Resources on Pastoral Ministry

Tips for RTS Students: Seeking a Pastoral Call

By Charlie Wingard · August 27, 2020 · 0 Comments
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1.Don’t procrastinate. Become a candidate for ministry in your denomination as early as possible. Follow your Candidates and Credentials Committee’s instructions to a tee. Don’t put off candidacy and its prerequisites until the end of your seminary career. If you do, you will complete your degree, but be unable to accept a call because you’ve failed to follow your denomination’s requirements. That may mean you are months away from accepting a call. Show respect for your denomination and love for your family by staying on track. PCA students need to keep in mind the following: You must be a member for at least six months of a church in the presbytery where you want to come under care. You must…

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Future Pastors Need Mentors

By Charlie Wingard · July 24, 2020 · 0 Comments
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We all need mentors. With so many voices telling us what to do, it’s vitally important that we have godly, thoughtful, experienced people showing us what to do. Preparing for a life in ministry is demanding work—and I’m not just talking about your seminary workload. You need real-life pastoral experience under the direction of a mentor. I serve as director of field education at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Much of my work involves talking to students about their relationships with their pastoral mentors. Since 1987, I’ve mentored men preparing for ordination. While serving on Boston’s North Shore, I mentored many men in the Gordon-Conwell field education program. Before coming to RTS, I employed men pursuing ordination. Mentoring has been a key part…

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Booknote: “How to Care for Your Pastor” by Kent Philpott

By Charlie Wingard · May 7, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  How to Care for Your Pastor: A Guide for Small Churches, by Kent Philpott. Webster, NY: Evangelical Press, 2008, xiii + 128 pages, $13.99, paper. Disappointment is a routine part of pastoral life and is especially acute in small churches where personal and financial resources are few and prospects for growth slim. Many pastors wonder if anyone in the congregation really cares about them. Pay is often meagre; expressions of concern for the pastor and his family’s well-being come infrequently or not at all. In some churches little energy is spent caring for anyone in the church. The hurt can be deep. Pastors would like to articulate their hurts to the church, but do not—they do not want to…

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Booknote: The Pastor’s Soul, by Brian Croft & Jim Savastio

By Charlie Wingard · March 7, 2020 · 0 Comments
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The Pastor’s Soul: The Call and Care of an Undershepherd, by Brian Croft and Jim Savastio. Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2018, 160 pages, $11.99, paper. The good pastor lovingly looks after God’s sheep; it’s his duty, and he stands accountable to the Lord for those entrusted to his care. He finds satisfaction in his work as he becomes involved in the lives of his people. At times he rejoices with them—at other times, he weeps. He instructs the disciple, admonishes the erring, comforts the suffering, counsels the perplexed, and offers gospel hope to the despairing. Since God is for his elect people, the faithful pastor is for them, too. But even the most faithful pastor is in trouble…

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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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