Resources by Theme: Pastoral

Apr 28, 2015

Why We Need a Gospel-Centered, Missional Church by Joel Lindsey

Sadly, because of its inability, and often unwillingness, to adapt to its surroundings, the church lost its point of contact with culture, and with that, its voice and influence. Thus the need for a gospel-centered missional church. But what is a gospel-centered, missional church?

Apr 28, 2015

Shticky Church by J.A. Medders

The Church of the crucified and risen Lord Jesus is filled and fueled by resurrection power—so, why do we turn to gimmicks and get-growth-quick schemes?

Apr 27, 2015

4 Barriers to Community by Darrin Patrick

If you want to be known, served, and celebrated in community, you'll need to be challenged by that community. And that community will help you live the life you've always wanted.

Apr 27, 2015

Expositional Preaching: Good Stuff vs. God Stuff by Andrew Hebert

Expositional preaching benefits the church because it elevates the Word of God and minimizes the opinions of the preacher.

Apr 27, 2015

What Should My Church Sing?

Part 1: He Will Hold Me Fast

We want to encourage churches to sing songs that are theologically rich and coherent, gospel-centered, hope-instilling, and singable. Far too often we don’t know where to look for these songs. “What Should My Church Sing?” is a series of posts that will aim to grow your churches hymnody by pointing you to songs that we think your church should sing.

Apr 27, 2015

Brothers, We Are Not Brands by Keith Collier

I don’t think most Christians have a calculated, self-conscious plan to build their brands. At first blush, we recoil at the thought of pride and self-promotion. But the incipient nature of pride works its way into our thoughts and actions quietly. What we think are noble aspirations to build his kingdom can sometimes be tainted with a desire to build ourselves up. It’s a vice we must all fight.

Apr 27, 2015

God's People Need a Pastor, Not Just a Preacher

Four Practical Ways to Faithfully Shepherd Your People

People come weary and broken into the doors of church on Sunday. They need to hear a word from the Lord. Yes, they often need to be challenged, stretched, exhorted, and rebuked. But if all they ever hear is that they don’t love Jesus enough, aren’t making disciples fast enough and with enough urgency, aren’t praying enough and are sinning too much—if this is all the people hear every single…

Apr 27, 2015

Knowing When to Leave (and Other Pastoral Issues) by Greg Belser

5 questions on life and pastoral ministry with Pastor Greg Belser.

Apr 27, 2015

Pursuing the Right Thing in Ministry by Matt Chandler

If your hope is set on anything other than Christ, how will you survive when ministry goes bad? And it will.

Apr 26, 2015

The Age of the Earth

A Conversation Among Bereans

In the end, "the age of the earth" is an intramural discussion among creationists that only serves to bind us closer together in refuting that which is clearly contrary to Scripture, the theory of evolution.  

Apr 25, 2015

As One with Authority

On Fred Craddock and Authoritative Preaching

The modern mind may well be adverse to authority and disinclined to trust the “sage on the stage.” Nonetheless, where there is no authority, there is no true preaching.

Apr 25, 2015

The Best Leaders are the Best Repenters by Staff

"Most churches make the mistake of selecting as leaders the confident, the competent, and the successful."

Apr 25, 2015

The Essential Element of Christian Leadership by Jimmy Draper

The lack of certainty of a divine call to the ministry is one of the main reasons why approximately one-half of seminary students leave the ministry within 5 years after leaving the seminary. Without the assurance of God’s call on your life you will not make it in ministry. But while the ministry is a terrible vocation, it is a wonderful calling.

Apr 24, 2015

For The Renaissance by Jared C. Wilson

Managing editor Jared Wilson explains the vision of For The Church as a place to help contribute to the burgeoning "writing culture" developing in the gospel-centered movement.

Apr 24, 2015

Don't Forget Your Wife by Joshua Hedger

I am by no means perfect in these areas, but I strive to be better each week. At the end of my days I am not primarily concerned with someone standing over my casket and saying that I was a good preacher or an attentive pastor. I want my wife to say that I loved her well.

Apr 24, 2015

What Makes Expositional Preaching Expositional? by Andrew Hebert

In the world of preaching, much preaching masquerades as “expositional” preaching that isn’t actually expositional. There is much preaching about the Bible, but is that the only benchmark for a sermon to be considered expositional?

Apr 24, 2015

What Do You Do?

Vocation as Mission

What we do helps define who we are. As Christians, we must view our vocations as opportunities for worship and witness in the world. We must “work heartily, as for the Lord.”

Apr 24, 2015

Knowing the Good and Doing the Good

Why Your Church Should Care About Ethics

Ethics at the level of the local church is never an enterprise to puff up the church’s standing based on moralism. All that we do proceeds from who we are.

Apr 23, 2015

Nourishing the Pastor's Heart by Jared C. Wilson

Managing editor Jared Wilson expresses our vision for FTC's ministry to pastors.

Apr 23, 2015

A Word to the Young Pastor by Ronni Kurtz

For any pastor, especially the young one, it is easy to become self-centered. We can even see this in ministry too, when guys perform ministry duties so that they are made much of. In the nicest way I can let me remind you, young pastor, that by yourself there is nothing in you but sin and death.

Apr 23, 2015

How a Pastor (Re)Builds Men by Jared Musgrove

I’m reminded of God’s faithful use of community to rebuild this young pastor and prepare him to shepherd more boldly and faithfully. I want to do the same for the men in my church and sphere.

Apr 23, 2015

We Need Fools in the Pulpit

The Danger of Sophisticated Ministry

A sophisticated church is a contradiction in terms. We are the non-nobles of a crucified Messiah. The same choice Paul faced is before every preacher today. Are you willing to be a fool for Christ’s sake?

