Tag: Spiritual Disciplines

What Evangelism Isn’t: 8 Good Practices We Often Mistake for Sharing the Good News

Having touched briefly on what constitutes evangelism in the last post, we want to take our discussion a little deeper. Because some wrong thinking concerning evangelism has pervaded many of our churches, it is critical to establish clarity by way of contrast. In this section, we are going to examine a few common ways Christians mistake the practice of evangelism for other important aspects of the Christian life. Continue reading “What Evangelism Isn’t: 8 Good Practices We Often Mistake for Sharing the Good News”

What Is Evangelism?

Those of us who have been Christians for many years or who have grown up in Christian homes may count the word “evangelism” a regular part of our vocabulary. We may not use it much in our daily conversations, but it’s familiar to us and we’ve heard it often among the members of our church community. Some of us may even say that evangelism is a vital part of our walk with Christ and something in which we participate on a regular to semi-regular basis.

Wherever we are at on this spectrum, it is essential for us to visit or, for some of us, revisit the topic of evangelism. Why do I say “essential?” We will discuss in more detail the reasons why we should concern ourselves with evangelism in subsequent posts. For now it is enough to say that we should reflect carefully on how to define this term for one simple reason: evangelism is the privilege and responsibility of every Christian. Whether you have been a Christian for a few months or a few years, Jesus Christ calls you, through his Word, to practice evangelism for his glory, your neighbor’s salvation, and your joy. Continue reading “What Is Evangelism?”

The Fruit of a Praying Congregation

How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Your Pastor is a Desperate Man
How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Why Should You Pray for Your Pastor?
Praying for Your Pastor in Light of His Qualifications, Part 1: The Necessity of a Qualified Ministry
Praying For Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 2: A Holy Ambition and a Holy Life
Praying for Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 3: Self-Control, Family, and Money
Praying for Your Pastor According to his Qualifications, Part 4: Humility and Teaching
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 1: The Pastor as Shepherd Leader
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 2: Feeding the Sheep
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 3: Protecting the Sheep
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 4: Leading the Sheep
How to Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Pressures and Temptations, Part 1: Anxiety over the Flock and Attacks from Professing Christians

How to Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Pressures and Temptations, Part 2: Family Life and the Battle Against Sin

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We have spent the past several posts discussing the necessity of praying for our pastors. By outlining the various qualifications for and responsibilities of pastoral ministry, I hope you have gained some fresh insight on what such a ministry entails and new motivation to intercede for those who intercede for you. But a vital question remains: What will be the fruit of a congregation who consistently prays for their pastor according to biblical priorities? What might a congregation expect if they devote themselves to praying for those who are charged with caring for their souls? I will suggest seven areas of blessing that a church might expect from regular, intentional, biblically informed prayer for their pastors. Continue reading “The Fruit of a Praying Congregation”

How to Pray for Your Pastor In Light of His Pressures and Temptations, Part 2: Family Life and the Battle Against Sin

How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Your Pastor is a Desperate Man
How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Why Should You Pray for Your Pastor?
Praying for Your Pastor in Light of His Qualifications, Part 1: The Necessity of a Qualified Ministry
Praying For Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 2: A Holy Ambition and a Holy Life
Praying for Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 3: Self-Control, Family, and Money
Praying for Your Pastor According to his Qualifications, Part 4: Humility and Teaching
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 1: The Pastor as Shepherd Leader
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 2: Feeding the Sheep
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 3: Protecting the Sheep
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 4: Leading the Sheep
How to Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Pressures and Temptations, Part 1: Anxiety over the Flock and Attacks from Professing Christians

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In the last post I noted that pastors experience unique pressures that stem from the anxiety they bear for the flock and occasionally enduring attacks of other professing Christians.

