Posts Tagged With: 9 Marks

The New 9 Marks Journal is Out: The Prosperity Gospel

I have long been indebted to 9 Marks for their desire to help churches be biblically healthy.  So often, we look to so many other schemes and methods to build the organization that we fail to see the sufficiency of Scripture in building a healthy, thriving organism that is the body of Christ.

The 9 Marks Journal for January-February 2014 is out.  I’m truly pumped about the topic: the prosperity gospel.  Plans are in the works for me to return to Trinidad and Tobago in September of this year to preach and teach on the prosperity gospel which has taken hold in that beloved country.  

And it’s to their peril.

And ours.  After all, that country gets most of our TV programs–and that includes the religious programming.

I hope you find this journal helpful in sorting out this false gospel from the true and pure gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

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9 Marks at Southeastern Evangelism Conference Videos Online

I had the privilege of visiting Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary for the 9 Marks at Southeastern Evangelism Conference.  I had the privilege of hearing Danny Akin, Peter Williams, Mark Dever,  Thabiti Anyabwile, John Folmar, and J.D. Greear speak biblically, passionately, and God-glorifyingly about the need of sharing the gospel with the lost.

The videos of these talks are now online.  Take time to listen and drink deep!  Thankful for these men and for 9 Marks.

[UPDATE: Apparently, I am not able at this point to post these videos up. You can watch them here.]

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The 9Marks November-December Journal is Out


I so enjoy 9 Marks and their ministry to strengthen the local church.  As Ephesians 3:10 says that the church is the instrument through which “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

In this issue, 9 Marks addresses Lay Leaders: A User’s Guide, Part IBelow is Jonathan Leeman’s introduction:

Do you want to know, like, the coolest thing? I live in a city where there are lots of powerful people. Big timers, you know. And some of those big timers show up in our church on Capitol Hill—the movers and shakers. So do the people who work for those big timers—the schmoozing and the sweaty. What’s cool about that? Nothing. What’s cool it that these positions are not exalted in our church; being an elder is! The office of elder is held up and given honor. Praise the Lord, right?

You might be a journalist, a lobbyist, a congressional staffer, an army general, or a partner in a law firm. But in the social economy of the church, none of that matters. What counts is your character and knowledge of the Scriptures. Ambitious young men enter the church, but if they have Holy Spirit-softened hearts, they begin desiring different things. They come to D.C. driven to succeed, but somewhere along the way they become ambitious about leading a small group, sharing the gospel, showing hospitality, helping the hurting, and teaching God’s Word, even if it means sacrifices to their career. I could name dozens: Chris, Bill, Scott, Eric, Michael, David, Dave, Randy, Steve, Papu, Sebastian, Klon, Greg…want me to keep going?

I am not talking about the men who leave their careers to enter vocational ministry. I am talking about the men who remain in their careers, but who begin to shepherd anyway. These are the men I admire so much. They move from the big prestigious firm to the small peripheral firm; they take the pay cut; they let themselves get passed over for promotion. Why? Because they love the sheep, and they cannot help but spend the time it takes to shepherd sheep.

This issue of the 9Marks Journal and the next are devoted to these men: lay elders, or the pastors that a church doesn’t pay, because they do all their work in the evenings and weekends. In this issue, Jeramie Rinne and Sebastian Traeger lay out the basic expectations for the job. Garrett Kell and Michael McKinley offer counsel on raising up such men within the flock. And Garrett, Steve Boyer, and I offer a few thoughts on equipping them once the work has begun.

In January, we will come back to address the relationship between staff and lay elders, the besetting sins of lay elders, building unity and friendship among the elders, and other practical matters. Stay tuned!

— Jonathan Leeman

Your ecclesiology may not permit the notion of elder-led leadership in the church, but a significant case can be made for it and still remain Baptist (as my background entails) and congregational. 

Enjoy—and Happy Thanksgiving! 

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The New 9Marks Journal is Out: Discipling in the Church


The new 9Marks Journal is out, and I could not be happier in regards to this issue’s topic:  discipling in the church!  Almost daily, I’m having online conversations with John Divito who serves as an administrator at the Midwest Center for Theological Studies and preaches occasionally at Heritage Baptist Church in Owensboro, KY, about this very topic.  In coming to Arapahoe Road Baptist Church here in Denver, this is a culture I feel God pressing me to develop here—a culture of discipling disciples! 

Jonathan Leeman is the editor of this journal (and a fellow Southern Seminarian—we graduated from there pretty close to the same time).  Here’s his opening note:

Discipling is not a program. It is not a podcast preacher. It is not a one-size-fits-all information transfer. It is life-on-life loving in word and deed. 

Jesus told us to make disciples, which means it is a basic part of the Christian life. But we are not always sure how to get a handle on it, or what it looks like. 

If you are a pastor or elder, you should be leading the way in discipling younger individuals in the faith. Your instruction and example should be helping to cultivate a culture of discipleship in your church. Does that sound intimidating? If it does, are you sure you are called to be an elder? 

