Blog Posts on Pastoral Ministry

Brothers, the Ministry Is Supernatural

John Piper

It’s been ten years since the publication of the book Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. Nothing has happened in the last ten years to make me think this book is less needed. In fact, instead of going away, the pressure to “professionalize” the pastorate has morphed and strengthened.

Among younger pastors, the talk is less about therapeutic and managerial professionalization, and more about communication or contextualization. The language of…

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Brothers, Build a Gospel Culture

Ray Ortlund

Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. The doctrines of grace create a culture of grace, a social environment of acceptance and hope and freedom and joy. Jesus himself touches us through his truths to create a new kind of community. Without the doctrines, the culture alone is fragile. Without the culture, the doctrines alone appear pointless.

Isn’t the doctrine-creating-culture dynamic what we find in the New Testament? For example, the…

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Brothers, We Are Not Sisters

Douglas Wilson

To say that one thing is not another thing is not to register a complaint against either.

To say that the sun is not the moon is not to criticize the moon, and to say that the land is not the sea is not to file a complaint against the sea. God establishes differences in the world with the intention of them complementing one another, and not so that his…

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Brothers, Train Up the Next Generation

Mike Bullmore

I find there is a persistent temptation in my life and ministry. It is the temptation to just finish my own race faithfully.

“What’s wrong with that?” you ask. It actually sounds fairly biblical, almost Pauline. “I just want to finish the race. I don’t want to be disqualified. I want to be found faithful to the end.” Which is well and good, except if the understanding of faithfulness to…

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Brothers, We Are Not Superstars

Daniel L. Akin

Jesus summarizes the purpose of his incarnation in Mark 10:45 when he says, “Even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  This profound and crucial statement, which weds the “Son of Man” title of Daniel 7:13–14 to the “suffering Servant” of Isaiah 52–53, and redefines what kind of Messiah-Savior our Lord would be, comes on…

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Brothers, We Are Not Professors

R. C. Sproul Jr.

It has been said by one great Reformed theologian that we are living in the most anti-intellectual age in the church’s history. We are the TV generation, making way for the Internet generation. Images tickle our eyes, and sound-bites massage our brains. We are, compared to our Puritan fathers, ignorant shepherds leading sensate sheep in a dry and dusty land. Surely what we need then is more thought, more scholarship,…

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Pastors, Politics, and the American Republic

Jonathan Parnell

For those reading from the States, today is Independence Day, the peak of America's summer. So in the midst of cookouts and fireworks, let's do a quick dial back to the founders.

America and its founders. Now that's a conversation folks can get passionate about, whether in political rhetoric or some Christian circles. However, beyond any dispute on the role Christianity played in those early days, we can say…

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Why Rooting Joy in Ministry Success Is Disastrous

Tony Reinke

Is there a greater thrill than to know someone's life has been permanently transformed because you reached out to them?

It is sweet to know your sister was saved through your series of conversations, or that you helped to disciple a struggling couple whose marriage was headed toward an inevitable divorce, or that you preached a sermon that God was kind enough to use in someone's spiritual awakening.

Each of…

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The Subtle Art of Sabotaging a Pastor

Jared Wilson

Dearest Grubnat, my poppet, my pigsnie,

The reports of your progress warm my blackened heart. When you were assigned to one of the Enemy’s ministers ten years ago, his infernal Majesty and I knew you’d have a rough go of it. The zeal of one new to the pastorate can be a daunting challenge to even the most cunning of our comrades, but we also believed that time breeds all…

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