Resources from 2020

June

Jun 5

Dean Inserra on Adorning The Gospel by Dean Inserra

Series: Conversations

How do you adorn the gospel with creative elements in worship without hindering it?

Jun 5

Why Expository Preaching? by H.B. Charles, Jr.

The divine inspiration of scripture is the unavoidable mandate for expository preaching.

Jun 4

Surprised by the Perfect Being by Matthew Barrett

Can we settle for a God who is less than a perfect being? We cannot. To do so is to rob God of his infinite nature and unbounded perfection.

Jun 3

Is Healing in the Atonement? by Jim Elliff

We’re not always wise enough to know which way of dispensing the benefits of the atonement is best.

Jun 3

Did Jesus Actually Claim to Be God? by Katie McCoy

Jesus invites all of us to come to Him just as we are. But that means we come to Him just as He is: Lord.

Jun 3

Episode 085: Kristen Wetherell on Fighting Your Fears

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the For The Church Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with author Kristen Wetherell about her new book Fight Your Fears and how the gospel helps us in the daily battle to stand firm.

Jun 2

Ronni Kurtz on What Doctrine Brings the Most Joy by Ronni Kurtz

Series: Conversations

We ask FTC Managing Editor, Ronni Kurtz, "What doctrine brings you the most joy?"

Jun 2

I Was Wrong. I’m No White Knight. by Russell L. Meek

What if it wasn’t the community who needed me and my church, but rather me and my church who needed that community?

Jun 1

'Sitting Shiva' with the World

In Times of Pain and Anger, Sometimes Prayerful Silence is the Revolutionary Act

In a world erupting with grief, fear, and wrath, sometimes prayerful silence is the best revolution.

Jun 1

4 Essentials of Great Preaching by Jason K. Allen

Nothing is more pathetic than a man preaching from a Bible he doesn’t believe.

Jun 1

Links For The Church (6/1) by Staff

This week's links include resources on exiles, despair, recovering tolerance, growing in marriage, preaching in tension, and women and the Bible. 

May

May 29

Michael Kelley on Marriage and Discipleship by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

Why is marriage such a vital crucible for discipleship?

May 28

The Next 10 Years: The Context of Theology by Owen Strachan

We are called to minister grace and truth. We need to shepherd pilgrims on their way to the New Jerusalem. How can we do this well in the next 10 years?

May 28

Why Do Christians Need to Hear the Gospel Every Day? by Cameron Smart

Some people believe that the gospel is only useful for evangelism. But followers of Jesus need to continue hearing the gospel even after they are born again.

May 27

Heading Home by Grace Pike

For the follower of Christ, our understanding of “home” and the decisions we make based on that understanding are crucial and complex. 

May 27

Theological Triage, Yes. How about Emotional Triage, Too? by Jonathon Woodyard

Paying attention to the proper emotional response to any given discussion of doctrine will help us love our brothers and sisters in more Christ-like ways.

May 26

Let Us All Be Hospitable by Courtney Reissig

The Christian images God in many ways, but one of the ways all of us can show the world what he is like is through our practice of hospitality.

May 25

Teach Me! by H.B. Charles, Jr.

This is an essential qualification for admission into God’s school: you must recognize you have a lot to learn.

May 25

Links For The Church (5/25) by Staff

This week's links include resources on high school seniors lamenting, not forgetting the elderly, ethnicity and God's excellence, social media and theological divides, and overinterpreting suffering. 

May 25

Too Big Not To Fail by Jared C. Wilson

We think bigness is the way. We think bigness solves lots of problems. We think bigness is safety. We think we can get too big to fail. But it's the other way around.

May 22

Jeff Medders on Church Planting by J.A. Medders

Series: Conversations

What is the one thing you wish you'd done different as a church planter?

May 21

How to Avoid Anger Overload in the Digital Age by Brett McCracken

Are humans situated in specific contexts meant to bear the weight of a world’s worth of grief and outrage?

May 21

3 Ways Baptism & the Lord’s Supper Ought to Shape our Monday through Saturday by Sam Emadi

Three ways the Bible shows us how the ordinances should shape our relationships with one another, both on Sundays and throughout the week.

May 20

When Pictures Aren’t Worth Their Words by Allyson Todd

It is not “virtue” for the children of God to speak only of their past failures. 

May 20

Episode 084: Identifying Elder Candidates

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the For The Church Podcast, Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz discuss what to look for in assessing and training men for eldership in your local church.

May 20

Leaders and Loneliness by Scott Sauls

I know that many pastors say it’s impossible to let your guard down with the members of your church. 

May 19

Faithfulness in the Shadows: The Life and Ministry of Philip Melanchthon by Jesse Randolph

Philip Melanchthon’s life, gifts, writings, and relationships provide a worthy example for modern-day ministers who find themselves “in the shadows” of the ministry of another.

May 19

Todd Chipman on Theological and Civil Adoption by Todd Chipman

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Todd Chipman, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Midwestern Seminary, "Should theological adoption propel civil adoption?"

May 18

There is No Faith So Little That It Is Not Saving by Jared C. Wilson

It's not the strength of the faith that saves, but the strength of the Savior.

May 18

Links For The Church (5/18) by Staff

This week's links include resources on goodness and God's Word, trusting God's hand, loneliness, feelings, and talking to kids about death.  

May 15

Trillia Newbell on Children and Idolatry by Trillia Newbell

Series: Conversations

How do we love our kids without making them into idols?

May 14

Caring For Students in the 2020s by John Mark Yeats

Students may not have changed much over the centuries, but the task of educating the next generation remains great.

May 13

Better Than a Fresh Start: A Brief Biblical Theology of Ezra-Nehemiah by Justin Jackson

How will God’s people receive a new heart—a heart that is made ready to obey God?

