May our goal be to produce a congregation full of hot hearts ready to change the world for God who completely rest in the work of Christ.
When the darkness is heaviest, it is hard to go to the Word. But I believe that those are the times where the Word is the most necessary.
In pastoral ministry and in our Christian walk in general, we can easily ignore or lose sight of the reality of Spiritual warfare because it is an invisible battle. Paul’s plea to the church at Ephesus and to us today is, “Don’t become so sophisticated that you think people are your enemy or that you can become sanctified by sheer will-power.”
About a year or so into being a Christian, I did something absolutely, spectacularly dumb: I joined the men's ministry leadership team at our church. Seriously, on a scale of dumb to really dumb, this was just the worst.
When we worship in song, we are recognizing what is already true about God. We are saying: Look at our God, behold our Savior - He is worthy of our praise! We don’t make God glorious with our praise; rather, we praise Him because He is glorious.
On the spirit of charity in the work of receiving criticism and dishing it out.
I lived the first decade and a half of my twenty plus years as Christian burdened with the idea that my task in evangelism was two-fold: to preach and to bring about conversion. When I was faithful to the first task but unproductive in the second, I often experience debilitating discouragement. It is difficult for me to convey the freedom that washed over my heart when the burden of responsibility…
Yes, the world's a ship on its passage out . . .
The moment I think I have what it takes, or that I am eminently qualified, or that I deserve to be a pastor, is the moment when my pride will get in the way of Christ using me.
I began to realize that I failed miserably as a youth minister to the students who were under my care. I saw for the first time what preaching truly is, how serious it should be taken, and what is at stake. I went back to my dorm room, sat down on the floor, and wept.
A past mistake might motivate a football player, but it won't do much for my sinful nature. My only hope is to fix my eyes, mind, and heart on the One who cannot and will not ever fumble me out of his hands.
We cannot afford to be perfunctory about doctrine.
Men who pursue planting churches should do so only after putting in the time to develop a pastor's heart.
The first thing we should say about a church-planting church is that it has been purified in the crucible of difficulty.
Starting out bivocational for a season may provide your church with the stability you need to have a long lasting impact in the city God has called you to.
When Christians share the gospel they must make sure that they communicate faithfully and clearly what Scripture teaches about the good news.
It will seldom be popular to resist false teachers in the church because they are almost always perceived as bringing a blessing and speaking with winsome words. They are gentlemen.
In order to understand the narratives of the Old Testament and the leadership principles contained within its passages, Jesus must drive the meaning of the texts.
It was my fourth week as the senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church and I received the nastiest voicemail message I have ever heard.
After 2,000 years, don't we know by now what the gospel is? Haven't we "been-there-done-that?" Why do we need one book after another on the same old topic?
When we lead loyally, people will remember who we follow.
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…