Five From the Files Friday

Here are five articles from my Evernote archives, with the year they were first published in parentheses. Since blog posts pass by our attention and tend to fade into obscurity pretty fast, I thought it might be helpful to resurrect some helpful posts I’ve encountered along the way.

Before I list links to the articles I’ve collected this week, let me pause for a brief commercial. I returned to pastoral ministry last past week and have met some great people, including those I will be working with. One of them is the very talented Melanie Trammell-Wenger. I’ll let Melanie take it from here:

Hi! I’m Melanie – I redesign websites for world changers. I’m the one you call when you have big, gnarly problems that hinder putting your website to work for your mission. Through User Experience Consulting we can:

● Identify the website’s pain points
● Point to what the site should be like
● Illuminate how we get there

Reach out today to get unstuck and back on track!
https://www.mtw-uxconsulting.com/


If there is any area of church ministry where the pull to be “relevant” is strongest, I would guess it would be youth ministry. Most youth pastors and leaders probably wrestle with the question of what to teach. This article provides some helpful tools to arrive at answers. (2011)

It’s easy to talk about the weather, sports, kids, what’s going on in the world. It’s not easy for many of us to talk about our relationship with God, our points of failure and growth, what we’re learning in Scripture, etc. Bobby Jamieson wrote this article on building a culture of spiritual conversations that is worth reading. (2014)

A guest post on Kevin DeYoung’s blog gives helpful advice for Christian wives married to men who are not believers. This is one you may find yourself sharing from time to time. (2012)

It’s not necessarily easy for veteran pastors, but younger guys may struggle with how to handle a funeral for an unbeliever. Jared Wilson provides helpful counsel. (2012)

When I was a senior pastor there were times when I thought, “What would it be like to close down everything and start church over again? What programs would we keep, why would we keep them, and what would we stop?” That’s kind of where we are right now, aren’t we? Many churches are “program-driven.” Here’s an article on becoming “post-programming” that was written in August of 2014 but might never be more relevant. (2014)


Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!!

Five From the Files Friday

Here are five articles from my Evernote archives, with the year they were first published in parentheses. Since blog posts pass by our attention and tend to fade into obscurity pretty fast, I thought it might be helpful to resurrect some helpful posts I’ve encountered along the way.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard something like “I prayed a prayer to receive Jesus when I was 4, but never really grew. So when I was 18 I rededicated my life to the Lord.” I most certainly believe that children can come to faith in Christ, but between the way the Gospel is often (mis)presented to children and the frequency of the above, I came to the point where I preferred not to baptize children under 13. And then I raised the bar to 18. One of the ideas that influenced me is represented in this article from Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

I linked to two articles from Credo Magazine last week on “How Seminarians Can learn to Preach to Normal People” Here’s the third installment. (2011)

How long does it take you to prepare a sermon? Is it right to spend the equivalent of 40%-50% of your work week on one sermon? This article is good reading. And the answer is yes. (2010)

Carll Trueman is one of my favorite writers. Here he raises the question, “Why is So Much Preaching So Poor?” (2013)

Christmas preaching was always a challenge for me, mostly for the same reasons the author of this article identifies. But it’s coming, and it would be better to think now about what you’ll preach than wait until Black Friday. (2011)


Have a great weekend of ministry!

Five From the Files Friday

I know it’s Saturday, but we’ll pretend, ok?

Yesterday was my last day driving for the retirement communities. Among the men and women I drove to doctor appointments were former missionaries, former pastors, and godly saints who were still faithfully following their Savior. I took time this week to say goodbye where COVID restrictions permitted me to do so. I’ll start my new position as part-time Assistant Pastor at a fine church here in the Lehigh Valley on Monday.

Tim Smith, who is the pastor of a church near where I used to serve, suggested that I post a description of how I use Evernote for tracking all of these articles that I link to. I’ll do that mid-week. Thanks, Tim, for the idea.

Here are five articles from the vaults, with the year they were first published in parentheses. Since blog posts pass by our attention and tend to fade into obscurity pretty fast, I thought it might be helpful to resurrect some helpful posts I’ve encountered along the way.

