Back in 1990, theologian J. I. Packer recounted what he called a "Thirty Years' War" over the inerrancy of the Bible. He traced his involvement in this war in its American context back to a conference held in Wenham, Massachusetts in 1966, when he confronted some professors from evangelical institutions who "now declined to affirm the full truth of Scripture." That was nearly fifty years ago, and the war over the truthfulness of the Bible is still not over—not by a long shot.
One of the qualifications for a shepherd-elder in Titus 1:6 causes a great deal of confusion and debate among commentators, and has real-life application issues. This is the qualification with regards to the shepherd-elder’s children:
For this year’s Shepherds 360 Conference a bold, yet relevant theme was decided upon for our gathering in October. Why not talk about our differences? The idea is not for us to squabble over controversial issues or to give a platform to false teaching. Rather, we are taking an intentional look at the areas where fellow believers who hold to a high view of Scripture come to different conclusions with regard to biblical theology and practice.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .”
— Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
For many years, I was a confessed “leadershipaholic.” With a desire to be as effective and influential as possible for Christ, I devoured all the latest and greatest expertise from Christian and non-Christian gurus. Naturally, I hoped to be more respected, productive, and validated as a “leader.”
Boldness—holding to your convictions—comes easily when you’re in the presence of your friends; it is more difficult in the presence of those who disagree with you and seek to destroy your reputation. Boldness behind a pulpit is one thing; boldness in a city council meeting is another. Boldness is most clearly seen when you’ve burned your bridges and put your convictions on the line.
David Fletcher often receives “Hey Fletch” questions. Church leaders have questions and Fletch’s 35 years as a pastor brings plenty of experience to each one. The following is a common question about the creation of vision in churches.
It seems lately when you turn on the television or listen to conversations it all revolves around the Coronavirus, social distancing, lack of ventilators/masks, death tolls, stimulus package, or issues such as, when will the country get back to normal? The Coronavirus experience has changed the way we see life and even now has impacted the way we will live life. But the question for us who belong to Jesus Christ is: “What can we learn from this Coronavirus Pandemic?” As shepherds of God’s flock, we must consider ways to capture the hearts of our members to see this Coronavirus experience through a biblical grid. In other words, we must lead our people to develop a biblical interpretation of this experience in order to manifest godly responses to the pandemic. What is needed is a vision for shepherding our congregations through this crisis. I would like to suggest to you seven things we can glean from this Coronavirus experience that we can share with our flocks.
COVID-19 has changed the way we can “do church” for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean pastors, leaders, and people can’t stay connected.
As church leaders, we are facing an unexpected challenge. With the outbreak of a global pandemic, life in the church as we know it—along with the rest of society—is on hold. While the world copes with the new normal (at least for the time being), many of us pastors are left to ponder what this means for our ministries.