Resources from 2017

July

Jul 27

The Pastor as a Church Member by Jared Sparks

Pastor, I want to invite you into this kind of existence. Jesus is the savior of the sheep, not you. Shepherd your people well by letting them shepherd you.

Jul 26

Episode 010: Why Discipleship Matters

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

Episode 10: Why Discipleship Matters

"Maybe our failure to disciple the converts we make is why we’re making fewer converts."

Jul 26

Like Those Who Dream: An Imagination of the New Creation by Bryan Elliff

Isaiah and the book of Revelation help us to connect the exile and restoration of Jerusalem with the brokenness and restoration of the world. 

Jul 25

Two Views a Pastor Must Have by Casey Lewis

The man called to leadership within the church must see himself as overseeer and view his calling as a high calling that requires sacrifice and passion for the task.

Jul 25

The Importance of Kingdom-Focused Student Ministry by Mike Leake

I’m convinced that, instead of focusing on keeping students, a truly kingdom-focused church will be passionate about sending students.

Jul 24

When Serving The Local Church Isn't Fun by Bethany Mathis

No matter where you serve within in your church, it will require sacrifice. 

Jul 24

The Gospel is Like an Old Hymn by Jared C. Wilson

I very often treat the gospel like something I've moved on from, but every time I bring it back to mind, it transports me to a more beautiful, more powerful, more helpful place than any of these newfangled messages I flirt with every day ever could.

Jul 24

Links For The Church (7/24) by Staff

This week's links include resources on parenting as narrating, real friendship, perpetual singleness, and suburban church planting.

Jul 23

Don't Side with the World by Charles Spurgeon

Side with the afflicted people of God, and not with the world.

Jul 21

5 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor While Pursuing Ministry by Steven Leatherbury

The more we encourage our pastor through prayer the more we will realize our own need in the ministry God would have for us.  

Jul 21

Why We Sing With The Lights On by Ronni Kurtz

I fear that in our attempt to eliminate distractions we’ve also eliminated the corporate reality of worship.

Jul 20

You Have No Heart by Joshua Jenkins

A robust understanding of the sinfulness of the human heart leads to a right understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jul 20

A Pastor's Character Over His Competence by Chris Thomas

Give me a godly man with an average gift over the orator of the ages, whose character hasn’t been shaped by the gospel.

Jul 19

Learning to Talk About Disability by Lucy Crabtree

My prayer is not for my disability to show you something lacking in yourself, but to demonstrate the wholeness of Christ. 

Jul 19

How Do You Respond When Corrected? by Steve Burchett

Scripture isn’t always meant to comfort us. Sometimes it addresses us in our pride, when we think incorrectly, or when we behave sinfully.

Jul 18

Pray for Forgetfulness by Brandon Freeman

To be free from self-reflection and consumed with the glory of the preaching moment is a gift of God.

Jul 18

Misusing Your Spiritual Disciplines by Michael Kelley

Rather than backing God into a corner, the spiritual disciplines position us into a kneeling position.

Jul 17

5 Words of Advice for Young Seminarians by Jared C. Wilson

If you try to do theological education in your own strength, you fail, no matter how good your grades are.

Jul 17

The Bible is Better Than Google by Margaret Bronson

Because of His perfection, we know that what He says is reliably true. 

Jul 17

Links For The Church (7/17) by Staff

This week's links include resources on climate change, good intent with racism, strong women, and grief in a worship service.

Jul 16

Try This When You Are Sad by Charles Spurgeon

A large-hearted Christian has other springs from which to supply himself with comfort beside those which lie within.

Jul 14

Dignity over Despair by Grace Pike

When distress comes, do not succumb to the pride-filled response of the world.

Jul 14

How Can Pastors Have a “Gospel-Centered” Ministry? by Owen Strachan

For the glory of God, the pastor labors to make the message of Christ’s finished work known to needy, hell-bound sinners.

Jul 13

A Church Where Everyone Can Grow by David McLemore

Learning about God isn't easy on our own; it works best inside the community of faith.

Jul 13

Remember the Sabbath: Part 4 by Mike Ayers

The Sabbath separates us from the notion that the world can’t survive without us.

Jul 12

Episode 009: John Onwuchekwa

For The Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

In Episode 9 of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and John Onwuchekwa discuss ministry and mission in urban environments, the declining numbers in the SBC, and what it's like for stutterers to make a living doing public speaking.

Jul 11

Why Ministers Should Learn to Write Well by Steven Thompson

Both verbal and written communication are important because of the significance of the message we are conveying.

Jul 11

A Faithful Steward of My Other Pulpit by H.B. Charles, Jr.

I am tempted to erect a false dichotomy, where I recognize that the pulpit at my church is the Lord’s, but the “pulpit” on my smartphone is mine to use at my discretion.

Jul 10

The Mysterious Trinity and Why It Matters by Jeanie Layne

It matters that we get the Trinity correct because it pertains to the God we love and worship, and we want to worship Him rightly. 

Jul 10

Links For The Church (7/10) by Staff

This week's links include resources on parenting, going through the motions, loving the wrong things, and worry.

Jul 9

Light and Darkness by Charles Spurgeon

A believer has two principles at work within him.

Jul 7

FTC Phoenix Videos by T. Patrick Hudson

Watch all the videos from the recent FTC: Phoenix event at the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention, including talks from Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Thom Rainer, and Jared C. Wilson.

Jul 7

5 Reasons Sermons Fail by Jason K. Allen

Sufficient preparation is indispensable to faithful preaching. Insufficient preparation makes mortals of us all.

Jul 7

Why You Will Join the Wrong Church by Sam Emadi

Instead of valuing consumerism, the Bible roots our membership in the idea of a covenant, which offers an infinitely superior alternative.

Jul 6

Pastor, Don't Forsake the Goodness of Deep Friendships by Steve Bezner

When taking the risk to develop deep friendships with others, I find that most of my deepest pastoral worries never comes to pass.

Jul 6

Remember the Sabbath: Part 3 by Mike Ayers

Transformation from true sabbath rest comes by renewing our minds, not simply amusing them.

Jul 5

Don't Just Tweet Your Proverbs by Jim Elliff

We should never think that just because God has blessed us, we are free to allow our heart to be turned from God. 

Jul 5

The Good News of Penal Substitution by Jonathon Woodyard

If God’s wrath has not fallen on Jesus at Calvary, then his justice is not satisfied. 

Jul 4

Lemuel Haynes's Patriotic Poem

'The Battle of Lexington'

by Staff

For Liberty, each Freeman Strives
As it's a Gift of God
And for it willing yield their Lives
And Seal it with their Blood

Jul 4

A Checkpoint for Your Ambition by Michael Kelley

The Bible tells us over and over again that the way we treat others is a reflection of what’s going on inside us.

Jul 3

Worshiping a Golden Calf on Sunday Morning is Deceptively Easy by Jared C. Wilson

The move is subtle. The switch from ordinary human achievement to blasphemy requires no explanation. It just flatout happens.

Jul 3

VBS Is Worth The Cost by Ryan Higginbottom

We trust God to use his word as he sends it forth, and we pray for fruit.

Jul 3

Links For The Church (7/3) by Staff

This week's links include resources on mask-wearing, your smartphone friend, evil as a good thing, character in leadership, and judgment from friends.

June

Jun 30

The Order Matters by Luke Holmes

Their works cannot take them out of God's favor because their works didn't put them into God's favor. 

Jun 30

Church Planting Across Ethnic Lines by Joel Kurz

When God burdens a preacher for a people group, a neighborhood, or a block, it’s right for that preacher to go and become all things to all people so that he might save some.

