Episodes

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Clips

May 14, 2019
Episode 87: On Church Membership
In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan chats with Mark about our new Journal—Church Membership: Following the Lord Together.
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24 min
May 7, 2019
Episode 86: On What is the Gospel (with Greg Gilbert)
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29 min
April 30, 2019
Episode 85: On What Miserable Christians Sing (with Carl Trueman and Matt Merker)
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25 min
April 23, 2019
Episode 84: On Church Buildings
We know the church is comprised of the people, not the building. And yet, church buildings can be extremely valuable, useful, and vital for the health of long-term Christianity. In this conversation, Jonathan chats with Mark about these topics and more. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks BOOKSTORE: https://www.9marks.org/bookstore
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19 min
April 16, 2019
Episode 83: On Overcoming Fear in Personal Evangelism (with Isaac Adams)
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31 min
April 2, 2019
Episode 82: On How Your Budget is a Spiritual Issue (with Jamie Dunlop)
Jonathan talks to Jamie Dunlop about the new book, "Budgeting for a Healthy Church" now available in the 9Marks bookstore. Visit 9marks.org/bookstore for more. "If you want to see your church move toward health, the church budget has to move toward health." -- Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks BOOKSTORE: https://www.9marks.org/bookstore
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30 min
March 26, 2019
Episode 81: On the Christian Practice of Lament (with Mark Vroegop)
Lament is a "prayer in pain that leads to trust." Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks BOOKSTORE: https://www.9marks.org/bookstore
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29 min
March 19, 2019
Episode 80: On Planning your Preaching Schedule
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24 min
March 12, 2019
Episode 79: On Funerals
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21 min
March 5, 2019
Episode 78: On Pastoring Members in the Workplace (with Sebastian Traeger)
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26 min
February 26, 2019
Episode 77: On Living Close to your Church
When deciding where to live, Christians ought to consider normal factors: school district, safety, etc. But they should also consider—and perhaps even prioritize—how location affects their relationships at church. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks BOOKSTORE: https://www.9marks.org/bookstore
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23 min
February 19, 2019
Episode 76: On Pastoral Pay
The Great Commission has been fulfilled, at least in part, by local Christians setting aside money to pay someone to teach them God’s Word full-time when possible. Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman discuss the principle of churches paying their pastors. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks BOOKSTORE: https://www.9marks.org/bookstore
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25 min
February 12, 2019
Episode 75: On Church Planting (with Brian Davis and Nathan Knight)
What’s the difference between a church plant and a church? Is it best to start a church with a team of pastors rather than a solo pastor? Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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30 min
February 5, 2019
Episode 74: On Ecclesiology for Calvinists (with Sam Emadi)
For this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan interviewed Mark Dever and Sam Emadi about our new Journal, Ecclesiology for Calvinists. Download the 9Marks Journal at http://9marks.org . Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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26 min
January 29, 2019
Episode 73: On The Lord's Supper (with Bobby Jamieson)
In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan asks Mark and Bobby a bunch of questions about the Lord’s Supper. What’s the most biblical position: open, close, or closed? Should the Supper be given at small groups and summer camps, weddings and nursing homes? How often—weekly, monthly, quarterly?
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29 min
January 22, 2019
Episode 72: On Baptism (with Bobby Jamieson)
Almost every Christian denomination and tradition practices baptism. In this episode of Pastors' Talk, Mark and Jonathan are joined by Bobby Jamieson to discuss practical questions about baptism and its connection to the local church. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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30 min
January 15, 2019
Episode 71: On Canceling Church
In this episode, Mark and Jonathan discuss the biblical and theological principles for why Christians gather on Sundays, and why, generally speaking, those principles make canceling any Sunday gathering an unusual choice.
