Eternal Lessons After Seven Days in Indonesia

In November 2016 I tagged along with a Catalyst Missions team to Kupang, Indonesia (across the Timor Sea from Australia). Indonesia is as beautiful as it is Muslim.  In fact, at 200 million adherents it’s the largest Muslim populated country on earth. It was my first ever international trip, much less international missions trip.  I was like a newborn discovering for the first time details that soon become familiar.  It wasn’t just an […]

Why Your Church Should Have Elders (Part 4)

Jesus loves the church and has richly provided for her eternal health and glory (Eph 4.7-16). He sustains the church through a well-ordered, humble, Spirit-wrought polity. The New Testament teaches and demonstrates that local church leadership should be entrusted to a plurality of qualified men who, though gifted differently, are equal in authority and responsibility. Both biblically and practically, your local church benefits greatly by having a group of men […]

Why Your Church Should Have Elders (Part 3)

Parts 1 and 2 introduced and briefly defended from Scripture that local church leadership is best entrusted to a plurality of qualified men who, though gifted differently, are equal in authority and responsibility.  Both the biblical vocabulary and pattern indicate the local church is best led by elders (a.k.a. overseers, bishops, pastors-shepherds) rather than solo pastors or other pastoral hierarchies.  A church without elders is no less a church, but she should […]

Why Your Church Should Have Elders (Part 1)

For many a churchgoer church polity (how a church is governed) is not of great concern.  As long as there are plenty of programs, pennies and people then why fuss over a secondary issue.  But is polity as secondary as we assume? Church polity does not rise to the level of salvific importance.  Whether or not a local church has a plurality of elders does not determine if it’s a […]

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 […]

Avoiding Poimacide (Part 3)

How can we reduce the “poimacide” rate (read Part 1) in modern church life?  In Avoiding Poimacide (Part 2) I suggested two areas churches must seriously and urgently consider to do so.  In this installment I offer three more. 3. Markeplace mentality.  The church-at-large must confess and repent from a systemic addiction to a marketplace mentality.  Instead of a community of other-Kingdom exiles, the church has become a business or brand […]

Avoiding Poimacide (Part 2)

Previously on Blind Man’s Fancy: Poimacide (Part 1). Surveys show that 90% of pastors will not retire as pastors (see Poimacide (Part 1)).  Pastors do get burned out and found out, but most often get run out.  Most Western, affluent churches do not have a sterling track record of treating their pastors well for a long time. We must reverse this trend.  The church cannot afford to lose any more […]

Poimacide (Part 1)

Our pastor reminded us last night about a harrowing statistic.  Only one in ten pastors will retire as pastors.  Read that again.  Nine out of ten pastors (90%) will leave vocational ministry and retire from some other career.  This statistic is part of broad research on the pastoral ministry, which references even more comprehensive research. Obviously, not all of that 90% leave for the same reasons and no pastor is […]

Is Sunday Night Church Optional?

Sunday evening assemblies have grown rare.  If you can find one, there will be a fraction of the Sunday morning attendance.  Church members declare Sunday night optional for them.  Baptizing their decision in the name of “family time” is more likely football time, movie time, pool time, or get-ready-for-work time.  Since Scripture nowhere prescribes a Sunday night service there is no biblical injunction to participate.  It’s legalistic to expect folks […]