How Do I Know I’m Saved?
Some outstanding quotes from recent “Ask Pastor John” podcasts. I especially enjoyed the extract from #135 on avoiding ministry burnout, and the childlike/childish distinction in #142.
A Baby Changes Everyone, Not Just Everything
“A baby brother has completed and fulfilled our other two children, enhancing the life of our family in ways I never expected.” I identified so much with what Trevin Wax wrote here about the blessed impact of his new son on the rest of his children.
A Response to Zealot by Reza Aslan
You’re going to be hearing a lot about this book for a few weeks, so here’s a great review to strengthen your faith in Jesus. Ross Douthat comments on the controversy in Return of the Jesus Wars
At Christian Companies, Religious Principles Complement Business Practices
Surprisingly fair and balanced New York Times piece on how Christian-owned companies like Hobby Lobby put their faith into practice.
5 Reasons it’s Past Time to End the Stereotypes About Biblical Counseling
Peace-making Bob Kellemen goes to war against counseling stereotypes.
Pastoral Visitation: The God-Given Responsibility to Shepherd
Joey Pipa provides a list of questions for both congregants and elders to review before a pastoral visit
“More and more men are choosing not to go to school, not to get a job, and not to get married. If similar numbers of women were doing the same, someone would raise the alarm, but since men are the ones opting out, the problem has been mostly met with silence.”
So says Dr Helen Smith, author of Men on Strike, in which she argues that men are acting entirely rationally in response to the lack of incentives society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers. In the video below, she presents six reasons why men are opting out of marriage:
- They’ll lose respect
- They’ll lose out on sex
- They can lose their children and their money
- They can lose their space
- They can lose their freedom
- The single life is better than ever.
Despite these powerful cultural trends, I still believe that a persuasive rational case can be made for marriage (see the early pages of Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage). However, this also demonstrates how a culture built on human reason rather than on biblical principles is always at risk of rapid disintegration.
“Too many old people”?
Dan Phillips: “Paul casts a net that takes in the whole age-range of the congregation. Pride of place goes to seniors, to older men and older women, who then have a ministry embracing younger women and men.”
Five Reasons to Confront Even if you Hate Confrontation
Wish I hadn’t read this.
Why Millennials are Coming to Church
Joe Thorn: “We definitely aren’t the cool church in town. Our building is busted. Our worship space is puritan-plain. We are Southern Baptist (definitely not cool up here), complementation, Reformed. There is a lot about is that is uncool in many ways–at least to many outsiders. But Jesus is here, and his people are amazing.”
The Gospel at Work
Matt Perman on productivity and the Gospel. On the same subject, here’s an extract from Matt Heerema’s sermon on How the Gospel affects our Work, and Patrick Schreiner links to a talk by a businessman on Business and the Glory of God.
Is the New Evangelical Liturgy Really An Improvement?
Kevin DeYoung answers “no” and points to What the Reformed Liturgical Heritage has to offer.
What Are Areas of Common neglect in a Pastor’s life?
Brian Croft highlights lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and lack of spiritual attention to one’s soul.
While I’m on vacation, I’m taking a break from preparing Check outs and writing a daily post. Instead, I’ve been posting “The Best of HeadHeartHand,” a series of indexes to past blog posts under a number of headings including Counseling, Leadership, Preaching, etc. Previous posts included:
140 articles on the Christian Life,
100 articles of Cultural Commentary
100+ articles on Preaching.
250+ articles on Ministry and Leadership
And today it’s approximately 80 posts on Counseling. Some of the older posts’ formatting may be a bit off, the result of transferring from blogging at Posterous to using WordPress a couple of years ago.
Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling
John Piper On Biblical Counseling
Charity And Clarity In Counseling
The Counselor’s Role In The Holy Spirit’s Counseling
Your Brain Is Plastic (And That’s Good News)
Is It Time For More Positive Biblical Counseling?
Exploring Our Inner Universe
God’s Fatherhood: Better Than The Latest Band-Aid Of Self-Help
A new breed and a dying breed
Really practical theology
Is low self-esteem always beautiful?
Daily list: 11 trends in biblical counseling in 2011
Tis the season to be sad
A counseling challenge for 2012
American optimism v Scottish skepticism
Equipping counselors for your church
Turning a dream into reality
What do Bob Kellemen and Mathew Henry have in common?
The best training for counseling
Give us this day our daily brain food
Food and mood
I feel sorry for psychologists
Fear and the brain
Can we redeem self-esteem?
Depression: The 6 R’s
Miscarriage? Death of a child? Need help?
