Do You Love Books More Than People?

Preacher-Do-You-Love-Books-More-Than-You-Love-People

The question, “What are characteristics of good preaching?” can bring many answers: a faithful handling of the Scriptures, relevant real-life applications, a clear communication style, and something that doesn’t put the congregation to sleep.

But how many people would include love for the congregation as one of the characteristics? Peter Adam shares the following in Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching:

“To be servants of the Word it is not enough to love preaching: we have to love people. To love preaching means that we are loving our own actions, that we enjoy the ministry we do. To call it a ministry is a deception, because we are not ministering or serving anyone but ourselves and our sense of achievement. To love effective ministry is not enough, to love success in ministry is not enough, to love achievement in ministry is not enough. We must love people well. Our ministry is a means to an end, and its only value lies in the extent to which it serves the people who hear us. Why else would we call it a ministry?”

Loving others well is easy enough to understand, but harder to put into practice. Loving the needy and hard-to-love people is by definition, well, hard. One helpful way to evaluate your love for people is to compare it with another love, as Adam does, “It is one of the curious features of those who take preaching seriously that they often love books rather than people.”

Zing! Love books over people?

Books may seem preferable because we can control them. They don’t bother us with problems or need special attention. Books are good, but they are a means to which we perform our duty of loving others by feeding our flock God’s Word. How do we know when our love for people is not where it should be? Adam asks pastors four questions:

  1. When you buy the next book, is it because you would love to have the book, or because you love your people and want to use this book to help in your preparation to serve them?
  2. When you pray for your preaching, do you pray that you will preach well, or that the people will hear and receive your ministry and that it will bear fruit in your lives?
  3. Are you praying for yourself or for your people?
  4. Are you praying for your own achievement or for their edification?

Those questions get to the heart of the matter and reveal a misplaced focus that can creep into the life of a minister.

What does a deep love for people look like?

While many things can be said, consider two Scriptural examples:

1.The Apostle Paul.
While we know that Paul loved books (2 Timothy 4:13), his epistles reveal that his love for those he ministered to was deeper and more profound:
• “For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.” 2 Corinthians 2:4
• “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them…I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. ” 1 Corinthians 9:19, 22b-23
• “Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” Philippians 2:17
• “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” 1 Corinthians 16:24

2.The Lord Jesus Christ.
The gospels are peppered with demonstrations of the compassionate heart of Jesus when He saw lepers, widows, and people who are like sheep without a shepherd. His love even extended to those who nailed Him to the cross, as evidenced in His words, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). And of course the greatest action showing Christ’s compassion was hanging on the cross of Calvary, absorbing the wrath of God so we could have the opportunity to become redeemed children of God. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Paul and Jesus loved people. My charge for you is simple: Love people.

Let every action you do in ministry be done to love others for the glory of God. Praise God that you can preach His Word for the transformation of your people. Praise God that you can administrate for the flock God has entrusted you to care for. Praise God that you can set up chairs, vacuum the lobby, and print Sunday morning bulletins that will aide your people in worshiping God.

Like Paul, lovingly pour yourself out for your people. Like Christ, love those undeserving of love. As you make the conscious choice to love others, something strange will happen: you will begin to feel love for people that wasn’t there before. Love is an action, not just an emotion. When we put love into action, the emotions will follow.

As we love others in the Spirit’s power for the glory of God, people will see and experience the love of Christ through us–which is what true ministry is all about.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8


All quotations taken from pages 162-164 of Peter Adam’s book Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching.

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How to Listen to a Sermon: 15 Practical Tips for Receiving the Word

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“Pay attention to what you hear.”

Those were Jesus’ words to his followers shortly after sharing the Parable of the Soils in Mark 4, a parable that explains the different results of Word proclamation.

In that parable, some hear the Word, only to have it snatched away by the devil. Others do not receive the Word due to tribulation on account of the Word or are choked out by daily life and the cares of this world. The ones who hear the Word and accept it are the only ones to bear fruit. As believers, we are to pay attention to what we hear so we can bear fruit of “thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold” (Mark 4:20).

How we listen to and receive the Word preached will greatly impact our Christian maturity and fruitfulness. 

Jesus wants us to be active listeners—men and women who work hard at understanding God’s Word with their minds and applying it to their hearts. This truth can be applied in many different settings but perhaps none more obvious than from the pulpit on a Sunday morning.

