When to Seek Pastoral Counsel… Only in Emergencies? – Jeremy Walker

Jeremy Walker, over at Reformation21, writes on when one should seek counsel from their pastor. He concludes:

But might I encourage you not simply to wait until everything seems broken before asking your pastors to fix it? Do not treat them like an emergency service who respond only when all other hope is almost or entirely gone, like Nebuchadnezzar turning to Daniel for counsel when the doom against his proud spirit was already looming on the horizon (Dan 4.27). Come to them early. Come when the first signs of trouble and difficulty are brewing. No faithful man of God will resent the opportunity to offer appropriate and necessary care for the flock of God as and when the need arises. Please do not reserve your approach to your pastors for cases of emergency.

Read the rest.

Living, Preaching, Serving Like Our Forefathers – Thabiti Anyabwile & Michael Haykin

Over at the Pure Church blog, Pastor Anyabwile writes:

Michael Haykin, in his book Rediscovering Our English Baptist Heritage: Kiffin Knollys & Keach Rediscovering English Baptist HeritageKiffin, Knollys, and Keach, provides a valuable, crisp overview of the early years of Calvinistic Baptist development.  Anyone looking for a quick read of this history (97 pages) and an introduction to the major figures pioneering the movement would do well to read this well-written, succinct summary.


Of the many things I appreciated about Haykin’s summary was the frequent attention he gave to the major lessons we may appropriate from these forebears for our own day.  The concluding chapter draws our attention to three lessons in particular.

    1. Confessional Heritage
    2. Congregational Heritage
    3. Reformed Heritage

Read or listen to a readout [7 min.]

How Pastors Can Keep from Losing Heart – Fred Malone

Don't Lose Heart

Fred Malone just finished his two three part series (perhaps there will be more?) on “How Pastors Can Keep from Losing Heart”:

Two Vital Needs of Every True Ministry – Jim Savastio

From the Main Things blog, Jim Savastio writes:

Not only must we proclaim real and true holiness unto the end that there is Spirit wrought likeness to Jesus, we must regularly hold before the striving and failing saint the reality of an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…

Our generation seems to have produced ministries which focus on one side of the equation or the other. They see duty or they see grace. The wonder of grace does not negate the necessity of obedience and the failure of the saint does not overshadow the beauty of our Advocate.


20+ FREE Lectures & Q&A on Preaching & Teaching from Reformed Baptist Seminary

Briggs Borgman Elliott

The lectures below belong to the curriculum of Reformed Baptist Seminary’s course on preaching and teaching. They are made available here for the benefit of pastors and churches that are seeking to prepare men for gospel ministry.

Lecture 01 – Introduction to Preaching – Brian Borgman

Lecture 02 – Definitions and Observations – Brian Borgman

Lecture 03 – The Message We Preach, Pt 1 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 04 – The Message We Preach, Pt 2 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 05 – The Message We Preach, Pt 3 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 06 – The Power of Preaching, Pt 1 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 07 – The Power of Preaching, Pt 2 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 08 – Directives to Young Preachers, Pt 1 – Robert Briggs

Lecture 09 – Directives to Young Preachers, Pt 2 – Robert Briggs

Lecture 10 – Directives to Young Preachers, Pt 3 – Robert Briggs

Lecture 11 – Sermon Classifications, Pt 1 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 12 – Sermon Classifications, Pt 2 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 13 – Choosing a Passage to Preach – Brian Borgman

Lecture 14 – Preaching and Contextualization, Pt 1 – Robert Elliott

Lecture 15 – Preaching and Contextualization, Pt 2 – Robert Elliott

Lecture 16 – Preaching and Contextualization, Pt 3 – Robert Elliott

Lecture 17 – Developing a Passage to Preach – Brian Borgman

Lecture 18 – Outlining and Preparation, Pt 1 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 19 – Outlining and Preparation, Pt 2 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 20 – Delivering the Message, Pt 1 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 21 – Delivering the Message, Pt 2 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 22 – Delivering the Message, Pt 3 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 23 – Delivering the Message, Pt 4 – Brian Borgman

Lecture 24 – Q&A Session

[source: Reformed Baptist Seminary]

Continuing Education for Pastors: A New Program from the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies


Very exciting news from Dr. James Renihan from The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA:

With great hope for its usefulness, The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies has developed a Continuing Education Program for pastors or men being mentored by pastors. We have developed a curriculum that will deepen an understanding of Scripture and usefulness in the church. These are studies intended to help pastors and potential church leaders, taught by skilled men.

We believe that at this moment in the history of the church, there is a great need and a great opportunity. The need is for skilled men, the opportunity is the means to provide such training. This program is structured to do both. And likewise, there are two classes of men we may be able to help. Pastors must always be increasing in godliness and giftedness, and alongside of them, most churches will have men who have good and helpful gifts to aid them in their work. We hope that both pastors and their men will join our program.

The Scriptures teach us that ministers must actively cultivate their graces and gifts. They are not passive subjects, made into ministers by strikes of holy lightning. Rather, part of their task is to seek to identify and expand grace and gift in our lives…

But these courses are not just for pastors. They are for men identified by their pastors as potential servants in the church, encouraged to develop their skills for service in their assemblies. We hope that pastors will use these courses to help their men grow and develop.

