• The Great Ordinary Commission Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I teach on the Great Commission, I often begin by asking my students, “What is Jesus’ primary emphasis in the Great Commission?” Typically, most students reply, “evangelism.” I then ask them to read the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18–20, after which I ask my question a second time. The students quickly see that although the Great Commission includes a call to evangelism, it doesn’t actually contain the word evangelism. What the students observe through more careful study of the Great Commission is that Jesus’ primary emphasis is on making disciples. Making disciples certainly includes evangelism but is … View Resource

  • Make Disciples Article by Dave Eby

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I started seminary in 1967, Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:18–20 to “make disciples” baffled me. There was something cryptic and mysterious about it, seemingly understood by only an initiated few. At the same time, Jesus’ words demanded comprehension and performance, and this started a pilgrimage of seeking to understand and practice “making disciples.” After thirty-four years of pastoring in the United States and now after seven years as a seminary teacher in Uganda, I am still learning. Let’s look together at three simple questions: (1) What is a disciple? (2) How are disciples made? (3) What kinds … View Resource

  • Teaching Them to Observe Article by Victor Cruz

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    Being an evangelist is more than just telling people about Jesus; it requires that we become teachers of the gospel. The gospel is proclaimed by the preaching of the good news. This is the beginning. But we also need to explain to new believers the implications and consequences of believing in the gospel. This is necessary to make real disciples. The Authority to Teach R.T. France notes that when Jesus said to His disciples that they would have to teach, He was transferring to them the authority to be teachers. In 28:20, Matthew uses for the first time … View Resource

  • Informal Mentoring Article by Alvin Reid

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2013

    Jimmy arrived at my house promptly at 8 a.m. to take me to the airport. He has often done this for me. Jimmy and his wife, Natalie, head overseas later this year as missionaries. He has been in a small group that I lead; he and Natalie also lead a small group at our local church. But Jimmy was doing more than giving me a ride to the airport. This trip demonstrates the primary approach I take toward mentoring. I rarely ever go on a driving trip alone, and I virtually never drive to the airport by myself. Whenever … View Resource

  • Why Follow Jesus? Article by Jonathan Dodson

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2013

    In today’s culture, we are more pragmatic than reflective. Obsessed with knowing what works and how it works, we strive to repeat the formula. We are less concerned with why things work. Discipleship is no exception. Many have traded in the why for the how, motivation for the best practice. This is disconcerting. The reason for this is that practice can take us only so far. When hardship hits, practice needs motivation to continue. What motivates you to follow Jesus? If this question isn’t one you continually ponder and answer, you will walk away from Jesus rather than … View Resource

  • The Bonds of Brotherhood Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Fraternity … what does this word mean? It can refer to several distinct types of associations or relationships, and the church can learn valuable lessons by exploring these in more depth. The term fraternity may prompt us to recall the motto of the French Revolution: “Liberty, Fraternity, Equality.” Fraternity, along with equality and liberty, ranked right at the top of the concerns of that revolution. The term may cause us to think of college campus groups such as those depicted in the radical fraternity film Animal House. Beyond the college level, there is a wide variety of organizations of men … View Resource

  • A Generation of Heroes Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy,” wrote Puritan pastor George Swinnock (1627–1673). Every individual knows he was created for community. Isolation is the Devil’s playground, and our Enemy is on the lookout for the Christian who thinks he can stand alone in independent isolation from the fellowship, accountability, and encouragement of faithful brothers and sisters. Before the fall of man, even though the Lord God walked in close communion with Adam in the garden, our gracious and triune God knew it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18), and so God … View Resource

  • By Faith, Not Fear Article by Scotty Smith

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2010

    Lions and tigers and bears, O my!” That’s not only one of the more memorable lines from cinematic history, it’s one of the more recognizable themes in contemporary discipleship. Sometimes fear of the enemies to our faith seems much more pronounced than faith in the object of our faith — the Lord Jesus Christ. View Resource

  • The Discipline of God Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    Church programs, campus ministries, and independent organizations today emphasize the need for radical discipleship. It is not always clear what they mean by this. The word radical can be a trendy term. What is clear is this: if one’s view of discipleship undervalues discipline, then we can say that whatever adjective that person uses before the term discipleship, the latter has ceased to be biblical. View Resource

  • Grace Transforms Everything Article by Sean Michael Lucas

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    In our town, a church just went through a rebranding effort as part of their relocation to a new building in a different section of town. Their logo and signage are beautiful and well conceived. One sees their stickers on cars everywhere. And their tagline is memorable: “Faith changes everything.” View Resource

  • Receiving the Baton Article by Bob Kauflin

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    As I run the final laps of my race on this earth (however long the Lord allows that to be), one of my greatest joys and desires is to serve the next generation. When I was in my twenties, I assumed, somewhat arrogantly, that my friends and I had better ideas than anyone who was older than we were. That covered everything from music styles to leadership practices to how to raise a family. View Resource

  • Across the Great Divide Article by Rod Mays

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2010

    I started working with younger men and women (campus ministry) when I was turning fifty. A decade later, I see how this work has transformed my perspective on the church and ministry. I’ve seen the importance of knowing one’s demographic and understanding more about how the individual relates to the whole in today’s cultural environment. I’ve gained a good deal of insight into gender issues and learned a ton about multigenerational interaction. I think I can accurately state that at one time or another, every one of us has been frustrated with the generation just older or younger than ourselves. … View Resource

  • Pastoral Wisdom Article by David Osborne

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008

    The fourth Saturday of this month is legendary for college football fans. It is the annual clash between Alabama and Tennessee (two of the Deep South’s most storied football programs). Alabama fans recognize Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s iconic status. The “General,” as Robert Neyland is often called, stands out on the big orange side of the grid-iron as a legend in his own right. What made General Neyland memorable was his ability to boil down a complicated and involved game into seven maxims — keys to focus one’s mind before, during, and after the game. The ministry is certainly … View Resource

  • Free Is Not Cheap Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2008

    When Jesus predicted His death to the disciples (Matt. 16:21), it surprised them. The Messiah wasn’t supposed to die — especially at the hands of the pagan Roman empire. In another sense, however, it wasn’t all that surprising. Prophets like Jesus, Jeremiah, or John the Baptist often met with less than happy endings. In this case, it’s equally surprising that He pushed on toward Jerusalem. But such was the cost of discipleship.  Jesus understood well that His messianic work of establishing God’s kingdom entailed more than preaching and eating with unclean sinners. It included suffering and death, and … View Resource

  • The Next Generation Article by Joshua Harris

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    When I turned twenty-one, my dad gave me this simple advice: “Find men that you want to be like and then sit at their feet.” As I launched into manhood, he was reminding me that the lessons I needed most wouldn’t be found in a textbook — they’d be written in the heart and life of a godly man. I needed to get close enough to this man that I could observe his character and be shaped by his example. I needed a mentor.  I didn’t realize at the time how important and prescient my dad’s counsel was … View Resource