Jun 29

2 Signs You're an Insecure Leader by Chad Williams

Leaders who regularly justify themselves are forgetting that God has already done that for us in Jesus.

Jun 29

How Do You Respond When Admonished? by Steve Burchett

We savor the times when a passage soothes our fears, but how do we respond when Scripture confronts our sinfulness?

Jun 29

Distracted Living Isn't So Bad by Adam McClendon

While distracted driving is bad, distracted living can be great. In fact, it can be liberating.

Jun 28

Complete Not in Ourselves, But in Christ by Ian Conrey

God allows us to continue to struggle with our sins so that we are complete not in ourselves, but in Christ.

Jun 28

Episode 008: The Danger of Skipping Church

For The Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

Is it really that big a deal to skip church?

Jun 28

Stop Trying to Preach a Home Run by Chad Lengyel

Our hope is that God is incredibly generous with how much grace he dispenses and upon whom He dispenses it.

Jun 27

Waves of Doubt by Kole Farney

Faith that always looks at self and surroundings, rather than Jesus, has no power over the tsunamis of your life.

Jun 27

How Generosity Can Grow Your Ministry by Art Rainer

When we live with open hands, we reflect the generosity of our God.

Jun 27

Why Isaiah 6 Isn't Isaiah 1 by Mike Leake

Unless we have a vision of God’s holiness, we’ll be great at pronouncing woes against sinners, but woefully inadequate at proclaiming God’s grace.

Jun 26

How We're Like God & How We're Not by Kaitlyn Wright

God has given us all we need to know about Him in His Word, and He has much grace and patience for those who seek to know Him. 

Jun 26

Loving the People You Love to Hate by Jared C. Wilson

Here’s how you know if you hate something someone has done or if you actually hate that person.

Jun 26

Links For The Church (6/26) by Staff

This week's links include resources on joy in the morning, children and the Bible, lamenting for real people, same-sex attraction, and anxiety.

Jun 25

The Ark of Jesus Christ by Charles Spurgeon

If thou art still crying after and craving after something better, Christ has not forgotten thee, for thou hast not quite forgotten him.

Jun 23

Suggestions for Pastors When Your Church is not Happy with You by Jim Elliff

The man I wanted to be was the man God prescribed, above all.

Jun 23

The Power of Company by Adam Kareus

The power of God flows through the Christian community and it also flows through our lives as we live alongside non-believers.

Jun 22

A Winning Vision

Reflections on 10 Years of Church Planting

Your church doesn't need to be preoccupied with vision; it needs to be serious about the Bible.

Jun 22

Saying Goodbye to Narnia by Chris Thomas

Tribulation is real—we should not be surprised by it—but it is not our defining reality. We have a living hope, an imperishable inheritance, and a secure salvation.

Jun 22

A Letter to My Children by Adam McClendon

To my daughters: I pray that you will be a light for Jesus, that you will live for him, and tell others about him.

Jun 21

10 Signs You Are Burning Out by Jim Essian

We are holistic beings who need holistic rest.

Jun 21

The Blessings and Burdens of A Church Planter’s Wife by Gloria Furman

Church planting wives need to have the light of God’s Word shine on their various blessings and burdens.

Jun 21

How to Encourage Your Pastor by David McLemore

Trust that your pastor is following Jesus closely enough that you can trust him. 

Jun 20

How Savings Can Save Your Ministry by Art Rainer

Guarding your ministry through sound stewardship can benefit both your home life and your ministry.

Jun 20

3 Reasons Why Discipline is Harder Than Punishment by Michael Kelley

God is committed not to our behavior but our hearts; not just in what we do but to what we are becoming. 

Jun 20

Running to the Pantry of Good Works by Erik Raymond

The tendency we have to rely on ourselves for our own justification is gospel-muting. It’s Jesus-eclipsing. It’s legalism.

Jun 19

How Ecclesiology is the Doctrine That Integrates All Others by Rick Holland

Considering the multiple dimensions of church life is like walking through one of those warehouse hardware stores. The complexities are countless.

Jun 19

A Revival Without Christ at the Center is Not Revival by Jared C. Wilson

Revival given of the Spirit of the living God, places Christ always and ever at the center.

Jun 19

Links For The Church (6/19) by Staff

This week's links include resources on race, anxiety and creatives, soulful living, and marks of humility. 

Jun 18

Your Heart, Christ's Garden by Charles Spurgeon

The Lord grant the sweet showers of his grace to water his garden this day.

Jun 16

God is Eternally Faithful by Mallory Bierig

Remembering that the faithful Savior’s blood covers sin and is the means of sanctification helps guard us against self-condemnation.

Jun 16

Using Your Words Wisely (Part 5) by Sam Bierig

When the reality that your true address is on high in heaven with Christ, then you will think, live and talk as such here on earth.

Jun 16

The Routine Absurdity of Leaders Growing Large (Part 2) by Dave Harvey

God loves us so much that he will push us off the altar of our accomplishments. 

Jun 15

Using Your Words Wisely (Part 4) by Sam Bierig

For the Christian, Christ’s honor and name are at stake with each and every word that piles out of our mouth.

Jun 15

More than a Messenger

The Pastor as Farm-Steward and Soldier

For a pastor, the stewardship of the gospel message is best understood in light of the broader stewardship of the household of God.

Jun 15

A Few Words to Aspiring Pastors by Mike Brooks

Oh, that ministers-to-be might give themselves to the time and to the process of becoming the man God will use to shepherd his people.

Jun 14

Using Your Words Wisely (Part 3) by Sam Bierig

Until the heart is transformed, we are no more than broken people breaking people—the wounded inflicting more wounds on the already wounded.

Jun 14

Episode 007: Barnabas Piper

For The Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

In Episode 7 of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Barnabas Piper discuss curiosity, platform, pastors' kids, and what it's like growing up the son of John Piper.

Jun 14

No Lesser Women by Allyson Todd

Since we all bear God’s image, we should affirm and celebrate every kind of personality He has designed. 

Jun 13

Why Church Membership Matters by Jason K. Allen

Series: 2017 For The Church Conference at SBC - Phoenix

Jason K. Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO

Jun 13

Why Discipleship Matters by Jared C. Wilson

Series: 2017 For The Church Conference at SBC - Phoenix

Jared C. Wilson, director of Content Strategy and managing editor of For The Church.

Jun 13

Why Baptism Matters by Mark Dever

Series: 2017 For The Church Conference at SBC - Phoenix

Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC.

Jun 13

Why Biblical Manhood Matters by Owen Strachan

Series: 2017 For The Church Conference at SBC - Phoenix

Owen Strachan, associate professor of Christian Theology and Director of the Center for Public Theology

Jun 13

Why Prayer Matters by Steve Gaines

Series: 2017 For The Church Conference at SBC - Phoenix

Dr. Steve Gaines, Senior Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis TN. President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Jun 13

Why Inerrancy Matters by Albert Mohler

Series: 2017 For The Church Conference at SBC - Phoenix

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY.

Jun 13

Using Your Words Wisely (Part 2) by Sam Bierig

Jesus is saying that on judgment day, your words will be like a traceable cookie crumb trail leading to an unarguable conclusion - you’re either dead in sin or alive in Christ.

Jun 13

How Debt Can Destroy Your Ministry by Art Rainer

Give generously. Save wisely. Live appropriately. And avoid letting debt become a ministry killer.

Jun 13

The Difference Between Attractional and Attractive Ministry by Mike Leake

Attractional methods fail to work because they're simply a veneer for insecurity.

Jun 12

Using Your Words Wisely (Part 1) by Sam Bierig

God has entrusted each of us with an almost immeasurable quantity of words, a gargantuan gift to be stewarded and wielded for His glory. 

