telling the gospel to the culture around us. We must know why and how we should evangelize. Success in evangelism is not measured in the response but in faithfulness to God.
Mark Six: A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership
Membership in a local church should be meaningful. Tragically, the average Southern Baptist Church has 233 members and only 70 attend on Sunday morning. Ideally, our attendance should accurately reflect our membership.
Mark Seven: Biblical Church Discipline
The church should not allow its corporate witness to be compromised by unrepentant members. There are many good reasons to practice Biblical church discipline.
Mark Eight: A Concern for Discipleship and Growth
We are called to grow in our faith and the church is the primary means of our growth. The church should be committed to facilitating growth in its members.
Mark Nine: Biblical Church Leadership
Leadership is vital to the life of the church. The church leadership should be structured and function Biblically. Dever explains the NT practice of the plurality of Elders.