A professor once asked my class, “What is the measurement of a successful ministry?” When I heard this question I knew in my heart how someone would answer. Sure enough, the first hand that went up responded—“A successful ministry is a growing ministry.” I silently sighed in my heart and gently shook my head in disagreement. I quickly responded to my fellow student that, “Numbers do not mean success, or even Spiritual maturity.” I quickly pointed to the “smiling preacher” down in Houston (Osteen for those who cannot figure it out!) and I asked my classmate if they thought that He had a successful ministry there in Texas. My fellow classmate quickly responded that, “God wants His church to grow, and if we do what He wants us to do, He will grow it.” The professor quickly moved on to another subject to avoid an argument. Little did I know that this conversation would eventually haunt me in my future ministry and lead me to a dark place. Continue reading
I believe the vast majority of Calvinists seek to be clear about their belief in Calvinism when interviewed by a pastoral search committee. I personally know some Calvinists who seek to make this very clear in the interview process. However, and quite unfortunately, that is not always the case. Continue reading
In 2 Timothy 4, Paul commands Timothy, as well as all preachers to “preach the Word.” Please take note that he did not say “Preach current events” or “Preach your favorite subject” or “Preach your own private interpretation.” The text is crystal clear: “Preach the Word.” I hear, and hear of more and more often, of a famine in our churches. It is the famine that Amos spoke of: a famine of the Word of the Lord. There is a “read it and leave it” mentality. Allow me to explain what I mean. The preacher may read a passage and then spend the rest of the time never dealing with the text itself, this is called exploiting the text. For some unknown reason this is still labeled as “preaching.” The preacher MUST read the text and then deal with the text directly, word by word, verse by verse. Exposition gains the most fruit by preaching through a book of the Bible. This helps to guarantee that no exploiting takes place.