• Ministry for the Long Haul Article by Michael Osborne

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2017

    The cry of the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19:4 is familiar to many people in ministry: I’ve had enough, Lord. Why was Elijah so distraught? Hadn’t he just witnessed astonishing displays of God’s power at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:20–46)? Sure. But if you’re a church leader, you’ve felt Elijah’s ennui. You know how often a big Sunday becomes a blue Monday. Conventional wisdom says at least 1,500 pastors hang it up every month. I doubt the situation is that dire. Still, many ministers of the gospel are blue not just on occasional Mondays but constantly. They feel … View Resource

  • Mentoring Others Article by Jerry O'Neill

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2016

    My wife and I recently sat at our dining room table over “It’ll Kill Ya Pie,” discussing with a young urban pastor and his wife their marriage, their parenting, and their ministry. It was a delightful evening. Ann and I are certainly no Aquila and Priscilla, but we know the importance of coaching and encouraging those who are younger in the faith. The evening brought to mind a ministry with which I am involved in another culture where the growing church is made up mostly of first-generation Christians. The members of the presbyteries know their theology fairly well, but when … View Resource

  • Leading an Institution: An Interview with Ligon Duncan Article by Ligon Duncan

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2016

    Tabletalk: How did growing up in a Presbyterian home shape your faith? Ligon Duncan: It is almost impossible to calculate the wonderful influences I received at home and in my church growing up. My father (an eighth-generation Presbyterian ruling elder) and mother (a university professor, seminary graduate, and choir director in our local church) provided an example of the Christian life lived well, a loving home, devotion to the Lord, faithfulness to the truth, passion for learning, love for the church, and trust in Christ as He is offered in the gospel. My boyhood pastors preached and taught the … View Resource

  • Ministering to Soldiers: An Interview with Douglas Lee Article by Douglas Lee

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2016

    Tabletalk: How did you become a Christian, and how were you called to pastoral ministry? Douglas Lee: I was reared in a wonderful Christian home and professed Christ in church when I was about eight years old. Through many years of faithful Bible input, including a honeymoon at L’Abri Fellowship with Dr. Francis Schaeffer, my wife and I had a strong desire to serve the Lord. A providential journey to Covenant Theological Seminary eventually led to ordination and sixteen years of church ministry. TT: How did you become involved in chaplain ministry? DL: I wanted to serve my … View Resource

  • Training Pastors Article by Iver Martin

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2016

    How important is your pastor’s training? If we believe in having ministers who preach, teach, and relate to the varied and many needs within our congregations, thorough training, as with any profession, is indispensable. Yet, for a variety of reasons, in the eyes of some Christians, theological education is at best negotiable and at worst dispensable. Some argue that Jesus’ disciples, despite not having had a theological education, became the most effective communicators of the gospel ever, just from having been “with Jesus.” So, accordingly, it follows that theological education is an unnecessary complication that gets in the way of … View Resource

  • Ministering to College Students in Your Church Article by Les Newsom

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2015

    The American university systeme is a life experience unlike many others. Granted, college life stands out as unique for both positive and negative reasons. On the one hand, higher education can be a deeply enriching and fulfilling period in life. On the other, “getting kicked out of the nest” can be equally traumatic for many. The Challenges of College Life Just think about what a college student faces, often for the first time, in this springboard to adulthood: Diversity. For many students, their years in higher education are the first substantive exposure to alternate (or even competing) philosophies of … View Resource

  • When No One Comes to Christ Article by Jay Bauman

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2015

    As a pastor, I have learned that there are seasons in my life and ministry when spiritual fruit is not as evident as it should be. It is not as evident to others, and it is not even as evident to me. As pastors, we plant, sow, and water again—but little fruit seems to come from our work. Nothing appears to happen. We may go a year, two years, several years without seeing fruit from our efforts. We evangelize, we preach with passion, we try developing friendships with non-Christians. And still, nothing. So we ask ourselves: “What is wrong with … View Resource

