Pastor Albert N. Martin [pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Montville, New Jersey for 46 years] regularly taught Pastoral Theology at the Trinity Ministerial Academy in Montville, New Jersey. His lectures, spanning eight semesters of material, have assisted many pastors unable to obtain this type of training through other avenues.
Pastors and church leaders are responsible for countless things. Unfortunately, in many churches, ministry to widows remains largely neglected and forgotten.
Highlighting the Bible’s recurring commands to care for widows with sensitivity and compassion, this book encourages church leaders to think carefully about how to serve the widows in their congregations and suggests practical strategies to that end. In part 1 [by Austin Walker], the authors summarize the Bible’s consistent teaching regarding the care of widows. In part 2 [by Brian Croft], the authors offer hands-on counseling and a host of practical suggestions related to ensuring that widows receive the support and encouragement they need to thrive in the church.
“While reading this book, I went ‘Ouch!’ more than once because it points out ways in which we have been negligent in looking after the widows in our church. This is certainly one area in which we need reformation. I trust that my ‘Ouch!’ will be turned into action so that God may smile at our church as he sees the way we will begin to look after widows in distress in our midst. All of us who are church elders and deacons need to get back to this religion that is pure and undefiled before God!”
“We see them in the congregation; they rarely sit together; they occupy their customary place; and they have many friends. They are examples in femininity, humility, usefulness, and faith in a heavenly Father. They are the widows, but shudder at being labeled as such. They look to their preachers for the gospel message to exalt Jesus Christ. They look to their pastors for total respect and graciousness. They look to their fellow members for holy love and genuine friendship. They look to be remembered within the nuances of the body of Christ. This is what Croft and Walker enable us to do, to become better pilgrims on our way to the blessed gathering of all the elect, to be unashamed at the great reunion. ‘Well done for helping widows in their affliction.’ We need such help in this area, and then we find that increased thoughtfulness in one dimension encourages consecrated words and feelings in very different relationships within the holy body.”
Geoff Thomas, Pastor, Alfred Place Baptist Church, Wales
The closing statement of the Baptist Confession (1689) reads:
“We the MINISTERS, and MESSENGERS of, and concerned for upwards of, one hundred BAPTIZED CHURCHES, in England and Wales (denying Arminianism), being met together in London, from the third of the seventh month to the eleventh of the same, 1689, to consider of some things that might be for the glory of God, and the good of these congregations, have thought meet (for the satisfaction of all other Christians that differ from us in the point of Baptism) to recommend to their perusal the confession of our faith, which confession we own, as containing the doctrine of our faith and practice, and do desire that the members of our churches respectively do furnish themselves therewith.”
Living in a day where theology was all over the air that was breathed, confessing truths about God, His Word, His Work and World was so important. And so they wrote. Is it any less important to us some 300+ years later? Hurting people need to be heard, cared for genuinely, and assisted as they seek to understand suffering, ailments, traumas and dysfunctions in this broken world which through Christ is being redeemed. I don’t suggest reading them a Confession, but I do wholeheartedly recommend knowing theology well, and wielding it well in the loving care of people. God’s revelation of Himself in His Scriptures is not just for Christians who are on mountaintops, but for Christians who are in valleys are well…confessional care and counsel is a helpful enterprise as it provides curbs for us on the road.
J. Ryan Davidson has been serving at Grace Baptist Chapel since August of 2008. Ryan is married to his beautiful wife Christie, and they have four wonderful children: Micah, Lydia, Shaphan and Magdalene. Ryan holds degrees from Samford University (B.A.), The College of William & Mary (M.Ed.) in Counseling, and Southern Seminary (Th.M.) in Louisville, KY and he is completing a (Ph.D.) from The Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. He is a full member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a member of the American Society of Church History.
Pastor Ryan Burton King posted his four part series on Expositional Preaching that was printed in the worship bulletin of Grace Baptist Church (Wood Green):
Preaching is vital to the church’s life and care should be taken with reference to context, time allotted, and biblical exegesis as to what should be preached and how. In any case, an expositional sermon draws its substance from God’s word, deals with the matters raised in a particular Scriptural text, and should consistently point to the message of the Saviour that undergirds all Scriptural texts…
Expositional preaching reads, explains, and applies the Scriptures in a way that is unrivalled by other styles of preaching. It requires attention as the preacher prepares then delivers the message drawn from the text, and as the people listen. It commands devotion, as people are driven to search the Scriptures more deeply and, if the messages are working consecutively through a book, drawn to meet again so as not miss the next segment. It demands a response, challenging head-thoughts, heart-feelings, and life-styles with the call to lay other things aside and seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness in Christ. That is why we preach expositionally.
