9Marks Mailbag

Mailbag #74: The Wisdom of Confronting an Older Pastor . . . Is It Biblical to Call Women “Ministers”? . . . How a Pastor Should Schedule His Week

By C. Humfrey, J. Leeman, P. Newton | 02.15.2019

— One of our elders, a man far older in the faith than us, has begun to regularly preach poor sermons. How should we respond? — I’ve noticed some SBC churches give women on staff the title of “minister” in deliberate distinction from “pastor” or “elder.” Is this practice wise? — What are some principles for how a pastor should schedule his week?

Mailbag #73: Dealing with Cultural Commands in 1 Corinthians 11 . . . Must All Elders Be Teachers?

By J. Leeman, T. R. Schreiner | 02.23.2018

— How should we interpret the passages in 1 Corinthians 11 about women cutting their hair? — Should teaching be the primary function of every pastor/elder?

Mailbag #72: Small Groups with Christians from Other Churches? . . . Which Churches Should We Pray for Publicly?

By Jonathan Leeman | 02.16.2018

— What do you think about small group Bible studies and prayer groups comprised of Christians from different churches? — How do you determine which churches to pray for publicly?

Mailbag #71: A Pastor and Pre-Conversion Sins . . . Young Children, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper

By Jonathan Leeman | 02.09.2018

— To what degree should a man’s past life—perhaps even before his conversion—affect how we consider his qualification for ministry? — Should young children who have been baptized but left out of church membership be given the Lord’s Supper?

Mailbag #70: Should Our Congregation Appoint Temporary Elders from Outside Churches? . . . What Should Be the Goal of a Small-Group Bible Study?

By Jonathan Leeman | 02.02.2018

— Our church believes in elders, but currently no men are qualified. Should I recognize some outside pastors as “temporary elders”? — How should a small-group Bible study balance sound teaching with a desire for discussion?

Mailbag #69: How Do I Know When It’s Time to Step Down? . . . The Wisdom of Having a Lay Elder in Politics

By B. Johnson, J. Leeman | 12.01.2017

— Ministry is a roller coaster. How do I know if I should step down? — How does a church navigate having a lay elder whose vocation is in politics??

Mailbag #68: Does a Church’s Maturity Affect Church Discipline Approach? . . . Should We Bring into Membership a Family Who Doesn’t Speak Our Language?

By Jonathan Leeman | 11.10.2017

— Should a congregation’s age, spiritual maturity, and experience of church discipline play into a “muddy” church discipline decision? — How should we maintain a robust membership process while taking into account a new family’s language barrier?

Mailbag #67: What Should Members Vote On (And How) . . . Responding to Members’ Foolish Social Media Posts

By Jonathan Leeman | 11.03.2017

— What are considered “important matters” for members to vote on—and how do you practically carry out the voting process? — How should I respond to a church member’s foolish use of social media?

Mailbag #66: Is Preaching Necessary on the Mission Field? . . . Is “Closed Communion” Biblical?

By Jonathan Leeman | 10.27.2017

— Is preaching required in missionary contexts, or do Bible studies suffice? — “Closed communion” seems exclusive and arrogant. Is it in the Bible?

Mailbag #65: Distinctly Calvinist Statement of Faith? . . . When An Elder Isn’t “Apt to Teach”

By Jonathan Leeman | 10.20.2017

— What should a church include in its Statement of Faith? For example, should a SoF be explicitly Calvinistic? — How should a church handle a situation when it’s been determined an elder isn’t “apt to teach”?

Mailbag #64: How to Honor Exasperating Parents; Responding to an Excommunicated Member

By Jonathan Leeman | 10.13.2017

— How should adult children respond to the unrealistic demands of their parents? — An excommunicated member continues to come and participate in the Lord’s Supper. What should we do?

Mailbag #63: How to Love Wayward Children; Is Plural Eldership Required or Encouraged?

By Jonathan Leeman | 10.06.2017

— How should we treat our 18-year-old daughter’s relationship with her girlfriend? How do we love them without condoning their sin? — Should all churches have a plurality of elders, or are there some churches that simply cannot have a plurality of elders?

Mailbag #62: How to Encourage Attendance at Members’ Meetings; The Relationship between Baptism & Church Membership

By Jonathan Leeman | 05.19.2017

— Could you provide some wisdom for how to handle situations where members are consistently neglectful of attending members’ meetings? — I understand that baptism should precede church membership. But must membership always follow baptism?

Mailbag #61: Does God Want Some Churches to Die; A Question about a Non-Intimate Marriage

By Jonathan Leeman | 05.05.2017

— Does God want some churches to die, regardless of how faithful the leaders are? — How would you counsel a couple where the husband views pornography because the wife has no interest in sexual relations, but is still upset by his actions?

Mailbag #60: How to Divide the Text; Making Sunday Accessible for Non-Believers

By Jonathan Leeman | 04.21.2017

— Do you have any tips on how quickly or slowly pastors should preach through books? — Should Sunday mornings primarily aim for edifying believers or evangelizing non-believers?