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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever


The Christmas Day Services That Were (or weren't)

There's an interesting article in The Washington Post today about churches services that were or were not held around the area yesterday.


Seven Ways to Build a Culture of Spiritual Conversation

There are some churches—faithful, Bible-preaching churches—where the after-church conversations are so secular that you could swap them out for the lunch crowd at a local restaurant. And if after-church conversations are this secular, then others are likely to fare little better in terms of spiritual substance.

Why is this? Certainly different cultures will have different thresholds of what is comfortable to talk about, and with whom, and we must make some allowance for that.

What You Reeeally Want in a Pastor

There are a lot of things a church should look for in its next pastor. But as your church considers different pastoral candidates, I want to make sure this is toward the top of your list: a supernatural faith in the power of God’s Word.



I’m not talking about a man who simply checks the belief box on the “authority” or “sufficiency” or “power” of the Bible.

The Imperatives of Suffering

When Christians suffer, they need the indicatives, the facts of the gospel.  They need to know the promises of God, the benefits of being in Christ, and the reality of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Those truths are our comfort when we are wounded, slandered, or tempted.

How to Get Repentance

Charles Spurgeon, Repentance Unto Life:

I have never known a man who has thought upon, and taken a view of the cross, who has not found that it begat "repentance," and begat faith. We look at Jesus Christ if we would be saved, and we then say. "Amazing sacrifice! that Jesus thus died to save sinners."

The Value of Repetition

I tend to underestimate the power of repetition.  Repetition can be a useful rhetorical device in a sermon, I often try to come up with a key phrase that summarizes the point of the sermon and repeat it several times in the course of a message. 

Elders: Lead!

In many churches, the elders aren’t really the leaders. But they should be.


Scenario one: The elders are viewed as more of an advisory board. They’re trustees, not teachers. They exercise some responsibility over policies, personnel, and programs, but the only real leader is the senior pastor.

Maybe I Do Want Topical Preaching?

Dear Mr. Young Expositional Preacher. I am a member of your church. Call me Johnny Average Church Member.

First of all, I am very grateful for your commitment to expositional preaching. Don’t lose the commitment. I know a guy named Leeman who wrote a book on the supernatural power of expositional preaching, which I read, and, on the whole, think I would affirm.

The Burden of Burial

The following is a guest post from Brian Croft. Brian serves as the senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to contributing to the 9Marks blog, Brian writes regularly on his own blog called Practical Shepherding. Brian is married to Cara, and they have four children.

Now Available: Holiday Specials on 9Marks Resources!


Are you looking for a great gift for your pastor or members of your church this holiday season? Why not give them some practical tools that will help them cultivate meaningful change and lasting growth in their church?