What is a Weekender?
Three times a year, 9Marks and Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC host around one hundred pastors, seminarians, and church leaders from Thursday night to Monday morning for a full-on immersion in the life and inner workings of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, a church committed to living and ministering biblically.
You’ll have box seats for a new members’ class. You’ll be front and center for lectures from Mark Dever on expositional preaching and implementing change. You’ll even go behind closed doors to observe an elders’ meeting. And all that’s just the first half of the weekend.
From leadership to worship to body life and more, it’s all on the table. So bring your questions, and don’t forget to stash some cash for the CHBC bookstall.
Why attend a Weekender?
We encourage pastors and church leaders to attend because, just as every Timothy needs a Paul, so every church needs a model. “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil 3:17; 4:9).
You may not implement or even agree with every last thing you see during your visit, but having this biblical model can help develop a more directed movement in the way you serve and lead in your local body.
Then again, maybe you know where to go, but feel clueless about how to get there: “I know I want elders, but what do they do when they meet? I know I need to preach, but how do I go about preparing sermons week in and week out? I know the budget needs work, but I’m no accountant.” The goal of The 9Marks Weekender is to provide an environment in which leaders can observe and discuss the biblical and practical dynamics of nurturing love and holiness in a local church.
Where do Weekenders occur?
Weekenders take place at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, which is located just five blocks behind the capitol building in the heart of Washington DC. From the 1950s to the 1990s, this inner city church experienced a forty-year decline in every sense imaginable. But the faithful, evangelical preaching of God’s Word, coupled with ministry methods driven by biblical principles, has breathed new life and renewed holiness into the local congregation. You’ll hear about the history of the transformation over the course of the weekend, as well as some of the lessons learned by the pastors God graciously used to lead the change.
When do Weekenders occur?
Weekenders generally occur three times a year, in March, May and September. Registrants are expected to participate in the entire schedule beginning from 6:00 p.m. on Thursday through 9:30 a.m. on Monday. We ask that you apply only if you are able to attend the whole Weekender. If your application is accepted, please note that it is conditional upon your full participation in the schedule. Due to the limited space at each Weekender, we ask that each church send no more than three men to any Weekender. This allows more churches to participate in each Weekender.Priority is given to applicants who have not attended a Weekender in the past.
What are the logistics?
Weekenders can seek accommodations at any of the nearby hotels to CHBC.
We provide lunches and dinners on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (lunch with staff on Saturday is optional).
Travel plans are left to you. Please plan to arrive at the church no later than 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening. If you are flying to DC, it is advisable to arrive by 3 p.m. at one of three Washington, DC area airports: Reagan National (DCA), Dulles International (IAD) or Baltimore/Washington International (BWI). Please do not book your return flight for any earlier than 11 a.m. Monday morning. As you’re making travel plans, we strongly encourage you to arrive early or at least on time Thursday evening, and to refrain from leaving early on Monday.
Cost (and Scholarships)
The cost to register for the Weekenders is $350. A student/seminary rate of $150 for students enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours is available for up to ten students per Weekender. The registration fee includes the meals listed above as well as many resources. We understand some individuals won’t be able to afford the full amount, though we do ask each attendee to contribute a minimum of $175. If you need a portion of the registration cost covered by 9Marks, inquiries for scholarships can be submitted to Weekender@9Marks.org.
Refunds and Cancellation
If you cancel, full refunds are not available. A refund of $175 will be considered depending on the reason and timing of cancellation. Space is available for fifty people per Weekender, and they fill up quickly. So if you know you’re interested, go ahead and sign up early.
Who Should Attend a Weekender?
The Weekender is designed for men who are, or aspire to be, church leaders. This includes pastors, elders, deacons, lay leaders, seminarians, and more.
“May I Bring My Wife?”
Men often ask if they can or should bring their wives to the Weekender. We generally discourage it because the schedule is extremely full and the sessions are only open to the registered participants. If wives do come, they are welcome to attend the church’s public meetings (Membership Matters, Core Seminars, Sunday AM and Sunday PM services).
For information on CHBC’s children’s ministry and Praise Factory orientations, please visit http://praisefactory.org/.
Leave Room in Your Suitcase
Those who attend the Weekender should expect to receive about 15 free books from 9Marks. So make sure to leave some extra room in your suitcase!
Earn Seminary Credit during the Weekender
The goal of this course is to couple the biblical and theological study of the local church with observing a healthy local church in action. It begins with lectures on the biblical and theological framework of the local church. The course then transitions to watching how this framework is pastorally implemented in one local church. Students sit through a long weekend of both closed-door and public meetings for the church as well as additional lectures by church leaders in a variety of ministry areas. Seminary credit is available through the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.