Polity

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.

Mailbag #32: Politics and the Church; What to Do When Elders Disagree on Principle; What Book Should a New Pastor Preach?

By Jonathan Leeman | 03.03.2016

—Is there a place for politics in the church? —What do you do when elders disagree, not on a matter of preference but biblical principle? —What books of the Bible should a new pastor preach?

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 #29: On “Thin” and “Thick” Statements of Faith; Relationship between Lord’s Supper and Membership; Small Group Leaders Who Aren’t Church Members

By Jonathan Leeman | 02.09.2016

— Are there certain doctrinal difference for which you would not allow someone to join your church? — Should those who refuse to join a church refrain from taking the Lord’s Supper? — We’re starting a small group ministry at our church, but one of the leaders refuses to join our church. Should this small group be connected to our church?

Baptism Is A Church’s Act

By Bobby Jamieson | 01.19.2016

People today tend to think that baptism is a symbol that people can simply choose to place upon themselves. Is that the biblical picture?

Jesus’ Discipleship Program for Your Church

By Jonathan Leeman | 01.15.2016

When Jesus and the apostles talked about church government, it wasn’t just a discussion of bureaucratic decision-making. It was most fundamentally and importantly a matter of discipleship!

Mailbag #26: Discipling the Arrogant; Hiring a Pastor Who Isn’t Convinced on His View of Baptism; Must Only Elders Baptize?

By Jonathan Leeman | 01.11.2016

— How should you disciple someone who seems puffed up and arrogant in their perception of the Scriptures and their interpretations? — Must a pastoral candidate be fully convinced on their view of baptism, even if they are willing to submit to the prospective church’s teaching? — What restrictions, if any, should be placed on who can administer the ordinance of baptism, provided the baptism is under the authority of a local church?

Mailbag #19: Baptismal Regeneration; What Makes a Legitimate Baptism; Relationship Between Baptism and Membership; Relating to a Registered Sex Offender

By Jonathan Leeman | 11.06.2015

— What do you know about the Restoration Movement and their teaching on baptism? — When affirming someone’s baptism, what legitimizing factors do you look for in the baptizing church? — Is it wise to baptize someone without bringing them into church membership? — A registered sex offender wants to join our church. How should we respond?

An Anglican, Baptist, and Presbyterian Review Going Public

By B. Jamieson, C. Van Dixhoorn, S. Norman, T. Payne | 11.04.2015

Editor’s note: In July, we released a book called Going Public: Why Baptism Is Required for Church Membership by Bobby Jamieson. We asked three pastor-theologians to review the book, each of them from different denominational traditions: Anglican, Presbyterian, and Baptist. We then asked Bobby to write a response to each review. You will find the three reviews and Bobby’s […]

Mailbag #15: Officiating Non-Christian Weddings; Meaningful Membership before Establishing Elders; Excommunicate for Not Giving Money; Transfer Membership

By Jonathan Leeman | 09.09.2015

—Are pastors free to officiate a non-Christian wedding? —What should come first: meaningful membership or a plurality of elders? —Shouldn’t a refusal to give to your church result in excommunication? —Should a church accept transfer memberships from other churches at face value?

Congregationalism Doesn’t Stop at 8 p.m.

By C. Greggsen, S. Emadi | 08.26.2015

When you reduce congregationalism down to just members’ meetings, you deprive yourself of much of the blessing the Lord intends to grant his church through good polity.

Mailbag #13: Baptism before Communion; Moderating Members’ Meetings; Cooperating with Other Churches in Church Discipline; How to Transition to Elders and Deacons

By Jonathan Leeman | 08.24.2015

—Is the Lord’s Supper only for those who have been baptized? —Who should moderate members’ meetings? —What do you do when someone wants to join your church, but they’ve been disciplined by another church? —How does a church transition to elders and deacons?