May 13

When The Right Way Feels Like the Wrong Direction by Katie McCoy

The funny thing about being in unfamiliar territory is that sometimes the directions don’t make sense until you can look back and see where you were.

May 13

When Preaching Is Big & God Is Small by Dave Harvey

Fear is a powerful experience and Scripture speaks to it in beautiful and comforting ways.

May 12

It Takes Theology to Lament by Mark Vroegop

Considering lament through the lens of our theology is essential. It is important to know that pain is not the sole cause of our laments.

May 11

Critique Gently, Encourage Fiercely by Scott Sauls

We aren’t lonely because something is wrong with us. We are lonely because something is right with us.

May 11

Links For The Church (5/11) by Staff

This week's links include resources on moving forward, daily friendship, flattery vs. encouragement, COVID weariness, Christian marriage, and church evangelism. 

May 10

When Jesus Listened to His Mother

. . . and Became the Life of the Party

The exchange between Jesus and Mary at Cana takes us right into the substance of the gospel.

May 7

Cultivating Church Planting During COVID19 by Corey O'Grady

While the days ahead may be uncertain to us, God’s power and mission are as sure and certain as ever.

May 7

The Missing Link in Pastoral Ministry by Harold Senkbeil

Whatever we do in service of the gospel is of one piece with those who have gone before us in the holy calling to serve as shepherds in Christ’s flock.

May 6

Episode 083: Thomas Kidd on The Evangelical Crisis

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the For The Church Podcast, Jared Wilson interivews historian Thomas Kidd about the current and upcoming challenges facing evangelicals.

May 6

3 Ways the Holy Spirit Helped Spurgeon Preach by Neal Thornton

The preaching task is made effective only by a spiritual means – the attention and anointing of the Holy Spirit. 

May 6

Pastoral Shame and Stewardship During a Pandemic by Rusty McKie

COVID-19 may have shut up the doors of our homes, but no pandemic can shut the ears of our Father.

May 5

Should Elders Insist on Unanimity? by Jamie Dunlop

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful boost of confidence to your congregation to know that the elders only ever speak when they are of one mind?

May 5

Shepherding College Students Called to Ministry in the Midst of a Pandemic by Jason G. Duesing

A few suggestions to help those thinking about a call to vocational gospel ministry, and especially those doing so during the uncertain days of a worldwide pandemic.

May 4

Links For The Church (5/4) by Staff

This week's links include resources on your feelings during the lockdown, hope in the ICU, preparing for fellowship, truths from a simple song, and the cancer of racism. 

May 4

Gentle And Lowly: A Book Review by David McLemore

Series: Book Reviews

Without neglecting the work of Christ in his earthly life, on the cross, and in the resurrection, Ortlund shows the value of the heavenly intercession of Jesus for us right now. 

May 1

The Beauty That Still Remains by Grace Pike

In a world of various pains, fleeting pleasures, and endless vanities, the human heart longs for lasting beauty. 

May 1

Matt Capps on What A Church Needs From Its Pastor by Matt Capps

Series: Conversations

What is the one thing a church needs from its pastor?

April

Apr 30

The Two Paths Out of Trials by Jonathan Leeman

There are two paths for people to take in the midst of trials. They can take the path of self-reliance or the path of trusting in God.

Apr 29

Zoomed Out: Freedom from Consuming All the Resources During Quarantine by R. D. McClenagan

There are many tasks to accomplish and there are many resources out there to accomplish them, but the most important task is to set your heart unto the Lord in this time. 

Apr 28

Navigating Different COVID-19 Recovery Convictions by Costi Hinn

If there is one word to describe how we must navigate re-assimilation amid COVID-19, it’s this: grace. 

Apr 28

Three Reasons Church Unity is Important by Brett McCracken

A unified church is one of the strongest evidences of the truth of the gospel.

Apr 28

Jason K. Allen on the Rising Generation of Pastors and Students by Jason K. Allen

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Dr. Jason K. Allen, President of Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College, "What encourages you about the rising generation of pastors and students today?"

Apr 27

Bear the Sin, Look to the Savior by Allyson Todd

This is the path that looks like insanity to the world. Bearing the sins of one another in daily life, and even if we cannot maintain a relationship any longer, still loving and forgiving those who hurt us. 

Apr 27

Links For The Church (4/27) by Staff

This week's links include resources on desires, political theology, idolatry, and infertility. 

Apr 27

What's in Your Soul That the Gospel Needs to Run a Sword Through? by Jared C. Wilson

It’s leaning on the finished work of Christ that finally undoes our desires for fulfillment apart from him. 

Apr 24

Mark Dever on Sermon Prep by Mark Dever

Series: Conversations

What does your sermon preparation look like?

Apr 24

Simple Tips to Study the Bible by David Prince

The Author of the Bible intended to write this Book in order to be known and loved. 

Apr 23

A Plea for Churches to Continue Live Streaming After COVID-19 by Jeremy Gardiner

Though we all are looking forward to a return to normal when we can gather again in person, let's not forget the good that live streaming does.

Apr 22

5 Years of For The Church by Ronni Kurtz and Staff

Series: Videos

Thank you to our readers and contributors for five wonderful years of For the Church. 

Apr 22

Celebrating Five Years of For the Church by Ronni Kurtz

As this five-year milestone moves into the rearview, we at FTC are all the more committed to our mission—produce gospel-centered resources For the Church.

Apr 22

Episode 082: FTC 5th Anniversary Episode

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the For The Church Podcast, Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz reflect on the fifth anniversary (4/22) of the For The Church website and the last five years of growth and ministry.

Apr 21

Glorify God in Your Habits

How Spiritual Disciplines Produce Real Joy

Don’t be afraid to pursue your joy — in God —as you come to his word, prayer, and church. In fact, seeking your joy in him is not optional. It’s essential.

