Church Membership

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Mailbag #48: How to Discuss Books as Elders; Advice for Husband & Wife Who Can’t Agree about Church

By Jonathan Leeman | 01.13.2017

— You’ve mentioned before the value of elders reading books together. What’s the best way to go about that? — Do you have any advice for a husband and wife who can’t agree on which church to go to?

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What Preachers Can Learn from George Whitefield’s First Sermon

By Thomas S. Kidd | 01.12.2017

In George Whitefield’s very first sermon, he exposed the spirit of nominal religion that was so debilitating to England, and to so much of America today.

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Mailbag #46: Tricky Membership Question about Immigration; Pastoring a Church with Lots of Divorcees

By Jonathan Leeman | 12.23.2016

— A woman who came to the United States under false pretenses wants to join our church. What should we do? — How should a pastor proceed when he inherits a church with several divorcees?

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Churches in Great Britain: Living with the Legacy

By Mike Gilbart-Smith | 9Marks Journal: Healthy Churches around the World | 12.12.2016

Conservative evangelical churches in Britain benefit from the legacy of faithful expositors of the Word. However, clarity on the centrality of the gospel is accompanied by confusion on the importance of secondary matters.

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Churches in China: Growing Healthier Under Threat

By Joshua Fang | 9Marks Journal: Healthy Churches around the World | 12.12.2016

For many churches in China the idea of being healthy is a luxury. Yet in recent years there is a growing trend of pursuing not only the survival, but the health of churches.

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Churches in India: A People “Formed for God”

By Aubrey Sequeira | 9Marks Journal: Healthy Churches around the World | 12.12.2016

As a result of a low view of preaching for many years, the health of churches in India has suffered. Yet through a growing number of faithful shepherds, faithful preaching, and your prayers, the Lord may bring to India the reformation its churches need.

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Churches in South Africa: Hoping in the Word, Not the World

By Gustav Pritchard | 9Marks Journal: Healthy Churches around the World | 12.12.2016

Despite unhelpful Western influences, over-spiritualized leadership, and even a struggling economy, the Lord is establishing his kingdom in South Africa through churches feasting on his Word.

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Churches in Spain: A Smoking Flax He Will Not Quench

By Andrew Birch | 9Marks Journal: Healthy Churches around the World | 12.12.2016

Though many of the churches in Spain often confuse or lose the gospel in their preaching, there is a small and growing network of churches who love gospel clarity and church health.

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Churches in the United Arab Emirates: Lights in the Desert

By J. Mack Stiles | 9Marks Journal: Healthy Churches around the World | 12.09.2016

Through the faithfulness of Christian doctors a generation ago, God gave churches favor in the eyes of the rulers of a nation in the heart of the Middle East. Through the recovery of one church, now many healthy churches are springing up in this desert country.

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Mailbag #43: Relationship to Excommunicated Members; Baptism & the Developmentally Disabled

By Jonathan Leeman | 12.02.2016

— How does your church care for an excommunicated member when they show up at church? — Can a person who wants to be a member of the church but is functionally at the level of a child be baptized?

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Preach About the Church to the Church

By Keith Collier | 11.16.2016

But despite the trend of growing expository preaching, what if a blind spot—a byproduct of 20th-century evangelicalism—exists in our preaching?

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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?

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Mailbag #40: Too High a Standard for Church Membership; Where Are Churches Commanded to Gather Weekly

By 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?

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25 Years Ago, “Nine Marks” Was Born

By Mark Dever | 10.28.2016

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.”

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Is There Such a Thing as Church Authority?

By Greg Gilbert | 9Marks Journal: Authority: God's Good and Dangerous Gift | 09.30.2016

Here are seven points regarding the keys of the kingdom, and how local churches exercise authority through their use.