Posts by Steve Burchett

Posts by Steve Burchett

Toward Obeying The “One Another” Commands

Once you get past the four Gospels and Acts, the “one another” commands start appearing regularly in the New Testament. Here are just a few: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10) “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) “But exhort one another every day,…

Getting the Truth to the Lost: Inspiration from a 12 Year-old in the 1800s

A 12 year-old named Helen was not famous when she was converted in the 1800s in Birgmingham, England, but her family remains well-known today, especially during Easter, because her last name was Cadbury. Her father was the president of Cadbury chocolates — known today for Cadbury Easter Eggs. Helen was also instrumental in starting a ministry that continues to exist today called The Pocket Testament League. Let’s consider her pleasant story, and then think about how it should inspire us.…

How Teens Can Contribute Right Away

One of the joys of pastoring has been seeing teens come to faith in Christ and desiring to serve in the church. But they often need guidance to know how they might contribute. Here are a few valuable ways teens can participate at church meetings right away: 1. Teens can greet people. It’s understandable to want to group up with friends upon arrival — we all have this tendency — but it’s so important to mix in with all the…

William Thomas of Wales: The Kind of Older Man I Hope to Be

One pastor said of William Thomas of Pyle, Wales, “He was better known as William Thomas the pray-er than as William Thomas the preacher” (all information and quotes about Thomas are from The Calvinistic Methodist Fathers of Wales, Vol. 2, Banner of Truth, 2008, 160-5). In his old age, he became deaf, but he could still pray. Though the image perhaps seems strange to us, in his later years he would “stand at the pulpit steps” and the congregation would…

The Public Reading of Scripture: Is There Only One Verse About This?

The famous verse that speaks to reading Scripture in church gatherings is 1 Timothy 4:13: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” However, throughout the Bible, God expected his people to hear his word read publicly, and we have a few instances of that happening. Below are most of the references to relevant passages and verses on this topic, with some brief comments. A Concise Biblical Survey Exodus 24:3-7 – The first…

Memorized Scripture: An Aid to Ministry, Sometimes in Surprising Ways

Awhile back, I finished memorizing Philippians. Since that time, I have tried to keep those four chapters memorized — a harder task than I imagined! Also in the days after memorizing this little book, I have had three unexpected experiences that have shown me that memorizing Scripture is even more beneficial for church leaders than I might have originally thought. The first unexpected experience happened during an elders’ meeting. We were discussing an issue in the church when one of…

Seven Ways to Get Smart About Kids’ Toys This Christmas

If you have plastic up to your gills, or if you want to be more frugal about gifts, or even if you enjoy using what God has given you in a redeeming way, you may appreciate these ideas this Christmas: Gather up as many bags of used toys as possible to put into circulation. Relatives or a church friend might need some of your toys for their younger children. Local organizations like foster care associations, rescue missions, or pregnancy resource…

Profitable Questions to Ask Missionaries and Their Helpers

We were very excited! All those we had developed and sent out for missions (plus one family about to leave) were going to be home at the same time. We knew it might never happen again. One family was back from Peru. Another young lady was just in from the Middle East. And one family, having served previously in South Africa, was headed there soon under our care. We just knew that we needed to get them (the adults) in…

Thinking Biblically and Strategically About Inter-Church Relationships

I am focused in this article on “inter-church” relationships, not “intra-church” relationships. There is a significant difference. An online dictionary (www.dictionary.com) gives this information: “Inter– is a common prefix that means between or among groups,” whereas, “intra– is a prefix which means within or inside one group.” So the content to follow is not about relationships within a single church (intra-), but relationships between multiple churches (inter-).  My church is part of a fellowship of churches that meets annually for…

Ten Reasons Why Nursing Homes Are Great Places to Minister

While recently reflecting upon Jesus’ compassion toward those who were “distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), I determined to find similarly downcast people in my neighborhood so that I might serve them and tell them about Christ. I now find myself regularly in a nursing home, and the ministry opportunities abound. Perhaps you might consider ministering in a nursing home. Maybe there are others in your church who would enjoy such an outreach. I’ve compiled ten…

Ten Tips for Leading Camp (or Conference, or Retreat) “Reflection” Times

You have some young people assigned to you at camp. An informal gathering for reflection is on the schedule and you are in charge. You’re a little nervous about doing this right. What can you consider doing to give room for the Spirit of God to work in their lives?  Below are suggestions that come out of my experience over years of small group leadership. In fact, they were used recently at a camp each evening during a 45 minute…

The Role of Timothy and Titus: Apostolic Representatives, Not Pastors

I sometimes hear respected Bible teachers refer to Timothy as the pastor of the church in Ephesus. One of my favorite expositors also refers to Titus as the pastor on the island of Crete. But were Timothy and Titus really pastors? Pastor Titus? Titus is never mentioned in Acts, but his name is found often in Paul’s letters. After Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment (at the end of Acts, around A.D. 62), he ministered with Titus on…