Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Practices of a Healthy Church

Don't judge a book by its cover! That well-known statement is true when you come to The Practices of a Healthy Church by Donald J. MacNair. This front cover is poorly designed, but the content is excellent!

MacNair is a former pastor and now serves churches through consulting. He has obviously analyzed many churches. The examples scattered throughout are worth the price of the book.

He explains 6 healthy pracices:

1. The church must retain its commitment to the Holy Scriptures without compromise.
2. The church must engage in regular vibrant worship to God as the ultimate motivation for personal and corporate growth.
3. The church must continuously train and implement shepherd leadership.
4. The church must have a mechanism for utilizing gifted member initiative while maintaining elder accountability.
5. The church must have a continually modified vision and plan, unique to that church body at that time and in that community, which focuses and implements its purpose and mission.
6. The church must prayerfully seek the grace of God to build commitment to biblical health.

Strengths of the book:
1. MacNair loves the church and it is contagious.
2. The examples.
3. MacNair's discussion of shepherd leadership is fantastic. The middle section on elders could be removed from this book and published separately as a primer on Biblical eldership.
4. Its practical.


Anonymous said...

Healthy Practice #7: The church must eat apples.

I like the cover design, but I don't understand the apple! Did he mention anything about physical health being related to spiritual health?


justin said...

Yes, just think how sweet (or sour) it would be to chew on apples as we gather for worship!

Lisa, good job on the connection between our physical health and our spiritual health. He begins the book with that illustration. I'm assuming that P&R was going for that connection when they chose the cover design.

Still, that cut apple on the cover does not look appealing. Nothing about the cover says, "I'm a book worth your time."