Malachi’s short story
A counseling policy for your church
Rebellious children? Try sleeping
You are what you think
Who sinned? This man or his parents?
Calvin and Piper on sufficiency of scripture
The cost of mental illness
Struggling with personality disorder
Wise counsel for biblical counselors
Want help to stop grumbling?
He cares for you
Pastors and suicide?
Why are we so angry?
Antidepressants work fast?
Journalism and Counseling
Do You Really Need Antidepressants?
7 Questions About Suicide And Christians
Mental Illness & Suicide: The Church Awakes
Pastoral Thoughts On Depression
The Problem With “Mental Illness”
Double Dangers: Maximizing And Minimizing Mental Illness
A Medical Test For Mental Illness
The Puritans And Mental Illness
The Puritans On Medication For Mental Illness
Seasonal Affective Disorder [Video]
8 Ways Preachers Harm The Depressed
Delivered From Islam…And Depression
How Biblical Is Biblical Counseling?
Fighting Falsehoods About My Heavenly Father
Wonderful Southern Baptist Resolution On Mental Health Issues
10 lessons from two days
“Black folk don’t go to therapy”
8 ways to help depressed Christians
A depressing report about depression
Caring for the depressed (4): Stigma
Caring for the depressed (3): Support
Caring for the depressed (2): Sympathy
Caring for the depressed (1): Study
5 questions to ask a depressed person
Helpful CCEF video about depression
Helping someone with post-partum depression
The Most Important Question In Marriage
What girls should know about guys: 40 tips
What guys should know about girls: 50 tips
What guys should know about girls (adult edition)
What girls should know about guys (adult edition)
Young(ish), single, reformed
Unofficial study guide for “the meaning of marriage”
What a happy marriage? Marry someone poor and ugly!
How to love your wife (or husband) less
What did you expect? Something more positive!
Disability and salvation: A moving personal testimony
A father’s journey with his down syndrome daughter
If you don’t want to cry, don’t watch this
While I’m on vacation over the next week or so, I’m taking a break from preparing Check outs and writing a daily post. Instead, I’ll be posting “The Best of HeadHeartHand,” a series of indexes to past blog posts under a number of headings including Counseling, Leadership, Preaching, etc. This week’s posts included 140 articles on the Christian Life, 100 articles of Cultural Commentary, and 100+ articles on Preaching. Today it’s 250+ posts on Ministry and Leadership. Some of the older posts’ formatting may be a bit off, the result of transferring from blogging at Posterous to using WordPress a couple of years ago.
Haters Gonna Hate: How To Deal With Three Kinds Of Hate Mail
Young Pastor, Obscurity Is Your Friend
The Reading Habits Of Today’s Pastors
Pastors and social media (1): Be Positive
Pastors and social media (2): Be Intentional
Pastors and Social media (3): Be Sociable
I’d Rather Be A Godly Administrator Than An Ungodly Minister
Education And The Digital Revolution
Church Power Games
Don’t Sandwich Negative Feedback
Why Do Rookie Pastors Get Fired?
The Most Essential Life Skill: Teachability
Relax! You’ll Be More Productive
10 Ways To Give Constructive Criticism
Administrator Appreciation Day
17 Tips For Better Church Meetings
Church Size: Is 150 The “Magic” Number?
Ministry Miseries Or Pastoral Pleasures
Developing Pastoral Antennae
Reformed Theology And Ragged Schools
Disarming Your Hearers
Work Less To Do More
What Would I Do If I Was Falsely Accused Of Sexual Immorality?
Words Of Comfort For Bereaved Parents
Courageous And Compassionate
Service Bay 1: Routine
Service Bay 2: Relaxation
Service Bay 3: Recreation
Service Bay 4: Rest
Service Bay 5: Re-thinking
Service Bay 6: Reprioritize
Service Bay 7: Return
10 Types Of Christian Leadership
Paper v Pixels
A Swear Word For Creative Types
Making Ideas Happen: 99% Perspiration
Leading And Reading
Christian Hiring And Firing
For president, I want the guy who’s failed
The mailbox mystery
Is it time to visit the soul care garage?
The secret of corporate integrity
Violent and Original Work
Don’t live for a legacy
A massage or a message?
Learning from the wrecker’s yard
Six simple ways to avoid burnout
The truth dresses down
My hate-love relationship with seminary
Let the dummies give the answer
I met a “celebrity” pastor yesterday
Do I have a parrot on my shoulder?
Are you like Apple or Google?
The dirty little secret of overnight success
Lessons from Thomas Verelli’s supreme court choke
The secret to grace under pressure
Can you enjoy ministry too much?
