Pastoral Ministry

Reproof Is a Pastor’s Gift of Love – Christian Article

In the logic of Scripture, reproof is a gift. In the logic of certain secular mindsets, reproof is an act of oppression. For one kind of secularist, even the word “sin” is intrinsically oppressive. It implies, the secularist suspects, that you think you know the standards and I don’t. You, therefore, hope to use them to lord it over me. You want to control my behavior. This view makes sense from the perspective of a flat, two-dimensional world, where contests…

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Dear Church Member, Your Shepherd Is Also a Sheep – Christian Article

I was trying not to cry as I spoke into the receiver, but I couldn’t hold it in. The tears came, and as a 30-year-old man, I cried into the phone like a 10-year-old boy. It wasn’t pretty. I was speaking with my 60-year-old mentor, and I experienced a great sense of relief as I opened my heart to him. Also, I’m a pastor. Does that strike you as odd in light of my above experience? Does it change your perception…

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131 Questions to Ask a Potential Church Employer – Christian Article

One of the best things you can do in the job-search process is ask questions. I have created some of the questions below from scratch and others I’ve adapted. I’ve organized them by categories so they’re easier to use. Before you read them, here are a few things to keep in mind. First, the questions are malleable. Some questions may not fit your context until you tweak them. Second—and I want to stress this—the goal isn’t to ask every question.…

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20 Quotes from the Book Your Pastor Wishes You’d Read – Christian Article

The following quotes caught my attention as I (Matt Smethurst) read Christopher Ash’s brilliant new book, The Book Your Pastor Wishes You Would Read (But Is Too Embarrassed to Ask) (The Good Book Company, 2019). If you and I do not care for our pastors, then they will not be able to care for us. (11) We tend to see our pastors at their most polished. I want us to see them, or at least imagine them, as they are. (13)…

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Pastor, How Will You Make It in Ministry? – Christian Article

Ministry is warfare. Sunday services, reading, sermon prep, visiting the sick, staff meetings, counseling, conflict, our flesh, and the flaming darts of the evil one make ministry a slog. How can we make it? How will you stay faithful in ministry, not just through this year, but through the next 25? Do you have 40 years left on your tires? You don’t have to burn out or spiral out from hidden sin. God has a way for you to make…

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When Passivity Is Prideful – Christian Article

There’s a form of pride that can lurk in a pastor who seems humble. He may be the first to admit he’s wrong, the first to apologize for impatience, and the slowest to criticize others. He’s happy to give young, inexperienced men the opportunity to share in ministry responsibilities; he may even be open with his flock about his personal struggles with sin. He’s approachable. Every question is met with a listening ear and an admission of not knowing everything.…

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John Piper’s Regrets in Ministry – Christian Article

I love watching or reading interviews with Christian leaders. Interviews give us an opportunity to learn real and raw information about someone, often because the one being interviewed is caught off guard. Who you truly are is revealed when you are surprised. Sometimes I re-watch interviews because the insights gleaned were so helpful. Such is the case with an interview I recently re-watched with John Piper and Collin Hansen. Photo Credit: Desiring God While the interview is a few years…

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Youth Ministry Is Not Just a Stepping Stone – Christian Article

I once interviewed for two ministry positions at the same time—a youth pastor role and a senior pastor role. I ended up pursuing the youth position, understanding it as the best fit in that season. When I tell people, I get a variety of responses from a simple “Great!” to “Why don’t you want to be a senior pastor?” A common misunderstanding about youth pastors is that they’re training for the higher-ranking position of lead pastor. While it’s true many…

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