Christ's sheep are vulnerable. Piper was right: Leaders must be willing to stand in the breach and protect the flock. This will always involve the basics: preaching the gospel faithfully, and shepherding God's people willingly, humbly, and tenderly through a myriad of circumstances. But it will also require courageous choices over many years, and that will inevitably produce hardship. Pastors, let us hold fast to the promise that such faithful shepherding will be rewarded when the Chief Shepherd appears with that unfading crown of glory (I Pet. 5:1-4).
Herein lies the essential lesson for all pastors laboring in the work of revitalization. Jesus is with you! He is your shield in that deacons’ meeting. He is there when you are publically rebuked. He is compassionate when your mistake or failure in a decision harms the church. He is sad when his sheep attack you because they do not understand and are afraid. He is your defender when wolves in the church try to harm the sheep. The Chief Shepherd will never abandon his shepherds!
Who do we think that we are? Who does the community think we are? Who are we really? These questions must be answered in the work of Church Revitalization. Before a church understands the need for Church Revitalization they need to know who they are. Here William D. Henard shares practical tips to find your church’s identity.
The words peace, grace, faith, and love permeate this book and are all purposely planted in the Ephesian benediction to remind his readers of the beauty and power of the gospel. In this, Paul keeps the proclamation of the gospel primary. Faithful pastors must do the same in every facet of their ministries, whether preaching and teaching, casting vision, or providing pastoral care and counsel, the gospel must be the primary language the pastor speaks to those whom he shepherds.
Should a pastor conduct the wedding of two non-Christians? What about a Christian marrying a non-Christian? Are there any circumstances in which a pastor should not marry two Christians?
These are questions I hear all the time from other pastors. What makes it permissible to conduct a wedding in this or that situation, and when should a pastor say no?