In recent yearts Conrad Mbewe has become well known as a preacher around the world. His clear exposition and powerful application of Scripture has earned him a broad and attentive international audience. But what many do not know is he is also a prolific author in his own country of Zambia. He has written numerous articles and booklets to address the spiritual needs of his nation and its churches.
This writing ministry, together with his powerful preaching and his experience in church-planting efforts, have made him one of the leaders of African evangelical Christianity. From the wide assortment of his work we have gathered together his more substantial material dealing with the church.
This title, Foundations for the Flock, is an effort to take some of his previously published material and make it available to the rest of the world. We are confident it will edify Christians of other nations just as it has done in Zambia.
The theme of this book is church life, so every part of it deals in some way with this theme.
The first chapter is called “Your Baptismal Class Notes,” because it was originally a document written to prepare new converts for baptism and church membership. It therefore functions as a brief introduction to the Christian life and is very helpful to re-orient even seasoned Christians.
The next chapter, “Biblical Church Government,” capably covers what seems to be every corner of the topic. For those wondering precisely what Mbewe’s view of church government is, he ably demonstrates that Scripture presents a plan for church government in which churches are governed under the headship of Christ by multiple elders—not by congregational voting, the deacons, or larger denominational structures.
“The Lord’s Supper” gives a Bible-based exposition of this ordinance of the church, largely conforming to a typical Reformed Baptist viewpoint.
“The Role of Women in the Church” was originally planned as a message to be given in an organized debate on the issue, in which Mbewe took a complementarian stance.
One of the more fascinating portions of this book is “Challenges in Today’s Pastoral Ministry,” written by a pastor to pastors about what it really means to be a pastor.
The sixth chapter, “Worship in Spirit and Truth,” is fundamentally a description and defense of “the regulative principle” in governing the activities of our church meetings. The spirit in which this chapter is written will be a breath of fresh air to anyone wrestling with the issue.
One chapter which will surely be of interest to American Christians is “Relationship Between Church and State,” for here Mbewe makes a good case for a real separation between church and state, but with application that truly tests our hearts and assumptions with the microscope of God’s word.
After this comes a lengthy section dealing with “Biblical Inter-Church Associations,” asserting churches should work together in evangelism and prayer, even though each church is to be governed by its own elders under Christ.
The final two chapters, “Partners in the Harvest” and “Missions at Kabwata Baptist Church,” contain Mbewe’s teachings on missionary work and church planting—a field in which he has much experience and God-given success.
While some Christians will be very familiar with the issues addresed in this book, Conrad has capably written from a biblical and insightful perspective on each issue which is both refreshing and challenging.
The book is subtitled Truths About the Church for All the Saints. Whether you are a pastor or a relatively new church member, you must eventually determine what God requires of your church. Foundations for the Flock is meant to examine those requirements as given in Scripture, to help the churches become what God intended them to be: visible manifestations of the lordship of Christ on earth. We strongly recommend this wonderful book.