The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Archive for the ‘Pastoral theology’ Category

Growing as a preacher

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Here is a stimulating article on preachers and preaching, focusing particularly on one’s growth as a minister of the gospel. There are a few points at which I might wish to fine tune things, but I think that the thrust of it is excellent. Those who preach, who consider preaching, or who wish to improve their preaching, would all be well served by reading this with a humble heart. In short, the author roots growing as a preacher in four areas:

1. Calling
2. Teachability
3. Passion
4. Reckless abandon

Read it all.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 19 July 2014 at 10:55

Posted in Pastoral theology

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A noble task

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My friend Barry King, pastor of Edlesborough Baptist Church and MC of the Grace Baptist Partnership, is labouring to grow leaders, plant churches and reach nations. He lets me know that there is a special event coming up for men in England and Wales who are considering the possibility of church planting and/or pastoral ministry. GBP will be running a webinar, entitled A Noble Task, to give interested men an opportunity to hear a talk about ministry and the preparation (educational and otherwise) needed to do it effectively.

The Noble Task webinar will take place, God willing, on Thursday 31 July 2014 from 9:00 – 10:00pm.

Participants will also have an opportunity to complete an online assessment. This will assist us as we develop plans to train increasing numbers of men for ministry in general and church planting in particular. If you are interested in this event, please register your intention to participate by emailing Barry King at <gracebaptistpartnership@googlemail.com> and you will receive log-in details nearer the date. Participation is limited to 300 men so please respond promptly.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 9 April 2014 at 10:10

Review: “Pastors in the Classics”

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Pastors in the Classics: Timeless Lessons on Life and Ministry from World Literature

Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken & Todd Wilson

Baker Books, 2012, 192pp., paperback, $16.99

ISBN 978-0-8010-7197-3

This is an odd book. It is not a bad book, but it is hard to categorise. Divided into two parts, the first consists of twelve fairly detailed considerations of literary representations of pastoral ministry, drawn from a reasonably wide sweep. The second contains 58 précis of other such representations. It is difficult to gauge for whom and for what this book exists: from the blurb and endorsements one is clearly meant to come to the book as a pastor and here find prompts to profound self-awareness together with penetrating insights into the pastoral calling. Frankly, this was not my experience. For Christians (not least pastors) with a literary bent it might provide an interesting reading list or a stimulus for study and discussion. However, as a means of getting to grips with the challenges, demands and struggles of pastoral ministry, I think that there are far better lessons to be drawn from life than art: this is one area where reality trumps realism. I am not suggesting that this is a worthless book, but I think it will sit more readily in the literary theory than the pastoral theology section of the library.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 24 February 2014 at 15:25

The seraphic Pearce to the seminarian

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Always good to see Samuel Pearce getting a nod. Here is a summary of his counsels to a man attending a ministerial academy:

1. Cultivate Personal Spiritual Disciplines

2. Submit to Your Professors

3. Practice Self-Control

4. Be Wise with Your Time

5. Pursue Excellence

6. Stay Focused

I know it sounds obvious, and it might apply to the ongoing life of ministry in Christ’s church, but still worth worth reading.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Friday 23 August 2013 at 07:41

Posted in Pastoral theology

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The unbearable lightness of preaching

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The therapeutic concerns of the culture too often set the agenda for evangelical preaching. Issues of the self predominate, and the congregation expects to hear simple answers to complex problems. Furthermore, postmodernism claims intellectual primacy in the culture, and even if they do not surrender entirely to doctrinal relativism, the average congregant expects to make his or her own final decisions about all important issues of life, from worldview to lifestyle.

Authentic Christian preaching carries a note of authority and a demand for decisions not found elsewhere in society. The solid truth of Christianity stands in stark contrast to the flimsy pretensions of postmodernity. Unfortunately, the appetite for serious preaching has virtually disappeared among many Christians who are content to have their fascinations with themselves encouraged from the pulpit.

Al Mohler delivers the second in a series of broadsides at the modern pulpit. Good stuff!

Written by Jeremy Walker

Friday 23 August 2013 at 07:35

The preacher’s vocal hygiene

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The voice is the preacher’s primary tool, and we need to keep it in good condition. Reminded of and freshly and uncomfortably impressed with some of the elements of vocal hygiene, and being very willing to help other preachers keep their voices healthy, and equally to spare anyone the experience of a doctor inserting what looks and feels like a car aerial into your nasal cavities, or worse, herewith some counsels (garnered over many years) on vocal hygiene tailored to the preacher, arranged topically, some or all of which may be helpful to some. A lot of it is sanctified common-sense, and I should imagine that most preachers do most of it almost naturally.

Read the counsels at Reformation21.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 13 April 2013 at 11:34

Your baby’s ugly

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. . . if someone has a burning calling, a teachable spirit, a passionate heart, and a reckless abandon to pay the price to preach well, then not even the limitation of their own background, personality, or natural talents will keep them from preaching the Word of God with power.

A very insightful article on learning to preach better here.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 12 March 2013 at 16:45

Posted in Pastoral theology

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