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Category – Pastoral Ministry


A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and False Accusations

VFT
As a pastor, you hope that people in your church will love, respect, and value your service to the church. This pattern marks, I believe, of the vast majority of the people in the church. At the same time, there will be some who dislike you and your ministry to…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and Narcissism

VFT
This is the first post in a four-part series on a cruciform ministry, a ministry shaped by the cross of Christ. This first post addresses the topic of narcissism, and in subsequent posts I address the topics of false accusations, sacrifice, and joy. Every culture and period of history presents…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Retiring from the Game

VFT
One of the more difficult questions to answer in a pastor’s life is determining when it’s time to retire from ministry. When should a pastor retire? This is a tough question for a number of reasons, but mostly because it all depends on a number of circumstances. Thus, there is…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Hanging Up Your Cleats

VFT
What do you do when you find yourself at the crossroads of life and there are no signposts? What happens when you lose your pastoral call and you think you should change vocations? Or what happens if you graduate from seminary and after a number of years you still haven’t…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Getting Benched

VFT
Over the years I have watched a number of colleagues lose their pastorates for various reasons. This can be a very discouraging turn of events to say the least. What do you do when you’ve spent four years in college, three or four years in seminary, spent ten years in…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Riding the Pine

VFT
In team sports athletes who do not start the game and spend a lot of time on the bench have a phrase—they “ride the pine.” That is, they sit on the pine bench rather than play in the game. Last week’s post addressed the topic of what steps you can…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Starting

VFT
In team sports if you have the skill and ability, you can be a starter on the team. From the very first tick of the clock the coach puts you in the game. There is a great degree of satisfaction in being a starter. This parallels the experience of a…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Did I Apply the Text?

VFT
The last question I ask myself when I’m evaluating a sermon, including my own, is, Did I apply the text? This is an important question, though perhaps it’s often debated because people disagree on what constitutes application. In the minds of some preachers, application is a well-intended but nevertheless sinful…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Did I Preach Christ?

VFT
The third question I ask when evaluating sermons (including my own) is whether I preached Christ organically from the biblical text. Many preachers regularly ask this question of themselves, but at the same time they’re not quite sure how to do this. Charles Spurgeon once famously stated, “I take my…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Did I Explain the Text?

VFT
When I evaluate a sermon or my own preaching the second key question I ask is whether I adequately explained the biblical text. This is a distinct issue from the first question, namely, Did I exegete the biblical text? Exegesis is foundational to a solid sermon—it ensures that you accurately…
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