Arrived this week on New Academic:
You need a pastor that matches your church’s vision, culture, and most importantly, your church’s heart. While there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to the puzzle of planning for a seamless pastor search, this handbook was created to provide pastor search committees, church leaders, and pastors a guide to asking the right questions in order to plan for the overwhelming pastor search process.
William Vanderbloemen has spent years focusing on connecting churches with pastors who fit their ministry context. Search: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook guides church members through the process finding the right leader for their church.
Every church faces leadership changes. Leadership transitions often negatively affect the life of the church. Ministries are halted, church members leave, and giving slows down. The momentum the church was building is lost. Imagine instead that the church had a process already in place. What if they knew how to form a search committee and begin the search process for the person God is calling to lead their church?
No one is ever fully prepared for the ministry. For pastors just starting out, those needing a little rebalancing, or those growing tired in the trenches, a short guide to the basics is a welcome relief.
In On Pastoring, H. B. Charles gives 30 instructive reflections on the pastor’s heart, leadership, and public ministry, covering topics like:
- Cultivating personal godliness
- Prioritizing your family
- Guarding your ministry effectiveness
- Planning, preparing, and preaching sermons
- Balancing pastoral roles and duties
Being a pastor means wearing many hats, weathering lots of pressure, and bearing great responsibility. Let H. B. Charles be a trusted advisor as you do the serious work of shepherding a flock of God.
With all our sleek ministry models, it’s a wonder our churches are declining—until we read Acts 6:4, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.” After a long, sometimes trying ministry journey, Daniel Henderson was relieved to discover what the apostles knew from the start: The main thing must stay the main thing. It worked in their pagan times, and it will in ours. Old Paths, New Power: Reviving Our Churches through Prayer and the Ministry of the Word calls us back to the tried-and-true: pray and proclaim the word.
“When I teach on the personal spiritual disciplines found in Scripture, I always emphasize that the two most important are the intake of the Word of God and prayer. If a Christian isn’t committed to these, then forget fasting, journaling, and the rest of the disciplines. All other personal spiritual disciplines grow out of and are built on the foundation of the intake of Scirpture and prayer. I am grateful for this valuable resource that reinforces the preeminence of these disciplines above all others.” – Donald S. Whitney
Despite how common suffering is, we still struggle to understand it, and even more, to bear through it. Between Pain and Grace gets to the heart of this struggle. Born from a popular college course on suffering, this book answers many of our critical questions, like:
- Is God personally involved in our pain and suffering?
- How should Christians handle emotions like grief and anger?
- What does the Bible say about issues like mental illness, sexual abuse, and betrayal?
Striking an elegant balance between being scholarly on the one hand and heartfelt on the other, Between Pain and Grace is useful both in the classroom and for personal reading. The authors pull together Scripture, personal experiences, and even psychological research to offer a well-rounded and trustworthy take on suffering. Between Pain and Grace will give you confidence in God’s sovereignty, comfort in His presence, and wisdom for life this side of paradise.
When Bob Russell became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, it was just 120 people meeting in a basement. When he retired forty years later, it was nearing 20,000. Though his ministry was clearly successful, he’d be the first to tell you it wasn’t perfect. In After 50 Years of Ministry, Bob reflects on the best of what he’s learned (sometimes the hard way) about ministry and leadership, like how to:
- Respond to criticism
- Stop comparing yourself to other pastors
- Handle a staff moral failure
- Prioritize preaching in your schedule
- Build trust with your elders
- Make better use of downtime
- Protect your marriage
Marked with Bob’s humor and warmth—and packed with great stories and illustrations—After 40 Years of Ministry is sage advice from a man who practiced faith, put his hand to the plow, and saw God work. If you are in leadership of any kind, don’t miss this chance to learn from one of the best.
“I hope every minister of the gospel, young and old, profits from the wisdom in this book.”— R. Albert Mohler
John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings, Volume 3 includes more than thirty short, pointed essays, sermons, and addresses that summarize some of John Frame’s central (and sometimes peripheral!) ideas about the nature and method of theology, theological issues, epistemology, apologetics, the church, and ethics. Part 1 includes “Machen’s Warrior Children,” Frame’s insightful treatment of twenty-one intramural battles within the Reformed camp from 1935 to the present. Other essays introduce clarifications of theological concepts, intended to resolve or alleviate conflicts in the church, on topics such as biblical inerrancy, Open Theism, law and gospel, and the roles of grace and law in sanctification. There are also essays about Biblicism, presuppositionalism, apologetics, the regulative principle, and contemporary worship music.
