God rarely invites men into ministry roles where some kind of financial faith is not required to accept the role.
Touching and handling a Bible anchors us physically to God’s gracious gift of the Bible itself.
I was bitter because theological education was stealing time I thought was due me.
When we embrace the multi-faceted reality of the sovereignty of God, we are equipped to help others in their time of need.
The church doesn't just need more leaders; it needs more leaders who are pursuing godliness.
Alistair Begg delivering the fourth annual C.H. Spurgeon Lectures at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In Part 1, Begg reflects on Spurgeon's life as he discusses the "measure of the man."
I can rest assured that my powerlessness to determine my future makes room for me to trust God who is most powerful.
Ever notice how Jude identifies himself not as Jesus' kid brother, but as Jesus' servant?
This week's links include resources on loving your church, Proverbs 31, service, and word-centered discipleship.
Believer, though all things are apparently against thee, rest assured that God has made a reservation on thy behalf.
Without proper study of God, we cannot know what will please Him or how to best worship him.
God uses questions to force us to confront our own hearts.
Learn to groan in the pit, but never grumble!
My weaknesses show me just how great and powerful God is, because only he could bring something good out of the mess that is me.
Our attempts to improve Christian worship may, in fact, distract from it. Often, less actually is more. There can be a beauty in simplicity.
In Episode 5 of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Dr. Owen Strachan discuss Rod Dreher's book The Benedict Option and ask the important question, "What would it look like if Satan took over a city?"
Being around the flock helps them see what our message looks like in real life.
Powerful preaching and fruitful ministry on the mission field depend on the prayers of God’s people.
Some ask, "Do we really need another church?" The better question is, "Are there still lost people in our communities?"
Hang in there, Sam. The church has been through some pretty dark times, but she’s beautiful.
Scripture testifies to the stark reality that the heart of man is the problem of man.
This week's links include resources on the law, single working women, culture and counseling, and Christians at work.
The way some people talk about prayer owes more to New Age spirituality and witchcraft than biblical Christianity.
Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood.
We do not have editorial authority over the message.
Men, if we want our country and community to change, if we want to see people come to Jesus, we have to be spiritual leaders who are leading out in prayer.
As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we should be reminded that the Gospel is not something we merely study or talk about.
Christ invites us to freely approach the throne, but not to usurp it. He invites us to come as children, not as rebels.
Give it up. Allow yourself to be nobody. Have a seat at the end of the table and you might just find Jesus sitting there too.
We are to make indentions, impressions, dents, whatever, upon the mind and heart by preaching the Word of God.
We get to engage in a selfless, other-exalting relationship that frees us from our focus on ourselves.
With whatever differences temptations present themselves, their effect is the same.
Pastors, find fuel for patience in the power of the gospel.
We need strong words from one another because the glory of Jesus is too wonderful to miss out on.
Who is this King of glory?
In our efforts to encourage discipleship in the local church, be open to different ways God might choose to influence you.
This week's links include resources on parenting, hospitality, the pastor as steward and soldier, corporate confession, and Jesus and our grammar.
It is a very sad reflection that tens of thousands are now waiting in the use of means, and ordinances, and vows, and resolutions, and have so waited time out of mind, in vain, utterly in vain.
He cared for the one who was lost and that is what Jesus does.
In our time, there is a great temptation to be gospel-centered in name but not in deed.
Learn from the past, while running to Jesus.
When we “sabbath,” we do as God did. This is the essence of godliness.
If you’re thinking about giving up on church, reconsider. Don't be fooled by the idea that you're better off with the body.
Our minds could never rummage through to the ends of grace.
Episode 4: Jonathan Leeman
“Churches seem to have lost track of what the Bible says about organizing our lives together.”
I need to be reminded that even though my little children will one day be grown, joy in Jesus is possible now, will be possible then, and will be fully complete in heaven forever.
Read the book Matt Chandler says "demystifies discipleship."
Because the Spirit doesn’t give strength for disobedience, He isn’t going to help perpetuate a myth of “Super Pastor.”
