English Español 简体中文 Português
9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever


Humility & Leadership

Dear Senior Pastor, 

I've been very encouraged by the example of the senior pastor I work for, plus many other senior pastors.  So I want to ask you some questions to make you consider if you are modeling humility for your staff, church members, family, etc....

Four Qualities of a Developer

I've spent a lot of time around Mark Dever, so I know that there are lot of things that are unusual about him.  He's unusually smart, unusually outgoing, and has an unusually nerdy tattoo on his upper back.

Working for the Approval of the Lord

Hebrews 13:17, "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account."

Elder Practices: Know the Sheep Part 3

One the most useful things we do as elders is interview every prospective member of the church.  This provides the pastoral staff with a useful base of knowledge about the sheep as they are joining the church.

Elder Practices: Know the Sheep Part 2

Another thing that we do to care for the sheep is to keep an internal care list that is reviewed regularly in our elders meetings.   It is not published anywhere (apart from our elder packet).  This internal care list  is a list of the 5 to 10 most sensitive situations in our congregation--the most difficult marriages; members who are struggling with severe sickness; folks struggling with assurance of salvation; drug or alcohol addictions; etc.  

Elder Practices: Know the Sheep Part 1

In our effort to know the sheep, we have a number of practices that help us as elders.  One thing that we do in our elders' meetings is review one letter of the membership directory.   For example, in a recent meeting, we reviewed all of the members whose last name begins with the letter Y.   The goal is to see how they are doing spiritually and to see if there is any way  we can care for them better.  

Elder Practices: Prayer

A short job description for any elder is to carry out (1) a ministry of the Word; and (2) a ministry of prayer.  To that end, we encourage all of our elders to be men of prayer.  But in addition to our individual prayer lives, it is good for our elder board to pray together.  I'm not talking about short prayers to open and close a meeting, but substantial time praying for the sheep.  

Elder Practices: Accountability

One of the practices that our elder board has adopted is accountability with the entire elder board.  Once a month, one of the elders will be examined by the entire board and asked a variety of questions about his spiritual state, family life, work priorities, evangelism, etc.  We hope that by giving time to examining each other, we are looking out for one another.  We do this with only the most loving of intentions.  

A few other notes: