church leadership

How Charles Spurgeon Learned to Preach through a Broken Heart – Christian Article

How to Persevere Everyone faces adversity and must find ways to persevere through the oppressing moments of life. Everyone must get up and walk through the routines of making breakfast and washing clothes and going to work and paying bills and discipling children. We must, in general, keep life going when our hearts are breaking. But it’s different with pastors—not totally different, but different. The heart is the instrument of our vocation. Charles Spurgeon said, “Ours is more than mental…

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Are Pastors Free to Accumulate Wealth? – Christian Article

Freedom and Sacrifice Every pastor and church has a set of organizing assumptions that provide an implicit framework for how they relate to money. The problem is that few people acknowledge the narratives that drive those assumptions. I believe the two basic narratives of money—freedom and sacrifice—provide the subtext for the financial anxiety experienced in ministry. Certain people, owing to their wiring and upbringing, are drawn toward the freedom money can provide, while others will be inclined toward self-sacrifice. However,…

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Now That We’re All Here, You Can Home

Driving to church yesterday, I listened to a radio broadcast from a church located about two hours from where I live. After the sermon ended, the pastor announced that as the month of June was approaching “our programs are winding down for the summer.” Two years ago I combined a number for older posts into a single article, Church Continuity, Summer Shutdowns and Lake House Mentality. (Or you could say, ‘Cabin Mentality,’ or as we say here, ‘Cottage Mentality.’)  I’ll…

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Why Churches Languish under Cowardly Pastors – Christian Article

Pastors on the Offensive If there is anyone in the world who ought to have courage, it must be pastors. You have to have courage to fulfill your responsibility. Why? Because you have to confront the world with its fallenness and with its sin—not just in general but in specific. You have to confront people. You have to say to people, “The soul that sins will die. There is death and there is everlasting punishment and there is hell.” You…

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An Open Letter to the Pastor Doubting His Calling – Christian Article

This article is part of the Open Letters series. Dear Brother, I can assure you that you’re not the first pastor to wrestle with the question of whether you’re really called to pastoral ministry. It’s an issue that haunted me throughout virtually the entire span of my first full-time pastorate. I spent countless hours in prayer and conversation with fellow pastors over the matter. Let me tell you a bit about those circumstances so we can ground the issue in…

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What Hurts Most in Ministry – Christian Article

Personal Disloyalty The most difficult experiences in ministry come on a personal level. It’s not so much because somebody takes issue with something you believe, somebody doesn’t agree with your doctrine, somebody doesn’t like the way you explained a Bible verse, somebody didn’t like your sermon, or somebody thought you were offensive in the way you said something—you get over that. There’s a certain amount of persecution that comes when you preach dogmatically, preach the truth, have strong convictions—and there…

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3 Crucial Qualities of All Good Sermons – Christian Article

Anatomy of the Soul John Calvin once said that the Psalms are an anatomy of all parts of the soul. What the Psalms do is present the idealistic, the realistic, and the optimistic view of the Christian life. In a sense, the whole Bible does that and it’s important that a preacher do that as well. If you only preach the idealistic part of the Christian life—the Romans 8 part where everything is well and you’re growing in the spirit,…

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How to Move Doctrine from Head to Heart – Christian Article

Tasting the Word of God Biblical preaching moves the hearer from head to heart and from the ethereal to the experiential by focusing on what the believer actually encounters when he really experiences ortastes this doctrine. As Jeremiah said, “I did eat the Word of God, it was sweet—sweeter than a honeycomb in my life.” Take the doctrine of the intercession of Christ—a very underrated doctrine in all kinds of Christian branches today. But it is an amazing doctrine. He…

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Wednesday Connect | Thinking Out Loud

So here’s a question for you: Why do the authors so intent on helping me solve my financial problems only publish their books in hardcover? Just a reminder that this blog uses cookies to keep the writer awake after 11:00 PM. Here’s your week’s worth of items culled from a variety of sources. ♦ An old format meets today’s technology in a Bible commentary in pictures: “The Visual Commentary on Scripture (VCS) [is] a freely accessible online publication that provides…

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Melding the Church Categories | Thinking Out Loud

Last year the academic books division of InterVarsity Press (IVP) released a title which intrigued me.  Gordon T. Smith is the President of Ambrose University in Calgary. Evangelical, Sacramental, Pentecostal: Why the Church Should Be All Three struck me as an ecclesiastic and doctrinal equivalent to what the late Robert Webber was trying to move us toward; the idea of blended worship. The idea is to move from a polarized, either/or approach to incorporating the best from different traditions. At…

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