• Unregrettable, Hard Words Article by Burk Parsons

    2 Corinthians 7:8–9 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.” In reflecting on his previous letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul is rightly mindful to draw attention to the grief that his letter caused among his recipients, not to mention the grief he himself experienced. View Resource

  • Congregational Counseling Article by Eric Bancroft

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2010

    Premarital counseling can be an entertaining exercise for an older couple offering guidance to a younger couple. Across from them sit two individuals eager to wed. Apart from occasional disagreements about planning the ceremony, the soon-to-be-newlyweds are prone to think all is well, and their excitement is reflected on their faces. A church and its new pastor can be like that young couple — eager to get started in the ministry for which they have waited. The candidating process tempts them to believe all will be well. While their enthusiasm is encouraging, they also need some “premarital counseling.” View Resource

  • The Fine Line Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2010

    Every Christian is to have a conscience singularly informed by the Word of God, but it is utterly indispensable for the minister of the gospel. Ministers are called to take a stand for truth before those who oppose the Word of God in the world; but they also face the unique challenge of taking a stand for truth before those who oppose biblical teaching within the church. In a day of widespread individualism, heightened biblical illiteracy, and diminishing respect for gospel ministry, ministers are faced with the daunting task of taking a firm but loving stand in matters of faith … View Resource

  • Too Good to Be True? Article by Robert Strimple

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2010

    In 1935 I was baptized and then raised in one of the largest “mainline” Protestant denominations. But by age twelve I was so disappointed with the pastors sent to us, all preaching the old liberalism so popular in those years, that I asked my parents if I could transfer to the local Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I went with their blessing, and the Lord soon blessed me with deepening biblical faith. As we survey the American scene today, the mainline churches, rather than returning at last to the biblical faith and embracing the gospel, have merely tried one suggestion after another … View Resource

  • The Missing Motive Article by Eric Alexander

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2010

    I am notoriously bad at remembering anniversaries, and last year it was quite a surprise to discover that 2008 marked the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination to the Christian ministry. Not that the occasion was other than memorable. Indeed it was a very special day for many reasons. View Resource

  • To the Young Pastor Article by Ron Gleason

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    Being a pastor has been the most humbling, challenging, fulfilling, and wonderful calling of my life. It was in the pastoral ministry that I learned — and still am learning — that true success is not measured by the size of your salary or your level of notoriety. It is measured by the faithfulness you exhibit in serving Christ and His church. I wouldn’t trade being a pastor for anything, and I’ve learned that scholarship’s best place is in the pulpit. Because the pastorate is not a temporary address or a “jumping off place” where a man waits for bigger … View Resource

  • Training Pastors in Church Article by Albert Mohler

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    The Bible consistently affirms education as a central responsibility of God’s people. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people were reminded that the education of their own children was an essential part of their responsibility as God’s covenant people. In Israel, a father was to teach his son diligently, and to point his son toward the only true wisdom — the wisdom established in the fear of God. The New Testament also dignifies and elevates education to a matter of essential importance for the church. Great attention is given to the teaching office of the church — to those men … View Resource

  • The Pastor and His Pulpit Article by Albert Martin

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    The life of a minister is the life of his ministry.” This adage is as true now as ever. In fact, ministerial integrity is an indispensable element of any sustained credibility among a discerning people with whom we have pastoral intimacy. Such intimacy leaves us vulnerable to be known for who and what we really are in relationship to the saving truth in which we traffic. A pastor-flock relationship characterized by the biblical description in which mutual intimacy is essential (John 10:14), consistent and comprehensive integrity is imperative if one is to have a ministry that is both … View Resource

  • The Holiness of Pastors and Patriarchs Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2007

    As I write this article I am sitting comfortably in a hotel lobby in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This morning, as I walked to the hotel in sub-zero temperatures, while massive, mid-western snowflakes kept falling on my head, during the coldest spell in Minneapolis in the past several years, I kept reminding myself that I am a Floridian. Although I came from Florida to Minneapolis during this severely harsh time of year for several reasons, it seems the Lord, in His wisdom, had another reason altogether. I came in order to attend John Piper’s conference for pastors at which Dr. Sproul is one … View Resource

  • Shepherding the Flock Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2005

    When we examine life in the early Christian church, we see a remarkable phenomenon recorded for us in the book of Acts. In Acts 8:1 we read, “At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.” A little bit later in the text we read these words: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). We notice here that … View Resource

  • What the Needy Need Article by Richard Phillips

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    Since we live in a fallen world, our greatest strengths have a way of giving birth to our greatest weaknesses. This is why some churches that emphasize a strong Bible-preaching pulpit are less vigorous in ministries of mercy. One inner city Presbyterian church participated in a study regarding mercy ministries. The study commended the church for its vigorous efforts to minister to the needy and the lost. But the study report expressed this approval in telling language: it said that the church “is deeply committed to teaching and preaching biblical doctrine; however, it also has a heart for mercy ministry … View Resource

  • In Season and Out of Season Article by Douglas Wilson

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1999

    Y2K has not always been on everyone’s lips, but it will be. For years, those who had taken the responsibility of warning others were pretty lonely. Now that we have little time left, we have mounting awareness—and mounting consternation. In the midst of this, many pastors are wondering about their duty to their people. A few pastors have attempted an extreme solution, trying (sometimes successfully) to get their people to run for the tall grass. Sadly, many others have remained relatively complacent, and probably will remain so until the secular media give them reason to be respectably concerned, followed soon … View Resource

  • Church Growth—Success At What Price? Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1992

    The seductions of the modern world can be just as hard to resist as its benefits are to refuse. After all, if the church is in the business of growth, and growth is achieved through better management and marketing, then to say “no” to church growth is to be too spiritual for our own good. Whatever works so well must surely be good. But is this really so? What if the very effectiveness has the effect of secularization—of making God irrelevant? Secularization can be defined as the process by which, starting from the center and moving outward, successive sectors of … View Resource

  • The Danger of An Unconverted Ministry Article by Gilbert Tennent

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1992

    And Jesus, when He came out, saw many people and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd (Mark 6:34 KJV). The ministry of natural men is for the most part unprofitable; which is confirmed by a threefold evidence of Scripture, reason, and experience. Such as the Lord send not, He Himself assures us, shall not profit the people at all. Mr. Pool justly glosseth upon this passage of Scared Scripture, thusly, “That none can expect God’s blessing upon their ministry, that are not called and sent of God into the ministry … View Resource

  • Dear Bob Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1992

    Your letter struck a raw nerve with me. I felt a sense of déjà vu. My mind snapped back to my own seminary days and subsequent early years of ministry. The first memory it sparked was of occasions as a young man when I expressed my frustrations to older men who responded to me by saying, “You’re too young and idealistic to understand these things. Wait until you get more experience.” That type of answer only fueled my frustration. I wanted cogent answers and sound arguments, not patronage from my elders. My seminary experience was much like yours. I … View Resource