The church with the snot-nosed kids and the cantankerous old folks and the arrogant hipsters and the out-of-touch Baby Boomers and the overweight “praise team” and the pastor with his short-sleeved button-up shirt tucked into his high-waisted Dockers? Well, that’s the kind of place where grace can really show off.
This week's links include resources on quick-fix phrases, the infertile couple, distraction in prayer, and children's personalities.
Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God it overflows with consolation.
Your paper Bible could be precious and useful to you in ways that a digital Bible never could.
We are living in a time when being ordinary is the worst thing that can happen to a person, and nothing screams ordinary like at-home work.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would prompt others to take a risk and answer your inquiries honestly, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Singleness on its own terms is not a problem. In Scripture, it’s an opportunity.
Our response to Jesus will often be proportionate to our understanding of the egregiousness of our sin.
Imagine what could happen if your church started sending overseas those members who love and serve the church best.
Others can do the work to study and reframe the truths of God’s Word for you, but you’ll then miss the riches and rewards that come from hard work and study of the Word for yourself.
You are encouraged to love one another as Christ has loved you, and a key way that happens is through the extension of merciful strength and aid in the face of failure.
Jesus is the true and better Prophet, Priest, and King, who is able to do what those who came before could not do.
Often, in lieu of your local church becoming the best contextualized version of itself, God is fashioning its parts into a whole that looks more like Him.
It is not about your house or your meal; it is about the Christ-centered fellowship that takes place at your house over your meal.
This week's links include resources on marriage, smart women, expository teaching, and frienship.
There are lots of distractions from and temptations to discard a commitment to gospel-centeredness. Here are just eight . . .
This is the only way to give it a death-blow.
Throughout our days, we are to retain the flavor of who God is, what he has done, and what he has promised.
They looked the stone over and marked it unusable, not valuable, replaceable and inadequate.
Hosted by Jared Wilson, this new podcast from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary features reflections and conversations aimed at encouraging leaders in gospel ministry.
The church should not be afraid to acknowlege the depth and range of human suffering even as we place our hope in God.
Our righteouness goes beyond legalism when we obey the true intent of the law.
Only an "in-person" preacher can bear the burdens of the congregation, weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
God does not answer prayers that are motivated by selfish ambition, misplaced priorities, or worldly passions.
Life defines the Christian experience.
Episode 1: Matt Chandler
"If you can teach the Bible in a compelling way to 1st through 5th graders, you've got all the raw tools you need."
Why, O Father, must I endure this cycle of repentance in hard-heartedness forever?
Episode 2 with Matt Boswell
Matt is the pastor of ministries and worship and an elder at Providence Church. A native Texan, he grew up the son of a pastor. He has been leading worship and involved in church planting since 1995. His passion is to see our congregation engaged in gospel-centered ministry, and in this environment live out the great commission. He writes songs for congregational worship…
Episode 3: Preventing Ministry Burnout
"You might say your season of life does not allow for much rest, but you are setting yourself up for a disastrous next season."
In His life, on the cross, and in His resurrection, Christ labored to accomplish salvation for spiritual sluggards like us.
Let us be radically compassionate because of the radical compassion we have richly received from Jesus.
Do you know the name of the kinsman redeemer who was first in line to marry Ruth? Exactly.
The home is where stories are taught, faith is worked out, neighbors are heard, plates are filled, and where sojourners can find rest.
This week's links include resources on pain, union with Christ, dying, students and missions, and historical evidence of Jesus.
The resurrection is the corner-stone of the entire building of Christianity.
Simple math tells us that it is faithful, ordinary, anonymous lay people who make up the vast majority of the churches around the world.
Defend your people’s freedom in Christ with your life if necessary. But do not impinge on their freedom, even if you think it’s for their own good.
Plurality is possible. God commands it. Let’s pursue it and protect it.
True love makes obedience a joy-filled pleasure.
The Lord knocks at their door in order to remind them of who they forgot.
Suffering does and should cause us to ask deeper questions about life and the nature of God.
God's goal for us as his children is not to conform us to Christian culture, but to his Son.
