Mailbag #41: When the Church Votes “No” on a Clear Discipline Case; The Biblical Case of “Lay Elders”By Jonathan Leeman | 11.11.2016
—What if the congregation votes “no” in a clear case of discipline? —Are “lay elders” a biblical category?
Mailbag #40: Too High a Standard for Church Membership; Where Are Churches Commanded to Gather WeeklyBy Jonathan Leeman | 11.04.2016
—You say the standard for church membership is nothing more than simply “being a Christian.” But that’s not entirely true, is it? —Where in Scripture are local churches commanded to gather every week?
On October 30, 1991—25 years ago this Sunday—Mark Dever wrote a letter to a church in Massachusetts. They needed a new pastor and wanted to know what they should be looking for. Mark responded with a list of nine must-haves—a list that has since become known as “nine marks of a healthy church.”
Here are seven points regarding the keys of the kingdom, and how local churches exercise authority through their use.
Leadership in the local church is established by God for the blessing of his people. However, for leadership to be effective, it needs to be encouraged and supported by the members of the church.
When I first began attending my church, I’d never given much thought to church membership. And if I’m honest, it all sounded a bit dull to me.
The church gives millennials the joys of intimate relationship and meaning, but not in ways most might naturally think.
Pastors must again meditate on Heb.13:17 and consider the seriousness of the accounting to God we are to give for those to whom we have given assurance of their salvation. Continued membership in our congregation is giving such assurance.
Periodically, pastors read The Compelling Community, and then ask us where to start in putting its ideas into practice. Here are three thoughts for your consideration.
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”?
I can hardly imagine a pastor or church member that would not benefit from reading this wonderful book.
Mailbag #36: When Nominating Elders May Cause Disunity; Your 9 Marks Aren’t Enough; A Difficult Pastoral SituationBy 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?
— 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?
Here’s a template to use for new member interviews.
A constitution is not just a technocratic document demanded by your state’s tax office, nor a necessary evil for avoiding conflict in a church. It’s a deeply theological and even spiritual document.