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23 min
January 8, 2019
Episode 70: On Church Revitalization (with Aaron Menikoff & Andy Davis)
What do pastors in the throes of church revitalization need to know? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan interviews Mark and two other pastors who went through a revitalization, Andy Davis and Aaron Menikoff. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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28 min
December 18, 2018
Episode 69: On Pastoral Calling (with Brad Wheeler)
How does a man discern whether he ought to pursue pastoral ministry? What if he's already in a successful career? In this episode of Pastors' Talk, Mark and Jonathan chat with Brad Wheeler about how the Lord led him away from a career in finance to pastoral ministry. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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25 min
December 11, 2018
Episode 68: On Missionaries and Churches (with Andy Johnson and John Folmar)
In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan sits down with Mark, John Folmar, and Andy Johnson to talk about healthy churches and global missions. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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28 min
December 4, 2018
Episode 67: On Hospitality and the Gospel (with Kent & Rosaria Butterfield)
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56 min
November 27, 2018
Episode 66: On Contextualization (with John Folmar and Trip Lee)
What’s the goal in contextualization? How do we know if we’ve gone too far, or not far enough?
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35 min
November 20, 2018
Episode 65: On Jonathan's New Book, The Rule of Love
The Bible tells us that “God is love.” But what does that actually mean? And what does it have to do with our lives and the local church? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman chat about Jonathan’s new book, The Rule of Love.
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27 min
November 13, 2018
Episode 64: On Equipping the Church to Fight Pornography Together (with Deepak Reju)
It’s vital for individual Christians to pursue holiness. But how can church members work *together* in fighting against the sin of pornography?
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31 min
November 6, 2018
Episode 63: On The Pastor and Pornography
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30 min
October 30, 2018
Episode 62: On How to Prepare a Church to Practice Discipline
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22 min
October 23, 2018
Episode 61: On Shepherding during Disagreements
‪How should a pastor shepherd people through disagreement? How should he balance the tension between being a truth-teller and a peacemaker?‬ ‪Mark and Jonathan discuss. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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27 min
October 16, 2018
Episode 60: On Cultivating a Culture of Evangelism
Churches shouldn’t farm out personal evangelism to pastors, professionals, or programs. Instead, the goal for every church ought to be a culture of evangelism. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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19 min
October 9, 2018
Episode 59: On Teaching the Church about the Church
Pastors must teach their people about what a church is. If they don’t, then who will? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman talk about this often overlooked part of a pastor’s job description.
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21 min
October 2, 2018
Episode 58: On Members Meetings
Are members’ meetings in the Bible? How can a pastor cultivate a culture where people care about the business of their church? What tone should mark these kinds of meetings? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Mark and Jonathan discuss members meetings—what they are, where they are in the Bible, and how to make them of spiritual interest.
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23 min
September 25, 2018
Episode 57: On Prayer (with John Onwuchekwa)
In the season premiere of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan and Mark sit down with John Onwuchekwa to talk about his new 9Marks book Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church.
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29 min
July 17, 2018
Episode 56: On Pastoral Burnout
Mark and Jonathan discuss the subject of burnout, particularly how it happens and what church leaders can do to avoid it in the first place.
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29 min
June 5, 2018
Episode 55: On the Ministry of Good Christian Books
Good books help us follow Jesus. In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Mark and Jonathan discuss instrumental books in Mark’s conversion, what books every prospective pastor should read, and what books church leaders should hand out to their people.
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29 min
May 29, 2018
Episode 54: On “Broad” & “Narrow” Complementarianism
Complementarianism is an umbrella term, under which Christians with both “narrow” and “broad” convictions stand. Narrow complementarians are reluctant to say much more about the differences between men and women beyond texts like Ephesians 5:22 and 1 Tim. 2:12. “Broad” complementarians place these Pauline precepts inside of a larger theological “vision” or “definition” of manhood and womanhood that applies to all of life. In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan Leeman and Mark Dever talk about these theological distinctions, and how they sometimes threaten the unity of local churches.
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26 min
May 22, 2018
Episode 53: On Deacons
What does a biblical deacon do? How do they differ from elders? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan talks to Mark about the biblical office of deacon.
