In recent years 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 it's 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, and we meant to call it that. 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.
Granted Ministries is a ministry of our local church, and as such we have very particular views on the nature and structure of our corporate life. Our convictions being what they are, we are very happy to publish and endorse this book. However there are some small areas in which we would have expressed things differently—as will likely be true whenever thoughtful Christians collaborate on a project. We certainly do not think that Christians must celebrate Sunday as the Sabbath, though this idea does come up very briefly in Mbewe’s sixth chapter. We also prefer to use the terms “pastor” and “elder” as identical, just as they are used in the New Testament, while Mbewe prefers to use “pastor” according to its conventional meaning, the elder who does the most preaching. Also, we are not convinced of the overwhelming helpfulness of using the regulative principle's categories of worship, though our views on corporate worship are still practically the same as his, and this chapter in his book is still very helpful. Overall, this book’s content is so similar to our own convictions that we are delighted to publish it, praying the Lord bless it to the growth and strengthening of many souls.
The church of Jesus Christ has but one foundation, Christ Himself. But upon that stone must come basic and fundamental truths taught by the Bible. This book is a collection of writings produced throughout the fires and challenges of a quarter-century of pastoral ministry, being written with wisdom, insight, humility, and practicality, in order to instruct and equip the people of God.
“No ivory-tower theoretician here! I thank our brother for providing such a useful work on building local churches to God’s glory. Pastor Mbewe’s book would be of great benefit to pastors and students in the pastoral ministry....profound and practical. Self-consciously, he has not tried to define and evaluate every position and difference on the topics. He wants to expound positively his understanding of God’s Word on the church and to apply it as best he can. I believe he has accomplished this well. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ has found a valiant defender!” (quotes from the foreword)
- Fred Malone, Pastor and Contributing Editor of The Founders Journal
“A combination of rich experience, great spiritual enlightenment, profound wisdom, and theological truth that cannot but stir the hearts of pastors and people. When the book is backed up by the author’s effective and so very fruitful ministry, it becomes a ‘must read’! It will make its readers think, act, and even repent where necessary for the growth and health of the church. An absolutely wonderful book for the shelf and the desk!”
- Martin Holdt, Rector of the Afrikaans Baptist Seminary, South Africa
“If Conrad Mbewe's preaching corresponds to that of Charles Spurgeon, his abilities at shepherding must approximate that of the puritan Richard Baxter. For, in typical Baxterian style, he offers to the church of Jesus Christ something of a christian directory. Having laid down the rudiments of the christian faith, he then goes on to open up the ecclesiastical things most surely believed among those of a reformed baptistic faith. Saints from all walks of life, pastors and laymen alike, should find ready help in this eccelesiastical encyclopedia.”
- Ronald Kalifungwa, Pastor of Lusaka Baptist Church, Zambia
“Conrad Mbewe gives us the fruit of his thoughtful, experienced, and biblical reflections on the church. He writes as a practitioner whose love for the church has kept him shepherding one congregation for nearly 25 years. With the insight of a theologian and the care of a pastor, Conrad addresses vital themes that every church member and leader must consider in order to follow Christ faithfully. I recommend this book as a helpful manual on practical ecclesiology.”
- Tom Ascol, Pastor and Editor of Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry
“This volume is bedded in Scripture, covers the basics (read the contents!), is amazingly practical, and is eminently readable. I am thrilled to see such a bright light shining in the very heart of Africa. It is a book for all nations, and I hope in due course that it will be translated into other languages.”
- Erroll Hulse, Director of Evangelical Press
Since 1987 Conrad Mbewe has been pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. He is widely known as “the Spurgeon of Africa” for both his preaching and devotion to the ministry. You can learn more about Conrad at his blog: