Blog Entries from 2019

December

Dec 31, 2019

The God of Christmas Future by Ronnie Martin

As the ball is hours from dropping into 2020, Joseph shows us what to do when faced with a future we never asked for.

Dec 31, 2019

Preaching the Whole Counsel by Jason K. Allen

If one desires to preach the whole counsel of God, proper interpretation is of paramount importance. ​

Dec 30, 2019

Links For The Church (12/30) by Staff

This week's links include resources on abandoning dreams, fighting materialism, gospel-driven theology, Lottie Moon, and how God uses suffering. 

Dec 30, 2019

Faithful Application of the Word of God

Reflections on James the Apostle's Portrait of Working Faith

How do we “do application” in a way that is faithful to the Scriptures and representative of the biblical portrait of obedience?

Dec 26, 2019

Leading the Church While Leading Your Family by Bob Johnson

Serving the church is not merely a job; it is an all-consuming responsibility that can threaten a family.

Dec 24, 2019

I Awake, and I am Still with You by Kole Farney

Have you ever wondered at the fact that you wake up believing in Christ?

Dec 23, 2019

A Thrill of Hope

The Light of Christmas in a Darkened World

If the festivities of Christmas are proving too weak an antidote for what ails you, I want to help you for a moment look beyond the wrapping to the Gift

Dec 23, 2019

Links For The Church (12/23) by Staff

This week's links include resources on Joseph, our deliverer, the redemption of the curse, and giving God your pulpit. 

Dec 19, 2019

What is a Faithful Preacher? by Jason K. Allen

What does it mean for a preacher to be faithful? How does one even measure a preacher’s faithfulness?

Dec 18, 2019

Wounding Our Friends by Allyson Todd

Hurtful words are only good if they are selfless words, driven by love. 

Dec 18, 2019

All I Want For Christmas by Ronnie Martin

It’s the life-light of Jesus that helps us want what we need more than wanting what we want.

Dec 18, 2019

Gaining Victory Over Temptation by H.B. Charles, Jr.

You cannot gain victory over temptation fighting the wrong battles.

Dec 17, 2019

The Importance of Ecclesiology in Church Planting by Joshua Hedger

How can you plant a church if you don’t actually know what a church is?

Dec 17, 2019

What is Biblical Theology? by Andreas Köstenberger

No, Biblical Theology is not just theology that is biblical.

Dec 16, 2019

Links For The Church (12/16) by Staff

This week's links include resources on desiring Jesus, the little drummer boy, mastering self, preventing kids from going as missionaries, and encouraging the ministry of single women. 

Dec 16, 2019

Do We Need to Believe in Christ's Virgin Birth? by Jared C. Wilson

Trying to tailor-make your Christianity without the virgin birth is to tailor-make a different faith entirely.

Dec 16, 2019

Most Read Articles of 2019 by Ronni Kurtz

We are closing the year with grateful hearts and eagerly anticipating another year of serving the Church with gospel-centered resources.

Dec 12, 2019

Sing Your Heart Out at Church (Even If You Hate the Music) by Brett McCracken

Putting aside preferences and embracing common, unified, God-centered worship is part of what it means to follow Jesus together.

Dec 12, 2019

Discerning Divine Providence by Luke Stamps

We can’t always see what God is up to, either on the global stage of world history or on the smaller stages of our lives and decisions.

Dec 11, 2019

Grumbling to Gratitude by John Beeson

To grumble is to leak darkness when we were made to shine.

Dec 11, 2019

The Incarnation and My Brother's Death by Gail Emerson

The good news is that Christ's death and resurrection set in motion a righting of the wrongs in this world.

Dec 10, 2019

The 2019 FTC Book Awards by Staff

Announcing the winners of the 3rd annual FTC Book Awards.

Dec 10, 2019

Now that Camp, or the Retreat, or the Conference, is Over by Steve Burchett

It’s impossible to replicate, day after day, the camp/retreat/conference high. What can you do to make the most of your experience after it’s all over? 

Dec 9, 2019

Links For The Church (12/9) by Staff

This week's links include resources on peace during Christmas, emotionally unhealthy leaders, why God would give kids a sick mom, the real meaning of Christmas, and singing Christmas carols. 

Dec 5, 2019

Definitions: Gospel and Persuade by J. Mack Stiles

The gospel is the joyful message from God that leads us to salvation.

Dec 4, 2019

The Theological Educator as Sherpa by Jason G. Duesing

Just as the Sherpa comes alongside his clients and helps organize, direct, assemble, and lead, the theological educator does the same for students.

Dec 4, 2019

Preaching for a Verdict: A Book Review by Jared Bumpers

Series: Book Reviews

If you preach regularly, you should read this book.

Dec 4, 2019

Pastor, Read A Poem by Avery Thorn

I feel in my bones the common temptation to professionalize ministry, as if tools for effective ministry cannot be found in Narnia, only seminary.

Dec 3, 2019

What Should I Think About During the Lord’s Supper? by Erik Raymond

How should you take communion? I’m not talking about the form of being served, but what should be going on in our hearts and minds as we partake?

Dec 3, 2019

The Bible is One Book by Matthew Emerson

In these three ways, Irenaeus helps us understand how the Bible is one book about one Person written by one Author.

Dec 2, 2019

Links For The Church (12/2) by Staff

This week's links include resources on gratitude, C.S. Lewis and youth ministry, anxiety, and ministering to the homeless.

Dec 2, 2019

What Did Mary Know? by Jason Kees

How often has God told us in the Scriptures that he is good, but we choose our own golden calf? 

Dec 2, 2019

George Whitefield's Grave

A Meditation on the Labor of Ministry

The first thing you see may be the breaker box. Or boxes of church maintenance supplies. I’m always struck by the snow shovel leaning against the wall.

November

Nov 27, 2019

9 Things I've Learned in 9 Years Of Theological Education by Allyson Todd

All theological education exists to build up the church, equip the church, adorn the church, love the church - it is for the church.

Nov 27, 2019

Three Characteristics of Healthy Church Discipline by Sam Parkison

The only kind of soil in which church discipline can properly grow is communal love.

Nov 26, 2019

Don’t Speak Up: On the Spiritual Discipline of Silence by Mark Dever

We should pray that God will lead us by his Spirit to know when it’s best to be quiet, to pray, and to live a life that commends the gospel, and when it’s best to add more of our own words.

Nov 25, 2019

Links For The Church (11/25) by Staff

This week's links provide resources on multiplication in the church, women and the Word, who delivered Jesus to death, a letter for "dones" and "nones," and faith as defiance. 

Nov 25, 2019

The Beauty and Burden of Nostalgia by Jared C. Wilson

Nostalgia can be a nice place to visit. But it's a terrible place to live.

Nov 22, 2019

Pastor, Don’t Interview like Michael Scott by Benjamin Vrbicek

Interviewing can be a rough experience for most pastors, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Nov 21, 2019

Lordship is Not Legalism by Brett McCracken

What does countercultural Christianity look like in America today?

Nov 20, 2019

Why Women Are Critical To the Mission of the Church by Katie McCoy

The ministries in which women participated are among the markers of genuine Christianity in a community and these ministries led to the growth of the early church.

Nov 20, 2019

We Need You: Why Mentorship is Need in the Church by Nickolas Hartman

Whether you are a pastor, a leader or just a growing follower of Christ, it is up to you to ensure that the young people in the church have the opportunity to be mentored. 

Nov 20, 2019

God’s Presence Rooted in Redemption by Wesley Lassiter

While we may not feel the impact of silence for generations and to one day hear the news of the Messiah being born, we do have the promise of Jesus’ presence.

Nov 19, 2019

I Pray God Turns the Church Upside Down by Erik Raymond

We cannot say we are clear on doctrine when we are so often unclear on the application.

Nov 19, 2019

We Need to Help New Converts from Non-Christian Backgrounds Honor Their Families by Ajith Fernando

In short, it’s vital for older Christians to talk often with new Christians, making sure that in following Christ, they haven’t unduly harmed their relationship with their family.

Nov 18, 2019

Feelings vs. Faith? by Jared C. Wilson

The point isn’t that feelings don’t matter or aren’t important. The point is that feelings are not the definer of ultimate reality.

Nov 18, 2019

What It Means To Love Christ by Jim Elliff

In valuing Christ we devalue all else for this object of our love, the treasure. 

Nov 18, 2019

Links For The Church (11/18) by Staff

This week's links include resources on speaking truth in your heart, hope and sexual past, hymns for youth groups, and mothering as a first-generation Christian. 

Nov 15, 2019

A Healthy Itinerant Ministry by Edward Romine

Nothing is more cringe-worthy than a guest preacher who takes a pulpit only to make himself famous. 

Nov 14, 2019

The Poetry of Earth is Never Dead by Jason G. Duesing

The special value of General Revelation is that it calls the believer simultaneously to praise God and proclaim God.

Nov 13, 2019

How A Desire To Be A Good Parent Can Kill A Ministry by Ryan Roach

It’s painful, but good shepherding often means that we say things that are challenging to our people.

Nov 12, 2019

Reduce Your Social Media Friction by Thomas Kidd

Social media platforms have to be a tool for outreach and benefit, not stress and anxiety, or they're not worth it.

Nov 11, 2019

5 Exhortations from Three 10th Anniversaries by Jared C. Wilson

My main exhortation to you is to fearlessly adopt a gospel fixation. Don’t worry about it seeming rote or redundant.

Nov 11, 2019

God Loves You, Deal With It! by Sam Parkison

His standards are the robes of Christ’s righteousness—they literally cannot be higher. 

Nov 8, 2019

Devotion to Good Works by Jared Sparks

We need to remember that we were culpable products of our sinful environment as well. 

Nov 7, 2019

What Kind of Older Man Will I Be? by Steve Burchett

I’ve been told that becoming an older man guarantees more aches and pains. I hope it also means more hopeful discipling, and more earnest prayer. May the Lord help me.

Nov 7, 2019

Your Unfulfilled Desires are a Treasury, Not a Tragedy by Tyler Greene

The Bible reveals that while we are fixated on what we don’t have, God’s focus is on what we are becoming for the sake of His purpose.

Nov 7, 2019

Christian Theology: A Working Definition by Luke Stamps

The doctrines of systematic theology do not replace or stand over the Bible; rather, they provide definitions and summaries of certain key terms and themes that we encounter in the biblical story.

Nov 6, 2019

The Fruit of the Spirit by H.B. Charles, Jr.

The flesh may counterfeit Spirit-fruit. But it cannot produce genuine fruit. 

Nov 5, 2019

Debating the Historical Adam Debate by Brandon D. Smith

When teaching or reading Genesis 1, we should focus on the sovereignty of God in creation and how important mankind is to him and to the flourishing of the world.

Nov 5, 2019

How God’s Wrath Equals and Reveals God’s Worth by Jonathan Leeman

In a world of self-justifiers and wannabe gods, the idea of God’s wrath will always be the first domino the devil tries to topple.

Nov 4, 2019

3 Ways to Turn Against Your Pastor by Jared C. Wilson

These dangers are possible in every church, because every church is made up of sinners -- both pastors and laypeople alike.

Nov 4, 2019

After 20 Years, I Still... by Thor Madsen

I do not deserve to be in this place, doing this thing every day. No one does. 

Nov 4, 2019

Links For The Church (11/4) by Staff

This week's links include resources on the Christan non-majority, pastoral encouragement, evangelicals and retrieval, disabled children in the womb, and God's Book. 

Nov 1, 2019

The Best of Times & The Worst of Times

The Promise and Peril of Modern Gospel Ministry

We have learned again Christ’s words to be busy storing up treasures in heaven and not on earth, where moth and rust destroy. 

October

Oct 31, 2019

God’s Wrecking Ball: A Tribute to Luther by Sam Bierig

Luther was God’s wrecking ball. He was God’s appointed servant for such a time as the Protestant Reformation.

Oct 31, 2019

When My Halloween Became My Reformation Day

The Stand That Saved My Soul

On Halloween night 1998 I threw a party in my apartment. I had girls, booze, weed, and cocaine. On that Halloween night, I was geared up for what I expected to be a good time. But my friend Dave didn’t respond like I expected he would.

Oct 30, 2019

Superman Can’t Share the Gospel by Ronni Kurtz

When others hear the gospel from your lips, they hear it not from one who can leap over buildings in a single bound but from one who needs grace for the next breath.

Oct 30, 2019

The Bible Told Us Every Girl Was Sour? by Russell L. Meek

We’ve bought into the same worldview of the larger culture, which is that women—and all people, really—are objects for our consumption. 

Oct 29, 2019

On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Book Review by David McLemore

Series: Book Reviews

We’re all looking for a place where the Father comes running, wraps his arms around us with a tearful smile, and throws a party. We’re all looking for home.

Oct 29, 2019

Does Your Church Offer Weak Community? by Barry Cooper

Ensuring our Christian communities are “high group” isn’t just a question of growth. In a post-Christian America, it’s a question of survival.

Oct 28, 2019

Christ Over Compartmentalization by Jared C. Wilson

When we “accept” Jesus into our life, we give him a seat at the table. But this is not how Jesus operates.

Oct 28, 2019

Links For The Church (10/28) by Staff

This week's links include resources on disagreeing well, the Samaritan woman, joy, and those with special needs.

Oct 28, 2019

No Fear, No Wisdom by Sam Parkison

True wisdom—biblical wisdom—is not limited to the intellect. 

Oct 25, 2019

We Need Theological Triage by David McLemore

He took on skin to veil his radiance and live the life we should have lived to die the death we don’t want to die and save us from our sins. 

Oct 24, 2019

Biblical Theology in Discipleship by Nancy Guthrie

Here’s why I believe biblical theology should be woven into the fabric of discipleship in the local church.

Oct 24, 2019

A Revolutionary Prayer Life by Mike Brooks

Where does the wayward mind truly go when it comes time to pray? It’s hard to say.

Oct 23, 2019

We Are Not Omni-Anything by Allyson Todd

All our longing for God-likeness is only wrong when we strive for it in and of ourselves.

Oct 23, 2019

Three Opportunities for the Criticized Preacher by Jonathan Kroeker

The proud preacher can’t stand to be criticized, let alone critiqued. 

Oct 22, 2019

Learn to Love Your Uncomfortable Church by Brett McCracken

How do we stick with our uncomfortable church long enough to see this growth happen? How can we endure—no, learn to love—our uncomfortable church in spite of its frustrating imperfections?

Oct 22, 2019

All Men Need a Band of Gospel Brothers by David Prince

Men today are often drowning is superficial relationships, but do not possesses any genuinely accountable gut-level friendships.

Oct 21, 2019

The Gospel According to Galatians by Jared C. Wilson

The letter to the Galatians reminds us that the faith that saved us is the faith we still walk by and the Spirit that regenerated us is the Spirit that grows holiness within us.

Oct 21, 2019

Understanding the Mosaic of the Atonement by Katie McCoy

While the attributes of God’s wrath and God’s love may seem to clash to our spiritual ears, they were in perfect harmony in Jesus’ death on the cross. 

Oct 18, 2019

Dwelling on Death by Matt Boga

Many would rather live it up now and use the party they create out of their life as a sedative numbing them to the certainty of what lies ahead in death. 

Oct 17, 2019

Brothers, We Are Not Talking Heads by Erik Raymond

Dear brother pastors, why have we become so compelled to let everyone know what we think about so many issues peripheral to our calling?

Oct 17, 2019

Tolerance Trouble by Jim Elliff

When you hear of new appeals for tolerance of sinful behavior in the churches, remember that this is not a nascent problem, but the old Corinthian problem revived.

Oct 16, 2019

Whatever Happened to "Surrendering to Ministry"? by Jason K. Allen

The minister is to be at God’s disposal, sensing and seeking his leadership for where he would have the minister go and to whom he would have the minister serve.

Oct 16, 2019

Dear New Seminary Student by Jason Kees

Separating vocational ministry from academic ministry is something I would encourage you to avoid. 

Oct 15, 2019

Christian, Feel Free to Love Politics by Doug Richey

We can love politics without it replacing God. We can love politics without it eclipsing our evangelism. We can love politics without it devaluing the eternal. We can love politics and honor Jesus simultaneously.

Oct 14, 2019

Six Lessons I've Learned In One Year Of Pastoral Ministry by Jesse Randolph

Pastors have a weighty calling. It is a calling that carries with it lasting and eternal consequences. 

Oct 14, 2019

5 Ways to 'Feel' Scripture by Jared C. Wilson

We will not be mastered by Scripture if we don't occasionally allow it to overwhelm us, intimidate us, and force us to wrestle with it.

Oct 14, 2019

Links For The Church (10/14) by Staff

This week's links include resources on sex, raising up leaders, proclaiming Christ at work, and the humanity of pastors. 

Oct 11, 2019

The Gospel According to David and Bathsheba by Davis Lacey

I am transformed from a person who balks at King David’s selfishness and short-sightedness into a person who bawls alongside of him. 

Oct 10, 2019

You Are Not Hidden From God by Kole Farney

If the Lord who counts every star came down from heaven to die in your place when you were his enemy, is it likely that he has forgotten you?

Oct 10, 2019

The Christian, Art, and Rediscovering John the Baptist by Jason G. Duesing

Just as we appreciate the skill of a spectacular soloist, or an elite athlete, or simply a brilliant coworker, we can appreciate the work of an artist. 

Oct 9, 2019

The Missionary and His Gospel by Alex Kocman

We cannot afford to have Christ on our lips without Christ in our hearts. 

Oct 9, 2019

What It Means to Be a Christian by H.B. Charles, Jr.

The essence of Christianity is the believer’s union with Christ. 

Oct 8, 2019

How to Study Theology: Eighteen Specifications by Brandon Freeman

Here are eighteen specifications on how we should study theology.

Oct 8, 2019

How to Encourage Your People Just Like the Apostle Paul by Matthew Fletcher

Who in your congregation would welcome a note from their pastor today?

Oct 7, 2019

Pastor: What To Do When Members Leave Your Church by Bryan Pain

Ask God to renew and restore the joy of His salvation and His calling to ministry.

Oct 7, 2019

What the People of God Will Be (and Are!)

Reflections on Psalm 48

Psalm 48 as a portrait of a gospel-centered church is an incredible song for reflection!

Oct 7, 2019

Links For The Church (10/7) by Staff

This week's links include resources on domestic abuse, generations in the church, entertainment and our minds, and helping kids love the Bible. 

Oct 3, 2019

Letters to My Students: A Book Review by Drake Osborn

Series: Book Reviews

The call of Paul to Timothy is simple: preach the Word. Letters to My Students takes this simple charge at face value.

Oct 3, 2019

When Failure Leads to Worship by David McLemore

Yes, we fail, but God is good and worthy to be worshiped. He accepts us by the blood of Christ. We can draw near to him right now.

Oct 2, 2019

The Uncomfortability Of Others’ Suffering by Margaret Bronson

There can be a temptation to put believers who are suffering in a petri dish, watching to see if they grow evidence that will confirm our doctrinal beliefs without making us too uncomfortable in the process.

Oct 2, 2019

Bibliology: What The Bible Is and Why It Matters by Jason K. Allen

As God’s revelation to man, the Bible comes with binding authority.

September

Sep 30, 2019

The Page That Changed My Life by Jared C. Wilson

These words gave me permission to wonder at God and to deepen in enjoyment of the true story of his Son’s reigning forevermore.

Sep 30, 2019

Links For The Church (9/30) by Staff

This week's links include resources on singing in church, personal holiness, God's love, racial reconciliation, and hard conversations. 

Sep 26, 2019

Who Is an Evangelical?: A Book Review by Mike Brooks

Series: Book Reviews

In Who Is an Evangelical?, Thomas Kidd reminds us of what initially earned us the "evangelical" label, beckoning us to remember where we came from and offering a proposition to return.

Sep 26, 2019

Revival and the Book of Nehemiah by Sam Parkison

If you are not content with a Christianity characterized by minimal devotion to God, Nehemiah is your book.​

Sep 25, 2019

Our Only Hope: A Review of the 2019 For the Church Annual Conference by Ronni Kurtz

One rhythm rooted in the life of Midwestern Seminary is the annual For the Church National Conference. For two days in September, pastors and ministry leaders ascend upon Kansas City in hopes to feast on the goodness and grace of God in the form of conference sermons, breakouts, panels, and fellowship with one another. 

Sep 25, 2019

A Rubbish Redeemed by Katie McCoy

Because He is the Master at creating a brand new something from a pile of nothing, He saw what we could become.

Sep 25, 2019

Unforeseen Benefits of Expository Preaching by Skylar Spradlin

We are a people who want to walk through and consider every verse of Scripture.

Sep 24, 2019

8 Ways to Battle ‘Comfort Idolatry’ by Brett McCracken

One of Christianity’s greatest idolatries today is also one of the most subtle and insidious: the idolatry of comfort. 

Sep 24, 2019

Five Encouragements for Pastors Intimidated by Biblical Counseling by Edward T. Welch

When it comes to people who are really suffering, many pastors are tempted to feel overwhelmed and under-qualified. If that’s you, pastor, here five things to remember.

Sep 23, 2019

The Way to Greatness by Jared C. Wilson

Jesus commands humility from us but he does not leave the humble man hanging!

Sep 23, 2019

Links For The Church (9/23) by Staff

This week's links include resources on retirement, hailing Jesus' name, marriage as ministry, reasonableness within outrage, and feasting on the Word of God. 

Sep 20, 2019

What To Know While You're In KC for FTC by Staff

Our best suggestions for barbeque, food, coffee, and things to do while you're in our wonderful city. 

Sep 19, 2019

Who Is an Evangelical, Anyway?

An Interview with Thomas S. Kidd

Whatever people call “evangelicals,” I hope we will still be known as bearers of the good news about salvation through Jesus Christ.

Sep 19, 2019

When Bible Study Goes Wrong by David Prince

The Bible is preoccupied with the Messiah and we must be as well.

Sep 19, 2019

Discipling Our Children Starts With a Question, Then an Answer by Autumn Kern

So how do we—as parents, mentors, and church leaders—help the children in our care separate wisdom from folly? We train them as the Church has for generations: we catechize.

Sep 18, 2019

Jonah Couldn’t Get Away by Russell L. Meek

Jonah fled because he knows that God is compassionate and loving, eager to forgive sinners. 

Sep 18, 2019

A Stolen Unity by Allyson Todd

I made a disjointed relationship into a convincing substitute for true unity.

Sep 17, 2019

Leadership in the Valley of Vision by Chad Williams

I need to be reminded that a vision of God is greater, more important, than any vision I could ever create and cast

Sep 17, 2019

4 Myths that Keep College Students from Joining a Church by Jim Davis

Do you want to faithfully follow Christ during your college years? Then join a church.

Sep 16, 2019

There Should Be Two of Us

A Lament for Loss and A Look to Hope

We share a couple of things in common besides our name. One is a dark reality. The other is a greater Truth.

Sep 16, 2019

Until Every Child Is Home: A Book Review by Laurelen Müller

Series: Book Reviews

When church members see pastoral leadership caring for orphans, it helps them to see that they can do the same.

Sep 16, 2019

Links For The Church (9/16) by Staff

This week's links include resources on biblical womanhood, being a former white supremacist, forgetting Christ, studying the Bible with joy, and transitioning to a new ministry. 

Sep 13, 2019

Carl Trueman, the Osteens & the Quest for Evangelical Identity by Jason K. Allen

The most helpful response is not just to give the Osteen’s a well-deserved rebuke.

Sep 12, 2019

Love is Love, Except When It is Not by Jason Alligood

Love that is true love is wrapped in objective truth.

Sep 11, 2019

Working Together as a Global Body: How to (Re)Engage National Churches by Matt Bennett & C.M. Watkins

When we listen well at the beginning of a partnership, we focus on serving the church rather than using them to advance our own plans. 

Sep 11, 2019

Father, Help Us to See by Tim Counts

Father, help us to see that you are at work through us for the advance of the gospel. 

Sep 10, 2019

Advice to Young Seminarians by Todd Chipman

This is part of God’s curriculum for pastors: in leading a church post-seminary, men of God will need to personally know of God’s faithfulness if they are going to lead the flock to walk by faith.

Sep 9, 2019

He Must Increase; Our Churches Must Decrease

Thoughts on The Desire for Revival

There is one thing that the churches experiencing historic revival have in common: they seemed overrun with the sense of the glory of God.

Sep 9, 2019

Links For The Church (9/9) by Staff

This week's links include resources about praying for children, pornography, preaching the bible, poverty, and women in leadership. 