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28 min
May 15, 2018
Episode 52: On the Sufficiency of Scripture
What do we mean when we say that Scripture is “sufficient”? Does the sufficiency of Scripture have anything to do with pastoral ministry? Does it shackle pastors or does it provide them reassurance? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan chats with Mark about these questions and more.
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26 min
May 8, 2018
Episode 51: On How the Reformation Changed Sunday Gatherings (with Jonathan Gibson)
Through the liturgies of the Reformation, evangelical doctrine was as much caught in public worship as it was taught in published writings
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33 min
May 1, 2018
Episode 50: On the Role of Associate Pastors
In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan Leeman sits down with pastors Jamie Dunlop and Bobby Jamieson to discuss their roles, and how their work complements Mark’s as the senior pastor.
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31 min
April 24, 2018
Episode 49: On How the Nations Rage
In this episode, Mark chats with Jonathan about his new book How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith & Politics in a Divided Age.
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29 min
April 17, 2018
Episode 48: On Core Seminars and Sunday School
For many churches, the Sunday School hour has gone by the wayside. In this episode of Pastors' Talk, Mark and Jonathan talk about how Core Seminar classes can become a vital ministry for any local church.
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24 min
April 10, 2018
Episode 47: On T4G and Celebrity Pastors
We're gearing up for the sixth Together for the Gospel conference. Does this conference—which will host 12,000+ people—exacerbate the problem of celebrity pastors, especially as articulated recently on TGC by Andy Crouch? Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman discuss this question among many others.
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29 min
April 3, 2018
Episode 46: On Biblical Theology
In this episode, Mark and Jonathan sit down with Nick Roark, a pastor and the author of the new book "Biblical Theology: How the Church Faithfully Teaches the Gospel".
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29 min
March 27, 2018
Episode 45: On Elders Meetings (Part 2)
Jonathan and Mark continue their conversation on elders' meetings, exploring common questions like: should elders require unanimity? What should a new pastor do if he inherits a contentious elder? Should close decisions be delayed, or should elders just move forward? How can senior pastors resist the temptation to dominate every meeting?
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30 min
March 20, 2018
Episode 44: On Elders Meetings (Part 1)
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23 min
March 13, 2018
Episode 43: On Pastoring Through Theological Controversies
It's not a pastor's job to have a PhD. But pastors *are* called to protect the flock from false teachers, and to shepherd people through theological questions and concerns. In this episode of Pastors' Talk, Mark and Jonathan are joined by Ligon Duncan of Reformed Theological Seminary to talk through these issues.
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31 min
March 6, 2018
Episode 42: On the Usefulness of Pastoral Internships
In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Matt Merker—a pastoral assistant at Capitol Hill Baptist Church—chats with Mark Dever about the usefulness of pastoral internships.
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29 min
February 27, 2018
Episode 41: On Prayer Service
In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan Leeman and Mark Dever discuss the benefits and best practices of hosting a regular, church-wide prayer gathering—in addition to the Sunday service.
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27 min
February 20, 2018
Episode 40: On Facing Disappointment
How should pastors respond when their ministry is marked by disappointment and unmet expectations? "Pastor, if you’re discouraged by a lack of fruit, stop looking at the past 20 days. Look at the past 20 years." — Mark Dever
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29 min
February 13, 2018
Episode 39: On Mere Christianity
Is “mere Christianity”—the conviction that we should focus on only what’s essential to being a Christian—really the path toward true Christian unity? Does it guard the gospel over time?
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28 min
February 6, 2018
Episode 38: On the Pastor's Heart and Other Churches
Pastors are used to saying goodbye to long-time friends. In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan interviews Mark about how to prepare for these sad-but-joyful moments.
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24 min
January 30, 2018
Episode 37: On the 20th Anniversary of 9Marks
January 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of 9Marks. To celebrate that milestone, Jonathan interviewed the two guys who were there when it all began: Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker.
