All articles tagged: church

The Purpose of Pastors

You’ve been floating resumes and looking for positions and pulpits. Inevitably, you may receive a call — after what felt like an eternity — to sit down with a search committee. I can see it. You are sitting in a room that’s been temporarily converted from a youth room to a conference room, and you are sitting across a table from a few church members who might feel unsure about what they’re doing. They’re going to ask you: “We’ve got this retirement community across the road, how would you plan to reach them?” Or, “We’ve got a burning desire to start a family ministry here, how do you plan to start that?” My goal is to show you that you should look in Ephesians 4:11-16 for your answer, and that you would be fortified to resist every effort to get you to consider some boxed ministry module, some guru’s system, or anything else that can be marketed. Elders and church leaders are God’s gift to the saints Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians that God …

A Preacher’s Decalogue

As a seminary professor, I am deeply grateful for how the new year has opened with seasoned pastors and teachers offering their wisdom for young (and not-so-young) preachers. For example, in “Advice to a Young Preacher” Peter Adam outlines fourteen indispensable principles for preachers, none more important than the first: Learn to love the Bible. We love God, so we love His words. We know the mind of God from the mouth of God and we live by every word that comes from His mouth. Preacher, learn to love all of the Bible. Learn to meditate on it day and night. Fill your mind and heart and life with God’s truth. If God’s words are not in your mind, heart, and life, they will not be on your lips. Learn the self-discipline to avoid reading your ideas into the Bible. Whenever you read the Bible, don’t think, “I know what this means, so I don’t need to read it carefully.” There is always more to find, more to uncover. Indeed, no man should preach who …