Sep 6, 2019

But You Are Holy by Macy Wilson

God desires us to run to Him with both the things that bring us joy and the things that bring us pain.

Sep 5, 2019

7 Questions to Answer Before Your Next Sermon by Jason K. Allen

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.

Sep 5, 2019

The SBC and Fighting in Our Own Frontiers by Jonathon Woodyard

We should think more carefully about how we conduct our family affairs, including our fights. We need to think about these issues for the good of our churches, the future of our convention, the joy of all (watching) peoples, and the glory of our King.

Sep 4, 2019

Once Abused by the Church, Now I Love the Church by Patti Withers

Christ is the head of the church, and he has given the church and its leadership as gifts to all believers, including me. 

Sep 4, 2019

Words For The Widowed by Grace Pike

In this fallen world permeated with sin and death, even adopted children of God may taste the bitterness of loss.

Sep 3, 2019

Run Like the Wind from Sexual Sin by Benjamin Vrbicek

If you genuinely believe sexual sin is wrong and it keeps you from experiencing joy in God, then what?

Sep 3, 2019

Thankfulness Always: Reflections on Five Years as Provost by Jason G. Duesing

Because God is good and he does not change, there is a reason to be thankful, to God, for God, always.

Sep 2, 2019

The Fear-Driven Life

Lessons from Genesis 12 on God's Most Frequent Command

The more bored you are with the things of God, the more vulnerable you will be when difficulty comes.  

August

Aug 30, 2019

The Tales of Our Time: An Examination of Storytelling in Christianity by Jada Ford

A Christian writer should develop his or her craft so that a story is created so beautifully that it rivals the hopeless fiction that runs in abundance today. 

Aug 29, 2019

Preacher, Study the Text—But Also Study Your People by Sean DeMars

How can I help this member see and savor Jesus Christ? 

Aug 28, 2019

What A Bloomless Tree Taught Me about Trusting God by Katie McCoy

We may not always understand why the Father prunes the way He does.

Aug 28, 2019

The Wittenberg Door of American Evangelical Missions by Jason G. Duesing

It is good and right also to consider the impact of a group of praying students, heirs of Wittenberg themselves, on the modern missions movement of global gospel proclamation.

Aug 27, 2019

Is Your Calling Causing an Identity Crisis? by Tyler Greene

If all else were stripped away—your career, your earthly relationships, your plans—your identity as a beloved child of God would still remain.

Aug 26, 2019

Ruth: Redemption for the Broken by Jared C. Wilson

The good news is that the Lord has a way of making a way where there is no way.

Aug 26, 2019

Augustine and a Distracted Heart by Avery Thorn

Certainly, my smartphone and its accompanying array of apps can be a tool of inestimable value.

Aug 26, 2019

Links For The Church (8/26) by Staff

This week's links include resources on motherhood as artistry, church for college students, God and your weakness, and Jeremiah 29:11. 

Aug 23, 2019

Student Ministry as Mission Agency by Micah Hayes

I have come to firmly believe that student ministries are uniquely positioned to be mission sending agencies within the local church.

Aug 22, 2019

4 Lies That Cause Pastors to Neglect Their Families by Jaime Owens

At the front door of pastoral ministry, we find that if a pastor isn’t a family man, he’s not a churchman.

Aug 22, 2019

Worship Already in Progress by Mike Brooks

What’s it like to hear the whole world sing your praise? Only God knows. Be awed by the fact that He does.

Aug 21, 2019

The Nursery Should Net Positive by Sean Stone

Actively praying for the children and begging the Lord to save these little ones is not a small request.

Aug 21, 2019

When I First Confronted Religious Pluralism by Jason K. Allen

Believing, teaching, and defending the truth should be a priority for every Christian.

Aug 20, 2019

A Father’s Love in a Pixar World by Chris Thomas

Two decades of pastoral ministry has taught me that a prevailing theme of Christian life is the faulty thinking that we relate to God as though he is a disappointed father.​

Aug 20, 2019

The Head Crusher Cometh

How the Biblical Narrative Reveals the Messiah

This is the story of the hopeful, dreadful time between sin’s entrance and Christ’s conquest.

Aug 19, 2019

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus by Jared C. Wilson

The life of faith is difficult. But there is a joy waiting for us beyond all comparison.

Aug 19, 2019

How To Be Lonely (To The Glory Of God) by Cole Deike

No matter how severe our loneliness might be, it can never surpass the loneliness of Christ crucified.

Aug 19, 2019

Links For The Church (8/19) by Staff

This week's links include resources on caring for single parents, calling and serving, teaching children to love the vulnerable, and praying in spiritual warfare.

Aug 16, 2019

An Interview with Jason K. Allen

Dr. Allen answers questions about his new book

Dr. Allen answers questions about his new book, Letters to My Students, Vol 1: On Preaching.

Aug 15, 2019

Activate Your Sanctified Imagination by David Prince

Rather than reciprocating proportionally based on what has been done, the way forward for disciples of Christ’s Kingdom is rooted in the grace of Kingdom​.

Aug 14, 2019

Your Prayers Won't Save You by Allyson Todd

God’s character is as honest as we can be in our prayers. Our quest may feel endless but our God is not. 

Aug 14, 2019

When God Calls by David McLemore

The abundance of God comes in part in this life, but in fullness only later. 

Aug 14, 2019

Training For Godliness by Collin Campbell

While reading your Bible every day, praying, and fasting do not necessitate spiritual growth, neglecting them is like never going to the gym in the first place.

Aug 13, 2019

Putting the “Service” Back in Worship Service by Chad Ashby

Four basic ways we can use our Sundays to serve others, as opposed to just being served ourselves.​

Aug 13, 2019

An Essential Sentence for Seminary by Ronni Kurtz

Often, the greatest threat to theological understanding is a lack of humility. ​

Aug 12, 2019

Shepherding Through Hostility

Pastoral Reflections on Ecclesiastes 7

You may feel “all is meaningless.” Especially when you are ministering in the midst of conflict, division, unfair or undue criticism, or even hostility.

Aug 12, 2019

Shepherding Your Staff by Steve Bezner

Work to embed spiritual growth and vitality into your staff gatherings. 

Aug 12, 2019

Links For The Church (8/12) by Staff

This week's links include resources on asking questions, fear in evangelism, pursuing others, and dealing with doubt. 

Aug 9, 2019

Why I’m Committed to Expository Preaching (Part I) by Jason K. Allen

A conviction worth holding is a conviction worth defending and advocating.

Aug 8, 2019

Singing Gospel Truth at Home by Hunter Bobo

May our times of family worship and discipleship be richer and fuller because we have experienced the good God has for us in His command to sing.​

Aug 8, 2019

When the Perfect Comes by Thor Madsen

When the perfect comes, the partial, half-measures of today will pass away, and no one will miss them.​

Aug 7, 2019

A Missionary Reflection on Paul’s Letter to Titus by D. Elliot

Paul was able to continue to minister in established fields as well as pioneer new fields largely because his missionary team continued to grow and expand.

Aug 7, 2019

The Millennial Pastor and the Looming Midlife Crisis by Jared Sparks

When a man is not okay with the life God has given him, he often pursues more not for the glory of God and building of His kingdom, but for the glory of self and building of the self-kingdom. 

Aug 6, 2019

The Gospel According to Essential Oils by Andrea Burke

I am not against you, friend. I’m against the golden calf that I’ve seen built in your midst.

Aug 5, 2019

Narratives of Surprising Conversions

3 Stories of the Gospel's Unusual Power

Here are just three of my favorite anecdotes touching on the surprising power of grace.

Aug 5, 2019

Why We Sent Our Daughters To Hard Places by Michael Lewis

Through yieldedness and surrender, we placed her in the Lord’s hands; it was not easy; lots of tears were shed and fervent intercession was made. 

Aug 5, 2019

Links For The Church (8/5) by Staff

This week's links include resources on being uncomfortable at church, kids and transgenderism, recruiting young leaders, missionaries of color, and growing in Christ. 

Aug 2, 2019

Introducing #FTCFriday by Staff

We are excited to introduce a fun new weekly tradition—#FTCFriday!  

Aug 1, 2019

The Pastor as Evangelist by Glen Higgins

For the pastor to ignore evangelism is to have an unfulfilled incomplete ministry. 

July

Jul 31, 2019

Are There Good and Bad Kinds of Accountability? by Jaime Owens

If we deny we’ve been tempted or sinned, leave out parts of the truth, or distort the facts, then we’re robbing ourselves of holiness and joy.

Jul 31, 2019

The Enduring Witness of a Normal Life by Russell L. Meek

Mimi is a good reminder, to me at least, to curb my ambition and instead simply, faithfully seek Christ.

Jul 30, 2019

Beware of Sin by Sam Parkison

You can try as hard as you may, clawing at the mud and gravel and tree roots with a free hand—as long as the other hand clutches onto that sin, the ditch is your home.

Jul 29, 2019

How Weekly Participation in the Lord’s Supper Can Help Your Children by Ronni Kurtz

One of the joys of weekly communion is the opportunity it affords the parents in our churches to declare the great news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to their children.

Jul 29, 2019

Living Wisely to Spite Satan by Jared C. Wilson

When we engage in what the Bible calls foolishness—choosing sin over obedience—we engage in a practical kind of atheism.

Jul 29, 2019

Links For The Church (7/29) by Staff

This week's links include resources on fear of God, the sufficiency of Jesus, wisdom, communicating with missionaries, and criticism. 

Jul 26, 2019

How Expository Preaching Should Engage Cultural Concerns (Part II) by Jason K. Allen

Though we cannot improve upon the Bible’s relevancy... perhaps we can make our sermons a touch more relevant.

Jul 25, 2019

What to Do If Your 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.

Jul 24, 2019

A Call To Do Good by H.B. Charles, Jr.

We are not to do good to meet a goal, exercise a gift, or fulfill a calling. 

Jul 24, 2019

What to Say When a Church Member Asks for Help by Clint Darst

The Spirit convicts Christians of sin so that they will stop hiding in the darkness and instead walk in the light. 

Jul 23, 2019

For the Pastor's Kid: Your Dad Needs You by Bethany Melton

Pastor's Kid, your dad devotes his time and talent to faithfully steering the church toward Christ. As his son or daughter, don’t detract from that mission. Be a catalyst.

Jul 22, 2019

16 Leadership Lessons I Learned the Hard Way by Charles Smith

For good or bad, leaders set the emotional tone within an organization. . . . Hope is the most powerful tool in your arsenal.

Jul 22, 2019

Why You Should Have That Difficult Conversation by Jared C. Wilson

We think the problem might just "go away" on its own. But if it doesn't, we have the biblical obligation to "take it to our brother."

Jul 22, 2019

Women's Ministry For The Church by Allyson Todd

We do not want to avoid equipping women just because it can be hard.

Jul 22, 2019

Links For The Church (7/22) by Staff

This week's links include resources on what the Bible says about women, dangers of money, unshakable joy, and pride and the pastor. 

Jul 19, 2019

When God Swallows Your Sin by David McLemore

Jesus went willingly into the weakness of flesh, to make himself like us so he could save us.

Jul 19, 2019

5 Resolutions for Pastoral Ministry by Brad Gray

I pray that my soul would not be so fickle as to rely on man’s acclaim or applause or attendance as validation of my ministerial efforts. 

Jul 18, 2019

Enduring Pastoral Hardships by Billy Crow

Whether it’s the man in the pulpit or the believer in the pew, suffering can be the greatest help or the greatest hardship to the proclamation of the gospel.

Jul 18, 2019

Know Your Idols by Laura Campbell

Consider with me, brothers and sisters – do we really see the idols of our culture? Can we call them by name?

Jul 17, 2019

Five Encouragements for Pastors Intimidated by Biblical Counseling by Ed Welch

When it comes to people who are really suffering, many pastors are tempted to feel overwhelmed and under-qualified.

Jul 17, 2019

5 Ways to Protect Your Eldership from “Yes Men” by Joshua Hedger

If a man is easily swayed, we are slow to consider him as an elder.

Jul 16, 2019

Embarrassing Christianity by Ronni Kurtz

Jesus' torn flesh and spilt blood was for the embarrassing—those like you and me.

Jul 15, 2019

Stewarding Volunteers by Dennis Garcia

Perhaps our lack of volunteers has less to do with our recruiting strategy and more to do with how we are stewarding our current volunteers.

