Pastor Trent’s Blog
Reflections from the study
There are many voices out there competing for our attention. Some are babbling, some are asking questions, and some are offering answers. Social media and mass communication lends itself to church leaders not knowing who is asking what questions and lay members not knowing who to trust for answers.
On Friday, June 24, at 10:10 AM the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Row vs. Wade, reversing the legalization of abortion on demand across the United States. The issue of abortion is now the legal responsibility of our state legislatures. If you were alive on September 11, 2001, you remember where you were when the planes struck the towers. That was a bad day. The striking down of Roe marks a good day and a one to remember.
Social justice is something we’ve discussed in our preaching over the years. I’ve proposed that it’s not a helpful descriptor if we want to think and communicate in clear biblical terms. It’s overloaded with conflicting meanings. It’s also associated almost entirely in our public discourse with governmental redistributive programs aimed at resolving disparities of one kind or another.
D.A. Carson has written a helpful book, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. Kristi gave me this book when we were dating, actually. Now, twenty years and about two weeks later, I commend it to you.
We’re committed to investing in the gospel’s advance by investing in men who aspire to serve as vocational preachers and pastors. Remember Paul’s words to Timothy: “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.
Deep. Happy. Faithful. Those are three words that come to mind when I think about Keith and Kristyn Getty. I remember where I was when I first heard, “In Christ Alone.” This song takes the deepest truths to the deepest places. There’s something about the combination of text and tune that struck me.
In the coming weeks we have an opportunity to work out this spirit as a church by welcoming several “faithful brothers.” I’m eager for you to meet them and to greet them in Christ. So, let me make some introductions for us. I’ll make these remarks personal where I can, taking my cue from Peter who commended Silvanus to his own readers. I also asked each of these brothers for recommendations of things the other brothers have written lately, since they are all friends.
Every preacher thanks God for these encouraging words: Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. —1 Timothy 4:13–16
This is such a cool photo of Jared, one of our college students whose pastoral internship is wrapping up. Jared’s internship began this past fall and is finishing up this week.
Jared has been reading and writing, he has joined our elders meetings, and he has met with me weekly over twelve weeks. Our purpose in this internship is to see churches led by pastors who faithfully connect the Bible’s theology of the church to the church’s worship, life, and mission. In other words, to see churches flourish in the gospel and gospel work.
We’ve moved in this series from the fixed and permanent things to the more flexible things. Every church should sing and preach the Word. But churches can go about that differently. I’ve known of churches where the congregation requests songs on the spot. That’s not what we do but that’s one way to do it. In this post I’ll outline how we design our worship services.