• 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 … 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 … View Resource

  • Faithful Gardening Article by Travis Allen

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2014 | Matthew 16

    When Methodist missionary J. Waskom Pickett published Christian Mass Movements in India in 1933, it would’ve been impossible to predict its impact on American evangelicalism. His observations about rates of conversion and church growth among Indian castes may have seemed innocuous at the time, but his interest in outcomes betrayed assumptions rooted in pragmatism. Pickett’s book resonated strongly with young Donald McGavran, who carried the baton forward, lighting his “candle at Pickett’s fire.” Using Pickett’s observations, McGavran developed the “homogeneous growth unit principle,” that people prefer “to become Christians without crossing racial, linguistic, or class barriers … 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 … View Resource

  • Pastor, Professor, Pilgrim: An Interview with Derek Thomas Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2014 | Ephesians 4

    Tabletalk: How did you become a Christian? Derek W.H. Thomas: I became a Christian during my first year at university. My best friend (who had recently become a Christian) sent me a copy of John Stott’s Basic Christianity in the mail. Within a few days of reading it, I prayed something akin to the sinner’s prayer and received an immediate assurance that I was a Christian. TT: What is your role as editor-in-chief of Reformation21? DT: I make some behind-the-scenes contributions to the direction and content of the e-zine. Think of it like Red Adair rushing in … View Resource

  • No Greater Gospel: An Interview with Dave Furman Article by Dave Furman

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2014 | John 10

    Tabletalk: How did Redeemer Church of Dubai begin? Dave Furman: We spent our seminary years traveling around the world engaging in various ministries. Uncertain of where we wanted to serve after graduation, the only thing we knew was that we wanted to live among the unreached. Through much prayer and conversation, we became aware of a lack of gospel-preaching churches in the Arabian Peninsula and began to prepare for service here. My wife and I sold our car, packed our bags, and sent our books ahead of us on a ship. Then we hopped on a plane with our sixteen-month-old … View Resource

  • Competent to Counsel: An Interview with Jay Adams Article by Jay Adams

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2014

    Tabletalk: Over the course of your life, what have you found to be your most significant ministry focus? Why? Jay Adams: As I look back on sixty-plus years of ministry, I suspect that the ministry focus on exegesis has more than anything else been the most significant one. It was my interest from my seminary and college years and has been ever since. That’s why I majored in Greek. I have wanted to know for myself what God’s Word teaches, not what someone else says about it. Secondarily, I would mention the importance of sound systematic theology. A … View Resource

  • Desiring God: An Interview with John Piper Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    Tabletalk: How did you become a Christian? John Piper: God wakened me from spiritual death when I was a child under the faith-filled instruction and example of my happy, Spirit-filled, mentally healthy, fundamentalist parents. I am told I professed faith in Jesus as my Savior when I was six. I don’t remember it. So the reason I know I am alive is because I am breathing, not because I can recall the moment of my birth. TT: Please describe your call to ministry. Did you always know that God wanted you to be a pastor? JP: My call from … View Resource

  • A Pastor’s Love for Christ Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    Dr. John H. Skilton was professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for almost fifty-eight years (1939–1998). He was one of the most scholarly men in the church. Rumors have circulated over the years that he had memorized the entire Greek New Testament, together with every textual variant. His doctoral dissertation, “The Translation of the New Testament into English, 1881–1950,” which he lost on a public bus in Philadelphia and then reconstructed from memory, shows something of his unique breadth of knowledge in theology and linguistics. In addition, John served as the editor of The Westminster Theological … View Resource

  • One Family Under God Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2013

    He was asking a question that I had heard multiple times during my years as a pastor: “Do you have children’s church?” This time, instead of giving an extensive explanation for our practice of not segregating our church worship gatherings by ages, I decided to give a brief and accurate yet intentionally provocative answer. Here’s how it went: “Yes, we do. Every Sunday.” “Great. Can you describe how it is structured?” “Sure. We have singing, prayer, Scripture reading, giving, and teaching. We also observe the Lord’s Supper monthly, and periodically we observe baptism.” “That sounds interesting. Are … 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

  • A Great Inheritance: An Interview with Conrad Mbewe Article by Conrad Mbewe

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2012

    Tabletalk: How did you come to faith in Christ, and when were you called to pastoral ministry? Conrad Mbewe: I was brought up in a church-going family. Upon finishing high school at the end of 1978 (I was in boarding school), I found my elder sister converted to Christ. Watching her life convinced me that there was something she had that I did not have. A friend of mine, who had also recently been converted, sent me a letter in which he shared the gospel with me. For the first time, I realized that I needed to repent toward God … View Resource

  • Faith of Our Founders: An Interview with Tom Ascol Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    Tabletalk: How did you first hear the call to ministry, and how long have you been a pastor? Tom Ascol: I was sixteen years old when I first sensed God calling me to pastoral ministry. It was through the preaching of a guest preacher during a “youth revival” at my home church, South Park Baptist in Beaumont, Texas. Though I had grown up in the church, I had a very jaded view of pastors, so I thought God was playing a cruel joke on me. After several months of prayer, reflection, and counsel, our pastor asked me to preach for … View Resource

  • It’s Not About You Article by Eric Landry

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    After a particularly difficult marriage counseling session early in my first year of ministry, I called a mentor to debrief and decompress. He patiently heard me out and then offered a convicting assessment: “It sounds as if you’re more concerned about being right than you are about the couple you are counseling.” I knew immediately that he was right, but I made a mild protest and changed the subject. I didn’t want to face that truth about myself. It’s still hard to face the facts, but I can see now that in many different areas of my ministry, the … 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