Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Brian Croft and "Practical Shepherding"

Brian Croft was a speaker at my denomination's conference sessions last week. He is the pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and author of several books providing practical advice for pastors. He also blogs at "Practical Shepherding" subtitled "Laboring with you in the trenches of pastoral ministry." Visiting that site, I found much to like. For instance, from a post titled "What important element of public worship goes largely neglected today?":
There is an increasing amount of churches that no longer include reading Scripture as a regular part of the public gathering, aside from a passage read during the sermon. Even in many churches I would closely align myself with who have a Christ-centered focus and a high view of preaching, still divide their public gatherings into 2 halves: The singing portion and the preaching portion.

I have a growing concern with this trend as it often squeezes out the public readings of Scripture as a separate, essential role in our services. Here are a few reasons I want to encourage pastors to continue to see the public reading of Scripture as a needed part of your public gatherings.... [more]
And from "Why should a pastor preach through whole books of the Bible?":
I am currently preaching through 2 Samuel. Having just preached through 2 Samuel 11-13 these last 3 weeks, I was reminded of the challenge it is to systematically preach through whole books of the Bible. And yet, in the midst of being reminded of these challenges, the reasons to continue to do so have been affirmed to me all over again. Here are 3 of them:

1) You cannot avoid the hard passages. 2 weeks ago I preached on David’s adultery and murder. Yesterday, it moved to an interesting progression of rape, incest, and murder among David’s children. Let’s just say not what I would choose to preach if I was just picking a passage for the week. But our people need to hear these passages and we as pastors need to wrestle with them to figure out what God desires for us to learn from them. Preach the hard passages. If your congregation sees you are not afraid to wrestle with them, then they are certain to grow less afraid also.

2) You understand the author’s intent better. It amazes me how much better I feel I understand the writer’s intent, because I have preached through the natural flow of his argument or narrative. .... [more]
There is much more including a regularly recurring series of posts he calls "Book Recommendation…for the pastor’s study."

Practical Shepherding | Laboring with you in the trenches of pastoral ministry