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The Master's Plan For The Church

It is absolutely essential that a church perceive itself as an institution for the glory of God, and to do that—claims John MacArthur—the local church must adhere unfalteringly to biblical leadership principles.Christ never intended church leadership to be earned by seniority, purchased with money, or inherited through family ties. He never compared church leaders to governing monarchs, but rather to humble shepherds; not to slick celebrities, but to laboring servants.Drawing from some of the best-received material on church leadership, this updated edition guides the church with crucial, effective lessons in leadership. This book is valuable not only for pastors and elders, but for anyone else who wants the church to be what God intended it to be.

Paperback: 368 pages

Publisher: Moody Publishers; Revised ed. edition (March 1, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 080247845X

ISBN-13: 978-0802478450

Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #231,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #119 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Ecclesiology #191 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Church Administration #219 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Leadership

This was a very helpful book. I consider this book more as a manual on ministry to be referred to again and again. This is not a book that you read once, say "I got it", and never pick up gain. I highly recommend it for leaders and future leaders of churches so as to pattern ministry after the Bible, rather than the shifting sand of culture's preferences.The introductory title says it all "Shepherds and Construction Workers." Right from the start, MacArthur sets his paradigm against the popular opinion of what church leaders should be doing. Church leadership is not management and is not glamorous. Rather, it is spiritual ministry (Jn 13:3-17) and spiritual construction with God to build the church (1 Cor 3:9-11).This book is divided up into 3 parts not including the appendix.Part 1. The Anatomy of a Church: MacArthur walks through the scriptural analogy of the Church being Christ's body with Himself as the Head (Col 2:19, Col 1:18). a. The skeletal structure. The "skeletal" structure of the church is the critical components to being a church; if it yields, it is no longer a church: A high view of God, absolute authority of scripture, sound doctrine, personal holiness, and spiritual authority. b. The internal systems. The spiritual attitudes necessary for church vitality: Obedience (he writes, "the all-pervasive attitude that makes all other attitudes possible"), humility, love, unity, willingness to serve, joy, peace, thankfulness, self discipline, accountability, forgiveness, dependence, flexibility, desire for growth, faithfulness, and hope. c. The muscles.

This book answers the question of what is the church and how to do church. The strength of the book is that it sticks to the Scripture for the answer. It’s important that if the church is God’s institution, one must consider first what God has revealed His will from His Word before any other consideration. The author, John MacArthur, has a reputation of being a solid expositional Bible preacher who desires to be faithful to the Word of God in his teaching. This work is a fine example of him applying it to the question of the church. Yet the book is not a dry academic exercise: I felt that among all of MacArthur’s work, this one seems to me to be the most pastoral. There are bits and pieces of information given throughout the book that gave a window of the life of Grace Community Church, the church where MacArthur has pastured for over forty years. It was also an encouraging work for me to read as a Pastor who desires to please God in how I lead the church. Other members of the church will benefit from reading it as well.The book is divided into three parts followed by the appendixes. Part one of the book explains the anatomy of the church in terms of the illustration of a human body, with a chapter on the skeletal structure, then one on the internal system, the muscle and the head of the church. Part two looks at the dynamic of the church. Among the chapters I appreciated in this section is MacArthurs’ look at the epistles to the Thessalonians for a biblical model of doing church and the chapter on the marks of an effective church. Chapter thirteen has a wonderful section on the shepherd and the sheep. It is one of the most detailed explanations about sheep I have found in my reading and it certainly illuminates the Bible’s motif of sheep/shepherd.

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