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January/February 2009 eJournal Editor's Note


Seminaries don’t make pastors, churches do.

You’ll hear someone at 9Marks say that if you hang around us long enough. In this issue of the eJournal, we try to put some flesh on this basic idea.

Mark Dever considers why the local church is uniquely equipped and commissioned to the work of raising up future pastors. Then he offers some practical advice for every pastor and church for doing this work, whether or not they have the resources for an internship program. Both seminary presidents and pastors offer their sentiments in a couple of 9Marks forums. And one of John MacArthur’s associate pastors, Nathan Busenitz, tells the story of how Grace Community Church decided to plant a seminary within the church.

Next, we asked three different churches how they formally mentor future pastors. We hope this might give our pastor readers a few ideas they can adopt, as God provides the opportunity. And our goal is the same for the last section where we feature a number of church-affiliated programs. Maybe a church will start its own program; maybe it will sponsor a student though one of the programs listed here.

This issue does not contain the longer, more theological articles that we often include (we will in the future!), but here’s the very simple point we hope you catch: God primarily calls and equips men for the pastorate as pastors faithfully shepherd and disciple their own congregations. If you don’t read anything else, catch this point in the first three paragraphs of Dever’s second interview below.

—Jonathan Leeman


Raising Up Pastors Is the Church's Work
Seminaries are neither necessary nor necessarily advisable for future pastors. They are useful for some, so long as churches don't surrender the commission that Christ gave to them.
Part 1 of an interview with Mark Dever

How Do Pastors Raise Up Pastors?
Not every church can afford an internship program or pastor's college. So where does a pastor begin? It turns out he begins with what's most important.
Part 2 of an interview with Mark Dever

A Seminary President's Forum
We asked a roundtable of seminary presidents why their seminary is needed, as well as what encouraging work they're seeing in local churches.
Answers from Daniel L. Akin, Bryan Chapell, Dennis P. Hollinger and Paige Patterson

A Pastor's Forum
We asked a roundtable of pastors whether churches have the responsibility of raising up the next generation of pastors and, if so, why?
Answers from Rickey Armstrong, Stephen E. Farish, David Helm, Juan Sanchez and Sandy Willson

The Church as Classroom: The History of Master's Seminary
Here's the story of how one local church pursued the mission of equipping future leaders.
By Nathan Busenitz



"I Learned the Hard Way"—Mentoring at South Woods Baptist
By Phil A. Newton

"Why Are We Joyfully Committed?"—Mentoring at Bethlehem Baptist
By Tom Steller

"Look, It's the Church's Job"—Mentoring at Lakeview Baptist
By Al Jackson



9Marks wants to see more churches and pastors taking responsibility for raising up the next generation of pastors. To help our readers catch a vision for what that might look like, we asked several organizations closely tied to one or several local churches how they fulfill this mission. With one exception, each of the following organization answers the same 18 questions.



Christian Discipleship and Growth with Donald Whitney
Posted on January 25th, 2009
Don Whitney discusses busyness, praying through Scripture, the disciplines, mysticism, and more.

Observing Evangelicalism with Don Carson
Posted on November 25th, 2008
Mark Dever asks Carson about the highs and lows of the evangelical landscape.


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