John Chester

About John Chester

John serves the saints of Piedmont Bible Church, a Grace Advance church plant in Haymarket Virginia, as their shepherd, a position he has held since 2012 and hopes to serve in the rest of his life. Prior to being called to ministry John worked as a lacrosse coach, a pizza maker, a writer, a marketing executive, and just about everything in between. John is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary and The Grace Advance Academy. He hails from The City of Champions, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and is unbelievably blessed to be married to his wife Cassandra.

The Church and Racism

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This past weekend, about 70 miles from the church, a deadly riot occurred.  This murderous riot was planned and organized by the white supremacists and racists of the “alt-right.”  And make no mistake the “alt-right” is racist to its core, and God hates racism, as much as He hates all other sin.  And what God hates the church should hate too. And the church must denounce it unqualified terms.  The “alt-right” is evil, kinism is evil, white-supremacy is evil, neo-nazis are evil.

As the people of Israel were instructed in Amos 5:15 the church, God’s covenant people in the present age, ought to hate evil and love good and pursue justice.… Continue reading

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Proverbs for the Internet Age

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The internet is a blessing and a curse. It puts an amount of information literally unimaginable to previous generations right at your fingertips.  Almost every sermon preached in the developed world is available online (and that is both good and bad, as there are both good and bad sermons) these days. There is an enormous amount of the work of the great theologians and pastors of the past available online. More seminaries (again there are good and bad seminaries) are making video or audio recordings of their classes available online. And of course, there are also a wealth of good, sound, theological and apologetics blogs out there.Continue reading

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Church 101

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Our church is in a very odd place; nearly five years after originally being planted, we are essentially in the process of replanting the church.  One of the great oddities of our area is that it is very transient, people move in and out of the area frequently.  In fact, I am told by several pastors who have been in this area 20 years or more, that a church needs to grow 15%-30% a year on average to keep pace with shrinkage from families moving away.

And last year we were hit especially hard, with roughly 3/4 of the church moving away. … Continue reading

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Learning to Shepherd, By Mail

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I learned a lot in seminary, I learned theology, Greek, Hebrew, how to craft a sermon and even how to read music, and I worked hard and got good grades.  And while I was in seminary, I was discipled and mentored by some of the godliest men I know.  I served in the special needs ministry, I taught Sunday School, I said yes to every opportunity to preach, in other words I did everything I could in order to prepare myself for pastoral ministry.  But try as I might, I never learned how to shepherd.

I am not saying I was clueless, I knew the things to say, the passages to quote, even resources to recommend in certain situations. … Continue reading

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An Open Letter To Online Polemics Fans

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I get the attraction to polemics, I really do.  In fact, I am a huge fan of polemics done well; I love God and love the truth about Him and I hate when errors about Him and how He works are propagated.  I am immensely thankful for polemical works like Matt Waymeyer’s Amillennialism and the Age To Come.

The reason why I mention Dr. Waymeyer’s work is because in many ways it is archetypal of what polemics should be.  It is thoughtful in the way it seeks to accurately understand and portray the position it is critiquing.  It is focused on theological ideas not on persons or individual local churches. … Continue reading

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