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27 min
January 22, 2018
Episode 36: On Discipling
Discipling doesn’t need to be tethered to an elaborate program. Instead, it should be a part of a church’s culture. That’s easy to say, but hard to implement. In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan Leeman chats with Mark Dever about discipling in the local church.
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29 min
January 16, 2018
Episode 35: On Leadership (with H.B. Charles, Burk Parsons, and Jeramie Rinne)
Jonathan Leeman interviews four seasoned pastors—Mark Dever, Burk Parsons, H. B. Charles, and Jeramie Rinne—about leadership.
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37 min
January 9, 2018
Episode 34: On Church Discipline
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24 min
December 19, 2017
Episode 33: On Race (part 2)
Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman continue their conversation about racial division in the church, highlighting the ways pastors can both educate themselves and work against it.
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31 min
December 18, 2017
Episode 32: Remembering R.C. Sproul
Mark Dever reflects on his friendship with the late R.C. Sproul.
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15 min
December 12, 2017
Episode 31: On Race (Part 1)
Mark Dever chats with Jonathan Leeman about America's racial history, and how Christians should learn from brothers and sisters who aren't like them. Join the 9Marks community: GET THE APP: http://9marks.link/app TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/9Marks FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/9Marks INSTAGRAM: https://www.instragram.com/9Marks
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29 min
December 5, 2017
Episode 30: On Planning the Sunday Gathering (with Matt Merker)
What goes into planning the Sunday gathering? Who should pick the songs, the Scripture readings, the types of prayer? Should all these choices be thematically related to the text that will be preached? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Matt Merker—a hymn writer and a pastoral assistant at Capitol Hill Baptist Church—asks Mark Dever all these questions and more.
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23 min
November 28, 2017
Episode 29: On Sermon Preparation
How long should a preacher prep for his sermons? When and how should he consult commentaries? What’s the best way to involve others in the process?
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26 min
November 21, 2017
Episode 28: On Seminary & Pastoral Training (with C. J. Mahaney)
Almost everyone agrees pastors need to be trained, both practically and theologically. But does this mean they must receive formal theological training from a seminary? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan interviews both Mark and C. J. Mahaney about how pastors should be trained, and what seminaries have to do with it.
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28 min
November 14, 2017
Episode 27: On How to Find a Pastor
How should a church find its next pastor? Who makes this decision? A search committee? A group of elders? The pastor all by himself? And once such a search begins, how should it start? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan interviews Mark about “one of the most important decisions a church makes,” that is, finding its next pastor.
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27 min
November 7, 2017
Episode 26: On Multi-Site Churches (with Matt Chandler)
Over the past several decades, the multi-site church model has become quite popular. Recently, however, The Village Church, pastored by Matt Chandler, announced it was transitioning all of its sites into independent local churches. In this episode of Pastors' Talk, Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman interview Matt to talk about the reasons behind this decision.
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24 min
October 31, 2017
Episode 25: On the Mission of the Church
What is the mission of the church? Is it to preach the gospel and make disciples—or is that too narrow? What about good works? What about seeking transformation for our neighborhoods—or is that too broad?
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28 min
October 24, 2017
Episode 24: On Pastoral Friendships
Pastoring can be lonely. But it doesn’t have to be.
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24 min
October 17, 2017
Episode 23: On Polity and Discipleship
Does church order really have anything to do with discipleship? Isn’t one polity—presbyterian, congregational, etc.—just as good as another? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan Leeman sits down with Mark Dever to talk about these questions and more.
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26 min
October 10, 2017
Episode 22: On the Conscience
Evangelicals are always in danger of losing the gospel because they don’t appreciate the role of the conscience and Christian freedom. The conscience is there to protect Christian freedom—and Christian freedom protects us from legalism. This is important because when legalism is indulged, it can actually threaten the gospel itself.