Jul 15, 2019

Links For The Church (7/15) by Staff

This week's links include resources on reverse culture shock, multigenerational leadership, studying the Bible, neglecting lament, and the war on sin. 

Jul 12, 2019

Are Your Church Staff Meetings a Waste of Time? by David Prince

Attention is to be focused on the Lord, the true object of our service, not people pleasing. 

Jul 12, 2019

Don't Play With Sin by Adam Kareus

Don’t set yourself up to play with something that will grow to something that can kill and maim you.

Jul 11, 2019

Why Pastors Should Engage Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics by John Bolt

As a theologian, Bavinck listens carefully before making a judgment; this is the kind of theology that pastors need to learn and to emulate.

Jul 11, 2019

Why the Church Can and Must Care for Orphans

An Interview with Dr. Todd Chipman, Author of Until Every Child is Home

If our churches are following the New Testament grid of ministry, orphan care will be natural, just another outlet for the powerful message of Christ that gathers and disperses us each week.

Jul 10, 2019

What Happy People Do Differently by Katie McCoy

Living in the present, with a forgiven past, and secured future, will definitely lead to a happier life.

Jul 10, 2019

Why I Like to Read Biographies, and Why You Should Too by Jason K. Allen

As one who is entrusted with a leadership position, I find it profitable to read of others who have led.

Jul 9, 2019

4 Starting Points for Reading Revelation by Brandon D. Smith

Revelation is very much a capstone to the Bible’s unified storyline, not a freaky add-on to the end.

Jul 8, 2019

What I Miss Most (and Least) About Being a Pastor by Jared C. Wilson

I've been out of pastoral ministry now for 5 years, and while I am not asked as often I was in those first few years, I still get the question a fair amount: "Do you miss it?"

Jul 8, 2019

Who's Your One? by H.B. Charles, Jr.

Evangelism is a biblical mandate for every Christian. 

Jul 8, 2019

Links For The Church (7/8) by Staff

This week's links include resources on college students and evangelism, revival, kindness, and communion with Christ. 

Jul 5, 2019

What I’ve Learned in my First Year of Seminary by Mike Dixon

God is producing lifelong fruit and an eternal joy within me during these formative years in the classroom and in the church.

Jul 3, 2019

The Most Radical Mission For Christians May Be The Most Mundane by Brett McCracken

Mission isn’t just something made possible by a passport or a seminary degree. It’s a paradigm which should inform everything we do

Jul 3, 2019

What Is Union With Christ? by Cale Fauver

We have died to sin in his death and are now alive to God in his resurrection.

Jul 2, 2019

On First Looking into Spurgeon’s Sermons by Jason G. Duesing

On first looking into Spurgeon’s sermons, I have found joy and awe in the work of Spurgeon, the man, but also in the work of Spurgeon’s God.

Jul 1, 2019

3 Things to Be Careful About Saying at the Start of Your Service by Jared C. Wilson

Here are some common introductory cliches that might be worth weighing in terms of their helpfulness to the congregation's gathering to worship.

Jul 1, 2019

Links For The Church by Staff

This week's links include resources on spirituality, leadership, pain, family worship, and waiting. 

June

Jun 28, 2019

Of Blooms and Roots by Katie McCoy

We don’t always see what the Vinedresser is doing beneath the surface, but we can rest assured that it’s always for our growth.

Jun 27, 2019

The Tragedy of Sparing Others from Obedience by Joey Nickerson

We’re not doing anyone any favors by sparing them obedience, even when it’s hard, even when it feels “insane.” We’re only withholding from them everything on the other side.

Jun 27, 2019

Why the Church Still Needs Immutability

A Conversation with Six Pastors and Scholars About an Attribute That Matters

A classical Christian understanding of God’s immutability would maintain that God cannot – and need not! – change even by a divine decision to alter himself. 

Jun 27, 2019

Amsterdam and Autonomy: The Good News of a Sovereign God by Ronni Kurtz

There is only one who instructs the rain to fall on Holland. There is only one who know the number of Netherland hairs. There is only one who administers days to Amsterdam. There is only one who is truly sovereign.

Jun 26, 2019

Not So with the Onlookers

A Word in Praise of Ordinary Discipleship

At the height of my foray into theological worlds unknown, I met a traveler. Her name was Mrs. Billie Jo.

Jun 25, 2019

Don’t Waste Your Vacation

9 Ways to Optimize Time Away

Vacations should be a time to rejuvenate you for your calling, not escape it.

Jun 25, 2019

The Bible in Miniature by Sam Parkison

This may come as news to you, and if so, I am sorry that it has taken this long for someone to tell you, but you are not the center of the universe.

Jun 24, 2019

The Transforming Power of God-Centeredness by Dave Jenkins

Our God is a treasure to be enjoyed, worshiped, and obeyed. 

Jun 24, 2019

Links For The Church (6/24) by Staff

This week's links include resources on prosperity preachers, missionary callings, praying for family vacation, and myths about marriage. 

Jun 21, 2019

Philosophy and the Christian Life by Thor Madsen

Philosophy can show us the extent to which Scripture answers life’s ultimate questions.

Jun 21, 2019

Putting the “Service” Back in Worship Service by Chad Ashby

All of our obedience begins with listening to our God.

Jun 20, 2019

How to Greet Visitors to Your Church on Sunday by David McLemore

What we say to new people (and how we say it) will either give credence to our message about Jesus or take it away.

Jun 20, 2019

The Indispensable Value of Christ-Centered Courage by David Prince

You get the story wrong if you don’t see Jesus as the center and the goal. But when you get it right, you understand, as Stephen did, that suffering makes sense.

Jun 20, 2019

March to the Different Beat by Adam Kareus

Both beats in our ears make promises, promises of fulfillment and of satisfaction. But only one has the power to keep and deliver on its promises. 

Jun 19, 2019

Like A Bird In A Thunderstorm by Allyson Todd

My current struggles weigh as much as a feather while the weight of God’s glory is incalculable.

Jun 19, 2019

Sleep Well for God is Awake by Darin Smith

Seven theological and practical reminders to help you sleep like someone whose God is actually alive.

Jun 18, 2019

You Need to Be Inconvenienced for Your Church by Tyler Greene

God is calling us to make adjustments in the areas of our lives that are hindering us from costly participation in the mission of the church.

Jun 18, 2019

The Test of True Worship by H.B. Charles, Jr.

The Bible teaches three facts of life: God is good. God is all-powerful. Terrible things happen.

Jun 17, 2019

What's Your Church Sign For?

3 Things to Do -- and Not to Do -- with Your Roadside Message

Here are three all-too-common approaches to sign messages I think churches ought to avoid . . .

Jun 17, 2019

Matrimony and the Mind: The Need for Husband-Theologians by Ronni Kurtz

We should not be mistaken, a man who has all of his theological ducks in a row is not guaranteed to be a gifted husband. 

Jun 17, 2019

Links For The Church (6/17) by Staff

This week's links include resources on biblical truth, the missionary and insufficiency, loving your spouse, and when someone backslides.

Jun 14, 2019

Envy and the Seminarian by Sam Parkison

All the “humble brags” on social media have a green shade if you look closely enough. 

Jun 14, 2019

Five Ways Congregational Worship Shapes Us by Taylor Cain

Though we should seek Him in our closets or a quiet place during the week, he has commanded us to gather together as the church on Sunday morning. 

Jun 13, 2019

Liturgy for Life: The Rhythms That Shape Us by Morgan Byrd

If Christians are shaped by the form of corporate worship, then they will also be shaped by the rhythms of their daily life as a part of the community of God.  

Jun 13, 2019

Toward a Trinitarian Ecclesiology by Matt Capps

In the doctrine of the Trinity, the church is given a pattern for unity and participation in mission.

Jun 13, 2019

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 12, 2019

The Danger of Roadblocks along the Avenue of Grace by Samuel Stephens

The ministry of reconciliation continually provides a clear, unobstructed avenue to grace to all of those who need to hear the gospel, which includes all of us!

Jun 12, 2019

The Greatest Gift to Your Pastor by Ryan Vinten

Like any good pastor, it vexed and frustrated him to see God’s sheep led astray on something so vital and yet so simple.

Jun 11, 2019

Breaking the Power of Shame by John Beeson

Ashamed friend: look to the shamed one on the cross and know his shame was for you. His shame was so that you might not be ashamed, that his welcome would overcome the world’s rejection.

Jun 11, 2019

You're Not Entitled to Ministry by Steven Thompson

Being called to ministry of any kind is both a responsibility and a privilege.

Jun 10, 2019

Preachers Talk Preaching

Brandon Smith Interviews Tony Merida and Me

My conversation on preaching with Tony Merida and Brandon Smith.

Jun 10, 2019

You Can't Ignore Church by Jared Stacy

He is the One who makes everyone in Him not just “better”, but righteous.

Jun 10, 2019

Links For The Church (6/10) by Staff

This week's links include resources on potted plant Christians, salvation of a pastor's wife, virtue signaling, skating as missions, and Jesus' resurrection. 

Jun 7, 2019

God Uses Unhealthy Churches by Justin Huffman

Jesus can be glorified in you and me, and in the pitifully inadequate, sometimes myopic, church we attend.

Jun 7, 2019

The Day I Ditched My 5-Year Plan by Katie McCoy

The more we orient our lives around Him, the more His Spirit shapes and even transforms our plans. 

Jun 6, 2019

Preaching to Sufferers by David Prince

One deficiency in much contemporary preaching is the failure to proceed with an understanding that we preach as sufferers, to sufferers.

Jun 6, 2019

Glorify God: the Shared Task of Churches & Seminaries by Jason G. Duesing

For, as we live and serve at the end of the world, the six seminaries count it a joy to do whatever it takes to serve cooperating churches as they carry out their biblically designed task of seeing God's great name proclaimed to the ends of the earth.

Jun 6, 2019

Confession ≠ Repentance by Ty Gooch

How many times have we seen confession happen without genuine and lasting change? Why does genuine transformation still evade us?

Jun 5, 2019

Old Books, New Books, and Trends That Fade Away

Lessons Learned from a Book Sale

The waves of trends beat against the rocks of God’s Word. They make quite a noise, but they can never change it.  

Jun 5, 2019

When Self-Preservation Becomes Our God by Benjamin Vrbicek

The problem is when self-preservation becomes an ultimate thing, when safety becomes a god. 

Jun 4, 2019

Celebrating the Role of "Sender" in World Missions by Cody Wilbanks

It is vital that senders see the immense value and importance of their role in getting the gospel across the street and around the world.

Jun 4, 2019

10 Things I Learned a Year Into Church Planting by David McLemore

A year into church planting: it's hard and it's wonderful. And I don't want to be doing anything else.

Jun 3, 2019

Dependency and the Power of God by Adam Kareus

We should be so dependent on God that our first ingrained action should be to pray to Him when times get tough or even when we start a new day. 

Jun 3, 2019

Links For The Church (6/3) by Staff

This week's links include resources on dying, forgiveness and children, Ecclesiastes, prayers of repentance, fighting with your spouse, and fear of God. 

May

May 31, 2019

An Obedient Woman by Andrea Burke

Eventually, if we actually believe what we believe, obedience will be the tell-tale sign that follows us.

May 31, 2019

Man Up! by Adam McClendon

Men, God has given you the privilege of leadership.

May 30, 2019

The Bondage of Either/Or Spirituality by David Prince

Pride can only bring bondage and discontentment because you do not have the power to compel the world to affirm you on your terms.  ​

May 30, 2019

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Pastor by Jonathan Hayashi

Here are three open and honest struggles I faced and things I wished I knew in my first year of ministry.

May 29, 2019

My Flooded Soul by Allyson Todd

This is where I am - covered by water and desperate for God’s help every moment to truly believe this flood is a gift.

May 29, 2019

Filling The Void by Adam Kareus

We walk around incomplete or empty, longing to once again be complete in God.

May 28, 2019

A Mistake We Often Make When Reading the Bible by Michael Kelley

By and large, the Bible is a book written for a community.

May 27, 2019

River Runs To The Lowest Place by John Wohlgemuth

Aren’t we left here in this in-between time to point others to the Lamb of God? 

May 27, 2019

Links For The Church (5/27) by Staff

This week's links include resources on spiritual indifference, trauma and the body, worshipping on Sunday, lamenting, sharing with Muslims, and when God seems silent. 

May 27, 2019

Was George Whitefield a Christian?

