Archive for the Pastors Category

Church Planting Tips From Someone Who Is Still Learning… [ARTICLE – JJ Lusk]

I have not arrived. In fact, I told my wife just the other night that I’m not a good husband, I’m not a good dad, I’m not good at planting churches…and here I am trying to do all three! So, before you can ask, “What does he know?” Let me go ahead and answer… Not very much. I do believe, though, that three years of trying to plant Forest Hills Baptist Church in Rockville, Maryland, has taught me a few things that others might find helpful. The following list of lessons is not exhaustive, and it is both somewhat practical and somewhat philosophical.   Be real. I don’t think I need to expound upon this much, but don’t “fake it until you make it.” You may be a church planter or a pastor, but you are Jesus’ disciple, and, as such, you are a pupil. He’s the only one with

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God’s Word – Sufficient for What Ails Us [ARTICLE – Jamie Jett]

At times the ministry can be very daunting–even overwhelming.  As a pastor for almost 20 years, there were occasions that I felt completely clueless as to what I needed to do.  Usually (not always) those clueless times would come when confronted with people’s problems of living.  Failing marriages, life-dominating sins, teen pregnancies, tragic deaths, and unhealthy life choices are only a part of the list that could go on and on. Don’t get me wrong!  I believed God could help each and every situation, but often I would ask myself, “Where do I start?” when a family, heartsick with grief over their four-year-old who died in a house fire, needed comfort, help, and hope. I finally realized that the prescription is this.  The only place we can begin is where we should always begin–God’s Word.  After all, we preach and teach the sufficiency of Scripture for salvation; should we not

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Is Sunday School Biblical? [ARTICLE – Bill Rench]

“Is Sunday school biblical?”  Usually, such a question means: “Is it right?”  In other words, should it be practiced?  Should we participate in it?  Is it the will of God?  Should it be supported, promoted, and encouraged as an essential part of the ministry of a church?” There has arisen in recent days a concerted effort by some groups in our country to cast aspersions on the ministry of the Sunday school.  This movement was, in part, at least, inspired by some very real and legitimate concerns about what passes for “youth ministry” across the “evangelical” world. Much of what is called youth ministry is about as far from a biblical definition of ministry as one can get.  Young people do not need more entertainment with a pinch of religion thrown in for accent; they need to be challenged to step up, take up the cross, and follow the Lord

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God Works In People’s Hearts [ARTICLE – Chris Grimbilas]

(Editor’s Note: Bro. Chris Grimbilas is doing a fantastic job reaching and shepherding people in rural Maine.  Having recently made a connection with Heartland Baptist Bible College through the Church Planting Conference, Ministry Refresher Institute, and through GloryBound visiting New Life Baptist Church where he pastors, Bro. Grimbilas is now sending a student to HBBC this fall.  Bro. Grimbilas’ zeal for soul-winning comes through clearly in this challenge to fellow ministers.) …And Soul-Winning is the Key. God has placed us in the mountains of Maine where the people are independent, the winters are harsh, and the land is rugged. Yet, I have realized that regardless of where I am, God still works in peoples’ hearts, and soul-winning is the key. What surprises and saddens me is that there seems to be many who have forgotten God’s loving desire to save the lost. “What Works for You?” This is a question

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The Pastor’s Role In Leading Others To Healthy Living [HEALTH ARTICLE #4 – Dan Preston]

Do me a favor–stop reading this article for a few seconds and think of a list of words describing the church to which you belong. My guess is that you came up with some words such as “conservative,” “missions-minded,” “doctrinally sound,” and maybe “wonderful.” I will go out on a limb and guess that the word “healthy” failed to make your list. Baptist churches are often associated with potlucks, fried chicken, and teen pizza parties. We often hear comments jokingly made about how “Baptists like to eat.” Should it be this way? Should our church be a place where sin is challenged–except for the sins of gluttony and inactivity? Should the pastor challenge the people to live healthy spiritual lives and ignore their physical healthiness? The answer is no. As Pastor Wayne Hardy often says, “There is a ditch on both sides of the road.” Our culture is moving towards

