Posts with the category “articles”

The ministry goal no one talks about
by Eric Singleton on May 11th, 2021
The ministry goal no one talks aboutOn Sunday, May 31, I wondered, “Will I ever see this again?” That day my pastor stood in front of me heralding the ascended Christ of Luke 24, completing our years–long study of the Gospel of Luke. Of course, it is not too far–fetched to say I’ll be around to see someone else complete the exposition of Luke’s Gospel.When he finished Luke 24, our pastor didn’t me...  Read More
The Hope of Heaven at the End of Ministry
by Eric Singleton on May 11th, 2021
The Hope of Heaven at the End of MinistryGrowing up in a small town, I often attended worship services and funerals that featured songs about heaven. Some had good theology. Others didn’t resemble biblical teaching on heaven at all. But heaven wasn’t just a major theme of our songs. Lots of people talked about it. As they talked about “the pearly gates” or their “heavenly home,” I noticed how they...  Read More
Right and Wrong Pastoral Ambitions
by Eric Singleton on May 11th, 2021
Right and Wrong Pastoral AmbitionsAmbitions are tricky. Functioning well, they motivate to action, pursue the worthwhile, steer away from the ignoble, and provide energy to persevere. Yet pride, selfishness, bitterness, and a host of sins, like parasites, sicken once healthy ambitions toward destructiveness. In guarding our hearts, we must also guard our ambitions.Pastoral calling and ministry tra...  Read More
6 Ways Pastors Should Handle Opposition
by Eric Singleton on May 11th, 2021
Pastors need not think opposition strange or abnormal. It comes with the territory. Just read the Pauline and Johannine epistles to see opposition weaving its way into churches in the first century (e.g. 1 Cor. 1:10–17; 2 Cor. 10–13; Gal. 1:6–2:14; Phil. 3:17–19; 2 John 7–11; 3 John 9–10). The same continues today.Unknown to me, a disgruntled community member once sent letters making harsh accusat...  Read More
The Immeasurable Joy of Hope in Christ
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
Much has changed with my understanding of biblical hope. Hope in Christ now underlies my pastoral visits and pastoral counseling. Instead of only a few choice texts, I see hope throughout the Scripture. I find great joy in pointing to hope in Christ with my congregation. This buoyant hope as a fountain of joy deeply affects my living, preaching, and teaching.   Read More
The Doctrine of Church Discipline
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
Church discipline helps the church focus on unity, purity, and maturity. Apart from ongoing discipline of members, the congregation drifts from the gospel and the church as Christ’s bride.  Read More
Preacher’s Toolkit: How Do I Handle an Unbeliever’s Funeral?
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
A gospel minister’s angst heightens in wondering how to lead a memorial service for an unbeliever. So how do ministers serve families whose deceased loved one has given no evidence of trust in Christ? Here are seven considerations.  Read More
Should You Pastor a Church You Would Never Attend?
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
Should you accept a call from a church you wouldn’t attend? That’s where discernment and humility, along with wise counsel and a willingness to follow Christ, will give you clarity.   Read More
5 Ways Elders Can Shepherd Elders
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
Yes, pastors need pastoring by their fellow elders. We can certainly develop formal structures for doing so, such as accountability times, Bible studies, peer reviews, and so on, but I’m advocating for something more holistic—life on life in the crucible of ministry. Know each other well. Serve each other faithfully.  Read More
I Learned It the Hard Way: Our Best Life Is Later
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
Neglecting to cultivate hope in a family with desperate need changed me—not immediately, but progressively. As difficult as it was, the Lord used that disappointing time to bring me face-to-face with my temporal existence.  Read More
How Should a Church Handle Accusations against an Elder?
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
An elder’s office does not put him above correction. Yet the congregation must show such respect to those appointed to lead, so that only with much humility, verification, and care will they reprove an elder. Members and elders will faithfully serve one another with this kind of accountability.  Read More
7 Ways to Shepherd the Terminally Ill
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
If there is no comfort in the gospel, there is no real comfort anywhere.  Read More
5 Dangers That Can Wreck Church Plants (and Planters)
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
Don’t plant a church unless you take seriously the dangers that lurk.  Read More
Elders for the Church
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
As Christ’s gift to the church, elders value character as they focus on the church’s maturity and unity. Whether by denial or misuse, neglecting Christ’s design for elder leadership deprives the church of this priceless asset for its spiritual health.  Read More
What are the Essentials of the Gospel?
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
“Essentials” implies necessity – something that cannot be left out if the gospel is to be properly understood.  Read More
“I Learned the Hard Way”: Mentoring at South Woods Baptist
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
In my present pastorate at South Woods Baptist Church, I approach my own practice of pastoral mentoring both formally and informally.   Read More
How do I preach expositional sermons to uneducated hearers?
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
Since the pastor’s responsibility is to “preach the word,” then he must labor to understand the biblical text and communicate it effectively and passionately to his congregation (II Tim. 4:2).  Read More
Moving from a Deacon-Led to an Elder-Led Church
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
The better a pastor teaches his congregation to rightly interpret Scripture, the better they’ll be able to understand biblical church leadership and desire the change themselves, which will lead to a far smoother transition.  Read More
Four Observations from a Rookie Elder
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
A plurality of elders ends up sharing the load of pastoral ministry. Though the weight of some burdens might overwhelm a single, isolated elder, carrying that same burden with men you trust makes it more bearable.  Read More
Reflections on Singing with 12,000 People
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
The last time I personally attended T4G was 10 years ago. But every year it’s been held since, a number of folks from our congregation went, returning with some version of Dr. Duncan’s comment. Of course, while they’d tell me about the sermon(s) I needed to stream and show off the stacks of books they received, inevitably their visage would visibly brighten as they recounted the joys of singing with thousands of gospel–loving people.   Read More
VBS and the Mission of the Church
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
The church’s mission isn’t merely one person casting from a pier; it’s a host of men and women holding their part of the net.  Read More
The Illusion of Control
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
It’s not just that how you think affects what you do. What you do affects how you think.  Read More
Five Reasons a Local Church Should Adopt an Unreached People Group
by Eric Singleton on January 12th, 2020
Adopting an unreached people group helped our local church to serve missionaries overseas. But it served even more than that. It proved to be good for our pastors, our city, our congregation, and the world.  Read More
Dysfunctional Elders Make a Dysfunctional Church
by Eric Singleton on December 10th, 2019
In the hustling whirl of elder ministry, let’s not neglect the most basic responsibility: setting an example for living, loving, serving, and caring for one another in the body.  Read More