Jun 12

When You've Got a Bramble for a King by Jared C. Wilson

“Come, get under my shade,” the bramble calls. “I will take care of you.”

Jun 12

Links For The Church (6/12) by Staff

This week's links include resources on husband leadership, missionaries and conflict, repentance, weary anti-racist workers, and selfie-centered worship. 

Jun 11

It is Finished by Charles Spurgeon

Sin hath no more dominion over us.

Jun 9

He is Rightly Wrathful by Rachel Rose

His wrath leads us to far greater comprehension of the mercy and love shown to us in His Son.

Jun 9

The Routine Absurdity of Leaders Growing Large (Part 1) by Dave Harvey

When I can’t hear the gospel, my role grows large, my expectations swell and my mind visits some strange places and absurd ideas.

Jun 9

Yawning at the Glory of God by David McLemore

 If I fail to behold the glory of the dawn, how much more have do I fail to behold the glory of the Son?

Jun 8

Elements of Effective Prayer by Adam McClendon

Prayer is an important aspect of the spiritual life, but if we were honest, we’d probably admit that we pray much less than we ought

Jun 8

Confidence in God When You Don't Understand by H.B. Charles, Jr.

Job's story is one of trusting God’s heart, even when he could not trace God’s hand.

Jun 8

Proceed at Once to the Text by Joshua Jenkins

In our preaching, let us find ourselves winded by the pace at which we get to Christ.

Jun 7

Update to Pilgrim's Progress by Luke Holmes

I'm afraid if I go further down the path, the next spot won't be as comfortable.

Jun 7

Offering Comfort and Hope to Those Who Hurt by Sarah Walton

I have a moment-by-moment choice to press on through the trenches or give way to the crushing burden of my circumstances.

Jun 6

The Devil and the Dunk Tank by Joel Littlefield

The Word tells us to be sober - to have a clear mind going in - so that when the taunting from the enemy comes, we will be ready.

Jun 6

Leading Kids Beyond 'Praying the Prayer' by Mike Phay

When it comes to our children's salvation, we must be careful that our eagerness does not overcome their readiness.

Jun 5

Bring the Books!

In Defense of More 'Gospely' Writing

The idea that a book could impact a soul, that it could awaken something fresh in a weary spirit, give a reader a new sense of Christ's grace that changes everything -- that's worth writing for.

Jun 5

When Discipleship Stalls by Adam Kareus

When we continue to uphold the gospel and what Christ has done, then they will see the purpose of discipleship.

Jun 5

Links For The Church (6/5) by Staff

This week's links include resources on apologetics, social media, a pastor's personal life, sabbath, and missionary confusions. 

Jun 4

How Sweet is the Savior! by Charles Spurgeon

How sweet it is to behold the Saviour communing with his own beloved people!

Jun 2

5 Rules for Sermon Illustrations by Jason K. Allen

Always seek to feed your people, do not settle for unhelpful—or even less helpful— diversions.

Jun 2

Bed Sheets, Calendars and Prayer by Whitney Putnam

When our churches recall the duty of prayer, they also step into the exact footsteps Christ taught his disciples to live. 

Jun 2

Embracing the Quiet Life by Chris Thomas

To embrace solitude and quietness is to reflect on an image of our own self.

Jun 1

And the Survey Says... by Adam McClendon

Six things I was reminded of when I sought the congregation's feedback on my preaching.

Jun 1

The Orphan, the Church, and the Pastor

The Logic of William Carey and the Orphan-Care Crisis

In aiming to exemplify hospitality to orphans, pastors are given the unique opportunity of leveraging their influence to fulfill James's biblical ideal of pure and undefiled religion.

May

May 31

Stop Using Your Personality Test as a Crutch by Michael Kelley

If you’re a Christian, knowing your personality is not your end game.

May 31

Episode 006: Lessons Learned from the Fall of Mars Hill Church

For The Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

In this episode of the For The Church Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with Miles Rohde, lead pastor of Redemption Spokane, which began as the Mars Hill Spokane campus prior to the collapse of that ministry empire, about what we can learn from Mars Hill's fall.

May 31

Learning Contentment Through Repetition by Erik Raymond

Often adversity is a tool of the Lord to remove the things that impede our contentment. 

May 30

A Living Sacrifice by David McLemore

Living a Christian life means putting to death the right to live life on your own terms.

May 30

Does God Want Mere Obedience? by Mike Leake

God doesn’t just want begrudging obedience. He desires us to have hearts which reflect His.

May 30

Alistair Begg on Life in the Spirit

Alistair Begg on the work of the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in the life of a Christian.

May 29

Discipleship for the Rest of Us by Jared C. Wilson

What do you think of when you hear the word "discipleship?"

May 29

The Redeeming Christ by Margaret Bronson

In the greatest act of love, Jesus Christ, the eternal, pre-existing Prince of heaven, left His throne and came to earth to redeem His people from their sin so that they may live eternally with Him.

May 29

Links For The Church (5/29) by Staff

This week's links include resources on delayed adulthood, purity with young women, women's discipleship, a theology of home, and the struggle of reading the Bible. 

May 28

Hoping in Memories by Charles Spurgeon

Thus memory may be, as Coleridge calls it, "the bosom-spring of joy."

May 26

The Abundance of Christ by Travis Montgomery

The barren land of human brokenness, which has only ever yielded enough fruit for us to fight over, has been trumped completely by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the True Vine.

May 26

5 Things to Look For In a Church by Justin Huffman

Don’t just look for a church that is like the churches you have already been acquainted with.

May 26

If Everyone's a Visionary, Why Do We All Sound So Alike? by Owen Strachan

The truly aberrant among us are those submit themselves to the Lord.

May 25

The Benefits of Our Justification by David McLemore

Four things we enjoy as receipients of God's grace to us through Christ.

May 25

Gluttons for Good News by Mike Brooks

It doesn’t get better than the gospel. There isn’t a higher up, further down, deeper, wider experience to be had in the Christian life.

May 25

The Spurgeon Lectures with Alistair Begg

Part 2

Part 2 of the fourth annual C. H. Spurgeon Lectures, delivered by Alistair Begg at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In this lecture, Begg offers two lessons gleaned from Spurgeon's Letter to My Students.

May 24

What's the Best Way for a Pastor to Negotiate His Salary? by Dave Harvey

God rarely invites men into ministry roles where some kind of financial faith is not required to accept the role.

May 24

Four Reasons to Bring Your Bible to Church by Mike Phay

Touching and handling a Bible anchors us physically to God’s gracious gift of the Bible itself.

May 24

Jealous for His Time: The Wife of a Seminarian by Kaylee Freeman

I was bitter because theological education was stealing time I thought was due me. 

May 23

God's Multi-Faceted Sovereignty by Jared Sparks

When we embrace the multi-faceted reality of the sovereignty of God, we are equipped to help others in their time of need.

May 23

5 Characteristics of a Godly Leader by Adam McClendon

The church doesn't just need more leaders; it needs more leaders who are pursuing godliness.

May 23

The Spurgeon Lectures with Alistair Begg

Part 1

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."

May 22

The One Who Treads the Waves by Allyson Todd

I can rest assured that my powerlessness to determine my future makes room for me to trust God who is most powerful.

May 22

Finally, An Older Brother Worthy of the Honor by Jared C. Wilson

Ever notice how Jude identifies himself not as Jesus' kid brother, but as Jesus' servant?

May 22

Links For The Church (5/22) by Staff

This week's links include resources on loving your church, Proverbs 31, service, and word-centered discipleship. 

May 21

Corn in Egypt by Charles Spurgeon

Believer, though all things are apparently against thee, rest assured that God has made a reservation on thy behalf.

