Why We Produced the Church Questions Series

Article
04.09.2020

Editor’s note: You can purchase the Church Questions books here.

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If you had 12 weeks to disciple a new convert in your church, what would you teach him? Judging from most Christianity 101 books on the market, we’d likely spend some time deepening his understanding of the gospel, teaching him spiritual disciplines, training him to share his faith, and explaining to him what obedience looks like in various spheres of life: marriage, parenting, work, and finances.

What’s missing in all these? The church.

Now, truthfully, many excellent Christianity 101 curriculums do have at least some material on the church. But regrettably when we disciple others we often list “church involvement” as one among several facets of the Christian life. What’s wrong with that? The church isn’t just one aspect of the Christian life, it’s the context of our Christian life—it shapes all the other aspects of our Christian obedience.

Think of it this way: We should encourage new converts to read the Bible. But we most effectively learn the Bible as we sit under expository preaching and as we fellowship with brothers and sisters who apply the Bible to our lives. Yes, we should pray individually, but what we pray is often shaped by the needs of our church and attending the corporate prayers of the church fuels our prayer life and keeps us in the habit of praying. Yes, we should strive to have biblical marriages. But we won’t get very far in marriage if we’re not opening our lives to brothers and sisters who can encourage us in obedience, counsel us when we’re confused, and correct us when we’re in error. Yes, we should engage in personal evangelism. But we’ll remain constant in evangelism as the church continually equips us to share the gospel (Eph. 4:12), and our witness will be more credible as unbelievers witness us love the church and the church love us (Jn. 13:35; 17:20–21).

To put it another way, have you ever been to a Christian bookstore and noticed one section marked “Christian Living” and another marked “Church”? Those should really be one section. The church life is the Christian life. The Christian life is the church life. We study Scripture, pray, evangelize, love, forgive, and pursue every aspect of obedience under the care and instruction of the local church.

In order to help fill this void in church-centered discipleship curriculum, we at 9Marks started the Church Questions series. This series of mini-books provides accessible discipling resources that focus on the centrality of the local church in the Christian life—for both new converts and undiscipled believers. Think of this series as 9Marks “chicken soup”—accessible, little books that wed the Christian life to the local church.

We envision a few ways church leaders and members can use these books:

  • One-on-one discipling
  • Counseling sessions
  • Small group discussions

The first five Church Questions mini-books have already been released, and we anticipate releasing dozens more over the next two to three years. We pray you’ll find them useful.

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Editor’s note: You can purchase the Church Questions books here.

By:
Sam Emadi

Sam Emadi is a member of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, KY and serves as the Senior Editor at 9Marks.