Has God clearly impressed upon your heart and life in some way that the only course of life and action for you is to serve the Lord, even to the final drop of blood and the last breath of your lungs in laboring hard for the advance of the gospel? If not, please do something else.
What happens when someone gets lost in the crowd of church? They feel more like a number than a family member.
I’m not against strategies and tools. But what I’ve learned in the last few years is that Jesus hasn’t hidden anything from us. He is not at the Father’s side hoping we are clever enough to unlock the mystery of a healthy church.
Let the thrill of ministry die away, and seek the presence of the thrill-giver through communion, solitude, service, and contentment, and you will find a world of new thrills all the time.
Should the sermon conclude with an invitation?
One of my elders and I confronted these Mormon missionaries with biblical fact after fact, all of which stood in conflict with their deeply held convictions. Nothing seemed to faze them. Except one thing . . .
Let's find ways to welcome and celebrate diverse cultural expressions among believers. To fail to do so is to rob God of the varying forms of worship due His name.
So when you sing on Sunday, make sure you are raising your hands and heart because of the words that you are singing and not simply because of the emotions that you are feeling.
Augustine of Hippo, the great theologian and North African bishop, said men who “speak the common tongue” need “two other languages for the study of Scripture: Hebrew and Greek.”
Since churches looking for pastoral candidates seem to be all the map when it comes to ordination, does it make sense for aspiring ministers to pursue it?
One of the most valuable sentences in a pastor's arsenal is "I don't know."
The increasing presence of transgender individuals demonstrates humanity’s underlying desire to understand themselves, to achieve a sense of wholeness.
It was probably the most difficult conversation I had ever had. Sitting across from me were two leaders I had a great deal of respect for and a large desire to work with. I couldn't wait to be part of this team, launching a new work with them. And then the bottom fell out.
Again and again we see Paul saying: don’t wait for things to happen. Go minister. Be active. Don’t neglect your gifts; use them. Don’t wait to see if ministry happens; go make it happen.
At the end of the day, loving our spouse through darkness means doing everything we can to make sure they know they are loved. Sometimes this means speaking hard truths to them in love, but many times this means entering into their state as a listener and a lover.
I would say that the chief thing I learned during my relatively short ministry time in Vermont was how to pastor a suffering church. But we learned that God is sweet and gracious and what it actually means for the death of his saints to be precious to him.
At root, I think a move of the gospel requires many more ordinary moments than we realize—and far fewer grand gatherings. It is in the little moments, the simple times of meals and working and expressing kindness that Jesus is displayed. Such moments are, after all, much more poignant than any sort of spectacle we might produce.
Midwestern Seminary President Jason K. Allen gives a brief overview of the upcoming FTC at SBC regional conference event. Register today.
There are things you can do for your pastor that are like a drink of cool water on a dry, dusty day.
When I am inclined to be frustrated when someone is just not “getting it," I am reminded of Jesus’ gracious and patient teaching by way of reminder among the disciples.
The life of a drug addict is a life of worship. Every decision made; where to live, what to spend money on, what to do in leisure time, who to spend time with, where to work etc., is made with the addiction in mind. The addiction becomes a god who is a slave master.
A careful reading of the Gospels reveals it is a non sequitur to argue that Jesus affirmed homosexual relationships. I’d like to suggest six reasons why this form of “Gay Christian” argumentation fails . . .
In a desire to help us avoid the hungry bears in our churches, I would like to submit five types of people to avoid when choosing leaders for your church . . .
It is not enough to do God’s will. Leaders must do God’s will God’s way.
Have you ever seen someone attempt something they aren't capable of accomplishing? On one hand, you feel there is a sense of nobility in the effort they put forward to carry out whatever task they've put their misdirected skill to accomplish. On the other hand it's uncomfortable and troubling to watch someone flounder, fail and become frustrated with themselves over the toil of their labor. They just aren't in the…
This is not the image that most readily comes to mind when we think of pastoral ministry. Nobody flocks to pastor's conferences to learn about this. But it is incredibly important.
Most advice given about finding the “right person” to marry is about identifying a certain skill-set. Whether it’s a lasting legacy or a ticket to a comfortable lifestyle, the search becomes a matter of discovering what will be useful to achieve that goal. And this type of thinking is contrary to the gospel.
In evangelism, we’ll often talk about a variety of topics (suffering, faith, truth, etc.), but don’t forget that you are ultimately there to proclaim Christ. Always bring it back to Jesus. When I’m evangelizing, there are five truths I want to communicate about Jesus.
I can overlook an essential element to the preaching process if I don’t intentionally pause and reflect upon the task at hand. These seven questions help me do just that.
No Sunday church gathering consists of believers alone. Yet, for most pastors of established churches, our tendency is to preach to the same people each week.
Cheer up. The worst thing they can do is kill us
The spiritualist needs the gospel of Jesus Christ for the same reason we all need it. We have already tried to be our own god and the result has been complete disaster.
After a year of teaching and a trip to Jerusalem by Paul and Barnabas to clarify the doctrine of salvation concerning the Gentiles (commonly known as the Jerusalem Council), this almost 2-year-old church was ready to begin its mission . . .
Both extroverts and introverts must do the work to see that those with the gift of introversion are a grace to God’s Church, so I have some considerations for my fellow introverted church members and the extroverts who love them.
Many of us wondered why our favorite artists articulated a view of God so much bigger than our pastors. Many of us were using podcasts as a way to connect with pastors that preached the same glorious truths. But still, many of us were functionally church orphans. And no movement, even Gospel-centered movements, can expect to be sustained apart from the local church.
Matt Carter, Jared Wilson, and Charles Smith share some info on the upcoming For The Church conference luncheon at The 2015 Southern Baptist Convention.
We think bigness is the way. We think bigness solves lots of problems. We think bigness is safety. We think we can get too big to fail. But it's the other way around.
If we saw holiness as the miracle that it is, I think it would become a topic of conversation accompanied by joy, encouragement, and a sense of opportunity. It would lead to a renewed vision for the church in your neighbourhood.
The songs we sing in gathered worship should present an antidote to our pharisaical hearts. We need to sing songs that help us enter into the rest of Christ’s finished work.
A spirit of professionalism is still a danger to pastor ministry, but I think we are seeing a new wave: a spirit of entrepreneurship.
Our value is not defined by our desired pastoral position. We matter whether we are there or not. Therefore, we have a role to play our current churches and in God's kingdom while we wait.
One important principle of building trust is measured by how well you respond to criticism.
If I want Colossians 1:3-6 to be happening in our church, what kind of pastor do I have to be? What kind of pastor does God use to accomplish this kind of work?
What happens when the young seminarian or college ministerial student takes his first churches in these areas? And what should the committed rural pastor think about his church’s future?
If you are called and gifted to lead, you would do well to remember there are two points of reference set before you–the current reality and the future destination.
Pastors, explore the reasons for “why” and “what” and “how" of doing church with your people frequently. You may know the answers to the majority—if not all—of these questions, but that doesn't mean the people on mission with you do.
The Bible is the foundation of our life as Christians. Get a grip on it now. Don't let anything else take away from its priority in your life. Do this, and it will go well for you.
What brings about such seasons? Is it even right to talk about ways and means?