• Anti-Shepherds Article by George Grant

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Our Dear Asag, Remember: our abysmal sublimity does not so much want to tear down “godly” ways as to build up his own. From the apex of temptation in the garden to the present, his conspiratorial plot has always been to offer some sane, attractive, and wholesome counterfeit to the true kingdom of our foe. That’s why subtle counterfeits are the perfect tools for your task to hamper shepherds from shepherding, to deter pastors from actually pastoring. Amorality is obvious and shortsighted; scandal lasts but for a season; but fiddling the days and hours away on sweet nothings can become … View Resource

  • Apostolic Anxiety Article by Kevin DeYoung

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2011

    Second Corinthians 11:28 always seemed like a strange verse to me — until I became a pastor. Here’s Paul, rattling off all the ways he’s been beat up for Jesus — imprisonments, lashes, rods, stonings, shipwrecks, drifting at sea, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, cold and expos ure, danger from everyone everywhere (vv. 23–27). And then, as the cherry on top, Paul mentions one more trial: “apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (v. 28). This is the mighty apostle, the one who counted it a joy to … View Resource

  • The Call to Ministry Article by Geoffrey Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2012

    Who will possibly stay in a relationship with a girlfriend or boyfriend “until death us do part” unless there is a deep devotion to that one person above all others, a commitment that is based on comprehensive knowledge and respect? That is the essence of marriage, leaving all others and cleaving to one until God shall separate by death. Who will stay in the Christian ministry for one’s entire working life unless one loves this work above all others, being unable to do anything else than preach the gospel and pastor the people of God to whom he preaches … 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 Coming of the Kingdom Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    The gospel of Mark is notable for its lack of extended accounts of Jesus’ teaching. Furthermore, Mark gives us noticeably fewer parables than do Matthew and Luke. However, in chapter 4 of his gospel, Mark records four parables. He begins with the lengthy parable of the sower, then follows with three short, pithy parables, each clearly communicating one central idea, as do most parables. All three of these parables teach us something about the kingdom of God. In 4:26–29, Mark writes: And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground … 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 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

  • 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

  • From Pastor to President: An Interview with Philip Graham Ryken Article by Philip Ryken

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    Tabletalk: How did you make the difficult decision to leave the pastorate and enter the academy as president of Wheaton College? Philip Graham Ryken: When the time finally came, making the decision was unexpectedly easy. Eventually God’s will became so clear that to do anything else would have been disobedience. The process leading up to the decision was difficult, though, as Lisa and I wrestled with God in prayer and asked for the grace to have only one agenda: to obey God’s calling, whether he called us to stay at Tenth Presbyterian Church or go to Wheaton College. Sharing this … View Resource

  • God’s Mission Has a Church: An Interview with Ed Stetzer Article by Ed Stetzer

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    Tabletalk: Please describe how you became a Christian and your current ministry. Ed Stetzer: I grew up on Long Island, outside of New York City, in a nominal Irish Catholic home. My sister was the first in my family to hear the gospel and trust Christ. She rode a church bus from our home in Levittown to a small congregation nearby. She heard about grace and mercy and began to share the gospel with the rest of us. My mother soon became a Christian, shortly before we moved from New York to Florida. I saw something in my mom that … View Resource

  • Happy Pastors Article by C.J. Mahaney

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    As the star of the television series Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe suits up and labors in some of the most dirty and dangerous work environments possible. To date, he hasn’t tried pastoring. But pastoring qualifies as a dirty job, which is reflected in the most common biblical metaphor for the job: shepherd. Being a shepherd is difficult, demanding, and — if done well — exhausting. Pastors with any experience in the field will know exactly what I mean. Take sermon preparation. The work is hard, repetitive, and impossible to avoid, outgrow, or expedite. You spend hours of hard work over … View Resource

  • The Heresy of Self-Centeredness Article by John MacArthur

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    Self-centeredness has no place in the church. That ought to go without saying. But from the dawn of the Apostolic era until today, self-love in all its forms has plagued the fellowship of the saints. A classic early example of out-of-control self-centeredness is seen in the case of Diotrephes. He is mentioned in 3 John 9–10, where the Apostle says: “I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority… . He is talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also … 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

  • 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