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Category – Practical Studies


A Pastor’s Reflections: Till the Bitter End?

VFT
My parents always taught me to finish what I start, and this is general advice that I’ve always tried to follow. Sometimes, however, trying to follow this advice can be difficult when reading a bad book. No matter what, if I start a book I try my best to finish…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Beale and Carson

VFT
I regularly get asked about recommended resources for sermon preparation. There is quite obviously an ocean of books out there, so I can’t possibly know which books are the absolute best. I can, however, say which books I’ve personally found extremely useful. In my own studies I have found D.…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Ask Why

VFT
Over the last several years I have tried to ask more questions about my life. In particular, I am trying to ask the question, Why?, more frequently. There are so many things in life that we take for granted and do without question. How many people, for example, celebrate Easter…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Building Your Library

VFT
What the well-equipped workshop is to the wood craftsman, the well-stocked theological library is to the minister. Having a good library is one of the most important resources you can have in your ministry. If you happen to live near a major university or seminary, then you have a tremendous…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: What They Don’t Teach You in Seminary

VFT
One of the regular complaints I hear from graduates is that they believe their seminary education did not adequately prepare them for the various counseling challenges they face in the pastorate. On the one hand, I can understand this sentiment. You spend thousands of dollars, countless hours in class, read…
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To the Ends of the Earth: Church Planting and the Foolishness of Our Methods

by Ross Hodges As I approached graduation from WSC, I told my wife that I was willing to consider almost any possible call, with one notable exception - church planting. The thought of being part of something that was starting from scratch, something that had no support system already in…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Manuscript, Notes, or No Notes?

VFT
When you study for the ministry you will take a number of preaching classes as a part of the Master of Divinity curriculum. One of the inevitabilities is that students end up reflecting the preaching style and conviction of their professor. Someone once commented to me that they could tell…
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To the Ends of the Earth: When Sheep Attack

by a WSC alum Going in to ministry everyone knows there will be opposition. We know that there will be hostile atheists heaping scorn upon us. We know that there will be secularists who wonder why we are so intolerant. We know to expect the sideways glance and snarky remark…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Is Your Wife On Board?

VFT
I served on a presbytery credentials committee for nearly a decade. The credentials committee has the task of vetting candidates for the ministry. One of the regular questions that we asked prospective candidates was, “Is your wife in agreement with your desire to pursue the ministry?” Such a question might…
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To the Ends of the Earth: A Case for Bi-Vocational Church Planting

by alum Andy Smith Like most newly-minted seminary graduates looking for work, I am continually checking my e-mail, eagerly anticipating an update concerning my future employment. Unlike most seminary grads, the emails I’m looking for are not from Covenant Presbyterian Church or Christ Reformed Church, but from Liberty Mutual and…
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