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Keep Your Eye on the Prize [ARTICLE – Nate Britt]

3 Lessons I’ve Learned to Deal with Distraction As the pastor of a smaller congregation in an old church building that has endless repairs, I often daydream about having an intern to help out for the summer or perhaps being the recipient of a special offering of several thousand dollars to repair our septic system. I dream of the future when we have a sound system that is newer than the one we have (from 1961) and when my wife doesn’t have to be in the nursery, play piano, and teach Junior Church – all on Sunday morning.  I sigh when I read articles of well-established churches that have 37 ministries, 22 bus routes, 4 secretaries and a first-class staff. I don’t know why I still subscribe to the blogs that talk about all the new and exciting things we can be doing for a “minimal cost.” I look at

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Tips from an Assistant on Pastoral Transitions [ARTICLE – Mike Futrell]

During August 2016, I had the privilege of helping unload the moving truck for my new pastor, Dave Delaney. A few weeks before, First Baptist Church of Long Beach had voted to accept Pastor Delaney as the next pastor of the church. Many emotions came over me: fear, excitement, nervousness, happiness—just to name a few. Questions plagued my mind. Is he going to like me? What if we don’t get along? Is he going to fire me? If he fires me, where will I go? Should I leave before he has a chance to fire me? Looking back, I was worrying over nothing because Pastor Delaney had already expressed he wanted to work with me. The entire process of welcoming a new pastor has been a valuable learning experience for me. The Lord taught me several lessons. One of those being that He loves First Baptist Church of Long Beach more

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Following the Fruitful Providence of God [ARTICLE – Joe Dickinson]

By Joe Dickinson The providence of God is both a mysterious and amazing power. In the following story, I can’t say that I did anything to push or to provoke God’s acts, as much as I was simply along for the ride. However, I am grateful that the Lord allowed me to participate in an event that was larger than me. I had requested Bro. Copes to preach at our church on Sunday, March 5, to help us with a special stewardship Sunday we were conducting. After sorting through some calendar issues, he graciously accepted and purchased his plane ticket to fly out on Saturday night and return on Monday morning. He was going to be getting in around 9:30 pm, which isn’t late, but for a Saturday night, it was late enough for me to consider sending someone else to the airport to pick him up. But then I

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Enjoy Every Moment [ARTICLE – Preston Hoiseth]

Looking Back on 5 Years of Church Planting February is special to us because it’s when our daughter Raelynn was born. She turned 8 this month. We’re thankful that she has always been a healthy girl, but those first few months were difficult in other ways. She didn’t sleep well at all, with colic keeping her (and us) awake most nights. We became zombies and couldn’t wait for that to pass. Eventually it did, and she started sleeping great. Then she became a toddler, and it wasn’t the night we dreaded–but the day when she was awake! Suddenly, this self-willed, rebellious little tyrant had taken over our lives, and we had to learn how to be parents all over again! After a long, drawn out campaign, the Biblical principles of nurture and discipline finally started bearing fruit, and she began to pull out of that rebellious phase. Today she’s a

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House Church: Skip the Sermon, Worship at Home? [ARTICLE – Bill Rench]

Skip the Sermon. Worship at Home. That was the headline of a recent AP article in The Californian, our local newspaper. The story went on to tell of a group movement that is afoot to reject the church as it is defined by an organized entity with pastors, deacons, a doctrinal position, gathering for worship, instruction, preaching and carrying out the Great Commission.  In its place is a get-together in someone’s home with no more than 12 to 15 people for “sharing what’s going on in their lives,” according to the article. One such gathering was described as follows:  “It was a lively, sometimes chaotic event, with noisy and mostly happy young children flitting about.”  There was a fellowship time, then “to the kitchen table to observe the Eucharist with prayer, pinched-off pieces of sourdough bread and red wine in plastic cups.”  Celebration continues with a potluck meal.  Then they

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