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Category – Worship


A Pastor’s Reflections: Ministry and Authority

VFT
I can remember that when I was first contemplating entering into the pastorate, I thought that I might be interested in pursuing youth ministry. I can’t tell you why, precisely, this was my first thought. I know that I had a number of excellent youth workers over the years make…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Don’t Listen to Sermons

VFT
When students cross the threshold and enter the hallowed halls of seminary, those who enroll in the Master of Divinity program usually have one big goal in mind—they want to be preachers. This is a perfectly natural and understandable goal, one to which all MDiv students should aspire. Seminaries, therefore,…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Sermon Illustrations

VFT
Sermon illustrations are one of the most challenging aspects of preaching, in my opinion. I haven’t done a survey of preaching professors or textbooks, but I suspect that they would all say that preachers should employ good illustrations to help the congregation grasp the point you’re making in your sermon.…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Joys of the Pastorate

VFT
There are certainly many challenges and trials in the pastorate, but on the other hand, there are also many joys, things that bring great encouragement and happiness. One of the tremendous blessings of being a pastor is the privilege to study the Scriptures full-time. What others have to squeeze into…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Public Prayers

VFT
This may come as a surprise but one of my least favorite things to do as a pastor is offer public prayer. I have, I believe, good reasons for my dislike of public prayer. I do like to pray—it is a very personal thing for me where I can lay…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Sleeping in Church

VFT
In my time in the pastorate I only rebuked (gently, I believe) my congregation twice for sleeping. On two particular instances, one where we were administering the Lord’s Supper, there were an inordinate number of people dozing off. And especially in the case of the Lord’s Supper, I urged people…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Listen, Don’t Critique

VFT
One of the biggest problems in Reformed churches, I believe, is that people come to church to critique the sermon rather than listen to it. How so? In Reformed churches there are always a number of theological commandos, people who love to study the Bible, read serious theological works, and…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Lectio Continua

VFT
During the sixteenth-century Reformation one of the standard practices for pastors was to preach lectio continua, chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse, through books of the Bible. At Geneva, for example, John Calvin preached from the New Testament in the morning and the Old Testament in the evening. Despite its common use during the…
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Basics of the Reformed Faith: The Lord’s Supper

Kim Riddlebarger
The Reformed understanding of the Lord’s Supper is grounded in an important distinction between the sign and seal (bread and wine), the thing signified (forgiveness through his blood, the “blood of the covenant”), and a sacramental union between the two (our Lord’s words “this is my body”).  This three-fold distinction…
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Basics of the Reformed Faith: Baptism

Kim Riddlebarger
  Before our Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, he left his disciples with the following command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded…
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