Tips for RTS Students: A Checklist for Ministerial Burnout

By Charlie Wingard · October 23, 2018 · 1 Comment
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Burnout cripples ministers and their work. I hope the advice that follows will help you avoid it. Or, if you believe you’re burned out now, I want to offer you a path forward. Let’s begin with a definition. My definition of burnout is “physical or mental breakdown caused by overwork.” Some of us routinely overwork to the point that our physical and mental health are jeopardized. Overwork takes a frightening toll, but the way to meet the problem is rather simple: See a doctor. Work-induced exhaustion is a medical issue. The symptoms need to be treated and a medical cause (for example, sleep apnea) may be a contributing factor. Seek mature counsel and accountability. Identify someone who can help you establish and maintain…

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Finish Life Loving God

By Charlie Wingard · October 18, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Years spent in slavery, an indomitable determination to live free, industry, hard won manumission, sterling character, social activism, and fruitful gospel ministry are woven together in the remarkable life of Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Central to his story is his conversion to Christianity. In his autobiography, he discloses his abiding ambition: “I entered life without acknowledging Thee. Let me therefore finish it in loving Thee.” — in Richard S. Newman, Freedom’s Prophet, Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers (New York University Press, 2008), 41.

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Tips for RTS Students: Maintain Your Joy in Ministry

By Charlie Wingard · October 10, 2018 · 0 Comments
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I want each of you to maintain your joy in ministry. Let joy be a hallmark of your service to Christ’s church, and let your joy winsomely commend the faith to unbelievers. At times, maintaining your joy will be difficult. Heartache, setbacks, and discouragement will find a place in your story, as they do in every minister’s. There are days and seasons when the burden of ministering to broken lives overwhelms. Sometimes new Christians appear to be off to a good start and suddenly fall away – and your pain will be acute. Other stumble and fall, and the work of restoration is intense, and even in the best of circumstances, many tears are shed. Frequently you will face decisions…

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Brother Saul

By Charlie Wingard · October 7, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Good words to keep in mind as we gather for worship today: “Those whom God saves, He puts into His family. The first recorded words that the Apostle Paul heard from the lips of a fellow Christian were those of Ananias: ‘Brother Saul’ (Acts 9:17; 22:13). When one becomes a Christian, he is immediately brought into a spiritual family and has countless brothers and sisters in Christ. . . . . To be sure, God saves individuals, but He does not call His children to live individualistically. He calls them to live in a special community – the church – that He has formed and set apart for himself.” — Guy Prentiss Waters, The Life and Theology of Paul (Reformation…

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Booknote: “Watchfulness” by Brian G. Hedges

By Charlie Wingard · October 5, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Believers must be watchful, ever alert to spiritual danger. From Jesus’ “watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” to Peter’s “be sober, be watchful; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” the New Testament sounds an alarm calling God’s people to spiritual watchfulness (Matthew 26:41, 1 Peter 5:8). Given the ample scriptural admonitions to spiritual watchfulness, the number of Puritan sermons and treatises  devoted to the discipline of watching is unsurprising. What surprises is the contemporary lack of interest in an area of vital concern to every believer. Therefore, I’m grateful for Brian Hedges’ Watchfulness: Recovering a Lost Spiritual Discipline. He argues that “watchfulness is as necessary to a healthy…

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Prosperity, Success, and Comforts: Are They Blessings?

By Charlie Wingard · September 29, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Christians may wrongly conclude that prosperity, success, and comforts are always blessings. John Flavel rightly notes that whether prosperity, success, or comforts are blessings that benefit our souls is determined by the manner in which they come to us and their effect on our lives. He warns that prosperity, success, and comforts are not a blessing in these circumstances: If we did not pray for them. “It is a sign that comfort is not sanctified to us, which does not come ordinarily in the way of prayer.”  We may receive the desires of our heart, but are our desires holy? Have we submitted our desires to God in prayer? If we obtain them by sinful means. “Better is a little…

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Get the Rest You Need

By Charlie Wingard · September 25, 2018 · 0 Comments
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“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.” Exodus 20:8-9 “On the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:2-3 Are you weary? God has a remedy for your weariness, and a plan to ensure that you get the rest you need.  It’s simple and cost-effective. He has built a weekly day of rest…

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David Meredith to Speak at FPC Starkville

By Charlie Wingard · September 22, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Our Mississippi State college students and families visiting Starkville next week will want to take note of First Presbyterian Church of Starkville’s Christian Reformed Faith & Spiritual Renewal Conference. The Rev. David Meredith will be the conference speaker. Following 30 years as the church-planter and then pastor of what became the multi-staff and multi-worship-service Smithton-Culloden Free Church in Inverness, Mr. Meredith became in 2014 the Mission Director for the Free Church of Scotland and Chairman of Affinity, a network of Gospel-Minded Churches across the United Kingdom. Conference Schedule: Wednesday, September 26, 6pm “The Relevance of Mission” (Acts 1) Thursday, September 27, 6pm “The Responsibility of Mission” (Matthew 28) Sunday, September 30, 8:30 & 11am “The Reality of Mission” (Jonah 1)

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RTS Jackson: Helping Students with Pastoral Calls and Financial Planning

By Charlie Wingard · September 19, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson works to help students find a pastoral call and to leave seminary equipped for a good first year of ministry. Today Bebo Elkin and Wayne Herring of Consulting Services Foundation spoke to students about pursuing a pastoral call. CSF brings together seminary students and pastoral search committees, and offers invaluable assistance to RTS students. In the afternoon, Dave Anderegg of Retirement and Benefits, Inc., a denominational agency of the Presbyterian Church in America, helped students understand the basics of a “Pastoral Care Package” and income tax and Social Security obligations. Dave and his colleague, Mark Melendez, remained on campus to provide students and spouses individual financial planning.

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College Station, Bugscuffle, Alto, and Music to the Glory of God

By Charlie Wingard · September 18, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Ever since my first trip to Texas in 1980, I’ve loved the state and wished for more occasions to return and explore. Crossing the border into Mexico at Del Rio, an east Texas sheep farm, the Alamo, the Texas School Book Depository, and steaks in Fort Worth are several of the many sights and experiences that made my trips memorable. Last week’s two-day trip to Texas added to my treasury of cherished memories. Our time at Texas A&M in College Station was memorable. Lynne and I had the opportunity to speak with  Aggie Reformed University Fellowship students about the work of Reformed Theological Seminary. Large group was wonderful – God-honoring worship, theologically rich hymns, and excellent Bible teaching – so…

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