Apr 21

Andrew King on How Amos Can Shape Our View of God and the World by Andrew King

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Andrew King, Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Spurgeon College, "How can the prophet Amos shape our view of God and the world?"

Apr 20

Don’t Waste Your Medical Crisis by Karen Allen

Approximately one year ago, on April 11, 2019, my life was forever changed.  Until that day, 2019 was a year marked primarily by busyness. Life and ministry with my husband and family was full. The days were good, but long.

Apr 20

Crucifying Defensiveness by Jared C. Wilson

Why would you and I do that? Why would we turn the cheek this way, go two miles with the guy demanding one?

Apr 20

Coronavirus, Psalm 131, And The Faithful Father by Gail Emerson

Unlike my mothering, God’s faithfulness is holy and perfect.

Apr 20

Links For The Church (4/20) by Staff

This week's links include resources on empathy, loving the church, the context of a verse, prolonged sabbath, and Proverbs during the pandemic. 

Apr 17

What Did They Mean, “Believe in Christ?” by Jim Elliff

Something has been done for you that you could not do for yourself through his dying and rising again on your behalf.

Apr 17

Dean Inserra On Pastors Preventing Moral Failing by Dean Inserra

Series: Conversations

How can a pastor protect his family, his church, and himself from moral failing?

Apr 16

Made to Stand by Lianna Davis

The sins and evils here, the mysterious woods—I know this all must end with His glory and finally serve it.

Apr 16

What if We Applied “For Better or Worse” to Church Commitment? by Brett McCracken

The church as a bride isn’t just a random, pleasant metaphor in Scripture. It’s of profound theological importance.

Apr 16

Don Whitney on Perseverance in Reading Scripture

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, "I've been reading my Bible every day for a month and nothing has happened. What do I do?"

Apr 15

Has God Gifted You to Preach and Teach His Word? by Jason K. Allen

Preaching is God’s divinely ordained means of communicating His Word, nourishing His church, and redeeming a people for Himself. 

Apr 15

Encouragement for the New Homeschooling Family During the Covid -19 Crisis by Kathrine Pittman

 Slower mornings allow us to linger around the table, open the Bible, and explore the scriptures as a family. 

Apr 15

Episode 081: FTC Mailbag

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this latest installment of the Mailbag feature of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz answer a new round of listener-submitted questions.

Apr 14

Immutability and Pastoral Ministry by Matthew Claridge

Christ makes all the theological abstractions concrete; he brings all the prodigal speculations back home.

Apr 14

Sam Bierig on the Most Important Ingredient in Student Ministry by Sam Bierig

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Sam Bierig, Dean and Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at Spurgeon College, "What is the most important ingredient to student ministry?"

Apr 13

Don’t Try To Put Out Every Brush Fire by H.B. Charles, Jr.

Wisdom is knowing when to speak and when to hold your peace, when to move and when to keep still.

Apr 13

Links For The Church (4/13) by Staff

This week's links include resources on being children, celebrating what we've lost, suffering and witness, and fear and courage. 

Apr 13

Christ is Risen -- Now What? by Jared C. Wilson

Easter has become the ultimate game-changer for the human experience.

Apr 10

Friendship to the Nth Power

Tolkien, a movie review

The main action of The Lord of the Rings takes place, then, in the mythic space between Christmas, Christ’s birth, and the crucifixion, Christ’s death.

Apr 9

Mercy Will Come by David McLemore

When your sin puts you in the depths of despair, and you have no way out on your own, there is a God above who rules and reigns and forgives and saves.

Apr 9

A Strong Conscience or Immaturity? by Sam Parkison

What does it look like for thoughts about entertainment to be taken captive to obey Christ?

Apr 8

9 Ways the Gospel Speaks to Us During COVID-19 by Dave Harvey

Sometimes we’re infatuated with this life—our homes, cars, entertainment. A pandemic can fracture that. 

Apr 8

Facing My Own Restlessness by Scott Sauls

God is my refuge on one hand, and the darkness is my companion on the other. 

Apr 8

Charging the Gates of Hell When You Can Barely Move by Danny Slavich

The land of exile is the locus of theological formation. 

Apr 7

Six “Do Nots” for Evangelism from the Old Testament by Tom Johnston

The Old Testament encourages an unusually bold witness in evangelism in many ways.

Apr 7

How the Kingdom Arrives in Matthew’s Gospel by Patrick Schreiner

One of the most well-known truths in Matthew is that he describes it as the “kingdom of heaven” rather than kingdom of God.

Apr 6

Links For The Church (4/6) by Staff

This week's links include resources on college students, talking about death with children, Christ's pursuing love, and hospitality during COVID-19.

Apr 6

COVID-19 and Family Discipleship by Jonas Larkin

What happens when these groups and programs aren’t gathering?

Apr 6

The Lord's Prayer in a Crisis by Jared C. Wilson

What does the prayer we say to God say to us about times of trouble?

Apr 3

Grieving Deeply with Faith: Not a Contradiction by David Prince

The safest place for our faith while hurting is in the hands of our faithful Creator.

Apr 3

Dean Inserra on Church Faithfulness by Dean Inserra

Series: Conversations

How can a church know it's on the right track? What are some signs of faithfulness?

Apr 2

The Fear that Produces Fearlessness by Jeremy Kimble

As Christians, we are not immune to the reality of our present moment. However, our response must look different, and there is reason why it can.

Apr 2

“What Do You Want?”: Pastoral Reflections on Faithfulness by Aaron Menikoff

Now more than ever, the church needs models of faithfulness.

Apr 2

8 Practices That Divide

Lessons in Unity from Jeremiah Burroughs

Division within the body of Christ is ultimately a heart issue. But it’s also, in part, a culture issue.

