Covenanting with Christ’s Church by C. Stephen David
Right off the bat let me say that this book is biblical, thorough, and very pastoral! In just 106 pages broken into 11 chapters and 3 appendices, Pastor Stephen David makes a compelling case for covenanting with a local church. As the name suggests, this book is not about whether one should attend or not attend one or more local churches, but about covenanting with the local church. There are several compelling reasons to read this book. Among the top reasons would be that it is pastoral. We are surrounded by the voices of internet theologians, church attendees, and even well-meaning church members on how to “do church.” Among the very many voices, only a few are grounded in the scripture and even fewer have any experience in the so-called “doing church.” It is the need of the hour that godly and experienced pastors write and speak out more for the health of the church collective. The contents of this book are not mere intellectual ideas or opinions for scholars to debate; instead, it is soul food for the faithful.
A small paragraph on page 26 reads: “All believers must unreservedly submit to the headship of Christ by living according to his design revealed in the Holy Scripture. Whatever Christ spoke through His apostles about how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God — a pillar and buttress of the truth — that is the design of God.” This summarizes why we need to have a book on this topic. Christ’s design of living is revealed to His church through His word and His church delightfully lives by the design in submission to His headship. Pastor Stephen doesn’t give us a new way of doing church, but instead asks us to look at the design revealed by Christ through his word.
Covenanting with Christ’s Church is simple enough to read for the church’s laypeople, yet exegetically robust and exhaustive enough for the leaders to read and learn much. The chapters of this book come at covenanting with the local church from various angles. Ordinances, missions, accountability, edification, worship, and several other activities of the church are discussed in detail in these chapters. The counter-argumentative nature of some passages is reminiscent of how Paul writes to the Romans. Several common questions that are raised against formal church membership are addressed by pastor Stephen. Some of them being “Where is church membership in the bible?!”, “Why should I attend a church when it is messy?”, “Why do I need a church when I can learn the bible off of the internet?”, “Why do I need a local church when I am part of the global church?” and such. The book is very well categorized which makes it useful not just for a systematic study of the biblical theology of the church and her necessity, but also as a quick reference handbook on various aspects concerning the church. Every chapter ends with a series of questions to help the reader ponder over what was read. This makes it particularly helpful for churches to use it for discipleship. Overall, Covenanting with Christ’s Church is an excellent book that has nothing but good to offer to the body of Christ, making it a useful resource and a must-grab for all the churches that are intentional about being biblical.
You can get your own copy of Covenanting with Christ’s Church here.