Blending age-groups in our ministries helps us accurately represent the diverse spiritual family that God has given us.
As much as reading the Bible is an intellectual exercise, gaining knowledge shouldn’t be the main reason we read it.
We ask Michael Kelley, "What do too many churches get wrong about discipleship?"
If you’re interested in hosting a conference or otherwise hosting a speaking engagement, or if your ministry platform is allowing you to begin pursuing God’s call into that option, I hope this advice will serve you well.
These young believers possessed a demonstrable commitment to personal and corporate growth in their walks with Christ.
This week's links include resources on believer's baptism, perfectionism, loving your neighbor, and gray hair.
How marvellous has been our experience of God's gentleness!
Most of the pastors I know garner my trust and respect and deserve my prayers and support.
Discipleship is about helping a disciple faithfully relate to Jesus, not to you.
Be that friend. Love the addict. Remind them of the gospel - that there's another way that is better.
Part 1 of a 4-part series on leadership and rest.
The very worst thing God could do for us is give us the life we want in our flesh.
Sex simply cannot sustain the weight of our culture's expectations.
As pastors, should care more about getting the Bible right than simply feeling like we’re right.
One enters into eternal peace and joy. The other? “Depart from me. I never knew you.”
For all His love for humanity, God did not ultimately preserve a nation for the sake of sheer benevolence. He did so for His glory.
Moving to a plurality of pastors is a good goal that is worth pursuing, but it’s important to not get in a rush.
We asked Dan Darling, "How should a church decide which, if any, parachurch ministries to support?"
The safe Jesus of modern evangelicalism is not offensive, but neither is He very compelling.
This week's links include resources on redefining ministry, protecting your children, folding singles into the family, anxiety, and leadership credibility.
His pleasure was rooted in the harvest he hoped for.
Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions.
You must get this right.
If we want to learn more about who we are, we don’t look within, instead, we look outside ourselves to God’s Word
You are not at your workplace by accident but by divine providence.
70 percent of 18–22 year-olds stop attending church for at least one year, and a majority of 20 year-olds leave church, often never to return.
If we’re the people who are reconciled to God, that reconciliation must reveal itself through our relationships within the church.
All of us, when the work slips into tedium and routine, are prone to ask the question of whether or not what we are doing really matters.
The truth of the matter is that there is no ground for creativity that comes close to the intellectual fertility of Christian theology.
The Holy Spirit progressively conforms Christians into the image of Christ.
The line between noble intentions and prideful purposes is so difficult to see that it's easy for us to cross.
Whenever true disciples are added to the church, the gospel has been proclaimed.
The gospel is bigger than the universe, but can it be tweeted in 140 characters or less?
We ask H.B. Charles, "What are the pastor’s most important weekly tasks?"
The Church should cradle the richest, most outlandish dreams.
This does not make pain painless, of course, but it doesn’t make it purposeless either.
This week's links include resources on lamenting, singing at a new church, flirting, and sour desires.
The Surety is bound, and justice demands that those for whom he stands a substitute should go their way. In the midst of Egypt's bondage, that voice rings as a word of power, "Let these go their way."
If I prioritize production, I end up frustrated, and I actually abandon virtue and toy with anger or bitterness.
It’s not the tears that produce fruit, or even the faithfulness of the sower.
Writing music for your people is a challenge - it is a heavy responsibility to put words and thoughts about God into people’s hearts and minds.
A few reflections on whether or not pursuing a PhD is a right fit.
The more we trust in the sand of our own efforts, the less secure we’ll actually be.
God exposed my misplaced allegiance by closing doors that, if opened, would’ve led down a path of continual self-destruction and false worship.
If you’re a leader, others might have been involved in the mistake, but they were likely following your lead.
In prayer we are able to find comfort in the arms of our Father, trusting that he is working all things for the good of those who he loves, especially those he has entrusted to our pastoral care.
Leaders, trade in the tricks of the trade for the all-powerful, all-surpassing glory of Jesus Christ in the gospel.
More than likely, you and I are the products of the quiet faithfulness of a generation of men and women whose names the world will never know.
