Thursday Hymn Reflection: Afflicted Saint, to Christ Draw Near

John Fawcett was converted as a 16-year-old in 1755 under the min­is­try of George White­field.  He became the pastor of Wainsgate Baptist Church in Yorkshire in 1764.  In 1772, he initially accepted the invitation to succeed the formidable John Gill at London’s Carter’s Lane Baptist Church and that at a substantially higher salary.  This was no small honor for Fawcett who once wrote prior to 1764, To be brief, my dear […]

What I’ve Learned from the Bench About Pastoring

An injured point guard sees the game differently from the bench. Without a harassing defenseman, crowd noise or game pressure he is able to see more of the floor.  He can see and learn from the bigger picture.  He can finally see what his coach sees and hopefully better understand his decisions.  What seems so clear from half-court isn’t so clear from the sidelines.  When he’s ready to play again […]

Preaching Dangerously

“And all [in the synagogue] were speaking well of [Jesus], and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from his lips” (Lk 4.22a-b). “And all in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him […]

Phriday is for Peterson

“In fifty years of being a pastor, my most difficult assignment continues to be the task of developing a sense among the people I serve of the soul-transforming implications of grace–a comprehensive, foundational reorientation from living anxiously by my wits and muscle to living effortlessly in the world of God’s active presence.  The prevailing North American culture (not much different from the Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, and Roman cultures […]

Not Jealous Enough

Apart from such external [unmentioned] things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches (2 Cor 11.28). There are few, if any, who will experience what Paul endured in Christian ministry.  In 1 Corinthians 11.12-27 he took inventory of his apostolic life: prisons, floggings, death beds, stonings, shipwrecks, homelessness, muggings, deprivation and danger from all sides.  Paul hinted in v28 he would leave much more […]

Pastoral Accountability

Over the last couple of months at our church we’ve been examining the biblical, historical and practical defense for having a plurality of elders (pastors) in a local church.  Trusting God to convince and convict us rightly, we hope to commit ourselves to biblical church polity over the next year. Among some of the practical benefits of a plurality of elders I submitted that it best provides accountability and support […]