In a recent talk at Southeastern Seminary, Drs. Steve McKinion, David Sills, and Scott Hildreth sat down to discuss the specific calling to pastoral and missionary service and ways for pastors to recognize this specific calling in their church members. You can watch the full discussion below:
At his personal blog, Tate Cockrell shared four ways you can help your graduate. Dr. Cockrell writes:
Today I get the privilege of participating in commencement exercises at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where I serve as Assistant Director of Doctor of Ministry Programs and Associate Professor of Counseling. It’s a highlight of the semester. Watching men and women receive their diplomas and doctoral hoods after years of hard work and sacrifice is a joy to watch. I was once where they are and remember all too well the immense feeling of relief of completing one phase of the journey.
This time of year graduates from preschools, grade schools, high schools, universities, graduate schools, and trade schools all over the world will have similar experiences. Here are four ways you can help the graduates in your life.
Art Rainer recently shared five career tips for recent college graduates:
Class of 2017,
Congratulations! You made it. You did the homework assignments. You completed the group projects. You wrote the papers. And you passed the exams. Now you are officially a college graduate.
For many college graduates, the next step is diving into a career. If this is you, here are a few tips to get you started
Earlier this week, Dr. Danny Akin shared sixteen commitments for a faithful ministry of preaching.
Whenever I teach my students the practice of biblical exposition, I always challenge them to develop their convictions about preaching and let those guide and shape their preaching ministry. I have done so myself. In class, I explain the following 16 commitments that I believe a pastor or preacher should have in the ministry of preaching.
At The Center for Great Commission Studies, Scott Hildreth shared ten ways to be missional this summer. Dr. Hildreth writes:
Today kicks off the Summer semester for our students. Some will continue taking classes. Others will spend the summer at home with families. A different group will be involved in ministries or missionary activities. The hope is that all of our students will seek ways to make this summer a missional season. No matter where God leads them, we are praying they will make a gospel difference in someone’s life. Week after week, class after class, chapel after chapel, we remind our students that they have been entrusted with the treasure of the gospel and have been given the commission to pass it along to others.
In this post, we are going to give tips for making a missionary difference this summer. Don’t be overwhelmed by the list. Pick one or two and start there — then let’s see what happens.
Matt Sliger posted an article at Founders Ministries discussing the value of seminary.
You’re probably not the smartest guy in the room, but you might think you are. That’s one reason you should consider seminary.
As nearly all women daydream about, last Friday my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary at a seminary graduation. Neither of us had a clue on May 12, 2007 that we’d spend the first decade of matrimony scouring footnotes late at night and writing on holidays. Ten years and two kids later, we’ve somewhat been forced to reflect on the value of that investment. While we might appeal to a number of rationales, the primary role of theological education in my life has been to persistently remind me of my ignorance.
I’ve listed below four adverse effects on ministry preparation, if you’re regularly the smartest guy in the room (or think you are).
At The Peoples Next Door, Meredith Cook shared about the necessity of community.
I recently traveled to North Carolina for my seminary graduation, and while there, I was able to spend time with friends from the church I was a member of while living there. We had a great community in Raleigh and are looking forward to growing our community here in Houston. Our church in North Carolina kept us accountable, provided for us, served us, and allowed themselves to be inconvenienced for us. And we did the same for them.
We are made to be in community. On the flight home to Houston, I saw an ad for an app called “Mittcute” which allows users to meet new people based on similar interests such as kayaking, hiking, reading, or cooking. This isn’t the first I’ve heard of such a service. Even the secular world is recognizing that people are not meant to do life alone and is seeking to rectify loneliness through apps, community events, social media, etc. As believers, though, we have something better. We have the church.
At the Intersect Project, Jeremy Bell reminds us that as Christians, we should take care of our bodies.
The doctrine that humans were created in the image of God matters for how Christians navigate a variety of cultural issues—racism, bioethics, abortion, homosexuality and moral responsibility, just to name a few. This truth, the imago Dei, provides Christians with a correct worldview that all people are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) on the basis of their image–bearing. According to this doctrine, human beings are special because we are created beings that exist as both body and soul. Regardless of your capabilities, you are valued by God because you have been created by God as an embodied soul.
However, I fear that we have not fleshed out what the imago Dei means for us as individuals. We have created a culture that focuses mainly on the soul while forgetting the body — a sort of Christian Gnosticism. I am convinced that the Christian community needs to focus on both the body and the soul in order to honor God as his image–bearers.
What do I mean by this? Christians need to practice taking better care of their bodies in order to honor God as created beings. In other words, Christians should consider pursuing healthy eating habits, exercising regularly, drinking more water and avoiding harmful substances. The Christian understanding of body and soul from Scripture obligates us as created beings to be good stewards of the bodies that God has given each of us. However, we are to honor God with our bodies not as a means to earn God’s grace, but as a means to express our gratitude for the grace he has already shown us through Jesus Christ.
