Hey Church: A Fallow Year Ain’t A Bad Idea

Why does the farmer take what seems to be a risk in not sowing that field: A gamble on reducing the harvest the following year?

You know what I mean by a fallow year, don’t you?  Just as a farmer leaves a field fallow – unsown – for one season, in order to give the ground time to rest and render it more productive for the coming seasons, perhaps our churches could do with a fallow year.   Does your... Continue Reading

Rethinking the Basics on Missions

How should missions be pursued? What should our motives be? What is the content? How should missions be overseen?

Gradually, I hope, denominational structures can downsize and assets and resources shift down to presbyteries and local churches. It represents, to me, a long, slow process but one that moves us a bit to closer to what Thornwell saw as a genuine plumb line for missions. We chose the other approach. We exercised great flexibility... Continue Reading

Every Tongue, Tribe And Nation and Church Attendance

How often do we think of the bigger picture, how our participation in the worship service exalts the God of the universe?

This past month we had the blessing of worshipping in a couple of churches in Montevideo. As our all-night flight reminded us, Uruguay is far from the U.S. In fact, this Uruguayan city is the southern most capital city in the Americas, being roughly the same latitude as Kansas, but in the southern hemisphere. And... Continue Reading

When Pastors Water Down the Truth of God’s Word

One of the great needs of our day is for preachers to learn how to break down, rather than water down, the truth of God's word.

In our day, when ministers water down God’s word they almost always do so from behind a missiological smokescreen. Insisting that a robustly theological ministry is a detriment to reaching the unchurched, they introduce a number of serious problems.   “We keep our preaching basic because we have so many new believers. If we give... Continue Reading

Where Harvest USA Is Going

Though much has changed at Harvest USA, a lot has stayed the same.

We remain committed to discipleship as our sole ministry objective. When someone comes to us for help with a sexual or gender-related struggle, we don’t focus on behavior change. Just as I was challenged two decades ago that idolatry (the Bible’s term to explain out of control desires of the heart) was my most significant... Continue Reading

Questions and Answers about Pastoral Ministry

The knowledge that Christ is ministering to his people through me - my stumbling sermons, my counselling, my visiting - is a great motivator.

As another Pastor put it long ago, ‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.’ (3Jn 4). To see the members of the church responding in a godly way to the preaching of the word, to their afflictions, witnessing to their non-Christian friends, loving the brethren, delighting... Continue Reading

Missing Elements in Our Discussions about Apostasy

We have to expect that while many will endure, there will be some who fall away.

We are all people of trajectories who wittingly or unwittingly, deliberately or carelessly, point ourselves along the narrow way that leads to salvation or the broad way that leads to destruction. This demonstrates the importance of having people in our lives who will confront and redirect us not just when we’ve gone past the point... Continue Reading

You Don’t Feed Sheep like Your Llama

Expository preaching is far more than just standing before people and saying, “this is what the text says, come eat.”

We under-shepherds are not infallible in our discernment of our sheep but nevertheless we need to truly know them in order to properly feed them. I’m happy about the resurgence of biblical theology and sharing how each passage of Scripture fits into the grand narrative. I’m even more ecstatic that a growing segment of pastors are... Continue Reading

Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Board Selects Dr. Jonathan Master As Their Second President

Dr. Master will assume the Seminary presidency on July 1, 2020; Dr. Pipa will continue to serve as full-time Professor of Systematic & Homiletical Theology and President Emeritus

Dr. Master earned a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Aberdeen. His research was in the field of Historical Theology, specifically the doctrine of assurance in the Westminster Confession and in the writings of Anthony Burgess. He earned both the M.Div. and the Th.M. from Capital Bible Seminary, and the B.S. in Bible at... Continue Reading

To Go or Not to Go

Here are some considerations that may help us in deciding whether to go on short-term mission trips.

We spend billions of dollars to pay for the transportation, lodging, food, and other costs of these trips.  While these trips are usually spiritually uplifting and emotionally exhilarating, many, like me, ask: do they truly have positive benefits and could the money have been better used.   I recently returned from a mission trip to... Continue Reading