Apr 23, 2015

4 Qualities of a Legacy Leader by D.A. Horton

 In your moments of frustration, it's easy to give in to the assumptions of your flesh and think that the majority of those who are looking at you are hecklers, when in reality they’re not. I’m convinced that its in those moments that God is building up legacy leaders in our city's churches. Legacy leaders are those men who God provides a unique measure of grace to weather many storms…

Apr 22, 2015

Are You Called?

Spurgeon's 4-Point Test of Pastoral Calling

A calling to the pastoral ministry is a weighty calling that we should not consider casually. Here are four points from the Prince of Preacher to help us feel the biblical weightiness of the ministerial call.

Apr 22, 2015

The Now-ness of Eternal Life by Timothy Juhnke

It seemed like a simple assignment. I asked my class to write a short essay answering the question, “What is eternal life?”

Apr 22, 2015

Pastor in Person by Jonathan Shradar

As our culture wrestles with the tension between social media and real life interaction, the church has not remained some bastion of personal, face-to-face, living life together. We know we crave it. We hear it preached about. But we still check in and out once a week and push off interaction to the digital realm, if we have relationships in the church at all.

Apr 22, 2015

Don't Let the Gospel Flag Touch the Ground by Erik Raymond

I find it ironic and troubling that so many who wave the gospel-centered flag too often carelessly let it touch the ground in their writing, tweets, and conversations. Far from being semantics, this issue communicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the gospel and its implications for holiness.

Apr 22, 2015

People, Not Projects by Peyton Hill

Just as we need grace, patience, and help, the other people in our churches do too. Because in the end, we are all just projects in process, aren’t we?

Apr 22, 2015

I Preached a Dud. Now What? by J.A. Medders

You just stepped down from the stage and you know it. Your wife knows it too. You preached a dud. At least you think you did. And probably a number of people in the church thought so as well. What now?

Apr 22, 2015

Students Are Not “Future Church” by Steve Patton

The youth aren’t the church of tomorrow preparing for their place one day in ministry. The people in the congregation aren’t the church waiting to get its turn to do the real stuff when a leadership opportunity comes up. They are all the church right now.

Apr 22, 2015

What Does It Mean to be "For The Church?" by Jared C. Wilson

There are lots of websites that exist for the church. This is what it means for us to be For The Church . . .

Apr 22, 2015

4 Marks of Faithful Preaching by Jason K. Allen

Paul's instruction to his young protege in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 is a glorious reminder of the great burden and privilege of the call to preach the word.

Mar 31, 2015

I Wrote This Blog Post on Church Time by Jared C. Wilson

Here's an older post of mine written during my former pastorate. I hope you will find it helpful… jcw

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.—1 Thessalonians 2:8

Well, I'm starting this post at 4:57 P.M. ET. I don't know…

Mar 30, 2015

5 Good Words of Pastoral Advice That Stuck by Jared C. Wilson

adviceI took my first vocational ministry position the summer I graduated high school (1994), becoming the youth minister for Zion Chinese Baptist Church. (You read that right.) In the twenty years since, I've heard a lot of good words on ministry and ministry life, and while a lot has been good, a few choice bits of wisdom have stuck with me since I heard them and have proven truer and…

Jan 31, 2015

Marriage is What is Best For Us by Casey Lewis


It's no mystery our culture doesn't think much of the institution of marriage, and that many of our cultural elites despise it.

Dr. Keith Ablow from the Fox News Medical A-Team thinks marriage is “a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people.” He bases that off his own observations as a psychiatrist, where he sees the vast majority of marriages ending in divorce…

Nov 19, 2014

Having Trouble in Ministry? Just Face It by Erik Raymond

It is a fact of life along with taxes, mismatched socks, traffic when you are in a hurry, that in this world we are going to have trouble.

In fact Jesus, who himself encountered more trouble in this world then all of us combined, said, “…in this world you will have tribulation…” (John 16.33). Furthermore, for believers who have been saved by divine grace, given a new nature…

Nov 5, 2014

God's Lion of London

Charles Spurgeon and the Challenge of the Early Age

Series: 2014 Spurgeon Lectures

Nov 4, 2014

The Foolishness of Preaching

Why Expository Preaching is Such a Bad Idea

Series: 2014 Spurgeon Lectures

Oct 29, 2014

Do You Think Some People Are Unsavable? by Erik Raymond

Go ahead and think about the person whom you think is the most unlikely to become a Christian. Now, ask yourself why you think this. Odds are you are looking at the way they order their life and in particular their blatant distaste and disregard for God. But you need to correct this thinking. It's unbiblical to look at what you have to work with and think, “I could see…

Oct 6, 2014

I Love the Church, and That's Why I Resigned by Jared C. Wilson

Yesterday morning I undertook the difficult task of resigning the pastorate of Middletown Springs Community Church. The last five years have been a tremendous joy to me and my family, and making that announcement was one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

I shared with my congregation that the sense of discontent I'd been feeling for more than a year had become gradually clearer and…

Sep 30, 2014

We Need Christian Community by Casey Lewis

When I was in high school and college, I used to work out all the time. I went to the gym four times a week and I would work out for a couple of hours each time I went. To help with my workouts, I read books and magazines. I took supplements. I charted my workouts writing down how much weight I was lifting and how many reps I was…

Aug 31, 2014

Eldership Principles - Abilities and Actions by J.A. Medders

Eldership in the local church is a big deal. Every local church needs a plurality of elders/pastors who lead the church.

Being in the church planting world, eldership in a new church is huge. Church planter this needs to be on your radar. And what I have seen, some planters are not sure how to look for elders, define their roles and/or develop them. They are near paralyzed…