Leadership Links 7/17/2019

Note: Although some of these articles may be written for those in full-time pastoral ministry, they have much to say that is helpful for elders.


SPIRITUAL LIFE

Claiming victory will help you win the fight (J.D. Greear): You may still be in a battle, but you’re wrong if you think nothing has changed. If what Paul says is true (and it is), you’ve gone from a battle you can’t win to a battle you can’t lose. Yes, you will still struggle against sin. And you will often lose. But the moment you place your trust in Christ, the ultimate outcome of your life is determined. Sin and death have been defeated, and you are covered by Jesus’ blood and his righteousness. Read more at JDGreear.com.

What it means to be a doer of the Word (Joe Rigney): The gospel-doer looks into the mirror of the royal law of liberty. He sees himself reflected in the living and abiding Word of God. Doing the Word, or “gospel-doing,” means that you look to Jesus and to yourself in Jesus for the strength and supply for all of your deeds. You have been raised with Christ. You’re seated with him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:5–6). Your life is hidden with Christ in God. One day, when he appears, you also will appear with him in glory. Your true self, the fullness of who and what God made you to be, will be revealed and made manifest. But for now it’s hidden (Col. 3:1–3). Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


SHEPHERDING

What I miss most (and least) about being a pastor (Jared C. Wilson): I’ve been out of pastoral ministry now for 5 years, and while I am not asked as often I was in those first few years, I still get the question a fair amount: “Do you miss it?” It’s an interesting question. I used to feel a little self-conscious about it, and was frequently tempted to a bit of soul searching. I found giving up pastoral ministry very spiritually discombobulating, as I had unwittingly made an idol of it. Pastoring became my identity, and I didn’t really realize that until I believed the Lord was asking me to set it aside. Read more at For the Church.

8 shackles every pastor should shatter (Christopher Asmus): Before my first pastorate, I had often heard pastors lament the challenges of ministry. I always assumed they were warning me of the cranky congregant or divisive deacon. What I didn’t know is the difficult person they were warning me of would not only be in my church, but in my skin. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


PREACHING

Pastor keep preaching the gospel (David Prince): The core activities of pastoring have a relentlessness about them–prayer, study, preparation, planning, pastoral care, visiting, discipling, preaching, counseling–are never-ending. There is never a finished project. There is always more to be done. No pastor worth his salt thinks he ever does enough in any of these areas so consistently possesses a nagging feeling of inadequacy. Most pastors cry out with Paul, “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor 2:16). On our better days, we answer that cry like Paul does as well, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5). Read more at Reformation 21.

The best kind of preaching (Douglas Sweeney and Matt Shraeder): The best preaching is a public demonstration that the preacher himself has been enthralled by the Word. This kind of preaching fulfills that sacred duty to communicate what is divine about the Word. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.


EVANGELISM

Who’s your one? (H.B. Charles, Jr.): I want to issue you a spiritual challenge. Will you commit to praying for the salvation of one lost person and seek opportunities to share the gospel with him or her? It can be a friend, relative, coworker, classmate, or acquaintance. It can even be an enemy. After all, Jesus did tell us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Read more at For the Church.


CHURCH

5 questions every church visitor wants answered (Aaron Earls): Many pastors and church leaders have forgotten what it was like to visit a church for the first time and have no idea what to expect. For you, the walk into the building is a regular part of your week. But for a guest, it can be intimidating and confusing. They want to know about your church, but they don’t always know where to start. Make it easy for them by clearly answering these five questions. Read more at Facts and Trends.

7 well-meaning objections to church discipline and how pastors ought to respond to them (Caleb Greggsen and Sam Emadi): A good primer as to how to answer those who object to church discipline. Read more at 9 Marks.


YOUTH MINISTRY

5 advantages of a gospel-centered youth ministry (Jon Cooms): The gospel ought to be at the heart of youth ministry for at least five reasons. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.