The Faces of Ministry at Ligonier: Burk Parsons
Burk Parsons has served at Ligonier Ministries for twelve years, and for the past eight years he has served as the editor of Tabletalk magazine. He also serves along side Dr. Sproul as associate pastor at Saint Andrew’s where he spends the majority of his time. In his words: “The ministry of Tabletalk is truly a labor of love for me. In His providence, God used the ministry of Tabletalk to help equip me for pastoral ministry, and it is my sincere desire to be able to help minister to the congregation of Saint Andrew’s and to the church throughout the world through this little magazine that the Sprouls have given me the great privilege to edit and produce, month in and month out. As a pastor, being the editor of Tabletalk is one small way I can help to get God’s people into His Word and the theology of His Word every day of their lives to the end that they would know God, love God, enjoy God, and make Him known now and forever.”
Burk is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and is a member of the Central Florida Presbytery along with Dr. Sproul. He holds a B.A. in biblical studies from Trinity College and the M.Div. degree from Reformed Theological Seminary, where he is also working towards completion of his Doctor of Ministry degree, which he is completing for the purpose of training pastors in other countries, particularly among unreached peoples. He speaks regularly at various conferences and schools in the United States and has spent much of his time teaching, ministering, and training pastors internationally in places such as Armenia, Colombia, Germany, Haiti, Iran, and throughout Africa.
He has contributed to various books and journals, and he is author of the forthcoming booklet Why Do We Have Creeds? (P&R, 2012), as well as editor of the books Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God’s Grace (P&R, 2006) and John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology (Reformation Trust, 2008). When asked about writing, he says “While I love to write, I must always remember that my primary calling as a shepherd of Christ’s flock is to shepherd Christ’s flock. Shepherding is a daily ministry to the flock of God. It is made up of teaching, preaching, praying, evangelizing, discipling, counseling, visiting, training — and just one small part of that is the work of writing and editing, first for the people God has called me to serve as a pastor and second to all His people throughout the world who might be better equipped through the message and ministry He’s entrusted to me, to use the apostle Paul’s words.”
He and his wife, Amber, live out in the country of north central Florida with their children as they attempt to enjoy a more simple life in the daily battlefield against the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Burk drives a pickup truck, spends a lot of time working on his property, and he enjoys old-English style quail hunting, and spending quality time with other men. But above all, he says, he loves to spend time with his wife and children, about which he often says: “What does it profit a pastor if he gains the whole church but loses his family.”