What makes a church a church? Is it "where three or more are gathered"? Is it songs and a sermon on Sunday? Does it require structure and leadership? How do you know? The Character of the Church dispels confusion by describing the five elements of a biblical church. Concise, accessible, and historically informed, it teaches God's design for church so you know what to look for in oneor even how to lead one. Useful for training in membership classes, discipleship groups, and elder boardsand even for devotional reading The Character of the Church is at once theological, practical, and experiential. Readers will not simply be informed, but led to a deeper appreciation of the church of God and its essential marks: The word of God is faithfully preached The sacraments are rightly administered Leadership is biblically formed and functioning Discipline is practiced with grace The mission of the church is shared by all This book will bring churches and Christians back to the biblical picture of a local body, perfect for any believer eager to grow and help others do likewise.