Saturday, 27 September 2008

Duties, Tasks, and Responsibilities of a Pastor/Shepherd/Elder/Overseer

Came across this old blog entry posted by pjtibayan sometime back, but recently linked and made a reference to it again.

He discussed lists by Don Carson, Mark Dever, Benjamin Griffith, Lig Duncan and John Piper.

Check it out here.

To share a basic thought on this, allow me to quote a Chinese congregation pastor who shared this with me, from Mark 9:35
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
His understanding of pastoral ministry was three-fold:
1. Preaching God's Word (including evangelism)
2. Pastoral care (prayer, counselling, visitation, rites e.g. baptisms, weddings, funerals)
3. Ministry (a specific area of ministry assigned by the church e.g. missions, youth, CE, etc)

I see these three aspects as vital to the pastor's role, and one that is fading all too quickly, as someone commented on pjtibayan's post. Allow me to refine this definition a little further, using the basic framework and example of Christ in the above passage:
1. Teach (in the church)
2. Proclaim (the Word, and specifically the gospel)
3. Heal (besides physical healing, including spiritual and emotional healing)

Overarching these are:
1. Mission (v.35 "going through all the cities and villages")
2. Compassion (v. 36 "like sheep without a shepherd")
3. Obedience (v. 37 "the workers are few ... send out workers into His harvest")
4. Prayer (v.37 "ask the Lord of the harvest")

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Saturday, 20 September 2008

Blog - Fighter Verses

Came across this blog on "fighter" Bible memory verses, maintained by Phil Head, Johnathon Bowers, and Tyler Kenney.

Regularly updated with selected verses specially geared for fighting against Satan and sin and for fostering faith in Jesus Christ, they believe it is valuable to memorize, understand and share Scripture.

Check out Fighter Verses.

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Saturday, 13 September 2008

Book Summary - Disciples are made, not born (Walter Henrichsen)

Chapter 1. The kind of person God uses

Essential traits of a person who wants to qualify as "a faithful man" (2 Tim 2:2):
  1. He has adopted as his objective in life the same objective God sets forth in the Scriptures (Matt 6:33).
  2. He is willing to pay any price to have the will of God fulfilled in his life (2 Tim 2:3, 4; Phil 3:18-19).
  3. He has a love for the Word of God (Jer 15:16).
  4. He has a servant heart (Matt 20:26-28; Jn 13).
  5. He puts no confidence in the flesh (2 Cor 1:9; Rom 7:18).
  6. He does not have an independent spirit.
  7. He has a love for people (1 Jn 4:10).
  8. He does not allow himself to be trapped in bitterness (Heb 12:15).
  9. He has learned to discipline his life (1 Cor 9:24-27).
Chapter 2. Jesus as Lord

Jesus is Lord whether we want Him to be or not (Col 1:16-18).

Why we do not want to acknowledge Christ as Lord:
  • He may ask us to do something we do not want to do
  • We think we know what is best for us
  • We are not sure that God has our best interests at heart
What it means to acknowledge Him as Lord (Matt 6:9-13)
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
Chapter 3. The cost of discipleship
  1. The disciple is one who in every area of his life determines from the Bible what is right and lives it consistently.
  2. The disciple is one who is in constant touch with people in need.
  3. The commandments of God are never whimsical or arbitrary but are designed for our best.
  4. In no way can a person get without giving or truly live without dying.
  5. The disciple is one who is in tune with the voice of the Spirit of God.
  6. One of the fundamental requisites for true discipleship is a spirit of desperation that burns deep within the soul.
  7. Jesus used this kind of situation to emphasize the importance of carefully counting the cost of being a disciple before committing oneself.
  8. In paying the price for being Christ's disciple, you too must purposefully destroy all avenues of retreat.

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Thursday, 11 September 2008

4 areas of improvement - COC review of 7 religious groups
Straits Times, 11 Sep 2008

The first review of 7 religious groups with annual incomes of over S$10 million each has been completed by the Commissioner of Charities, and they have found 4 areas that need looking into. This review is intended to "help the groups improve on the way in which they are run."
  • proper procedures when giving loans
  • measures to manage potential problems arising from "conflict of roles" (board & staff)
  • procedures to manage conflict of interest situations;
  • donations given to external parties
See also
Governance of 7 religious groups to come under scrutiny - Straits Times (23 Oct 2007)

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Kent Hughes: Toward a Definition of Biblical Exposition

Dr. Kent Hughes kicked off the Spurgeon Fellowship 2008-9 @ Western Seminary today on "A Prolegomenon to Biblical Exposition". Here's a good summary of his attempts to define Biblical Exposition by Ps Cal Habig. Check out other entries for summaries on his entire session.

The preacher has done his work when... (things to work out, understand, interpret, etc)
  • Theme of book
  • Text in context
  • Text's application in historical setting, whole of Scripture
  • Revelation of Jesus Christ, inter-canonical connections
  • Trip "from Jerusalem to Singapore" (your city's name), present relevance
  • Theme of text, "Big Idea"
  • Outline using literary structure of text
  • Stories, illustrations that really illuminate
  • Language that communicates in today's culture
  • Submit self to text, desire truth active in own life
  • Full dependence upon Holy Spirit
(read more)

See also entries on "Exposition"

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Saturday, 6 September 2008

Song - O God, You are my God by Randy Wright

O God, You are my God
And I will seek Thee earnestly (x2)

My soul thirsts for Thee
My flesh yearns for Thee
In a dry and weary land
Where there's no water
Thus I have beheld Thee
In Thy sanctuary
To see Thy power and Thy glory

So I will bless Thee
As long as I live
I will lift up my hands in Thy name
So I will bless Thee
As long as I live
And in the shadow of Thy wings
I sing for joy

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