Skip to content
Archive of posts tagged defining ministry

The Ultimate Aim of Pastoral Overisght

In any task one must keep in view the ultimate end or purpose. This is true for pastoral ministry as well. In the final assignment for my pastoral ministry class I always ask students to state the ultimate aim of pastoral ministry. Richard Baxter provides a good answer to this question: “The ultimate end of […]

Lecture, “Portrait of a Faithful Pastor”

Earlier this month I had the privilege of participating in the lecture series of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University. I titled my address “Portrait of a Faithful Pastor.” Drawing from 2 Timothy 2 and other texts I argued that to be a faithful pastor a man must give himself to God, […]

Rehabilitate the Noble Word, “Pastors”

Amen, John Stott: “In our day, in which there is much confusion about the nature and purpose of the pastoral ministry, and much questioning whether clergy are primarily social workers, psychotherapists, educators, facilitators or administrators, it is important to rehabilitate the noble word ‘pastors’, who are shepherds of Christ’s sheep, called to tend, feed and […]

Being Useful to the Master

Here is the sermon I preached earlier this semester on 2 Timothy 2:14-26 at Midwestern Seminary’s chapel. Chapel October 4, 2017 with Dr. Ray Van Neste from Midwestern Seminary on Vimeo.

Counsel to the Hot-Headed

In general, the church in America today is in great need of renewal. There is plenty to lament, and there is much work or reformation to be done. However, one major hindrance to such renewal work is well-meaning but hot-headed laborers who too easily think that offending church members is the primary mark of faithfulness. […]

Herbert’s Poetic Portrayal of Pastoral Ministry

I’m continuing to glean from the reading of George Herbert’s The Temple, an amazing collection of poems describing the Christian life.  His poem, “Aaron,” is a compelling, honest portrayal of the challenge of pastoral ministry. Herbert poses the problem of the reality of the preacher’s sinfulness and the holiness of God. How can a sinful […]

When Shepherds Play the Part of Wolves

 “When those who have the title of shepherd play the part of wolves, heresy grows in the garden of the Church.” - Lothar of Saxony, 12th century (cited in Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 123).                 [Illustration, "Shepherd Wolf," by Gustave Dore]

“No Pastor can afford to major on preaching to the exclusion of all else”

Justin Wainscott passed along to me the great quote below from Murray Capill’s book, The Heart Is the Target: Preaching Practical Application from Every Text. Capill’s point has been a theme of this site.             Amen!

Pastors, Believe!

This column by Peter Leithart is a powerful call for pastors to believe in the effectiveness of God’s word, to be reminded of the spiritual realities at work in what they do. Leithart specifically is saying pastors need not entering the realm of politics in order to impact the world. This is true, but don’t […]

“Your souls, more precious than thousands of worlds”

How should a pastor think of the members of the church he serves? Too often today church members are thought of as customers or potential workers. This is not the scriptural pattern; nor is it the practice of our forebears. Just today I came back to “The Glory and Ornament of a True Gospel‐constituted Church” […]