“Like an Old-Time Circuit Rider”

By Charlie Wingard · November 27, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  My approach to pastoral ministry is little more than doing what I saw my dad do. I cherish this 1951 article.*  The second half describes the work of my dad, George Wingard, in his first pastorate. He was, it reads, “very much like an old-time circuit rider, except that he does his riding in a Chevrolet Carryall.” My father served a home mission field in the rural mountains and valleys of Searcy County, Arkansas, a field that included Presbyterian Chapel, Welcome Church, Garrett Memorial Presbyterian Church, and Lyon Chapel. I remember my parents reminiscing about places like Marshall and Snowball. The article depicts my dad as I remember him: hardworking, cooperative with other Christian denominations, and willing to adapt.…

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Booknote: “The Preacher’s Catechism” by Lewis Allen

By Charlie Wingard · November 13, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  The Preacher’s Catechism, by Lewis Allen. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018, 226 pages, $10.92. Years ago someone pointed out to me that a principal value of a catechism is to teach students to ask the right questions. Since the seventeenth century the Westminster Shorter Catechism has taught believers to ask (and answer) the right questions about the Bible, the Trinity, the person and work of Christ, man’s duty to God, the way of salvation, and the means of grace. Employing the Westminster Shorter Catechism as his model, Lewis Allen’s The Preacher’s Catechism helps preachers ask the right questions about their lives and ministries. He is convinced that it “is an outstanding resource for the heart needs of every preacher” (21), a conviction…

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Booknote: “Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ in the Westminster Standards” by Alan Strange

By Charlie Wingard · October 5, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ in the Westminster Standards, by Alan D. Strange. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage, 2019, xviii + 158 pages, $7.79, paper. The doctrine of the imputation of the active obedience of Christ in the justification of believers is vital to Reformed pastoral care. It is the desire of my heart that every sheep in my flock come to the assurance “that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (WCF 18.1). Active obedience, correctly understood, is a joy and comfort to the believer, assuring him of his right standing before God. God is righteous and requires that all who come before him be righteous.…

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Booknote: “The Care of Souls” by Harold L. Senkbeil

By Charlie Wingard · September 29, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  Harold L. Senkbeil, The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019, xxvi+ 296, $15.85, hardcover. The COVID pandemic has interrupted our face-to-face relationships. Recently a friend mentioned that his choir scheduled a Zoom meeting so everyone could see and hear each other. The goal was to maintain contact and encourage; but he said it had the opposite effect on him. The online gathering left him even more pained, reinforcing what has been lost and intensifying the pain of separation. True pastoral ministry must be face-to-face. There is no substitute for it. Too often books on pastoral ministry focus on technique, offering skills that pastors must have to manage people, in this case the church. They…

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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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Tips for RTS Students: Managing Your Course Syllabi

By Charlie Wingard · August 20, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  Course syllabi in a moment. But first a word about calendars. Calendars do more than remind you about upcoming events. They are an essential part of planning and the effective use of time. At RTS, I want you to learn how to make your calendar an ally in completing your studies. A good place to begin is your course syllabi. When you access a syllabus for the first time, review it carefully. Then go to your calendar. Add each class session to your calendar. For example, last spring my Classics of Personal Devotion class of met on these dates: 2/3, 3/2, 3/23, and 4/20. Add all work due on the date it’s due. That includes all quizzes, tests, and…

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Tips for RTS Students: Five Important Strategies for New Seminarians

By Charlie Wingard · August 19, 2020 · 2 Comments
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  Welcome to RTS Jackson! A seminary education is challenging. It’s important that you get off to a good start. Here are five strategies for approaching life and work: 1. Find a church home quickly. Sanctification of the Lord’s day, sitting under God’s word preached, receiving the Lord’s supper, and caring for and being cared for by God’s people is indispensable to your spiritual well-being and (if married) your family’s. Don’t prolong your search. Your adjustment may be tough. Don’t be discouraged. It’s part of your preparation for ministry. All pastors work with people who struggle to fit into new church homes. A few years from now, you will too. Therefore, right now, you and your family’s struggles to fit…

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August 18, 1985: My Ordination Day

By Charlie Wingard · August 18, 2020 · 2 Comments
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  Pastors have only one first church, and the Lord couldn’t have sent me to a better one. Thirty-five years ago today I was ordained and installed as pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Morganton, North Carolina. At my installation service, her members promised to encourage me in my pastoral labors. That they did, and much, much more.

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First Presbyterian Church – 179 Years of Worship and Witness

By Charlie Wingard · August 15, 2020 · 2 Comments
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Today marks the 179th anniversary of the founding of  First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. The church has its beginnings in the protracted meetings that once played a vital role in the religious and social life of Southern protestants. Believers from various denominations, some traveling many miles on shabby, bone-jarring roads, gathered to pitch camp and enjoy several days of fellowship, fine cooking, and the preaching of God’s word. In late summer 1841, the kind Methodists of Benton, Mississippi hosted one such meeting. Gathering with them was a handful of Presbyterians from Yazoo City, who organized Yazoo Church on August 15, 1841. The church’s name was changed in 1843 to First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. The Rev. Richmond McInnis…

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