Dealing with the Tainted Legacy of American History's Greatest Preacher

What do we make of the fact that the man who was perhaps the greatest preacher in American history and is still one of evangelicalism's favorite heroes owned slaves and propagated slavery?

May 26, 2019

Continue in the Faith by Charles Spurgeon

Wear your shield, Christian, and cry mightily unto God, that by his Spirit you may endure to the end.

May 24, 2019

Becoming a Grateful Discipler by Travis Montgomery

A godly motivation to disciple others is your gratitude for God’s work for, in, and through them.

May 24, 2019

Being a Special Nobody by H.B. Charles, Jr.

David was anointed to sit on the throne. But he was appointed to sit among sheep. 

May 23, 2019

The Incarnation as Revelation by Sam Parkison

We couldn’t reach up on the top shelf to get God, so God places himself on the bottom shelf—right within our reach—in the person of Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth.

May 23, 2019

The Language of Forgiveness by Steve Bezner

My problem? I tend to think God forgives like I do. 

May 23, 2019

Faith is Personal — It Always Has Been by Glen Scrivener

Faith is not about impersonal plans, unfolding programs, or divine principles. Faith is heartfelt trust in the person of Christ.

May 22, 2019

Counsel For A Younger Me by Chris Thomas

My younger self wanted a voice, wanted a platform but was unwilling to invest in the character required by the gospel. 

May 22, 2019

How to Avoid Accumulated Fatigue by Zack Eswine

When accumulated fatigue takes hold of us, a night of rest, a weekend get-a-way, or a six-week sabbatical likely won’t help.

May 21, 2019

Fear, Faith, and the Fatherhood of God

How the Gospel Empowers Us to Lead in Uncertain Times

God is calling us out of the stands and into the arena. He is calling us to follow Him deep into the wild and restless world around us. But we are not going there alone.

May 21, 2019

Do You Love the Word “Propitiation”?

Why We Should Preach and Teach Using the Words the Bible Uses

When we come across big, "technical" words in our preaching and Bible study, we should use, study, and explain those words, rather than skirting around them or simply glossing over them with an alternative phrase.

May 21, 2019

4 Reasons You Should Pray For Your Pastor Daily by Jason K. Allen

As a pastor, few things warmed my heart more than church members telling me they prayed for me daily.

May 20, 2019

What Does Job 31:13-15 Tell Us About the Unborn? by Jared C. Wilson

No law can be just if its justice for one is predicated on injustice to another.

May 20, 2019

Jesus Sympathizes With Moms by Gail Emerson

Even though Jesus isn’t a mother, he is still able to sympathize with every weakness we face as moms. 

May 20, 2019

Links For The Church (5/20) by Staff

This week's links include resources on exercise, dark times, insufficiency of good theology, and choosing the right kind of busy. 

May 19, 2019

He Requested Not to Die by Charles Spurgeon

We are not to expect that God will give us everything we choose to ask for. We know that we sometimes ask, and do not receive, because we ask amiss. 

May 17, 2019

A Better Mom is a Broken Mom by Kristen Wetherell

Apart from a broken spirit that sees how much we need Christ first and foremost, these betterments are futile.

May 17, 2019

Gates of Glory by Adam McClendon

The best this world offers is incomplete. 

May 16, 2019

This Mystery is Profound by Jim Elliff

Nothing can provide a better picture of the relationship between believers to Christ than marriage. It explains why loving submission and sacrificial authority is so important.

May 16, 2019

Will We Go When Wisdom Calls? by David McLemore

The wisdom of God is more than just right thinking; it’s the glories of his righteousness and the wonders of his love.

May 16, 2019

To the Young Pastor Who Feels Inadequate by Jared Kathcart

We have a God that deals in the business of the inadequate and unworthy. Let the power of Christ rest upon you, young pastor.

May 15, 2019

How Do We Know If We Have The Spirit? by Casey Lewis

God's track record is flawless, and His ability to accomplish His purposes is unquestionable. 

May 15, 2019

Don’t You Stir A Step

The First Californian Believer’s Baptism

Testimonies arising from scores of churches all over the Golden State represent the Kingdom fruit of the gospel sown over the last 170 years.

May 14, 2019

Jesus: The One Who Commands and the One Who Understands by Michael Kelley

Jesus is commanding a life of faithfulness, of loyalty, and yes, in many cases, sacrifice. But He is not unaware of what He’s asking. He understands.​

May 14, 2019

A Gentle and Quiet Woman by Andrea Burke

Our goals as Christian women should and will look different the more we behold Christ and, in desperation, throw everything aside and root ourselves in him. Only then can we be immovable, unshakable, laughing at the days to come.​​

May 13, 2019

4 Questions to Ask the Pastoral Search Team -- If You Dare by Jared C. Wilson

There are questions every pastoral candidate asks a search committee or hiring team when evaluating possible relocation, and then there are the questions every pastoral candidate ought to ask but rarely do. Here are four...

May 13, 2019

Overthinking by Adam Kareus

When we overthink our faith we tend to have some really bad thoughts and go places God never said to go with those thoughts.

May 13, 2019

Links For The Church (5/13) by Staff

This week's links include resources on the gospel and the cry for "mama," sharing the gospel with family, going to church as a mom, having eternity and mind, and what to pay pastors in poor areas. 

May 12, 2019

Forward Without Fear by Charles Spurgeon

How blessed to feel assured that the Lord is with us in all our ways, and condescends to go down into our humiliations and banishments with us! 

May 10, 2019

Drawn into the Picture by Danny Slavich

We decided early on that our rhythm of weekly worship would consistently include celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

May 10, 2019

The True Story of Who We Are by Russell L. Meek

The truth that sets us free, like the truth that set free the original audience of Genesis, is that the God of the universe created us.

May 9, 2019

Making the Faith Your Own is Not Making Up Your Own Faith by Benjamin Vrbicek

There are secret things, and there are revealed things, but the faith once for all delivered is not a secret thing.

May 9, 2019

Reset: How to Live a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by Michael Nelson

Finding a consistent pace between too slow and too fast is vital for endurance, not only for an athlete but for a Christian as well.

May 9, 2019

5 Things I Hope are True of Me When I Retire by Jared Sparks

As I think about a future "retirement" from formal ministry, there are five things I hope are true about me at that time.

May 8, 2019

4 Reasons the Wilderness is Not a Waste by Dustin Crowe

God knows our idols will ultimately disappoint us and leave us empty, so He gets us alone into the wilderness to win our affections back.

May 8, 2019

It’s Not Our Job to “Finish” the Missionary Task by Matt Bennett

Training a new believer to do a single (very important) task is not the same thing as making a disciple.

May 7, 2019

God Does Wonders With Average People by Thor Madsen

Here's one lesson taught through education: it is okay to be dim in the sunlight. We need our heroes, but any of us can please God and be used significantly by him even with average abilities.

May 7, 2019

Humble Confidence, Not Self-Love by David Prince

The love of the cross rescues us from an idolatrous love of self. This gospel rescue doesn’t destroy personal confidence; it is the only true ground of it.

May 6, 2019

Porn is Not Ultimately About Sex by Jared C. Wilson

Until we understand that the gospel is the doorway into freedom from sin, even our religious efforts will simply be rearranging idols.

May 6, 2019

Looking Back on Easter

Methods Matter in Both Outreach and Criticism

We can critique so often and in such ways that we also hurt the cause.

May 6, 2019

Links For The Church (5/6) by Staff

This week's links include resources on pastors resting, emotionally healthy leaders, the dangers of media, if God can suffer, and praying with expectation. 

May 5, 2019

They Shall Be My People by Charles Spurgeon

Dear friends, can you, by faith, see yourselves in that number?

May 3, 2019

4 Creative Ways to be Generous by Kristen Wetherell

God’s infinite grace fuels generosity, which fuels the glorification of God and his gospel.

May 3, 2019

Understanding Our True Citizenship by Sam Emadi

In local churches, converted men and women manifest God’s righteous rule and true political righteousness.

May 2, 2019

The World is Passing Away by Casey Lewis

Knowing the trajectory of the things of this world and their declared and promised end should drive us to place our hope and trust in God and not the world. ​

May 2, 2019

The Kingdom of God is for You by David McLemore

Here’s Christ’s kingdom offer: all our striving and trying for all his finished and accomplished.

May 2, 2019

3 Motivations for Parents to Avoid by Jason K. Allen

Over the past decade, I’ve witnessed in others—and, unfortunately, in myself—three parental motivations to avoid. Like weeds that force their way through the best-cultivated garden or thickest concrete, these motivations seem stubborn, always reappearing; resilient, always resurfacing.

May 1, 2019

When Should A Child Be Baptized? by Brent Prentice

A child must also see that in their sinful nature-state they are morally deficient and hopelessly unrighteous.

May 1, 2019

The Disconnect by Adam Kareus

The disconnect happens when we forget who we are in Christ and choose to live in our old ways of self-reliance, self-determination, and self-rule.

April

Apr 30, 2019

3 Principles for Evangelism I'm Trying to Embrace by Michael Kelley

Let’s remember the people we are sharing with are not just “targets” or “hot prospects.” These are human beings, made in God’s image, who have not formed their beliefs in a vacuum.​

Apr 30, 2019

Theology for the Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe

God is at work among my generation. And the harvest is plentiful. So, pastors, keep laboring. Parents, keep laboring. Youth workers, keep laboring. Don’t give up on us.​

Apr 29, 2019

How to Fall in Ministry

And What to Do if You Do

Four steps to making a trainwreck of your life. And how to get back on track.

Apr 29, 2019

Is Contentment Even Possible? by Chrys Jones

We often neglect or ignore that Paul learned contentment both in times of frustration and in times of favor. 

Apr 29, 2019

Links For The Church (4/29) by Staff

This week's links include resources on pornography and missions, quitting the pastorate, the road from Emmaus, and lessons from Moses' leadership. 

Apr 28, 2019

Trust in God's Word by Charles Spurgeon

 If you have lost the sweet sense of the Saviour's presence, and are seeking him with a sorrowful heart, remember the promises.

Apr 26, 2019

‘Listening’ As An Essential Word Ministry by Chris Thomas

One of the most significant personal needs a person has is the need to be heard.

Apr 26, 2019

The Worship Leader and Anxiety by Brent Dyer

I believe isolation is the enemy’s number one tool to take down worship pastors.

Apr 25, 2019

The Many Medicines of the Lord by Cale Fauver

Much of the Christian life does not involve suffering, but is one of mundane, normal days under the good gifts from the Father of the heavenly lights. These days are crucial in our sanctification.​​

Apr 25, 2019

Leading Your Church Through Uncertainty by Ben Gum

We have the one message of hope our crumbling culture and our challenging congregations need. Now our calling is to follow through.​

Apr 25, 2019

The Doctrine of God and the Content of Our Prayers by Mike Brooks

Who is God? What is he like? How do we come to know him? To whom are we speaking when we go to God in prayer?​

 

Apr 24, 2019

God In the In-Between by Allyson Todd

We must trust that these in-between days where we can’t see God at work are not signs that he’s turned his back on us.

Apr 23, 2019

Simple Suggestions for a Successful Church Business Meeting by J. Alan Branch

While business meetings can be a great cause for anxiety, they need not be. Here are a few ideas for avoiding acrimonious business meetings in a local church.

Apr 23, 2019

Making God a Liar by Kole Farney

Mankind has exchanged the truth of God for a lie and seems happy about it. 

Apr 22, 2019

The Gospel of an Australian Easter

The News from the Future is Good

Jesus has a word for you today about tomorrow.

Apr 22, 2019

Does Your Search History Know You? by Katie McCoy

Our restoration begins with a change in what we’re searching for. 

Apr 22, 2019

Links For The Church by Staff

This week's links include resources on small sins, passion in marriage, Psalm 22, women celebrating women, and encouraging children to befriend those with special needs. 

Apr 21, 2019

At the Right Hand of God by Charles Spurgeon

Christ at the right hand of God hath all power in heaven and in earth.

Apr 19, 2019

A Good Friday Admonition from Andrew Fuller

Preach Christ Crucified

by Staff

On this Good Friday, consider these words from one of church history's greatest Baptist theologians on the apostolic preaching of the cross of Christ.

Apr 19, 2019

When Trials Become Joy by Kath Thomas

Despite my despair and self-pity when trials come my way, He lovingly draws me to Himself and reminds me there is so much more.