On any given Sunday, there are countless distractions that can hinder a hearing and receiving of the Word: crying babies, a bad night’s sleep, thoughts from earlier in the day, or a short attention span. This is not to mention the spiritual war taking place as the Word is preached. That is why gospel proclamation is part of the armor of God (see Ephesians 6:15, 19). It advances the cause of God against the enemy.

How can we best listen to a sermon so we will receive the Word of God?

15 Practical Tips for Receiving the Word

1. Prepare your heart in prayer. Pray to have listening ears and that the Spirit would sow the Word into your heart. Confess your sin and examine yourself to see if any cares of the world might be choking out your desire to receive the Word and obey it (Mark 4:18-19).

2. Pray for the proclamation of the Word. Pray for your pastor to faithfully proclaim the Word in the Spirit’s power. Pray that the congregation would be challenged, instructed, and built up from the preaching of the Word.

3. Read the passage to be preached before the service starts. This is done preferably at home to set your mind on the eternal truth you will receive during the message. Humbly pray over the passage for the Spirit’s illumination and help applying it.

4. Prepare your mind and body for receiving the Word. This means getting a good night’s rest the night before and avoiding activities that might make it hard to wake up and focus. This may also mean refraining from watching TV or checking email before the service to ensure a clear mind.

5. Arrive at church early. While this may seem impossible for some, it will reap rewards. Arriving early (or at least on time) will make it so you don’t miss anything in the service, will help avoid unnecessary anxiety from running late, and allow you to fellowship with the body of Christ with your extra time.

6. Listen to the sermon with an open Bible. Follow along in your Bible when Scripture is read and referenced. In a discerning Berean-like spirit check your pastor’s word with what God says and submit yourself to God’s truth.

7. Take notes during the sermon. Carrying a notebook and jotting down main points, Scripture references, and helpful illustrations can help you be an active listener who engages with the preached Word. Taking notes will help you learn better and you can also use your notes for future reference.

8. Listen prayerfully. The reason prayer is in this list so much is because it is so important! Listening to God’s Word and interacting with God with simple prayers like “Thank you Lord!” or “That’s convicting–I need your help to change my heart” are simple ways to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

9. Maintain a posture of humility and submission to the Word. We can easily get distracted or think, “I know this already!” when a common passage is preached. We are always under the authority of God’s Word and our focused listening and submission to His Word will serve as worship to our God.

10. Apply truths from the message to yourself–and write them down. We don’t want to be top-heavy Christians–that is, have disproportionately big heads from Bible knowledge but a small body from not walking it out. John 14:21 says that our obedience shows our love to God and will result in a greater experience of Him.

11. Fight against distractions for yourself and others. Little things can make a big difference in your experience receiving the Word. Wear clothing that is both appropriate and comfortable. Sit in a place where you can hear easily. Turn your phone off–or if you use a Bible app, put your phone in airplane mode to reduce distractions like texts and emails. If you are a parent, train your children to be good listeners who do not distract others.

12. Discuss the sermon afterwards. Discussing the sermon in community will help it stick. Good opportunities for discussion include your small group, a meal with your family, or conversations throughout the week. Interacting and applying Scripture with others will deepen the Word’s roots in your life and model for others the importance of receiving the Word.

13. Review the sermon. We learn by repetition. Receiving the Word repeatedly either by reviewing the passage and your notes or listening to the sermon again will concretize your understanding of the Word and tell God you want to learn His ways.

14. Give God the glory for a great sermon. While there is room for thinking highly of gifted servants of God who faithfully preach the Word, God should ultimately receive the glory and praise. At best, a preacher is a faithful and gifted communicator of a glorious message that belongs to God alone.

15. Live it out. James says hearing the Word but not putting it into practice is like looking into a mirror and immediately forgetting what you look like (James 1:23). Hearers and receivers of the Word become doers of the Word–and bear lasting fruit (Mark 4:20)

May God help you by His Spirit to be a careful listener and a man or woman who receives the Word with joy for the glory of His Name!

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A Simple Guide for Seeing How the Old Testament Points to Jesus Christ

Seeing-How-the-Old-Testament-Points-to-Jesus-Christ

This article begins a new blog series on Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Subscribe to our blog to receive each new article in your inbox. (Lee este artículo en español en The Gospel Coalition.)