We asked Adam McClendon, "How can a church stay attractive to younger people without alienating older people?"
This week's links include resources on conviction, congregational singing, preaching race, and weary moms.
If you are only taking notes during the sermon because you feel you must, because you treat the sermon like a lecture or "lesson," I would encourage you to reconsider.
The gospel is the ultimate "tale as old as time" because we get God.
If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith.
God’s Word is able to comfort and counsel without lecturing because it flows from people’s real life experience, not their bare philosophical reflections.
Abundant religious activity cannot mask a rebellious heart at the last day.
There are only two options with Scripture: either we say amen to its entirety, or we entirely reject it.
Let us embrace the love we don't deserve and love our Father because He first loved us.
My friends, let us be a church that savors, promotes, and clings to grace.
I want the Father’s adopting-love ingrained into the very fabric of my thinking
While we must fight against the oppression and violence that women experience around the world, we must be careful not to venture beyond that into a realm of self-exalting and unbiblical femininity.
There is no such thing as a pastor who knows only the burden of leadership or only the sweat of service.
Let the unveiled image of Christ burn into the eyes of your heart. This is the hope of transformation.
This is the believer’s confidence in the Lord. God alone is my help and my hope.
We asked David Prince, "What should the Christian think about high-impact sports?"
For our joy, Jesus always shoots us straight.
This week's links include resources on rest, childlessness, spiritual strength, and a forgotten hero.
We each echo God’s glory differently for the sake of the Kingdom.
No neutralities can exist in religion.
Go to the source. Go into the dark of things you don’t know. Watch how the stars shine.
Christians, how can we be vigilant to guard against selfish ambition in our lives and ministries?
The way to help my daughter pursue purity isn't to lock her up in a castle, but to help her walk in the freedom of the gospel.
Let us learn from God’s words through Malachi and seek out a true relationship with God characterized by Jesus’ command to love God and love our neighbor.
A community that lives with love enough to both provide and receive gentle rebukes from one another makes for an incredible family.
Until our race is finished, we glean from him, day in and day out.
Because Christ walked ahead of us, we know greater fellowship with Him as we follow in his steps.
The work of Christ applied to our hearts is such an unstoppable, unopposable force that it refigures us entirely.
In an effort to help us create self-awareness and keep us out of the trap, here are 11 characteristics of the self-righteous . . .
The culture that we allow our doctrine to create is the real test of what we believe the doctrine to be.
We ask J.T. English, "How do you make sure a growing church keeps 'feeling small?'”
This week's links include resources on integrity, home, small group woes, and knowing God.
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.
God delights to work through weak vessels that are small in the world’s eyes.
Let me have a present, personal, infallible, indisputable sense that I am thine, and that thou art mine.
We will be as prayerful as we are cognizant of our own weakness.
His perfection becomes hers when he takes her filth with him in death.
You are in Christ and fully in, or you are out and fully out.
The commands of Christ feel crushing without a new heart to help us obey.
A few reflections on a modern-day hymn.
God gave Jesus because Jesus is the highest form of praise I could ever receive.
To fully enjoy one another is to view them with new eyes, saturated in the grace of our Savior.
If you are a leader and you’ve led them thus far, lead them further by giving them some space to plan, pray, and get collected.
But there is much more to the Abraham narratives than a simple “do this; don’t do this.”
What if we walked into every day with the expectation that God hears and answers specific prayer?
We ask Michael Kelley to describe his writing process.
This week's links include resources on social media, raising faithful kids, lessons for American Christians, and the benefits of discipleship.
It is Jesus who is available to you 24/7, and I'm not him.
If we strive to build up one another in our ministries and tune into other people’s feelings, we can help the body of Christ feel unashamed for the call given to them by God.
Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone.
If we allow ourselves to be diverted and distracted all of the time we will scarcely enjoy the deeply meaningful seasons of discovery that come from thoughtful reflection.
We should strive to preach our best sermons in overseas contexts.
If conservatives have lost the culture war and the American church is in decline, what is there for evangelicals to be encouraged by?
