Follow Up on Pastoral Prep

Last week I asked you to help me develop a list of resources that would serve as an introduction to the ministry. You can read the original post here. 

Here is a list of most of the recommended resources. I’m not endorsing everything listed here because I haven’t read many of them. But I wanted to highlight what was suggested as worth while reading for people thinking about ministry. Thanks again for your help!

  • The Jesus Style of Gayle Erwin 
  • The Making of a Man of God by Alan Redpath
  • In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
  • Lectures to My Students by C.H. Spurgeon
  • Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
  • Center Church by Timothy Keller
  • Pastor to Pastor by Erwin Lutzer
  • Brothers, We are not Professionals by John Piper
  • Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders
  • Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller
  • Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor by DA Carson 
  • Rid of my Disgrace by Justin Holcomb
  • The Pastor by Eugene Peterson
  • Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch

Social Media Do List For Churches and Pastors

Yesterday I had the opportunity to share at the Calvary Chapel’s ReEngage conference about social media and church planting. I’ll link over to the video of the session as soon as it is available. Below are the long list of ideas that I gave for different social media sites.  Facebook Pages for Church

  • Create a Page not a Profile for your church and fill in all the details including location!
  • Give a Christian perspective to events taking place in your community via link and brief commentary
  • Ask for prayer requests
  • Event pictures (be considerate of posting pictures of kids)
  • Create Events for anything that is outside of the normal weekly schedule
  • Tease the sermon for the week
  • Announce any new pages added to your church’s web site
  • Link to other leader’s content that you trust: books, sermons, schools, seminars, blogs, software, apps
  • Ask for sermon illustrations
  • Create a weekly ebulletin and share it on Facebook
  • Thank your staff and volunteers by name
  • Link to practical ways for people to do what was contained in your sermon application on Sunday
  • Print you FB URL in church bulletin and other print info
  • Link to your FB page from your web site.
  • Look for writers and photographers that are interested in contributing.
  • Collaborate and post to multiple social media accounts through HootSuit

Twitter Account for the Church

  • Create a clean profile that points people to the church web site
  • Link to announcements on your web site
  • Remind people of upcoming events
  • Post a reminder of the application point from your sermon
  • Link to resources that amplify your Sermon
  • Link to anything you mentioned in your Sunday sermon
  • Link to other leaders content that you trust: books, sermons, schools, seminars, blogs, software, apps
  • Create a Twitter schedule through HootSuite and stick to it. People will appreciate the routine
  • Retweet your congregations tweets
  • Retweet news or alerts from your local community.
  • Create a Sunday sermon hashtag #hashtag
  • Create an outreach opportunity hashtag
  • Create a prayer request hashtag
  • Link to media on other social sites: youtube, instagram, Quora
  • Follow and listen to the other people in your church on twitter
  • Use Twitter Advanced search to find out what people in your geographic area are saying about Jesus, Bible, God, Heaven, Sin, Hell, 
  • Create lists so that you can drill down and see specific info from specific groups of people
  • Print your Twitter URL in materials
  • Look for opportunities to comment and post in real time based on significant events.


  • Create a Channel that only contain church content
  • Provide 3-7 min clips from the sermon
  • Provide videos from the church office
  • Announce upcoming events
  • Record a Google+ On Air Hangout with some of the ministry leaders
  • Do a “man on the street” in your community to help people understand the city where they live
  • Record some of your church’s ministry training and put it online


Help Me Develop A Bibliography

I’m taking a class at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary called Foundations of Ministry. The goal of the class is to prepare the student for future ministry realities. So far we have covered topics like stress, burnout, conflict management, and boundaries. 

It has been an interesting class and it has caused me to think through the concept of pastoral care and pastoral preparation. There are different approaches to this subject depending on what school you attend or what denomination you are a part of. At the same time there is a shared goal: to see pastor’s thrive in their calling while avoiding temptation and other pitfalls. 

So here is my question: “What books would you recomend for this genre of training?” 