We’ve been hard at work converting Conrad Mbewe’s Foundations for the Flock: Truths about the Church for All the Saints over to eBook, and today we’re happy to announce its release. Please check it out over at our website.
A Brief Introduction to Conrad and this book
In recent years Conrad Mbewe has become well known as a preacher around the world. His clear exposition and powerful application of Scripture has earned him a broad and attentive international audience. But what many do not know is he is also a prolific author in his own country of Zambia. He has written numerous articles and booklets to address the spiritual needs of his nation and its churches. This writing ministry, together with his powerful preaching and his experience in church-planting efforts, have made him one of the leaders of African evangelical Christianity. From the wide assortment of his work we have gathered together his more substantial material dealing with the church. This title, Foundations for the Flock, is an effort to take some of his previously published material and make it available to the rest of the world. We are confident it will edify Christians of other nations just as it has done in Zambia.
This book is one of the very best on the subject of the church. Added to that is the fact that it covers some practical matters of church life that are only very rarely addressed, such as local church partnerships, etc. Any person serious about following Christ in a local church should consider reading this book. Please head over here to read our full recommendation.
What’s so special about the Granted Ministries ebooks?
Glad you asked. We’ve spent hours and had multiple people review and catch errors that may come from converting to eBook. And finally, as always, if you purchase at Granted Ministries you get both an ePub and Kindle version, enough licenses for your entire household and pay a lower price.
Now we encourage you to go get this incredibly unique, helpful, practical book for church life. A full Granted Ministries Our Take, pdf samples, and purchase page may be found here.
*While it is more advantageous to purchase directly from us, the book is also available directly from Amazon Kindle and from Apple.
[P]astoral qualification is never merely a matter of apparent giftedness and effectiveness. It has at its root a question of character…
He concludes with a sober, always needed, reminder:
Finally, let there be no gloating: “let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12). You may believe you saw this coming. You may have mourned over the painful trajectory that developed, and perhaps the failure of those who publicly applauded phases of Mark’s career publicly to address the change in tack. You may have your suspicions and fears about what comes next. But to revel in the sin of another is a demonic thing. To rejoice in a man’s public downfall is to join Satan’s company. When you see another man, any man, sinning and stumbling, remember that – but for the grace of God – that is you, and pray with tears that it might never be.
In reply to many requests from those ministers who in their student days listened to my lectures, I submit a selection to the press. This, however, I cannot do without an apology, for these addresses were not originally prepared for the public eye, and are scarcely presentable for criticism.
My College lectures are colloquial, familiar, full of anecdote, and often humorous: they are purposely made so, to suit the occasion. At the end of the week I meet the students, and find them weary with sterner studies, and I judge it best to be as lively and interesting in my prelections as I well can be. They have had their fill of classics, mathematics, and divinity, and are only in a condition to receive something which will attract and secure their attention, and fire their hearts. Our reverend tutor, Mr. Rogers, compares my Friday work to the sharpening of the pin: the fashioning of the head, the straightening, the laying on of the metal and the polishing have been done during the week, and then the process concludes with an effort to give point and sharpness. To succeed in this the lecturer must not be dull himself, nor demand any great effort from his audience…
There has been a good deal said and written about “expository preaching,” “Christ-centered preaching,” “redemptive-historical preaching,” etc., but very little has been said about “pastoral preaching.” Pastoral preaching is certainly expository, Christ-centered, and it always takes redemptive history into account, but it goes much further. Pastoral preaching is intensely personal and directed to a particular local church. It requires Christlike holiness of the preacher and aims to shepherd a church in the same. Consider some of the following qualities of a pastoral preacher.
1. The pastoral preacher’s sanctification is his main task in sermon preparation.
2. The pastoral preacher’s first responsibility during sermon delivery is his own personal holiness.
3. The pastoral preacher trusts that the effectiveness of preaching depends on God’s sovereign grace alone.
4. The pastoral preacher preaches to the particular local church in front of him.
In preparation for an upcoming sermon I will preach at my church, Grace Providence Church, my pastor sent me the following template he created and uses to prepare his sermons. Bless your pastors and neverunderestimate the work of a preacher. It is hard work!
“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, NASB.
“The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.” – Galatians 6:6, NASB.
In Pulpit Crimes, James White brings his clarity to the issue of the vague and ambiguous preaching. He addresses the crimes that are being committed and seeks to revive courage and committed to the truth. Timely reading, Pulpit Crimes is must reading for the homiletics student and the seasoned preacher.