Notes on your First Church: Part 1

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What to Do and What Not to Do in Your First Year at a Church 

When I was on the faculty at The Master’s Seminary, one of the “urban myths” about TMS graduates is they tend to have “short and problematic” pastorates, especially in their first church. Admittedly, in my consulting and interim pastoral ministry I “picked up the pieces” that a TMS grad had left behind a few times; however, the real data doesn’t support the myth. In the United States senior pastors currently enjoy tenure of about 2.5 years. A few years ago I did a substantial survey of about 1500 pastors dealing with tenure and other issues.… Continue reading

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Help! My Pastor Has Fallen – Pt 2

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bad newsIn part one, I began to evaluate the unfortunate reality when a local pastor falls into sin. This series intends to help you navigate this issue. Part one offers a set of principles to meditate upon and put into practice. Yesterday I proposed three points: be disappointed, take heed, and pray hard. Here are the final four principles:

Support the leaders.  Serve as an ally to those responsible for leading the church through this tragedy.

Shepherding a hard work_signchurch through a pastor’s fall is a difficult task. The elders of the church (assuming there are other pastors/elders) have a dual responsibility to the fallen pastor and the flock.… Continue reading

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Help! My Pastor Has Fallen – Pt 1

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pulpit_desertFirst off, I want to thank the brothers at Parking Space 23 for the opportunity to contribute. I respect the authors, as they frequently challenge me with forthright biblical posts. I only pray what I offer here is consistent with the quality of material characterized in this blog.

Today’s topic is no laughing matter. I intend to help members of Bible-preaching local churches discern how to respond in a redemptive manner when one of their pastors disqualifies himself. Situations like this are altogether too common and often times wreak havoc upon God’s people. When a pastor’s sin has arisen to the level of disqualifying him from pastoral ministry, the injuries caused by his sin can be devastating.… Continue reading

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Protagoras, Harvard, and 21st Century Evangelicalism

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Harvard_Wreath_Logo_1.svgIn 1636, the academic doors of the first university in America (of course, then being the British ruled colony) opened out of a recognized need to train men for ministry. Naturally then, it has a very specific scope and a serious commitment, so when the first formal “Rules and Precepts” were adopted just ten years later, the founding members wrote that every student should “be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (Jn 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.… Continue reading

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Join the Bible Project

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As a pastor-shepherd to teenagers, I desire to see God conform my students into the image of His Son (Rom 8:29) and that they made complete in Christ (Col 1:28) through the teaching and admonishment from His Word (2 Tim 3:16-17). Because of this, two things are true about my youth ministry: (1) I am always looking for resources that will spiritually help the teenagers I shepherd, leading them into further knowledge about the truth in the Bible, so that they will love God, love His truth, love His people, and love the word; and (2) I am NOT willing to sacrifice Biblical truth for “coolness,” “popular,” or “trendy.”truth Bible

So when I see youth ministry curriculum that is based upon the culture, is “cool” and “trendy,” but lacks Bible depth, I dismiss it and pray that God would help me to “preach the Word, in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:2), which really just means “all the time, every time.”  I have come across a number of youth ministry curriculums based upon popular movies/books, such as Divergent, Hunger Games, The Simpsons, and Harry Potter.Continue reading

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