How-to-Find-Jesus-in-the-Old-Testament-e1423081531816-150x150Have you ever been lost in the middle of a city with no clue where you were or which way to go?

That is the experience of many Christians when they read the Old Testament. They open the Bible, begin reading, and soon find themselves in a place that seems totally different from the New Testament world. The seemingly random stories, genealogies, strange laws, and occasional talking donkey make for a sometimes confusing read.

If that’s you—don’t panic! This is a simple guide that will help you understand how Jesus relates to the Old Testament and will act as a road map to steer you in the right direction as you study God’s Word.

One Book with One Story about One Person

The Bible is one book telling one story that culminates in One Person: Jesus Christ. The discipline of Biblical Theology helps us see the overarching story of the Bible along with how each piece fits into the whole and testifies of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament prepares the way for and points to Christ, while the New Testament reveals and explains who He is. The Old Testament displays a “shadow” of Christ whom we experience in the New Testament (see Colossians 2:16-17).

A-Simple-Guide-to-Seeing-Jesus-Christ-in-the-Old-Testament-300x169For those who sometimes find themselves “lost” in the Old Testament, it is helpful to think of a system of streets, roads, avenues, and boulevards that all connect to one main highway. The main highway represents a major passage or a major theme in the Old Testament that connects us directly to Christ and ultimately to the gospel. In a system of roads there are many boulevards, avenues, side streets and alleys that are not on the main highway, though they eventually connect to it. We may be studying a passage that is on a side road off of the main highway. The important question to ask is: How does this passage get me to the main highway? Or, how does this passage connect with a main theme that points me towards Christ?

The goal for seeing how the Old Testament points to Jesus is not merely intellectual—it is to encounter the Lord of Creation and Savior of the world so we may believe in Him and find life in His Name (John 5:39-40; 20:30-31). What follows are two steps and three questions to help you find Jesus in an Old Testament passage.

  1. Study the passage in its original context.

Looking for Jesus is not like playing “Where’s Waldo” in the Old Testament. We should avoid forcing a passage to speak about Christ in a way that it wasn’t intended to. Doing so will distract from the passage’s original message and potentially diminish the true work of Christ. This is why we first understand a passage on its own terms before looking for Christ.

  1. Look for connections and work to understand it in its broader context.

Other passages in the Bible can provide clues such as words, phrases, quotations, or ideas that can lead you to Christ. Again, we don’t want to force anything. Just because the same word or thought appears in two different passages does not mean that the two passages are talking about the same thing. We should consider many things like the context and the use of particular words in order to make a wise decision about whether there is a true connection.

A good connection could come from one of the following:

  • A promise (like in Genesis 3:15 or Deuteronomy 18:15-18)
  • Symbols or typology (like the bronze snake in Numbers 23 or Jesus being the “Second Adam”)
  • Prophecies (Messianic or of the age to come)
  • Titles (like priest or prophet).
  • Themes (like God’s judgment or covenant. More on this below.)
  • Ideas related to redemption and salvation (act as an easy onramp to the main highway leading to Christ)

Three Helpful Questions to Consider as You Look for Connections

  1. Does the New Testament say anything about this topic or passage?

Sometimes the New Testament will quote a verse and provide direct clues to an Old Testament topic or passage. A wise student of Scripture continually seeks to develop his or her eye for connections between the Old and New Testaments as they read the Bible each day.

  1. How does this passage connect with a main theme that points me towards Christ?

Since the Bible is one story, we see various themes woven together that develop from the Old Testament to the New. We describe the Bible being like a rope that has many strands. The Bible has many events and themes, but they are all woven together into one story like strands of a rope. When you read an Old Testament passage and a biblical theme pops up, think ahead to how Christ fulfills and develops that theme.

Example: The presence of God. While Israel wandered the desert, God led Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night before instructing Moses to build the tabernacle, where God dwelt until the building of the temple in Jerusalem. Then God put on human flesh in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and dwelt among us. The Spirit’s coming gave believers God’s Spirit to dwell in us, making us living stones to be built into a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:4-5). This theme finds its ultimate fulfillment in the New Heavens and New Earth where we know, “…the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Revelation 21:3).