Trevin Wax writes about the need for churches to honor their missionaries. There’s some really good stuff in this article. (2011)

Here’s a provocative article by Brandon Levering on why established churches should think like church plans. (2011)

These two articles are good for guys in Bible College or Seminary, and they are equally helpful for you young guys. And us older guys.

How Seminarians Can Learn to Preach to Normal People, Part 1 (2011)

How Seminarians Can Learn to Preach to Normal People, Part 2 (2011)

Do you have guys in your family, pool of friends, or church who, uh, need to grow up? Kevin DeYoung asks, “Dude, Where’s Your Bride?” (2011)


There we go! I’ll have my usual links on Monday and hopefully a description of how I use Evernote sometime mid-week!

Five From the Files

I use Evernote as a repository for articles that I want to hold on to. I’ve often searched through the 1000+ blog posts and web articles I’ve saved and found information that I needed. I’d recommend you do the same. Evernote has several tiers of service, but I’ve found that the free version is fine for my needs.

The other week I was looking through the articles I’ve saved and realized that there is a wealth of “old stuff” that people following this blog may not have read. Hence It’s Five From the Files Friday. Like the Tools of the Trade articles that I link to on Mondays, some are for sharing and some are directed at pastors. Enjoy!

Even in the midst of social distancing and restricted gatherings, our people can minister to each other. How much stronger would our churches be if these were regular habits? (2011)

Kevin DeYoung is always worth reading. Pastors young and old can feel the pressure of ministry and deal with anxiety. Before you get discouraged, and before you beat yourself for feeling those ways, read this. (2011)

Young Pastor, you’re going to be dealing with people who have life experiences you probably don’t. You may not have children, you certainly haven’t raised them, you may not have dealt with the death of loved ones, you may not even be married. But you have to pastor those who may be further along in life than you are. Here’s a great “save and share” article on parenting, (2011).

David Murray writes about the very hard process of church discipline. (2011)

Kevin DeYoung again – this time on ministering to the sick and dying. It’s hard for any pastor, harder for you younger guys.


Have a great weekend!!

It’s Five From the Files Friday!

I use Evernote as a repository for articles that I want to hold on to. I’ve often searched through the 1000+ blog posts and web articles I’ve saved and found information that I needed. I’d recommend you do the same. Evernote has several tiers of service, but I’ve found that the free version is fine for my needs.

The other week I was looking through the articles I’ve saved and realized that there is a wealth of “old stuff” that people following this blog may not have read. Hence It’s Five From the Files Friday. Like the Tools of the Trade articles that I link to on Mondays, some are for sharing and some are directed at pastors. Enjoy!

There is nothing wrong with larger churches, but there are some real advantages being small(er). Carl Trueman brilliantly reminds us of the realities of “life together.” (August 2010)

Ed Welch helps us help others with this article called “I can help you . . . in six words.” (Sept, 2010)

How do you understand the whole issue of Christians, demons, and exorcism. I’ve known people who have gone off the deep end. Al Mohler brings some sanity to this discussion. (November, 2010)

This is an article I hope you never have to use, but if you have to deal with a victim of sexual assault, this may make the difference between helping and (unwittingly) hurting. (July 2011)

Finally, here is an article on doing youth ministry in such a way that it is a benefit to the entire church. (Aug, 2011)


Have a great weekend!

Five From the Files

I have an extensive collection of articles that I have saved in Evernote for the last decade or so. I was going through them the other day and saw so many that were worth bringing to light again. Like the Tools of the Trade articles that I link to on Mondays, some are for sharing and some are directed at pastors.

Have you ever been taught how to listen to a sermon? With the enormous amount of info that our people take in each week, it would seem that maximizing their ability to listen to, and process, a sermon would be a great idea. Here are some articles to share with them. Not only that, perhaps these articles will help you with how you preach.

Dave Jenkins: 3 Keys to Listening During Sermons.

Crosway Publishers: 8 Tips for Taking Good Sermon Notes.

Here are a couple of articles for younger preachers. And older preachers too.

Michael Kruger: Note to Aspiring Preachers: Here are Seven Key Pitfalls to Avoid.

Scott Slayton: How Sporadic Church Attendance Affects Preaching.

Thabite Anyawile: Bits and Pieces for Young Ministers: Discipleship, Rest, and Reading.