May 19

Why We Need Theology by Jeanie Layne

Without proper study of God, we cannot know what will please Him or how to best worship him.

May 19

How God Uses Questions in the Bible by Michael Kelley

God uses questions to force us to confront our own hearts.

May 18

The Beauty of Being Broken Down by Stephen Altrogge

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.

May 18

The 4 Biblical Marks of Corporate Worship by Jason K. Allen

Our attempts to improve Christian worship may, in fact, distract from it. Often, less actually is more. There can be a beauty in simplicity.

May 17

Pastors, Spend Time with Non-Pastors by Garrett Kell

Being around the flock helps them see what our message looks like in real life.

May 17

Episode 005: Owen Strachan on The Benedict Option

For The Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

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?"

May 17

On Your Knees: Missions Work Thousands of Miles Away by Steve Burchett

Powerful preaching and fruitful ministry on the mission field depend on the prayers of God’s people.

May 16

Aren’t There Already Enough Churches? by Joel Littlefield

Some ask, "Do we really need another church?" The better question is, "Are there still lost people in our communities?"

May 16

I'm Listening, Sam

Why Millennials Leave the Church

Hang in there, Sam. The church has been through some pretty dark times, but she’s beautiful.

May 16

MBTS Chapel with Dr. Owen Strachan by Owen Strachan

Dr. Owen Strachan preaching Revelation 12:10-12 at MBTS Chapel.

May 15

No Hoping In Me by Joshua Jenkins

Scripture testifies to the stark reality that the heart of man is the problem of man.

May 15

Links For The Church (5/15) by Staff

This week's links include resources on the law, single working women, culture and counseling, and Christians at work. 

May 15

Prayer Isn't Magic by Jared C. Wilson

The way some people talk about prayer owes more to New Age spirituality and witchcraft than biblical Christianity.

May 14

The Precious Blood of Christ by Charles Spurgeon

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood.

May 12

You Are Not The Story by H.B. Charles, Jr.

We do not have editorial authority over the message.

May 12

Men, Lead Out in Prayer by Casey Lewis

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.

May 11

Hugh Latimer and the Heart of Reformation by Ian Conrey

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.

May 11

Laying Aside a Crushing Weight by Mike Phay

Christ invites us to freely approach the throne, but not to usurp it. He invites us to come as children, not as rebels.

May 11

The Particular Importance of Not Being Particularly Important by Bryan Elliff

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.

May 10

Preachers: God Will Make the Dents by Erik Raymond

We are to make indentions, impressions, dents, whatever, upon the mind and heart by preaching the Word of God. 

May 10

Love After Valentine's Day by Jordan Sparks

We get to engage in a selfless, other-exalting relationship that frees us from our focus on ourselves. 

May 10

Temptation's Face by Josiah Cox

With whatever differences temptations present themselves, their effect is the same.

May 9

Let Us Not Grow Weary

Pastoral Reflections on Patience

Pastors, find fuel for patience in the power of the gospel.

May 9

Stirring One Another Up by David McLemore

We need strong words from one another because the glory of Jesus is too wonderful to miss out on.

May 9

The Pastor and The Gospel

FTC Micro-Conference at TGC 2017

Matt Carter, H.B. Charles, Russell Moore, Owen Strachan, Trevin Wax, and Jared Wilson present short talks on the theme "The Pastor and The Gospel."

May 8

Make Room for Different Kinds of Discipleship by Stacy Reaoch

In our efforts to encourage discipleship in the local church, be open to different ways God might choose to influence you.

May 8

Links For The Church (5/8) by Staff

This week's links include resources on parenting, hospitality, the pastor as steward and soldier, corporate confession, and Jesus and our grammar. 

May 7

Take Up Thy Bed and Walk by Charles Spurgeon

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.

May 5

Theology 101 From My 2-Year-Old by Joshua Hedger

He cared for the one who was lost and that is what Jesus does.

May 5

The Danger of Gospel Osmosis by Brad Andrews

In our time, there is a great temptation to be gospel-centered in name but not in deed.

May 4

In Their Steps

Learning from Those Who Have Gone Before Us

Learn from the past, while running to Jesus.

May 4

Remember the Sabbath: Part 2 by Mike Ayers

When we “sabbath,” we do as God did. This is the essence of godliness.

May 4

For Those Who Are "Over" Church by Jeremy Wilson

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.

May 3

Think Much on Grace by Joshua Jenkins

Our minds could never rummage through to the ends of grace.

May 3

Episode 004: Jonathan Leeman

For The Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

Episode 4: Jonathan Leeman

“Churches seem to have lost track of what the Bible says about organizing our lives together.”

May 3

How are Children a Blessing? by Rebekah Hannah

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.

May 2

The Imperfect Disciple

The New Book from Jared C. Wilson

by Staff

Read the book Matt Chandler says "demystifies discipleship."

May 2

What To Do With Unbiblical Expectations by Mike Leake

Because the Spirit doesn’t give strength for disobedience, He isn’t going to help perpetuate a myth of “Super Pastor.”

May 1

Grace and The Non-Instagrammable Church by Jared C. Wilson

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.

May 1

Links For The Church (5/1) by Staff

This week's links include resources on quick-fix phrases, the infertile couple, distraction in prayer, and children's personalities. 

April

Apr 30

How Precious Are Thy Thoughts, O God by Charles Spurgeon

Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God it overflows with consolation.

Apr 28

Why A "Paper" Bible is Better Than A Bible App At Church Meetings by Steve Burchett

Your paper Bible could be precious and useful to you in ways that a digital Bible never could. 

Apr 28

Ordinary is Big Enough in God’s Eyes by Courtney Reissig

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.

Apr 27

Ask Good Questions on Sunday Morning by Ryan Higginbottom

Pray that the Holy Spirit would prompt others to take a risk and answer your inquiries honestly, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Apr 27

Is Singleness a Problem - or an Opportunity? by Owen Strachan

Singleness on its own terms is not a problem. In Scripture, it’s an opportunity.

Apr 27

Jesus and the Broken-Hearted by Adam McClendon

Our response to Jesus will often be proportionate to our understanding of the egregiousness of our sin.

Apr 26

You Can't Love Missions Without Loving the Local Church by Caleb Greggsen

Imagine what could happen if your church started sending overseas those members who love and serve the church best.

Apr 26

Sister, You Can Do Hard Things by Amy Gannett

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.

Apr 26

Bearing with the Failings of the Weak by Kole Farney

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. 

Apr 25

The True and Better Prophet, Priest, and King​ by Casey Lewis

Jesus is the true and better Prophet, Priest, and King, who is able to do what those who came before could not do.

Apr 25

If the Church Won't Change by Mike Brooks

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.

Apr 24

Creating a Culture of Hospitality by Bryan Elliff

 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.

Apr 24

Links For The Church (4/24) by Staff

This week's links include resources on marriage, smart women, expository teaching, and frienship. 

Apr 24

8 Departure Dangers from Gospel-Centrality by Jared C. Wilson

There are lots of distractions from and temptations to discard a commitment to gospel-centeredness. Here are just eight . . .

Apr 23

More Than Conquerors by Charles Spurgeon

This is the only way to give it a death-blow.

Apr 21

Our Minds Are Like Baking Stone by Erik Raymond

Throughout our days, we are to retain the flavor of who God is, what he has done, and what he has promised.

Apr 21

Reject by Jim Elliff

They looked the stone over and marked it unusable, not valuable, replaceable and inadequate.

Apr 20

Introducing: The For The Church Podcast by Staff

Hosted by Jared Wilson, this new podcast from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary features reflections and conversations aimed at encouraging leaders in gospel ministry.

