Americans’ Perception of Pastors Is a Mixed Bag

Almost half of Americans say their experience with pastors has been better than the portrayals they’ve witnessed in the media.

And while pastors may have an image problem, personal contact seemingly counteracts negative perceptions. Among those who know a pastor personally, 64 percent regard pastors very positively. Personal contact appears to affect not only churchgoers but also the religiously unaffiliated, who are more likely to have something positive to say about pastors when they say... Continue Reading

Preaching the Gospel with Words: Why There’s No Other Way

We marginalize evangelism when we say the good news is social action.

In recent years, the Church, motivated by our love for Jesus and for people, has led the way in championing social justice. This is appropriate biblical engagement, resulting in better communities as we answer the call to meet human needs. But nothing is more deadly to the future of the Church than to think the... Continue Reading

Maintaining Unity in the PCA

The Usefulness of the Westminster Standards

The tendency for ministers to utilize the subtlety of arguments that press for unity as over against truth (or, unity as being “weightier” than truth) ought to alert us to our own need to be diligent in defending confessional integrity in the PCA. Real and lasting unity is rooted in truth. We are far from immune to a shift toward theological liberalism.... Continue Reading

The Mission of the Church Is Eternal

The seeking of the kingdom of God is the central business of the church.

It was God’s eternal design in eternity to manifest His plan of redemption and the creation of His church. The Father from eternity agreed to send the second person of the Trinity, the Son, into the world to accomplish this plan of redemption. Together, the Father and the Son agreed to send the Holy Spirit... Continue Reading

Why Would a Millennial Want to Pastor an Established Church?

The American church is facing a wave of retiring Boomer pastors; is the church prepared to replace them as they retire?

Over the next 10 years, a lot of established churches will struggle to find a pastor for the next generation. Why would a Millennial want to pastor an established church with a large portion of older congregants?….The wave of retiring Boomer pastors will swell to the point that many churches will struggle to find a... Continue Reading

The Rise of Café Churches in South Korea

How corruption scandals are driving young Christians away from megachurches, and conservative politics

This house of worship in central Seoul is one of the tens of thousands of small Protestant chapels across the country that are trying to lure believers away from South Korea’s megachurches. Some, like this one, are doing so by satisfying the longing for a close-knit religious community as well as the craving for a... Continue Reading

How a Pastor Loves His Flock

A pastor’s preeminent duty consists in the regular feeding of God’s people with the Word

“The pastor loves his flock well when he preaches Christ to them and constantly, prayerfully, and tirelessly points them away from themselves and this world to Christ Jesus, the Lord. No Christian should ever underestimate the divine power that attends the faithful heralding of the Word of God.”   The measure of a pastor’s love... Continue Reading

Early Parole Rejected For Former Bishop Heather Cook

Heather Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who pled guilty to criminal charges in connection with a drunk-driving crash, will remain in prison

Commission chairman David Blumberg said the two commissioners who ruled on the case told him one reason they denied Cook parole was that she “took no responsibility” and “showed no remorse” for her actions during the 90-minute hearing.   Heather Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who is serving a seven-year prison sentence for a drunk-driving... Continue Reading

5 Things You Should Never Say To A Small Church Pastor

Don’t just get the content right. Consider how it might feel to the hurting pastors who need your help the most.

It’s not because we don’t want or need the help. It’s that we’ve grown weary of hearing advice that’s offered with the best intentions, but is more hurtful than helpful. If you’re in a position to speak, write or counsel small church pastors, here are 5 things small church pastors regularly hear that you should... Continue Reading

Singing with Martin Luther: A Model for Cultivating Hymns in the Language of the People

Luther emphasized the need for congregational hymns in the language of the people.

As good as translated hymns may be, they’re often not in the “voice” of the people. For example, I’ve traveled several times to Brazil and had conversations with missionaries and native speakers about this problem. Brazilian churches have many hymns that were translated from English to Portuguese. These have provided a good repertory of Christian... Continue Reading