  1. How does this passage aid my understanding of Christ and what he has done?

Your passage may not explicitly speak of Jesus, but it may speak of the Messiah or describe a person or thing that symbolizes Christ or points to who He will be and what He will do (examples include the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 52:13–53:12 or the Son of Man with all dominion in Daniel 7:13-14). Sometimes, though, a passage may only prepare the way for Christ. For instance, a passage may describe a desperate shortcoming in Israel’s leaders or a tragic situation among God’s people that points to Christ as the only one who can come and meet that need or make right the situation. (For example, the failures of Israel’s kings leave us with the realization of the need for a Messiah who will rule over God’s people in perfect righteousness.)

Over time, these steps and questions will help you navigate the sometimes confusing streets of the Old Testament and understand better God’s redemptive plan to send His Son into the world to save us from our sins. Our hope is that as you study, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you God’s riches in the Old Testament by shining the spotlight on Jesus Christ and filling you with joy in Him to the praise of His glorious grace.

This article introduces concepts and illustrations about Biblical Theology as taught by Leadership Resources. Learn more about our pastoral training programs Fellowship of the Word and Training National Trainers.

Authors: Paul Adams and Kevin Halloran.

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Stewards of the Mysteries of God

Preachers-Stewarding-the-Mysteries-of-God

Serving as a preacher or teacher in the church is a weighty responsibility. Paul described his ministry as being a steward “of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). God has entrusted us something precious to submit our lives to and proclaim–His Word.

In The Archer and the Arrow: Preaching the Very Words of God, Phillip Jensen shares what a good steward is and an analogy to illustrate the stewardship of the Word which preachers have:

Stewards-of-the-Mysteries-of-God-in-The-Archer-and-the-Arrow-189x300The distinguishing feature of a good steward is that they be found trustworthy—that they deliver in pristine condition whatever has been entrusted to them.

The Mona Lisa is probably the world’s most famous painting. It currently resides in a purpose-built, bullet-proof case in the Louvre. It is considered so precious that it has only been exhibited outside of the Louvre twice in the last century. In 1963, it was displayed for a time in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and then in the spring of 1974 it was hung in the Tokyo National Museum.

Can you imagine what might have happened if those responsible for delivering the painting decided that the Mona Lisa was a little short of artistic merit? What if they had whipped out a brush in transit and added a nice floral pattern to the border or updated the dress to the duck-egg blue fashion of the day? “We thought it was a little dreary and we wanted to brighten it up a little.” This would not have been an acceptable excuse. Their job wasn’t to improve the painting, but to deliver it in its original condition.

How much more with the word of God!

One of the pastors we train in Ecuador said that after learning this truth, his preparation for preaching now involves trembling and sometimes tears. He knows the heavy weight of responsibility–and honor–it is to be God’s spokesman and proclaim His Word to His people, and he wants to do it faithfully. This attitude is also something near to the heart of God:

“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2

When I see a pastor enter a pulpit, I want them to catch God’s eye–to be looked on favorably by the Almighty. I want them to tremble before God’s Word and faithfully proclaim it. I want them to remember they are stewarding the amazing mysteries of God revealed to us in Scripture.

Good stewardship is what God wants, it’s what the church needs, and it’s what will bring Him the most glory.

Author: Kevin Halloran. Follow Kevin on Twitter.

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5 Crucial Questions Every Preacher Needs to Answer Before Preaching a Text

5-Crucial-Questions-for-Preachers-to-Answer

A preacher’s task is not easy.

Practically, preaching takes many hours to write a good sermon to preach to a congregation, and theologically, preaching is a heavy responsibility not to be taken lightly. Scripture exhorts preachers to handle the Word of God correctly (2 Timothy 2:15) and to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2).

In 2 Timothy 4:1, Paul charges Timothy, in one of the most forceful ways imaginable, to preach the Word – reminding Timothy in the presence of God and of Christ of its necessity: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the Word…” 2 Timothy 4:1-2a

Faithfully proclaiming the Word of God needs to be a goal of every preacher. The Bible is a complex theological book, and finding the full meaning and richness of a passage will not usually happen without digging deeper into the passage and looking at it from different angles.

The five questions listed below are based on categories of thought about a text that we use in our Fellowship of the Word and Training National Trainers programs, in which we teach pastors around the world to faithfully exposit the Scriptures.

5 Crucial Questions Every Preacher Needs to Answer about a Text

  1. What is the Context of the passage?

You may have heard the common adage: “A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text,” which is to say that if a person does not study a portion of the Scripture in its proper context, the passage can be used to say things that God never intended.