Apr 1

Episode 080: Jonathan Dodson on Our Good Crisis

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson interviews pastor and author Jonathan Dodson on the revolutionary help of the Beatitudes for our culture in crisis.

Apr 1

Five Enduring Truths About Theological Education by Charles Smith

The world desperately needs faithful leaders that steadily live the gospel out before a watching world.

Apr 1

Trusting God in Your Waiting Season by Katie McCoy

What may seem like a setback or a delay is actually His perfecting preparation. 

March

Mar 31

Discipleship Is Not Consumer-Friendly by Brett McCracken

Churches that attempt to accommodate the moving-target needs of individual “spiritual quests” are not doing anyone a favor.

Mar 31

It Takes Theology to Lament by Mark Vroegop

By connecting lament with our theology, we change how we define steadfastness in trial.

Mar 31

John Mark Yeats on How We Benefit From Knowing Our Past by John Mark Yeats

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Dr. John Mark Yeats, Dean of Students and Professor of Church History at MBTS, "How would Christians benefit in the future from know our past?"

Mar 30

We Will Still Feast by Allyson Todd

 Do we only recognize that this virus has taken comfort from us? Or do we also look to Jesus and see that He has given us a great gift? 

Mar 30

Links For The Church (3/30) by Staff

This week's links include resources on how to help the homeless, believing you're forgiven, "even ifs," why there were three crosses, church history and the chronically ill, and being quarantined alone. 

Mar 30

Love in the Time of Coronavirus by Jared C. Wilson

All alone with our selves, being babysat by our anxieties, we might see just how helpless and frail we really are. And we might see just how loved.

Mar 27

Should We Take Communion Virtually? by Drake Osborn

This is a community meal, signified by the corporate nature of the covenant that we are remembering and taking part in.

Mar 27

Biblical Principles for Ethnic Harmony by H.B. Charles, Jr.

Racism refuses to acknowledge the equality and dignity or your neighbor, much less love them as you love yourself. 

Mar 27

Clint Pressley On Leading Big Change by Clint Pressley

Series: Conversations

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

Mar 26

5 Reasons Being Disappointed With Your Pastor Could Be a Good Thing by Justin Jackson

Disappointment with your pastor, with other believers, or with your church should send you to your knees in prayer, not out the door with a dramatic show of indignation.

Mar 26

Everyday Evangelism: The Importance of Faithful Laymen by Cale Fauver

Some practical ways to help open the door to talking about the most glorious news that heaven itself sings about.

Mar 26

Don Whitney on Family Devotions by Staff

Series: Conversations

How do you encourage a young family struggling with family devotions?

Mar 25

Power Over Life and Death: An Encouragement from the Old Testament in the Age of Coronavirus by Lance Higginbotham

We are not created to die, so reminders of human frailty do not come easily to most of us. 

Mar 25

Recovering The Lost Art Of Encouragement by Scott Sauls

When a friend is caught in addiction or destructive behavior, the loving thing to do is to help them out of it through intervention.

Mar 25

Did We in Our Own Strength Confide?

Martin Luther & Our Everlasting Hope

Our hope awaits an eternal consummation, but we minister with buoyancy and confidence even now. 

Mar 24

Life Together for a Church Apart: Lessons from Bonhoeffer for COVID-19. by Marshall Griffin

What if God used this time to bond us closer together than ever in his Spirit, the true foundation of our unity?

Mar 24

Tips for Lay Preachers by Tony Merritt Jr.

Many lay preachers feel unprepared for the task—I know I have. What should you do? Where do you start? Here a few tips.

Mar 23

To All Who Despair: Jesus is Making All Things New by Jared C. Wilson

Someday, Jesus the Redeemer will return to redeem everything. Fully. Completely. Eternally.

Mar 23

Links For The Church (3/23) by Staff

This week's links include resources on Jesus in the Proverbs, pastors and integrity, self-help, lessons from working with those who were abused, and successful evangelism. 

Mar 23

3 Realities A Self-Help Article Will Never Tell You About Losing Weight by Lauren Graham

Nothing special happened about my life’s purpose and mission as a result of losing the weight that I lost. 

Mar 20

Indifference Toward God by David McLemore

I treat God like a teenager does a parent, recognizing his presence but longing for him to leave me alone, for crying out loud. 

Mar 20

Jeff Medders on Writing Sermons by J.A. Medders

Series: Conversations

How do you write sermons? Describe your sermon preparation process.

Mar 19

Love Your Wife Like Jesus Loves Her

Ten Great Loves for Every Husband

Know that when you love your wife like Jesus loves her, the foundation of your marriage is strengthened, Satan is defeated again, and Christ is lifted up for more to see.

Mar 19

Content Isn’t Everything — Or, Some Help for the Boring Bible Teacher by Jamie Dunlop

Here are three reasons why teachers of the Bible shouldn’t be boring—and four strategies to avoid boring teaching.

Mar 19

Adam McClendon on "Re-creating" the Early Church by Adam McClendon

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Adam McClendon, Professor in the School of Divinity and Director of the D.Min. program at Liberty Universtiy, "Can the church 're-create' the early church?"

Mar 18

10 Gifts I Pray God Gives The Church Through The Coronavirus by Orion Berridge

May God cause something mighty and special to happen when the church, across the entire world, returns to corporate worship. 

Mar 18

Episode 079: Outlining vs. Manuscripting

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz discuss the pros and cons of writing and preaching from both outlines and manuscripts.

Mar 18

What Does It Mean To “Pray For All People?” by Jim Davis

Paul is asking us to push the boundaries of our hearts when we pray.

