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Crushing Rahab: Does the Old Testament Borrow from Myth?

Does the Old Testament borrow mythical ideas from Israels ancient Near Eastern neighbors? This is a longstanding question. Creation stories are a good test case. In the creation myths of Israels idolatrous neighbors, we sometimes read of conflict at creation, in which one god defeats another and uses the defeated gods corpse to create the... Read more

How Church Leaders Can Help Domestic Violence Victims

Two decades ago, my husband (now ex-husband) called me on the way home. His angry words drove ice-cold fear into my heart. Despite my prayers for change, the cycle of abuse was starting again. Based on past experience, his verbal tirades would soon spiral into threats of bodily harm. I immediately gathered my children and... Read more

Should Christians Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements?

During the onboarding process for a job at a Christian non-profit, I was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Is it wrong for ministries to ask employees to sign an NDA? And is it wrong for Christians to bind themselves to such agreements? A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a confidentiality agreement, is a... Read more

What Should We Preach During a Crisis?

Regular exposition through books of the Bible addresses the full range of need and experience facing congregations. By plowing through Spirit-inspired books year by year, pastors address common and uncommon issues found among those sitting before them. And sometimes the extraordinary happens. The Sunday after 9/11, while visiting my son at his college, we attended... Read more

10 Ways Pastors Can Encourage Church Attendance

Since coming to faith in Christ at age 15, Ive had a strong desire to gather with the body of Christ. Even hearing not-so-stellar preaching and being with cantankerous people, I always loved gathering with Gods people. When isolation due to chemotherapy kept me from church for four months in 2019, my deepest longing was... Read more

Should Missionaries Expect Rapid Growth?

Missionaries often start their journey into ministry with high expectations. Chief among them is a hope for fruit from their labors. However, it doesnt take long for some to realize their dreams may not instantly translate into reality. Cultural differences shock the system. Language learning is slow and can frustrate a family. Team dynamics may... Read more

Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition

One of my most vivid memories growing up in church was the annual summer Sunday our congregation would gather with a local African American church for a joint worship service, followed by a potluck lunch (dinner on the grounds, we called it). We handled it like a home-and-home football serieseach church played host in alternating... Read more

5 Reasons to Recover Benedictions at Church

To modern ears, benedictions may sound like archaic and rigid conclusions to worship services. Why not just say, Youre dismissed? But what if benedictions reach down into our deepest hopes? What if they train us to have God-sized expectations for the future? And what if they arent just for pastors in worship services, but for... Read more

6 Questions for Assessing Bible-Study Material

Editors’ note:  TGC’s Womens Training Network events are an excellent way to equip the women in your church to engage the Bible as they study and serve. In the coming months, we have events in Detroit, Memphis, and Iowa City. Register now! Not long ago, I tossed a Bible-study book to the ground after spending... Read more

10 Questions Pastoral Candidates Should Ask a Search Team

When seeking a new pastor, most churches elect a search committee that accepts and sorts through rsums to find a few men who meet the criteria. The methodology is by no means perfectit’s often as difficult for committee members as for candidatesbut it’s typical. I’ve heard many whove served on these committees describe stress-filled seasons... Read more

5 Lessons on Faithful Endurance from a Longtime Pastor

When I became a pastor 12 years ago, I quickly realized the dropout rate among pastors is high. Statistics vary, but Ive personally known several pastors who left ministry for one reason or another. Sometimes we forget, though, the pastors whove persevered in faithful ministry for decades. My friend Dave Lewis is an example. Dave... Read more

What We Learn When We Teach Kids the Bible

As adults, its easy to assume that teaching the Bible to kids is helpful for them, but not for ourselves. Why? Sometimes we assume our maturity has outgrown whatever simple truths kids can grasp (I dont need this). Other times were so consumed with contextualizing the message, we neglect to teach ourselves (I really want... Read more

