The New Pastor’s Handbook

Pastoring is a difficult calling. Those who commit their lives to pastoral ministry commit to a tough, tough job. I’m convinced there is nothing quite like it. There are other jobs that require more precise skill and longer training. There are other jobs that demand longer hours. There are other jobs that require more exertion. But somehow, when taken as a whole, I can’t imagine a more difficult vocation. That is especially true for the pastor who takes the lead …

The Prodigal Church

John MacArthur’s book Ashamed of the Gospel changed my life. Literally. At the time I found it on the shelves of a local Christian book store I was attending a church that was committed to many of the principles of church growth. Though MacArthur had never attended that church, he understood it, he described it, he critiqued it. Best of all, he opened up God’s Word and showed something much, much better. I soon found that I had to move …

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The Compelling Community

If the number of highlights in a book can serve as an indication of its worth, then The Compelling Community has already proven an especially valuable one to me. It is littered with notes and highlights (or the Kindle equivalent, at least) and many of its ideas and applications are still percolating somewhere in the back of my mind. There is a lot it taught me, and a lot within its pages that I intend to ponder and apply. It …

Do You Take Care of the Body?

The Bible is a book full of metaphors—word pictures that God uses to explain who he is and what he requires of us. We are sheep and God is a shepherd. We are treasonous prodigals and God is a forgiving Father. We are trees, able to bear good fruit or bad fruit. Jesus is water, able to refresh the driest, thirstiest soul. From beginning to end, the Bible teaches us using vivid pictures. One of my favorite metaphors is one …

The Man on the Moon

I have a particular interest in technology and the way human society has been shaped by it. Over the past few years, I have pursued this interest by reading several books and watching several documentary series on the race to the moon. Having been born in 1976, I was too young to witness anything more than the aftermath of this epic race between the United States and the Soviet Union, and maybe this is why it fascinates me so much. …

Good News: The Church Is in Good Hands

A few weeks ago I announced that I will be hosting a summer internship program for several high school students. For 8 weeks we will focus on theology and worldview while also working on improving writing and communication skills. All of this can and will be done via the Internet, which means that students from around the world were welcome to apply. In the end, nearly 100 people applied for those 3 internships, with the applications coming in from all across the …

The Privilege of the Pastor’s Wife

Earlier this month Crossway announced that they are considering March Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month, and this on the occasion of Gloria Furman’s new book The Pastor’s Wife. To mark the month they have offered blog articles and video interviews featuring wives of well-known pastors, and many of these articles have been very helpful. You can find the list right here. To this point, the bulk of the articles have focused on the struggles that can come to the pastor’s wife: the hurt, …

An Extraordinary Skill for Ordinary Christians

Have you ever dreamed of being rich? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to know that money poses no barrier between you and your dreams? I think we all have at one time or another, haven’t we? And most of us are convinced that we would use our wealth for good, to serve others rather than ourselves. We imagine handing over the keys to a new home, or donating the full-ride scholarship to that person who could …

5 Ugly Qualities of the Anti-Elder

It is tragic but undeniable: There are many, many people in positions of church leadership who should not be in positions of church leadership. There are many pastors who should not be pastors, many elders who have no business being elders. This is not a new problem. In the pages of the New Testament both Paul and Peter labor to describe the man who is qualified to the office of elder. It is noteworthy that almost all of these qualifications …

If Preaching Was Like Playing

I went to the Blue Jay game last week. The Rays were in town and I like to go and cheer/jeer for my buddy Ben who plays for the bad guys. “You stink! And thanks for the tickets!” Don’t mention it to him, but at the end of the game he represented the winning run…and struck out. That was kind of fun (for me, at least). Anyway, while I was watching the game I began to think about some of …