In this excerpt adapted from Facing Leviathan, Mark Sayers grapples with using social media as a means to communicate the gospel—and challenges readers to consider who should control how far and wide our influence goes. (more…)
Today’s guest post is by Jon Ng, ministry director of Rising Hope Street Ministry. Rising Hope seeks to address the immediate and long-term needs of homelessness through hunger-relief, authentic community, friendship, and care. In 2014, Jon was also an intern at Faithlife.
It was a warm summer night when I stood on my balcony, looking up at the stars. Dread and stress pulled at my heart, but for a moment, I had peace. At 24 years old, I was leading worship, volunteering in four other church ministries, working a full-time job, and going to school full-time. I was actively sharing Christ in every area of life—even at work, where my job was on the line.
I thought I was doing everything right to please God. Still, I felt like I was missing something in my walk with Christ. God felt distant, and I became more and more restless in my pursuit for greater intimacy with him.
Why did it seem like God was shrinking away when I was more active than ever in my faith?
Today’s guest post is by Pastor Kip McCormick. Kip is the campus pastor for Cornwall Church Skagit Valley in Mt Vernon, Washington—a satellite campus of Cornwall Church in Bellingham, Washington. Kip earned his Master of Divinity degree while running a youth ministry in Seoul, South Korea. Upon retiring from 28 years of service as an active duty colonel in the Army in 2009, Kip continued pastoring youth and men in the United States. He has a passion for God’s Word and recently completed his PhD in biblical studies. Kip combines his experience as a senior officer in the military, former U.S. Military Academy (West Point) instructor, and intelligence professional with his desire to equip and encourage others in their walk with Christ.
If I were to ask you right now to write down some words that describe a leader, you’d probably identify qualities like purposeful, committed, compassionate, confident, goal setter, determined, and vision caster.
Another word that often gets put in the mix is “driven.”
Who would dare criticize the Charles Spurgeon, the great prince of preachers? Maybe more people than you think. The Spurgeon Commentary: Galatians opens with a brief biography of his ministry.
This passage might surprise you:
When 19-year-old Charles Spurgeon was called to the New Park Street Pulpit in 1854, London newspapers derided him as a brash upstart. Critics complained that his plainspoken, direct speaking style was too edgy—and dangerously innovative. A secular magazine referred to his colloquial speech as “slang.” A newspaper editorial categorized his preaching as “ginger-pop sermonizing.” One particularly harsh critic wrote:
He is nothing unless he is an actor—unless exhibiting that matchless impudence which is his great characteristic, indulging in coarse familiarity with holy things, declaiming in a ranting and colloquial style, strutting up and down the platform as though he were at the Surrey Theatre, and boasting of his own intimacy with Heaven with nauseating frequency. His fluency, self-possession, oratorical tricks, and daring utterances, seem to fascinate his less-thoughtful hearers, who love excitement more than devotion.
During that first year, pundits regularly predicted an early end to Spurgeon’s ministry in London: “He is a nine days’ wonder—a comet that has suddenly shot across the religious atmosphere. He has gone up like a rocket, and ere long will come down like a stick.”
Spurgeon’s critics were wrong, but they weren’t silent. They attacked him, slandered him, and fiercely opposed his ministry. They called his successes flukes and his failures proof of his character.
What did Spurgeon do? He just kept preaching. He kept writing. He kept sharing the truth of Scripture as plainly and directly as he could for 30 years of faithful ministry.
Though he only wrote commentaries on two books—Matthew and Psalms—he wrote and spoke extensively enough that a team here at Logos is compiling a commentary from his preaching ministry. The first volume, Galatians, is available right now. The rest of the New Testament letters are available for pre-order. Get Spurgeon’s insights in your Faithlife Study Bible—pre-order the Spurgeon Commentary Collection today.