If you aren’t familiar with Pastor Mark Dever’s “Nine Marks” organization, you should be. Nine Marks exists to:
“cultivate and encourage churches characterized by these nine marks: Expositional Preaching, Biblical Theology, Biblical Understanding of the Good News, Biblical Understanding of Conversion, Biblical Understanding of Evangelism, Biblical Understanding of Membership, Biblical Church Discipline, Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth, Biblical Understanding of Leadership”
so there are many places where the mission of Nine Marks and the mission of this Blog overlap.
Recently Nine Marks sent out their 2007 Report Card, and on the first page of the Report Card itself was a quote from Dever that I found intriguing and perhaps one that most modern evangelical churches should give some consideration to:
“I want you to try a thought exercise. Suppose a business school class on non-profit organizations assigned its students the task of building a successful church. And assume all the students are non-Christians. Could they succeed?
Sure they could! With the right poll-tested methods, just about anyone can draw a crowd. If ambiance sells coffee, why not use it to sell Jesus? The church might even win a “Most Innovative!” award.
Yet think about this: what does it say about God if we need to market his glory and gospel with the same tools we use to sell toothpaste and laundry detergent? Is he really that desperate?
God is so much more glorious. He has declared a mighty gospel and then backed up his words by changing a group of people. There’s the church’s appeal: The wisdom of God. The Might of God. The love of God. On display in the lives of a changed people for all the world to see!
Is your church relying on natural appeal or supernatural? Whose glory does it display?”