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?
An assault against Eve is an assault against Eden.
Our people need to see that the character in the Christian life isn’t marked by the sinless life; it’s marked by the repentant life.
When I’m prepping my sermons, I’ll write at the top of my notes, “Don’t forget the gospel, Doofus.”
High trust may not help a poor plan, but low trust will crush a good one.
The art of preaching the gospel falls not only within the category of Instruction but also Exultation.
Sanctified leaders say to God, “I’m willing. The answer is yes. Now God, what is the question?
I heard it again. This time from a pastor who remarked that we don’t need church plants because we have great churches here. This wasn’t the first time I’ve heard this claim, and it won’t be the last. It’s a good reminder that we must continually cast the vision for why new churches are needed in the Bible Belt.
The almost universal assumption is that no one has difficulty preaching Christ from the New Testament, especially from the Gospels. But just because your sermon mentions Christ doesn't mean you're preaching Christ.
How should you respond to a fellow member who is leaving for what sounds like a bad reason?
On numerous occasions, when I've heard prominent evangelical leaders answer the question, "What is the gospel?" they do not mention the resurrection. I find this highly problematic.
Many times, those who lead ministries in small or rural churches let slide things like effective staff leadership, thinking such a practice is only the mandate for larger churches or churches in busier contexts. But if the small, rural church pastors neglect tending to their support leaders -- whether vocational or volunteer -- they can stifle the growth of their ministry
While we can't clone what is taking place in the biblical book of Acts, we can seek to learn its pattern.
My pastor husband has learned the art of running full-out in ministry while also running full-out in marriage and family. Because of this--because he has been as committed to me as he has to ministry--he hasn’t lost my heart. In fact, he has it more than ever. This is why
We all like to hear about God doing extraordinary things in the lives of other people, but we’re uneasy about putting him on the hook to do the same for us.
So the great irony of prosperity gospelism is that it actually cultivates its own need for itself. It is built on discontentment and greed and desire and accumulating (whether stuff or "spirituality"), and therefore it turns in on itself, self perpetuating, continuing to create the needs it promises to fill.
May our goal be to produce a congregation full of hot hearts ready to change the world for God who completely rest in the work of Christ.
When the darkness is heaviest, it is hard to go to the Word. But I believe that those are the times where the Word is the most necessary.
In pastoral ministry and in our Christian walk in general, we can easily ignore or lose sight of the reality of Spiritual warfare because it is an invisible battle. Paul’s plea to the church at Ephesus and to us today is, “Don’t become so sophisticated that you think people are your enemy or that you can become sanctified by sheer will-power.”
About a year or so into being a Christian, I did something absolutely, spectacularly dumb: I joined the men's ministry leadership team at our church. Seriously, on a scale of dumb to really dumb, this was just the worst.
When we worship in song, we are recognizing what is already true about God. We are saying: Look at our God, behold our Savior - He is worthy of our praise! We don’t make God glorious with our praise; rather, we praise Him because He is glorious.
On the spirit of charity in the work of receiving criticism and dishing it out.
I lived the first decade and a half of my twenty plus years as Christian burdened with the idea that my task in evangelism was two-fold: to preach and to bring about conversion. When I was faithful to the first task but unproductive in the second, I often experience debilitating discouragement. It is difficult for me to convey the freedom that washed over my heart when the burden of responsibility…
Yes, the world's a ship on its passage out . . .
The moment I think I have what it takes, or that I am eminently qualified, or that I deserve to be a pastor, is the moment when my pride will get in the way of Christ using me.
I began to realize that I failed miserably as a youth minister to the students who were under my care. I saw for the first time what preaching truly is, how serious it should be taken, and what is at stake. I went back to my dorm room, sat down on the floor, and wept.
A past mistake might motivate a football player, but it won't do much for my sinful nature. My only hope is to fix my eyes, mind, and heart on the One who cannot and will not ever fumble me out of his hands.
We cannot afford to be perfunctory about doctrine.