Apr 20

Present Darkness by Jeremy Wilson

The church should not be afraid to acknowlege the depth and range of human suffering even as we place our hope in God.

Apr 20

The Original Jesus Juke by Russell L. Meek

Our righteouness goes beyond legalism when we obey the true intent of the law.

Apr 20

Preachers with Presence by Chris Thomas

Only an "in-person" preacher can bear the burdens of the congregation, weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.

Apr 19

God Does Not Answer "Selfie" Prayers by H.B. Charles, Jr.

God does not answer prayers that are motivated by selfish ambition, misplaced priorities, or worldly passions.

Apr 19

Episode 001: Matt Chandler

For The Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

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."

Apr 19

The Former is Not The Forever by Allyson Todd

Why, O Father, must I endure this cycle of repentance in hard-heartedness forever? 

Apr 19

Episode 003: Preventing Ministry Burnout

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

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."

Apr 19

Episode 002: Matt Boswell

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

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…

Apr 19

What Christianity Offers by David McLemore

Life defines the Christian experience.

Apr 18

The Sluggard's Substitute by Joshua Jenkins

In His life, on the cross, and in His resurrection, Christ labored to accomplish salvation for spiritual sluggards like us.

Apr 18

Checking Our Compassion Gauges by Adam McClendon

Let us be radically compassionate because of the radical compassion we have richly received from Jesus.

Apr 17

Redeemed to Perpetuate the Name by Jared C. Wilson

Do you know the name of the kinsman redeemer who was first in line to marry Ruth? Exactly.

Apr 17

Links For The Church (4/17) by Staff

This week's links include resources on pain, union with Christ, dying, students and missions, and historical evidence of Jesus.

Apr 17

The Mission Field Under My Roof by Ashley Smith

The home is where stories are taught, faith is worked out, neighbors are heard, plates are filled, and where sojourners can find rest. 

Apr 16

Rise, for the Lord is Risen! by Charles Spurgeon

The resurrection is the corner-stone of the entire building of Christianity.

Apr 14

The Most Important People In The Body Of Christ Are Probably Not On Twitter by Daniel Darling

Simple math tells us that it is faithful, ordinary, anonymous lay people who make up the vast majority of the churches around the world.

Apr 13

Pastor, Defend Christian Liberty by Caleb Greggsen

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.

Apr 13

Encouraging a Plurality of Elders by J.A. Medders

Plurality is possible. God commands it. Let’s pursue it and protect it.

Apr 13

The Freedom of Love by Jesse Benack

True love makes obedience a joy-filled pleasure.

Apr 12

The Exclusion of Christ by Jason Kees

The Lord knocks at their door in order to remind them of who they forgot.

Apr 12

Provided We Suffer With Him by Ian Conrey

Suffering does and should cause us to ask deeper questions about life and the nature of God.

Apr 12

Man-Made Coverings by Liz Wann

God's goal for us as his children is not to conform us to Christian culture, but to his Son.

Apr 11

The Messy Blessing of Multi-Gen Groups by Jeremy Wilson

Blending age-groups in our ministries helps us accurately represent the diverse spiritual family that God has given us.

Apr 11

Why Do We Read the Bible? by Casey Lewis

As much as reading the Bible is an intellectual exercise, gaining knowledge shouldn’t be the main reason we read it.

Apr 11

Michael Kelley on What Many Churches Get Wrong About Discipleship by Michael Kelley

We ask Michael Kelley, "What do too many churches get wrong about discipleship?"

Apr 10

Raising Expectations for Young Believers by Erik Odegard

These young believers possessed a demonstrable commitment to personal and corporate growth in their walks with Christ.

Apr 10

Advice on Hosting and/or Accepting Speaking Engagements by Jared C. Wilson

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.

Apr 10

Links For The Church (4/10) by Staff

This week's links include resources on believer's baptism, perfectionism, loving your neighbor, and gray hair.

Apr 9

Greatness by Goodness by Charles Spurgeon

How marvellous has been our experience of God's gentleness!

Apr 7

Why I Admire Pastors and You Should Too by Jason K. Allen

Most of the pastors I know garner my trust and respect and deserve my prayers and support. 

Apr 7

5 Discipleship Don'ts by Rebekah Hannah

Discipleship is about helping a disciple faithfully relate to Jesus, not to you.

Apr 6

Brother, I Wish I Would Have Known by Russell L. Meek

Be that friend. Love the addict. Remind them of the gospel - that there's another way that is better.

Apr 6

Remember the Sabbath: Part 1 by Mike Ayers

Part 1 of a 4-part series on leadership and rest.

Apr 6

God Loves Us Enough to Disappoint Us by Zach Barnhart

The very worst thing God could do for us is give us the life we want in our flesh.

Apr 5

Sex: The Cathedral of Our Culture by Sam Bierig

Sex simply cannot sustain the weight of our culture's expectations.

Apr 5

Do You Invite Critique of Your Sermons? by Erik Raymond

As pastors, should care more about getting the Bible right than simply feeling like we’re right. 

Apr 5

The Unlikely Saint by Jared Sparks

One enters into eternal peace and joy. The other? “Depart from me. I never knew you.”

Apr 4

Soli Deo Gloria by Travis Montgomery

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.

Apr 4

Principles for Transitioning to Multiple Elders by Nathan Rose

Moving to a plurality of pastors is a good goal that is worth pursuing, but it’s important to not get in a rush.

Apr 4

Dan Darling on the Church's Support of Parachurch Ministries by Daniel Darling

We asked Dan Darling, "How should a church decide which, if any, parachurch ministries to support?"

Apr 3

The Gospel's Compelling Uniqueness by Jared C. Wilson

The safe Jesus of modern evangelicalism is not offensive, but neither is He very compelling.

Apr 3

There Once Was A Farmer by Chris Thomas

His pleasure was rooted in the harvest he hoped for.

Apr 3

Links For The Church (4/3) by Staff

This week's links include resources on redefining ministry, protecting your children, folding singles into the family, anxiety, and leadership credibility. 

Apr 2

Pray for God's Glory, Not Your Own by Charles Spurgeon

Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions.

March

Mar 31

What Is The Bible And What Does It Tell Us? by Casey Lewis

If we want to learn more about who we are, we don’t look within, instead, we look outside ourselves to God’s Word 

Mar 31

Sharing the Gospel at Work by David McLemore

You are not at your workplace by accident but by divine providence. 

Mar 30

3 Reasons Young People Leave the Church by Jason K. Allen

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.

Mar 30

The Pronouns of the Gospel by Mike McKinley

If we’re the people who are reconciled to God, that reconciliation must reveal itself through our relationships within the church.

Mar 30

4 Reasons Your Work Matters Today by Michael Kelley

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.

Mar 29

Why Artists Need Theology by Owen Strachan

The truth of the matter is that there is no ground for creativity that comes close to the intellectual fertility of Christian theology. 

Mar 29

No Spin on Sin by Erik Raymond

The Holy Spirit progressively conforms Christians into the image of Christ. 

Mar 29

The Right Side of the Line by Darrell Deer

The line between noble intentions and prideful purposes is so difficult to see that it's easy for us to cross.

Mar 28

How to Grow Your Church Numerically by Steve Burchett

Whenever true disciples are added to the church, the gospel has been proclaimed.

Mar 28

The Gospel in 140 Characters by Benjamin Vrbicek

The gospel is bigger than the universe, but can it be tweeted in 140 characters or less?

Mar 28

H.B. Charles on the Pastor's Most Important Weekly Tasks by H.B. Charles, Jr.

We ask H.B. Charles, "What are the pastor’s most important weekly tasks?"

