A Corporate Confession of Sin & Assurance of Pardon

One of my favorite elements of a worship service is a confession of sin and the subsequent assurance of pardon. At Grace Fellowship Church we include this in almost every service and, from time to time, I like to share an example. Here is how we confessed our sins together using Psalm 32 as our guide. *** We just sang together, “All the redeemed washed in his blood / Come and rejoice in his great love!” One of the ways …

Confession of Sin & Assurance of Pardon

One of the key elements in our worship services at Grace Fellowship Church is a confession of sin and assurance of pardon. We try to vary the way we do these and I found last week’s particular effective and moving. Here’s how it went. We began this portion of the service by reading Psalm 119:65–72, then singing verses 81-88 (set to Belmont). Then Steve, our associate pastor, said this: God’s Word is good, delightful, true, and reliable. It always points …

Become a Patron

A Pastoral Prayer

Every now and again I like to share an example of a pastoral prayer from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this because there are few examples of pastoral prayers online and I thought these may serve to inspire themes, passages, or ideas as other pastors and elders prepare to lead their churches in prayer. Here is one Dwight Miller, one of our elders, prayed before our church not too long ago. *** O Great God, who is like you? We could …

How We Worshipped One Sunday in February

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I do so hoping they serve as a model of how one church attempts to worship the Lord in a distinctly biblical way. This service’s cast of characters included Paul as our service leader and preacher, Brian as our lead worshipper, and Dwight as the elder who read the Scripture text and prayed. Steve, our associate pastor, closed out the service …

A Pastoral Prayer

Every now and again I like to share an example of a pastoral prayer from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this because there are few examples of pastoral prayers online and I thought these may serve to inspire themes, passages, or ideas as other pastors and elders prepare to lead their churches in prayer. Here is one pastor Paul Martin prayed before our church not too long ago. *** O God our Father, We love you so much, and thank …

Shepherding At Home

In this video, which was filmed at a nearby conference, I was asked about some of the concerns related to pastors and their families. I tried to briefly to remind church leaders of the temptations that draw us away from this primary calling. Transcript Pastors always need to remember that you’re qualified to ministry through your family, not apart from your family. So being a pastor doesn’t make you a good dad, being a good dad may help you become a pastor. …

A Pastoral Prayer from December

Last week I shared a sample pastoral prayer–one I prayed during one of our worship services at Grace Fellowship Church. In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing some more of these, some prayed by me and some by others. I am doing this primarily as a resource that may help inspire or kick-start others as they prepare to lead God’s people in prayer. Father, you are kind and good, while we are sinful and bad. Father, you …

A Pastoral Prayer

One of the missing elements of modern worship is prayer, and especially prayers that are more than perfunctory. Especially lacking is the traditional pastoral prayer in which a pastor represents the congregation in praying for their needs and concerns. At Grace Fellowship Church we maintain this element and attempt to give it good effort. I’ve often gone looking for examples of pastoral prayers for purposes of inspiration and have found surprisingly few. I thought I might occasionally share one from …

How Can You Balance Life and Ministry and Your Passions and Hobbies?

At a recent event in India I was asked two interesting questions on a common theme: “How should a pastor balance his life outside of the church with his calling to ministry?” and “How should a pastor think about passions and hobbies outside of ministry?” These are issues I’ve thought about a lot and attempted to provide a helpful answer.   Transcript How should a pastor balance his life outside of the church with his calling to ministry? Yes, really, …

How We Ordain a Pastor

One of the solemn-but-joyful events in the life of a church is the ordination of a pastor (or elder, if you prefer). This is a rare event compared to many others, so is a time of special celebration. We have recently been able to enjoy it in our own church and in one of our church plants and have been greatly blessed. I thought it might be helpful to share the ordination vow our elders take before the church, and …