Here are three reasons that you should take care of your body because you have been created in the image of God.
Spence Spencer posted an article at his personal blog Ethics and Culture discussing the question: “What is an Evangelical?” Spence writes:
The furor around Hillbilly Elegy has largely died away. Much to nearly everyone’s surprise, a populist won the election. Many of his votes came from people who claim the title evangelical.
The exit poll results that indicate 81% of so-called evangelicals voted for Trump have been used as a cudgel against theologically conservative Protestants, many of whom identify as evangelical.
As Robert Wuthnow notes in his recent book, Inventing American Religion, however, there are significant differences between theological belief and political identity. The pollsters have tried to cross that boundary, but there are indications that the political label evangelical may not provide a strong theological indicator.
At Christianity Today, Hannah Anderson shared an article discussing how brainy women benefit the church.
“Why do you always have to analyze everything?”
I’ve heard this question many times, but I remember the first time someone posed it to me directly. I was 11 years old, in the fifth grade, and standing in the hallway surrounded by my classmates. I don’t remember who asked it, but I do remember that the question was quickly followed by an unsettling chorus of assent. To that point, I’d enjoyed the process of learning and felt free to excel academically. But something shifted in that moment.
Although I didn’t realize it then, our collective understanding of intelligence—and my perception of my own intelligence—had been taking shape for several years. A recent study by Lin Bian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, reveals that children as young as six are already forming views about the nature of intelligence, including associating it with masculinity. Standing in that hallway was the first time I remember questioning whether being a “smart” girl was a benefit or a social liability.
Reporting on Bian’s research, Ed Yong of The Atlantic notes that society’s tendency to associate intelligence with masculinity can create hurdles for women.
Dr. Bruce Ashford recently published an article at his blog discussing the Bible’s four essential teachings about politics.
When we ask the question, “What is a Christian view of politics?” we can be tempted to jump straight to party platforms and policy issues. That is, of course, how the conversation proceeds on the radio shows and cable news networks: “What is a Christian perspective on immigration reform?” “Why do Christians oppose abortion but support the death penalty?” “How could a Christian support So-and-So for the presidency?”
But if we jump straight to these sort of issues, our perspective will be fragmented and incoherent. Instead of beginning with questions about isolated policy issues and party platforms, it is helpful to ask what the Bible’s master narrative says about politics itself.
That’s right. Even though the Bible is composed of 66 individual books composed by many different authors, its composition was guided by one Divine Author who formed those books together into one story. That story is the true story of the whole world, a story that tells where the world came from, what went horribly wrong with it, and how God will one day set it aright.
If we want to understand a Christian view of politics, therefore, the first thing we need to do is look at clues from the Bible’s main storyline. One way to tell the story is to divide it into four acts—Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. In this article, I will do exactly that, and will briefly relate each act to the notion of politics.
At Thom Rainer’s blog, Jonathan Howe shared four elements of a successful podcast.
In the past two weeks of the Rainer on Leadership podcast, we have experienced two of our top three days ever on the show in terms of downloads. For this, we are obviously grateful to our listeners.
As we begin year five of Rainer on Leadership, it feels like the proper time to look back over the past four years at what has made the podcast (and other popular podcasts) work. The “Religion and Spirituality” section of iTunes is by far the most populous category in the app, and Rainer on Leadership is consistently in the top 150. I’ve identified four elements of the podcast that I believe contribute to this.
In this post, Art Rainer gives five major reasons why church giving declines.
God has designed us, not to be hoarders, but conduits through which His generosity flows.
And this generosity should be evident by the way we give to our local church. Unfortunately, churches often experience a reduction in giving. Their members and attendees withhold or reduce their giving.
Why does this happen?
Here are a few reasons to consider
In an article at the website of the International Mission Board, Scott Hildreth shared about how the Cooperative Program enables local congregations to participate in God’s mission. Dr. Hildreth writes:
Some may wonder how the Southern Baptist Convention is different from other denominations. There are many ways, but one of the most obvious is our basic structure and our funding system. From the early days of the convention, Southern Baptists looked for a structure that supported our belief in the importance of the local church while also enabling the churches to fulfill the Great Commission through many different ministries. The Cooperative Program is the result. Over the years, the details and complexity of the convention have changed, but this program has served as a key tool for our growth.
The beauty of our Cooperative Program outshines the motto: “We can do more together than we can do alone.” There is no question that the Cooperative Program has allowed Southern Baptists to achieve a lot. It is the financial driving force—some might even say, the lifeline— for the expanse and success of the SBC. The creation of a unified budget, along with the expectations of regular contributions, allows our boards to plan their work without being encumbered by the constant need to raise all of their support.