Apr 18, 2019

The Lamentation of a Sinner

Confessions of Henry VIII's Sixth Wife

Though a relatively short work, Queen Katherine Parr's The Lamentation of a Sinner is a deeply personal and overwhelmingly theological confession of her unworthiness for the grace of God.

Apr 18, 2019

The Slow and Steady Pace of Discipleship by Michael Kelley

We don’t need something new. We need something old. We need to do the same things that saints of old have been doing in order to deepen our understanding and apprehension of the greatness of God.

Apr 18, 2019

The Kingdom of God is Radically New by David McLemore

Jesus is not the poster boy for old-time religion. He’s not the Bible Belt co-pilot. He’s not the post-modern homeboy. Jesus is the covenant-making God filling up the old in himself and pouring out the newness we long for.

Apr 17, 2019

Why Christians Oppose Abortion

Theological and Sociological Reasons

When Christians oppose abortion, they are beginning with the fundamental belief that humans are the capstone of creation, created in the image of God, and therefore ought to be preserved.

Apr 17, 2019

Be Tender-Hearted and Thick-Skinned

How Humility Protects Pastors from Pastoral Burnout

Sheep have been known to bite their shepherd. How should pastors respond in the face of unjust criticism?

Apr 16, 2019

Aging and Finishing Well by David Alan Black

 I deeply believe that for those of us who are over 60, the most profound growth still lies ahead of us.

Apr 16, 2019

The Silver Chair and the Solas by Jason G. Duesing

For those of us living in the twenty-first century, how one understands the relationship of their faith in Christ and their obedience to Christ makes all the difference for living a life of joy and God-glorifying freedom. 

Apr 15, 2019

Pastors Are Special

4 Reasons Pastoral Work is Different (and What You and I Should Do About It)

I'm convinced that too few church members often think about the burdens and responsibilities that really do make ministry special. 

Apr 15, 2019

I Used To Be by Adam Kareus

We long for the whitewashed memories to be a present reality.

Apr 15, 2019

Links For The Church by Staff

This week's links include resources on explaining the gospel, why parents' generosity matters, God's kindness, Sign Language and Scripture, believing the Bible because of our parents, and how to encourage the preacher. 

Apr 14, 2019

It Will be Well by Charles Spurgeon

O beloved, if God declares that all is well, ten thousand devils may declare it to be ill, but we laugh them all to scorn. 

Apr 12, 2019

Jesus Is Better Than The Church by Rebekah Hannah

Jesus defines the church, but the church does not define Jesus.

Apr 12, 2019

Holy Weakness by Nathan Clinkscales

The grace of God meets my identity crisis and reminds me that I am approved by God in Christ, and the approval of man I can never earn.

Apr 11, 2019

How to Sleep When You’re Afraid by Seth McDevitt

One day my eyelids will do what they were made to do.

Apr 11, 2019

Seen by the Unseen by Jim Elliff

Among the panoply of spiritual beings said to see into our world, none is more pervasive, interested, and involved than God himself.

Apr 11, 2019

Commitments of a Great Commission Church by H.B. Charles, Jr.

What does it mean for a church to be on mission for Christ? Here are ten commitments of a Great Commission church.

Apr 10, 2019

When You Make Your Bed In Hell by Andrea Burke

I wanted the Bible to fit my story. I didn’t want any impositions.

Apr 10, 2019

Simply Profound Yet Profoundly Simple

The Paradox of the Gospel and the Mandate for a Robust Witness

God’s people must not settle for only a rudimentary knowledge of God’s saving message.

Apr 9, 2019

You're Dead, Start Acting Like It by Chris Thomas

“To live is Christ and to die is gain” is more than a hashtag for your Instagram account; it’s theology clothed with flesh.

Apr 9, 2019

Giving Ourselves Fully to God by Casey Lewis

We must carefully balance between conformity and non-conformity by purposing to no longer be conformed to the world and by being transformed by the renewal of our minds.

Apr 8, 2019

Love Actuarially by Jared C. Wilson

Christian, the Lord knows you are not an asset to the organization. 

Apr 8, 2019

Who Is God, Anyway? by Kristin Spann

We understand that loving doesn’t always mean doing what others want, but doing what serves them best. 

Apr 8, 2019

Links For The Church (4/8) by Staff

This week's links include resources on angels, serving adults with special needs, parents and repentance, sexual abuse in the church, and abortion 50 years from now. 

Apr 7, 2019

Freed From Sin by Charles Spurgeon

We must sing of the finished work of a precious Saviour; and he who knows most of forgiving love will sing the loudest.

Apr 5, 2019

The God Who Heals by Kristen Wetherell

Does Jesus want to heal you? In this lifetime, it’s possible he does. 

Apr 5, 2019

Big Reflections on Small Phrases

Recovering Meditation

Though there was a desert around him, there was no desert in his soul.

Apr 4, 2019

Rebuilding Together

Communal Truths to Anchor Shifting Emotions

God made us emotional beings, but we must anchor those feeling in the truth.​

Apr 4, 2019

Christ Fulfilled the Law by Russell L. Meek

The overhwleming answer to the question: how can an unholy people enter into God’s presence and live?

Apr 4, 2019

3 Reflections on Turning 40 by Tim Counts

I turned 40 last month and as I reflect on God’s goodness in my life and on what I have to look forward to in Christ, my soul is full and content. I can’t wait for the future, gray hair and all.

Apr 3, 2019

Antinomianism and the Modern Church by Logan Bennett

Christ takes all of our law-breaking and gives us all of His law-keeping, placing the Christian completely under Himself, grace.

Apr 3, 2019

Trusting God In Your Waiting Season by Katie McCoy

If the pace of our lives is in His hands, then even our seasons of silence are for a purpose that goes way beyond our current circumstance. 

Apr 2, 2019

The Kingdom of God is for Sinners by David McLemore

Are you sick enough for the Good Doctor, Jesus? If so, rejoice! The kingdom of God is at hand, and it’s coming for you!

Apr 2, 2019

9 Factors to Consider When Choosing Someone to Disciple by Mark Dever

You only have so much time in the week. You can’t disciple the whole church, so how do you decide in whom to invest?​

Apr 1, 2019

You Believe the Prosperity Gospel by Jared C. Wilson

Here are 4 ways ordinary evangelicals like you and me sometimes fall prey to a kind of prosperity gospel in our thinking.

Apr 1, 2019

Links For The Church (4/1) by Staff

This week's links include praise for the plateaued church, preaching from the OT, contentment, and women and men working together. 

Apr 1, 2019

2 Surprises From Ministry Travels Outside of the USA by Steve Burchett

Churches, train and send missionaries who are not only godly, and not just eager, but also knowledgeable

March

Mar 31, 2019

By His Stripes We Are Healed by Charles Spurgeon

Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon him without tears, as he stands before you the mirror of agonizing love?

Mar 29, 2019

The Quietly Poured-Out Life of Lilias Trotter by Allyson Todd

We should slay the lurking thought that obedience to God should give something other than Christ.

Mar 29, 2019

Why Shouldn’t We Love the World? by Casey Lewis

We shouldn’t love the world because it means we have divided hearts.

Mar 28, 2019

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Seminary by Mike Brooks

Here are five areas to take a long, hard look at before making a committment to pursue seminary training for the next three to four years of your life.

Mar 28, 2019

The 7 Disciplines of Living Coram Deo by Joshua Hedger

You do not accidentally live your life before God. Positioning yourself in the presence of God to know him, hear him, and respond to him takes discipline. 

Mar 28, 2019

The Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by Jim Richards

Are leaders created or developed? This age-old question is not easily answered. There are natural leaders, but anyone can grow into a leadership role.

Mar 27, 2019

Waiting on Jesus by Kole Farney

Have you found yourself walking through seasons of great anticipation only to end up crawling through disappointment?

Mar 27, 2019

You Can Doubt and Have Faith without Exploding by Travis Dickinson

If I’m doubting some aspect of my faith, I should dive deep in investigating that aspect.

Mar 26, 2019

Don't Stumble Over the Simplicity of Jesus by Michael Kelley

There is a blessed kind of simplicity for the Christian who is convinced of the providential love of God in Christ.​

Mar 26, 2019

What Does It Mean for God to Be Our Father? by Fred Zaspel

Even if your earthly father was a failure, here you come to experience fatherly love in its ideal. Here is a Father who has committed himself to provide for us, his children, in exactly every way we need, and he has promised to direct our every step for our good and his glory.​

Mar 25, 2019

Don’t Preach Microwaved Leftover Sermons by Jared C. Wilson

I know more than a few pastors—and overhear many more besides—who cite the busyness of their ministry lives as the reason sermon preparation gets crowded out week to week.

Mar 25, 2019

Life is Improv by Adam Kareus

We are living in a society that is becoming more isolated from each other.

Mar 25, 2019

Links For The Church (3/25) by Staff

This week's links include resources on friendships with other ministry leaders, what God does while you wait, the idol of "workism," and SSA Christians and non-sexual relationships. 

Mar 24, 2019

Rejoice in Your King by Charles Spurgeon

Exiles though we be, we rejoice in our King; yea, in him we exceedingly rejoice, while in his name we set up our banners.

Mar 22, 2019

John Calvin as an Intellectual Model for Pastor-Theologians by Jonathon Woodyard

The intellectual discipline exhibited by Calvin in his early years of study, and consistently displayed in his years of ministry in Geneva, is worth emulating. 

Mar 22, 2019

The One Life Dream That Makes a Girl Blush by Andrea Burke

We’ve gone so far down the road of feminism that we’ve forgotten how to proudly be feminine.

Mar 21, 2019

Distracted by Serving Jesus by Matt Kendrick

If we’re honest, for most of us, it isn’t the Hollywood sins that choke out our faith; it’s all the worries of life. All the distractions and noise around us simply box the Spirit of God right out of our day.

Mar 21, 2019

Seasons of Waiting by David McAlpin

Usually waiting doesn’t seem to make much sense or have much purpose at the time, but that is a sheerly human perspective, bound and shackled by our mortal limitations.

Mar 21, 2019

What Was It Like to Pastor at 17? by H.B. Charles, Jr.

What was it like to pastor at seventeen? Ultimately, the short answer is credit to God. For that matter, the long answer is God. God did it all!

Mar 20, 2019

Hallmark Movies, Marriage, and Church by Whitney Putnam

In our highly educated and Biblical competent circles, we all know marriage is important, but as leaders in ministry, is caring for our marriage our utmost goal beyond abiding in Christ? 

Mar 20, 2019

Your Church Needs Biblical Theology by Russell L. Meek

Biblical theology shows us that this covenant was superseded in a way we couldn’t imagine.

Mar 19, 2019

When Abstinence Is Wrong

The Silent Sin Subtly Sabotaging Marriages

A lack of physical intimacy in marriage boosts fleshly desires and opens us up to temptation in significant ways.​​ Here are some ways to guard against it.

Mar 19, 2019

Why Preaching? by Jason K. Allen

Preaching is the pastor's indispensable task, his most paramount duty, and his most consequential and urgent job assignment. For the pastor, preaching is priority number one.​

Mar 18, 2019

Why Your Preaching Stinks by Jason Paredes

Maybe the main reason your preaching is subpar is because your expectations are subpar. 

Mar 18, 2019

Links For The Church (3/18) by Staff

This week's links include resources on a single ladies catechism, being related to a slave owner, poetry and evangelism, and SBC institutions. 

Mar 17, 2019

Remember the Poor by Charles Spurgeon

Why does God allow so many of his children to be poor?

Mar 15, 2019

The Most Important Discovery I Learned in Seminary by Jason G. Duesing

To read the Old Testament is to encounter many new areas of knowledge that might appear tangential or skippable. 

Mar 15, 2019

Church Discipline: Done for the Self-Loving Lord by C. J. Moore

Though God surely loves you and me, there is someone He loves even more: Himself.

Mar 14, 2019

Why You Will Join the Wrong Church by Sam Emadi

Our relationships will ebb and flow, as will our affection for the church. But the solution is not always looking for a better fit.

Mar 14, 2019

When the Authoritative Jesus Shows Up by David McLemore

Jesus has the authority to fix everything in the deepest part of your being and no one can stop him.

Mar 14, 2019

Preacher, Give Them Bread by Mat Alexander

Discipline yourself not to feel the need to overwhelm in every sermon. It’s difficult to do, but we must get over the temptation to feed God’s people everything we have each week.

