From Shepherding to Spreading

For Carly and me, our call to ministry came long ago. Before marrying, we both sensed that the best hours of our days and weeks would be devoted to introducing people to Jesus and equipping them in their faith. We’ve been doing that in various ways for all of our seven years of marriage. For the…

Pastoral Ministry and the Practice of Prayer

“Lord, teach us to pray.” This request from the disciples (Luke 11:1) is quite puzzling. These were Jewish men–men who from the time they could speak were taught how to walk and talk with God. They knew the Psalms–the prayer book of Israel. Perhaps not all the disciples had them memorized like the religious leaders of the…

Pastoral Ministry, Not Blogging, and a Devotional Guide

It’s been over a month since I’ve blogged and I have some ambivalence with this. I don’t like it because I like to write and, it seems, God has been gracious to use this blog to help people. A lot of news has happened in the last month that begs for pastoral commentary (e.g. Mark Driscoll, Harvest Chapel,…

We Lost Our Life

Ten months ago my wife and I lost our life. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. I answered the call to serve a local church as an associate pastor in New York, half a country away from everything we knew. We packed up our humble possessions, got rid of some other stuff, and…

A Reading List for 2014

One of the great joys of being a pastor is that taking time to read books is part of the job. You cannot effectively teach, shepherd, rebuke, exhort, and develop yourself in mind and heart without reading good books. The great British preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will…

Why Ordo Salutis Matters for Preaching

Ordo who? Ordo Salutis is the Latin phrase for “order of salvation,” which refers to the logical (not chronological!) order of events in a Christian’s salvation. It’s an important thing, and not just a theoretical thing. For me, past Sunday, it was a sanctifying thing. Typically, Ordo Salutis goes something like this: election, calling, regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption, sanctification,…