#OctTBR2022 Day 22: “Theology For Ministry”

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A “festschrift” (collections of essays to honor a scholar) about pastoral ministry, in honor of Sinclair Ferguson.

Why I’m Reading It: This beauty was another T4G acquisition (several on this list are, to be frank). I’m all-in on books about long, faithful ministries, and Ferguson is definitely on that list. Plus, the fact that it’s co-edited by Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn and has people like Alistair Begg contributing? Sign me up.

Have you read this book? Have you read anything by Sinclair Ferguson himself? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 6: “On Guard” by Deepak Reju

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A sobering guide for how churches can address and prevent child abuse within the church community.

Why I’m Reading It: There’s no question that sexual abuse is a grievous sin and a serious stain on the name of the American church, most recently within my own theological circles (Southern Baptist). This is an issue that cannot be ignored or brushed under the rug, so resources like Reju’s are vital for protecting the most vulnerable among the flock. This is going to be a hard read, but a necessary one.

Have you read this book? Do you know of similar resources that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 4: “On Being A Pastor” by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: Another work about the life of a pastor, but two recent examples of faithful ministry–one living and one recently gone to glory.

Why I’m Reading It: If Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is my favorite past preacher, Alistair Begg may be my favorite living preacher (outside of my own fellow elders). The man’s preaching is a perfect blend of clear doctrinal fidelity and self-deprecating pastoral gentleness and good humor. I’ve heard countless sermons of his but haven’t really read his writing, so this will be a treat.

Have you read this book? If not, is it something you would enjoy? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 3: “Lectures To My Students” by Charles Spurgeon

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A series of lectures from the “Prince of Preachers” to young seminarians looking to enter the ministry.

Why I’m Reading It: I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while. I’m most of the way through The Doctor’s excellent work Preachers and Preaching, and it’s only emphasized how much I need to learn about pastoral ministry. (In fact, several of the books you’ll see pop up in this list have to do with the office of pastor/shepherd/teacher.) I’m in my fourth year as a lay elder, but it feels like I still have so much growing to do. Reading good books from faithful ministers will only help that.

Have you read this book? If not, is it something you would enjoy? Let me know in the comments!

Booktober 30th: “Side By Side” by Ed Welch

Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love: Welch, Edward T.:  0884618492309: Amazon.com: Books

[This is Day 30 of #Booktober! Stay tuned for one more recommendation!]

What It Is: A short and very practical book about “one another” ministry within the Church.

Why You Should Read It: While God does give some as pastors and teachers to help build up the body of believers, the nuts-and-bolts day-to-day ministry of the church isn’t done by paid professionals, but by the everyday believer in the pews. Welch lays out practical encouragements to teach believers how to “build up one another in love” and minister to each other’s spiritual and emotional needs. If you want to know how to create a culture of love and service and discipleship in your church, whether you’re in a particular church office/role or just a healthy and active member of the body, get this book and put it into practice.

Friday Feed: 07/26/2019

beach beautiful bridge carribean
Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

Happy Friday! I’m back today with some interesting and (hopefully) beneficial links for your weekend review (including some links pulled from my Feedly app’s “Read Later” list that I’m reading *much* later).

Let’s get to it!

  • Maybe you’re someone who wants to read more but just can’t seem to find the time or the will to make it happen. Jordan Taylor can relate. He can also show you how to address that.
  • I had never before heard this story of the price that Pastor (and author) Randy Alcorn paid for his convictions about the life issue. What a profound example of humble, daily faithfulness.
  • As you may know, we welcomed our second daughter recently. This post by Matthew Tuck is a great encouragement about how important simply reading the Bible to your kids can be.
  • Along those same lines: If you have wanted to begin a practice of family worship in your home, this piece from Things Above Us is instructive and practical. Check it out.
  • From last year, here’s a Crossway blog post about 5 tips for Bible memorization. I don’t pursue this discipline as I ought. These reminders/encouragements are worth a look.
  • Christian, rethink your public speech. Amen.
  • If you’ve never heard the story of Charles Spurgeon and the “Downgrade Controversy,” this is a nice summary. It’s a story worth digging into.
  • I am looking for a way to get organized, mentally as much as schedule-wise. I may give bullet-journalling a try this weekend. 
  • Finally, this post about the ignoble tasks of pastoral ministry was a challenge to the creeping selfishness in my heart, and a reminder that I should be grateful for the elders I serve with and the ones who have cared for me over the years.
  • Update: Actually, one more link–this post from Tim Challies about being your own content curator. As I noted above, I use Feedly, at Tim’s recommendation, and I think it’s a great resource. If you use an RSS feed now, or if you are considering using one, could I perhaps encourage you to add this blog to it? That is one of the best ways to know when I’ve posted new content, as I’m obviously still trying to figure out a consistent posting schedule. (Another great way is to sign up for updates on the sidebar to the right (or below, depending on your device). Thank you!


I hope this was a help to you. If any of these topics interest you, be sure to click through, and maybe drop me a comment below to let me know which of these interested you. Thanks!

#30ThankYous Day 14: Dr. John MacArthur

Dr. MacArthur,

It’s hard to express how much your ministry has meant to me. I have been challenged by your preaching, aided by your commentaries, chastened by your books, and emboldened by your public comments. Your history of ministry faithfulness stands in stark contrast to generations of younger pastors who have shipwrecked their ministries in personal sin, public foolishness, or prosperity-gospel sell-outs.

If I were to consider the two or three theologians and pastors of the last century whose work has done the most good for the church, your name would be in that list. Your stalwart position during “lordship salvation” controversy would alone be enough for that honor. Beyond that, you have given the church dozens of books and commentaries that have been and will continue to be a blessing and a light for pastors and teachers (like myself) seeking to preach the Word faithfully and cut it straight.

Looking to the future, as the Christian church faces threats from within and without, books like The Truth War and Strange Fire will grow more and more relevant, as post-modern spiritualism and charismatic mysticism continue to spread. With each passing year, the people of God need pastors and teachers and writers to call them back to the Book, again and again. This is the hallmark of your ministry, and we praise God for you.

May God continue to bless you and guard you, so that you may finish strong. And by the grace of God, may you have many more years of faithful ministry before you step down from the pulpit for the last time. When that day comes, one fact will be undeniable: the church of Jesus Christ has been helped beyond reckoning by your work, and God will have used you mightily in the lives of thousands, if not millions. of believers. There is an entire generation of pastors who have been prepared to proclaim the Gospel boldly as they ought, because of your witness–following your example, as you follow Christ.

God bless you, Dr. MacArthur. Thank you so, so much for your faithfulness to our Savior.

–Dave Mitchell