Mar 13, 2019

Leading Your Ministry Marriage Well by Mark Dance

It feels counterintuitive for ministers to talk about their own health, but self-care is strategic, not selfish.

Mar 13, 2019

The Dangers of Disconnected Discipleship by Brian Zunigha

Don’t view discipleship as a separate activity from your church engagement and involvement.

Mar 12, 2019

3 Things that Keep Christians from Living with a Sense of Urgency by Michael Kelley

Christians, proclaming the gospel is an urgent matter. Let us look at our lives to see what’s keeping us from allowing it to be so.

Mar 12, 2019

'The Gospel-Driven Church' Releases Today! by Staff

This new book from FTC managing editor Jared C. Wilson promises to help you introduce your dreams for church growth to the biblical metrics of grace.

Mar 12, 2019

The Harmonics of the Old Testament by Randall McKinion

The theology of the OT often rides on the harmonics created by the songs and poems breathed out by the Holy Spirit through the skillful pen of His prophets.

Mar 11, 2019

Steering from the Stage

Keys for Gospel-Driven Preaching

Who is church for? And what do they need? - An exclusive excerpt from the new book The Gospel-Driven Church

Mar 11, 2019

Links For The Church (3/11) by Staff

This week's links include resources on struggling to obey God, worship essentials, advice on discussing gender roles, and rethinking unreached peoples. 

Mar 11, 2019

Are You Persuading or Are You Polarizing? by Katie McCoy

When we polarize, we miss an opportunity to draw someone into a meaningful conversation.

Mar 10, 2019

The Path of Trouble is the Way Home by Charles Spurgeon

Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head!

Mar 8, 2019

Satan Isn't After the SBC, God Is by Rebekah Hannah

God will not let pastors flatter his people instead of taking responsibility for the many forms of abuse in his church.

Mar 8, 2019

David, Jonathan, and the Dangers of Reader-Centered Interpretation by J. Alan Branch

We should grieve when people think the deep friendship of David and Jonathan was sexual.

Mar 7, 2019

Discipleship Simplified by Jeff Brown

If Christ is to be followed, He must be well-known, to the point that the disciple can discern His voice, predict His next move, and go His direction at all times.

Mar 7, 2019

10 Ways to Lead a Great Team Meeting by Mike Ayers

Activity does not always mean productivity and just because you meet doesn’t mean you're accomplishing anything of value​.

Mar 7, 2019

Don’t Domesticate God with Words by Matthew Barrett

If our God-talk doesn’t respect him who is incomprehensible, we risk worshiping a glorified version of our own likeness. But if our posture is one of humility—faith seeking understanding—then our stammering turns into worship.​

Mar 6, 2019

The Department of Redundancy Department by Sean Nolan

As flawed humans, we don’t always reflect this patient willingness to repeat ourselves.

Mar 6, 2019

How to Make the Most of Your College Education by Matthew Emerson

The classroom environment for learning the content was invaluable, but without working it out in actual ministry it would have remained knowledge that merely puffs up.

Mar 5, 2019

Joyful Frustration

What It is Like to Minister in New England

The Enemy has held this ground for a long time, and he won’t give it up easily. Fortunately, he doesn’t get to decide who wins in the end.

Mar 5, 2019

Pastor, Your Congregation Plays Video Games (and That’s OK) by Matthew Millsap

What should the pastor’s response to video games be? Where do they fit within the lives of the congregation? 

Mar 4, 2019

Peter, Paul, and Race

What Does Galatians 2 Have to Do With Racial Justice?

Does Paul's confrontation of Peter as recounted in Galatians 2 really have no implications for racial reconciliation?

Mar 4, 2019

Set The Pattern by Adam Kareus

There is more to it than just the pattern, but the pattern sets us up and supports the truth. 

Mar 4, 2019

Links For The Church (3/4) by Staff

This week's links include resources on prayer, sexual assault, short term mission trips, "arriving" in ministry, and healthy conversations about race. 

Mar 3, 2019

Blessed Spirit by Charles Spurgeon

The brooding of the Spirit of God upon the face of the deep, first produced order and life, and in our hearts, he causes and fosters new life and light.

Mar 1, 2019

5 Confessions of a Preacher by Noe Garcia

I quickly learned that an unguarded heart leads to unfiltered preaching.

Mar 1, 2019

Sexual Abuse in Student Ministry by Micah Hayes

Every leader needs accountability, including youth pastors. 

February

Feb 28, 2019

The Circular Mission of the Church by Mike Ruel

Reflecting on my life reminds me that God truly works in mysterious ways. But I'm reminded that God also works in another, more primary way, that is, through the local church. 

Feb 28, 2019

Rebooting Those New Year’s Resolutions by Kyle Golden

Recommit to and pursue your New Year’s resolutions looking through the lenses of God’s constant, abundant, tender, firm, and loving presence and strength.

Feb 28, 2019

The Father Himself Loves You by David McLemore

At the end of it all, he makes his final offer: all of your sin and unloveliness for all my kingdom of righteousness and unending, unyielding, unashamed, outrageously faithful love. Does that sound good?

Feb 27, 2019

Maturing in the Faith-One Decision at a Time by Rodney Harrison

Leaders who blindly accepting the lowest bid, hear just one side of a matter or fail to count the cost prior to making a decision fall into this trap of failing to get all of the facts.

Feb 27, 2019

7 Questions For Meaningful Conversation With Believers by Steve Burchett

Sometimes, all it takes is one good question to start a meaningful, God-honoring conversation.

Feb 26, 2019

Pitting the Mission Against Itself by Brandon McClure

Pastor, if you served the rest of your ministry and never saw another convert, would you be content with watching the spiritual growth of your congregation?​

Feb 26, 2019

5 Callings More Noble than that of Pastor by Jared Sparks

Oh yes, being a pastor and preaching the Bible is a high, great, and glorious call. But, it is not the highest, greatest, and glorious call of all. ​

Feb 25, 2019

3 Principles for Christian Political Engagement by Jared C. Wilson

In light of the story God is telling with the world, how should the church engage politically?

Feb 25, 2019

Numbering Our Days by Andrea Burke

We must let time pass over us with the night and we must give in to letting God be the sovereign one.

Feb 25, 2019

Links For The Church (2/25) by Staff

This week's links include resources on single pastors, praying for your parents, God and the workplace, discontentment, and Old Testament Violence. 

Feb 24, 2019

Approach Him by Charles Spurgeon

You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: he who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting his own children. 

Feb 22, 2019

The Gospel is Better Than Amnesty by Jonathon Woodyard

God has spoken the verdict of “not guilty” over law-breakers in his realm.

Feb 22, 2019

Hold Out The Story by Adam Kareus

We should all seek to know the story of the Bible, not as simple facts, but as a vivid living story that we find our place within.

Feb 21, 2019

3 Reasons to Fight Self-Pity by Michael Kelley

You may or may not have reason for self-pity today. If you do, there is good reason to fight that impulse.

Feb 21, 2019

Open-Door Discipleship by Kyle Rapinchuk

I don’t think we can accomplish the goal of discipleship in the 21st century without demonstrating that we are willing to invite others into our mess, to hopefully show them that our mess is a Christ-centered and redemptive mess.

Feb 21, 2019

10 Things to Know About Ministry Among the Poor by Mez McConnell

The poor in our cities are not going to be won by a group of timid men and women in a committee meeting; they will be won by those who dream big and trust in the absolute sovereignty of God to get things done.

Feb 20, 2019

Three Reminders For Parents In The Trenches With Young Children by Kole Farney

Compassion remembers the frame of our children like God remembers that we are dust and prone to weakness. 

Feb 20, 2019

How to Do Ministry When You Don’t Have Money by Brian Davis

If you grumble in your lack, your heart posture may not be service for Jesus but an inordinate affection for money.

Feb 19, 2019

Get FREE Resources When You Pre-Order 'The Gospel-Driven Church' by Staff

Pre-order the new book from Jared Wilson and get free bonus resources!

Feb 19, 2019

Refuting the Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by Matt Carter

If you’ll do these things, you’ll continue to grow as a leader in health and effectiveness, and your organization will grow right along with you.​

Feb 19, 2019

Equip Your People to Counsel Each Other by Ed Welch

This lay ministry is an extraordinary happening. No longer do people need a special—though temporary—anointing to offer a prophetic word of direction and wisdom.​

Feb 18, 2019

What the Popularity of 'NCIS' and 'Blue Bloods' Tells Us About Ministering to Senior Adults by Jared C. Wilson

Why are older folks drawn to these kinds of shows? And what do those connections mean for ministry to older folks?

Feb 18, 2019

The Tears of Success in Foster Parenting by John Beeson

There is a powerful beauty in beholding oneself in another.

Feb 18, 2019

Links For The Church (2/18) by Staff

This week's links include resources include being slow to speak, atypical women, misunderstanding the Trinity, materialism, compensating your pastor, and being a second wife. 

Feb 17, 2019

The Lord Was There by Charles Spurgeon

The saints are God's heritage, and he is in the midst of them, and will protect his own. 

Feb 15, 2019

How to Lead Women’s Ministry in a Complementarian Church by Andrea Burke

God created men and women to work in such a way that we both have the same goal and we need one another to get the job done. 

Feb 15, 2019

When Fighting Anxiety Seems Unbearable by Jonathan Hayashi

He may not change your circumstances, but he will give peace in the midst of hardship as he promised.

Feb 14, 2019

Turning the Corner on Effective Church Planting (Part 2) by Charles Campbell

When we talk about multiplication, we mean that churches have a process to discover, develop, and deploy church planting teams from the inside. ​​

Feb 14, 2019

Lessons Learned from a Leadership Nightmare by Steve Benninger

Stuff is going to happen. Things will break. People will hurt you. Leaders will disappoint you. But Jesus never fails. Never.  ​

Feb 14, 2019

So, Do You Write Your Own Sermons? by H.B. Charles, Jr.

When you stand behind the sacred desk to preach, be a voice, not an echo.

Feb 13, 2019

Do Not Regard God's Discipline Lightly by Kristen Wetherell

When circumstances are running smoothly and our own plans are being fulfilled, it is easy to forget the Lord and all he has done in the gospel.

Feb 13, 2019

He Came - We Go by Eric Hankins

I am a long way from having the character of our heavenly Father, but my daughter is helping me understand what it means to be drawn fully into the gospel story.

Feb 12, 2019

Marriage: A Covenant, Not a Contract by J. Alan Branch

Marriage is a covenant and not a contract. Marriage is intended to be commitment to which we maintain trust and fidelity until separated by death.

Feb 12, 2019

Community is a Costly Business by David McLemore

Community is a costly business, but someone must pay the cost. Why not you? Why not me?

Feb 11, 2019

Are Mormons Heretics? by Jared C. Wilson

“Oh good! It’s always great to meet a fellow Christian," said the young man on my doorstep when he discovered I was a pastor.

Feb 11, 2019

3 Ways to Squander Your Influence by Susie Hawkins

True and lasting influence is not automatically attained by a high-level job, but by being purposeful in how we relate to others.

Feb 11, 2019

Links For The Church (2/11) by Staff

This week's links include resources on being freed from pride, Lottie Moon and singleness, being brought close, and the recent Houston Chronicle report. 

Feb 10, 2019

How to Abound by Charles Spurgeon

It is a divine lesson to know how to be full

Feb 8, 2019

Preaching Hard Stories by Wendy Alsup

God spoke into these situations with temporary protections that pointed to the Savior coming who will correct all injustice.

Feb 8, 2019

5 Relationships to Cultivate As You Foster or Adopt (Part 5)

Develop a Parenting Partnership with Local Schools they might attend

School is life for foster kids so develop a partnership with the local school your child will attend. 

Feb 7, 2019

5 Reasons Why I Enjoy Reading Biographies by Jason K. Allen

In the spirit of Hebrews 11, reading good biographies summons forth a veritable chorus of cheers, encouraging us to lay aside every encumbrance and sin that so easily entangles us and to run with endurance the race set before us.

Feb 7, 2019

Turning the Corner on Effective Church Planting (Part 1) by Charles Campbell

As a denomination, my tribe has a history that is a mixed bag when it comes to how churches get planted and the effectiveness of those plants. I believe we are turning a corner with our approach.

Feb 6, 2019

Fully Mature In Christ: Spiritual Formation & The College Campus by Matthew J. Hall

If your pursuit of Christian maturity does not have the person and work of Christ as its central focus, it’s a fool’s errand.

