#Church

  • 10 Things You Should Know about the Priesthood | Ed Welch
    When we think about priests in the Bible, we imagine bearded men burning incense and sacrificing animals. However, the priesthood is a premier theme throughout Scripture, and ultimately it is a role shared by all believers—men and women from every tribe and nation. The church doesn’t talk much about this role, but it is central to our…
  • 4 Principles for Raising Up Elders | John Folmar
    Biblically qualified elders are crucial for the health of the church, which is “a pillar and buttress of truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Faithful elders lead to stronger churches and the preservation and advancement of the gospel. But what should a pastor do when he finds a church without elders, or without the right ones? When…
  • Abounding in the Work of the Lord (1 Cor 15:58): Everything We Do as Christians or Specific Gospel Work? | Themelios
    Contemporary evangelical theology continues to emphasise this Reformation understanding of the interrelatedness of creation and vocation. Discussions of the Christian understanding of work emphasise that all work is intrinsically good. Books on the Christian life stress the biblical emphasis that all life is to be lived for God’s glory. Is it possible, though, that in…
  • An Encouragement to Use Catechisms | Garrett Kell
    Many contemporaries have a deep-seated suspicion of catechisms. In our own Baptist denomination, many would consider the words “Baptist catechism” as mutually exclusive. A popular misconception is that catechisms are used in times and places where inadequate views of conversion predominate or the fires of evangelism have long since turned to white ash. If the…
  • Biblical Evangelism | Richard Coekin
    Evangelism is proclaiming the Gospel – the good news about Jesus Christ which is God’s power to save all who believe it and turn from sin to follow him. This article explains what ‘Evangelism’ is and explores the enduring Biblical message, motives and methods for its practice in every age and culture. Jesus himself was…
  • Brains, Bodies, and the Task of Discipleship: Re-Aligning Anthropology and Ministry | Matthew C. Bingham
    Exploring the intersection of anthropology and ministry, this article offers an appreciative critique of recent authors who suggest that effective Christian discipleship requires holistic, bodily engagement. James K. A. Smith and others have helpfully drawn attention to ways in which contemporary evangelical approaches to Christian formation can risk over-emphasizing the transfer of information while neglecting…
  • Caring For Families And Developmentally Delayed Children | Darby Strickland
    To care well for a family who has a child with developmental delays, the multitude of the gifts and skills of the body of Christ are needed. Here are practical ways the local church can minister to children with developmental delays and their families, followed by ways that people with specific positions in the church…
  • Do the Work of an Evangelist | Themelios
    Sometimes the fact that English uses two words where the French (and the Greek!) have only one can trip us up and focus our gaze in a slightly misleading direction. For the purposes of this editorial, one of the most telling examples is one so close to us we sometimes fail to see it. English…
  • Eight Questions on Addictions for Pastors | Ed Welch
    The word addiction is open to all kinds of theories, which is one reason some Christians try to avoid it. Slavery is more specific. But the word addiction is a useful point of contact that essentially says, “I like this, or at least I once liked it, but I certainly never planned to be owned by it.” How do…
  • Five Counseling Myths in the Church | Ed Welch
    Pastoral care and counsel—that is what we are considering. It is the word counsel that leads to some confusion and differences of opinion. With that in mind, here are a few myths I have heard. 1. Counseling is for the professionals. 2. As a pastor, you don’t have time for counseling. 3. You can’t counsel…
  • Help for the Caregiver: Facing the Challenges With Understanding and Strength | Mike Emlet
    This booklet will give you a framework to guide you as you care for someone with ongoing physical and mental problems. Although the specifics of providing care for stroke victims, Alzheimer’s sufferers, or those with bipolar disorder are very different, there are general principles you can apply to your situation that will help you to…
  • Helping “Difficult” People in Your Church | Tim Lane
    One of the most challenging aspects of pastoral ministry is dealing with difficult people. These are people who need help but seem to challenge you at every turn as you try to provide that help. How should the church respond and minister in these situations? Everyone has to relate to difficult people—and most of us…
  • How to Think about Persecution When You’re Not Very Persecuted | Erik Raymond
    When we think about persecution it is important to note that there are varying levels of it but one stream: it is about opposition to Christ. When we think about persecution it is important to remember the corporate nature of suffering. As our brothers and sisters suffer, we are to share in this suffering. [Read…
  • Jesus, the Theological Educator | Themelios
    What then were the characteristics of his teaching, especially of the twelve? For it is in teaching his disciples, a small group he individually selected for training and to whom he devoted immense time and energy, that we may discern the earliest model of what we might term Christian theological education. It was for those…
  • Pastor: Equip Your People to Counsel Each Other | Ed Welch
    This lay ministry is an extraordinary happening. No longer do people need a special, though temporary anointing, to offer a prophetic word of direction and wisdom. Now we are part of the new covenant in which the Spirit has been given to all who have put their faith in Jesus. Lay ministry is one of…
  • Politics, Conscience, and the Church: Why Christians Passionately Disagree with One Another over Politics, Why They Must Agree to Disagree over Jagged-Line Political Issues, and How | Jonathan Leeman and Andrew David Naselli
