For the Truth.
For the Church.
For the World.
For the Glory of God.

Hershael York

Recovering from a dud

How should a preacher handle the occasional failure even after extensive study and spiritual preparation?

Should I ever break from an expository sermon series?

I am a shepherd who preaches, not a preacher who shepherds. In other words, I am not merely a Bible teacher exegeting the text, but a pastor walking through life with the people I serve and applying the texts I exegete.

6 things to remember when making changes in a local church

With some regularity I receive an email or a call relating that some pastor, often a seminary student or recent graduate, has “torn up” a church he has served. Listening to the details, I usually discern two things: 1) the popular perception is that the cause of the problem was the pastor’s haste to change…

Top 5 rookie pastor mistakes

Finally, after all your training and praying and longing, you receive a call from your first church. You are elated—and determined to do a great job. They are God’s people, and he has graciously allowed you to serve them as their pastor. You have so many ideas for how to make them a stronger, more…

When you cannot find a place to serve in ministry

Hardly a day goes by that I do not receive some communication from a young minister, often someone I taught in seminary, who cannot find a place of service. Forced to work a secular and usually unpleasant job while sending out countless resumes and networking as much as possible, the disappointment and frustration mount almost…

The long and short of sermons: 4 keys to keeping your hearers engaged

“How long O Lord?” That lament echoes through the Psalms, appears in Habakkuk, recurs in Revelation—and pervades the meandering minds of restless parishioners obliged to suffer the pastor’s preaching past the point of effectiveness and endurance. An expression of extreme suffering and bewilderment is hardly the response a pastor hopes for when he delivers his…

Striking the balance: Shepherding the family and the flock, Part II

Editors’ note: Part I of this article was published earlier this week. Be fun to live with “Joy” is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). If your Christianity makes you dreary and dull, you don’t understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit nor what Christ has done. If pastors would reflect the joy of…

Striking the balance: Shepherding the family and the flock (Part I)

“They made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept” (Song of Songs 1:6). The PBS documentary “Carrier” is a fascinating look at life on board the USS Nimitz, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that bestowed its name on an entire class of ships. More than five thousand sailors and marines…

The tone of preaching

  In 34 years of marriage, the most frequent cause of argument has been—and remains—not terrible words I utter, but the tone of voice I use when I converse with my wife. The argument might go something like this: Me: (entering the house at the end of the day, and noticing that things are not…

Putting the cookies on the lowest shelf

I recently met with about 80 contractors who will be working on a new building for the church I serve as pastor. I introduced myself and the 200-year history of our church, told them about our mission to glorify God by proclaiming Jesus Christ and serving others, and then I turned it over to our…

6 reasons church is not optional for seminary students

Whenever I hire a staff member, I will always get around to asking what he did in seminary. Where did he go to church? How did he serve when no one was paying him to do the job? If the Holy Spirit and a man’s calling don’t compel him to love and serve the church,…

The funeral I most dreaded

This morning I will preach my father-in-law’s funeral. For 32 years of our marriage, I dreaded this terrible task because he was not a believer. He wanted no part of Christ or his gospel. We prayed for him, witnessed to him, sent others to talk to him, and five years ago even took him to…

The only decision that matters

I am excited. While I would not choose this direction for our country or our culture, and though I lament the very real harm that this Supreme Court decision will do in millions of lives, I also believe that a sovereign God rules supreme in human affairs and He is at work making of the…

5 moves to integrate theology into your ministry

  1) Saturate your preaching and conversation with Bible truth. If, as Paul says, those Old Testament stories were given to us as examples, then we should use them that way. When you are addressing deacons, elders, students or any group in the church, learn to work in Bible narratives and show how they apply…