CEOs in the Pulpit

There may be others; I don’t know. But at least there’s one.

“One what?”

One who is willing to come right out and say it.

“Say what?”

Say that a preacher who acts like a CEO is failing to minister. In fact he says that on that arrangement, which is common in mega-churches today, the people are doing what the preacher ought to be doing, and he’s doing what they ought to be doing.

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You and Your Pastor

If it were up to you to determine what your pastor should do, what would it be?

“Care for the people? Preach interesting sermons? Baptize, marry and bury people?”

Can you think of anything else?

“Not really.”

How about what Paul said in Ephesians 4:12, where he outlined the principal reason for the gift of the officers of the church as equipping the saints for their work of service to build up His body?

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Pastors for Nouthetic Ministry, Part 2

As I said previously, I had a wonderful time when 16 brothers (Baptist preachers and deacons) and I had a luncheon discussion together for several hours yesterday. We talked about counseling, and theology in general (not about Baptism, however) and preaching. It was great! In my declining years it is a joy for me to know that though I can no longer travel to speak, God has brought such people to me to fellowship with.

And, He has provided a fine Greek restaurant in our country area where they serve good food and don’t throw us out even though we might get a bit loud at times. What a blessing!

One of the topics that came up might be worthwhile mentioning and adding a few remarks about. The doctrine of the active obedience of Christ is one that is mentioned too infrequently. Yet, J. Gresham Machen—that stalwart of the faith—on his death bed said, “Thank God for the active obedience of Christ!” This truth had a tremendous impact upon the thinking of this great saint of God! It ought to do the same for us. Continue reading

Pastors for Nouthetic Ministry, Part 1

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting with seventeen Baptist pastors and deacons around a lunch table to discuss whatever was on their minds. We roamed over all sorts of counseling, preaching, and other theological issues (avoiding baptism, of course). These men from North Carolina call themselves “Pastors for Nouthetic Ministry.”

Now, it interested me that, on their own, they came up with this name for their informal group. They said that their training in Nouthetic Counseling had not stopped at counseling, but that it bled over into all other aspects of their lives and ministries as well. Hence, the title of the group. Continue reading

Meet Greg Dawson

Perhaps you’ve met him; probably, you haven’t. In either case I want you to learn about him. My acquaintance with Greg goes back to a time when I thought that just for fun—which turned out not to be so much fun after all—I’d do a Google search on the word “Nouthetic.” After reading over 101 pages I quit. At 10 or so entries per page, that means—well, you can figure it out for yourself.Why wasn’t it much fun? Well, as a perused pages I became strikingly aware that there was all sorts of stuff out there going under the label “Nouthetic!” There was even one woman “practitioner” who claimed to do nouthetic miracles. Horrors! Since I never thought of trade-marking the name, I have no recourse in the matter except to beg people not to call what they are doing by that name unless they really are nouthetic. Continue reading

The Death of Youth

Obviously, some young people bring early death upon themselves by their lifestyles–overdosing, drinking and driving, and so forth. But what of those who live an exemplary life–who love Christ and seek to serve him? Why would God take them out of the world when they possibly could do so much good? Their deaths aren’t always so easy to understand. I want to mention only one reason that might apply at times to such cases. Continue reading