Pastoring Families in Crisis

John Sittema’s book, With A Shepherd’s Heart is a great biblical and reformational resource on the pastoral office of elder.  In it Sittema discusses topics like family visiting, elders’ meetings, discipline, and teaching.  While there are many helpful sections in this book, one that stands out is Sittema’s discussion of helping families in crisis (found …

For Sinful Pastors

I recently showed this letter of John Newton to John Ryland concerning a pastor's ongoing struggle with sin to my elders (it also applies somewhat to elders who comfort, rebuke, admonish, and console the flock).  In this letter from April 1773, Newton is answering Ryland's letter wherein Ryland admitted that he, a young pastor, was …

Martin Bucer’s Pastoral Theology: A Review

 In the early years following the Reformation - specifically 1538 - Martin Bucer (Butzer) wrote Von der Waren Seelsorge (Concerning the True Care of Souls).  Since the Roman Catholic church had harmed, hindered, and hurt many souls, and since Reformed pastors didn't have extensive examples of and training in pastoral theology, a book like this was needed.  So Bucer penned …

Leadership in the Church Plant

 As part of my studies in church planting resources, Crossway was kind enough to send me a review copy of Leaders who Last by Dave Kraft (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010).  While this book is aimed at pastors, elders, and deacons in any church situation, I'm reading it with respect to a church plant situation.  Here is my brief review …

Hearing the Gospel (Over and Over!)

 Here's a book that church leaders need to get - pastors, elders, deacons, and other Christians who help God's people in different ways: Counsel from the Cross by Dennis Johnson and Elyse Fitzpatrick.  In a word, this book is a lesson on the gospel and how it applies to Christians on the pilgrim way - fighting sin and …

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