Pastor Trent’s Blog
Reflections from the study
You might have seen a church whose architecture was the shape of a cross. It's called cruciform architecture. The first church buildings were modeled after the Roman basilica, a long rectangular structure. In time, two wings were added to make the shape of a cross. I...
Settle in and allow me to explain. Greg Gilbert wrote a helpful piece for pastors a little over a year ago. Some of his concluding words have stuck with me: This is a hard year to be a pastor. There’s the pandemic. There’s the frustration, for many of us, of not being able to gather with the church as normal. There’s the vaguely ridiculous prospect of preaching to a congregation whose faces you can’t see because they’re all wearing masks. There’s the livestream you launched literally two weeks after you publicly called down God’s own curses on yourself if you ever consented to a “video venue.”
Paul’s words to Timothy are the Holy Spirit’s words to our elders: “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2Tim. 2:2). That’s our biblical strategy for finding and appointing elders here at Heritage, and for propagating the gospel beyond our walls.
One way our elders at Heritage seek to lead our church to maturity in Christ is by the simple work of answering questions. We do this in informal and private ways, and we do this in especially public ways such as our annual Elders Q&A. On November 14 at 4:30 p.m. we will host our third annual Elders Q&A. You should come.
We haven’t passed the plate in over a year, yet our lights are on, our pastors are paid, and giving has increased. Let’s talk about that. COVID gave our elders an opportunity to test-drive something we had been pondering informally for some time: giving without plates. How has it gone? Just fine. Actually, measured in terms of the church’s generosity, it’s gone great.
This past week we introduced a new song, “Jesus, Your Mercy,” which we’ll sing again this Sunday. This song is a prayer to our merciful Lord, a song to help us confess our sin and rejoice in our assurance rooted in the mercy of God. Meditate these words and wear yourself into the tune ahead of Sunday.
One way to know how much God treasures his people is to listen to what he says to our leaders. Here’s Paul’s words to the elders at Ephesus: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”
I’ve been thinking about crowds lately. There are a few reasons for that. We keep seeing them on the news. We feel the effects of them in our feeds. The crowding out of our ability to think for our selves—or think at all—is one reason why a half dozen friends have told me they recently dialed back or jumped out of social media altogether.
Our elders recognize that there is a need to offer biblical instruction on the topic of race. This is not because we believe that we are demonstrating sinful thoughts or attitudes on this topic as a church. Not hardly. Rather, it is because this topic—filled as it is with human beings, human history, and human conflict—deserves nothing less than our best biblical thinking.
For some time now we have wanted to host a weekend workshop specifically for our Sunday musicians. We are well served by talented and church-loving musicians each Lord's Day and this is a way of investing in them spiritually and...