Not everyone who reads this article will be a teacher or preacher, but every Christian ought to think through how they discern what is good and biblical preaching and teaching. There are many kinds of preachers that we are exposed to regularly, whether through TV, radio, podcast, or Sunday morning services. All have various styles and approaches, some may devote little or much time to sermon preparation, and there often can be conflicting messages between them. How, then, are we to determine to whom to listen? Does preference in style matter? Maybe. Does the credibility of the preacher matter? Probably. Does fidelity to Scripture matter? Definitely.
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Mission and Ministry
In my last post I responded to the man who simply doesn’t understand the need for the American local church to engage in international missions. This post will be my response to the guy who thinks that every mission trip is wise, helpful, and effective just because of some built-in holiness associated with the short term mission trip.
Ok, so here's the deal; if you're thinking about going on an international mission trip, you will meet two kinds of people when you do your fundraising. You'll meet the guy who thinks that any and every mission trip is worthwhile, helpful, and altogether more holy than ministry done in the local church. This person will not think twice about supporting you because just because you are willing to go, he believes you should go. Then, you'll meet the guy who says "I don't know why you need to go to Africa to do mission work when there is so much to be done here."
First of all, thank you for following On Truth and Love. This summer has been a landmark summer in our ministry in so many ways and I wanted to share some of what has been accomplished as well as what’s on the horizon. The goal this summer has been discipleship and in that regard, we’ve been so blessed to have opportunities to serve.
Today I was eavesdropping on a pastor’s conversation with a fellow classmate. It was a conversation that I’ve heard many, many times over the past few years from a variety of pastors in a variety of contexts. They were discussing the material from the lecture that they had just attended, a lecture regarding a few controversial Christological issues. In a nutshell, this pastor was saying that the one thing that he has learned from pastoral ministry has been that the majority of theological issues that are argued and debated in seminary are irrelevant to actual pastoral work.