Mar 18

Worth A Lot of Sparrows by Jim Elliff

It is hardly God’s great purpose to make you feel like you’re something special.

Mar 17

Ronni Kurtz on Why Pastors Should Care About Systematic Theology by Ronni Kurtz

Series: Conversations

We ask our Managing Editor, Ronni Kurtz, "Why should pastors care about Systematic Theology?"

Mar 17

A Fisherman in Ireland: The Enduring Relevance of Patrick by Jason G. Duesing

For evangelicals, the enduring relevance of Patrick of Ireland lies in a sacrificial heart motivated by the Great Commission and burdened for the lost.

Mar 16

Our Pandemically Poor Ecclesiology

What the Coronavirus Deliberations Reveal About Our View of Church

Whether you meet or don't meet, do all things to the glory of God.

Mar 16

Ready to Rejoice; Ready to Mourn by Kole Farney

The gospel helps us see that our lives are not about us.

Mar 13

You’re Not a Bad Pastor If You Cancel Services Over COVID-19 by Ronnie Martin

Four helpful perspectives to remember when making the decision to cancel worship services due to the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Mar 13

Glorious Limitations and Sweet Surrender by David Prince

We tend to think that only the most perceivably gifted people are the ones who pleasingly serve God. 

Mar 13

J. T. English on Large Churches and Ministry Training by J.T. English

Series: Conversations

How can large churches provide effective ministry training?

Mar 12

From Associate Pastor to Senior Pastor (In the Same Church) by Jason Helopoulos

A few challenges and helpful advice for an Associate Pastor becoming the Senior Pastor in the same church he has been serving for years.

Mar 12

Jared Wilson on Thinking About the Sins of Our Church History Heroes by Jared C. Wilson

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Jared C. Wilson, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Spurgeon College and Author in Residence at MBTS, "How should we think about the sins of our heroes from church history?"

Mar 11

Missionary, Please Don’t Dread Support Raising by Michelle Dein

The Holy Spirit creates the desire in hearts and helps believers respond to God’s generosity and grace with offerings back to Him.

Mar 11

More Than Marriage: What’s Behind Polyamory In the Church by Katie McCoy

The presence of polyamory among professing believers is yet another manifestation of a culturally accommodating Christianity that seeks to worship the Lord on its own terms.

Mar 11

Acts 15, Infanticide, and Using the Bible in Ethics by J. Alan Branch

The Bible gives us the necessary worldview and the essential principles needed for thinking through these issues with the right perspective. 

Mar 10

Six Principles For Youth Ministry by Jonathan Leeman

The way of Christianity is the way of unity between old and young saints in the body, and if you want our youth to take this way, show them the road.

Mar 10

Two Errors to Avoid When Articulating a Call to Ministry by Ronni Kurtz

When articulating a call to ministry, here are two common errors to avoid.

Mar 10

Nathan Rose on Pastors' Sabbaticals and the Benefit for Churches by Nathan Rose

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Nathan Rose, Lead Pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Kansas City, MO, "How do churches benefit from giving their pastors a sabbatical?"

Mar 9

The Ten Commandments: A Book Review by Sam Parkison

There is no chapter in this book that does not look to Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of the Ten Commandments. 

Mar 9

Utterly Saved by Jared C. Wilson

Salvation by Christ's work is a gift of grace received through faith. This salvation is total (Romans 8:30) and we see its totality in John 6.

Mar 6

Come Away and Rest Awhile by H.B. Charles, Jr.

Jesus was most concerned about the toll their ministry efforts had on them. 

Mar 6

Jen Wilkin on Grace vs. Permissiveness by Staff

Series: Conversations

How is grace different from permissiveness?

Mar 5

Don't Bring Your Greek or Hebrew Bible to Corporate Worship by Andrew King

Every semester I tell my students, “For the love of God, do not bring your Greek or Hebrew Bible to corporate worship on Sunday.”

Mar 5

Won Kwak on Advice for the Pastor Who Wants to Quit by Won S. Kwak

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Won Kwak, pastor at Maranatha Grace Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey: "What do you say to the pastor who's tired and wants to quit?"

Mar 4

Episode 078: Jonathan Parnell on Mercy for Today

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson interviews pastor and author Jonathan Parnell about finding strength from God for all of our days and disciplining ourselves to rest regularly in God's immeasurable grace.

Mar 4

An Intimate Hour with God by Jim Elliff

The following suggestions are designed to help you spend an extended time in prayer and meditation with God.

Mar 4

Hope for Busted Up Sinners Like Me by Scott Sauls

He will not merely help us turn over a new leaf; he will actually give us a new life.

Mar 3

Why Church Members Must Be Theologians by Colton Corter

Good theology, for the church member, is how we tell the truth about God and how we dwell together in a way that honors the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mar 3

Todd Chipman with Advice on Whether to Pursure Academic or Pastoral Ministry by Todd Chipman

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Dr. Todd Chipman, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at MBTS and pastor at the Master's Community Church in Kansas City, "What advice would you give someone deciding between academic theology and pastoral ministry?"

Mar 2

All Dogs Go To Heaven by Jared C. Wilson

When his dog was suffering a particularly noisome barking fit, Martin supposedly preached this gospel implication to him, exhorting the pooch this way: “Never mind, little Hans . . . Thou too, in the Resurrection, shalt have a little golden tail.”

Mar 2

Links For The Church (3/2) by Staff

This week's links include resources on how God listens, Christian maturity, condemnation, pastoral friends, creeds, and witness to others. 

February

Feb 28

When Christians Fail by David Prince

Peter’s darkest episode exposed his prideful heart, but it also led him to the humblest of repentance.

Feb 27

College Students and Church Membership by Dave Russell

Should college students join a local church by campus if they have a church membership “back home”?

