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Archive of posts tagged defining ministry

No “Safe Distance” Ministry

A main theme of this blog is the necessity of pastors knowing their people in order to be able really to pastor them. A colleague of mine, Justin Barnard, recently pointed me to Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus as a source making a similar point. The following excerpt is a powerful summary of ministry […]

Pastor of a Church vs. Just a Preacher

“He who can only generalize in the pulpit, but has not ability to individualize out of it; who cannot in some measure meet the varieties of religious perplexity, and deal with the various modifications of awakened solicitude; who finds himself disinclined or disabled to guide the troubled conscience through the labyrinths which sometimes meet the […]

Praying for a New Pastor in Light of the Lord’s Prayer

This was originally published in our state Baptist paper back in 2005. I’m currently discussing Martin Luther’s booklet, A Simple Way to Pray, with some colleagues and the discussion of praying through the Lord’s Prayer reminded me of this. One of the most important decisions a church makes is the calling of a new pastor.  The […]

Beza, A Pastor Must Know Each of His People by Name

I have made the point often here that the New Testament portrays pastors knowing their people well, and not just speaking to crowds of unknown people. The command to watch over their souls, knowing God will hold us accountable for this (Heb 13:17), requires this as does a ministry in which we “warn everyone” and […]

How Hard is Pastoral Ministry

Carl Trueman has helpfully challenged the common discussion of how hard pastoral ministry is. I encourage you to read his post. Is pastoral ministry difficult? Of course. Life is difficult as a sinner in a fallen world. But the problem comes when anyone begins to talk about their life, their setting, their calling as the […]

Jayber Crow to Pastors

In his novel, Jayber Crow, Wendell Berry gives a significant critique which pastors ought to hear.  One need not agree with Berry at every point, but we ought to hear our critics to see if there is truth (even partial truth) in what they are saying. The main point here is not the youthfulness of […]

Rootedness & Trust in Times of Trouble

Several weeks ago now, John Crowder, pastor of First Baptist Church in West, TX, where the fertilizer plant exploded, wrote a moving and very useful column about ministry in the aftermath. He mentions a number of lessons he drew from the event, and several are useful for pastoral ministry. Here, in his words,  is one that stuck […]

Pastors, Seek Souls not Fame

“they who are called to preach the gospel, to teach the flock of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to lead them, cannot do their duty, unless they lay all ambition aside and seek not to please men, not to be seen, nor to be in reputation. They must account all this as vanity, and content […]

Anthony Esolen on Masculinity and Pastoral Ministry

Anthony Esolen is a particularly gifted writer. If he wrote a phone book it would be interesting and quotable. His 2003 Touchstone essay “What Sports Illustrate: The Obvious Truth About Young Men & Religion” is an insightful discussion of culture, masculinity, sports and pastoral ministry. His introduction alone is full of valuable truths, but as […]

Practical Ecclesiology from Conrad Mbewe

Conrad Mbewe, Foundations for the Flock: Truths About the Church for All the Saints (Granted Ministries Press, 2012), hb., 338 pp. Here is a valuable, recent book you may not have heard about. Conrad Mbewe, often called “the Spurgeon of Africa,” led the planting of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia about 25 years ago and […]