Mar 27

Jesus Is Better Than Our Dreams by Whitney Putnam

The Church should cradle the richest, most outlandish dreams.

Mar 27

When You Feel Forgotten, Abandoned, and Unloved by Jared C. Wilson

This does not make pain painless, of course, but it doesn’t make it purposeless either.

Mar 27

Links For The Church (3/27) by Staff

This week's links include resources on lamenting, singing at a new church, flirting, and sour desires. 

Mar 26

Freedom is Coming by Charles Spurgeon

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."

Mar 24

Production or Virtue? by Bryan Elliff

If I prioritize production, I end up frustrated, and I actually abandon virtue and toy with anger or bitterness.

Mar 24

Keep Going Out and Keep Sowing by Joel Littlefield

It’s not the tears that produce fruit, or even the faithfulness of the sower.

Mar 23

Scripture in Songwriting by Daniel Ross

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.

Mar 23

To PhD or Not to PhD by Todd Chipman

A few reflections on whether or not pursuing a PhD is a right fit.

Mar 23

One Problem With Being an Insecure Minister by Mike Leake

The more we trust in the sand of our own efforts, the less secure we’ll actually be.

Mar 22

When God Gives You "X" But You Asked For "Y" by Sean Nolan

God exposed my misplaced allegiance by closing doors that, if opened, would’ve led down a path of continual self-destruction and false worship.

Mar 22

Making A Pastoral Apology by Chuck Fuller

If you’re a leader, others might have been involved in the mistake, but they were likely following your lead. 

Mar 22

Counsel For The Counselor by Matt Capps

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.

Mar 21

On Emotionalism and the Gospel by Joshua Jenkins

Leaders, trade in the tricks of the trade for the all-powerful, all-surpassing glory of Jesus Christ in the gospel.

Mar 21

Oddly Fashioned Heroes by Mike Brooks

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.

Mar 21

Adam McClendon on How Churches Can Appeal to Both Young and Old

We asked Adam McClendon, "How can a church stay attractive to younger people without alienating older people?"

Mar 20

Links For The Church (3/20) by Staff

This week's links include resources on conviction, congregational singing, preaching race, and weary moms. 

Mar 20

Thoughts on Note-Taking During Sermons by Jared C. Wilson

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.

Mar 20

Tale As Old As Time by Allyson Todd

The gospel is the ultimate "tale as old as time" because we get God.

Mar 19

Faith Engages the Omnipotence of God by Charles Spurgeon

If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith.

Mar 17

Learning From Lifetimes of Experience by Andy Sabaka

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. 

Mar 17

What Preachers Can Learn From George Whitefield's First Sermon by Thomas Kidd

Abundant religious activity cannot mask a rebellious heart at the last day.

Mar 16

2 Good Reasons to Say "Amen" Today by Michael Kelley

There are only two options with Scripture: either we say amen to its entirety, or we entirely reject it.

Mar 16

How Have I Loved You? by Russell L. Meek

Let us embrace the love we don't deserve and love our Father because He first loved us.

Mar 16

Living to Honor, Not to Earn by Adam McClendon

My friends, let us be a church that savors, promotes, and clings to grace. 

Mar 15

Adoption is Commitment by Joel Littlefield

I want the Father’s adopting-love ingrained into the very fabric of my thinking

Mar 15

Feminism and the Fall by Kristina Shiddell

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.

Mar 15

Do You Desire The Ministry? by Jason K. Allen

There is no such thing as a pastor who knows only the burden of leadership or only the sweat of service.

Mar 14

Reclaiming Your Eyes from Pornography by Kole Farney

Let the unveiled image of Christ burn into the eyes of your heart. This is the hope of transformation.

Mar 14

Praying to Walk Right by H.B. Charles, Jr.

This is the believer’s confidence in the Lord. God alone is my help and my hope.

Mar 14

David Prince on the Church and High Impact Sports by David Prince

We asked David Prince, "What should the Christian think about high-impact sports?"

Mar 13

Jesus is a Straight Shooter by Jared C. Wilson

For our joy, Jesus always shoots us straight.

Mar 13

Links For The Church (3/13) by Staff

This week's links include resources on rest, childlessness, spiritual strength, and a forgotten hero. 

Mar 13

Making Real Friendships In The Church by Whitney Putnam

We each echo God’s glory differently for the sake of the Kingdom.

Mar 12

Nothing is Neutral by Charles Spurgeon

No neutralities can exist in religion.

Mar 10

Into the Great Unknown by Andrea Burke

Go to the source. Go into the dark of things you don’t know. Watch how the stars shine.

Mar 10

Is Your Platform Worth Your Life? by Davis Lacey

Christians, how can we be vigilant to guard against selfish ambition in our lives and ministries?

Mar 10

Jonathan Leeman on Elders and Deacons Working Together

How can a church avoid turning its elders and deacons into a sort of bicameral legislature?

Series: Conversations

Mar 9

Helping Our Daughters To Be Sexually Pure by Mike Leake

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.

Mar 9

On Malachi and Religious Ritualism by Russell L. Meek

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.

Mar 9

Confrontational Love by Adam McClendon

A community that lives with love enough to both provide and receive gentle rebukes from one another makes for an incredible family.

Mar 8

5 Reasons You Desperately Need Your Bible by Kristen Wetherell

Until our race is finished, we glean from him, day in and day out. 

Mar 8

Suffering is a Doorway, Not a Dead End by Gavin Ortlund

Because Christ walked ahead of us, we know greater fellowship with Him as we follow in his steps. 

Mar 8

The Gospel Is Bad News For Our Stereotypes by Owen Strachan

The work of Christ applied to our hearts is such an unstoppable, unopposable force that it refigures us entirely.

Mar 7

Gospel-Centrality and Compassion by Brian Key

Series: 2017 Spring Chapel

Pastor Brian Key preaches from the Gospel of Luke on compassionate ministry.

Mar 7

11 Characteristics of the Self-Righteous by Casey Lewis

In an effort to help us create self-awareness and keep us out of the trap, here are 11 characteristics of the self-righteous . . .

Mar 7

Gospel Culture by David McLemore

The culture that we allow our doctrine to create is the real test of what we believe the doctrine to be.

Mar 7

J.T. English on Growing Churches “Feeling Small” by JT English

We ask J.T. English, "How do you make sure a growing church keeps 'feeling small?'”

Mar 6

Men Wanted: Come and Die by Jared C. Wilson

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.

Mar 6

Links For The Church (3/6) by Staff

This week's links include resources on integrity, home, small group woes, and knowing God. 

Mar 6

A Small Church in a Mega-Church World by Joshua Jenkins

God delights to work through weak vessels that are small in the world’s eyes. 

Mar 5

Lord, Give Us the Sense That We are Yours by Charles Spurgeon

Let me have a present, personal, infallible, indisputable sense that I am thine, and that thou art mine.

Mar 3

The Necessity of Prayer in Sermon Prep by Erik Raymond

We will be as prayerful as we are cognizant of our own weakness.

Mar 3

Beauty for Ashes: The Groom and His Bride by Peyton Hill

His perfection becomes hers when he takes her filth with him in death.

Mar 2

Kids, Asparagus, and the Command of Jesus by Michael Kelley

The commands of Christ feel crushing without a new heart to help us obey.

Mar 2

In or Out? by Jim Elliff

You are in Christ and fully in, or you are out and fully out.

Mar 2

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery by Daniel Ross

A few reflections on a modern-day hymn.

Mar 1

He Is Your Praise by Steve Bezner

God gave Jesus because Jesus is the highest form of praise I could ever receive.

Mar 1

Enjoying Marriage Through the Lens of the Gospel by Trillia Newbell

To fully enjoy one another is to view them with new eyes, saturated in the grace of our Savior. 

