For believers the Lord’s Day worship service is the centerpiece of the week. It is the time when they gather with their church family to praise and worship their King. It is a time of sweet fellowship and of edification. The cares of the world are left behind, songs of praise are sung, prayer requests and praise reports are shared, and spiritual batteries are recharged. But there is one believer in the church who experiences Sundays much different from all of the rest, the preaching pastor. For a pastor it is equally a sweet time of worship and fellowship, but it feels much different.… Continue reading
Fellowship. It’s such a rich and meaningful word in the Bible, and yet a somewhat generic catch-all term in the vernacular of modern Christians. What is fellowship? In Scripture, fellowship is a word used to describe the common life that Christians enjoy with one another, as those who have been brought into a reconciled relationship with God through Christ by grace. Entire books have been written to flesh out this one word, given the depth and breadth of its use in the Bible.
If we were to do a study together of the concept (not just the word itself) of fellowship in the NT – at least as it concerns fellowship between Christians – we would see five major themes emerge from that study. … Continue reading
I recently finished up the first part of a two part preface to a planned verse by verse exposition of the Gospel of John and this past Sunday, I started on part two. I don’t think that is so unusual, especially among churches where preaching and teaching is taken seriously. In churches devoted to expository preaching introductory messages are often preached before a new sermon series. What is unusual is that part one of this preface was a verse by verse exposition of all of the Servant songs of Isaiah and part two will be an exposition of all of the songs of ascent, Psalms 120-134. … Continue reading
“I’m not a singer”
“Nobody wants to hear my tone-deaf voice”
“I’ve heard cats fighting that sound better than me when I sing.”
In my years of music ministry I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why someone should not sing. Frankly, it’s often the excuses made that make me cringe, not the voices. As George Sweeting once said, “Excuses only satisfy the one who gives it”.
I don’t believe it honors God to infer that the very thing He created you to do, He messed up. … Continue reading
Dealing with criticism is a common challenge facing all pastors and an especially difficult one for many of them. If you are a pastor, you know what it is to be criticized. If are not a pastor but have one (or more), I can assure you that you are being shepherded by a man (or men) who has dealt with the challenge of criticism.
Last week I gave a message at a small pastors’ conference for the network our church is a part of (check them out!) on this very issue; dealing with the challenge of criticism. It was a good subject for me to work through, since for me personally, the steady flow of criticism has been the challenge that has most frequently led me to question whether I can endure as a pastor for the long haul, and whether I even want to do so. … Continue reading