But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

9Marks - Apologetic Report

Audio description: At the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention, Mark Dever interviewed Danny Akin, Al Mohler, and H. B. Charles about the state of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Audio description: At the 2017 SBC, Jonathan Leeman interviewed Russell Moore, Mark Dever, and Philip...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 10:20

Episode 19: Church Mergers and Plants

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We just released a Journal on church planting and church mergers. Because neither Mark nor Jonathan wrote an article for it, we devoted this episode of Pastors’ Talk to the topic.

Also: this will be our last Pastors’ Talk until September, though we’ll be...

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When I was first assessed as a church planter I remember people often asked me if I thought of myself as an entrepreneurial type. I believe it was a fair question.

It was fair in part because of my background. Imagine the question asked with eyebrows raised: you think you’re an entrepreneur?...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 10:10

The Loneliness of Church Planting

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For the last decade or so, there’s been a deepened interest in urban church planting. Young guys move into big cities with visions of planting “a church for the city.” They want to live in the neighborhoods that many evangelical churches attempted to escape in previous decades.

In...

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I pastor an ordinary church in an extraordinary part of the world. My city, Ras Al Khaimah, is in the United Arab Emirates. It’s extraordinary because it’s situated near the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, and five years ago the ruling Sheikh granted land for an evangelical church...

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How do you do ministry when you don’t have any money? How do you serve the Lord as a church planter while broke? After 30 years of experience, I assure you I have expertise. But wisdom comes from Scripture:

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 10:05

Church Planting in the Same Building

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On Sunday morning, as I sit in my office to prepare for worship, I can hear the muffled sounds of singing and preaching coming from the main hall in our building. Pre-school aged children are playing in the classroom next to my office. The aroma of brewed coffee comes from the kitchen. Communion...

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Editor’s note: At 9Marks, we’ve long appreciated those with whom we have the most important things in common, yet disagree with us constructively (Prov. 27:6). This article by Ed Stetzer is an example of putting that appreciation into practice. We hope you’ll benefit from him,...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 10:01

Church Planting across Ethnic Lines

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Nine years ago, my wife and I (both of us white) moved into a neighborhood where we were an ethnic minority. We wanted to plant a church. Over the years, our idealism has been crushed, we’ve hit rock bottom, experienced a rebirth of vision, and have slowly made progress. God has been...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 10:00

How to Merge Two Church Cultures

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A church merger brings together two groups that will inevitably have two different and pronounced cultures. The goal and the challenge in merging churches is to lead these two cultures to become one. In revitalization work, you’re seeking to change a culture. In church planting, you’re...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 10:00

Anatomy of a Church Merger

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Once upon a time there was a young, vibrant church in Louisville with sound doctrine, superb teaching, and warm fellowship—it was Trinity Baptist Church, pastored by Tom Schreiner, Shawn Wright, and others.

A great church—but they had no building and weren’t as rooted in the...

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“If you had to do it all over again, would you still do it?”

That sounds like a question you might ask someone who’s just been convicted of a crime, and it’s one I was asked just this morning. My crime? Sending off 37 of our best members, along with two of our best elders, to...

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If you pay any attention to the land of church planting, you’ll quickly begin to wonder if business mogul Jim Collins has taken control of its command center. Phrases like “customer-to-owner,” “church launch,” “preview services,” and...

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Jason Crandall, Proliferate: A Church Planting Strategy for Everyday Churches. Lucid Books, 2017. 120 pps, $11.99.

 

Jason Crandall is a nobody, and he wants you and me to know that nobodies play an important role in the expansion of God’s kingdom through the proliferation of local...

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Act One: A Nearby SBC Baptist Church

Sometimes I take walks with people instead of meeting them for lunch or at the office. I guess Steve Jobs biography inspired me. He closed some of Apple’s biggest deals walking barefoot around Palo Alto with billionaire executives.

One day, I was walking...

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A merger between churches is like a marriage between people. Two independent entities come together under a unifying covenant and witnesses. Though the union is ultimately spiritual, there are still legal issues that have to be settled before the two become one in the eyes of the state. This...

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Recently, Jonathan Leeman sat down with three groups of pastors to talk to them about their experience with church mergers—whether they failed or succeeded. We hope you’ll learn from them.

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Authors: Daniel Gardner...

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I once asked a long-time pastor: “What’s one piece of advice you would give a first-time pastor about to plant a church?”

His answer? “Before you do anything else, make sure your people know you love them.”

WHAT LOVE IS NOT

Sometimes in order to understand what loving our...

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About a week ago I was meeting with a member who desired to be married. I asked him about his “list,” that spreadsheet of “non-negotiables” he values in any woman who would be his spouse. And without missing a beat he somewhat playfully retorted, “I really only have...

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Aubrey Malphus, Planting Growing Churches For The 21stCentury. Baker, 2004. 432 pps, $30.00.

 

In 1964, Bob Dylan released the now-famous track “The Times They Are A-Changin.’” The song captured the revolutionary zeitgeist of 60s, and served as a warning shot to the...

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No two church planting wives are the same. Our unique church contexts, seasons, personalities, challenges, gifts, perspectives, and preferences could fill volumes.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT

If you sat down for chai with Ananya in Ahmedabad and asked her to discuss the blessings and burdens of being a...

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Most pastors I know start a church plant with a deep desire to do evangelism. In one sense, what else would you do? Hardly any new pastor sets out to start a church by “sheep stealing.” They want a vibrant, cross-focused, Jesus-centered church that hums with gospel witness and is filled...

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In September we did something crazy: we planted a church on the other side of our city.

Or maybe that doesn’t sound crazy. But hold on. We planted by literally dividing our church in half, and we did this as a relatively small and young church.

We didn’t grow to 800 and send out 30. Our...

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When I set out with my family to plant a church in Providence, Rhode Island writing on this topic of church planting failures never once crossed my mind. Instead, we’d envisioned reseeding Rhode Island and southern New England with gospel-driven churches—a line that still rings in my...

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About three weeks into my work as the leader of a church plant/revitalization, I was able to put words to something that had been bugging me. Our group of 15 was made up of some who’d come with me in order to help with the work and others we’d “inherited” from the existing...

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