Walk where Edwards and Whitefield walked, visit everywhere from Yale to Harvard and coastal Maine to rural Vermont, meet with local pastors and church planters, and even enjoy some local eateries and coffee.
Mark this down: the Lord hears and answers the cries of desperate people.
To read the Bible is a risky thing. We cannot read it, put it down, and claim ignorance.
Sometimes, we won't think there are good enough reasons given to obey God, yet we are called to obey Him anyway.
While important matters call for our earthly attention, we cannot forget that the church's unique commission is to promote a kingdom that cannot be shaken.
We ought to be the most hospitable toward the sojourners among us.
The promise of the gospel is not that man will remember you, but that God knows you.
When your children grow up, and they are asked, “Tell me about your dad” or “Tell me about your mom” - what do you think they will say?
We ask Nathan Finn, "Why should one consider formal theological education?"
We really do want the best for you, which is why we felt like you needed to know these things. With a little more hard work and concentrated effort on your part, this can be a win-win for all of us.
This week's links include resources on entertainment, letting God, the Trinity debate, and singleness.
The gift hidden within difficult seasons is that we may see more clearly and understand more deeply our desperate need of His keeping.
I will not believe that thou hast tasted of the honey of the gospel if thou canst eat it all thyself.
Your artful questions and interest make both sides of the conversation possible.
Revival wasn't shouting and screaming; it was the beat of love within me for others.
How can a church engage in social justice without falling into the errors of the social gospel?
The power to answer prayer belongs to God alone. And the glory for answered prayer belongs to God alone.
Seven pitfalls to avoid when preaching expositional sermons.
Jesus is not far-off, peering through a telescope. He is among the churches. And He is with us now.
Is your greatest desire to see the gospel go forward in the place where God has you?
God was mercifully insensitive to our feelings and desires at the cross.
The incarnation glorifies the extent to which God would go to seek out those who were running from him.
If we are to follow Jesus, then we must have a growing understanding that the Christian does not operate in the realm of desperation.
There is something freeing when you humble yourself and place yourself before a group of people who say, “We see this area that needs to be worked on.”
We ask Clint Pressley, "How do you lead big change in a church without blowing it up?"
You shouldn't trust your illustration to do what only God's word can.
What if we refused to be threatened by our sister churches and instead committed to pray for them?
This week's links include resources on spiritual formation, joy, women's roles, and multi-ethnic ministry.
The Holy Ghost is no temporary gift, he abides with the saints.
The call to plant and pastor is primarily a call to help people keep the gospel in focus.
Our people need the hope of the cross and the assurance of the resurrection.
What are the pastor's most important weekly tasks?
"First day on the job with the new flock. It isn’t the biggest or the healthiest flock in the world…but it’s mine. And I’m excited to see how they’ll grow."
When the Bible is our delight, we look forward to reading it each day and feel a keen sense that something's missing when we don't.
Thinking through these questions often can help identify your stream as a gospel-filled well your followers should drink from often or a gospel-less pit followers should avoid.
Ultimately, God’s glory in your selections should be more important than making someone happy
Roll up your sleeves, labor alongside them, and love them.
There is no nobler task than to deliver good news to weary souls week-in and week-out.
The danger of focusing on things over people is that we might actually get what we want.
A simple, but profound truth: Jesus came to save glory thieves from themselves.
We asked J.D. Greear, "What are some important things to remember when sharing the gospel with Muslims?"
I have composed this list thinking of the kinds of needs and interests most Christians seek out answers for in the sorts of books that sell most often at Christian bookstores.
Journaling is not an end in and of itself; the end is to look to and live by the cross.
This week's links include resources on self-care, abortion, our problem, and community.
Didst thou ever consider the depth of love in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped his Son for the great enterprise of mercy?
You don’t get to decide to lay down your life one day and then not think about it again
How important is it for preachers to pay attention to cultural trends and popular media?
Hitting the pause button on life and ministry will help us find rest for our souls and experience a sweet foretaste of heavenly rest in Christ’s presence.
