Blog Posts on Pastoral Ministry

Why We Need Pastors with Big Hearts

John Knight
Why We Need Pastors with Big Hearts

There are things you cannot know without suffering. So writes John Piper in his foreword to How to Stay Christian in Seminary.

This is true, and yet those are the very things pastors must know, in some sense, as they seek to shepherd their people. Seminary is a place to be instructed and equipped, even though the vital experiences can’t all be simulated. Pastors must understand pain, even when they can’t understand every pain from the inside.

This is why us non-seminarians... Continue Reading

Are You Pastoring Your Pastor?

Marshall Segal
Are You Pastoring Your Pastor?

Some of the least pastored people in the world are pastors.

These men work long, unpredictable hours, addressing every physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual issue under the sun, sacrificing their schedule, comfort, and a thousand other things, all without being relieved of their own personal, individual needs.

Our most prominent, visible members of the body can easily get left out of the regular rhythm of one-anothering (Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians... Continue Reading

The Art of Motivation

Tony Reinke
The Art of Motivation

Motivating people to serve is not an easy task. Ask any Christian leader.

So what’s the key?

This was a question from Josh (a pastor), to John Piper, in today’s Ask Pastor John podcast.

Motivation is an art, and like any art it requires wisdom and skill. And like any art, it can be done poorly. An agitated verbal assault from the pulpit may be an awkward spectacle that goes viral on YouTube, but in reality we know berating Christians into service by a verbal lashing from the pulpit is... Continue Reading

Ten Passages for Pastors to Memorize Cold

David Mathis
Ten Passages for Pastors to Memorize Cold

Here’s one way to cool down during a sizzling hot July: ice-cold memorization.

Grab an iced tea, find some air-conditioned space, and put these ten passages to memory. You’ll never regret any extended time given to memorizing God’s word — especially when it’s the passages that come up again and again as particularly useful in the Christian life and in ministering to others.

These are ten that will prove especially useful for pastors and Christian leaders, but we... Continue Reading

The Introvert Pastor

Tony Reinke
The Introvert Pastor

Jared Wilson is an introvert and a pastor, which in some circles is an irreconcilable paradox. So how exactly does a pastor wisely lead people when his energy is so quickly depleted by being around people?

This is one of many topics Jared Wilson addresses in his forthcoming book for pastors: The Pastor's Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry (Crossway, July 31).

I put Wilson on the line to talk with him about introverts in the ministry, especially their... Continue Reading

Spurgeon’s First Five Years in Ministry

Tony Reinke
Spurgeon’s First Five Years in Ministry

The celebrated preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834–92) was converted at age 15. He preached his first sermon just after his 16th birthday. By age 18, he took his first pastorate in the country. And before turning 20, Spurgeon was pastoring in London.

Spurgeon’s entire life and ministry are fascinating, but those first five years of his Christian life, between 1850–54, are years that especially interest me, and in this episode of Authors on the Line we go on the line with... Continue Reading

30 Reasons Why It Is a Great Thing to Be a Pastor

John Piper
30 Reasons Why It Is a Great Thing to Be a Pastor
  1. God is the greatest Reality in the universe.
    And pastors swim in that sea with ever-replenished joy.

    I am the Lᴏʀᴅ, and there is no other, besides me there is no God. (Isaiah 45:5)

    Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through... Continue Reading

Letter to a Parent Grieving the Loss of a Child

John Piper
Letter to a Parent Grieving the Loss of a Child

Earlier this year, a grieving mother, who recently had given birth to a stillborn son, wrote to me asking for counsel and comfort. The team at Desiring God thought this letter might be helpful to some others, whether other mothers who have lost infants, parents who have lost young children, or perhaps even more broadly.

Dear _____,

This loss and sorrow is all so fresh. I hesitate to tread into the tender place and speak. But since you ask, I pray that God would... Continue Reading

The Legacy of John Piper in the Lives of Real People (Video Tribute)

Marshall Segal

Sunday night, Bethlehem thanked God publicly for 33 years of John Piper’s pastoral ministry. As part of the celebration, Bethlehem partnered with Desiring God and Bethlehem College & Seminary to produce a 19-minute video tribute to Pastor John.

Here the storyline is told through the testimonies of five people — a pastor, a mother, a missionary, a student, and an inner-city worker — all powerfully touched by God through John’s ministry,... Continue Reading

No Blessing Like Health — With the Exception of Sickness

John Piper
No Blessing Like Health — With the Exception of Sickness

One moving testimony to me as I ended my ministry at Bethlehem on March 31 was that of a young woman who has battled cancer. She thanked God for my cancer. She had listened to the messages leading up to my surgery in February 2006. They were life for her.

God knows what pastors must endure to be useful to their people. It is sobering to read in 2 Corinthians 1:6, “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation.” That is one reason the... Continue Reading