  • Understanding the literary context of a passage (the surrounding paragraphs, chapters, and rest of the book) allows preachers to know how the passage fits into the flow of thought of the author’s message through the rest of the book.
  • Understanding the historical context (historical events, culture, religious practices, and geography) allows preachers to understand the situation into which the author was speaking. This is important because in most cases the biblical writers wrote for a specific audience in a certain time and place. Thousands of years later we can easily miss vital details that help tell the story or communicate the whole message.
  • Understanding the biblical context (or how a passage fits into the whole story and message of the Bible and how it points to Christ) allows preachers to see the heart of God in a deeper way as they see how a particular text relates to the gracious purpose and plan of God that comes to fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The biblical context helps connect major biblical themes and show the unfolding of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ.

Literary-Historical-and-Biblical-Context-of-Bible-Passage-Study-to-Preach

  1. What is the Structure of the passage?

The structure of a passage involves: (1) the parts of a passage – the units of thought that contain the major ideas of the passage, and (2) the connections of thought that hold the sections and major ideas of the passage together.

As we analyze a passage’s structure, we are better able to understand the main idea, supporting ideas, and smaller details. A faithful preacher seeks to understand the ways the author made his points, and then arrange ideas in a sermon the same way. This allows the Word of God to be communicated most like it was originally communicated.

An awareness and understanding of structure in the Bible brings a clarifying power to our preaching by understanding the major building blocks of the passage.

How do you find the structure of a passage?

  1. Look for patterns and shifts in thought. As you read the passage, what kind of patterns do you see that point to the major ideas the author is trying to convey? Also as you read, look for shifts in thought or a change in direction. These can be detected by a change in patterns.
  2. Divide the passage. After seeing the patterns and transitions in thought, divide the passage into sections that contain the major ideas. Write down the chapter and verse numbers for each section.
  3. Describe the major ideas. State the major idea of each section of the passage in one complete sentence.
  4. Find the connections of thought between the major ideas. How does one major idea connect or lead to the next? How do all of them connect together and reveal the direction of the author’s thoughts?

The main ideas in a passage should be like the beams of a bridge that hold up the overall message and help the reader get from one side of the passage to the other.

The-Structure-and-Big-Idea-of-Expository-Preaching

  1. What is the Main Idea of the passage?

Once a preacher analyzes the structure of a passage, he is then able to find the main idea of the passage because he has seen how the biblical author makes the points he is making; which points are major, which are minor, and which are supporting points.

Finding the main idea of a passage helps us discover what God is saying through that passage and remain faithful to God’s intent. This main point becomes the focal point around which everything in a sermon is organized.

Here’s a helpful illustration: The Main Idea is like the rope or string of a necklace. A passage may have several important but smaller ideas (like beads on a necklace). The Main Idea is the central thought that connects all those important ideas and holds them together.

Finding-the-Main-Idea-in-A-Biblical-Text-Expository-Preaching

Finding the main idea of a passage involves combining the answers to two essential questions into one complete thought (a complete sentence):

  1. What general idea is this passage talking about?
  2. What specifically is it saying about that idea?

A few tips for finding the big idea of a Bible passage:

  • Pray for God’s wisdom and insight
  • Look for connections between how a passage begins and ends
  • Look for a repetition of key words or ideas
  • Look for a summary verse
  • Look for conclusions or purpose statements (typically beginning with “so that” or “therefore”)
  • Analyze the flow or development of thought through the passage
  1. How does this text point to Christ? (Biblical Theology)

The Bible is not a random collection of books; rather, it is one united book made up of several books that come together to tell one story about one person, Jesus Christ, and the salvation He brings (Luke 24:27; John 5:39-40). Without understanding how a text relates to Jesus Christ and the Gospel, a preacher’s work can at best be labeled incomplete.

Nobody reads random chunks of Shakespeare on its own without knowing the greater story. In the same way, preachers are to understand how the text they preach fits into the entire story of the Bible and how it points to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Not every text will relate to Christ in the same way or to the same degree. It can be helpful to imagine the Bible as a system of roads that all lead to Jesus Christ. Some portions of Scripture act as a main highway that quickly carries readers directly to Christ, while some passages act as a series of side streets, boulevards, avenues and on-ramps that connect to Christ more indirectly. No matter what road one is on, it is eventually leading to Jesus Christ.

