Thinking soberly about low church attendance.
If spiritually dry Boston and New England can receive such a shaking of God . . .
When Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that people still will come to hear preaching in our contemporary culture, he adds two qualifications . . .
Calvin so believed in the importance of the everyday activities of Christian life and mission that he had a strange but telling practice in Geneva . . .
Men who are called to the pastoral office want to be there. They feel it in their bones. "God made me for this, and this is what I will do by his grace." Calling to the ministry doesn't exist apart from a desire to do that work.
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?
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?
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.
Expositional preaching benefits the church because it elevates the Word of God and minimizes the opinions of the preacher.
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.
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.
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…
5 questions on life and pastoral ministry with Pastor Greg Belser.
If your hope is set on anything other than Christ, how will you survive when ministry goes bad? And it will.
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.
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.
"Most churches make the mistake of selecting as leaders the confident, the competent, and the successful."
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.
Managing editor Jared Wilson expresses our vision for FTC's ministry to pastors.
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.
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.
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?
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…
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.
It seemed like a simple assignment. I asked my class to write a short essay answering the question, “What is eternal life?”
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
There are lots of websites that exist for the church. This is what it means for us to be For The Church . . .
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.
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…
I 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…
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…
A conversation with Dr. Michael McMullen.
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…