David’s words are mine some days. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins (Psalm 25:16-18). I know some of you would slowly nod your head to this too, as your eyes are cast downward, the contemplations of your heart reeling in a grey, slow-motion fog. “Have I been made for this work?”, you ask? “Of course”, you answer. But probably too quickly, and maybe for the first time you are not so sure.
So what does it look like for an evangelical, Reformed, church-planting church to be appropriately Pentecostal today? How can we embrace the power of God for our lives, relationships, ministries, and churches? How can we become pentecostal (small “p,” not the capital “P” denomination and subculture) without giving up an inch of our liturgical, Reformed tradition?
I’ve not met too many pastors who come skipping into the pulpit on Sunday convinced they have the next “Don’t Waste Your Life” or “Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God” in their hot little hands. At least any who’ve been out of seminary for like a week. The reason why is that preaching is supposed to put a pastor in his place, and remind him every Sunday morning that he has one job to do that he didn’t get to write the job description for. Here’s three ways preaching puts us in our place, and why it should.
When you hear the word “Pentecost,” what comes into your mind? The majority of us, I’m guessing, think of “Pentecostalism,” the denomination that emphasizes speaking in tongues and prophesying. At the seminary I attended, “Pentecostal” is a general term you could call somebody who gets a little carried away with the Spirit, isn’t quite gospel-centered enough, or gets less than a B- in elementary Greek. So we need to recapture this word.
Let me start with a definition of humility derived from A Theology of the Ordinary by Julie Canlis; humility is understanding who God is and who we are. This truth is allowing me to begin to see and experience conviction in two areas: my utter lack of true humility and second, the way that my pride, stress, and anxiety are intrinsically linked together. My pride will give me an inflated sense of self, telling me to do and be more than I was intended for. Burnout chases after those who do life and ministry without humility.
Earlier this week the Southern Baptist Convention—the largest Protestant body in the United States and the largest Baptist denomination in the world—elected 45-year-old pastor J. D. Greear as its 62nd president, the youngest man to hold the office in 38 years.
We here at Sojourn Network want to extend our gratitude to J.D. for serving the church so well over the years. We're thrilled that he's been elected to this position and want to extend a heart-felt congratulation to him, his family, and his church. We will be praying for you and encouraging the pastors and churches of Sojourn Network to do the same.
Consider the area where your church is located. The faithful, the unreached people groups, the brokenness, the flourishing…all of it. As you evaluate your geographic region – the area God has called your church to serve – what would it take to see the knowledge of the glory of the Lord fill your geography to achieve gospel saturation?
Sojourn Network is a family of pastors and churches partnering together through a beautiful gospel to see healthy pastors planting, growing, and multiplying healthy churches that last. Our family of churches spans the width and breadth of the United States — from Hawaii to New York, Washington to Florida, Texas to Michigan. Read more about the who we are, the work we do, and the impact our churches are having all across the country in our annual report. We also encourage you to pray for our supported church planters below.
Every pastor's wife has an unwritten job description for herself. It might be unconscious and loosely defined but it's there. We know the feeling of not measuring up to what we think we are supposed to do and be. We know the areas that we're falling short. You might not be a pastor's wife. You might be a mom, a ministry leader, or whoever. We have this mental checklist, job description, at all times that we measure ourselves against. It is so tiring!
Don’t worry, this is not another article on the nature and effect of prayer as a spiritual discipline in the life of believers. For that, read “Prayer” by Tim Keller, “Recapturing the Wonder” by Mike Cosper, “Habits of Grace” by David Mathis or “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller. What I want to briefly discuss is two practical aspects of praying and why “prayer without ceasing” should become as natural as the daily conversations you have with friends and loved ones.
Russell Moore on parenting. Articles on addressing race in the church, similarities and differences between urban, suburban and rural communities in America, how famous creatives spent their days, and much more!
The death of racism is not a concept created in political thinktanks. It is God’s very own design for a new reconciled humanity created in and through the sacrificial life, death, and resurrection of the Christ. Even if we may come to varying conclusions of what a biblically faithful view of race means, actively teach your people how to consider race and the Christian faith in the culture of your church.