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27 min
October 3, 2017
Episode 21: On Missions
Jonathan Leeman sits down with Mark Dever to talk about how local churches can more wisely support overseas work.
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24 min
September 26, 2017
Episode 20: On the Reformation
In conjunction with the Fall 2017 Journal "The Reformation and Your Church," Jonathan Leeman interviews Mark Dever on the Reformation and its usefulness for Christians today.
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25 min
June 20, 2017
Episode 19: On Church Mergers and Plants
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 recording them all summer, so send us your ideas if you have them! SHOW NOTES: — Have you (Mark) ever been a church planter? (2:30) — Why are the topics of planting and mergers worth thinking through? (4:10) — Is there a different skill set for the church planter and someone leading a church merger? (8:00) — What’s some bad advice you often hear for church planters? (9:20) — Do some of the problems stem from a dependence on agencies as opposed to churches? What are agencies useful for? What should they not do that they tend to do? (11:00) — What common wisdom do you have to offer those involved in church mergers? (13:10) — When does the “church plant” become a church? (19:00) — Who should leave a church to go with a plant? (20:00) — Do you have elders first, and then members? Or the other way around? (22:20)
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25 min
June 13, 2017
Episode 18: On Conversion
In a few weeks, we’re releasing a new book, Conversion: How God Creates a People, in which Michael Lawrence makes the case that one’s doctrine of conversion has massive effects on one’s philosophy of ministry. In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Mark and Jonathan talk about this connection. SHOW NOTES: – What’s this new book Conversion about? Why is conversion one of the nine marks? (1:55) – How does conversion affect one’s philosophy of ministry and even preaching style? (5:30) – Do liberal Christians have a doctrine of conversion? Same-sex affirming churches? (7:10) – How does Genesis 3 inform our doctrine of conversion? (9:00) – Is the doctrine of conversion going to become more and more offensive? (14:40) – Biblically speaking, what is conversion? (15:40) – Does “belonging before believing” undermine a biblical doctrine of conversion? Open communion? Spontaneous baptisms? (17:20) – How does a biblical doctrine of conversion affect a pastor’s preaching? (20:00) – How is church discipline an implication of the doctrine of conversion? (23:00)
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26 min
June 6, 2017
Episode 17: On How to Receive and Dismiss Members
One of the most important and time-consuming tasks for a church and its pastors involves receiving and releasing members, bringing them in and seeing them out. And yet, it's almost never talked about in books on the church or in seminary. To fill in this gap, Mark and Jonathan devoted this episode of Pastors' Talk to the one topic: receiving and releasing members.
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26 min
May 30, 2017
Episode 16: On Corporate Prayer
In many evangelical churches, the public prayers are casual, short, and few. Is that a problem? How does this contemporary situation compare to the history of Protestant churches? How should pastors seek to reinvigorate their churches’ prayer practices? Jonathan sat down with Mark to discuss all these questions and more. SHOW NOTES: – In your experience, what does the public prayer look like in the average evangelical church? How does this compare historically? (:50) – Without impugning motives, why do churches play so little? (2:50) – Is there a pattern of corporate prayer in the Bible? (4:00) – Is a church being disobedient if they’re not giving ample time to corporate prayer? (5:25) – What does should the public prayer look like? What is a prayer of praise of confession? Should only men pray publicly? (6:30) – How should a pastor think through his “pastoral prayer” (14:00)? – This amount of prayer can be tough to get through for those not used to it. It slows people down and causes us to actively participate in a service. (21:00) – Why pray “we” not “I”? (24:45) – What about a Sunday evening prayer service? (25:15)
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28 min
May 23, 2017
Episode 15: On How Quickly a Pastor Should Make Changes
