Book Review: Counsel from the Cross, by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson

Review by Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Book Reviews on the Mission of the Church | 10.27.2010

These authors understand that the proper context for spiritual growth is a local church and not our own individualistic endeavors.

Using Small Groups to Cultivate Fellowship

By Michael Lawrence | 9Marks Journal: Miscellaneous Articles | 08.23.2010

It’s possible to be a biblical Christian without belonging to a small group. It’s impossible to be one without belonging to a church.

Book Review: The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men, by Richard Phillips

Review by Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Hell: Remembering the Awful Reality | 07.13.2010

At the risk of undermining the reader’s confidence in my objectivity, I have to admit that I have nothing negative to say about the book.

The Genesis of Gender and Ecclesial Womanhood

By Owen Strachan | 9Marks Journal: Pastoring Women | 07.01.2010

Don’t miss the point here: gender is front and center in creation, the fall, and the curse.

Discipling Men vs. Discipling Women

By Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Pastoring Women | 07.01.2010

How should the Bible’s teaching about men and women inform my pastoral work?

How Pastors Can Equip Women for Ministry

By Bob Johnson | 9Marks Journal: Pastoring Women | 07.01.2010

Equipping women for ministry is a necessary piece in the puzzle that is the local church.

Wanted: More Older Women Discipling Younger Women

By Susan Hunt | 9Marks Journal: Pastoring Women | 07.01.2010

Older women discipling younger women is not just a nifty idea someone concocted, and it is not optional. It’s a gospel imperative.

Why Complementarianism Is Crucial to Discipleship

By Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Pastoring Women | 07.01.2010

In every domain—I think it’s safe to generalize—women will better be able to pursue godly femininity when they are surrounded by men who pursue godly masculinity.

Book Review: Family Driven Faith, by Voddie Baucham

Review by Michael Lawrence | 9Marks Journal: Family & Parenting | 04.02.2010

Baucham has done a service to the church by calling us back from a wrong-headed trust in programs and professionals.

How can I make the most of the preaching I hear every week?

Throughout the week, meditate on the passage that will be preached on Sunday. Pray for your pastor as he prepares his sermon. Take notes on the text. Ask questions of the text. Pray through the text. Prepare for Sunday morning. On Saturday night or Sunday morning, pray for your upcoming opportunity to hear God’s Word preached. Pray that your heart would be soft and humble before it.

What should I do if I disagree with something my pastor said?

Pray for humility and understanding. Ask a trusted, godly friend who knows the Bible well about the statement. Listen to their explanation and be open to the possibility that you either misunderstood, or that the statement the pastor made is biblically correct and you’re the one whose thinking needs to adjust.

I don’t like the direction my church is heading. How can I know when it’s time to find another church?


Every situation is different, and it’s impossible to speak precisely about any one situation. That said, here are some criteria worth keeping in mind in every situation:

I don’t feel like there are opportunities for me to get involved in my church. What should I do?


Sometimes we get so fixated on programs and official positions in the church that it’s easy to miss opportunities right in front of our eyes. To help remedy that potential near-sightedness, here are two ways that you can always get involved in any church.

What should I look for in a church?

Expositional preaching. Does the pastor preach God’s Word, or his own ideas? Does he allow Scripture to set his preaching agenda, or does he pick topics by some other criteria? (2 Tim. 2:15, 4:2-2) Biblical theology. Does the church openly confess key biblical doctrines? Do the leaders consistently teach sound doctrine? (Tit. 1:9-11)

What are some general guidelines by which pastors can counsel and encourage women in the church?

9Marks | 9Marks Journal: Miscellaneous Articles
As a pastor, your goal should be to set up practical boundaries to protect yourself, the woman, and the church: You want to protect yourself from unjust accusations (1 Tim. 5:19). Moreover, pastors are to be above reproach, so you want to build in boundaries that ensure you will both be above reproach and be seen to be above reproach. You want to protect the woman from any potential wrongdoing on the part of any church leaders.