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

Apologetic Report - 9Marks

 Recently, a young, single man who was beginning his first pastoral position contacted me. He wanted to know my thoughts on how an unmarried pastor could build a constructive counseling ministry in the context of a local church.

I don’t consider myself to be an expert on this topic, but...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 13:00

Episode 6: On Pastoring Singles

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We just released a Journal with close to 20 articles on Pastoring Singles. Because the Journal was Mark’s idea in the first place, Jonathan sat down with him to ask questions on the topic. (Listen here on iTunes.)

SHOW NOTES:

– Why a Journal on singles? (0:40)

– What are...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:40

Did Paul Prefer Singleness?

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The difference between Roman Catholics and Protestants, at least in the United States, is quite remarkable. In Roman Catholicism, one can’t be a priest unless one is single, but in Protestantism (at least in most circles in the United States), it is difficult to become the preaching pastor,...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:09

How Did Paul Pastor Singles?

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It may come as a surprise that Paul actually has a lot to say about Christians who are unmarried and how they should view their unmarried life. Paul zeroes in on the topic in 1 Corinthians 7 in answer to some questions the Corinthian Christians had written him on marriage, singleness, and divorce....

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:08

Pastoring Discontented Singles

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Let’s attempt an experiment in discourse, shall we? You may recognize a few of the following statements from the chatter of your own social circles.

“Isn’t she just the sweetest thing? How on earth is she still single?”

“He’s single, but he still has great...

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I meet regularly with an unmarried Christian man (let’s call him Martin) in his mid-forties who was for years a full-time drug addict, with its attendant life of theft, unhealthiness, and untrustworthiness. Since he came to Christ, he’s undergone a gospel-driven metamorphosis, and...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:06

9 Ways to Pastor Those Longing for Marriage

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Shepherding single Christians who desire marriage and battle discontentment is not always easy, but it is a privilege. And it is a stewardship entrusted to every pastor.

Here are nine things to teach and emphasize to discontented singles in your church.

1. “Contentment is demanded of all...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:05

7 Dos and Don’ts of Discipling Singles

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“The assumptions are really what kill. It’s almost always assumed singles are either dying of loneliness or burning with lust.”

Nodding, eager to hear more, I thought back on similar accounts from singles in different churches. By trying to listen and learn from...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:04

Diagnostic Questions for Ministering to Singles

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In my present station in life, I have the joy of ministering among women of various life-stages, circumstances, cultures, and geographical locations. Because I’m single, many of these women ask me questions publicly and privately about singleness and ministry among single people. I’m...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:04

Singleness in Modern Culture

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Of all the many cultural shifts the church did not see coming down the pike—and possibly at the top of the list—may be the growth of singleness. Many churches and Christians handle singleness with grace. Others don’t. Nod along if any of these land:

Well-meaning older women asking...

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Our church has roughly 1,000 members. Many of those members are single. Most of them, by God’s grace, feel loved and connected to various families in the body. I think of one sister in particular who has a standing dinner with the same family every Wednesday night.

How do you think the...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:02

Redefining Intimacy

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I once googled the word intimacy and found the images to be 99 percent sexual. In our Western world today, intimacy equals sex. Want to experience intimacy? You need to have sex. The two are nearly always inseparable in our minds.

We illustrate this in our instinctive interpretation of just one...

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Editor’s note: The following is an email conversation between Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield, and Christopher Yuan questions on same-sex attraction, singleness, and the church.
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1) Suppose you have two single individuals, and one of them is single because he or she experiences...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:02

Using the Holidays to Host Singles

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I love the happy and chaotic noise of my three children staging a morning “wake up attack” as they leap onto a sleeping adult to awaken them with pillow-blows, giggles, and tickles. I especially love the sound early on a holiday morning, coming from down the hall out of our guestroom...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:01

Can a Single Person Fully Image God?

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My short answer is, yes. However, the explanation as to why this is so requires a whole-Bible answer since on the surface, the answer seems to be no. This is especially the case if you limit your discussion to the creation story and the OT covenants. For example, think about what Genesis 1–2...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:00

Reforming College Dating through Discipleship

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During my freshman year at Texas A&M, I began following Jesus. I had been girl-crazy since the second grade, so I was eager to understand how a Christian should think about and pursue dating relationships. 

While some of my peers encouraged me through their counsel or their example, most...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:00

Can Single Men Serve as Elders?

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One of the most significant early steps we made in the journey of church revitalization at First Baptist Church in Durham was filtering deacon candidates according to biblical qualifications. At that time, FBC’s polity consisted of a single elder, a “board” of deacons, a slew of...

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Saturday, 18 March 2017 10:10

Sermon: A Biblical Theology of Singleness

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Charles Hedman, a pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, preached a sermon on a biblical theology of singleness. You can listen to that sermon here.

Authors: Alex Duke...

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Saturday, 18 March 2017 10:01

Sunday School Curriculum: Singleness and Courtship

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Capitol Hill Baptist Church offers a 13-week Sunday School course on singleness and courtship for free on its website. You can find all the manuscripts here.

Authors: Alex Duke...

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 23:33

Church Membership and Prescriptive Implication

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My name is Sean Demars, and I believe in church membership. The words “believe in” are kind of ambiguous, though, aren’t they? What exactly do I mean when I say that I “believe in church membership”?

Simply this: every Christian should be a member of a local church, and...

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Editor’s note: Jonathan Leeman sent the following three questions on the subject of authority to David Wells. Below are his answers.

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1) If someone sat down and read through some of your major books like No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland,Losing Our Virtue,Ab...

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We live in a politically contentious time, especially in light of last November’s election. In some ways, these recent developments have made pastoring people with different political persuasions more difficult.

To that end, Jonathan Leeman sat down with Mark Dever to chat about how to pastor...

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“It feels so right, so right. How can it be wrong?”

These words were written by Ben Weisman to be sung by Elvis Presley, but I’ve often heard a variation of them by unmarried Christians beginning to get romantically involved with a non-Christian.

This is then often backed up by a...

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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 22:13

Book Review: On Pastoring, by H. B. Charles

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H. B. Charles, On Pastoring: A Short Guide to Living, Leading, and Ministering. Moody Publishers, 2016.  208 pps, $12.99.

 

Have you ever wanted to sit down with a trusted pastor, ask lots of questions, and listen to the answers he’s gleaned over 25 years of pastoral ministry...

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Editor’s note: The following is a list questions the author uses during a weekly service review. Not every question is asked of every sermon, but it is along these lines critique is expected to be given.

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1. Critique of Doctrine

  • Was there something said or implied that is contrary to...

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