It’s tempting for a new pastor to show up with a laundry list of problems that need to be fixed. But that approach almost never works, and many have left churches worse off due to their hastiness in implementing change. To help pastors with this, Jonathan sat down with Mark to chat about how quickly a pastor should try to make changes in a church. SHOW NOTES: – You’ve said before that young pastors have great acuity, but poor depth perception. Can you explain that? (1:00) – What kinds of mistakes do young pastors take? (2:40) – How did you moderate the pace of change at the beginning of your time at CHBC? (5:50) – Is “change nothing in your first year” good advice? (9:45) – What should a pastor give himself to in the first year? Why is preaching so crucial? (13:00) – Should a pastor deliberately set out to build relationships with those who are disagreeable? How much does that help? (15:55) – Why should some pastors not practice church discipline right away? (18:00) – How much does handing out books help? (19:50) – Three areas of things that might change. (23:00)
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27 min
May 16, 2017
Episode 14: How the “Senior Pastor” Relates to Other Pastors
Does the senior pastor—or the teaching pastor, or the lead pastor, or whatever title your church gives to the man who preaches most often—have more authority than other pastors, either in the pay of the church or not? Does he have a kind of different authority? If you’ve served in a church with a plurality of elders, then you’ve felt tension over these questions. In order to help, Mark sat down with Jonathan to discuss the biblical warrant for a “senior” pastor, what his involvement looks in the church when he’s not preaching, and more. SHOW NOTES: – First things first: Is “senior pastor” a biblical designation? (1:00) – What about the “co-pastor” model? (3:30) – Why is it that the man who preaches most often will almost inevitably accrue the most authority within the congregation? (4:30) – What is Mark’s involvement in the church, even when he isn’t preaching on Sunday morning? (5:15) – Does Mark as senior pastor have “more authority” than other pastors, staff or non-staff? (6:15) – How does a “senior pastor” set the direction for a church, either good or bad? (9:15) – How does a pastor submit to other pastors? (11:15) – What counsel do you have for associate pastors who disagree with their senior pastor? (13:25) – How should he respond to a pastor who’s been heavy-handed? (17:25) – Any advice for a new pastor with an established elder board? (20:00) – How do you cultivate unity among elders? (24:00)
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26 min
May 9, 2017
Episode 13: On Being a Word-Centered Church
It’s a question countless pastors ask every single day: How can I grow my church? In his new book WORD-CENTERED CHURCH, Jonathan Leeman offers a biblical answer to that question. In summary, God intends to grow his church through the proclamation of his Word—and once proclaimed, God intends for that Word to reverberate out from the pulpit and into the whole church’s life and ministry. WORD-CENTERED CHURCH encourages pastors and church leaders to resist the temptation of pragmatism and to instead build their churches on a more trustworthy foundation. For this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Mark chatted with Jonathan about all this and more. SHOW NOTES: – What’s necessary for a church? Does it require a dependence on the Bible? (:30) – If a church is built on the Word, what room does that leave for good deeds? (4:30) – What’s the role of preaching? Why “Word-centered church” and not “Christ-centered church”? (6:20) – When people think about worship, should they associate it strictly with music? (9:30) – How does the Word reverberate throughout the church and its church’s life? (11:30) – What do you say to the pastor who doesn’t spend time to study the Word? (13:15) – In a church with a lot of nominal Christians, how should preaching being prioritized? (16:30) – What’s Word-Centered Church all about, and how does it differ from Reverberation? (18:00)
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21 min
May 2, 2017
Episode 12: On Small Groups
These days, small groups are quite common. But are they enough for community and accountability? What’s the best way to do small groups such that they don’t interfere with the regular Sunday gathering? Mark and Jonathan discuss these questions and more in the latest episode of Pastors’ Talk. SHOW NOTES: – Does Acts 2 describe small groups? (0:45) – Is there a biblical precedent for small groups? (1:25) – Is it new that churches build in their pastoring through small groups? (3:40) – How much guidance should you give small groups? (6:40) – What should small groups do? (10:40) – Who should lead a small group? (12:00) – Should non-members be in small groups? (13:30) – Should small groups take the Lord’s Supper? (14:45) – What do you say to the member who doesn’t really come to the Sunday gathering, but is very committed to their small group? (15:45)
