Tag Archives: ministry

What Do You Mean, Relevant?

What Do You Mean, Relevant?

Kevin T. Bauder Many contemporary American Christians obsess over relevance. They seem to feel personally obligated to make Christianity relevant. This wish to make Christianity relevant, however, raises two questions. First, why should Christianity be made relevant? Second, what would a relevant Christianity look like? The answer to these questions will depend partly upon the… Continue Reading

A Philosophy of Police Chaplaincy

A Philosophy of Police Chaplaincy

Roy Beacham Having described in the previous essay how God directed me into police chaplaincy, I would like to follow with a personal philosophy of the chaplaincy. As God providentially opened the door for me to enter this ministry, so also my daily tasks as a chaplain are determined by God’s providence and opened doors.… Continue Reading

Police Chaplaincy: A Testimony of Ministry Opportunity

Police Chaplaincy: A Testimony of Ministry Opportunity

Roy Beacham One of the doors of ministry that opened for me, in God’s providence, was that of police chaplaincy. Somewhere around the year 2000 I began to ponder the idea of pursuing a place in spiritual service to the law enforcement community. I did not know any police chaplains, nor had I ever met… Continue Reading

Why I Spend Time with “Old Men” in Ministry

Why I Spend Time with “Old Men” in Ministry

Jeff Straub Throughout my 35+ years of ministry, I have been privileged to meet a few grand old men—Calebs, if you will—whose strength remained undiminished until the day of their passing. I am not talking about physical strength, for many of these men would have been past their prime physically. Spiritually, however, they were as… Continue Reading

Encouragement to Ministers

Encouragement to Ministers

Gospel ministry is filled with both great difficulty and great encouragements. When ministers are discouraged, one of the ways that the Lord strengthens them is through the encouragement of other ministers. Along these lines, here are two voices from the past to encourage any ministers out there in the work they are doing: Charles Bridges… Continue Reading

Ending the Year, Beginning the Year

Ending the Year, Beginning the Year

As of last Monday, I’ve spent nineteen years as a professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. That’s more years than I spent in pastoral ministry (about fifteen or sixteen), and certainly more than I spent printing checks, selling appliances, teaching college students, guarding a major communications facility, stocking and pulling auto parts, laying hot asphalt… Continue Reading

What Seminary Gave Me

What Seminary Gave Me

In June of 1979 my wife and I left Cambridge, Iowa for seminary in Denver, Colorado. We were towing a fully-loaded twelve-foot U-Haul trailer with a 1976 Chevy Nova. When we pulled out of Cambridge, the temperature had risen to upwards of ninety degrees. We had to drive gingerly so the little six-banger didn’t overheat.… Continue Reading

A Plea for a Three-Year Master of Divinity, Part Two

A Plea for a Three-Year Master of Divinity, Part Two

Jeff Straub Last week, I began a discussion on the trend to combine college and seminary education into a shortened five- or six-year program. By the end of the 19th century, the M.Div. was a graduate degree built off a non-ministerial undergraduate degree so that it required three years of intensive theological education. During the… Continue Reading

There are no conservative hermits

There are no conservative hermits

The following is excerpted and adapted from an address that I had the privilege of offering at a recent gathering of conservative friends, on the nature of pastoral love. As many of you have found (and despite accusations to the contrary), conservatism is a much broader set of commitments than a particular music preference. Among… Continue Reading

“Give Attention to the Reading”

“Give Attention to the Reading”

This essay was originally published on July 17, 2009. The apostle Paul instructed the young preacher Timothy to give himself to reading. In the ancient world, reading was normally done aloud, and it was often a public activity. Books were scarce, and if you were going to read aloud anyway, why shouldn’t others benefit from… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 2: Interpretative Principles

All Things to All Men | Part 2: Interpretative Principles

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Before us are Paul’s words to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23: For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 1: The Context

All Things to All Men | Part 1: The Context

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” 1 Cor 9:22. This verse, and the verses surrounding it (1 Cor 9:19-23), are what some church leaders consider “the Magna Carta of contextualization.” These words of Paul toward the end of the ninth chapter of 1 Corinthians have been used to justify all… Continue Reading

Reflections on Summer Teaching

Reflections on Summer Teaching

In May and July, the Lord gave me the opportunity to travel overseas to teach church history in three different countries. Two of the countries were in Africa and the other was a major Asian country. Two of the countries were new places for me to visit. In all three locations, I was in urban… Continue Reading

Pastors, Ph.D.s, and Prestige

Pastors, Ph.D.s, and Prestige

In the Treasury of David, C. H. Spurgeon says (here commenting on Psalm 23:3a, “He restoreth my soul”), “‘He‘ does it. His ministers could not do it if he did not. His Word would not avail by itself. ‘He restoreth my soul.‘” “His ministers could not do it if he did not.” If you are a minister… Continue Reading

Ordinary Means

Ordinary Means

There is nothing particularly exciting or novel about a ministry of preaching, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. It is the same routine each week. We hear the Scriptures proclaimed, we come to the table, we sing, we pray, we enjoy fellowship, and then we go home. There are no halftime shows, no rock concerts, and… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 13)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 13)

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 I have been arguing that Paul’s method of ministry deliberately avoided attempts to be (what we would call) relevant. Paul not only says that he himself avoided relevant methods, but compels his successors to do the same. His manner of ministry… Continue Reading

Some cautions on children’s ministry

Some cautions on children’s ministry

This week, Calvary Baptist Church is hosting its annual Vacation Bible School, so I thought I’d say a word or two about the privilege and challenges of ministering to children. The faith of a child is precious thing, and should be cultivated with the utmost care. It is my hope that my own children and… Continue Reading

Music Camp: A Report

Music Camp: A Report

Since coming as the Associate Pastor of Bethany Bible Church of Hendersonville, North Carolina, in 2010, I have seen first hand a unique ministry created by the vision of the senior pastor here, Greg Stiekes, and his wife Rena. Truly, the word “unique” is not used in vain in describing this week-long ministry to children… Continue Reading