Reading for Spiritual Leadership

A break from Sanders today.  We shall return to him soon.  Kevin DeYoung recently posted the reading list for the internship program at his church.  Many of these titles have appeared in one form or another in our church life.  J. Oswald Sanders' Spiritual Leadership is his first read in the category of leadership.  A Praying Life by Paul Miller is his first read in the category of prayer.  (I will be recommending that the whole church read A Praying Life.  More on that later.)

DeYoung's list is aimed at forming pastors.  However, all of the readings are appropriate for church officers.  Many are appropriate for other areas of leadership.  Some are classics to be appreciated by all.  

Reading for Spiritual Leadership

The Bruised Reed, Quote from Chapter One

Hence we learn that we must not pass too harsh judgment upon ourselves or others when God exercises us with bruising upon bruising. There must be a conformity to our head, Christ, who was 'bruised for us' (Isa 53:5) that we may know how much we are bound unto him. Ungodly spirits, ignorant of God's ways in bringing his children to heaven, censure broken-hearted Christians as miserable persons, whereas God is doing a gracious good work with them. It is no easy matter to bring a man from nature to grace, and from grace to glory, so unyielding and intractable are our hearts. Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed

Join us for the adult Sunday school class, Help for Hurting Christians, taught by Pastor Jay Harvey, Sunday mornings at 9:30.

Help for Hurting Christians: Reading Schedule

Senior Pastor Jay Harvey is leading an adult Sunday School class titled Help for Hurting Christians. The class is based on the book The Bruised Reed, by Puritan pastor Richard Sibbes (1577 - 1635). Books are available for purchase for $5.75. If you would like to read along, the following schedule will keep you on pace with the class: June 3, 2012: Chapter 1 (pages 1 – 6)

June 10, 2012: Chapter 2 (pages 7 – 15)

June 17, 2012: Chapters 3 & 4 (pages 16 – 25)

June 24, 2012: Chapter 5 (pages 26 – 34)

July 1, 2012: Chapter 6 (pages 35 – 44)

July 8, 2012: Chapter 7 (pages 45 – 52)

July 15, 2012: Chapters 8 & 9 (pages 53 – 66)

July 22, 2012: Chapter 10 (pages 67 – 76)

July 29, 2012: Chapters 11 & 12 (pages 77 – 90)

August 5, 2012: Chapter 13 (pages 91 – 100)

August 12, 2012: Chapter 14 (pages 101 – 108)

August 19, 2012: Chapter 15 (pages 109 – 117)

August 26, 2012: Chapter 16 (pages 118 – 128)

Feeding 5,000 with Sunday Breakfast Mission

The Sunday Breakfast Mission is in dire need of food. This ministry practices excellent stewardship and always presents the gospel when they offer help.  At this point, they are not able to provide food for needy men, women, children and families.  This Sunday please bring items to the Narthex to meet this need.  There is a need for baby food, canned vegetables, canned soups, canned meats, cereal.  There will be a table in the Narthex with boxes to receive your donations.

Pastor's Study & Wed. Night Renovations This Fall

Wednesday Night and How People Change


Before I get into how people change I want to say a few things about Wednesday night.  We have had and will continue to have some great things happening on Wednesday night.  The Wednesday night meal continues on, with the energy of new leadership provided by Amy Houston.  We are adding a time of corporate worship immediate following the meal to set our minds on the Lord and enrich our fellowship.  (Just a few minutes of singing together with God’s people can do wonders for your spiritual life in the middle of the week!) 


This year we are launching our Wednesday Night Ministry with a Block Party (Wed. September 7th, 5:30-8:00PM.)  We will enjoy being together and having a place to welcome our friends and neighbors.  The Elevation Band (i.e., the folks who play in worship) has been hard at work to prepare live music.  In addition to the songs that we sing in corporate worship, the band has prepared some other pieces just for this event. Benjamin Harding tells me quality is superb, so bring your friends out for some serious live music.  We will have tables at the Block Party that present the ministries that will take place on Wednesday night.  We will have food on hand for purchase, but you are welcome to bring your own food as well. (We have asked these vendors to make and sell food.  We are not sharing in their profits, nor have we made guarantees to them.)      


On Wednesday evenings this fall I will be leading a study using the book entitled How People Change, by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp.  Paul Tripp is a second generation pioneer of the biblical counseling movement begun by Jay Adams, and appreciated by so many in our church through the Self-Confrontation courses led by the Evers, Zitlaus and Hilberts over the years.  Tim Lane is a professor of biblical counseling at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation affiliated with Westminster Seminary.  How People Change is a comprehensive presentation of a gospel centered approach to change.  It is the type of book that is worthy of re-reading, re-studying time and again.  I chose this book because it is rich in application, replete with examples and deep (yet accessible) in theology. 


Rich in ApplicationHow People Change provides an opportunity for extended reflection on topics relevant to us all. We will have ample time—more time than in Sunday school and, in some cases, than in small groups—to have give and take discussion on living the Christian life.  We will be able to grow together.  Folks new to our fellowship will be able to grow with us if they are Christians, or be exposed first hand to the way that we as believers approach the challenges of our lives. 


Replete with Examples—Tripp and Lane have culled many real life examples from their counseling experience. These examples provide points of contact for discussion and application.  I have found the examples to be encouraging and challenging.  One cannot help but see oneself on occasion in the pages of this book.  It is both a comfort and a challenge to see a fellow gospel traveler struggling to live out the good news. 


Deep, Yet Accessible in Theology—Lane and Tripp are well studied in the biblical-theological tradition, especially in its Dutch-Calvinist expression (Vos and Ridderbos).  Each chapter begins with a brief, yet sufficient overview of a facet of the New Testament’s teaching on God’s work in Christ for us past, present and future.  By framing the discussion this way the authors not only help us to think more clearly about our own relationship with Christ, they also help us to think more clearly about the Bible itself.  In other words, your daily bible reading, approach to sermons and other studies will be enriched by our study of How People Change


This study is open to men and women of all ages, couples and singles alike.  As I have already shared with the WIC leadership, there is no intention to replace or compete with the current evening WIC study.  That ministry is well grounded and much needed.  As pastor of the whole church I am happy to see people find their place of fellowship and growth, wherever that is.  I am hopeful that this study can become a place of such growth and fellowship for those who have the time Wednesday night but have not had the opportunity or found their place—men, women, singles, parents with children in youth ministry and couples desiring to grow together.  Please pray for this new study and all our Wednesday night ministries. 


See you at the Block Party!

Pastor Harvey