In a thread of confirmation bias, hate, uncareful thinking, narcissism, and over exaggerations, be the voice of gospel reason.
Community isn’t something that comes to us; it’s something that we go toward.
Belief in the gospel is the only way anyone can cross the gospel line and experience eternal life.
We've heard it said, "God will not give you more than you can handle." Truthfully, God can and does give us more than we can handle - all because it leads us back to Him.
We asked H.B. Charles: "What are some common rookie preaching mistakes?"
Be filled with the Spirit? How can I be something the Spirit does?
This week's links include resources on womanliness, accountability, seminary, and presence.
The joys of heaven will surely compensate for the sorrows of earth.
When we ponder the right things, we proceed in the right direction.
What are the pastor's most important weekly tasks?
Remember, a cross and the pursuit of the good of others should mark your Christian life. This must be true for your social media presence as well.
As we acknowledge the need to lead humbly, what does godly, humble leadership look like in the day-to-day?
There is much wisdom when you have a love for people wherever you find them, urban or rural.
I believe encouragement should take its place alongside any list of spiritual disciplines.
Five little words that once fed my pride in ministry are now terrifying to me.
We asked Adam McClendon, "How can a pastor effectively counsel someone without creating a co-dependency?"
Christians should have nothing to do with utilitarian arguments against abortion.
This week's links include resources on the rich, waiting, masculine friendship, and heresy.
Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire.
All of us... are communicators of the gospel.
How can smaller churches conduct successful ministry training?
Psalm 23 has a lot to say about Christ's tender, loving care for us. But the psalm isn't primarily about the sheep; it is about the exaltation of the Shepherd.
Your justification isn’t in the fact that you don’t post selfies or engage in over-the-top political comment streams. It’s in the blood of a murdered Son.
We must actively pursue deep relationships with others within our churches in which we bravely share how the gospel lays claim to our lives.
Christians must hold to the higher standard that all believers are one, a new race in Christ.
It would be convenient if Satan would show up as a talking snake. Then, we could run away screaming or call animal control. Instead, he comes to us as an agent of reason.
We ask David Prince, "Who is a criminally under-appreciated figure in church history we should know more about?"
How would you know if your Christian life has become hijacked by confirmation bias? Here are some possible diagnostic signs . . .
This week's links include resources on feeling dead on the inside, pro-life causes, repetition in worship, and teaching children about hell.
The common fault with the most of us is our readiness to yield to distractions.
How do you lead big change in a church without blowing it up?
How does God reach us when our heart staggers mindlessly into the gray dusk of ‘whatever’?
Feel you aren’t useful? Need a reminder of God’s methodology? God uses the willing. God uses the available. God uses the weak.
If God has called you to be His preacher, never stoop to be a king of men.
The real call of Christianity is to find our love and meaning by trusting in, submitting to, and abiding in Christ.
I would argue that a book is only truly influential in so far as it somehow moves into your life without you asking it to.
If I had a few minutes to sit a new minister down and share a few things I’ve learned, there is one piece of advice that I believe is vital.
In the spirit of charity, seeking to identify some good gifts the seeker church of yesteryear has given contemporary evangelicalism
This week's links include resources on curiosity, congregational singing, procrastination, and weakness.
Even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives.
Declawing the Bible of its warnings against and judgments upon sin is not good for the church.
Let the church say, “Huh?”
All Christians want to stay close to Jesus. But to try to do that on your own is to set out to fail.
The pastor's wife is just like every other woman in the church when it comes to friendship: she gets a choice who she lets in.
There are leaders that propel their churches forward at breakneck rates helping them journey great distances and achieve impressive results. Though they often refer to themselves as “visionary leaders," I would argue that many of them are more hyperdriven than visionary.
As beautiful as the temple was, it was but a shadow of the magnificence of Christ.
Is your ministry an individual sport or a team sport?
I wonder how the resolutions of us donut-eaters might stack up to these from Jonathan Edwards.
This week's links provide resources on interpreting the Bible, true masculinity, resolutions, and Christology.
We open the gates of the year to the sweet strains of the harp of joy!