If you’re a pastor, no doubt you sense a strong call to preach and teach the Word of God. But you may also be a pastor who has a strong desire to write for the spiritual benefit of God’s people. Your passion to write may express itself in maintaining a blog, contributing regularly to a church newsletter, or crafting the occasional article. The plan for book-length writing, however, is rarely entertained with much seriousness. And if you do think about writing a book, your dreams are often interrupted by present and pressing responsibilities. Continue reading “Writing and Publishing For Your Local Congregation”
Re-entering pastoral ministry after a seven-year seminary hiatus with the recent addition of two boys makes me nervous. More than anything I fear the possibility that my children’s regular exposure to the disappointments, trials, and vulnerabilities of pastoral ministry will have a hardening effect on their hearts and will serve to drive them away from Christ and his people rather than into close communion with both. I have heard the stories of pastor’s kids who have turned from the faith of their parents, often citing the unique difficulties of their dad’s work and their experience in the church as the primary reasons they don’t want to follow Christ. And now I’m a pastor. Who is sufficient for these things? Continue reading “The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper”
John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is simultaneously a challenging and encouraging read. Pastoral ministry is serious work. It is not to be taken casually or viewed as a less strenuous alternative to a other professions. It is a glorious, demanding, painful, thrilling, satisfying endeavor with eternal ramifications. Pastors are charged with the accurate handling of God’s Word and responsible for the souls of men. It is no wonder why Paul cried out, “Who is sufficient for these things” (2 Cor. 2:16)? Continue reading “Two Lessons Learned from John Piper's 'Brothers, We are Not Professionals'”
Rarely is humility exalted as a fundamental element of true leadership. Yet, despite what some popular leadership proponents may allege, an honest and discriminating look into contemporary business culture confirms what the Scripture proclaims: God is opposed to the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. Christian leaders, then, must make every effort to cultivate sincere humility for their task of leadership within the church an in other organizations they might oversee. Aiding in this endeavor is the goal of this article.
Pastors need to be courageous. Many of Paul’s exhortations to Timothy highlight this truth. Timothy, though sincere, gifted, and discipled by the most eminent of apostles, apparently lacked courage in some areas (II Timothy 1:7), and was perhaps even guilty of over-correcting and being too harsh with the way he instructed those who were not in step with the truth (II Timothy 2:24-26). Throughout the same letter Paul exhorts Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord (1:8), to correct opponents (2:24-25), to avoid religious hypocrites (3:6), and to preach the Word all the time—regardless of a presence or lack of popularity (4:3).
Prior to D.A. Carson’s biography of his father, few of us had ever heard of Tom Carson. He did not pastor a large congregation, he did not preside over a college or seminary, he did not leave a legacy of voluminous writings, he was not a sought after conference speaker; in a word—in his son’s words—he was an ordinary pastor. He was what many of us already are or will be in the near future. That is not to look down on those who have been gifted to shepherd and reach a large number of men and women for Christ; being unknown is no more a virtue than being well-known, and we can thank God for the gift of godly teachers he has given the Church. But the main encouragement Carson provides in this little book from the life of an “ordinary pastor” is found in the faithfulness with which his father carried out his charge, despite what appeared to be, to Tom at least, seasons of little fruit.