Now we’re getting back into the swing of things after the break, I thought it would be good to welcome new readers (and welcome back old ones). I began this blog in August 2012, and since then a lot of people have stopped by, so I thought I’d get straight what we’re here for.
For most of my life I’ve been in and around church leadership, and most recently I’ve had responsibility for training future gospel workers (see the ‘About Chris’ table for my story). That recent responsibility had two thrusts.
First, I’ve been training young preachers. That’s my central role, and as it should be: the church is, as Luther put it ‘a creature of the Word’. We are called into existence by God’s Word, and sustained for our Christian walk by God’s Word. Everything we do has its origin in God’s Word, and so we need faithful and relevant preachers (‘able and reliable’ in 2 Tim 2 terms). Lots of them. That’s Jesus’ blueprint for his church.
Resources for decent preaching are pretty thick on the ground, and although I’ve worked to cook up something new for the students, in a sense it’s been nothing original – text and context, biblical theology and systematic theology, truth and application, content and communication.
I’ve wanted to keep that central for me, too, and that’s why my books have been mostly looking at the Bible and its contemporary relevance.
My other responsibility has been to teach Christian leadership, and that’s been a tougher call. Principally because although there are good secular books on leadership (take a bow, Jim Collins), there’s a much thinner crop on the Christian side. There’s some purely pragmatic stuff (Schaller and Malphurs), but you need to do some theological heavy lifting to make them useful. Lots of experienced Christian leaders have given us the benefit of their wisdom, and pointed us to some helpful passages (Al Mohler has done a good job), but I’m not persuaded that it’s always properly integrated with preaching.
And on the other side there’s a mood which says that all we have to do is preach sermons at people. Which is daft.
So this blog occupies a different space. It starts from the assumption that the Bible is adequate for all our ministry needs, and that includes leadership. In a nutshell, leadership is the application of God’s Word to the habits, practices, vision, plans, decisions (etc.) of a local church. It’s when the truth of the sermon explodes in the elders’ meeting and runs the budget My twin obsessions, of applying the bible well, and life and leadership of the local church, come together. It’s about corporate application.
And we spin that out, using a biblical worldview which includes common grace, and applied to to the nitty gritty of church life.
So if that’s where you are – welcome to the club! (And I’m part of it too – next January I return to full time church leadership myself). Use the comments section to join in, disagree or connect with others. Want to write a guest post? Let me know.
I try to post a couple of times a week, a quick piece. Sometimes there’ll be a short series, but mostly it’s one-offs. Occasionally (very occasionally) I repost from elsewhere, but usually the stuff here is unique to here. And if you subscribe I promise not to fill your inbox with spam.