Feb 5, 2019

Join the New England Study Tour This May!

Deadline to Register is February 18th

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 5, 2019

Womb, or Death Chamber? by Ben Gum

The womb should be more like a blossoming garden than a cold cell at Auschwitz. Those who use this law as occasion for murderous convenience will not go unnoticed by the Lord.

Feb 5, 2019

The God Who Doesn’t Take Risks

The Comforting Doctrine of Providence

Whatever Albert Einstein meant when he said “God does not play dice with the universe,” the believer can assert with even greater conviction (and gratitude) that his heavenly Father does not play dice with his people.

Feb 5, 2019

Are You A Woman of Kindness…Or A Nice Woman? by Katie McCoy

When we pursue kindness, we direct our lives to reflect God and to live for what He expects of us.

Feb 4, 2019

Links For The Church (2/4) by Staff

This week's links include resources on ease as the new vice, attractive qualities in a leader, what Christ will never say to us, and congregational singing. 

Feb 4, 2019

What is Baptism in the Holy Spirit? by Jared C. Wilson

Jesus promised that we would be baptized by the Holy Spirit. What on earth can that mean?

Feb 3, 2019

We Are Debtors by Charles Spurgeon

Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given.

Feb 1, 2019

Why My Love for God His Word Is Connected to My Ability to Breathe by Jordan Clinkscales

God's good word gives us the ability to simply breathe, to live, every single day. 

Feb 1, 2019

5 Relationships to Cultivate As You Foster or Adopt (Part 4)

Develop a Parenting Partnership with your Parents

Whatever the circumstances, potential foster or adoptive couples should court their parents and patiently give them a vision for multigenerational influence. 

January

Jan 31, 2019

The Beautiful Question the Gospel Compels Us to Ask by Michael Kelley

When you get a little grace, you start asking, “Who else?” Because there must be someone.

Jan 31, 2019

The Necessity of the Local Church (Part 3)

Metaphors, Commands, and Plural Pronouns

The idea of the professing Christian living in isolation from the local church is quite foreign to the New Testament.

Jan 30, 2019

Foster Care and Spiritual Formation by Russell L. Meek

The dark parts of our hearts have been exposed by learning to care for another human being who is not biologically related to us. 

Jan 30, 2019

The Irony of Holding a Grudge by K.V. Paxton

Holding a grudge never ever results in what we think it will. 

Jan 29, 2019

Christ Puts a Comma Where the World Puts a Period by Luke Holmes

This is the good news of the gospel. Words that didn’t make sense together make sense now because of the death and resurrection of Jesus.​

Jan 29, 2019

Can We Trust the Gospels? Yes, We Can. by Peter J. Williams

Not only is it very intellectually satisfying to trust the Gospels, but it is more satisfying than any of the alternatives.​

Jan 29, 2019

The Picture of Hope in Suffering by Jason G. Duesing

Trials, of all kinds, test our faith in crucible-like ways—ways that will show the greatness and goodness of God and result in our greater praise to him. This is, in part, because he endures the trials with us.​

Jan 28, 2019

The Audacious Invincibility of Meekness by Jared C. Wilson

There is much good in young men rejecting passivity, taking responsibility, and seeking to better themselves. But the arteries of anger, victimhood, and aggressive machismo running through the new masculinity movement do not bode well.

Jan 28, 2019

Links For The Church (1/28) by Staff

This week's links include resources on self-control and the leader, churches at a tipping point, pain and planting churches, and being in the margins. 

Jan 28, 2019

Walking When You Can’t Seem to Crawl by Nathan Clinkscales

There is no magical formula for you to faithfully walk with Jesus. 

Jan 27, 2019

The Fullness of Jesus by Charles Spurgeon

Oh, what a fulness must this be of which all receive!

Jan 25, 2019

5 Relationships to Cultivate As You Foster or Adopt (Part 3)

Develop a Parenting Ministry Partnership with the Children You Already Have

As they see you expanding your parenting to include the new kids in your home, while yet devoting yourself to them, they will be ready to expand their capacity to be a brother or sister to the new kids God has given you.

Jan 25, 2019

You Can’t Preach Christ Without Preaching Depravity by Bradley Larson

If we were merely flawed people, then the cross would have been an extreme overcorrection. 

Jan 24, 2019

Why We Suffer by David McLemore

In the Christian gospel, we have not only a God who answers our questions, but also a God who enters our pain. The fact that Jesus entered our world to live as a man of sorrows proves he’s trustworthy.​

Jan 24, 2019

The Necessity of the Local Church (Part 2)

The Inseparability of the Local Church from the New Testament

There is no “being the church” apart from “going to church.” The two are intrinsically connected.  ​

Jan 24, 2019

Fellow Protestants, Don’t Forget Margaret Clitherow by Ian Conrey

When I look at the history of the Church, I am reminded that God often works wonders through deeply broken people, and through some of the darkest atrocities imaginable. My faith is not in Christians, but in Christ — a holy, good, and just God.​

Jan 23, 2019

From Complainers to Rejoicers by Christine Hoover

We are to handle our disagreements with humility, not with even an ounce of grumbling or quarreling.

Jan 23, 2019

Changing Churches: One Pastor’s Experience with Pastoral Transition by Jesse Benack

God’s Word was more than sufficient to guide us in our time of transition.

Jan 22, 2019

Don't Just Meet Someone's Needs by Michael Kelley

This is the lesson for us who want to do good, but don’t want to get our hands dirty.

Jan 22, 2019

If God is Not In Control of Your Pain by Kris Sinclair

The truth that God is in control of our suffering is offensive to many, but it is a truth we should want to embrace when faced with the alternatives.

Jan 21, 2019

Links For The Church by Staff

This week's links include resources on myths about complementarianism, practicing the doctrine of justification, engaging emotion in preaching, and liturgies for youth.

Jan 21, 2019

Engage Your Mind by Adam Kareus

The culture wants us to separate reason and faith. But the bible wants us to engage the mind that God gave us.

Jan 18, 2019

How the Lord Rewards His Laborers by H.B. Charles, Jr.

God gives generously in kindness to the least, last, lost, and left-out.

Jan 18, 2019

5 Relationships to Cultivate As You Foster or Adopt (Part 2)

Develop a Parenting Ministry Partnership with your Local Church

As a member of the body of Christ in a local church, you enjoy a mutual commitment with other believers that reflects your relationship with your spouse. 

Jan 17, 2019

The Necessity of the Local Church (Part 1)

The Promise of the Local Church

The New Testament is saturated with the local church. Trying to understand these 27 books apart from the local church is like playing baseball without the bases. You may be able to recognize the sport, but the path to winning has been eliminated.

Jan 17, 2019

Inspiration From a Bible Translator Whose Work Was Offensive by Steve Burchett

We cannot make someone experience conviction—that’s the work of the Holy Spirit. But we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit not only by proclaiming the gospel, but also by simply reading the Bible.

Jan 17, 2019

You Don't Want What You Actually Deserve by Kristen Wetherell

To think rightly about what we deserve, we must start with God. Our flesh wants to make everything about us, as if the world revolves around humans, but creation tells a different tale.

Jan 16, 2019

Gospel Driven Sin Fighter by Michael Taylor

Sin was defeated in the past, is defeated in the present, and will be defeated in the future only by the cross of Christ and our participation in it.

Jan 16, 2019

How Expository Preaching Should Engage Cultural Concerns (Part I) by Jason K. Allen

As the preacher exegetes his text and his times, he sees how the two intersect, or do not intersect with his congregation.

Jan 15, 2019

Sola Scriptura or Nuda Scriptura? by Gregory Feulner

We must be mindful to walk in humility, being open to learning what God has taught others, knowing that we are not the only saints who have traversed the path we are on.

Jan 15, 2019

The Debt We Owe to the Past

11 Lessons from a Legacy of Faithful Ministry

My dad often told me, “The debt we owe to the past is to leave the future indebted to us.” Here are 11 things I learned from my dad and grandfather that have sustained me for the last 65 years in ministry.

Jan 14, 2019

3 Reasons We Don't Preach Gospel-Centered Sermons by Jared C. Wilson

Why, despite an abundance of helpful resources and exemplary models, do we still have a hard time turning the homiletical corner to preaching Christ?

Jan 14, 2019

Rest For Your Soul by Jennifer Starkey

My desire for rest is not wrong, it’s just often misplaced. 

Jan 14, 2019

Links For The Church (1/14) by Staff

This week's links include resources on loving a prodigal child, on losing mom and the church, union with Christ, foster care, and men serving in kids ministry.

Jan 13, 2019

The Iron Did Swim by Charles Spurgeon

Beloved reader, what is thy desperate case? 

Jan 11, 2019

What Bible Stories Mean by Jared Musgrove

Let stories be as bold, brash, and audacious as they were meant to be.

Jan 11, 2019

5 Relationships to Cultivate As You Foster or Adopt (Part 1)

Develop a Parenting Ministry Partnership with your Spouse

Foster care or adoption will stretch your marriage in ways it has never been stretched before.

Jan 10, 2019

How to Forge a Friendship by David McLemore

Real friends are candid and give counsel, but their love keeps it from being reckless. Real friends are careful with one another. They don’t want to push you away; they want to bring you nearer to themselves and to Jesus.

Jan 10, 2019

Cling to Christ by Chris Thomas

It is life and death. The wind is howling, the waves are building, and life is coming at me with all its fury. What have I to cling to? Hold fast to the gospel. Cling to Christ.

Jan 10, 2019

5 Ways to Last 20 Years in the Same Church by Mike Ayers

These things took time and a process in order to come full-circle - the pain of personal growth, the healing after the pain, and the perspective gained in hindsight beyond the healing. And the unnerving and exciting thing is this: God’s still got more to do.​

Jan 9, 2019

The Power of Showing Up by Adam Kareus

Just by being there you increase your chances of making an impact and you give yourself the chance to use your gifts.

Jan 9, 2019

How to Counsel Couples Through Past Sexual Sin by Scott Croft

As pastors, we need to remind young couples not only that we are all sinners, but also that we are all sexual sinners.

Jan 8, 2019

Life Together Because We are Joined Together by Godwin Sathianathan

When we become Christians, we move from an “I” to a “We.” Therefore, the local church is a single, spiritual entity – an entity that ought to think and act corporately.

Jan 8, 2019

Why Pastors Should Engage Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament by Edward W. Klink III

The wise pastor will become familiar with New Testament hyperlinks to the Old Testament and learn to move between anchor texts and their targets so as to rightly divide the Word of truth.​

Jan 7, 2019

Why Christian Movies Are So Terrible by Jared C. Wilson

Every now and again some well-meaning brother or sister will say to me, "This one's different. You gotta see it. It's not like the others." And then it is. It painfully, painfully is. 

Jan 7, 2019

Links For The Church (1/7) by Staff

This week's links include resources on protecting teens from pornography, living to die, disappointment in ministry, and how to live post-Advent. 

Jan 6, 2019

The Hand of the Lord by Charles Spurgeon

"Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening."

Jan 4, 2019

Oh The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus As He Was Dying On The Cross by Steve Burchett

Against this dark backdrop of depravity beams the love of Christ. 

Jan 4, 2019

Body Image and a Better Understanding of Beauty by Grace Pike

When our hearts believe the lie that there is something more beautiful and more valuable than Jesus Christ, our lives will reflect our rejection of that truth.

Jan 3, 2019

Jesus, the First Missionary by Caleb Brasher

For most of us, "missions" isn’t at the forefront of Christmas considerations. Perhaps it should be.

Jan 3, 2019

5 Tools Every Rural Church Needs by Luke Holmes

Pastoring is a challenge no matter the size of the community, but having the right set of tools can make the job a little easier.  

Jan 3, 2019

The Fruit of Faithful Presence by Alex Kocman

Seeking the blessing of the city means knees will bow.

Jan 2, 2019

Tips for Lay Preachers by Tony Merritt Jr.

We lay preachers don’t get many preaching reps, and we certainly don’t want to do a bad job when one comes our way. 

Jan 2, 2019

Some Hope for Disciplining Children by Russell L. Meek

We love them, shepherd them, and pray for them, but we can’t make them follow the Lord. 

Jan 1, 2019

Spurgeon's Top 4 New Year's Resolutions by Brandon Freeman

Charles Spurgeon preached at least 14 sermons about the New Year in his 38 years at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Though many themes arise in his comments, belief is as pervasive as any.