Let’s back up. The work of discipling starts in the heart—a heart that rejoices in the ministry of others. Is that you? Read Bobby Jamieson’s excellent piece and ask that question. 

Next, consider what your vision for pastoring or eldering is. Do you see discipling as a central part of the job? Jonathan Dodson and Jeramie Rinne will help you answer that question. And Jamieson will talk about how to do it. 

Garrett Kell and Erin Wheeler then bring us back to the basics of discipling, and Brian Parks and Jani Ortlund help us to see some of the glorious fruit of discipling. 

We have also included the handout that every new member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church receives about discipleship. Feel free to use or adapt it for your own purposes. Other resources you should check out include Robert Coleman’s classic The Master Plan of Evangelism or the more recent The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne.

— Jonathan Leeman

Needless to say, I am looking forward to perusing through this this week and on the plane ride to Kentucky for my brother-in-law’s wedding. 

You can read it here Online , in PDF, or in eBook form (Download ePub, Download Mobi).

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The New 9Marks Journal for May-June 2012 is Out!

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The new 9Marks Journal for May-June 2012 is now out.  Here is the note from the Assistant Editor, Bobby Jamieson:

9Marks is on the lookout for apostolic pastors. Know any?

Here’s what we have in mind: pastors who care deeply about the progress of the gospel beyond their local churches. Pastors who encourage, disciple, and partner with other pastors. Pastors who lead their congregations to link arms with other likeminded local churches for evangelism, church planting, and more. By “apostolic,” we don’t mean someone who is personally commissioned by Jesus to bear witness to the resurrection (Acts 1:21-22). Instead, we mean someone who shares some of the apostles’ priorities and concerns, even though he doesn’t share their office.

We love pastors like this, and we want to see many more of them raised up. So in this issue of the 9Marks Journal we want to help pastors catch a vision of the good that can come when they begin to feel an apostle-like concern for other pastors and churches (2 Cor. 11:28).

Apostolic pastor Mark Dever starts us off by exhorting pastors to dream beyond the four walls of their churches. My piece attempts to provide a broad biblical basis for the pastoral priorities we’re advocating in this issue. And Andy Johnson’s article asks how you’d feel if revival came—to somebody else’s church.

The articles by Matthias Lohmann, Daniel Montgomery, and Brian Croft provide glimpses of apostolic pastoring in action. I hope you’ll be encouraged and challenged by their examples.

Next we sample some of the fruits of apostolic pastoring. Baptists used to have a powerful tool for this called an “association.” You might be surprised by the good that’s come from this tool in the past, which Michael Haykin’s piece on Andrew Fuller and friends illustrates. And according to Matthew Spandler-Davison, this rusted old tool can be cleaned up and made useful again. Or, if need be, start a new one. If you do, you just might rescue a young pastor like Justin Runyan from what he calls miserable, self-imposed isolation. Finally, Robert Greene tells about the sustaining brotherhood he found in the network of pastors he belongs to, even before he joined.

Here’s the bottom line: Jesus hasn’t called our churches to fulfill the great commission alone. So look up, look out, and see what encouragement and unexpected fruit God may have in store for you as you work to bless other pastors and churches.

Read it Online or via PDF.  It’s available in eBook form:

Download ePub | Download Mobi

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9 Marks E-Journal Out: Church Membership—Holding the Body Together

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Here’s a note from the editor, Jonathan Leeman (with whom I had a few classes with during our time at Southern Seminary:

Evangelicals are good and maybe getting better at talking about the Christian mind, the Christian heart, even the Christian hands and feet. We want to think, feel, and act as Christians.

But what about the skeleton? No one really talks about that. If a skeleton holds things together, what is the structure that holds the Christian life together and gives it its shape?

The thing is, you can (sort of) exercise the Christian head, heart, and hands all by yourself. But when you start to consider what the Bible says about the structure of the Christian life—what I’m calling the skeleton—you find that it necessarily involves other people. And I mean other people in an authoritative capacity.

Christ has authorized the congregation and its leaders to act with authority in our lives. That’s not a popular idea among Westerners, but this is the skeleton which keeps the body, otherwise healthy, from slouching to the floor. It’s the bowl which keeps the soup from spilling everywhere. Looking across the evangelical landscape, do you know what I see? A lot of splattered soup. Oh, it’s tasty soup, but it has nothing to contain it and the dogs have been licking it up for years.

One illustration of this: consider the stereotypical evangelical youth group. You get gospel teaching. Sometimes gospel worldview formation. Sincere professions. And heart-felt worship. But there’s little formal accountability, structure, and discipline because the group is not a part of the church. Result: the kids go to college and the majority abandon the faith or at least live like they have. You can see the splatter.

The real problem is, how many churches operate this way?

That brings us to this episode of the 9Marks’ “Polity is Kool Show.” Today we turn to the theme of church membership. And, boy, do we have a show for you. Several brothers give us a biblical, historical, and sociological look. Several more of us consider the importance of membership. And then a few more offer wise pastoral advice on implementing membership in your church.

Also, watch out early next year for a new 9Marks book on membership for your leaders and members.

—Jonathan Leeman

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