Why Our Church Moved from Elder-Rule Polity to Elder-Led Congregationalism

By Blake White | 08.23.2022

Our church recently transitioned from an “elder-rule” model of church government to “elder-led congregationalism.” As I have talked with pastor friends from various streams, many are stumped as to why we would do that.

How Harry Emerson Fosdick’s ‘Open Membership’ Overtook the Northern Baptist Convention

By Caleb Morell | 08.01.2022

For conservatives, baptism was not a subjective reality to be left to the conscience of every church and every individual, but an actual command of Christ that they had no liberty to disobey. If Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize only believers by immersion, what authority did they have to edit Jesus? 

Jesus is Not Ashamed of Subjects of Church Discipline

By Erik Raymond | 07.25.2022

Jesus instituted church discipline both to maintain the holiness of the church and to remind his people that he forgives them as they repent of their sins and submit to his lordship. 

The Revival We Need and the Unregenerate Church Members We Have

By Jim Elliff | 9Marks Journal: Pursuing Revival While Avoiding Revivalism | 06.14.2022

To illustrate our problem, in 2018, one beloved historic Southern Baptist Church whose name most Baptists would recognize claimed 30,000 members and an average of 6,801 attending.

Four Ways to Love Your Lay Elders

By Taylor Cain | 06.01.2022

Here are four ways to care for lay pastors who go the extra mile for their flocks.

Why Is It Essential for Missionaries to Join a Church Where They Live?

By Scott Logsdon | 05.16.2022

Church membership is not only good for missionaries, it’s also good for mission. Missionaries are often portrayed as spiritual giants, but they need church care at least as much as any Christian.

How Should Missionaries Relate to Local Churches Overseas?

By Matt Rhodes | 05.04.2022

Low ecclesiology can cause confusion about missionaries’ involvement in local churches where they serve. Should we attend? Should we be members? For many missionaries, the practical answers are “no” and “no.” 

Why Your Local Church’s History Should Matter to Your Church Members

By Forrest Strickland | 04.25.2022

Your local church’s history is integral to your members caring for one another, for at least three reasons.

“You’ve Got Self:” How the Internet Cultivates Expressive Individualism in All of Us

By Samuel D. James | 9Marks Journal: Expressive Individualism in the Church | 03.18.2022

The liturgies of assembled, embodied, gospel worship point us toward one set of beliefs and values, while the liturgies of Internet membership point us toward a different set.

Church Discipline and Expressive Individualism

By Jonathan Parnell | 9Marks Journal: Expressive Individualism in the Church | 03.18.2022

What happens when a member’s “inward quest for personal psychological happiness” contradicts the teaching of Scripture? Who decides whether that’s true?

Three Encouragements for Pastors Pursuing Wandering Sheep

By Nick Gardner | 03.08.2022

What should a pastor do when faced with wandering sheep, those who have left the safe pastures of the local church and found themselves in dangerous territory away from the herd?

Do Churches Really Discipline for Non-Attendance? A Brief History of Four Baptist Churches

By Caleb Morell | 01.21.2022

Baptists disciplined for non-attendance because they believed attendance was part of the covenant obligations of church membership. Here’s a brief history.

“A Hedging and Fencing”: How Charles Spurgeon Promoted Meaningful Membership

By Geoff Chang | 01.11.2022

This work of “hedging and fencing” is what keeps the church distinct from the world. And as the pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Spurgeon saw it was one of his chief duties.

Editor’s Note: Defending Sound Doctrine Against the Deconstruction of American Evangelicalism

By Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Sound Doctrine: The Foundation for Faithful Ministry | 11.16.2021

Jonathan Leeman reflects on the recent and popular project of “deconstructing” evangelicalism.

What the Work of Christ Means for Your Church Membership Directory

By Sam Emadi | 9Marks Journal: Sound Doctrine: The Foundation for Faithful Ministry | 11.16.2021

Your membership directory is more than a list of addresses and phone numbers. Each picture should represent Christ’s work, his priestly service of purification and redemption.