Why Do You...?

People often ask us questions that begin like this – “Why do you _________?” You can fill in the blank with almost any topic. Why do you preach through books of the Bible? Why do you sing the songs you do? Why do you put such a focus on the congregation singing together? Why do you talk about church membership? Whatever the topic, people are curious as to why we do things the way we do.

And I completely understand why that is. As a new church plant, it is natural for people to ask questions about why we do things the way we do. We want to answer those questions as best as we can. So, over the next several weeks, we hope to post a series of articles that answer some of these “Why do you…” questions.

Before we get to those articles, we thought it might be helpful to highlight some books that have shaped our thinking about how to do church. So, if you like to read and if you’re curious about the philosophy behind Midtown Baptist, these books might be helpful.

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Mark Dever; Crossway)

Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, describes the nine marks that define a healthy church. This book has been a huge influence on what we think should define a church.

The Deliberate Church (Mark Dever and Paul Alexander; Crossway)

This helpful book takes a practical look at how to deliberately build every ministry of the church on Word of God. The books contains very practical chapters on everything from congregational singing to appointing new elders.

The Trellis and the Vine (Colin Marshall and Tony Payne; Matthias Media)

What should be the focus of the local church – programs or people? Marshall and Payne argue that the focus should be on making disciples, and that programs in the church should exist to serve that end.

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals (John Piper; B&H)

John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, writes a number of short essays pleading for pastors to be shepherds, not professionals. Almost more than any other, this book has shaped our thinking on what it means to be a pastor in a local church.

Check back tomorrow as we begin with “Why do you preach through books of the Bible?”


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