At the end of each year, I like to compile--for the members of the congregation that I pastor--a list
of the number of sermons that I preached, conference lectures that I delivered, published articles and blog posts that I wrote, session meetings that I moderated, Presbytery meetings that I attended, Presbytery committees on which I served, General Assembly activity, committee chair meetings that I moderated, outreach events that I helped oversee and graphic design work that I have did for New Covenant
I don't compile this list this to draw undue attention to myself or perceived accomplishments; I do it so for the congregation I pastor, in order that they may have some sense of what their pastor has done all year. It keeps the members of the church informed and it also helps keep me accountable. I first witnessed this approach when I was at Tenth Presbyterian Church
in Philadelphia. The session would give out a sheet at the beginning of every new year with all of Phil Ryken's activities and labors from the previous year.
This past year was a very busy year for me for a number of reasons. The first was that I was seeking to care for my dad during the first half of the year, as the Lord took my mom to glory on December 3. 2014. The second was that New Covenant
moved from a church plant to an organized church this year. In order to make this move, we began the elder nomination, training and electing process in November 2014 and brought it to a close by calling two elders in May of 2015. We also began a church planting endeavor this summer, as a group from the Southside of Savannah came and asked to enter into a mother/daughter relationship with us. Finally, we also began the deaconal nomination and training process this year. So, needless to say, it has been a very long and full year for us.
That being said, I believe that it was one of the most spiritually beneficial years. The hardships and challenges faced (and there were plenty of those in 2015) fueled much of what I have written. I have been in the crucible, so to speak, this year and the Lord has been teaching me how much wisdom I lack and how much of His grace I need to carry forward the congregation that He has called me to pastor. Most of what I have written has been either theological fodder for sermons or lessons learned in church development.
Since I have been blogging on this site since 2007, I thought it would be appropriate to compile a list of the articles and blog posts that I wrote throughout the 2015 year:
As always, I count it one of the greatest joys to get to write for Ligonier
. They are one of the finest theological ministries that God has raised up to serve the church over the past half-Century. This year, I was privileged to contribute to the March 2015 edition of Tabletalk Magazine
It's the Little Things
While I have written book reviews for Modern Reformation in past years, this year was the first that the editors invited me to write an article for the magazine. Like Tabletalk Magazine, Modern Reformation
is a very fine, robustly theological resource for the church. This past year I contributed to the March/April edition of Modern Ref:
Christ's Gifts of the Spirit
Jonathan Edwards for the Church
This year, EP published a lecture that I delivered at Durham University on Jonathan Edwards' Christology of the Song of Songs in the Bill Schweitzer ed. Jonathan Edwards for the Church.
I especially enjoyed writing this as it was a culmination of years of meditation, research and writing on the redemptive-historical nature of the Song.
Feeding on Christ
Feeding on Christ has been the place where I have learned to write. I began writing here in 2007 and make it sort of home base for my thoughts as a pastor. I wrote 67 posts on this site in 2015:
A Divine Division
Imagining the Image of God
7 Thoughts on Sacred Time
6 Thoughts on Sacred Space
A Match Made in Heaven
A Biblical Theology of the Trees of the Garden
The Curse Reversed
Jesus and the Flaming Sword at the East Gate
Sing Your Heart Out
The Spiritual Stages of a Believer's Life
The Crown of Thorns
The Most Neglected Part of Christ's Saving Work
The Insatiable Quest for Greatness
Echoes of the Glory of Christ
Ministering to the Mobile
Dividends and Drawbacks of Small Groups
The Real Miracle
Jonathan Edwards' Preferred Method of Delivery in Preaching
The God of Typological Recapitulation
Pastoral Ministry and Spiritual Warfare
The Pastor and Social Media
The Complexity of Pastoral Care
Marks of Orthodoxy
A Multiplicity of Mentors
Nothing Should Surprise Us
The Symbolism of the Rainbow
Trusting Christ to Provide
On Fencing the Lord's Table
7 Areas of Unbiblical Conscience Binding
What Should We Do When They Stray
Learning to Think for Yourself
How Martyn Lloyd-Jones Helped Start the PCA
Baptized with the Transgressors
Sophisticated Temples of Modern Idolatry
The Church in the Community
4 Kinds of Pastors
Redeeming Our Reading
A Tribute to R.C. Sproul
6 Principles for Small Group Facilitating
Vos on Old Testament Theophanies
A Sense of the Love of Christ
Christ, the Tree of Life
Grace is a Person
Grace is a Gift
The First Great Request
Preaching the Proverbs
Handling Contentions in the Church
The Fourth Person of the Trinity?
Social Sin, Social Media and Social Interaction
...And Everything Else Will Follow
The Heart of the Reformation
Particle Board Preaching
Jesus: The Measure of a Man
Grown-Up Churches in the Age of Adolescence
Overcoming Discouragement in Ministry
Our Shield and Reward
Sin, Self, State and Savior
Communicating and Connecting in Ministry
A Fruitful Ministry
Cities of Refuge
God Has Spoken
An Angel's View of Christmas
Jesus' Star in the East
Plagiarizing and Quoting in Preaching
The Role of the Spirit in the Life of Christ
The Christward Collective
I have thoroughly enjoyed being the editor of The Christward Collective--a site of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. I love reading the posts of the men who have committed themselves to being regular contributors, but I have also thoroughly enjoyed personally contributing throughout the year. In 2015, I wrote 24 posts for TCC:
"7 Things To Remember Before You Quit A Pastorate"
""Top Down" Or "Grassroots" Ministry?"
"Divine Mathematics Of Salvation"
"7 Ways To Become A Welcoming Church"
"A Biblical Theology Of Clothing"
"The Cursed And Blessed Ground"
"The Hardest Week"
"Perspective Is Key"
"The Rare Jewel Of Christian Commitment"
"Fear And Sonship"
"Jesus' Ark "
"Eternalizing The Old Testament"
"Jesus' Miracles: Types Of Spiritual Realities"
"5 Reasons To Keep The Kids In"
"5 Important Theological Pairs"
"Teaching Our Children The Raw Parts Of Scripture"
"Pastoral Reality: Ecclesiastes-Style"
"Grace And Wisdom For Mercy"
"Heir Of All Things"
"The Internal Witness Of Scripture"
"From The Text To The Table"
"A Mountain Range Christmas"
"The Church Comes First"
It is my sincere desire that Christ would be exalted in what I have written and that the church will be built up by it. Thank you for being a regular reader of this blog. I look forward to what the Lord has in store in 2016.