Shepherd Links – 11/17

Prophet Links

New Studies in Dogmatics—A New 15-Volume Series in Constructive Theology Looks to be a great series: “Today Zondervan announced a major 15-volume project in constructive theology. The series is called New Studies in Dogmatics and is edited by Michael Allen (Knox Theological Seminary) and Scott R. Swain (Reformed Theological Seminary). Download flyer. The volumes will explore vital theological topics of Christian doctrine, expressing their biblical, creedal, and confessional shape. The volumes will seek a constructive theology that—unlike much modern theology—does not downplay the traditions of the church, but embraces and builds upon Christianity’s historic professions.” Hat Tip to Justin Taylor.

3 Questions to Ask of Your Sermon From Trevin Wax: “There has been a lot of talk in recent years about making the gospel announcement of Jesus Christ front and center in our preaching and teaching. As our society becomes increasingly post-Christian, it is critical for us to not assume lost people know who God is, what He is like, and what He has done for us. We need to be clear in what we teach, with a laser-like focus on Jesus Christ our Savior. But how do we make sure that Jesus is center-stage in our church?”

Read Calvin’s Institutes in a Year A one-year Institutes reading plan. Hat Tip to Stir Up.

Priest Links

The Secret to Spurgeon’s Evangelistic Ministry From Steve Lawson: “Charles Spurgeon believed that if he was to be used effectively in evangelism, he must have a comprehensive knowledge of the Scriptures. Consequently, his sermon preparation was marked by thorough study of the biblical text. He declared to his students: “Be masters of your Bibles, brethren. Whatever other works you have not searched, be at home with the writings of the prophets and apostles. ‘Let the Word of God dwell in you richly.’” As Spurgeon saw it, a minister’s depth in the Word would ultimately determine the breadth of his ministry.”

How Does a Pastor Shepherd a Young Couple He Just Married a Few Months Ago? From Brian Croft: “This past summer, I married a young couple in our church.  It came time after the dust settled to meet with them to see how married life was treating them.  I try to do this about 3 months post-marriage, allow them to get settled, and give them plenty of time to fight and make up before intruding.  Here is my general approach to try to assess how they are doing and learn best how to  shepherd them through this first year.” Croft gives four suggestions.

Brothers, Build a Gospel Culture From Ray Ortlund: “Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. The doctrines of grace create a culture of grace, a social environment of acceptance and hope and freedom and joy. Jesus himself touches us through his truths to create a new kind of community. Without the doctrines, the culture alone is fragile. Without the culture, the doctrines alone appear pointless.”

King Links

How to Lead Volunteers Two articles by Brandon Andersen at The Resurgence. The first is the why and the who of leading volunteers. The second is the how and the what of leading volunteers.

Positive Leadership This post contains an index to David Murray’s series on Positive Leadership. Find out why a positive leader is cheerful, climbing, confident, clear, communicative, courageous, and compassionate.

Are You Building Healthy Systems? Good words from Ed Stetzer, whether you are a church planter, or a pastor of an established church: “Planters usually begin their planting journey with great intentions. Their strengths tend to be relationships and their passion is often looking toward Sunday mornings. With certain exceptions (large start-up teams, ideal locations, well funded), churches will not maintain the momentum that most church planters are wanting. Start-up is not easy, but it is often when the church has the most receptivity in the community. Response from open people create a sense of momentum, but that momentum must be transferred to systems. Intentional systems, processes, and cultures are critical to long-term impact in new contemporary churches.”