Resources on Pastoral Ministry

Tips for RTS Students: Keep Your Heart Open

By Charlie Wingard · December 6, 2018 · 0 Comments
Posted in , , ,

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…

Read More

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

By Charlie Wingard · August 31, 2018 · 0 Comments
Posted in , ,

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.

Read More

Sunday: The Pastor’s Best Day!

By Charlie Wingard · July 14, 2018 · 0 Comments
Posted in , , , ,

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…

Read More

Tips for RTS Students: Writing Notes and Letters

By Charlie Wingard · July 12, 2018 · 0 Comments
Posted in , , , ,

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…

Read More

Booknote: “Meditations on Preaching” by Francis James Grimké

By Charlie Wingard · July 9, 2018 · 0 Comments
Posted in , , , , , ,

First year students at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson are introduced to the remarkable life, ministry, and writings of Francis James Grimké  through Thabiti Anywabile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors. Born in 1850 to a white South Carolina plantation owner and slave mother, Grimké lost his father at an early age and, along with him, the protective care that sheltered him from some of the inherent brutality of the slave system. After escaping the cruelty of a white half-brother, he was recaptured and sold to a Confederate officer. After emancipation, Grimké proved himself a gifted and industrious student, graduating from Lincoln University and, later, Princeton Theological Seminary. At Princeton, he was among the last of Charles…

Read More

Francis Grimké on the Minister’s Character

By Charlie Wingard · May 9, 2018 · 0 Comments
Posted in , , , ,

  I am thrilled about the forthcoming publication of Francis J.Grimké’s “Meditations on Preaching” by Log College Press. In the third volume of his collected works, Grimké (1852-1937) spoke frankly about the minister’s moral character: A minister who is but poorly equipped intellectually, educationally, but who is of good moral character, and of real piety, is greatly to be preferred to the man, however well equipped intellectually and educationally, but who is of questionable character, whose ways are crooked. The one may have to be tolerated, the other should never be: the ministry of the one may result in good, of the other only harm can come. Such a minister discredits the gospel, and becomes an obstacle in the way of…

Read More