Is it time for a Tenth Mark?

If you travel much in reformed Christian circles you're likely familiar with Mark Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Today I'd like to show you some compelling video from a new blog called Focused on Christ. Blogger, Joshua, is in India and has undertaken a series of interviews focused on the church in India. What follows is an interview with "a friendly, easy-going, yet hard working pastor/leader from Chhattisgarh, India," by the name of Rajesh.

The interview is about 10 minutes long. Listen in particular for his answer to the question (about 7 min. in) "As you visit churches, what signs do you look for that tell you if they are a healthy church or an unhealthy church?"

Though it's clear from the rest of the interview that Rajesh would largely agree with Dever's points, I think he makes a pretty good case for a "10th Mark" - a tenth test of a healthy church: "Will it survive if it's pastor is taken away?"

How healthy is your church?


Anonymous said…
I never thought nine marks were enough! I think I could add a couple more.
ke4juh said…
An interesting question; I'm not sure that my church, which was founded by the pastor and a small group four years ago, would be likely to survive if he was to leave. I am sure that if it's God's will then somebody would step up as Pastor and the church would continue but I don't know who that would be.

Another question is that since we have no shortage of churches in this area, would it be a bad thing (from God’s prespective) if this congregation was to be distributed among the others? Or does one local church matter when one considers the universal church (same number of believers just meeting in different buildings)? Of course, in India where Christian churches are few it is very important that each one survives.
Laurie M. said…
Jim, these are all good questions and valid points. I've been thinking quite a bit about this. I think the main things this should cause us to question are whether our existence as part a unique local entity is more a result of a charismatic individual or a focus on Christ, the Scriptures, and specifically (since good Bible teaching may be available elsewhere) the individual members' love and commitment to one another. Would that commitment among the members remain, or would they just disband.
Joshua said…

10th Mark of a Healthy Church - that is a helpful connection. I was actually thinking of 9 Marks ministries when I framed that segment of the interview.

You raised a good point. I think taking that to heart, it be good for any leader to hold that humble position along with John the Baptist - "He must increase, but I must decrease."
Lynn Cross said…
Nothing is ever set in black and white. God doesn't work always the exact way we want HIm to. Sometimes God works only through the muck and the mire. Lynn
haithabu said…
We are in the process of finding out, since our pastor is on a 4 month sabbatical. So far. so good. It's actually a good exercise, since it's making us all step up more.

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