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17 min
April 25, 2017
Episode 11: On Being “Called” to Ministry
Being “called” to ministry isn’t entirely personal, internal, and subjective. It involves both the individual and a church, an internal desire and external confirmation. In this Pastors’ Talk episode, Jonathan asked Mark about common misconceptions of pastoral calling, how pastors can cultivate an environment where callings get tested, and the role of the church throughout. SHOW NOTES: – What does it mean that calling is both internal and external? (:30) – Why would you slow a guy down who says, “I know I’m called to ministry”? (2:20) – What do you say to someone who responds to your hesitation with, “But pastor, the Lord is leading me?” (5:00) – What are some common errors churches make in discerning one’s sense of calling? (8:50) – What’s a proper biblical understanding of calling in Scripture? How does it relate to vocation? (10:50) – Who confirms a pastor? When you leave your church, are you still a pastor? (15:20) – How does a man’s wife play into his calling as a pastor/elder? (16:40) – How can a pastor cultivate a healthy environment to test young men and their calling to ministry? (19:05) – Any general advice for those experiencing the call to ministry? (20:10) – Is there a special calling for overseas missions? (23:50)
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26 min
April 18, 2017
Episode 10: Should A Church Reflect Its Surrounding Community?
Does your congregation look like the people who live around it? If not, does it matter? How important is it that a church reflects its surrounding community? For the latest Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan Leeman sat down with Mark Dever to chat about these questions and more. SHOW NOTES: – How hard should a pastor and a church work to reach different kinds of people? Changing music? Changing the way we preach or what we wear? (1:30) – What about who’s up front? Who gets hired? For example, should white churches seek to hire non-white pastors in order to reach non-whites? (6:00) – What counsel do you have for the pastor who leads a church that doesn’t look like its surrounding community? (10:15) – In being deliberate about these things, isn’t there a risk of “inauthenticity”? (12:15) – What’s the importance of a culture of discipling and evangelism, where members are consistently learning to love people across differences? (14:10) – How should pastors be careful about the ways they speak publicly on these matters? (17:25)
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22 min
April 11, 2017
Episode 9: On the Use and Abuse of Authority
Authority is God’s good and dangerous gift. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance for pastors and church leaders to exercise their authority well, and in doing so image God. SHOW NOTES: – Why is authority such an under-talked about topic? (:45) – Has authority been especially villainized in our current culture? (2:10) – Are evangelicals any different in their views of the authority? (6:10) – What is authority? (9:05) – Why do you think a passage like 2 Samuel 23:3–4 is so important as we think about authority? What can they teach pastors today? (11:00) – How does a pastor wield his authority well? (14:30) – What’s the difference between authority and authoritarianism? (15:00) – How can a pastor be pro-authority while also being anti-authoritarian? (17:05) – Why is the abuse of authority so heinous? What does it look like for someone to abuse their authority, or to use it too aggressively? (19:45) – How do you pastor those Christians who have only know the abuse of authority? (23:30)
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29 min
April 4, 2017
Episode 8: What Makes a Good Pastor?
How do we know what makes a good pastor? Do we learn this exclusively from the Bible? From the latest business books? Jonathan chats with Mark about what a pastor is, and what it means to take a pastoral approach to Christian ministry.
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25 min
March 28, 2017
Episode 7: How to Leave Your Church Well
Jonathan chats with Mark about good and bad reasons to leave a church, and offers principles for leaving well once the decision has been made.
