Category: The Gospel and the Ministry

A Plea for Holistic Christianity

What Is to Blame for Burnout? In a survey (see the infographic) conducted by Crossway last fall, 76% of men and 88% of women admitted that they had experienced burnout for a significant period of time. Of those who experienced burnout, 31% of men and 26% of women suffered for up to three months. It went on for up to six months for a further 23% of men and 24% of women, with the remaining 46% of men and 50% of women enduring this for over six months. When asked what contributed to their burnout, answers fell into two...

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Preaching Christ So The Spirit Will Fall

There is a famous story that relates to the ministry of Charles Spurgeon, but it is really a story about the ministry of the Holy Spirt. As a young man, Spurgeon was invited to speak at the Crystal Palace in London. It was a massive venue that held over twenty thousand people. It would be the largest crowd Spurgeon would preach to in his lifetime. A few days before the event, Spurgeon went with a few others to determine the best place to put the pulpit. Because of the size of the venue, they needed to test the acoustics...

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The Roller Coaster Effect of Ministry

I recently listened to one of the fathers of our denomination speak about the “ups and downs” that he was experiencing in ministry. This man had planted a church in the PCA (which he subsequently pastored for many decades), oversaw quite a number of church plants out of that congregation and is currently planting a new church. What he said triggered painful memories of what I had experienced in seeking to deal with–what I like to call–“the roller coaster effect” of ministry. At times it felt as though I was on the most turbulent roller coaster during the first five years of planting New...

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Picking Up Sticks in the Service of Jesus

One of the perennial problems of the fallen human condition is that men and women love to serve when there is respect, reputation and remuneration involved, and not serve when it involves what they perceive to be a menial task done out of the sight of the prying and praising eyes of others. This is no less true of members and leaders in the church as it is among the people of the world. It was for this reason that Jesus told the parable of the dinner guests: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do...

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Five Necessary Steps in a Call of God

Introduction to the Reading In risky times, God is getting our attention. Sometimes we think of surprises in our lives as the interruptions of life. But there can be no journey of Biblical faith without a divine interruption in our lives. And there can be no beginning without a divine interruption of our lives. We call that interruption “The call.” Will you turn with me to Exodus 3:1-10 chapter three and the calling of Moses? Introduction to the Sermon I could not look him in the eye when he asked me. “Are you called?” Dr. Eckley was a retired...

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