Mar 1

How to Leave a Church by Adam McClendon

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. 

February

Feb 28

4 Reasons to Preach Christ from the Old Testament by Russell L. Meek

But there is much more to the Abraham narratives than a simple “do this; don’t do this.”

Feb 28

Praying Specifically by Bryan Elliff

What if we walked into every day with the expectation that God hears and answers specific prayer?

Feb 28

Michael Kelley on the Writing Process by Michael Kelley

We ask Michael Kelley to describe his writing process.

Feb 27

Dear 'Concerned Church Member' by Jared C. Wilson

It is Jesus who is available to you 24/7, and I'm not him.

Feb 27

Links For The Church (2/28) by Staff

This week's links include resources on social media, raising faithful kids, lessons for American Christians, and the benefits of discipleship. 

Feb 27

Beware of Ministry Shaming by Allyson Todd

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.

Feb 26

God Saves You All by Himself by Charles Spurgeon

Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone.

Feb 24

Are You Suffocating Your Creativity? by Erik Raymond

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.

Feb 24

6 Tips for Preaching in a Missionary Context by Jason K. Allen

We should strive to preach our best sermons in overseas contexts.

Feb 24

Russell Moore on the Culture War by Russell Moore

Series: Conversations

If conservatives have lost the culture war and the American church is in decline, what is there for evangelicals to be encouraged by?

Feb 23

Join the New England Study Tour This May!

Deadline to Register is March 1

by Staff

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.

Feb 23

At Your Wits' End by Kole Farney

Mark this down: the Lord hears and answers the cries of desperate people. 

Feb 23

When We Open the Bible by David McLemore

To read the Bible is a risky thing. We cannot read it, put it down, and claim ignorance.

Feb 23

Rules Without Reasons by Mike Leake

Sometimes, we won't think there are good enough reasons given to obey God, yet we are called to obey Him anyway.

Feb 22

Angry Twitter and Confused Christians by Owen Strachan

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.

Feb 22

When You Are the Old-Timer by Lucy Crabtree

We ought to be the most hospitable toward the sojourners among us.

Feb 22

Love for the Forgotten Pastor by Joshua Jenkins

The promise of the gospel is not that man will remember you, but that God knows you.

Feb 21

What Will Your Children Remember About You? by Steve Burchett

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?

Feb 21

Why Should One Consider Formal Theological Education? by Nathan Finn

We ask Nathan Finn, "Why should one consider formal theological education?"

Feb 20

Letter from a 'Concerned Church Member' by Jared C. Wilson

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.

Feb 20

Links For The Church (2/20) by Staff

This week's links include resources on entertainment, letting God, the Trinity debate, and singleness.

Feb 20

Thankful for His Keeping by Keri Seavey

The gift hidden within difficult seasons is that we may see more clearly and understand more deeply our desperate need of His keeping. 

Feb 19

Grace is Meant to be Shared by Charles Spurgeon

I will not believe that thou hast tasted of the honey of the gospel if thou canst eat it all thyself.

Feb 17

For Better Conversations by Jim Elliff

Your artful questions and interest make both sides of the conversation possible.

Feb 17

Health, Wealth, And Not Much Else by Andrea Burke

Revival wasn't shouting and screaming; it was the beat of love within me for others.

Feb 17

One Thing: Devin Maddox by Staff

Series: One Thing

How can a church engage in social justice without falling into the errors of the social gospel?

Feb 16

How to Get Your Prayer to Work by H.B. Charles, Jr.

The power to answer prayer belongs to God alone. And the glory for answered prayer belongs to God alone.

Feb 16

Expositional Imposters by Mike Gilbart-Smith

Seven pitfalls to avoid when preaching expositional sermons.

Feb 16

Jesus Walks Amongst the Churches by David Appelt

Jesus is not far-off, peering through a telescope. He is among the churches. And He is with us now. 

Feb 15

For Young Adults Considering Ministry by Ashlyn Portero

Is your greatest desire to see the gospel go forward in the place where God has you?

Feb 15

The Insensitivity of the Cross by Joshua Jenkins

God was mercifully insensitive to our feelings and desires at the cross. 

Feb 15

God Still Seeks Wandering Fools by Andy Sabaka

The incarnation glorifies the extent to which God would go to seek out those who were running from him.

Feb 14

Christians and the Realm of Desperation by Michael Kelley

If we are to follow Jesus, then we must have a growing understanding that the Christian does not operate in the realm of desperation.

Feb 14

Be a Humble, Lifelong Learner by Joshua Hedger

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.”

Feb 14

Clint Pressley on Leading Big Change in the Local Church

We ask Clint Pressley, "How do you lead big change in a church without blowing it up?"

Feb 13

Pastor, Keep A Close Watch On Your Life and Illustrations by Jared C. Wilson

You shouldn't trust your illustration to do what only God's word can.

Feb 13

Links For The Church (2/13) by Staff

This week's links include resources on spiritual formation, joy, women's roles, and multi-ethnic ministry. 

Feb 13

Do You Pray For Your Competitors? by Adam McClendon

What if we refused to be threatened by our sister churches and instead committed to pray for them?

Feb 12

He Shall Give You a Comforter by Charles Spurgeon

The Holy Ghost is no temporary gift, he abides with the saints.

Feb 10

Pastoring People Through Slow Change by Dave Harvey

The call to plant and pastor is primarily a call to help people keep the gospel in focus.

Feb 10

One Thing: Lane Harrison by Lane Harrison

Series: Conversations

What are the pastor's most important weekly tasks?

Feb 10

Pastors and the Problem of Evil by Gary Shultz

Our people need the hope of the cross and the assurance of the resurrection.

Feb 9

Diary of an Ex-Shepherd by Mike Leake

"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."

Feb 9

How Can I Delight in God's Word?​ by Casey Lewis

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.

Feb 9

The Gospel and Social Media Part 4 by Ronni Kurtz

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.

Feb 8

Pastor, You Are Not a Big Deal by Dean Inserra

Series: 2017 Spring Chapel

Dean Inserra, Lead Pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Florida, preaches from 1 Peter 5 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Feb 8

Song Requests and Gospel Rest by Daniel Ross

Ultimately, God’s glory in your selections should be more important than making someone happy

Feb 8

When You Are The New Kid by Lucy Crabtree

Roll up your sleeves, labor alongside them, and love them.

Feb 8

Dear Bi-Vocational Pastor by Joshua Jenkins

There is no nobler task than to deliver good news to weary souls week-in and week-out.

Feb 7

What's Left When a Church Closes by Luke Holmes

The danger of focusing on things over people is that we might actually get what we want. 

Feb 7

Photobombing Jesus

Confessions of a Glory Thief

A simple, but profound truth: Jesus came to save glory thieves from themselves.

Feb 7

J.D. Greear on Sharing the Gospel with Muslims

We asked J.D. Greear, "What are some important things to remember when sharing the gospel with Muslims?"

Feb 6

How Journaling Combats Sin by Allyson Todd

Journaling is not an end in and of itself; the end is to look to and live by the cross.  

Feb 6

10 Books for Your Church's Book Table by Jared C. Wilson

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.

Feb 6

Links For The Church (2/6) by Staff

This week's links include resources on self-care, abortion, our problem, and community.

Feb 5

The Father Sent the Son to be the Savior of the World by Charles Spurgeon

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?

Feb 3

When They Say Parenting Gets Worse by Andrea Burke

You don’t get to decide to lay down your life one day and then not think about it again

Feb 3

How important is it for preachers to pay attention to cultural trends and popular media? by Staff

Series: Conversations

How important is it for preachers to pay attention to cultural trends and popular media?

