'Ministry Tools' Tagged Posts

'Ministry Tools' Tagged Posts

The Integrity of the Local Church

The following is a portion of a conference message presented to the Midwest Southern Baptist Founders Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 14, 2001 [revised 2022]. I have chosen chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians to help us consider the integrity of the New Testament Church. This is a short chapter with only 13 verses out of which I wish to uncover five observations. Before I read this passage let me tell you a story that took place in 1837. A protracted…

An Intimate Hour with God

The Lord invites us to know Him better. What a privilege! If the joy of heaven is in knowing the Lord’s presence without any sin to hinder us, surely seeking His presence now must be the greatest possible pursuit. Do you feel your need to pray? A person who has no need to pray cannot be living by faith. Prayerless-ness says, “I am sufficient in myself for everything required of me.” But is that so? And do you not grieve…

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…

Is Baptism a Requirement for Church Membership?

In our view, baptism and membership in a local church are inseparable, the former necessarily preceding the latter. While baptism is never explicitly said to be a prerequisite for church membership, the following biblical factors lead to that conclusion: Baptism is commanded of every believer.Baptism is an act of obedience, not only on the part of the individual Christian, but on the part of those who are commanded to baptize new disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Disciples who will not submit to…

Christ’s Headship in the Church: The Neglected First Principle of Decision-making

I may seem naïve and overly simplistic when I say that Christ is the Head of the church and that this one fact, properly understood, will do more to clear up confusion over decision-making in the church than any other consideration. From this truth we are able to deduce that elders and members have one goal in decision-making—to find out what the Head of the church wills for His church. I don’t think most church leaders think this way. Starting…

The Rural Church Dilemma

Some time ago I drove to several small towns in rural Arkansas with my 89 year old father and my siblings, tracking the steps of the ministry of both my dad and his father. The experience was memorable. We visited small towns that even Arkansans might not recognize today: Cotter, Caledonia, Hagersville, Greenwood, LaVaca—twelve in all. These were the places where my father, and his father, labored for Christ eighty and ninety years ago. Much has changed in the landscape…

Returning To Your First Love

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Revelation‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Are you and those who are with you dangerously close to experiencing this judgment? Is the Light of God’s presence dim, almost imperceptible? Do you have form without power…

Music in the Church: How Special Should We Make It?

You could put the entire teaching about church music in the New Testament in a paragraph or two. Add to this teaching those spirited illustrations of corporate singing in heaven displayed in the last book of the Bible, when angels and throngs of people fill the air with thundering six to eight line choruses. When it comes to intentional instruction about music, however, there are really only four passages in the New Testament: Speaking to one another in psalms and…

Spiritual Inventory for Pastoral Visits

Name_______________________________ Date_____________ Spiritual Inventory for Pastoral Visits For systematic pastoral visitation of church members____________________“Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all men.” 1 Thess. 5:14 “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly, nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the…

Reading Scripture Before Your Message

It may not seem that important to read well Scripture that you plan to expound, but you are mistaken on this account: You have failed to see that Scripture is the most important thing about your message! As I’ve grown older in the ministry, I’ve come to see that Scripture read well is a potent way to impact your audience for good. “Give much attention to the public reading of Scripture,” Paul said. Try these ideas for better listening: 1.      …

An Appeal to Churches to Use Bibles

I’ll never forget my shock the first time I attended a Bible-less church. My kind of church was a Bible-teaching one and Bibles were standard operating equipment. The last word I heard as I got in the car to drive to church was, “Jimmy, do you have your Bible?” A child might forget his belt or socks, but never his Bible. Just as dutifully, the church children found their mothers after the church meeting to load her up with their…

Elders’ Meetings that Do Something

Elders’ meetings should not be an exercise in futility. Rather, to be effective for the church and interesting for the elders, some thought must be put into your time together. Some suggestions: 1. Plan for meeting together more often and for a longer period of time.      We find meeting for at least three hours weekly is about right. For us now, we meet from 5:30-8:30 a.m.Even then we find that we want more time. In fact, for quite…