Category: The Gospel and the Ministry

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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5 Biblical Portraits of Biblical Counselors, Part 2

In my last two posts, I’ve pondered the relationship between truth and love in biblical counseling. You can read the first post at Truth and Love: Sharing Scripture and Soul. You can read the second post at 5 Biblical Portraits of the Biblical Counselor.   Couplets In my second post, I shared the first two of five portraits that Paul paints of his ministry: he relates as a brother and as a mother. Before I share three additional paintings by Paul, let’s reflect a bit on the language we use about truth and love. I don’t think it is helpful...

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Five Biblical Portraits of the Biblical Counselor

In my previous post, Truth and Love: Sharing Scripture and Soul, I addressed the question, “Does the Bible teach that in biblical counseling relationships are tertiary?” I was responding, in part, to a blog post I had read by a fellow biblical counselor, Donn Arms, that stated that relationships are secondary or perhaps tertiary in biblical counseling. I based my response upon numerous biblical passages including Romans 15:14; Ephesians 4:15; Philippians 1:9-11; and 1 Thessalonians 2:8. 2 Analogies of the Biblical Counselor  Donn shared two analogies of biblical counseling. I understand that all analogies break down at some point....

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