'Ministry Tools' Tagged Posts (Page 2)

'Ministry Tools' Tagged Posts (Page 2)

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…

Why Churches Lose Members

A church might lose members because its leaders are burdened with a new direction the people are unwilling to travel. Or, it might lose members because of natural calamities or factory closings. Perhaps the demographics of the community have changed, such as in rural areas where land that once used to be teeming with large families is now controlled by farming conglomerates. But often a church will lose members for less noble reasons. Some people will tell you to just…

Above Reproach — But What About the Kids?

The wise Apostle Paul insists that overseers be above reproach. By overseers he means those who not only are called by that title, but also that of pastor or elder. These words are used for the same person. That person, that overseer, that pastor, that elder, MUST be above reproach. Between Paul’s words — “IF ANYONE IS ABOVE REPROACH” — and “AN OVERSEER, AS GOD’S STEWARD, MUST BE ABOVE REPROACH,” he brings the family into our perview. See what I…

What is a Missionary?

What is a missionary? He is not only an evangelist because there is a such person as an evangelist that God has gifted and given to the churches. But he must at least be sincerely, consistently and powerfully evangelistic, because it is out of new converts that he will begin churches. He isn’t only a teacher, because there is such a person as a teacher that God has given to the churches. But he is no less than a very…

Stop Talking So Much…And Other Tips for Leading a Small Group Bible Study

I meet with a small group of men once a week early in the morning primarily to study the Bible. We read and dialogue about a portion of Scripture. Typically, we walk through one Bible book at a time, examining a section each week. Though I am the leader, I almost never prepare for this meeting. I am a firm believer in preparation; it’s just that this meeting is different. I arrive ready to open our Bibles, to read the…

Questions for a Prospective Pastor

It is not uncommon for a pastor to be opposed by the very people who at first enthusiastically promoted him. Why? Often it is because only surface communication took place between the potential pastor and the congregation before he assumed his position in the church. In our day it is possible for a pastor to be chosen for a church with almost no serious questions being asked, much less any doctrinal questions. This should never be the case. We suggest…

Less Lecture, More Learning: Ideas for a Better Sunday School Hour

My wife and I recently spoke with a woman from a church in town. “I don’t have any idea how to study the Bible,” she complained. “It’s so difficult to understand.” What’s worse, she concluded by saying, “So I don’t really read the Bible much.” I’m fairly familiar with this church and know it to be one that cares about the Bible. I also know for a fact that, for the last three years, this woman has been sitting in…