Resources on Pastoral Ministry

Booknote: A Labor of Love: Puritan Pastoral Priorities

By Charlie Wingard · January 6, 2020 · 0 Comments
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    A Labor of Love: Puritan Pastoral Priorities, by J. Stephen Yuille, Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage, 2013, x + 136 pages, $15.00, paper. Faithful ministers experience bouts of discouragement, some of them long and intensely painful. Our hearts go out to them: hard work and steadfast prayer have yielded little in the way of visible fruit. Their discouragement can be so severe that they lose sight of the nobility of their work—they are men sent by God to care for his blood-bought church. A second danger may come from the opposite direction: times of growth in God’s church produce pride. If ministers are not careful, they end up claiming for themselves the glory that belongs to God alone. Both…

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On Pastoral Laziness

By Charlie Wingard · November 26, 2019 · 0 Comments
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At the outset of a difficult topic – pastoral laziness – I want to be clear that my purpose is to encourage both pastors and their congregations. Where conflict arises over the minister’s work ethic, I believe most of the time there is a path forward to strengthen the bonds of affection that should exist between a pastor and his congregation. That said, here are some hard words: Apart from heretical doctrine or immorality, one of the most serious charges that can be levelled against a pastor is sloth. In the judgment of his congregation, he fails to take his cues from the “hard-working farmer,” one of Paul’s models for pastoral ministry (2 Timothy 2:6), and seems unfamiliar with Solomon’s…

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Booknote: “The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life” by Albert N. Martin

By Charlie Wingard · November 16, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Albert N. Martin, The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life. Trinity Pulpit Press, 2018. More than a century ago James Stalker warned: I believe the question, what is to be the type and the tone of the ministry in any generation, is decided in the theological seminaries. What the students are there, the ministers of the country will be by-and-by. . . The state of feeling in a theological seminary ought to be such, that any man living a life inconsistent with his future profession should feel thoroughly uncomfortable, and have the conviction driven in upon his conscience every day, that the ministry is no place for him. (Yale Preaching Lectures, 1891) If theological students are to live…

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Booknote: “The Faithful Preacher” by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

By Charlie Wingard · October 3, 2019 · 0 Comments
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(Earlier in the year, I posted a book review of The Faithful Preacher by Thabiti M. Anyabwile. It has now been published in the September issue of Reformed Theological Seminary’s online journal, Reformed Faith & Practice.) __________ One of my goals at RTS Jackson is to introduce students to the “neglected voices” of the evangelical church. I am not the best qualified to remedy this neglect, but have made it my habit to assign readings that will help. One such book is Thabiti Anyabwile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Wheaton: Crossway, 2007). The book presents biographical sketches of Lemuel Haynes, Daniel Payne, and Francis Grimké, along with selected writings. First, Lemuel Haynes. Born in 1753, he…

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A Life Practiced as Well as Preached

By Charlie Wingard · September 20, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Wise words from John Owen that I must take to heart: “A pastor’s life should be vocal; sermons must be practised as well as preached. . . . . If a man teach uprightly and walk crookedly, more will fall down in the night of his life than he built in the day of his doctrine.” John Owen, The Works of John Owen (ed. William H. Goold; vol. 13; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 57.

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How Should Pastors Pray for Themselves?

By Charlie Wingard · September 12, 2019 · 0 Comments
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What should our pastors pray for? The list could go on and on. But let me give three things that I think are particularly important for pastors to pray for in relationship to their churches. First of all, they need to pray for a forgiving spirit. There are a lot of wounds and injuries that come during your time as a pastor, and you have to become highly committed to overlooking offenses. And then when there are sins committed against you, whether the person asks for forgiveness or not, you need to have a forgiving spirit toward them. If not, your ministry will be filled with bitterness and anger and resentment.

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