Feb 27

Dan Darling on What Influences Christian Political Engagement by Daniel Darling

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Dan Darling, Vice-President of Communciations at the ERLC, "What tempts Christians to engage politically in undignified ways?"

Feb 27

A Field Like No Other: On Theological Interactions by Laura Campbell

Theologians at every level: Employ your expertise with humility in every interaction for the good of your brother and the good of your neighbor to the glory of God.

Feb 26

When I Don't Like God's Answer by Allyson Todd

I deceived myself and thought I had the right to question God, to turn my back and scoff at Him, the Creator of everything.

Feb 26

Repentance as Discipleship by David McLemore

God is not calling perfect people to be His ambassadors in this world. 

Feb 26

When They Call In The Night by Chris Thomas

The first thing to know is that your father isn’t like us.

Feb 25

Adam McClendon on Why Contentment is Radical by Adam McClendon

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Adam McClendon, Director of the D.Min. Program at Liberty University, "Why is contentment radical?"

Feb 24

He Loved You Before There Was a You by Jared C. Wilson

It is not as if God looked through time, saw you would be an asset to the organization and so chose you.

Feb 24

Links For The Church (4/24) by Staff

This week's links include resources on chronic pain, believing your own press, improving preaching, marriage, and Lent participation. 

Feb 24

Church Song Is Corporate Preaching by Eric Schumacher

Don't pit singing and the sermon against each other.

Feb 21

Why I’d Go to Church If I Were Not a Pastor by H.B. Charles, Jr.

You may not like the way the bride of Christ looks. But be careful how you treat Christ’s bride. 

Feb 21

Clint Pressley on Training Men for Ministry by Clint Pressley

Series: Conversations

What are some important components in training men for ministry?

Feb 20

5 Reasons Pastors Ought to Pray for Slow Growth by Aaron Menikoff

It’s easy to be discouraged when you see a tiny trickle of people coming into your congregation. But if that trickle is good, solid growth, it’s much more likely to be growth that lasts.

Feb 20

Steve Bezner on Developing Relationships with Muslim Leaders in Our Cities by Steve Bezner

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Steve Bezner, Lead Pastor at Houston Northwest Church in Houston, TX: "Why do you develop relationships with Muslim leaders in your city?"

Feb 19

Episode 077: Pastors and Plagiarism

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz discuss the problem of pastors plagiarizing the work of others in their sermons and writing.

Feb 19

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

Though freed from the penalty of sin by the blood of Christ, my struggle with and the remaining presence of even “canceled sin” was bigger and deeper than I knew.

Feb 19

Our Identity In Christ Looks A Lot Like This… by Katie McCoy

He still loves to forgive, redeem, restore, and transform.

Feb 18

The Love of Beauty by Jim Elliff

Within me is the longing for beauty, and the repulsion of non-beauty. I am convinced that I have the normal longings of all of us. We are made for beauty.

Feb 18

Andreas Köstenberger on Longevity in Scholarship and Ministry

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Dr. Andreas Köstenberger, Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and Director of the Center for Biblical Studies at MBTS, "What is a vital ingredient for faithful longevity in scholarship or ministry?"

Feb 17

The Passage that Called Me to Ministry

3 Enduring Lessons from Exodus 3

I want to persevere in ministry purely at the mercy of the sovereign God who is with me.

Feb 17

I Am A Pastor, Therefore I Fear by Ronnie Martin

God’s purpose is always for your worry to be transformed into worship. 

Feb 17

Links For The Church (2/17) by Staff

This week's links provide resources on worship as discipleship, the meaning of marriage, loneliness, following your heart, hobbies and idolatry, and fathers. 

Feb 14

What Jesus Meant About the Lost Sheep by David McLemore

Jesus knew the Bible, and he used David's words to foretell the kind of battle he came to fight and the kind of victory he came to win.

Feb 14

Don Whitney On The Christian's Devotional Life by Staff

Series: Conversations

What is the one thing you would do to change the Christian’s devotional life?

Feb 13

Three Ways a Pastor and His Wife Can Stay in Love by Tim Counts

When I am closer to Jesus, I am closer to my wife. I mean truly closer to Jesus, in my heart, not just thinking I am closer because I am doing the right things.

Feb 13

The Apologetic of Being Mom

Why Mothers Must Be Theologians

Fellow moms, if we think teaching our children about the Triune God and the universe he made is small or pitiable or unimportant, we don’t understand smallness.

Feb 12

When Intimacy With God Is Absent by Scott Sauls

Because God put Jesus away on the cross, he will never put us away.

Feb 12

Keeping Our Confidence in Christ by Lianna Davis

Jude’s letter is emphatic that Jesus Christ is our only Savior, a teaching all the more pronounced through Jude’s litany of the sorrowfully condemned.

Feb 11

Not Every Thing is as Important as the Next Thing: John Calvin on Theological Triage by Jonathon Woodyard

Not every theological issue demands warfare. Not every doctrinal disagreement deserves the same outrage on social media.

Feb 10

Looking For a Church? Here’s What to Look For by Jim Elliff

Though there are many things a particular church may not be able to do well, love is not one of them.

Feb 10

Links For The Church (2/10) by Staff

This week's links include resources on salvation, language and the missionary, guarding your relationship with God, one-to-one Bible reading, and churches working together. 

Feb 10

Why Knowing Your Flock is Critical to Meaningful Preaching by Jared C. Wilson

The ministry of preaching cannot be divorced from the ministry of soul care; in fact, preaching is actually an extension of soul care. There are a host of reasons why it is important for pastors who want to preach meaningfully to know their flocks as well as they can, but here are three of the most important.

Feb 7

Won Kwak on New Christians and Church by Won S. Kwak

Series: Conversations

What is the one thing a new Christian needs most from his church?