    Today many evangelical churches feel political tension. We recommend a way forward by answering three questions: (1) Why do Christians passionately disagree with one another over politics? We give two reasons: (a) Christians passionately care about justice and believe that their political convictions promote justice, and (b) Christians have different degrees of wisdom for making…
  • Preaching | Colin Smith
    Christian preaching does not merely reference Christ; it offers him. It presses all that Christ is, all that he has done, and all that he will do into the minds, hearts, wills, and consciences of our hearers. This essay answers three important questions about preaching: Is “proclaiming Christ” a biblical definition of preaching? How do…
  • Predators in the Pew: Protecting Against Child Abuse in Your Church | Deepak Reju
    If you pay any attention to the news, you know that sexual offenders show up in churches. Like predators hurting defenseless prey, they do unspeakably horrible things to our children. Much could be prevented, but many churches do not know how to protect their children and how to respond when child sex abuse happens. It…
  • Some Reflections on Pastoral Leadership | Don Carson
    As important and central as is the ministry of the Word of God, the thoughtful pastor/elder/overseer will devote time and energy to casting a vision, figuring out the steps for getting there, building the teams and structures needed for discharging ministry and training others, building others up, thinking through the various ways in which the…
  • Some Thoughts on How to Provide Long Term Pastoral Care (Part 1) | Tim Lane
    Are you facing a situation in your church that will require pastoral care over a long period of time? If you don’t have a situation like that now – you will in the future. Are you ready for it? Caring for people in the local church is challenging work. As a pastor, I remember numerous…
  • Some Thoughts on How to Provide Long Term Pastoral Care (Part 2) | Tim Lane
    No church is perfect but a prepared church will respond better when these difficult problems come. Though many will volunteer to help out in an immediate crisis, it is the long term needs that strain the resources of the church and reveal its weaknesses. To keep love constant is a challenge but Christ calls us…
  • Spirit-Anointing and New Testament Church Leadership: Are Our Church Leaders Uniquely “Anointed?” | Scott Macdonald
    Does the church need Spirit-anointed leadership? “Anointing” is an increasingly common topic in relation to Christian leaders. This article aims to clarify the role of Spirit-anointing in the Old and New Testaments, with special attention to texts that are explicitly relevant to the church’s experience (i.e., 2 Cor 1:21–22; 1 John 2:20, 26–27). The misuse…
  • Ten Questions to Help You Establish Biblical Counseling Ministries in Your Church | David Powlison
    Churches often contact CCEF asking how to establish a counseling ministry. Frequently they want a manual or step-by-step guide. But a wise answer to the “how to” question calls for a number of orienting conversations that precede the implementation of any program for offering counseling. “Ten Questions to Help You Establish Biblical Counseling Ministries in…
  • The Apostolic Foundation of the Church | Benjamin Bae
    The apostolic foundation of the church refers to the apostles’ unique role in the overall design of the church: to be the immediate messengers of Jesus to carry out his authority and preach the gospel faithfully. The church is comprised of various parts and components. Scripture states that Jesus is the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20; 1Pet.…
  • The Jubilee and the Millennium: Holy years in the Bible and their relevance today | David L. Baker
    The end of the second Christian millennium is an appropriate time to examine the significance of the holy years which acted as landmarks to divide periods of history in the Bible, in particular the sabbatical year(every seven years) and the jubilee year (every fifty years), and to reflect on their meaning for us as we…
  • The Organization of the Church | Benjamin L. Merkle
    The New Testament presents a consistent, though perhaps not completely uniform, pattern of church leadership. One of the offices was variously called “elders,” “overseers,” or “pastors” (all three of these terms refer to the same group and were used interchangeably in the New Testament). These leaders were charged to lead, shepherd, teach, and equip the…
  • The Origin and Nature of the Church | Christopher Morgan
    The church is the new covenant people of God. The word church can be used to refer both to all believers, both living and dead (universal church), and to individual local gatherings of believers (local church). The church has its roots in the promises made to God’s people in the Old Testament, particularly that God…
  • The Parting of the Way: A Survey of the Relationship between Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries CE | Doosuk Kim
    People today clearly view Judaism and Christianity as different religions. Undisputedly, however, Jesus and his followers were Jews in the first century. When did the parting of the way between Jews and Christians take place? What are the decisive factors that made the two ended up so far from each other? This essay examines this…
  • The Priesthood of All Believers | J. V. Fesko
    In contrast to the beliefs of the medieval church, the Protestant doctrine of the priesthood of all believers holds that there is no longer a priestly class of people within God’s people, but that all believers share in Christ’s priestly status by virtue of their union with Christ. Although there was a select group of…
  • The Trinity and Christian Devotion | Ryan Mcgraw
    The Trinity is the foundation, content, and goal of Christian faith and devotion. In salvation, the Father sends the Son to save his people through the power of the Spirit. Likewise, Christians are reconciled to God the Father through the life, death, and resurrection of the Son through the power Spirit, who is our seal…
  • The Unity of the Church | Richard Lints
    The unity of the church is to be a reflection of the unity of the one God upon which the church is built. The ideal (unity) and the real (division) do not always match up in the life of the church. A biblical theology of unity reveals a richer and deeper understanding of unity than…