Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music

9Marks Weekender at Capitol Hill Baptist Church

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Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill Baptist Church for a 9Marks Weekender. The Weekender is designed for church leaders to interact/engage with the staff and elders of CHBC, and to be educated on the central aspects of healthy churches. One hundred and twenty-five leaders from all over the world met for seminars on bible doctrine, eldership, church discipline, bible education, worship, and the like. We got to witness how the elders of CHBC care for their membership and pray for one another, and to see how every part of a worship service is planned. Then we had the privilege of worshiping together during a Sunday morning service, and a prayer meeting for the evening service.

I really enjoyed the weekend (even though it snowed!) and I would recommend it to anyone serving as a pastor or lay leader, regardless of if you’re a reformed baptist or not. The weekend was instructive and beneficial, both for my own ecclesiology and for my spiritual good, the application of iron sharpening iron. I also have renewed respect and admiration for Mark Dever, one of a few pastors in the country whom God has given tremendous influence, but who has committed himself to pastoring in one place for the rest of his life, and to energizing churches to think carefully about membership and doctrine through the work of 9Marks.

Even the weekend was full and eventful, and even though I learned a great deal, my time away only reinforced my love for the church where I serve, Founders Baptist Church in Houston. I loved attending CHBC’s Sunday services, but I missed my own church service and church family. I’ve been extremely blessed to get to serve at a place like Founders, and to have the opportunity each week to lead them in congregational praise as their Pastor for Worship, as well as working administratively with the church staff. Founders is unique. Under the leadership of Pastor Richard Caldwell, the church holds firmly to the doctrines of grace, to elders as the shepherding authority, to complementarianism, and to baptist polity. Each week Founders sees between 500–600 believers gathering to worship the triune God, as we read the bible, preach the bible, pray the bible, sing the bible, and see the bible—for his glory and for our good. And all of this takes place in an area of the country that is a cesspool for false prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen, Paula White, and T.D. Jakes.

So, sure, I learned quite a bit from the 9Marks Weekender, some of which I will try to implement within my sphere of influence at Founders. But more than anything, I felt deep thankfulness and gratitude to the brothers and sisters in Christ with whom I have the privilege of serving with everyday in Houston, Texas.

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Written by Josh Philpot

March 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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