Over the years, many pastors both of ARBCA churches as well as others have said that they wished they could profit from the courses offered at the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies. In July 2009, Pastor Ron Baines forwarded to the IRBS Trustees the results of the annual ARBCA Survey. Among the comments made concerning IRBS was this one: “Many men would like to see the creation of electronic and distance learning options for men already in the pastorate who might benefit from further training.” The Trustees and Dean of IRBS have been working to put together a response to these requests, and are pleased at last to announce the beginning of the IRBS Continuing Education program…

Not only will we make Dr. Renihan’s Escondido classes available, but we will also offer classes from a wide variety of highly qualified men. In total, we expect to have about 25 courses available. In the cases of the engineer and the Physician Assistant (and there are many more) the requirements may be met in a variety of ways, including participation in internet based learning experiences. For this reason, we will be offering these courses primarily through a secure website dedicated to this cause. The lectures will not be accessible to the general public, but only to those specifically registered to participate. Each course will include a minimum of 20 hours of lecture, some reading assignments, a project or paper, and an exam. Upon completion of all classes, IRBS will issue a certificate.

Our hope is to offer these courses:

  • Biblical Studies:
    • Principles of Bible Interpretation
    • The Pastor and his Greek Testament
    • Old Testament Biblical Theology
    • New Testament Biblical Theology
  • Systematic Theology:
    • Foundations of Christian Theology
    • Our Great and Glorious God
    • Christ the God-Man
    • The Ordo Salutis
    • Eschatology
    • Doctrine of the Church
    • Distinctives of RB Theology
    • Baptist Symbolics
  • Pastoral Theology:
    • Theology of Ministry
    • Preaching Christ from all of Scripture
    • Christian Missions
  • Church History:
    • Church History Survey
    • Puritanism in Context
    • Baptist History
  • Apologetics:
    • Science and Scripture
    • In Defense of the Faith

The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies Continuing Education Program has a wide selection of courses leading to a Certificate. Ranging from exegetical courses to systematic theology and from church history to pastoral theology, every course will be available in both video and audio format. Each is appropriately resourced to support learning and knowledge. Our program provides not only an ideal environment for continuing education, but also a superb opportunity to grow in usefulness.

Pastors, will you join us? And will you cultivate men in your church to study with us? And will you please pray that the Lord will bless our efforts to be an encouragement to men in the Gospel ministry. For further information contact irbsassistant@gmail.com or irbsprof@gmail.com.

Visit the site, read more, and SIGN UP!


Al Martin, Spurgeon & Dabney on the Call to Ministry (5-part blog series) – Nicolas Alford

Nicolas Alford, from The Decablog, writes:

This utilization of church history and key voices from the past is precisely what Pastor A. N. Martin prescribes in his classic lectures on Pastoral Theology entitled The Call of the Man of God. There he advises his students to mine the best gold offered on this subject from the library of history. Two of the voices from history which Martin highlights as particularly valuable are the 19th century Baptist Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and the 19th century Presbyterian Robert Lewis Dabney…


Martin recommends these two men because he believes that an accurate understanding of this topic exists somewhere between their two views.  He intends for his students to balance out the extremes of the one with the other.  In his second lecture on this subject Martin exhorts his listeners with some humor, saying


Don’t yield your mind to any one man’s counsel on this subject.  As you read Spurgeon, don’t accept him as the guru, as fully balanced and the final word.  If you do… some of you might not stay the rest of the week… On the other hand, if you take Dabney as the final word [there are] some of you that may feel you ought to move beyond your present sphere of usefulness in the church of Christ and aspire to the pastoral office without sufficient internal and external warrant to do that.  So please don’t read Dabney and fall asleep tonight without reading Spurgeon.  And if you read Spurgeon, be sure before you come tomorrow morning you read Dabney to balance yourself out…


It  would seem that what A.N. Martin has in view is a sort of sanctified regression to the mean.  This series of posts intends to take his advice.  As the various issues at play are discussed, the best of Spurgeon will be weighed with the best of Dabney, and the weaknesses of both will be weighed against Scripture.

Read the series:


Nicolas Alford’s two primary sources for this series:

  • Dabney, Robert Lewis.  “What is a Call to the Ministry?”  Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney, Volume 2: Evangelical and Theological. Available here.
  • Spurgeon, Charles, “The Call to the Ministry,” Lectures to my Students.  Reprint, Grand Rapids: Zonde.rvan, 1954.


Building Biblical Churches Conference Audio From The Spurgeon Fellowship Of Florida

building biblical churches

The Spurgeon Fellowship of Florida hosted its first regional conference for the year 2013 in Pensacola, Fl at Mt. Zion Bible Church on February 15th-16th. The topic of the conference was Building Biblical Churches.

The sermon topics were The Gospel, Evangelism/Discipleship, Conversion, Biblical Preaching, Biblical Theology, Church Membership, Church Discipline, and Church Leadership.

Our Speakers were (starting photo left):

bbc speakers

Joshua Henry, Robb Coleman, Jeff Hunter, Jonny White, Chris Hatton, Joshua Wallnofer and Jeff Pollard.

The prayer behind this conference was that the Lord would use this conference to promote unity, cooperation, and fellowship among like-minded local churches.

Conference audio:

building biblical churches prev


[source: Spurgeon Fellowship of Florida]

Feed My Sheep Conference Audio (feat: Michael Haykin)

feed my sheep conference

March 18, 2012 was the Feed My Sheep Conference. It is a one-day conference organized for pastors and church leaders in the greater, metro-Atlanta area, hosted at Mount Vernon Baptist Church.

Conference audio (mp3):

Conference co-sponsered with the Atlanta Association of Southern Baptist Churches and The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies.