Resources by Joe Thorn

Joe Thorn, a Regular Contributor to For The Church, is the Lead Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, Illinois, and author of Note to Self and Experiencing the Trinity. Joe is husband to Jen, and dad to Katherine, Elias, Madeline, and Kilian.
Dec 2, 2016

You Need to Explain What You Do on Sunday Mornings by Joe Thorn

With people coming from different Christian traditions, or no Christian background at all, we believe it's important to explain why we do what we do on the Lord's Day.

May 29, 2015

When Your Heart Isn't In It by Joe Thorn

Sometimes we don't went to do what we are created for. And in that moment we make a common mistake. We think since our heart isn't in it we shouldn't do it.

May 5, 2015

What Small Churches Can Do, Part Two by Joe Thorn

Two things smaller churches can do is opt out of a couple of things they often end up doing that they shouldn't.

May 15, 2015

What Small Churches Can Do, Part Three by Joe Thorn

Smaller churches are no less hindered from doing what God has called his people to do than are larger churches. Having more people does not maker it easier.

Apr 27, 2015

What Small Churches Can Do, Part One by Joe Thorn

As I have seen several churches in my area continue to dwindle in size I have watched the leadership of many of these churches settle into into one of three dangerous mentalities . . .

May 22, 2015

What Small Churches Can Do, Part Four by Joe Thorn

My wife and I once attended a small church that had no worship leader. No choir. No instruments. No overhead projection. No cool lights. The building was plain-Jane. Yet their gathering was powerful. Why?

Aug 25, 2013

Two Keys to Better Recreation by Joe Thorn

Today is my first day back from two weeks of vacation. The time off was great, and because the vacation was a real success I'm eager to get back to the regular life God has called me to. This is the real end (goal) of all our recreation: to fit us to do what God has called us to. Richard Baxter says it well:

No doubt but…

Feb 12, 2016

The Sheep Aren't Stupid by Joe Thorn

Pastors sometimes say stupid things. Sometimes those stupid things are catchy and wind up being repeated by many other pastors. One of the more preposterous pithy statements I have heard many preachers say is, “Sheep are dumb.”

May 12, 2016

The Means of Grace by Joe Thorn

Lean into the means of grace that you may lean on Jesus himself.

Nov 8, 2016

Sunday Isn't Enough by Joe Thorn

Sunday is a glorious day and marks not only our calendars but also our lives. Yet, Sunday is not enough. 

Feb 16, 2014

Sabbath Texts by Joe Thorn

I am fairly tech-savvy, but I'll be honest. I'm not a fan of texting. I do it, of course. It's become a common means to communicate for certain things, so I'm on it. But I don't have to like it. However, texting began to look different to me as my good friend, Matthew Molesky, started sending me what I call "sabbath texts."

Matthew is the Sr. Pastor of…

Feb 25, 2014

Overcoming Anger by Joe Thorn

In my assessment for church planting with the SBC back in 2000 I was told by one of the assessors that I had an anger problem. I argued that I did not. A lot. Half way through the conversation let's just say my anger decided to join the conversation. I spent many years being angry—from my youth to well into adulthood. Before my conversion it could be violent. After my…

Jun 22, 2016

Overcoming Anger by Joe Thorn

I spent many years being angry—from my youth to well into adulthood. By the grace of God I have found freedom from its grip on me, but it took years of growing in grace.

Jun 13, 2016

One Thing: Joe Thorn

What is the one thing the local church needs to get right in the 21st century?

Series: One Thing

What's the one thing the local church needs to get right in the 21st century?

Aug 30, 2016

Ministry Demands Theology by Joe Thorn

To lead and serve God's people demands that we feed them the truths of God's word; that is applied theology!

Oct 25, 2016

How May We Glorify God? by Joe Thorn

In our vocation and recreation, in days of peace and days of persecution, in the valley of the shadow of death and in the pastures of comfort, we are created and called to glorify and enjoy God.

Jan 20, 2017

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

How can smaller churches conduct successful ministry training?

Sep 10, 2013

Hard Words, Good Words by Joe Thorn

5 years ago I was assessed by a group of pastors for the Acts 29 Network. We had just launched Redeemer Fellowship and wanted to partner with like-minded brothers and churches who share our core theological convictions and approach to ministry. When I received the completed assessment a week later, welcoming us into the network, the brothers were careful to include thoughts on my strengths and weaknesses.


Apr 23, 2015

Gospel Affection by Joe Thorn

There are many ways in which we should be loving one another in the church, and most of these practical steps might seem like no-brainers, but it's always a spiritually healthy and Christ-honoring exercise to work through how we might flesh out 1 John 3:18: "Let us love not in word or talk but in deed and in truth."

Jun 24, 2015

Converted to Christ and His Church by Joe Thorn

Evangelism is not only winning someone to Jesus by the grace of God in the preaching of the gospel. It is also winning them to the church by that same grace and gospel.

Sep 3, 2013

Confession Connects Us to Christ by Joe Thorn

The deep and regular confession of sin is one of the paths we walk to experience close communion with Jesus Christ. Its absence is certain to lead to a weakening faith, and a lack humility, joy, and zeal. Yet I have found some Christians who are uncomfortable with a push toward the ongoing confession of one's sins as if it's guilt-driven religion. But, the confession of our sins is not…

Jul 27, 2016

Before You Preach by Joe Thorn

We need tools to help us, but we need the Holy Spirit to illumine, convict, and empower.

Apr 15, 2016

3 Ways to Get Involved in Church Planting by Joe Thorn

We need more partnerships between churches, and we need more churches. Working together to plant churches is a biblical way to fulfill the cooperative commission to make disciples.