Shepherding

God works through faithful preaching... even when you don't see it...
Worship practices get changed so that the worshipers feel what they believe they ought to feel. We endorse the preachers and worship that give us the feelings we want. We determine our actions based on whether those actions give us the feelings we want and achieve goals we want achieved. Even those...
I have found that one of the most pernicious dangers to the Christian life is a cold-hearted complacency. These are Christian believers who were once enlivened by the vivifying effects of the Gospel but have now, over time, been cooled into a stone-cold stoicism; living statues no different than...
The parable of the unmerciful servant recorded in Matthew 18:23-34 clarifies that the one who professes to be a Christian must forgive his fellow Christian (his or her “brother”) on the basis of God’s forgiveness of the Christian’s sin. This is not complicated, although it is a miracle that it can...
I could tell the young man standing in front of me was deeply concerned. It didn’t take long to find out why. A friend of his from another church was having a difficult time with the church’s leadership. He felt his friend had experienced an injustice. He wanted to help but didn’t know how and he...
It is never easy to watch someone walk away from their profession of faith in Christ. It is never easy to go through the disciplinary process which may culminate in excommunication. It’s never easy and it is always painful. And when one and likely both of these things happen you can’t help but...
Jesus is simultaneously the master theologian and the perfect pastor. He sets the deepest of truths before his people, but in a way that pastorally meets their deepest needs. This should give pause for thought for thought on different fronts.
One of the basic practices in the Christian life is prayer. It is a spiritual discipline that is instilled in us from our earliest days. It is uttered in private, in family devotions, and in various public settings for numerous occasions, both within the church and outside of it. Moreover, it is...
During the Reformation, as young preachers were being trained and sent out, people complained about the quality of the preaching. Some things never change, do they? Martin Luther had little patience for such complaints, responding that the people of God 1) needed to appreciate the gift that God had...
One of my favorite passages to preach for an ordination or installation service is 2 Timothy 4:5. The context is significant, since in it Paul acknowledges the challenges of pastoral ministry and the apparent success that many false teachers will achieve. In essence, the verse is set against the...