Biblical-Theology-Finding-Jesus-Christ-in-the-Old-Testament-Illustration

  1. How can we apply this text to our lives today? (Application)

The ultimate goal to reading and preaching Scripture is not to know information, but rather to be transformed by the God’s Word to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Application involves knowing what God’s Word says and conforming your life to it. If you read the Word and neglect to be a doer of the Word, you deceive yourself (James 1:22).

Application is not simply making a list of do’s and don’ts but rather involves a change of heart and mind. A preacher has the task to not only explain Scripture clearly to listeners, but also to apply it in a way that listeners know how they need to think and live differently in light of God’s truth.

Preachers should ask the following questions to help apply the text to life:

  • What does this passage tell us about God?
  • How should that change our hearts?
  • How should we live as a result?
  • Is there any application already in the text?
  • Does the passage give some command or exhortation for how we should live?
  • How does the situation of our lives today correspond with the situation of the original audience? What is similar?
  • What did God say to them about those things that are similar, and how would that apply to the similar circumstances in our lives?

Traveling-Instructions-A-Trip-to-Corinth

Leadership Resources teaches the five principles these questions are based on in our Fellowship of the Word and Training National Trainers (TNT) workshops. We know that to really learn a skill like properly exegeting the Word of God, it is tremendously beneficial to practice honing skills under guided supervision. Our programs in the US and around the world involve long-term relationships built through eight intensive training sessions over the course of four years.

We teach these principles (and several more) in a variety of different ways:

  • Demonstrate Sessions: We begin and end each session of TNT with a sample sermon that demonstrates what a good expository sermon looks like. Trainees see the power of God through the clear explanation and application of Scripture.
  • Do Sessions: Each workshop gives those trained an opportunity to practice and demonstrate their ability to exegete a text. Trainees prepare and present a five minute sermon analyzing a text with the five main categories in mind (the five questions above), and provide feedback for one another. This exercise allows trainees to practice these principles as well as evaluate the work of others. The second half of these sessions involves Leadership Resources staff leading a group discussion on the meaning of the text and additional feedback.
  • Dig & Discover Sessions: Many of our hermeneutical principles are introduced and reviewed in our Dig & Discover Sessions. These sessions give trainees an introduction to a specific principle by seeing it put into practice and also by practicing themselves.


You can learn more about Leadership Resources by browsing what we dohearing stories of transformation, or by getting involved.

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Repenting Pastors: A Sign of God’s Word and Spirit at Work

rennes-i-2

Dear Friends,

We keep hearing pastors repent…what’s going on?

1Pastor Solomon

“Looking back over the past 17 years of ministry, I am ashamed of most of my teaching and preaching. I have to repent.” Solomon spoke with deep emotion during his TNT (Training National Trainers) graduation ceremony in Ethiopia as he repented from preaching his own thoughts, rather than God’s thoughts as revealed in the Scriptures.

2Pastor Mikael

Mikael also experienced transformation in Ethiopia. Here’s what he told us after spending several days with us in the book of Jonah…

Jonah’s rebellion reminded me of my rebellion. Jonah fled from God’s command. When I looked in the mirror, I realized that I too am in rebellion. Jesus said in Matthew 28 to “go and preach the gospel”. I’m not doing that and my church is not doing that. God is returning us to our original mission.

3Pastor James

Hearing Mikael, reminded me of James, a pastor living in a repressive country in Asia. James also had a “Jonah experience”. He told us…

My heart is worse than Jonah’s. Jonah hated the Ninevites and I hate the communists because of the way they’ve persecuted my brothers and sisters. I actually have found myself hoping that they are condemned to hell. Now I realize how hard my heart is….I repent…please pray for me.

 

It means that our training is not simply an academic exercise, but a transformative encounter with both the Word of God and the Spirit of God.

Might you, too, experience this same transformation as you spend time in his precious Word this year.

With gratitude in Christ,

Craig-Parro-229x300

Craig Parro

President

PS: This month our Africa team is in Uganda where our partners have recently launched five(!) pastor-training groups and are eager to launch two more(!!) once funds are available. Would you please send a generous gift today so that pastors all over Uganda might repent to become faithful teachers and preachers of God’s Word?

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    Launching Pastoral Training Movements Worldwide

     

    The mission of Leadership Resources is to launch pastoral training movements worldwide. This blog shares articles, resources, and updates from staff of God’s work around the world through our training. If you’re new to our blog, start here.

     


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