I visited a church and the pastor mentioned in passing the 9 Marks. What are these?


Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C., published a booklet entitled, "Nine Marks of a Healthy Church." The booklet grew into a movement endorsed and used by many Reformed Baptist churches and even some Presbyterian ones. According to the 9Marks website:

9Marks exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God's glory to the nations through healthy churches. To that end, we want to see churches characterized by these nine marks of health.

The 9Marks are:

  • (1) Expositional Preaching
  • (2) Biblical Theology
  • (3) The Gospel
  • (4) Conversion
  • (5) Evangelism
  • (6) Membership
  • (7) Discipline
  • (8) Discipleship
  • (9) Leadership

The reader will need to go to the 9Marks website below to determine what each "mark" more specifically refers too. Though the 9Marks have been abused by some (especially in the area of church discipline), all in all it is a solid biblically based "resource" for churches and pastors. One must remember it is only a guide; a guide that must be properly implemented over time through proper teaching and church leadship.

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Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).