6 time management tips from entrepreneurs
5 types of work that will fill your day
The softer side of leadership
7 strategies to stop procrastinating
Learning to be a power listener
A desk that could save your life!
A divine invitation to pastoral rest
A digital dictionary for leaders
10 digital commandments
Why appreciation matters so much
A son’s moving tribute to his pastor father
Pastoral ministry course
Three types of bosses that should be fired
Is perfectionism always bad for you?
Chris Larson leadership lectures
Diligence + time = excellence
Four destructive myths most pastors still live by
What’s the best way to study? Top ten tips
Al Mohler on Mark Driscoll
Location, location, location
Prepare for church discipline
Practice church discipline
Want to learn faster? Try the ibrain
The role of nursing mothers in training pastors
The fatherly mother (or motherly father?)
Wanted: men of exceptional character
Two cautions for Christian leaders
Stars, sloths, sinners, saints, and stalwarts
Don’t spiritualize your management problems: fix them!
Your own personalized Google
A body-language gallery
Pastoral theology resources
How to lose friends and not influence anyone
Why I left my congregation
96 minutes of daily interruptions
Top 20 most influential books in my life
What does it take to come up with a really good idea?
7 essential mental activities
The bull-loving matador
In the pastoral bullring
4 ways to benefit from criticism
20 ways to beat “meeting-phobia”
Top ten meeting personalities
My “I’m-never-going-to-get-to-it” list
Chris Larson lecturing on leadership at PRTS
Michael Hyatt’s parting message
Fighting time poverty
The Devil on time management: Squander, stretch, squeeze
10 P’s of time management
Does your desk glorify God?
Leading by listening
Lord, teach me how to teach
Leadership lecture: The honest steward
Gold-plated investment opportunity
Ministers and money
Time to declare email bankruptcy?
Leadership lecture: The courageous captain
A call to courage for fellow-cowards
Focus on connection not perfection
Breaking news: Students multi-task during lectures!
The good news about stress
Leadership lecture: The patient shepherd
Leadership lecture: The humble servant
The pastor and the media: Ten tips
3 reasons not to delegate
Are you a pusher or a puller?
Sheep: “This time it’s personal”
The shepherd leader
My life’s work
Staying on the leadership tightrope
Leadership lessons from president Obama?
I want to be a leader in the church
850 definitions of leadership
Focus intensely and renew regularly
Motives for ministry?
1-step-plan to superproductivity
Clutches in the churches
Facebook and the call to ministry
Achieve your goals (by not telling everyone)
7 tips for church meetings
Learning leadership from ants
How to be a speed reader
Zuckerberg’s favorite word: Um
The biggest mistake a leader can make
Three tips for training our children to lead
Six ways to supercharge your productivity
Why Tony Blair’s leadership journey failed
When to visit
The greatest servant
Two ways to live (and pastor)
Avoid decisions, avoid life
Evangelism and the risk of failure
Congregations gone wild
Pastors, please take a break
Leadership tips from Tony Hayward (not)
I hate the telephone
Focus short and long
Turn the ministry you have into the ministry you want
The men who stare at screens
Would John the Baptist have read the HBR
12 Things we’d tell our bosses if we could
Essential tools in the pastor’s toolbox
Ten laws of productivity
Am I called to the ministry?
Weak strength and strong weaknesses
A “normal” pastoral visit
The pastor as “feeler in chief”
Leading by silence
Leaders who last
Sympathy or empathy?
Who should we hire? Ask the receptionist
Reality check for would-be pastors
A leader’s mic is always on
Top ten motivation boosters and procrastination killers
Be more decisive…wash your hands
7 ways to deal with “haters”
“To do” or tomorrow
A “normal” week of pastoral ministry
Successful ministry or happy marriage
Preach or pastor
The pastor’s worst enemy
Pastoral ministry like having a baby
How to stop people idolizing you
True leadership: Opposing our friends
Victory through rest and recreation
The ministry is God’s sandbox
Good recoveries from bad communications
Pastoring clever people (or herding cats)
Investing in your mentor
God’s top 100 pastors
Wise leaders don’t know too much
How to say “No”
Squandering our most important resource
Work less to do more
The power of moral clarity
Improving pastoral productivity
For overworking pastors (and students)
Introverts in the church
How to boost your memory. Sleep!
Why do pastors suffer?
Novel advice for writers
How to keep track of what you’ve learnt
The 40-30-30 rule: Why risk is worth it
What does your desk say about you?
