Resources on Pastoral Ministry

Evidences of a Call to Ministry

By Charlie Wingard · April 30, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Every Christian denomination would do well to heed the prudent advice of AME  bishop Daniel Payne (1811-1893):   “Whenever a young man comes forward, and tells us that he is called to the ministry, let us examine him rigidly, according to our excellent discipline and the requisitions of God’s word. It is not enough that he tells us God has called him; let him show the evidences of his call.” Daniel A. Payne In Thabiti M. Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007), 82.

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The Minister’s Best Time and Talents

By Charlie Wingard · April 25, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Charles Bridges reminds ministers that “it is indeed a ’neglect of the gift of God that is in us,’  to trifle in the study or in the pulpit. God will bless our endeavors – not our idleness. Our Master, and our people for our Master’s sake, have a just claim to our best time and talents, our most matured thoughts, and most careful study.” – Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry (1830; Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991), 194.

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Tips for RTS Students: Keep Your Heart Open

By Charlie Wingard · December 6, 2018 · 0 Comments
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One sure way to cripple your ministry is to speak to your congregation harshly, either in or out of the pulpit. Don’t confuse harshness with boldness. One can speak softly and gently and still be bold. To be bold, according to Merriam-Webster, is to be “fearless before danger” – a virtue when communicating biblical truth. But the voice of the bold may be calm, the words measured, and the tone devoid of the harshness that pushes people away. William Plumer reminds us that Harshness is not fidelity. There are hardly any maxims more false or mischievous than these: “There is no good done unless opposition is aroused,” [or] ’”One’s fidelity may be tested by the enmity he awakens against himself…

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Tips for RTS Students: How Valuable Is a Theological Education?

By Charlie Wingard · August 31, 2018 · 0 Comments
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How valuable is theological education? 19th century professor and pastor Samuel Miller writes: “Nothing can be plainer than that ignorance, or small and indigested knowledge is, next to the want of piety, one of the most serious defects in a candidate for the sacred office. . . . No Church, therefore, which neglects the proper education of her ministers, can be considered as faithful, either to her own most vital interests, or to the honour of her divine Head and Lord.” ____ James M. Garretson, An Able and Faithful Ministry: Samuel Miller and the Pastoral Office (Reformation Heritage Books, 2014), 78.

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Sunday: The Pastor’s Best Day!

By Charlie Wingard · July 14, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Day of all the week the best, Emblem of eternal rest.* Preparing for the Lord’s Day is the obligation of every Christian, and especially gospel ministers. A part of that preparation means cultivating the right attitude toward Sunday. Yes, it is the best day of the week! Francis Grimké has just the attitude we need: Sunday is a great day for the minister; and if he is the right kind of a minister, it will also be a great day for his flock. Sunday is the day particularly on which he is to meet his flock, on which he is to feed them, to lead them into green pastures and beside still waters. It is the day particularly in which he…

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Tips for RTS Students: Writing Notes and Letters

By Charlie Wingard · July 12, 2018 · 0 Comments
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My first attempt to become a candidate for ministry stalled in the early 80s. I was a member of a rural church in Middle Tennessee, and my session enthusiastically recommended me to Presbytery. We were an evangelical congregation in a theologically liberal Presbyterian denomination and that was a problem. Far from home, studying at Princeton Theological Seminary, the Presbytery informed me that my candidacy would not move forward. I was so disappointed. Soon, notes and letters began arriving from members of my congregation telling me how proud they were of me, assuring me of their prayers, and urging me to persevere. Notes and letters from caring people were God’s gift to me – just at the right moment when I…

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