Discover God’s vision for your community (Ed Stetzer): Three questions must be honestly answered in order to discover God’s unique assignment for my ministry: Who am I? Where am I? Whose am I? Read more at Christianity Today.
End of the year checkup questions for Christians (David Qaoud): In no particular order, here are some questions to help gauge your spiritual health at Gospel Relevance.
Our world is a mess. Our future is bright (Owen Strachan): In Adam, things do not get better. But in Christ, the future is impossibly bright. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
7 steps to endure a lifetime of ministry (Collin Hansen): You might describe the pastor’s job description this way: Follow Jesus and prepare his people for eternity. Prepare them to suffer as he did and for his sake, so that they might enjoy great reward in heaven. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
10 ways to reignite your love for the church and to keep the fires burning (Chuck Lawless): Having been in ministry for over 30 years, I understand.* The church is sometimes not easy to love. People claim to be Christian but act like the devil. We say the words, “I love the church” while knowing our heart isn’t there. When you’ve had enough bad days in ministry, love for the church seems to disappear completely. Still, though, we’re called to love one another (John 15:12). Here are some ways to begin reigniting that love. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
9 markers that ministry might be your idol (Chuck Lawless): I started full-time ministry at 20 years old, and I quickly grew enamored with the excitement and the perceived prestige of ministry. I would never have admitted it then, but I made ministry my idol – and I confess that I still run that risk this many years later. Here are some signs that suggest ministry may have become an idol for you. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
8 benefits of investing a lifetime of ministry into one congregation (Karl Vaters): Longevity builds trust, which gives people a better perspective on what does and doesn’t really matter. Read more at Christianity Today.
The changing face of words (D.A. Carson): A thought-provoking article giving four examples where words have changed in their meaning (guilt, shame, conscience, and tolerance). Read more at Themelios.
Overcoming fear in evangelism (Barry York): In evangelism, God has given us the message we need to share with unbelievers. The whole Bible tells the story of creation, mankind’s fall into sin, and the provision of a Savior through Jesus Christ. But the Scriptures do not only give the words necessary for unbelievers to know the content of the gospel. The Bible also gives the words necessary to encourage Christians to evangelize, especially when it comes to overcoming fears. Here then are three common fears and how the Bible encourages us to overcome them. Read more at Gentle Reformation.
Shepherding / Counseling
Overcoming depression-anxiety: A suffering paradigm (Brad Hambrick): A great series of short videos to recommend to folks who are suffering in these areas. Watch the series at BradHambrick.com.
Friends are for the darkness: How to care for the depressed (Stephen Altrogge): How can you effectively care for fellow believers who are suffering from depression? Here are three lessons I have found especially helpful. Read more at DesiringGod.org.
Preacher, feeling good is overrated (David Prince): The pulpit is a battle station in the cosmic conflict. The preacher should not trivialize the task of proclamation by acting as though the preaching ministry is happy-clappy and pain-free. Preaching well takes gut-wrenching faith. The voice of Christ is present in the feeble but faithful words of the biblical preacher of Christ crucified. The Spirit of Christ owns biblically faithful sermons, preached by expositors who are full of faith in Christ, and love for those who listen. Read more at For the Church.
Two common mistake preachers make: Searching for reality in sermons (John Piper): Two mistakes addressed by John Piper: Moralistic preaching and reductionist doctrinal preaching. Read more at Desiring God.