How to turn ministry into idolatry
Glorifying God and email
What not to say to some one who just lost their job
Should I tell the pastor?
The invisible gorilla
Confident but not sure
How the mighty fall
How to take smart reading notes
Deference and deviance
When pastor’s kids go bad
The sinkhole syndrome
Help for hurting churches in dealing with apostasy
The two essential traits of great leaders
Failure: The last taboo?
80 ways to redeem time
The pastor’s worst day
Water for baptisms
Coping with “church surprises”
Poor excuses for sinful silence
Splits and sorrys
What do people really think of me?
In the hot seat
The risk of catastrophic victory
Learning on the tightrope
Why you should fire yourself
Three ways to keep your ego in check
From good to great
Wisdom from the world’s richest man?
Top 200 Leadership Resources
Top 300 Online Counseling Resources
Top 60 Online Resources For Battling Porn
While I’m on vacation over the next week or so, I’m taking a break from preparing Check outs and writing a daily post. Instead, I’ll be posting “The Best of HeadHeartHand,” a series of indexes to past blog posts under a number of headings including Counseling, Leadership, Preaching, etc. On Monday, I listed 140 articles on the Christian Life, on Tuesday it was 100 articles of Cultural Commentary. Today it’s over a hundred posts on preaching.
20 Sermon Structures
What Is Sermon Application?
8 Principles Of Sermon Application
The Manner Is The Message
How To Preach A Viral Sermon
10 Foolish Obstacles To The Foolishness Of Preaching
What Does It Mean To “Preach Christ?”
8 Lessons I Learned About Preaching From Painting My Kitchen
8 Ways Preachers Harm The Depressed
This Is An Outstanding Sermon
Check Out: Big God Theology
Truthful + Beautiful = Faithful
How To Astonish The World
What Does An Evangelistic Sermon Look Like?
What is evangelistic preaching?
4 kinds of evangelistic sermon
Why is evangelistic preaching so rare today?
4 characteristics of evangelistic preaching
Four (more) characteristics of evangelistic preaching
Normal sermon prep? Really?
Six steps of sermon preparation
20 tips on how to use Bible commentaries
Daily list: 7 tips for public speaking without all the notes
The charity of clarity
7 types of preacher’s block (and what to do about them)
How sermons work
The must-have pastoral skill
Top 10 preaching mistakes
CK2:20 Preaching without notes?
Am I boring you? 7 tell-tale signs
Top 6 struggles of pastoral ministry
Would you turn down Princeton?
David Wilkerson’s heartfelt plea for “anguish”
Sermon prep and the chemistry of fear
Blogging or preaching?
7 easy steps to much faster sermon prep
Pros and cons of consecutive expository preaching
Catchy sermon titles?
Bored with your own preaching?
How to listen to boring lectures (and sermons?)
More on preaching without notes
Should we practice preaching?
Can a to-do list make you a better preacher?
So pastor, what’s your point?
Pastors and communication: 4 questions
Learning to preach from non-preachers
Jack Dorsey’s secret
Preachers wearing too much make-up
Preachers: Plan on being misunderstood
Microwave or marinate?
Sermon preparation for busy pastors
A plea for profound simplicity
The secret to powerful preaching
People trust eloquence more than honesty
What is preaching? Your answers, please.
Dying to preach
Before you preach on forgiveness read this…
Electronic resources for sermon preparation
How to critique a sermon
Six keys to excellence in preaching
Tell them one thing
Preaching without notes (2)
Preaching without notes (1)
Step-by-step guide to interpreting a text
Learning to preach from writers
Clouds of words
Abstract academics or practical preachers
Preaching without notes
How can I compete with internet sermons?
Screenwriting and preaching
Evangelistic preaching (full text)
Great preachers are great listeners (and lovers)
Serous preaching in a comedy culture
God blesses “Beta” sermons
A preacher who dreads sermon preparation
The preacher’s vocal toolbox
20 ways to apply a sermon
Making a sermon stick
Twenty ways to structure a sermon
Ten principles of sermon organization
How not to start a sermon
Freshen up your preaching
Enhanced interrogation techniques
What will I preach on?
How sermons work
Preaching to all ages
Steve Jobs on preaching
Investing in sermon titles
Overcoming the frustration barrier in preaching
The rule of three for pastors
White space for preachers
Freshen up your preaching
10,000 hours to preach a great sermon?
Serious preaching in a comedy culture
How not to preach boring sermons!
“Day-dreaming” helps sermon preparation
Spluttering or Sprinting over the Finish Line
200 Preaching Resources
Top 70 Online Resources On The Psalms
Disarming Your Hearers