Published January 2nd, 2015 by

Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer once wrote:

in God’s sight there are no little people and no little places. Only one thing is important: to be consecrated persons in God’s place for us, at each moment. No Little People

This should be very heartening because, like me, in the grand scheme of things you will probably find yourself serving the Lord as one of the little people. There: I said it. I hope this wounding truth won’t drive you away. It’s not my intention to discourage or disparage you but, rather, to remind you that if you know who you are in Jesus and are consecrated or set apart to God and for His purposes, your little efforts may play a disproportionately large part in His plans.… Read the rest

Published December 21st, 2014 by

The ministerial work must be carried on purely for God and the salvation of souls… They who engage in this as a common work, to make a trade of it for their worldly livelihood, will find that they have chosen a bad trade, though a good employment. Self-denial is of absolute necessity in every Christian, but it is doubly necessary in a minister, as without it he cannot do God an hour’s faithful service. Hard studies, much knowledge, and excellent preaching, if the ends be not right is but more glorious hypocritical sinning. Reverend Richard Baxter1

I’ve been blogging off and on for years, finally arriving at this moment when I can put proverbial pen to paper, in order to recount, report and reflect upon over 30 years of formal ministry as the director of two apologetic groups, Ex-Mormons for Jesus and Jude 23, as well as serving in the role of an elder (pastor or overseer) and church planter for most of that time.… Read the rest

Published November 17th, 2014 by

Matt Chandler gets this so right. He lives up to the ideal of a shepherd of souls portrayed in the Scriptures, with wisdom beyond his years — he is an elder1. It’s evident he takes the Bible seriously and has read Christian biography.

  1. The New Testament uses the terms <em>elder</em>, <em>pastor/shepherd</em>, <em>overseer/bishop </em> interchangeably. This NT vocabulary serves to illustrate or emphasize the character and functions of the leader(s) in local Christian communities. So, when I speak of elders, pastors, or overseers on this blog I am referring to the same leaders within a church – <em>an elder is a pastor and an overseer.</em> []
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Published October 8th, 2014 by

512YfhhKXNL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Alexander Strauch’s Biblical Eldership (BE) packs the most thorough exposition of relevant passages concerning elders in the Bible into one volume, while offering a spirited and compelling apologetic for the practice of non-clerical, plural leadership in the local church. But, it’s not just for church leaders – all readers will find a clear and well-reasoned appeal to all Christians to practice a humble, relational style of Christianity modeled after Jesus Christ. And, even if you do not find Alex Strauch’s model or paradigm ultimately convincing and advocate a monarchical episcopacy or congregational form of church government, I guarantee you will be challenged, inspired and equipped to take your ministry, whatever it may be, more seriously and you will serve with greater passion and effectiveness.… Read the rest

Published September 12th, 2014 by

Christ said that he would build his church, but he doesn’t raise up saints from stones. He uses means. And the means by which he strengthens, purifies, and corrects churches are godly elders who preach the gospel, teach the Scriptures, and call out error.

This is what we find instructed by Paul in Titus 1:5 and church history is filled with stories of godly men who have been used by God to bring about reformation and revival! May God be pleased to raise up more of these godly elders and may more elder/pastor/overseers be willing to remain in their churches to see this sort of reformation take place.

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Published August 25th, 2014 by

If God would but reform the ministry, and set them on their duties zealously and faithfully, the people would certainly be reformed.

Richard Baxter

Evangelicalism is experiencing a crisis of character in vocational ministry. For example… Well, you’re probably aware of many examples out there in the wider culture, but if you are living out the Gospel in main street America, you know you don’t have to look beyond your own town or neighborhood to find examples of greed, dishonesty, abuse or tussles for power. And, nepotism is often deeply rooted in smaller churches.

Richard Baxter faced these challenges of a rural parish minister, but he also found his way into the power centers of his day, ultimately serving as a chaplain to the king of England.… Read the rest

Published May 8th, 2008 by

 

redesign2It took nearly twenty years, but my short biography of Richard Baxter is in publication and you can get your hands on a copy of it on at Lewis and Roth, using PayPal, VISA© or MasterCard. It’s only $9.95 and a nominal charge for shipping and handling, so how can you go wrong? Most of my sales have been by money order or personal check and you can find that order form right here.

“Who’s Richard Baxter?” you ask.

The well-known Christian author and authority on the Puritans, J.I. Packer, called him “incomparable” in his zeal and abilities, as well as “…the most outstanding pastor, evangelist and writer on practical and devotional themes that Puritanism produced.”

His detractors called him Scribbling Dick, because he published over 140 works during his lifetime, all the while thinking he would be killed or die by the next Spring.… Read the rest