Editor’s Note

Journal
06.20.2017

Church mergers and church plants represent good news and bad news. The bad news is that it seems more and more churches are declining and in need of a restart. Church plants represent the good news: we have a bourgeoning supply of young pastors who desire to give themselves to the raising up and shepherding of God’s flock. And because we have more prospective pastors than open pulpits, we plant churches. Praise God for this “problem”!

9Marks isn’t primarily in the business of offering church planting wisdom. We’re not a planting ministry. Nonetheless, we want to think briefly about what our DNA means in this context. Perhaps the most important thing we can say is what Nathan Knight and Matt McCullough say in their articles: a church plant is a church, and a church planter is a pastor.

This Journal considers church planting—its loneliness, its effect on sending churches, its demand for creativity in the midst of financial difficulty. We also offer a few creative ideas about how to plant a new church. We won’t spoil them, but pay particular attention to articles by Matthew Spandler-Davison and Colin Clark.

Our world needs more healthy churches, which means our world needs more faithful pastors who are planting churches—creating something out of nothing—and merging churches—creating something healthy out of something less-than-healthy. Each discipline comes with a list of attenuating challenges and blessings; each requires an identical dependence on preaching the Word, praying, and sharing the gospel.

There’s more to be said, and we hope you’ll read on.

—Jonathan Leeman & Alex Duke

Church Mergers and Plants

Summer 2017
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Pastoring Singles

Spring 2017
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Healthy Churches around the World

Fall / Winter 2016
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Authority: God’s Good and Dangerous Gift

Summer/Fall 2016
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The Church Praying

Spring 2016
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Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church

Winter 2016
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Missions: Adding Wisdom to Zeal

Fall 2015
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Multi-Ethnic Churches

Summer/Fall 2015
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Expositional Preaching

Spring 2015
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Complementarianism & the Local Church

Winter 2015
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Vanishing Church?

Fall 2014
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Biblical Theology: Guardian and Guide of the Church

Summer 2014
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The Church Singing

May–June 2014
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Prosperity Gospel

January–February 2014
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Evangelism – Part 2

November–December 2013
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Evangelism – Part 1

September–October 2013
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Is Scripture Enough?

July–August 2013
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Church and Churches

May—June 2013
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Pastoring Christians for the Workplace

March—April 2013
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Lay Elders: A User’s Guide—Part 2

Jan—Feb 2013
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Lay Elders: A User’s Guide – Part 1

November—December 2012
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Discipling in the Church

September—October 2012
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Mercy Ministry in the Church

July—August 2012
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Wanted: Apostolic Pastors

May—June 2012
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The Underestimated Doctrine of Conversion

March—April 2012
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Don’t Be Too Cool for Sunday School

January—February 2012
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Revitalize: Why We Must Reclaim Dying Churches—and How

November—December 2011
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The Pastor and his Staff, Part 2

September—October 2011
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The Pastor and his Staff, Part 1

July—August 2011
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Church Membership: Holding the Body Together

May—June 2011
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Church and Parachurch: Friends or Foes?

March—April 2011
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Pastoral Moves

January—February 2011
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Book Reviews on the Mission of the Church

November—December 2010
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Hell: Remembering the Awful Reality

September—October 2010
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Pastoring Women

July—August 2010
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Deacons

May—June 2010
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A New Evangelical Liberalism

January—February 2010

Church Discipline (Part 2)

November—December 2009

Church Discipline (Part 1)

September—October 2009

Missions

July—August 2009

Multi-site Churches

May—June 2009

Young Pastors

March–April 2009

Raising Up the Next Generation of Pastors

January–February 2009

Counseling in the Church

November–December 2008

Family & Parenting

September–October 2008

Marriage & Pastor’s Wives

July—August 2008

Living As a Church

May–June 2008

Cooperation

March–April 2008

Corporate Prayer

January–February 2008

Church & Culture

November–December 2007

Race and Ethnicity

September—October 2007

The Gospel

July–August 2007

Preaching

May–June 2007

Elders (Part 2)

March–April 2007

Hospitality & Friendship

January 2007

Elders (Part 1)

February 2007

Biblical Theology

November–December 2006

The Church’s Mission

October 2006

The Emerging Church

September 2006

Miscellaneous Articles

December 1999
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