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21 min
March 21, 2017
Episode 6: On Pastoring Singles
We just released a Journal with close to 20 articles on Pastoring Singles. Because the Journal was Mark’s idea, Jonathan sat down with him to ask questions on the topic. SHOW NOTES: – Why a Journal on singles? (0:40) – What are the biggest challenges and benefits of pastoring singles (1:30) – How do you simultaneously affirm marriage while not undermining God’s distinct purposes for singles? (3:20) – When do you encourage someone to remain single? How do you encourage them to make the most of their singleness? (8:10) – How can singles be integrated into a congregation? (12:15) – What about single elders/pastors? (14:00) – For the single who feels left out, what should a church do? (15:55) – What do you do when you inherit a church with a robust singles program? (18:10) – Why “your sex life is your identity” is a satanic lie. (20:45)
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24 min
March 14, 2017
Episode 5: On Political Disagreements in the Church
We live in politically contentious times. Jonathan Leeman sat down with Mark Dever to chat about how to pastor people faithfully amidst political disagreement. SHOW NOTES: – March us through how you pastored through the most contentious election in recent memory. (0:40) – How preaching builds unity amidst political disagreement. (6:00) – On the importance of upholding Christian liberty amidst personal, political disagreement (7:45) – How can we discern “straight-line” issues from “jagged-line” issues? How do we know when to stay silent in order not to improperly bind consciences? (13:00) – Can we sin by not addressing injustice when we should? (17:30) – Do you address politically contentious members directly? (22:00) – Lightning round of questions on the topic. (22:45)
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24 min
March 7, 2017
Episode 4: On Receiving Criticism as a Pastor
If you’re a pastor, you’re used to being criticized—both fairly and unfairly. In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan sits down with Mark to chat about receiving criticism well, the dangers of avoiding criticism altogether, and how to build into a church structures that cultivate a culture of giving and receiving godly criticism. SHOW NOTES: – What do you do when you’re criticized after church when you just preached your guts out? (1:15) – How do you prepare yourself to hear what you know you need to hear, even if it’s something that your flesh will grate against? (4:40) – Why not defending yourself amidst criticism is sometimes a good idea. (5:50) – True or false: the more you fear God and the less you fear man, the better you will hear criticism. (9:40) – What about the wisdom in using others—wife, other elders, etc.—to process current criticisms? (11:15) – Do you have any words for the pastors who have cloistered themselves so that they never hear criticism? (12:35) – What structures have you put in place to cultivate a culture of healthy criticism and encouragement? (14:40) – Any encouragement for pastor who’s beaten up from consistent criticism? (16:00)
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20 min
February 28, 2017
Episode 3: On Sermon Application
If a preacher is doing his job well, then he's not only explaining what a text means, but also applying that meaning to the lives of his hearers. In this episode of Pastors' Talk, Jonathan Leeman sits down with Mark Dever to talk about the difficult task of sermon application.
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20 min
February 21, 2017
Episode 2: On Pastoring in the Age of Social Media
A mere ten years ago, social media didn’t exist. Now it’s everywhere. Jonathan Leeman sits down with Mark Dever to chat about the difficulties of pastoring in the age of social media. SHOW NOTES: – What are some of the dangers you see intrinsic to social media? (2:45) – How social media can tempt Christians to add to the gospel (4:30). – The necessity of humility in our opinions and our discourse (5:30). – How Christians can become good self-editors? 12 diagnostic questions to continually ask ourselves. (8:00)
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21 min
February 14, 2017
Episode 1: On Gospel Growth Beyond Your Church
In the inaugural episode of our new podcast Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan Leeman sits down with Mark Dever to talk about seeing the gospel grow in your city, not just your church. SHOW NOTES: – What do you do when the revival you’ve been praying for breaks out . . . at the church down the street? (1:08) – Is it always carnal to desire your own church to grow? (3:02) – What are some of the signs of a wrongful “turfiness” that pastors should watch out for in their own hearts and ministries? (4:38) – Why do you pray for other churches by name in CHBC’s services? (6:25) – Explain how you can structure a staff and budget to help other churches. (8:35) – What role might ministerial fellowships play in local gospel growth? (12:24) – Are multi-site and multi-service churches necessarily “turfy”? (14:30) – What about church planting and revitalizing? (18:49) – Any last lessons for promoting gospel growth locally? (24:30)
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26 min
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