  • The Essential Marks of a Preacher Article by Jason Allen

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2015

    How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14). With airtight logic, the Apostle Paul sets forth the indispensable human link in fulfilling the Great Commission—the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In so doing, he instructs us in the way of the kingdom, that in every generation God is calling out preachers to serve His church. Paul’s timeless question is especially relevant for the twenty-first-century church. Evangelical churches are in the midst of a massive generational transition, with vacant pastorates and empty pulpits dotting the landscape. Vacant pulpits ought not induce the wringing of hands. Christ is building … View Resource

  • Theological Fidelity: An Interview with David Garner Article by David Garner

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2015

    Tabletalk: How did God call you to become a seminary professor, and how does that calling serve the local church? David Garner: Some have enjoyed a deep sense of call since childhood; others have longed for certain vocations or ministry destinations, and found their steps markedly (and not always easily) redirected. Irrespective of anecdotes, calling consists of more than personal intuitions. The Lord uses the church’s “objective” voice to issue and confirm calling. For me, this objective voice boomed loudly. While serving in pastoral ministry and parachurch ministry, strong exhortations came repeatedly from leaders in Christ’s church: “Pursue further … View Resource

  • The Heresy of Indifference Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2015

    Doctrine matters—it matters in life and in death. Our doctrine determines our destiny. It not only affects our view about God but our view about everything. We are doctrinal beings by nature. Everyone holds to some sort of doctrine; the question is whether or not our doctrine is biblical. Consequently, we dare not be indifferent about doctrine. Indeed, there is a reason we’ve never heard of a Christian martyr who was indifferent about doctrine. Indifference about doctrine is the mother of every heresy in all of history, and in our day indifference about doctrine is spreading like wildfire in the … View Resource

  • Preaching and Teaching Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2015 | John 21:15-19

    Over the years, I’ve made no secret of my admiration for men such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, who were so instrumental in the recovery of the gospel during the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. I’m amazed by their towering intellects and their ability to stand firm amid much danger. Their love for biblical truth is an example to follow, and as I approach twenty years of weekly preaching at Saint Andrew’s Chapel, I’m particularly grateful for their pastoral model. Both of these men were “celebrities” in their day, but neither of them spent his years traveling Europe … View Resource

  • Setting a Course for Faithfulness: An Interview with Stephen J. Nichols Article by Stephen Nichols

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2014

    Tabletalk: What are your responsibilities in your new roles as President of Reformation Bible College (RBC) and Chief Academic Officer for Ligonier Ministries? Stephen J. Nichols: First, I need to say how humbling these appointments are. And, it’s also rather exciting. Under the supervision and direction of the board of directors, the president of Reformation Bible College governs all aspects of the college from the staff and faculty to the students and curriculum. I will not be alone in this, as I will be working alongside Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr., rector and chair of theology and philosophy, and Dr. … View Resource

  • Biblically Faithful Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014

    From my work with Youth for Christ, to my service on foreign missions, to the Christian college I attended, to the pastoral and theological books I read, to the seminary from which I graduated, to the thousands of sermons I listened to on the radio—God has used parachurch ministries in my life in a profound way, as has been the case for nearly every Christian on the face of the earth. View Resource

  • Historical and Theological Foundations Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014 | 1 Corinthians 12

    According to some estimates, there are more than one hundred thousand distinct parachurch organizations in the United States alone. Parachurch organizations are typically defined as Christian organizations that exist alongside (para) the local church without being under the oversight of any specific local church. They are often focused on one particular mission or purpose. There are parachurch organizations devoted to missions (Africa Inland Mission, U.S. Center for World Mission), to Bible distribution (Gideons, Bibles for the World), to discipleship and evangelism (Navigators, Young Life), to publishing (Crossway, Banner of Truth), to various social services (crisis pregnancy centers, homeless … View Resource

  • The Podcast Pastor Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014 | Ephesians 4:11-12

    Many Christians find biblical and spiritual nourishment from faithful podcast preachers. This is a good thing. It gives people the opportunity to build God’s Word into their lives during the week as they jog or drive or clean or just sit and listen. But with this benefit comes the question, How should we encourage these same Christians, who are benefitting from podcast preaching, to orient themselves toward their pastor(s) in the local church? Let it be clear that we ought to deeply appreciate our local pastors, under whose shepherding and preaching we sit week in and week out. They are … View Resource