Rainer's Five Types of Critics in the Church

From Thom Rainer’s blog: All pastors and other church leaders have their critics. No leader in the church can escape the sting of criticism. Indeed, dealing with critics is one of the great challenges pastors have in ministry. Though the pain of criticism cannot be removed, it can be handled constructively. One way to deal with the issue is to make every effort to understand the mindset of the critic. In doing so, church leaders can respond redemptively and pastorally. Take a look at these five types of critics. 1.  The constructive critic. This person really wants what’s best for you […]

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Preaching in Declining Times

Ezekiel 2:3-7 And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. 4 The descendants also areimpudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ 5 And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit […]

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Characteristics of Church Revitalization

From Darryl Dash via Trevin Wax: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to turn a church around. I can think of a lot of churches that are in decline, but I can only think of a few that have turned around. Here’s what they have in common. First, they got uncomfortable. I’ve been struck how easy it is to drift into a comfortable life and ministry. Sadly, comfort and decline go together. Churches that become stable and comfortable have chosen safety, but it’s a safety that leads to death. Churches that die are churches that have […]

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How I Avoid the Unfortunate and Embrace the Beautiful of Jared Wilson's Mondays

I agree with Jared. If I’ve truly preached on Sunday morning, I’ve left it all out on the field (and that’s with just one service a week), and the fatigue sets in the moment the last person leaves church.  It typically doesn’t leave me until Tuesday morning. Like Jared, I’m an introvert, “which does not mean I don’t enjoy being with people or that I’m not good at interacting with people, only that it is work to do so. Extroverts tend to fill up in social settings; introverts tend to empty.”  I empty. And like Jared, I’ve avoided taking Monday […]

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The Hardest Part of Being a Shepherd

From R.C. Sproul, Jr.’s blog: I had already failed my first test in becoming a gentleman farmer. Three years and roughly 200 chickens produced eggs for my family at a rate of roughly $1… each. A few years had passed though since my experiment in folly, and I was ready to try again. I purchased three recently weaned lambs, set up portable fencing on my land and became a shepherd. Things went rather smoothly, until they didn’t. Two weeks into the experiment I looked out into my field and saw a third of the fencing was down. I raced outside to […]

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D. A. Carson on the Leadership of God's People

“Leadership of God’s people can go disastrously wrong at the top, with the underlings being better but being too weak or afraid to effect the desperately needed change.  Or leadership may be weak or corrupt throughout the hierarchy, with the top figure too indecisive or too much of a wimp to clean things up.  Saddest of all are the Christian institutions where weakness or corruption prevails at both levels.” D. A. Carson, “For the Love of God, Vol. 2,” August 10.

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It Just Gets Worse

My mom once told me the story of her taking me to my pediatrician when I was a toddler.  Everything checked out great, but the doctor also wanted to know how things were going for this new mom.  Of course, things were generally great, but having a rambunctious male toddler can be burdensome at times.  “But sometimes, he really does just drive me crazy,” my mom said with some level of exasperation. With sarcastic affection and a sly smile, the pediatrician put his arm around my mom and said, “Oh, honey … it just gets worse.” Jeremiah would agree. Faithfully […]

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