Polity

You Can’t Plant a Church If You Don’t Know What a Church Is

By Nathan Knight | 9Marks Journal: Church Mergers and Plants | 06.19.2017

Ecclesiology can’t be assumed nor should it be considered a distraction to the church planter’s “mission.”

Persecution and the Wisdom of Church Polity

By Caleb Greggsen | 06.07.2017

Only a church in relative safety and comfort has the time to talk about polity. Right?

Mailbag 52: Nominating Other Elders When I’m the Only One; American Flags on the Stage

By Jonathan Leeman | 02.17.2017

— How does nominating new elders work when I’m the only elder? — Does having an American flag on stage obscure the message of the gospel?

Mark Dever Interviews Jonathan Leeman about “Don’t Fire Your Church Members”

By J. Leeman, M. Dever | 02.07.2017

Would you believe it if someone told you church structure actually plays a crucial role in your individual discipleship?

On the Authority of a Sending Church

By Ken Caruthers | 9Marks Journal: Authority: God's Good and Dangerous Gift | 09.30.2016

Let’s ensure that missionaries who leave quickly fall under the authority of a Christ-governed healthy church wherever they are.

The Nature of Church Authority

By Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Authority: God's Good and Dangerous Gift | 09.30.2016

Church authority is how a group of individual Christians speaks in unison to the nations, “Here we are, a new nation and race. We represent Jesus and we have good news for you!”

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?

Your Constitution Is a Theological Document

By Greg Gilbert | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.29.2016

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.

7 Tips for Writing (Or Revising) Your Church Constitution

By A. Nichols, M. Schmucker | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.29.2016

Writing (or revising) your constitution is not really lawyer’s work, and it need not be drudgery. In fact, it can and should be invigorating.

Not Them! Who You Don’t Want to Revise Your Documents

By Mike McKinley | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.29.2016

Here are the five kinds of people that you might be tempted to put on your document revision committee, but should avoid if at all possible.

Does Anyone Know Robert? Rules of Order in Church Members’ Meetings

By Bob Johnson | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.29.2016

Rules of order help to ensure that members’ meetings flow smoothly. As formal as they might feel, in a church of any size, they help to prevent fights, and facilitate unity.

20 Quotes from Jonathan Leeman’s New Book on Elder-Led Congregationalism

By Matt Smethurst | 03.28.2016

Here are 20 quotes from Jonathan Leeman’s new book, Understanding the Congregation’s Authority.

Why I Love My Book of Church Order

By Guy Prentiss Waters | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.21.2016

Saying that you love a polity manual like the Book of Church Order is like saying you love your slide rule or your calculator. But in this case, it’s true.

Confessions: Thick or Thin?

By Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.16.2016

A good confession of faith builds a protective doctrinal house around a precious center: the gospel.

Which Church Documents? And Why?

By Aaron Menikoff | 9Marks Journal: Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church | 03.04.2016

As unglamorous as church documents may be, they are a crucial component of a pastor’s toolbox.