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leadership

I am a sinner preaching to sinners

I am not worthy to be a minister, but Christ was worthy for me. I do not and will not measure up, but Jesus perfectly measured up for me. The gospel is true for God’s people in the pew and it is true for me, his herald, as well.

Five ways to fight “preaching hangover”

You may call it something different, but every pastor knows it well. It is the mental, emotional, and spiritual crash that takes place on Monday as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before.

On sports and the Christian life: An interview with David Prince, part 2

Sports are never the problem. They are merely exposing the problem. Like all of God’s good gifts, sports can be easily corrupted.

How do I keep growing theologically after seminary?

I still remember the first day I stepped into the textbook tunnel in the LifeWay at SBTS. There were so many incredible books, and all were organized according to the courses in which they would be used. “The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit,” “Hebrew Exegesis: Joshua,” “Jonathan Edwards,” and “New Testament Exegesis: Galatians” all sounded…

Your church is not your platform

In 1932, the University of Southern California started stenciling “Property of USC” on athletic t-shirts for the purpose of preventing theft. Their anti-theft strategy backfired when the stenciled attire became more popular than the original unstenciled t-shirts. USC turned this problem into a profit by producing and selling “Property of USC” shirts to students. Today,…

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…

Dan Dumas: Live intentionally, live smart

Editors note: Dan Dumas has written a new book, Live Smart: Preparing for the Future God Wants for You (Bethany House). SBTS Blog editor Jeff Robinson corresponded with him on how he hopes to minister to the local church through his new work.   In Live Smart, you trace out 14 principles from Scripture that…

Church revitalization: A biblical approach

The numbers are staggering. Experts estimate that approximately 1,000 local churches close their doors every year. What is even more disheartening about this statistic is that number only reflects Southern Baptist Churches — my denomination. Imagine how that number grows if you added the number of closing local churches from other established denominations, which some assert…

5 Things to focus on in your first year in ministry

I have seen the story unfold so many times I could tell it in my sleep. A young pastor walks into established church and tries to change the church’s structure and culture on the first day. Instead of getting to know the people, the culture, and his neighbors, he goes full bore after a checklist…

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…

The conviction to lead: Winston Churchill’s courageous legacy

Sir Winston Churchill is widely regarded as the greatest leader of the 20th century. Born in the splendor of Blenheim Palace on Nov. 30, 1874, Churchill’s life would span the most decisive years of the transition into the modern world. Though faced with great adversity — and driven by a titanic self-confidence — he would…

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…

7 crucial reasons why a pastor’s spiritual life matters to his church

Pastor, your spiritual health matters to your church. Your pursuit of Christ impacts your people. You know this, of course, but does your daily schedule reflect it? When you allocate time and energy toward the spiritual disciplines, do you do so with a view toward what is at stake? God’s sovereign purposes are not dependent…

Spurgeon on the cauldron of suffering in the pastoral ministry

In the same way that basic training cannot fully prepare a soldier for the hellish nature of a real war, seminary cannot fully prepare a future pastor for the bullets and hand grenades that will be launched at him in the local church on the field of real ministry. If I have learned anything in…

How to get things done in seminary: The 5 keys to productive scholarship

In my first year as a student at Southern Seminary, I took 48 credit hours in nine months: six classes in the fall semester, one class over J-term, six more classes in the spring semester, and three more in the month of June. (I would have taken even more if I could have, but that…

Eight signs of fearful leadership

Over the past few years, I’ve heard the phrase “courageous leadership” used to describe the trait of those leaders who are making a difference today. Unfortunately, we also know many who are in leadership positions where that courage is not apparent. Indeed, they demonstrate leadership that is fearful. These leaders are harmful to organizations because…

The office of deacon: Character

It’s often said that one of the most important aspects of leadership is simply showing up. Just be there, and people will follow. People like their leaders to be visible. This attests to the truism that leadership begins and ends with example. It would be difficult to imagine a leadership role where this is more…

Top 10 most read post of 2014

  We are grateful you take the time to read the Southern Blog. Our goal is to share with you great content that will help you in your ministry. Here are our top 10 most read posts of 2014.   1. 10 Reasons you cannot be a missionary — David Sills “I travel and speak in a…