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Report from Pastoral Meeting - 9 Marks Weekender Print E-mail

I.  What is a 9Marks Weekender?

 A Weekender is a chance for pastors and ministers to come and spend a weekend with the elders of Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC).  9Marks began as an outflow of pastor Mark Dever’s book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.  The goal of the ministry is to encourage others in their labor to build healthy churches that embrace the nine marks outlined in the book.  In order to accomplish this goal, they invite ministers to come and observe how CHBC is laboring to incorporate the marks in their Church.  It is a chance to see the principles in practice.

II.  Why did I go to the Weekender?

 Since I agree with the nine marks and want our Church to be as healthy as we can be, I went to the Weekender to learn from the practical example of CHBC.  Glenna and I were invited by some members of the Church (Chad and Allison Morgan) to stay with them, which paved the way for us to be able to go together.  While I was busy at the Church, Glenna was able to visit with Allison (and Isaiah got to play with their son Isaac).  In God’s providence, we will be turning next Sunday night to a discussion of how to apply the biblical principles of the office of elder here at our Church.  I spent most of the Weekender considering these issues.

III.  What did I learn at the Weekender?

 A.  I learned that I am thankful for our Church and where the Lord has us.  In talking with other pastors, I was once again reminded of how thankful and grateful I am to be here.  I believe that you are committed to being a healthy Church and I am blessed by that commitment as your pastor.  Sometimes it’s good to get away to remind yourself just how blessed you are.

 B.  I learned some practical things that we could do to be faithful at oversight.  I was amazed at how much they used their ‘Membership Directory.’  They updated it monthly (or more) and made it available to all members.  They encouraged the membership to pray for a page per day and use it in building relationships.  Likewise, the elders used it in the elders’ meeting on Thursday night to aid them in overseeing the flock by considering a certain section of it to discuss.  They maintained a private/public care list that involved any member who was in need of special attention.  A person in need was first placed on the private list (for elders) and only if needed was placed on the public list (congregation).  They considered/updated these lists on a regular basis (weekly I think).  One other practical thing that they did was assign each Deacon a particular task (like the task of food distribution in Acts 6).  It was interesting to see what this looked like.  It is not the only approach to Deacon ministry, but it was one that I had not seen before.  It was also helpful to see how the elders were involved in different parts of the services.  They were involved in planning and reviewing the Sunday morning services.  They were involved with the Sunday night members’ meeting (like our business meeting).  They were involved with the teaching ministries in the services (although not exclusively).  Finally, the most important practical lesson that I learned was the importance of being intentional and deliberate.  They are a large Church (760 members), so the elders could not afford to waste time in the elders’ meeting or in the members’ meeting.  You could tell that they had spent time on figuring out how to be efficient in their ministries.  This was extremely helpful.

IV.  Conclusion:

 I just want to take this time to publicly thank the Church for allowing me the time off and the compensation to go on trips like these.  I pray that they will serve us here well.  Amen.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 April 2010 )

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