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Duties of Christian Fellowship: A Manual for Church Members

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Duties of Christian Fellowship deals with a matter of perennial concern for every truly Christian church. In just a few pages it sets out in very concise terms the responsibilities all Christians have, first, to their pastors, and then second, to one another within the fellowship of the local church. John Owen was a pastor as well as a theologian and therefore this is a mos Duties of Christian Fellowship deals with a matter of perennial concern for every truly Christian church. In just a few pages it sets out in very concise terms the responsibilities all Christians have, first, to their pastors, and then second, to one another within the fellowship of the local church. John Owen was a pastor as well as a theologian and therefore this is a most practical manual of church fellowship. It was likely intended to be read by individuals with self-examination, meditation and prayer, but it would also be very suitable for group Bible study or adult Sunday School classes. This edition is enhanced by a modernized text and the addition of questions which have been added to facilitate group discussion.


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Duties of Christian Fellowship deals with a matter of perennial concern for every truly Christian church. In just a few pages it sets out in very concise terms the responsibilities all Christians have, first, to their pastors, and then second, to one another within the fellowship of the local church. John Owen was a pastor as well as a theologian and therefore this is a mos Duties of Christian Fellowship deals with a matter of perennial concern for every truly Christian church. In just a few pages it sets out in very concise terms the responsibilities all Christians have, first, to their pastors, and then second, to one another within the fellowship of the local church. John Owen was a pastor as well as a theologian and therefore this is a most practical manual of church fellowship. It was likely intended to be read by individuals with self-examination, meditation and prayer, but it would also be very suitable for group Bible study or adult Sunday School classes. This edition is enhanced by a modernized text and the addition of questions which have been added to facilitate group discussion.

30 review for Duties of Christian Fellowship: A Manual for Church Members

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Dinsmore

    Very clear and concise and extremely well suited to discussion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Excellent. And very convicting, especially in regards to my lack of prayer for my elders and fellow church members. Discussion questions in this abridged version would be great to do with a small group (or with one's family). Excellent. And very convicting, especially in regards to my lack of prayer for my elders and fellow church members. Discussion questions in this abridged version would be great to do with a small group (or with one's family).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Phillips

    A fine book, will be referring back to it. Still not a fan of modernisation.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter Jones

    This book is not an extended discussion of how Christians are to relate to their pastor or to each other. But what it aims to do it does well. Owen gives 15 rules for Christian fellowship. The first seven are about how the layperson can support their pastor. The next eight are about how Christians can stay in fellowship with each other. Why five stars? This book is perfectly suited for the current Christian landscape. It reads like a series of well-written blog posts, short, clear, and practical This book is not an extended discussion of how Christians are to relate to their pastor or to each other. But what it aims to do it does well. Owen gives 15 rules for Christian fellowship. The first seven are about how the layperson can support their pastor. The next eight are about how Christians can stay in fellowship with each other. Why five stars? This book is perfectly suited for the current Christian landscape. It reads like a series of well-written blog posts, short, clear, and practical. The organization is excellent with the rules in bold, followed by Scripture (not just the reference, but the actual verses), a short explanation by Owen, and then study questions added by the editor. It is quick read, yet packs a punch both in the rules and in Owen's explanation. Also I find that many Christians want to support their pastor, but are not sure how. Owen begins with that and it is good section. All in all, an excellent book to work through in a small group study, Sunday school, or to hand out to church members.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Abby Jones

    I can’t recommend this book enough. Every believer should read it, probably on a regular basis. In this easy to read book, Owen goes through several short points about how to be a good church member. This version also has study questions. Just a very profitable little book. My only point of disagreement is the point that talks about the state supporting the church, but I try not to be anachronistic with something like that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andy Reeves

