Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Open Letter to Pastors

One of the speakers at the recent Desiring God Pastors Conference in Minneapolis, Dr. Michael Oh of Christ Bible Seminary in Japan, challenged each pastor to prayerfully and seriously consider giving 5 years of their career to global missions. If a pastor’s ministry was 50 years, a tithe would be 5 years. This would greatly assist in the Great Commission and be a wonderful example to the church.

Pastors are needed worldwide in all aspects of evangelism, discipleship, and especially that of church leadership development.

There are an estimated 3.2 million untrained and undertrained pastors throughout the world; for example, in the Philippines, there are an estimated 40,000 needy pastors. These pastors need encouragement, training, mentoring, books, study Bibles, and assistance in all aspects of living for God and serving Him in dangerous, hectic, and extremely poor situations.

Please prayerfully consider serving with needy pastors in ACTION’s Pastoral Leadership Development ministry in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America for 4 to 6 years, or even for one month yearly in ministry.

If you are interested, please go to our web site: to learn more of ACTION and its Pastoral Leadership Development ministry and where you could serve.

Let me encourage you with the following, They went out for the sake of His name . . . therefore, we ought to help such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth (3 John 7-8, nasb).

Thursday, February 19, 2009


So what is it that grows a church? It is the question asked all over the world as people seek to find the secret to church growth. Over the years there have been many attempts to come up with what it is that makes a church grow. From church growth seminars and conferences to a myriad of books on the subject, there has been an insatiable appetite for this subject.

But is that the question we should be asking as Pastors? Should that have preeminence in our minds? We all would agree that we would like more people in the pews. But should that be the driving force behind our ministries? I would advocate that this should NOT be what drives us. I believe there are some things that are far more important for the pastor than the head count on a Sunday, and here are some of those things;

1. Accurate God exalting expositional preaching from the pulpit. It is far more important that the Word is truly being preached with power conviction and faithfulness to the text.

2. Faithful private devotions. A man of God is only as good as his time with the Lord. Many a pastor of churches with thousands in attendance have fallen in disgrace due to a lack of personal holiness.

3. A solid home life. It is far more important for the shepherd of the flock to be the shepherd of his house, than the attendance on a Sunday morning.

While there are many more that would make this list of things more important for a pastor than the size of his church, this is a good beginning. You show me a man who walks with God, leads his home and preaches powerfully and accurately the Word of God, and I will show you a man who will soon hear those longed for words, "well done good and faithful servant". At the end of the day that is what we ought to long for as pastors, to please our God and Savior, not build a numerically large church. We preach, teach and live for an audience of One,the One! Now to Him be the glory forever and ever, Amen!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, a man who is known for leading the Union in freeing the slaves. What is less known about him is that he was not particularly against slavery. In a Senate debate in 1858 with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln stated that he had “no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races." What is instructive about this is that he was right in line with the culture at the time, in spite of the clear wrong of slavery.

As pastors we need to be men who stand for Gods Word regardless of what culture dictates. While we do not have slavery to deal with as an issue, there are other cultural pressures that we need to stand up to, not the least of which is the intimidation of Islam on society. Today we read that two journalists were arrested in India for reprinting an article that spoke the truth of Mohammad at 53 of having sexual relations with his 9 year old "wife" Aisha. It has become illegal in some places to speak this truth of Islam. The question for pastors will be what will they do? What will their instruction from pulpits be? Now some will say that it is not a biblical issue whether Mohammad had sex with a 9 year old or not. Or is it? Are we not obligated to speak the true gospel and call all who would propagate a false gospel to be accursed as Paul instructs in Galatians 1:8-9?

The life of the "prophet" is fair game as it relates to credibility and historical accuracy. We must be men with the courage to stand in the face of those who would seek to make us martyrs for our faith. And if the Lord would decree that we be martyrs, than let us be joyful martyrs who die for the sake of the truth of the gospel, and not men that are double minded and ruled by the fear of man. President Lincoln was a great President, but he clearly was a man who followed the culture into a very wrong and sinful position, may that not be said of those of us that God has called to lead, feed and shepherd His flock!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Does it matter how we dress?

Recently I attended a large pastors conference for well over 1000 pastors, mainly from the USA and Canada, but others visiting from throughout the world.

Most pastors were dressed casually, but neat. I had been looking forward to hearing the main speaker for quite a while since I have really enjoyed his books and even printed one in the Philippines for needy pastors. However, it was quite shocking to see the way he dressed, especially in the first session. While most people were dressed neatly, the speaker was dressed sloppily. His shirt was very wrinkled and he wore faded trousers, not slacks. It would have made a big difference in showing respect to those with whom he ministered to have on a nice pressed shirt, possibly with a sweater, and nice pressed slacks.

Does it matter how we dress? Let me quote something from Derek Prime and Alistair Begg’s excellent book, On Being a Pastor (Understanding Our Calling and Work. They write:

“Dress is a very personal matter. In certain traditions the wearing of… or gown means that dress is largely taken care of, but for others of us it is not. The way we dress should reflect our sense of privilege at being Jesus Christ’s representatives. Although He does not look upon outward appearance but upon our hearts, we know the world at large expects important occasions to be handled with dignity, and rightly or wrongly, they may come to conclusions about our respect for God by the way we dress. We should be clean, smart, and yet unspectacular in our appearance and clothing when we are in the public eye, so that we do not draw attention away from the worship of God and careful listening to His Word to ourselves.” (page 203)

Doug Nichols

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Equipping Pastors Resource Catalog (updated)

Equipping Pastors Resource Catalog (Updated 02/10/09)

This is the complete listing of all topics listed (alphabetically) on the Equipping Resources section of this website. Because of limited space, there are only 15 listings on the Equipping Resources page, the remainder will be included here in the blog and will updated periodically.

(New) The Gospel of John sermon outlines, chapters 1-6

PLD Newsletter #1
PLD Newsletter #2

82 Suggested Mission Books
A Devotional Design for 2009 by Dr. Gary Rieben
Books Read in 2008 by Doug Nichols
Hell (article)
Is the Health and Wealth Gospel Biblical
Pastor's Conferences 2009
Pastoring with Both Eyes Open, part 1
Pastoring with Both Eyes Open, part 2
Preaching Like Spurgeon article
Sermon Outlines #1 (Genesis and Colossians)
The Reformation Study Bible Notes
Timeline of the Great Missionaries
What is the Gospel?
Witnessing to Catholics.

NOTE: Articles that are not listed on the Equipping Resources page may be viewed by scrolling down through the "topics" search option on the top of the page.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Advancing in Ministry Through Serving Pastors

One of ACTION’s key leaders said that the expansion of ACTION ministry in Southeast Asia will probably be through the Pastoral Leadership Development ministry, helping to encourage, equip, and mentor needy pastors.

Even in countries with a small percentage of believers, the majority of pastors in small churches have no training. For example, the Philippines has a population of 90million. Only 5% to 8% of the people are estimated to be evangelical with up to 48,000 untrained or undertrained pastors. Many of these pastors earn as little as $20 monthly, they have no funds for books or training to assist them for their ministry of preaching and teaching the Word of God.

ACTION’s Pastoral Leadership Development ministry is praying for teachers for pastors’ conferences, books, and 100 additional missionary pastors to serve in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America with some of the 3.2 million needy pastors to help encourage these men in their vital ministry with the Word of God to His glory!