Skip to content ↓

As with the first Together for the Gospel Conference, the final session of T4G ‘08 went to C.J. Mahaney. He opted to speak from Philippians 1:3 and preached a message that was pastoral in tone—a pastoral message seeking to tend to the souls of pastors. There is no true pastoral ministry apart from proclaiming the gospel and doctrinal precision and in this conference pastors have been challenged by these things. But the ministry also demands personal holiness, godly affections, and pleasing God in the privacy of our hearts. It is not solely about the mind but is also about the soul. In this message C.J. sought to address a pastor’s heart and to care for his soul. He wanted to have a personal word with the pastors to prepare them for the challenges that await as they return home from this conference.

The Apostle Paul is a model to pastors because he served and sacrificed and suffered and did it all with joy. To study this man’s life and letters is to encounter this distinctive so it is wise to give attention to joy in the life of Paul and to consider whether this distinctive is present in our lives. For a pastor to adequately do the task of ministry he must serve with joy!

C.J. offered a list of questions that would be of benefit to a pastor as he seeks to understand whether or not he serves with joy. Would your wife say that you are joyful in your pastoral ministry? What would your children say about your attitude and your demeanor every day? Would they describe you as joyful or as normally burdened, moody, irritable? Have you modeled a culture of joy within your church so that this is immediately obvious to anyone who visits?

With introductory matters aside he began to challenge pastors directly. Because a message of this nature is so immediately applicable and so personally applicable, I am providing only bare notes. There is no way I could write out what C.J. teaches and to communicate the impact. I hope that with this outline any pastor will see the benefit of downloading and listening to this message. It will bless your soul and your ministry.

C.J. turned to his text and offered several principles from Paul’s ministry:

Gratefulness to God (3-5) – Paul places great emphasis on gratefulness to God. With Paul we hear gratitude for evidences of grace that he sees in the lives of the people in the churches to which he writes. He continually exhorted his listeners to express thankfulness to God.

Faith for the Future (6) – What strengthened Paul’s confidence in the church’s future was that it was rooted in God, initiated by God. Because it was inaugurated by God he was sure that God would bring it to completion. Your certainty for the future of the church will make all the difference in your ministry. One cannot effectively pastor without faith in God. So don’t only isolate the topic of gratefulness, but focus also on the area of faith.

Affection for Others (7,8) – Paul yearns for them with the affection of Jesus Christ. This kind of affection permeates Paul’s life and ministry and as such serves as a model for pastors today.

I honestly hesitate to say much more than this. My encouragement is to find the MP3 (see the very next post on my blog), download it, and be blessed.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (March 2)

    A La Carte: The only way out of our desperate hypocrisy / Are Evangelicals too hard on men? / 9 healthy ways to respond to criticism / Is God disappointed with me? / 4 snapshots of dispensationalism today / Logos and Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Help The Persecuted)

    This weeks giveaway is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. Help The Persecuted rescues, restores, and rebuilds the lives of persecuted believers in the Islamic World through spiritual support and tangible help. Every week, they send out an email with specific, real-time prayer requests of persecuted believers to their global Prayer Network. You can join the…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (March 1)

    A La Carte: Rumblings of revival among Gen Z / Addition by subtraction / Seeing red / Burying the talents of the Great Rewarder / Inviting evaluation of your preaching / Book and Kindle deals / and more.

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?