A Pastoral Ministry Reader

Like the other readers I have compiled, this one on pastoral ministry is simply a collection of articles, blogs, chapters, audio, and other media that I have found helpful. The resources here cover topics from preaching (lots of preaching!) to counseling to administration to ministry philosophy. If you are looking for resources on ecclesiology (church government), check out this reader. This is not exhaustive by any stretch. As always, more links will be added as time goes on. If there are links you cannot believe I missed, suggest away! Pastoralized (whole website) – Eric McKiddle 10 Reasons to Underprogram Your … Continue reading A Pastoral Ministry Reader

Effectively Shepherding Yourself and Others

If you are like me, then you have probably wondered how to be an effective self-shepherd. God’s family—the church—is absolutely essential and necessary to our growth. We cannot be Lone Ranger Christians. But we can’t always talk to a pastor or a friend when we feel defeated, and we are primarily responsible for our own progress, so we need to learn to be self-feeders and help others to be self-feeders as well. We need to learn how to be self-shepherds. I recently read Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission, the newest book from Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. One of … Continue reading Effectively Shepherding Yourself and Others

Where Did the Phrase, “Preach the Gospel to Yourself,” Come Frome?

From Drew Hunter: So, where did it come from? Thankfully, it’s used all over the place these days. My hunch is that the person who put feet on it and therefore caused it to run throughout this generation is Jerry Bridges. Perhaps surprisingly, this theme wasn’t in his first and probably most well known book, The Pursuit of Holiness. It wasn’t until after writing this book that he began to more clearly see and stress the centrality of the gospel in the life of the Christian (See second paragraph here). Following that book, however, he began emphasizing the centrality of the gospel … Continue reading Where Did the Phrase, “Preach the Gospel to Yourself,” Come Frome?

God’s Love Is Not ‘Unconditional’

What happens to the Gospel when idolatry themes are not grasped? “God loves you” typically becomes a tool to meet a need for self-esteem in people who feel like failures. The particular content of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—”grace for sinners and deliverance for the sinned against”–is down-played or even twisted into “unconditional acceptance for the victims of others’ lack of acceptance.” Where “the Gospel” is shared, it comes across something like this: “God accepts you just as you are. God has unconditional love for you.” That is not the biblical Gospel, however. God’s love is not Rogerian unconditional positive regard writ large. A need theory of motivation—rather than an idolatry … Continue reading God’s Love Is Not ‘Unconditional’

Christian Counseling and God’s Transcendence

Millard Erickson on how God’s transcendence changes the way we counsel people: We will look for genuinely transcendent working by God. Thus we will not expect only those things that can be accomplished by natural means…We will not neglect prayer for his guidance or special intervention. Thus, for example, Christian counseling will not differ from other types of counseling (naturalistic or humanistic) only in being preceded by a brief prayer. There will be the anticipation that God, in response to faith and prayer, will work in ways not humanly predictable or achievable. – Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 345; emphasis added. Continue reading Christian Counseling and God’s Transcendence