Four Questions about Faith and Work
“…work as a plumber or accountant is as important in God’s eyes as a minister’s or a missionary’s.”
A pro-life left-winger
“Abortion is one of those rare political issues on which left and right seem to have swapped ideologies.”
Dear Moms, Jesus wants you to chill out
Shut up and play nice: How the Western world is limiting free speech
“The decline of free speech has come not from any single blow but rather from thousands of paper cuts of well-intentioned exceptions designed to maintain social harmony.”
Honorable Leadership Needed
Joel Beeke: “I stared in disbelief at my laptop last night as our Vice President interrupted Congressman Paul Ryan 96 times in about as many minutes of debate. When I observed his arrogance, his degrading laughter, his angry responses, and his dismissive attitude, I was deeply troubled.”
My best advice for young theologians
This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.
This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.
If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first 12 months of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.
And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.
And here’s an explanation of the plan.
Recently I was asked to give a conference address on “Positive Leadership.” It got me thinking about how many different kinds of pastoral leadership I’d come across in my ministry. I came up with 10 leadership types:
- Mr Passive
- Mr Crisis
- Mr Dictator
- Mr Inconsistent
- Mr Fearful
- Mr Pessimist
- Mr Boastful
- Mr Academic
- Mr Sociable
- Mr Administrator
If you click on over to my monthly column at Christianity.com, I’ll introduce you to these 10 men.
3 Ways to Nourish & Cherish your Wife
Lots of women will be wishing they married C J Mahaney after this.
10 Questions for Expositors
Brian Croft invites us into his study.
“Your blog isn’t Christian”
Loved this post from Trevin Wax. “Chesterton was right. There are no uninteresting subjects, only uninterested people. That’s why, whenever I find something of interest on the web, my first thought is not – Is this Christian? - but Is this interesting? Is it “worth a look?” Is there humor in it? Pathos? Insight into the way the world works? The way people think? If so, I’ll link to it or write a post about it.”
22 Biblical Counseling Skills
Excellent summary from Bob Kellemen. I use Bob’s books extensively in the classroom and I’d highly recommend them.
More Punctuation Marks Needed
Great idea. How do we go about arranging it? Petition the Government? Go to war with the English?
North Korea’s Secret Spectaculars
Knowing something of the suffering in North Korea, this is enough to make me weep. One of my most fervent prayers is that I might live to see the day when North Korea’s people are freed.
We’ve been working our way through the service bays in the Soul Care Garage this week.
Let’s visit the last two, and make sure you don’t miss the last and most important.
Service Bay 6: Re-prioritize
As our lives slowly yet inexorably grow more complicated and committed, especially in the ministry, we must regularly examine our life and see what we can do to reduce our commitments and obligations. We all do this to some extent – because we all realize that we cannot meet the needs of everyone – the question is more about how seriously and intentionally you do this.
Prevention is better than cure here. If you can learn to say “No” to certain ministry demands and opportunities, it’s a lot easier than having to pull out when you’ve already committed and raised expectations.
You will need to cut out many good things to do the best things. You will need to cut out some ministry to others in order to minister to yourself. The life of the minister is the life of his ministry (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 4:6). What’s your greatest priority? YOUR SOUL!
A pastor’s duties to his wife and children are not reduced by his duty to his flock; rather, they are increased (1 Sam. 15:22-23).
Service Bay 7: Return
The aim of all these other service bays is a return to a Christ-centered life, a life lived in communion with the Lord Jesus; yes, dare I say it, a personal relationship with Jesus. We want a life connected to Him, obedient to Him, imaging Him, glorifying Him, and worshipping Him. Here are a few things I’ve found helpful in returning to the Lord:
- Guard personal Bible reading and prayer time as jealously as you guard your own children.
- Pray out loud. Find a place where you can pray out loud without embarrassment. Hearing your own prayers helps to improve the clarity and intensity of prayer.
- Make singing part of your personal and family devotions.
- Carve out uninterrupted study time in 2-3 hour blocks at least four days a week.
- Read Christ-centered books. Don’t let your love of missiology, ecclesiology, eschatology, apologetics, evangelism, etc., push out daily personal communion with Christ. Why not start with John Owen, Volume 1 on the Glory of Christ, or Volume 7 on Spiritual mindedness; John Flavel, Volume 1 on Christ the Fountain of Life,
- Read for your own soul rather than for ministry to others. It makes a big difference to the personal edification you get from reading if, from time to time, you determine that you will not use anything in a certain book for ministry purposes.
- Listen to Christ-centered sermons from various pastors. We have a wealth of online resources at sites such as SermonAudio.com. I like to listen to preachers outside my own tradition as I often find their approach to texts quite refreshing and stimulating.
- Disconnect from Twitter, Facebook, Email for several hours at a time. Discipline yourself to check only certain number of times a day.
- Seek accountability with another pastor or elder. Read through the 7 R’s, agree parameters, and commit to regular accounting.
Need a tow?
Please visit the Soul Care Garage regularly. The more frequently you visit it, the less time you will spend in each of the service bays. It will save you from the Pastor’s wrecker’s yard, and if you’re already there, get a tow over to this garage and start working your way through the bays until you’re fit for the road again!
This is an edited version of an article that was first published at Gospel Centered Discipleship.