I have accumulated a number of books from recent conferences and am trying to read at least one per week. All of the books are excellent and timely; however, one has stood out among the rest so far. It’s The Priority of Preaching by Christopher Ash of The Proclamation Trust. This is one of those books that is difficult to put down. It is probably more interesting for a preacher than a listener, but I think it has much value for both. The 128-page book is structured in three large chapters: The Authority of the Preached Word, Preaching that Transforms the Church, and Preaching that Mends a Broken World–all based expositionally out of the book of Deuteronomy. Here is the outline of the first chapter: Continue reading »
Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category
One of the first things I led as pastor at Heather Hills was strategic ministry planning. Now, I know some people don’t like this sort of thing because they think we are limiting God or putting or plans before what God may have for us. I understand that sentiment and logic; however, I believe both in God’s sovereignty as well as careful planning. Throughout the process, we constantly went to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to direct us, give us wisdom and show us if we were on the wrong track. Even now, in our second year of our ministry plan–the result of that initial process–we regularly ask God to show us if we are pursuing a path He does not desire for our church. We believe in the sovereignty of God (Proverbs 19:21; 21:31; Zechariah 4:6; John 15:5). The Church is His Church. Jesus purchased her with His blood; it belongs to Him. We are His bride. Continue reading »
Well, it’s been nearly 2 years since I became the senior pastor at Heather Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. For most of that time, I have chosen not to blog regularly. Frankly, I needed a break from blogging. I got into blogging when it was “trendy” a few years back and really enjoyed the opportunity to interact with people I had never met from all over the country on a wide variety of subjects.
There was also a compulsion to speak. Continue reading »
This morning in a special business meeting of Heather Hills Baptist Church, the congregation called Jon Kirby to be our Associate Pastor of Spiritual Development with an 87% approval vote. Pastor Kirby will largely focus on the areas of discipleship and Christian education at Heather Hills.
We welcome Jon, Janel, Amber, Alisha, Tanner, Abby, and Trent to our church family and eagerly await their mid-June arrival!
This brings to an end a nearly five-month search with over fifty resumes having been reviewed. We are grateful to the work of the search committee and praise the Lord for His leading!
Pastor Kirby’s message which was read to the congregation today following the call was:
I praise God for the confirmation of His call on my life to minister alongside Pastor Brian, Pastor Bob and the Leadership Team at Heather Hills Baptist Church. The Kirby family is eager to be with you and to build Christ’s Kingdom together. Our focus will be to follow Christ with all our hearts while manifesting the fruit of the Spirit to each other and to the world. By His grace we will all accomplish these goals together for His great glory. Colossians 1:9-10 says, “we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” See you as soon as possible.
Praise the Lord! He is good!
After 4 months of searching and investigating over 50 resumes, I am excited to announce that Heather Hills is candidating a man for our new position of Associate Pastor of Spiritual Development! It has been a rich process thus far and we have been able to interact with many godly men around the country who are seeking the Lord’s will. However, in the end, one of our applicants has risen to the top of the list and has been unanimously recommended to our congregation by both the search committee and leadership team. Continue reading »
Today, Deborah and I had the day off from the Shepherd’s Conference so we tackled two prestigious locations. The first was the resting place of my favorite U.S. President. The second was the resting place of the most famous sign in the world. Continue reading »
Once again, this final “official” day of the Shepherd’s Conference was a bright, sunny, and beautiful California day. The first session of the day was begun with Grace’s Sunday night worship team, which is the more contemporary styled service. They led a really wonderful medley of songs all pointing to the holiness of God: God of Wonders, Indescribable, Be Unto Your Name, Holy Holy Holy, and Refiner’s Fire. John MacArthur followed this with some biblical reflection on God’s holiness in regard to evangelism. One particular quote I wrote down was “You have an ally in the heart of every unregenerate man, that is the law of God written on the hearts of men.” (Romans 1) He then encouraged us to use the law in our soul-winning to show man his need of a Savior in relation to God’s supreme holiness. Phil Johnson, director of Grace to You, then preached from Titus 2:7-8 on “Sound Words.” Here are my notes: Continue reading »
As I write this, I am sitting in my hotel room in Burbank, California. I am eager to experience the Shepherd’s Conference for the first time. Each night, I will post a recap of the conference that day.
Why am I here? There are myriads of ministry conferences a pastor can attend in the 21st Century. I, however, am not interested in the latest ministry fads, the latest church growth techniques, or the latest superstar speakers.
I am interested in one thing, the passionate, expository preaching and teaching of the Bible. Continue reading »
Well, I hope I don’t have to go through that again any time soon.
Hearing the announcement come from my pastor’s mouth made everything finally seem real. I struggled through a few words of love and hope to the congregation, then walked around with watery eyes as person after person expressed love and encouragement to me. Believe-it-or-not, the hardest people to tell were not the adults–it was the children in junior church. These were some of my charges; I am as much their pastor as my senior pastor is to our adult church family. Their sweet, innocent faces, obviously not understanding the whole reality of what I was saying brought a choke to my throat. I have loved ministering to children in our church the last several years. We have studied so much of the Word of God together. Many of them have been saved and baptized in the last year. I felt like a father saying goodbye to them.
While we do not know right now where God will lead our family, it was encouraging to hear so many of our friends affirm our decision. They were so kind in their words. God says that in an abundance of counselors there is safety. I do have a sense of safety in our decision to pursue a senior pastorate, despite the unknown before us. Our life of faith is again as active as it should always be.
Now we turn to a period of divided focus: finishing well here and finding our new ministry home. I’ve put the resumes out and people are reading them. Now we’ll wait and see what God will do.
Pray for us.
This Sunday, it will be announced that I am leaving Red Rocks Baptist Church. Continue reading »