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

Picking the right spouse is just the warm-up for the real challenge of marriage. The hard part is sticking with our spouse and being faithful to covenantal vows. Even when our spouses change and we do too. Even when it’s arduous and inconvenient. Even when we get bored and more attractive...

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It’s tempting to think, “If I were just a little smarter or a little more articulate or a little funnier, then my church would be a little bit better and grow a little bit faster.”

But it’s important for pastors to remember that ultimately God is at the work of building his...

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 14:08

Five Lessons after 30 Years of Pastoring in Zambia

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Goats eating grass on hillsides are a familiar sight here in Africa. The goats concentrate on one blade of grass at a time and are never conscious of how far they wander when the sun sets. That has been my experience as pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church. I have never been conscious of the years...

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Whether a young man desires to be a pastor or not, he should pursue the qualifications listed for pastors in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 because they describe lives that honor God and bring him glory.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Thursday, 14 September 2017 22:41

Don’t Speak Up: On the Spiritual Discipline of Silence

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One of the main things I do as a pastor is to encourage church members to speak. I want them to speak about the gospel to non-Christians. I want them to speak words of encouragement and correction to their fellow church members. Evangelism, discipling, and preaching—three of the nine...

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The main thing I wish American Christians understood about African Christianity is that there’s no such thing as “African Christianity.”

— Ken Mbugua, Pastor in Nairobi

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 22:43

A Conversation about Missions with Andy Johnson

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Our editorial manager Alex Duke sat down with Andy Johnson to talk about his new book Missions and the importance of being intentional in our missionary endeavors.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 00:00

How do you contextualize?

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In missions today, some people’s attempts to contextualize the gospel have had horrible effects. Mack Stiles, a pastor in the Middle East, offers wisdom on contextualization.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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What you believe about God will be determined by what you believe about his Word. The latter belief can’t help but dictate both the content and confidence in your belief about who God is and what he wills. This includes what he wills about church government. For a sobering case study of the...

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 23:06

Rely on God’s Word, Not on Techniques

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The powerful Word of God has been building Christ’s kingdom since the beginning of redemptive history. It has never been defeated, and it never will be. Satan has been opposing God’s Word since he slithered up to Eve in the Garden of Eden and questioned God’s authority, recruiting...

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:53

How should a worship service be ordered?

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Preach the Bible, read the Bible, pray the Bible, sing the Bible, and see the Bible. This is what we should do in our worship gatherings.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Almost everyone knows the story of Adoniram Judson. But among the most God-honoring and baffling parts of his story is what happened on his way to the mission field: he broke his ties with the Congregationalist Church because he changed his convictions on baptism. His friend and fellow laborer,...

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Biblically speaking, most ministry is free.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Justo Gonzalez, A Brief History of Sunday: From the New Testament to the New Creation. Eerdmans, 2017. 176 pp, $16.00.

 

When I first saw the title of this book, I almost drooled. Theologically, the relationship between Sabbath and Lord’s Day can feel complex—and practically,...

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Pastors, make sure the Word is driving you to the pulpit—rather than the pulpit driving you to the Word. Foster a Christ-centeredness in your own heart so that after you preach, people will say “Wow, what a great Savior!” and not “Wow, what a great sermon!”

—Brad...

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Baptism implies the local church gathering. It’s an act in which both the church *and* the new believer participate.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Sunday, 27 August 2017 14:00

Book Review: The Art of Turning, by Kevin DeYoung

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Kevin DeYoung, The Art of Turning: From Sin to Christ for a Joyfully Clear Conscience. 10 Publishing, 2017. 42 pps, $4.29.

 

Most people assume they know what the word “conscience” means, even if they don’t know how to spell it. But in 2016, when Republican senator Ted...

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Friday, 25 August 2017 00:11

The Difference Between a Planter Revitalizer

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God calls all of us to impossible things. So if he calls you to something, he’ll equip you with exactly what you need to do it.

— Garrett Kell, Pastor of Del Ray Baptist Church

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Thursday, 24 August 2017 13:00

4 Lies that Cause Pastors to Neglect their Families

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The walls of our church’s nursery needed painting. So there I was, on my regular day off with a brush in my hand. A country song I’d never heard before—“The Dollar,” by Jamey Johnson—filled the room as I splashed the first coat of something called Polar Bear over...

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Monday, 21 August 2017 23:03

How Quickly Should A Pastor Change Things?

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Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Editor’s note: We talk about corporate prayer a lot at 9Marks (we’ve devoted a Journal and an episode of Pastors’ Talk to the topic). So we thought it would be worthwhile to share an example. Below is the prayer of confession given yesterday at Capitol Hill Baptist...

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Bill Hull, Conversion & Discipleship: You Can’t Have One without the Other. Zondervan, 256 pp. $18.99.

 

You’ve probably heard advice on how to get the most out of a book—survey section headings, read the first and last paragraphs of each chapter, and the first and...

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If Africa were filled with healthy churches, the prosperity gospel would not be wrecking us the way that it is now. —Ken Mbugua, Pastor in Kenya

Authors: Daniel Gardner

 

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 05:59

What are the greatest needs in missions today?

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Authors: Daniel Gardner

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This past January, with the temperature so cold my van’s windows could barely defrost, I dropped off six men at McDonald’s so they could spend the day there, protected from the frigid cold.

No matter where you live, there are men and women longing to set their head on a bed they can call...

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