Founded in 1652, the New Park Street Chapel had been around for over 200 years when they called 19-year-old Charles Spurgeon to be their pastor in 1854. Like many other churches, this historic Baptist church went through many ups and downs throughout its long history. Reflecting on those pastoral transitions, Spurgeon shares nine lessons for pastors and church leaders to consider as they prepare their churches for the next pastor.Read More
John Knox, champion of the Scottish Reformation, fearless preacher, uncompromising prophet… defeated by a church business meeting?
Knox’s legend began early. Converted under the preaching of the early Scottish reformer George Wishart, he became his sword-bearer, carrying a claymore to Wishart’s preaching engagements (29). After Wishart’s martyrdom, Knox became a preacher himself and his plain, fiery preaching with “ruide boldness… unto your faces” (59) won the hearts of both English and Scottish alike. Standing up to the Queen and royal authorities, he constantly called Protestant leaders to resist any compromise, not even when faced with persecution or exile (both which he himself experienced).
Soon after becoming a preacher, Knox was captured by French Catholic forces and enslaved in French galleys for 19 months. One story captures Knox’s spirit:Read More
The story is familiar: A bright young theologian agrees to pastor a church torn by factions and needing reform. Before long, he is plunged into controversy and conflict as he seeks to implement change. The congregation appreciates his preaching at times, but his call to discipleship seems too zealous, even extreme. His attempts to re-organize the church for better pastoral care are met with opposition. Theological controversy arises as he responds to false teaching harshly, raising concern from the other leaders. In the second year, the young pastor pushes for the right to practice church discipline and this proves to be too much for the church. The young pastor is fired, and the church is left worse off than before.
Is this the story of some young, restless, and reformed pastor? Perhaps a fresh seminary graduate who came across some 9Marks materials and sought to implement them in his church?
Actually, this is the story of John Calvin.Read More