Feb 6

A Love for God Leads to Joy in His Church

How Theology Affects Church Membership

The people we encounter in the church may not necessarily be the people we would have chosen for ourselves. But they are the people we need.

Feb 6

The Gospel and Your Time by Jason K. Allen

The Bible itself describes our lives as vapors that vanish quickly. We must recognize today that we are not promised tomorrow.

Feb 6

Trillia Newbell on the Gospel and Body Image by Trillia Newbell

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Trillia Newbell, Director of Community Outreach for the ERLC, "What does the gospel say about body image?"

Feb 5

In Ministry, Joy and Sorrow Don’t Cancel Each Other Out by Winston Smith

While we’re always experiencing death to some extent in the present age, we’re also at the very same time experiencing resurrected life. 

Feb 5

Does Your Youth Group Look Like the Muslim's Next Door? by Micah Hayes

If the gospel is the one thing that makes us unique, then the gospel needs to be the one thing that shapes how we do everything.

Feb 5

Episode 076: Andrew Peterson on Adorning the Dark

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson interviews artist and author Andrew Peterson about creativity, spirituality, and Andrew's new book Adorning the Dark.

Feb 4

Handle With Care: A Book Review by Allyson Todd

Series: Book Reviews

If we can reframe how we think about touch and avoid fear of man, we can love our brothers and sisters by touching them in a holy, loving way. 

Feb 4

Should I Use My Trans Neighbor’s Preferred Pronoun? by Sam Parkison

Central to our gospel presentation is the solution to the problem of sin, and if this sin is central to our hearer’s identity, we haven’t actually presented the gospel until we’ve brought it to bear rigt there.

Feb 3

Confessions of a Recovering Political Idolater by Jared C. Wilson

These are just three symptoms of my ailment. I have to stay aware of them, because when I am not consciously and intentionally directing my gaze to the glory of Christ, I can very easily get swept up in the winds of political discourse.

Feb 3

Links For The Church (2/3) by Staff

This week's links include resources on engaging those who disagree, complacency in salvation, grieving with hope, mothers who do 'nothing,' Jesus and the Old Testament, myths on studying the Bible, and empty nesters. 

Feb 3

3 Words of Counsel I’ve Received from Seasoned Leaders by Tyler Greene

A leader who holds fast to the true source of life is utterly free to love others well.

January

Jan 31

Adam McClendon on Pastoring Those Who Struggle With Porn Use by Adam McClendon

Series: Conversations

What should pastors remember in counseling those dealing with porn use?

Jan 30

Pastoring a Rural Church Isn’t a “Lesser” Ministry by Cheston Pickard

Amazingly, even small, rural churches inherit the powerful kingdom of God through the blood of his Son.

Jan 30

10 Reasons to Read Strachan’s Reenchanting Humanity by Sam Bierig

Is Strachan right to claim that anthropology is the major issue of our time? He is. There is no more pressing issue for the Church of Jesus Christ.

Jan 30

Michael Kelley on Why Christians Don't Pray for Daily Bread by Michael Kelley

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Michael Kelley, Director of Discipleship at Lifeway Christian Resources, "Why don't more Christians pray for their daily bread?"

Jan 29

The Most Honest People In The World, And Why We Need Them by Scott Sauls

Do you recognize that an inability to enjoy children is not representative of a defect in the children, but of a defect in us?

Jan 29

Eight Tips for Veteran Preachers by Jason K. Allen

Whether you are a beginner preacher or veteran one, cultivate a sense of dependence on Christ.

Jan 28

What Apostates Don't Say by Erik Raymond

The road to apostasy is paved with indifference to the glory of Christ. 

Jan 28

An Encouragement for Your Theological Journey from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations by Ronni Kurtz

You’re not responsible for understanding all the depths of theology today; you’re called to simply be intellectually faithful.

Jan 28

Clint Pressley on Who Has Influenced His Preaching the Most by Clint Pressley

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Lead Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, "Who has influenced your preaching the most?"

Jan 27

The Romans 8 Driven Life by Jared C. Wilson

How would you live if you realized that nothing you fear could ever have the last word in your life?

Jan 27

Links For The Church (1/27) by Staff

This week's links include resources on being pro-life and pro-woman, God's goodness tomorrow, recovering benedictions, talking to kids about ethnicity, and walking away from discipleship. 

Jan 27

Netflix and Chips: An Argument for Snacks and Television in 2020 by Ted Kluck

Not knowing your spouse, never doing anything together, reading Bavinck by candlelight while she cleans up the kitchen, and feeling like her roommate is bad. 

Jan 25

Do You Know the Lovingkindness of the Lord? by Charles Spurgeon

Forget not what thy God has done for thee; turn over the book of thy remembrance, and consider the days of old.

Jan 24

A Student Ministry Manifesto by Sam Bierig

A 10-point manifesto for a healthier Youth Ministry.

Jan 23

How Not to Envy Your Neighbor’s Competence by Tilly Dillehay

Envy is a feeling of bitterness that God has given something good to somebody else.

Jan 23

Don Whitney on the Preference for Bible Study Over Prayer

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, "Why do many Christians seem more inclined to Bible Study than prayer?"

Jan 22

Episode 075: The Gospel According to Satan

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Ronni Kurtz interviews Jared Wilson about his new book The Gospel According to Satan: Eight Lies About God that Sound Like the Truth.

Jan 22

You Have More Influence Than You Realize by Katie McCoy

These were ordinary women. Much like us, they probably didn’t feel like they had particularly extraordinary lives.

Jan 21

When All That Remains Is Ash: Lessons of God in the Australian Fires by Chris Thomas

Even as I write this, the fires still burn. But one day soon, through the blackened earth, green shoots will spring up again.