    An excellent little guide establishing the basic principles of Christian fellowship within the church. Owen explains how church members should relate to the pastor/elders and to fellow church members through a series of Rules or principles backed up by Scripture citations and then a simple explanation. Banner of Truth added discussion guides allowing churches to easily teach it in a Sunday School or small group setting. Notes: Duties toward pastors 1: Believers are to attend regularly, and to subm An excellent little guide establishing the basic principles of Christian fellowship within the church. Owen explains how church members should relate to the pastor/elders and to fellow church members through a series of Rules or principles backed up by Scripture citations and then a simple explanation. Banner of Truth added discussion guides allowing churches to easily teach it in a Sunday School or small group setting. Notes: Duties toward pastors 1: Believers are to attend regularly, and to submit to, the preaching of the word and administering of the ordinances committed to the pastor by virtue of his ministerial office. They are to do this with a willing obedience in the Lord. 2:The pastor’s way of life is to be observed and carefully followed, to the extent that he walks in the ways of Jesus Christ. 3:Prayer and supplications are to be made continually on the pastor’s behalf that he might receive help and success in the work that has been given to him. 4: Believers are to hold the pastor in the greatest respect and to submit to him, for the work’s sake. 5: The Church is required to support the pastor and his family by supplying all their earthly needs, to the degree that is appropriate to the state and condition of the church. 6: The Church is to remain loyal to the pastor and to stay at his side in all trials and persecutions that may arise because of the word. 7: Believers, along with their families, must gather together as a congregation before the pastor, at the times appointed by him. Duties toward fellow church members 1: Believers have a duty of affectionate, sincere, genuine love in all things towards one another; a love compared to that of Christ for the church. 2: Believers must maintain continual prayer for the prospering of the church under God’s protection. 3: Believers must strive and fight with determination, in every legitimate way, by their actions and sufferings, for the purity of the ordinances, for the honor, liberty and privileges of the congregation, and in order to help others in the face of all opponents and adversaries. 4: Believers must maintain an unremitting care and effort to preserve unity, both in general and in particular. 5: Believers are to separate and keep apart from the world, and from the men of the world in all their ways of false worship, so that we are seen to be a different people. 6: Believers should engage in frequent spiritual conversation for edification, according to the measure of their gifts. 7: Believers must bear with one another’s infirmities, weaknesses, sensitivities, and failings, in meekness, patience and pity, and providing help and assistance. 8: Believers must support one another, tenderly and affectionately, in their various circumstances and conditions-bearing one another’s burdens. 9: Believers are voluntarily to contribute and share in temporal things with those who are truly poor, in a way that is suitable to their necessities, wants and afflictions. 10: Believers ought to note watchfully and avoid carefully all causes and causers of division; they are particularly to shun seducers, false teachers and those who spread heresies and errors that are contrary to the Word of God. 11: Believers should cheerfully accept the lot and portion of the whole church, in prosperity and affliction, and not draw back for any reason whatever. 12: In Church affairs, Believers must not discriminate between persons but condescend to the weakest brother and perform the least service, for the good of fellow-Believers. -Let the greatest consider it their greatest honor to perform the lowest necessary service on behalf of the lowest of the saints. 13: If any member is in distress, persecution, or affliction, the whole church is to be humbled, and to be earnest in prayer on his behalf. 14: Believers must watch one another’s behavior carefully and warn one another to avoid all disorderly conduct. If any offending member will not accept such warning their case must be brought to the church. 15: Believers should live and walk in an exemplary way in all holiness and godliness, to the glory of the gospel, the edification of the church, and the conviction of those outside the church.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joe Koehler

    Owen thinks and writes with gospel clarity, and in this volume at least, great concision (95 pages only!) I'm sure larger books could go into greater detail concerning the many rules a Christian fellowship should follow, but Owen's knowledge of and reference to appropriate Scriptures per each duty is excellent, and his brief explanations are challenging. This book could be given as a gift or homework to those seeking church membership! Some quotes: "…men grow tired of hearing the Word only after Owen thinks and writes with gospel clarity, and in this volume at least, great concision (95 pages only!) I'm sure larger books could go into greater detail concerning the many rules a Christian fellowship should follow, but Owen's knowledge of and reference to appropriate Scriptures per each duty is excellent, and his brief explanations are challenging. This book could be given as a gift or homework to those seeking church membership! Some quotes: "…men grow tired of hearing the Word only after they have grown tired of putting it into practice," "Free pardon is the substance of the gospel…presented to us for our imitation."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Seth Mcdevitt

    I think this is a great primer on Church membership. I don't really like how its set up, but that is not John Owen's fault. It would make a decent family bible study, and might work in some Sunday school contexts. The fact that it begins with the Church's duty and responsibility to submit to the pastor, means I would feel kind of awkward giving it out. I'm afraid it would look like I'm implying that they needed to improve in that particular area. That probably won't keep me from giving it out th I think this is a great primer on Church membership. I don't really like how its set up, but that is not John Owen's fault. It would make a decent family bible study, and might work in some Sunday school contexts. The fact that it begins with the Church's duty and responsibility to submit to the pastor, means I would feel kind of awkward giving it out. I'm afraid it would look like I'm implying that they needed to improve in that particular area. That probably won't keep me from giving it out though. It is short and easy to understand.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Phil Griffin

