The following post is a raw and passionate reminder to myself of the nature of my calling as a pastor. I wrote these thoughts down some time ago, but return to them on occasion to help me remain focused on most critical aspects of pastoral ministry. In particular, I wrote them down in response to the endless flow of competing voices trying to direct pastors to take up cause after cause. Perhaps what I ended up writing to myself will help you or a pastor you know as well.
You are a pastor and you have a job; a job that you must not neglect; a job that you are called to give yourself to with utmost seriousness and urgency.… Continue reading
This month marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Protestant Reformation; 500 years since a Roman Catholic priest and professor of theology published and presented ninety five propositions (“95 Theses”), expressing his points of contention regarding the sale of indulgences. Martin Luther’s straightforward invitation to debate the practice of selling indulgences set in motion a dramatic recovery of the biblical Gospel, which had long been obscured amid centuries of innovative traditions in the Roman Catholic Church.
Since the days of the Reformation, efforts to summarize the key doctrines that under-girded and supported it have often led theologians to the themes of what eventually came to be known as the “Five Solas.” The Five Solas are five biblical doctrines that the Protestant reformers were committed (despite their many differences) to recovering through their teaching and to applying in the establishment of new churches following their divisions with the Roman Church.… Continue reading
This weekend (actually tomorrow), I will with two of my youth leaders in Dallas at a Tough Mudder Event (if you have no idea what that is, click the link and find out how much I love my youth leaders to do something like this 🙂 ). I have spent much time with these men in discipleship, prayer, and ministry. I love these men as my brothers and I wanted to write about them. However, I realized, I have already done that in a post I put up about a year ago. So, today I merely want to reprise.
Brethren, we are not apostles, but their example instructs us. We cannot be exactly like the apostle Paul, but we can learn basic principles and practices from the biblical record of Paul’s missionary service. We can even develop a biblical evangelistic or missions methodology based upon Paul’s example. A careful study of Paul’s missionary efforts reveals that his methodology exhibits flexibility. Although he often begins with the synagogues (Acts 17:1–4, 10), he makes exceptions—as he does at Philippi, going to a group of women meeting for prayer outside the city (Acts 16:11–13). Each strategic church plant comes about through different means.… Continue reading
In August 2016, my wife and I took a trip to South Africa to visit a pastor friend and his small church in Nelspriut. I was amazed at how much it felt like being at my home church during our two-weeks visit. It dawned on me after our trip that the reason we felt at home was because the true church of Jesus Christ will always be the same no matter the location. If a local church is being faithful to God’s calling—that is, they are being obedient to the Scriptures—then they will have the same vibe as other faithful churches throughout the globe.… Continue reading