Jan 21

Adam McClendon on Christian Culture and Masculinity by Adam McClendon

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Adam McClendon, Professor in the School of Divnity and Director of the DMin doctoral program at Liberty University, "What does Christian culture sometimes get wrong about masculinity?"

Jan 20

A Poem for MLK Day by Allyson Todd

A poem in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan 20

4 Perils of Platform by Jared C. Wilson

There are so many other spiritual dangers that face the one in the spotlight. These four, I'm convinced, are some of the reasons why James says not many people should be teachers.

Jan 18

The Greatest Bible Lesson Ever Taught by Charles Spurgeon

O for grace to study the Bible with Jesus as both our teacher and our lesson!

Jan 17

Clint Pressley on Attractional Church Models by Clint Pressley

Series: Conversations

What are some practical considerations for the pastor leading his church from an attractional mindset to a more gospel-centered ministry?

Jan 16

Heresy Often Begins with Boredom by Brett McCracken

We should see orthodoxy as beautiful because it is bigger than us. It came before us and will be there after we’re gone.

Jan 16

7 Ways to Protect and Pass On the Gospel by Nathan Rose

When you join a local church, you’re committing to helping other covenant members faithfully follow Jesus. 

Jan 16

Barnabas Piper on Becoming a Better Writer

FTC.co asks Barnabas Piper, Director of Community at Immanuel Church in Nashville, TN: "What is a surprising way to become a better writer?"

Jan 15

The Dog-Likeness of Christ by Josiah Cox

Tell me that God’s love doesn’t demand the willingness to lose everything and, in fact, does take quite a lot. 

Jan 15

Is There Forgiveness For A Seminary Student? by Grace Pike

Though our flesh wars against it, the humility to recognize our need for God’s forgiveness and redemption is a gift.

Jan 14

'The Gospel According to Satan' Releases Today

Get the New Book from Jared C. Wilson

by Staff

A new book from one of our profs called by Matt Smethurst 'one of the most thought-provoking writers in the Christian world today.'

Jan 14

Laziness, Our Respectable Sin by David Prince

The testimony of the Bible from beginning to end says that laziness is wicked. But we don’t often look at it that way.

Jan 14

Tolkien, Great Reversals, and Hobbit-like Humility by Justin Jackson

Left without a challenger, pride makes us into self-exalters who forget that we are here to magnify God and not ourselves.

Jan 14

Jason K. Allen on Why Pastors Should Read Biographies by Jason K. Allen

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Dr. Jason K. Allen, President of Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College, "Why should pastors consider reading biographies?"

Jan 13

You Don't 'Let' God Do Anything by Jared C. Wilson

He doesn’t need our help. And he doesn’t need our permission. 

Jan 13

By Women, For Women

Jesus' Genealogy in Matthew

These were not token women. They were essential participants in the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and David.

Jan 13

When Your Spouse Won't Change by Kasey Johnson

Your marriage may always be a place of great trial, but you can change the way you react to it. 

Jan 10

J.T. English on Church Theology and Doxology by J.T. English

Series: Conversations

How can a church help make sure its theology leads to doxology?

Jan 10

Thriving or Surviving: Making the Most of your Wages by Rodney Harrison

For those seeking to turn around a declining church, the challenge of paying the bills is often daunting.

Jan 9

Packer’s Dusty Puritan Discovery Still Guides and Helps by Jason G. Duesing

May a new generation continue to follow Packer to make new discoveries like his of their own.

Jan 9

Ten Truths about a Liar by Sam Bierig

It is vital that you and I rightly discern and evaluate Satan. He is not to be trifled with nor buffooned, but in Christ, his back was utterly broken on Calvary’s hill.

Jan 8

The Wonder of the Word by Nick Harsh

All the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in a baby who couldn’t speak.

Jan 8

Episode 074: FTC Mailbag

For the Church Podcast

A Resource for the Church from Midwestern Seminary

Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz kick off the new year of the FTC Podcast with another installment in the FTC Mailbag feature.

Jan 7

Commanding the Ravens: God’s Unexpected Provision by Kole Farney

Show me a man or woman seeking the kingdom, and I will show you a man whom God supplies.

Jan 7

What Greta Thunberg Teaches Us About Teenagers by Micah Hayes

Here is the bottom line: when young people are passionate, bold, and relentless, things change.

Jan 7

Dan Darling on How to Know If You Are Virtue Signaling by Daniel Darling

Series: Conversations

FTC.co asks Dan Darling, Vice-President of Communciations at the ERLC, "What is virtue signaling and how do you know if you are doing it?"

Jan 6

How to Fall . . . Again

How to Turn Your Comeback into Another Collapse

There is a subtle kind of pride that has the appearance of celebrating grace. But its aim is self-oriented. 

Jan 6

Why The Church? by H.B. Charles, Jr.

You cannot have a high view of Christ and a low view of the church at the same time. 

Jan 6

What a Zombie Ant and Sin Have in Common by Andrea Burke

Sin doesn’t make you more real. Sin makes you more dead.

Jan 3

Who is the Holy Spirit?: A Book Review by Sam Parkison

Yarnell is able to paint a picture of the Holy Spirit with many shades and hues, with colors drawn from a spectrum of biblical genres located at various points within redemptive history. 

Jan 3

David Prince on Parental Discipline by David Prince

Series: Conversations

What does gospel-centered parental discipline look like?

Jan 2

Pastors, Spend Time with Non-Pastors by Garrett Kell

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

Jan 2

Three Ways to Safeguard Regenerate Church Membership by Allen Nelson

It’s disheartening that so many people are listed on a church roll somewhere but not actually attending.

Jan 2

Clint Pressley on What to Do When a Church Team Disagrees

FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Lead Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, "How do you build consensus on a church team that disagrees?"