“In comparison with the ‘feast’ of John Frame’s major works, these are the ‘nuggets.’ They still offer vintage Frame, and I heartily recommend them for their wisdom, balance, and incisiveness. Some have a more personal, informal tone and will usefully complement Frame’s major writings, especially for those who want to understand the connection of his writings to the person behind them.” –Vern S. Poythress
We were all created to worship, but our worship runs amok, and we pour out our praise and affection before false gods. Meanwhile, we all too often go through the motions of worship as we join others in the pew on Sundays. Who can restore us and make us the worshipers we are supposed to be? Only God himself.
Noted pastor-scholars D. A. Carson, Bryan Chapell, Charles Drew, Kevin DeYoung, Michael Haykin, Michael Horton, R. Albert Mohler, Richard D. Phillips, Joseph “Skip” Ryan, and Philip Ryken redirect our attention to our glorious Lord, showing how he pursues, redeems, and profoundly changes his worshipers—and challenging us to respond to him as he desires.
How do we love those who are suffering or speak to the overwhelmed? Do we show tenderness and compassion to others? We have a hope to hold on to and to hold out to others—how do we explain it?
In today’s society, truth claims are suspect, and many stand on the shaky ground of relativistic postmodernism. Yet Christians cling to a lasting treasure that cannot fade or disappoint. Rod Mays and K. Scott Oliphint delve into John Newton s great hymn “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”—and into the gospel truth of Scripture behind it—in search of timeless, biblical answers to questions and issues that daily press us in our Christian walk: What should guide us? What do we need in life? How do we engage with others, or even with technology? What does faith in Christ look like as we struggle with sin? Includes discussion questions. Previously published by Crossway as Things That Cannot Be Shaken.
The Pew Research Center reports “No Affiliation”—identification with no religious tradition—is the fastest-growing designation among people polled. Evangelicals, mainline Christians, and Catholics are all declining while the unaffiliated category is increasing significantly. The Church no longer has a primary place in the cultural dialogue, and Christian leaders are struggling with the fallout.
The situation is urgent. Of the present 43 percent unchurched, 33 percent aredechurched—formerly affiliated with church but no longer are. Ten percent are purely unchurched with no background in any church. The pressing question is, what will the declining numbers be in another ten years?
But in his book, The Resurgent Church, author Mike McDaniel says, “If we look beyond the unsettling trends, we begin to see something encouraging—churches are reinventing themselves and finding ways to survive, flourish, and break through to the unchurched and the dechurched.” He shows a new paradigm of incarnational churches that have managed transition to powerfully impact their communities with the message of Jesus.
Most leadership literature talks about having the right kind of leadership personality. You know the type: big-picture visionaries who serve others and get the best out of people. But the popular pattern of doing what works and getting rewarded for it is actually the enemy of Christian leadership. It thrives on making our work impersonal and exploitive. Far too often, it serves the leader rather than those the leader leads. Sadly, this pattern dominates Christian leadership in the West.
We need a different style of leadership—one patterned after Jesus. Jesus influenced others because of who he was, not because he was well-known or a person of power or because he had mastered a set of skills or implemented an effective leadership strategy. He could have completed his mission living in your house, driving your car, married to your spouse, working at your office, and raising your kids because leadership comes down to character. Many who aspire to leadership are looking for the right circumstances so they can lead. Many in positions of leadership find it difficult to lead because of obstacles, such as a lack of funds, authority, and or confusion about methods. Jesus faced all of these, and more, yet he accomplished his mission.
This is not a book about improving Christian organizations; it is about changing how Christians lead. It is for anyone with a megaphone, a platform to speak, who wants to lead others in being a witness for truth. It is for people with a pulpit, whether that pulpit be a business or a position of influence in a domain of the culture: entertainment, sports, politics, industry, the arts, academia, or religion. If you are someone to whom others listen—this book is for you.