    Good topic by an excellent author but I am not sure the style of presenting a lot of rules works well for me and the book can start to feel slightly legalistic and critical. Some very helpful scripture but the link between scripture and conclusion is not as tight as I would like. Also it would be better to see Christ more at the beginning and then to flow to the character and actions of the believer. More emphasis on the outward facing serving role of the Church would help. Glory of Christ by Jo Good topic by an excellent author but I am not sure the style of presenting a lot of rules works well for me and the book can start to feel slightly legalistic and critical. Some very helpful scripture but the link between scripture and conclusion is not as tight as I would like. Also it would be better to see Christ more at the beginning and then to flow to the character and actions of the believer. More emphasis on the outward facing serving role of the Church would help. Glory of Christ by John Owen is very good. Also 'True friendship' by Vaughan Roberts.

  10. 5 out of 5

    CJ Bowen

    Solid and helpful summary statements of the guiding principles of Christian community, with biblical support and brief explanations. Primarily addressing inward fellowship, not outreach. Could have been immeasurably helped by a case studies or examples of what it looks like not to have followed these wise rules. Every Christian would agree with these rules as written and supported from Scripture; few Christians recognize when a rule has been broken in the church.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peck

    If you are looking up a new pastor and try to gauge what he is like by the churches What-we-believe tab on their website. That is similar to trying to gauge Owen by this pamphlet. It is more a formal almost legal document than a treatise or argument It is fine. The forward is correct. It would make a good Sunday school class or Small group study guide.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert Luff

    Unlike most of John Owen's works, this book is quite pithy and accessible. He gets to the heart of what Christian fellowship is supposed to be, by charging the reader with his reponsibilities toward other believers. I hope to introduce this to my Sunday School class at some point in the future. Recommended. Unlike most of John Owen's works, this book is quite pithy and accessible. He gets to the heart of what Christian fellowship is supposed to be, by charging the reader with his reponsibilities toward other believers. I hope to introduce this to my Sunday School class at some point in the future. Recommended.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Rachel

    It never ceases to amaze me what Puritan pastors could get away with. This book was a delightful read concerning our duties as members of Christ's church both to our pastors and to others. It's insightful. To the point. And biblical. Great volume. It never ceases to amaze me what Puritan pastors could get away with. This book was a delightful read concerning our duties as members of Christ's church both to our pastors and to others. It's insightful. To the point. And biblical. Great volume.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jischmidt

    Concise and worth its weight in gold when taking time to go through small portions of it daily for edifying and reminding oneself what the Lord expects of us as Christians, within and without, especially as regards the church body -- worthwhile enough to repeat the reading at least annually.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cody Bertram

    Wonderful little book. Helpful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Avery

    Wonderful admonition and encouragement from John Owen on Church Unity, Praying for Pastors & Fellow Believers, Holiness, and Church Discipline. Great read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Miguel Cunanan

    it's really a manual. a fast and easy read, until you encounter one of the rules that lovingly challenges and convicts you and you realize you need to make heart changes. it's really a manual. a fast and easy read, until you encounter one of the rules that lovingly challenges and convicts you and you realize you need to make heart changes.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peter Stonecipher

    A succinct primer of conduct for God's people in the church. A succinct primer of conduct for God's people in the church.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    A good outline of a Christian’s duties as a member of a local congregation.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    Short and to the point. This is basically an outline with brief explanations. I'm sure if Owen wanted to, he could have expanded each point and written a lengthy book but it seems this was not his aim. He wanted to keep it brief, direct and applied immediately. The Banner edition includes some reflection questions added which would be helpful for discussions among church members. As was Puritan style, he is quite strong using imperatives which I feel like many Christians today would feel unwarranted Short and to the point. This is basically an outline with brief explanations. I'm sure if Owen wanted to, he could have expanded each point and written a lengthy book but it seems this was not his aim. He wanted to keep it brief, direct and applied immediately. The Banner edition includes some reflection questions added which would be helpful for discussions among church members. As was Puritan style, he is quite strong using imperatives which I feel like many Christians today would feel unwarranted or offensive. But this is one of the points he makes, that we need to obey and pray for those put over us by God, and then care for each other. I feel like in the current age, the first section regarding our duties towards our pastor is very much neglected, while we do a little bit better in the second section regard our duties towards other church members. Possibly, the one take away for me, is to pray daily for the Pastor, and for the preaching of the word.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cody Edds

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Catron

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tim Franks

  25. 5 out of 5

    Scott Hunt

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  27. 4 out of 5

    Clay Burgess

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelton Zacharias

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark A Powell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brian Vandenburg

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