A Well-Ordered Church: Laying a Foundation for a Vibrant Church
By: William Boekestein and Daniel R. Hyde
The authors organized the book into four categories:
1. Identity. What is the church in general?
2. Authority. How does a church make decisions?
3. Ecumenicity. How should one church relate to other churches?
4. Activity. What is our mission? What should we, as a church, be doing?
There are so many good things in this book in less than 162 pages. I will spend much of this review on Part Four, where “a well-ordered church is a teaching church, a worshiping church, a witnessing church, and a repenting church” (p. 80).
The Need for being a Teaching Church
Many local churches don’t even have a men’s Bible Study Group where a minister may teach and train godly men about God’s Word. I’m sad to say this—that many of our pulpits, Bible Study Groups, and Sunday school Classes are no longer the central places where Christians gather to discuss theology. It is more of a gathering “based on common interests, personal friendships, [and] socio-economic status…” (p. 24). I’m in total agreement with both authors by citing Phillip Ryken in that “the only church that will survive in post-Christian times is a church with a passion for God’s Word” (p. 82).
A Worshiping Church
The Practice of Our Worship
A Witnessing Church
The Practice of a Witnessing Church
After all, it is not just “a teaching church, a worshiping church (the practice of our worship), a witnessing church, and a repenting church” (p. 80). The practice of a witnessing church is where I believe most churches believe that “financial involvement, relational involvement, and prayerful involvement” are the end of their duties (p. 128-129). These involvements are excellent for all Christians, but most leave out “congregation witnessing” (p. 129).
There are three ways of describing how the church engages in missions:
1. The Attraction Model
2. The Incarnational Model
3. The Lackadaisical Model
The Attraction Model is about getting people into the church; the Incarnational Model is about bringing the church to people. The sad truth is that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are knocking on more doors than our local churches. And these are most likely the local churches that call others “Hyper-Calvinists”.
The last Model where both authors point out one fact that I believe is so true is the “lack of method.” Aside from the “lack of method”, most Christians don’t even know what the gospel is. If our men think that J. I. Packer is the Green Bay Packer’s owner, Heaven, we have a problem.
A Repenting Church
I will make this short. I have attended more than 20 churches throughout my life, and the one I currently attend is the one my family and I have been at for the longest. I have not heard one of these churches pray for a repentant heart, and yet, Christ in heaven is saying, “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (New International Version, Rev. 2:5). If you think that your church has not sinned against Christ, please read the first three chapters of Revelation.
If you are looking to read a short book that is centered on our Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—don’t look any further.
In closing, this is just a minute matter: the subtitle on the front cover is “Laying a Foundation for a Vibrant Church”, but the first page has a different subtitle—“Laying a Solid Foundation for a Vibrant Church”.
I received this book for free from EP Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”