When Do You Practice Church Discipline? And How Do You Confront the Sin?

By Jonathan Leeman | 06.01.2016

What sins should result in public church discipline? And how should we confront brothers or sisters in sin?

Mailbag #38: How to Shepherd Every Member; Shepherding by the “Parish Model”; What’s the “Church” in Matthew 18?

By Jonathan Leeman | 05.20.2016

— How can the elders of a large church ensure every member is both known and cared for? — We’d like to divide our church members by families and individuals and then designate them to a particular elder. What do you think of this approach? — In Matthew 18, what does Jesus mean when he says “tell it to the church”?

Book Review: Why Bother with Church?, by Sam Allberry

Review by Casey Hough | 05.12.2016

I can hardly imagine a pastor or church member that would not benefit from reading this wonderful book.

Mailbag #37: Congregationalism in China; A Defense of Building Bigger Buildings; Notifying the Recently Disciplined; Supporting a Widow Who Has Left the Church

By Jonathan Leeman | 05.10.2016

— How can something like congregationalism work in China, with its networks of related house churches? — The leaders at my church want to build a bigger building, yet it seems to me a waste of money. What should I do? — After someone has been disciplined for non-attendance, should the church notify the person as a final act of congregational care? — Twenty years ago, our church made a commitment to financially support our former pastor’s widow. She has since refused to attend our church. What should I do?

Mailbag #36: When Nominating Elders May Cause Disunity; Your 9 Marks Aren’t Enough; A Difficult Pastoral Situation

By Jonathan Leeman | 05.02.2016

— Should I move forward with installing a plurality of elders, even if the decision causes disunity in the church? — I agree with your nine marks—but seriously, where are the marks of love and prayer and missions? — The grandmother of an unwed and pregnant teenager wants to have her granddaughter’s baby shower at the church. How should I think through this?

Church Discipline: A Difficult and Necessary Task

By J. Leeman, L. Duncan, M. Dever, M. McConnell | 04.25.2016

Practicing church discipline is difficult. Perhaps this is why many churches seem to have neglected it.

Mailbag #35: Excommunicating a Non-Christian; Elders for Church Plants; Membership Interview

By Jonathan Leeman | 04.22.2016

— A church member denies the faith; is the proper response excommunication? — In a church plant, how long you should wait to install the first elders? — What questions should you ask during a membership interview? And what should you do if something like a past divorce comes up?

A Sample Template for Conducting a Membership Interview

By 9Marks | 04.22.2016

Here’s a template to use for new member interviews.

Mailbag #34: How to Respond When a Pastor’s Wife Leaves; Pastoring Regular Attenders Who Refuse to Join; Help with Cleaning Up Our Church’s Past Mistakes

By Jonathan Leeman | 03.25.2016

—When a pastor’s wife leaves him, can he continue in that position? —How do you pastor a couple who enjoys regularly attending, but refuses to join? —How can I minister to a member of our church, who was hurt by our church 10 years ago and hasn’t been back?

On the Thorny Matter of Signatures and Assent

By Brad Wheeler | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.14.2016

Should we risk agitating people by asking them to formally sign something? And what if someone wants to join, but is unsure of a doctrinal matter? Is submission enough, or is agreement necessary?

Can I View My Small Group as My Church?

By Sam Allberry | 03.11.2016

Small groups can therefore be a terrific supplement to the gathered life of the church, but they should never be a replacement for it.

Mailbag #33: Job Conflicts with Church; Requiring More than One Gathering; Process for Members Who Leave on Good Terms

By Jonathan Leeman | 03.10.2016

What should we do when a job conflicts with church attendance? » Is a church over-reaching when it requires more than one gathering for membership? » What’s the process for when members move and leave on good terms? »

Church Planters, Don’t Wait To Put Your Documents in Place!

By Joel Kurz | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.01.2016

Our church waited three years to put our church documents in order, and we suffered for it.

Mailbag #31: Healthy Membership before Healthy Eldership; Difficult Shepherding Situation; Ordination; Tithing

By Jonathan Leeman | 02.25.2016

— Do we first educate our people about elders and deacons and then install them—or do we educate them about meaningful membership and then make meaningful membership part of how we operate? — One of our members refused to come to church because our building and people remind her of past pain. How can we shepherd her well? — What is the biblical view of ordination to the pastorate? — What is your view on tithing concerning New Testament believers?

Mailbag #30: Non-Members Serving in Church; A Prospective Elder Who Doesn’t Regularly Attend; The Problem with Contemporary Christian Music; How Younger Members Can Serve Older Ones

By Jonathan Leeman | 02.18.2016

— Is it wise to let non-members serve in behind-the-scenes ministries? What about children and teens who aren’t members but profess to be believers? — Should regular attendance be an implicit qualification for elders? — It appears my church enjoys shallow and theologically suspect songs. What should I do? — What are some ways that a younger church member can positively influence older members with regards to sound doctrine?