Feb 2

Stott’s Simple—Yet Surprising—Productivity Secret by Kevin Halloran

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.

Feb 2

The Gospel and Social Media Part 3 by Ronni Kurtz

In a thread of confirmation bias, hate, uncareful thinking, narcissism, and over exaggerations, be the voice of gospel reason.

Feb 1

Community Requires Vulnerability by Christine Hoover

Community isn’t something that comes to us; it’s something that we go toward.

Feb 1

Gospel-Division That Creates Gospel-Ambassadors by Jonathon Woodyard and Dave Zuleger

Belief in the gospel is the only way anyone can cross the gospel line and experience eternal life.

January

Jan 31

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle by R.D. McClenagan

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.

Jan 31

What are some common rookie preaching mistakes? by H.B. Charles, Jr.

We asked H.B. Charles: "What are some common rookie preaching mistakes?"

Jan 30

Christian Life Beyond the Quiet Time

Devotion as a Way of Life

Be filled with the Spirit? How can I be something the Spirit does?

Jan 30

Links For The Church (1/30) by Staff

This week's links include resources on womanliness, accountability, seminary, and presence. 

Jan 29

Looking to the Future with Hope by Charles Spurgeon

The joys of heaven will surely compensate for the sorrows of earth.

Jan 28

Why Christianity is Different by Jared C. Wilson

Series: 2017 Ready Conference

Jared C. Wilson preaches on the uniqueness of Christianity at the 2017 Ready Conference at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and College.

Jan 28

What is The Good Life? by Trip Lee

Series: 2017 Ready Conference

Trip Lee preaching on "the good life" at the 2017 Ready Conference at Midwestern Seminary and College.

Jan 27

Is the Bible Trustworthy? by John Mark Yeats

Series: 2017 Ready Conference

Dr. John Mark Yeats preaching on the reliability of Scripture at the 2017 Ready Conference at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and College.

Jan 27

Truth in a Shifting Culture by Owen Strachan

Series: 2017 Ready Conference

Dr. Owen Strachan preaches on "Truth in a Shifting Culture" at the 2017 Ready Conference at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and College.

Jan 27

Redeeming 'Whatever' (Part 2) by Dave Harvey

When we ponder the right things, we proceed in the right direction. 

Jan 27

What Are The Pastor's Most Important Weekly Tasks?

We asked Noah Oldham, "What are the pastor's most important weekly tasks?"

Series: Conversations

What are the pastor's most important weekly tasks?

Jan 26

The Gospel and Social Media Part 2 by Ronni Kurtz

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.

Jan 26

Leading Meetings with Humility by Adam McClendon

As we acknowledge the need to lead humbly, what does godly, humble leadership look like in the day-to-day?

Jan 25

How to Practice Christian Encouragement by Jared Musgrove

I believe encouragement should take its place alongside any list of spiritual disciplines. 

Jan 25

The America We Forgot by Owen Strachan

There is much wisdom when you have a love for people wherever you find them, urban or rural.

Jan 24

5 Words That Should Scare Your Pastor by Mike Leake

Five little words that once fed my pride in ministry are now terrifying to me.

Jan 24

How can a pastor effectively counsel someone without creating a co-dependency?

We asked Adam McClendon, "How can a pastor effectively counsel someone without creating a co-dependency?"

Jan 23

What if You Aborted a Future Janitor?

Why We Should Reject Utilitarian Arguments Against Abortion

Christians should have nothing to do with utilitarian arguments against abortion.

Jan 23

Links For The Church (1/23) by Staff

This week's links include resources on the rich, waiting, masculine friendship, and heresy.

Jan 22

Why You're Suffering by Charles Spurgeon

Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire.

Jan 20

3 Principles to Communicate the Bible by Michael Kelley

All of us... are communicators of the gospel.

Jan 20

How can smaller churches conduct successful ministry training? by Joe Thorn

How can smaller churches conduct successful ministry training?

Jan 19

Exulting in the Shepherd by Joshua Jenkins

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.

Jan 19

The Gospel and Social Media Part 1 by Ronni Kurtz

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.

Jan 18

Church, This is a Call for Familial Friendship by Christine Hoover

We must actively pursue deep relationships with others within our churches in which we bravely share how the gospel lays claim to our lives. 

Jan 18

A Question of (Alt) Right and Wrong by John Mark Yeats

Christians must hold to the higher standard that all believers are one, a new race in Christ. 

Jan 17

The Danger of Entertaining Lies by Tish Hedger

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.

Jan 17

Who is a criminally under-appreciated figure in church history we should know more about? by David Prince

We ask David Prince, "Who is a criminally under-appreciated figure in church history we should know more about?"

Jan 16

Are You a Confirmation Bias Christian? by Jared C. Wilson

How would you know if your Christian life has become hijacked by confirmation bias? Here are some possible diagnostic signs . . .

Jan 16

Links For The Church (1/16) by Staff

This week's links include resources on feeling dead on the inside, pro-life causes, repetition in worship, and teaching children about hell. 

Jan 15

Give Yourself to Prayer by Charles Spurgeon

The common fault with the most of us is our readiness to yield to distractions.

Jan 13

Redeeming 'Whatever' (Part 1) by Dave Harvey

How does God reach us when our heart staggers mindlessly into the gray dusk of ‘whatever’? 

Jan 13

One Thing: Jonathan Leeman

How do you lead big change in a church without blowing it up?

Series: One Thing

How do you lead big change in a church without blowing it up?

Jan 12

8 Important Things About the Young Timothy by Adam McClendon

Feel you aren’t useful? Need a reminder of God’s methodology? God uses the willing. God uses the available. God uses the weak.

Jan 12

The Essential Marks of a Preacher by Jason K. Allen

If God has called you to be His preacher, never stoop to be a king of men.

Jan 11

Christians in La La Land by Giana Hall

 The real call of Christianity is to find our love and meaning by trusting in, submitting to, and abiding in Christ.

Jan 11

8 Books That Have Influenced Me by Sam Bierig

 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.

Jan 10

Don't Pollute the Stream by Mike Leake

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.

Jan 9

5 Things The Seeker Movement Got Right by Jared C. Wilson

In the spirit of charity, seeking to identify some good gifts the seeker church of yesteryear has given contemporary evangelicalism

Jan 9

Links For the Church (1/9) by Staff

This week's links include resources on curiosity, congregational singing, procrastination, and weakness.

Jan 8

Are You Unholy About Holiness? by Charles Spurgeon

Even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives.

Jan 6

Are You Allergic to God's Judgment? by Erik Raymond

Declawing the Bible of its warnings against and judgments upon sin is not good for the church.

Jan 5

Community Keeps You From Drifting by David McLemore

All Christians want to stay close to Jesus. But to try to do that on your own is to set out to fail.

Jan 4

Friendship for the Pastor's Wife by Christine Hoover

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.

Jan 4

Caution and Help for the Hyperdriven Leader by Mike Ayers

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.

Jan 3

A Better Temple by Joshua Jenkins

As beautiful as the temple was, it was but a shadow of the magnificence of Christ.

Jan 3

Ministry Isn't an Individual Sport by Jared Bumpers

Is your ministry an individual sport or a team sport?

Jan 2

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards by Jared C. Wilson

I wonder how the resolutions of us donut-eaters might stack up to these from Jonathan Edwards.

Jan 2

Links For the Church (1/2) by Staff

This week's links provide resources on interpreting the Bible, true masculinity, resolutions, and Christology. 

Jan 1

Let January Open With Joy

A New Year's Devotion from Charles Spurgeon

We open the gates of the year to the sweet strains of the harp of joy!