Remember, this is an introductory course and is intended to prepare the student for real ministry. The topics typically covered include: 

  • Understanding calling
  • The spiritual life of the pastor
  • Understanding the role of the pastor
  • Understanding stress in the ministry
  • Understanding family life and ministry
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership

What books would you recommend for a course like this? 

[Update: I’ll create a new post in the next couple of days listing the feedback that I receive.]

More Thoughts on Separation: The Default Position of Fundamentalists

I have been thinking a lot about fundamentalism and its manifestation today as “discernment blogs”. I wrote about this last week and have subsequently taken the post down to rework it. 

I thought I would share some more thoughts in general on the issue of separation. This seems to be one of the most important issues to the fundamentalist. It is at the heart of fundamentalism. Whether we are talking about first century Pharisees or modern day discernment blogs the fundamentalist has been appealing for greater separation from the world. And when a Christian leader doesn’t keep separation to their standard that individual is condemned. 

This manifests itself today as people question how connected Christians should be with Rick Warren or whether or not Billy Graham should let a Catholic priest be on stage while he preaches the gospel. There are a lot of major and minor examples of this issue. But it all goes back to one word; “separation”.

 So what does the Bible say to these things. 

The Bible teaches both separation and engagement. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 appeals for the believer to be separate from the world. But 1 Corinthians 9, and Jesus life and teaching instruct the believer to be integrated with culture. 

Separation is commanded for the sake of personal purity. Integration and engagement is commanded for the sake of the gospel. 

But the issue gets a little bit more complex when we begin to talk about engagement with the ideas and inanimate objects of pagans. 

For example, the fundamentalist will go to great lengths to explain how a Christmas tree is rooted in pagan rituals. They appeal for separation. But on the other hand the pro-Christmas tree person will say, “I had no idea that it was rooted in paganism, and I enjoy my Christmas tree because it is a part of culture.” The tree itself is an inanimate object. To the fundamentalist it represents a compromise towards pagan worship. For the pro-Christmas tree person the tree is harmless and representative of warm family memory around the holidays. 

Paul spoke to the issue of inanimate objects. In his culture, it was an issue of meat offered to idols. He said, the meat is harmless because there is only one God and the act of offering it to a pagan idol is empty and meaningless. If your conscience permits, eat the meat. (See 1 Corinthians 8, and Romans 14.)

The issue of separation gets extremely complex when we talk about language and epistemology. 

Some fundamentalists recognize and oppose the use of language and knowledge that appears to originate with pagans. For example a non-christian might write a book on relationships, sports, life-lessons, communication, or business strategy. The fundamentalist goes to their default programing and appeals for separation. But the truly discerning Christian recognizes that God is the author of truth and non-christians are not prohibited by God from discovering truth. So there may be value in what they write. 

Now, the truth that non-christians discover is often pragmatic, mixed with falsities, and unfiltered for motives and priority. The TED talks come to mind as I write that. The beauty of a Christian worldview is that it deals with truth in a holistic way.

The point is, we can’t just default into a separation mode on every issue and every relationship. Jesus and Paul were strategic and clear as they engaged culture and did not fear the effect that the pagan world would have on them as they fellowshiped with sinners.

I’d love to hear your thoughts… especially as we get closer to Halloween.

Support the Henderson Family in Australia

My wife and I met Bryan in 2000 at Calvary Chapel Bible College. At that time he was a part of a team getting ready to go out to Australia to plant a church in Newcastle. Bryan was incredibly gifted at building relationships, doing evangelism, and teaching the Bible. Eight years later he is married with two kids and planting a church of his own.

Josh recorded a 10 minute update with Bryan this last week. We wanted people to hear what they are doing so that they can pray, contribute and support this new work. You can have a listen here

Bryan Henderson Interview

You can also see the new church's Facebook page by clicking here.

Their personal Facebook page is here.

If you would like to contribute to them financially you can send a check to "Calvary Chapel Hot Springs", 39407 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd, Murrieta, CA 92563. Make sure to indicate in the memo that the gift is intended the "for the Henderson family".

Thanks for checking out their ministry!