Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Ordinary Means of Grace-Based Ministry

Ligon Duncan writes:

Sometimes I am asked, “what exactly do you mean by “ordinary means of grace-based ministry?” Good question. Let me repeat and elaborate. The “ordinary means of grace” are “the Word, sacraments, and prayer.” These are the ordinances given by God with which spiritual life is nurtured. By ordinances we mean spiritual instruments of grace and growth in grace appointed by God in the Bible. So, when we say ordinary means of grace-based ministry, we mean a ministry that focuses on doing the things God says are central to the spiritual health and growth of his people.

In his article, Ministry and Church Health via the Ordinary Means of Grace, Dr. Duncan sets forth his understanding of the 10 marks of a healthy church:

1. Expository Bible Preaching
2. Biblical Worship
3. Biblical Theology (or Westminister Calvinism)
4. Shared Vision for Evangelism/Church Planting/Missions
5. Biblical Piety
6. A Biblical Understanding of the Gospel and Evangelism
7. A Biblical Understanding of the Law and Sanctification
8. A Biblical Understanding of Conversion and Discipleship
9. A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership and Discipline
10. A Biblical Understanding and Deployment of Church Government