9Marks Mailbag

Mailbag #84: I Live too Far from A Healthy Church. What Should I Do? . . . Among Baptists, What’s the History of a Plurality of Elders?

By S. Emadi, S. DeMars | 05.31.2019

— I live in an extremely rural area where we have many churches but none that are healthy. What should I do? — Many Baptist churches now have multiple elders. I understand the biblical case for this, but what’s the history of a plurality of elders among Baptists?

Mailbag #83: Protecting the Sunday Gathering by Limiting Reasons to Be Out of Room . . . Caring for Over-Worked Children’s Ministry Workers

By D. Russell, J. Leeman | 05.13.2019

— To what extent should the church protect the Sunday morning gathering by limiting reasons for members to be “at church” but out of the room? — What do you do to care for the spiritual health of your children’s ministry leaders?

Mailbag #82: How to Confront Those Who Rarely Attend Church . . . How Does 1 Timothy 5:17’s “Double Honor” Apply to Non-Staff Elders?

By A. Duty, J. Rinne | 04.26.2019

— How should pastors confront members or regular attenders who are mere consumers or whose attendance is inconsistent? — How do you apply 1 Timothy 5:17’s “double honor” to non-paid elders? Is it even right to use this passage when determining paid elder compensation?

Mailbag #81: Helping a Church Grow in Discipling . . . How to Receive Members Who Left a Former Church Poorly.

By B. Johnson, J. de Koning | 04.19.2019

— How can I help my church grow in discipling? — Receiving members who left their former church on bad terms.

Mailbag #80: Should Pastors Discuss Past Sins? . . . Should Believers Ever Abstain from Communion? . . . Conducting Membership Interviews for Single Women

By D. King, J. Joseph, M. McKinley | 04.12.2019

— How much should a pastor share about past sins? — When should believer’s abstain from the Lord’s Supper? — Should women do membership interviews for single women?

Mailbag #79: How Should Vocational Pastors Approach Their Own Giving to the Church? . . . How Do Deacons Relate to Elders?

By J. Dunlop, J. de Koning | 03.29.2019

— Should vocational ministers tithe? Should a church then count on 10% of that staff member’s salary toward the budget? — Are deacons there just to “do what they’re told” by the elders? Should deacons be used as a means to develop future elders?

Mailbag #78: Can a Church Require Too Many Meetings? . . . Should the Church be Involved in a Pastor’s Decision to Leave? . . . Reformed Theology in the Church’s Teaching Ministry

By C. Humfrey, M. Livingston, S. Emadi | 03.22.2019

Can a church require too many services? How can pastors shepherd their flock while transitioning out? How should pastors teach about Reformed theology?

Mailbag #77: How Much Agreement with a Statement of Faith Should Be Required for Membership?

By Brad Wheeler | 03.08.2019

A man who was baptized as a believer wants to join our credobaptist church, though he is paedobaptistic and cannot affirm the church’s statement of faith on believer’s baptism. Should the elders of the church recommend this man to the church for membership?

Mailbag #76: The Role of Matthew 18’s “One or Two Witnesses” . . . Must Christians Go to Church Every Sunday? . . . How to Care for an Unwed & Pregnant Member

By B. Johnson, J. Kurz, P. Martin | 03.01.2019

Three pastors answer one question each about church discipline, church attendance, and caring for a church member who is unwed and pregnant.

Mailbag #75: Does a Wife’s Alcoholism Disqualify a Deacon? . . . Should the Qualifications of a “Youth Pastor” Be Different? . . . Responding When We Feel “Pressured” to Join a Church

By A. Menikoff, A. Duty, P. Tibayan | 02.22.2019

Does a Wife’s Alcoholism Disqualify a Deacon? . . . Should the Qualifications of a “Youth Pastor” Be Different? . . . Responding When We Feel “Pressured” to Join a Church

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?