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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever


Pastoring the Idle

It’s a standard trope: The young seminarian takes his first pastorate. He’s loaded for bear, brimming with theological conviction, eager to love the people. He’s ready to meet the devil on the battlefield. His first year’s sermons are planned. He’s dreaming big, praying hard, and ready to go.

And then he meets it: Torpor. Indifference. Spiritual laziness.

Leading the Church While Leading your Family

Seventeen years ago I went on a two-week trip to India and Korea to teach in a Bible college and some churches. Security at the airport was not as tight pre-9/11, so my family accompanied me to the gate. As I left my wife and three young children in the midst of a Michigan winter, my youngest daughter cried out "NOOOOO!" so long and so loud that the echo followed me down the jet way into the plane itself. She wasn't the only one who cried that day.

Marks of a Real Minister Audio

On January 8th, Mark Dever preached at the installation our of church's new associate pastor, Hunter Powell.

Mark's sermon on I Corinthians 4, entitled "The Marks of a Real Minister", was very helpful.  It renewed my zeal for the ministry and it's well worth your time if you could use some encouragement!

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.

Who else but the pastor teacher?

25 Years ago Dick Lucas sent out a letter to those who had attended the annual pastors' meeting that has now become the Evangelical Ministers' Assembly here in London.

Reflecting on these words from Charles Simeon to a friend on the occasion of his ordination,

Warn Them to Not Abuse Their Children

Do your church members physically abuse their children? Maybe you think it’s so few that you don't feel compelled to teach publicly what everyone knows: don't abuse your kids. At most it's one or two bad apples, right?

I'm not so sure.

Conducting Gospel-Centered Funerals

Today I received an email from a woman to whom our church has been reaching out.  She was asking if I'd be willing to lead a memorial service for her friend's mother who had recently passed.

Of course, I said "Yes".  Who would pass up a gospel opportunity like that?  But then I had that moment (not uncommon in my expierience of ministry) where I realize that I'm not sure about the next steps to take. 

Lessons Learned in England and Scotland

The below is a guest post from Brian Croft.  Brian is the senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, KY.  Brian writes regularly on his own blog http://practicalshepherding.com/.  He is married to Cara and has four children.



What lessons did I learn from a few seasoned pastors while in England and Scotland?


More on Friendship

If we are agreed that a pastor should have friends within the church, then I have two followup questions. 

First, does being a pastor present unique challenges for building friendships in the church?

Second, how have you gone about developing friendships within the church?