Another pressure that pastors sense that tends to be unique among Christians is the pressure he feels upon his home and family life. I’m not talking merely about the time factor. Most Christian families are busy, and there are plenty of dads who find it difficult, due to travel or work responsibilities, to spend adequate time with their families. Rather, I am referring to the pressure that comes from the cumulative weight of time deprivation and the struggle to maintain within their family a steady and growing love for Christ and his church. Continue reading “How to Pray for Your Pastor In Light of His Pressures and Temptations, Part 2: Family Life and the Battle Against Sin”

How to Pray for Your Pastor In Light of His Pressures and Temptations, Part 1: Anxiety over the Flock and Attacks from Professing Christians

How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Your Pastor is a Desperate Man
How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Why Should You Pray for Your Pastor?
Praying for Your Pastor in Light of His Qualifications, Part 1: The Necessity of a Qualified Ministry
Praying For Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 2: A Holy Ambition and a Holy Life
Praying for Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 3: Self-Control, Family, and Money
Praying for Your Pastor According to his Qualifications, Part 4: Humility and Teaching
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 1: The Pastor as Shepherd Leader
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 2: Feeding the Sheep
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 3: Protecting the Sheep
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 4: Leading the Sheep

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Since my conversion approximately seventeen years ago, I have had the opportunity to serve in many different ministry contexts. As a church member, I have led worship for children’s church, taught Sunday School to adults of all ages, served on the leadership team for men’s ministry, young adult ministry, and singles ministries. I have cared for little kiddos in the nursery, played drums for the music team, and helped the youth pastor disciple young students (while also receiving some valuable discipleship myself). While each of these areas of service elicited a certain amount of pressure and, at times, anxiety, none of them have compared to my experience in vocational, pastoral ministry. Continue reading “How to Pray for Your Pastor In Light of His Pressures and Temptations, Part 1: Anxiety over the Flock and Attacks from Professing Christians”

Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 4: Leading the Sheep

How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Your Pastor is a Desperate Man
How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Why Should You Pray for Your Pastor?
Praying for Your Pastor in Light of His Qualifications, Part 1: The Necessity of a Qualified Ministry
Praying For Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 2: A Holy Ambition and a Holy Life
Praying for Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 3: Self-Control, Family, and Money
Praying for Your Pastor According to his Qualifications, Part 4: Humility and Teaching
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 1: The Pastor as Shepherd Leader
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 2: Feeding the Sheep
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 3: Protecting the Sheep

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A pastor is not only responsible to feed the sheep and protect the sheep, he is also charged with leading Christ’s sheep. Much of the pastor’s leadership will come through his preaching and teaching as he guides Christ’s people with Christ’s Word. But there are other specific areas in which the pastor must exercise leadership. He is, for example, called to set an example of godliness for the flock (1 Tim 4:12; 6:11; 2 Tim 3:10). Paul does not give pastoral qualifications to Timothy and Titus in order to exempt members of a congregation from pursuing such character qualities. Rather, God’s design for enabling his people to grow in Christlikeness is to put living examples before them, and a pastor, even imperfectly, is intended to serve as this example. Continue reading “Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 4: Leading the Sheep”

Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 3: Protecting the Sheep

How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Your Pastor is a Desperate Man
How to Pray for Your Pastor (Series): Why Should You Pray for Your Pastor?
Praying for Your Pastor in Light of His Qualifications, Part 1: The Necessity of a Qualified Ministry
Praying For Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 2: A Holy Ambition and a Holy Life
Praying for Your Pastor According to His Qualifications, Part 3: Self-Control, Family, and Money
Praying for Your Pastor According to his Qualifications, Part 4: Humility and Teaching
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 1: The Pastor as Shepherd Leader
Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 2: Feeding the Sheep
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Corresponding to their responsibility to feed God’s flock through the teaching of God’s Word is the pastor’s task of protecting God’s people from false teaching and false teachers. Multiple times throughout the pastoral epistles Paul’s command to teach the church is coupled with a charge to protect the church by correcting and rebuking false teachers. For example, in his letter to Titus, Paul includes competence in correcting unbiblical teaching among the list of an elder’s spiritual credentials. “[The overseer] must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9; also 1:13). Continue reading “Pray for Your Pastor in Light of His Responsibilities, Part 3: Protecting the Sheep”