Why Freedom Needs Boundaries – The Gospel Coalition

Jen Pollock Michel: Karen, how do we make believing in Jesus compelling in a believe-in-yourself world? Karen Swallow Prior: Well, I think that we can approach our non-theistic, non-believing friends with some common truths that we all really acknowledge and understand, and that is, there really is no such thing as complete autonomy. We are... Read more

Yes, Pastors Should Have Friends in the Church

Have you ever been in a room full of people and yet felt alone? Isolation and loneliness are common struggles for even the most extroverted pastors, and they remind us that those called to shepherd Gods flock need ministry too. As a young pastor I was advised to never become close friends with anyone in... Read more

Back Together: The Story of a Church Split and Reunited

It broke Larry Konnemans heart when First Baptist Church of Ellisville near St. Louis, Missouri, split in 1993. It was the worst time in my church lifeever, said Konneman, who started coming around the church when he was 16 years old, chasing a girl who went there. He caught her, and after the two went... Read more

5 Ways Exodus Confronts Our Secular Age

Exodus is epic. An underdog leader of a slave nation stands up to the world’s most powerful man. Hail, frogs, flies, and rivers of blood plague the most prosperous nation on the planet. God miraculously divides a major body of water so his people can escape their captors. Thats just the first half. No wonder... Read more

The Underrated Potential of One-to-One Bible Reading

Imagine if everyone in your church were regularly reading the Bible. Everyone? you might ask. I dont even read it regularly. But if this happened at your church, do you think your church would grow in the likeness of Christ? Imagine if everyone in your church were regularly engaged in evangelistic relationships. Maybe a few... Read more

TGC Podcast: H. B. Charles on Jesuss Longest Conversation

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. H. B. Charles: Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we ask again and afresh, that you would open our eyes that we may behold wonderful things about the Lord Jesus... Read more

TGC Podcast: 6 Ways to Watch Your Heart in Ministry

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Ellen Dykas: I’d like to begin our time this afternoon with a letter. “Dear friends and faithful supporters, I want to thank you for your years of support in so many ways. But... Read more

Why I Look Forward to the Pastoral Prayer at Church

Acts 29: Churches Planting Churches I love our kids at Imago Dei Church. Each week I hear from many of these little rascals after the service, or through my stroll through the childcare area (we have more than 130 kids younger than 4!). Last week I asked the 4-year-old girl beside me during our final... Read more

TGC Q&A Podcast: Why Train Women to Teach the Bible?

Jen Wilkin: Why train women to teach the Bible? Taylor Turkington: Jen, I think that as we think about the church, God has gifted all his people. He’s gifted men, he’s gifted women. And when we look at women who have a gift of teaching, we want to equip them just like we equip all... Read more

Surprised by Hopelessness: A Response to N. T. Wright

The coronavirus has exploded around the world resulting in more than 885,000 confirmed cases and more than 44,000 deaths. The worlds economy has crashed, resulting in hardship for millions. Hundreds of millions are living under stay-at-home orders. With all this, its natural for people to ask ultimate questions: Why is all this happening? Where is... Read more

5 Reasons Pastors Need the Psalms

Sometimes a gift grows on you. Several years ago, after I completed a dissertation on the Psalms, a friend gave me a small hardback copy of the Psalter. It wasnt fancy or expensive. But over the years, it’sbecome one of the best gifts Ive ever receiveda book for prayer more than readingbecause now, more than... Read more

Why Did God Kill Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10?

The priesthood looked promising for Nadab and Abihu. The holy God of Israel had personally set them apart to serve as priests (Ex. 28:1). Their family pedigree was rich and their preparation extensive (Lev. 810). They were dressed in fresh robes and sashes (Lev. 8:7). The turban on their heads held a golden plate boasting... Read more

How Should a Pastor Think Through Leaving His Church?

In spring 2014, I made one of the most gut-wrenching decisions of my adult life: I resigned as pastor of a church that had called me little more than three years before. After months and months of prayer, soul-searching, sleepless nights, and seeking advice from wise men with decades in the trenches of ministry, I... Read more