Why the D.Min. Program and why now?
The Doctor of Ministry program is designed to refine the faithful pastor’s preaching ability while remaining in his current ministry. It has one simple goal in mind according to the president, John MacArthur: “to fine-tune your preaching for maximum effectiveness.”
For some time I have felt the need to enhance my ability to serve the flock at CASM through the preaching of the Word of God. Many resources are available to aid pastors today, but there is no substitute for sitting under and being mentored by the best expositors in the world. The teaching professors are Sinclair Ferguson, Alistair Begg, Derek Thomas, Joel R. Beeke, Steven Lawson, and John MacArthur. These are men of the Gospel, and I want to be in the company of men who have invested their lives serving our Lord so that I may be sharpened to serve Him better. This journey of training is not about me; it’s about us. Success is impossible without support from the CASM family. The program requires focus groups from within the church as well as accountability and prayer from those we serve. I hope that you will share the journey with me.
As a church, God has blessed us with a good number of gifted teachers. Sovereignly and strategically He has placed us in a harvest field of souls which demands precision in the preaching of the Gospel. I believe this training will help us go to the next level of effectiveness in service to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel advance.
Prayer is essential in this journey. Here are some specific ways that you can pray for me.
- Pray for my wife and sons. My first responsibility is to care for my family. They will sacrifice much private time with me while I am “living in the library” during this season. Balance is essential, and I want to make sure they are not lost in the process.
- Pray for the elders and ministry leaders. The attacks will increase, and some flaming arrows will come toward my fellow foot soldiers. Pray that God will give them discernment and protection.
- Pray that I will maintain an unwavering steadfastness to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. The Ezra principle is vital to the fruitfulness of this journey in my life and the life of the church. Ezra, “set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)
Each semester I will share a few highlights from my courses as well as resources that will edify the church. Here are a few key learnings:
KEYS TO FAITHFUL SHEPHERDING
Twelve highlights from John MacArthur entering his 50th year in ministry
- Have one single source of authority—the Word of God.
- The theme of your ministry must always be Christ.
- Get the Gospel right—continue to grow in Christology.
- In order for people to love Christ, they need to see Him.
- Sanctification must be a major emphasis—this includes church discipline fueled by the Word of God.
- Trust in the sovereignty of God.
- Worship is the ultimate priority.
- Teach the people that listening to preaching is not a spectator sport.
- Protect the flock from false paradigms of sanctification.
- Remember that God’s highest purpose is fulfilled in suffering. It is the final touches of sanctification before glorification.
- Love the people and give them time and space to grow.
- I did nothing, the Word of God did everything.
CONTEMPORARY STYLES OF PREACHING
Why do they matter?
- Traditional preaching—keyword: “they” (topical in nature)
- Experiential preaching—keyword: “I” (speaks in the first person)
- Sentimental preaching—keyword: “you” (centers on feelings)
- Analogical preaching—key thrust: “turn everything into an analogy.”
- Cultural preaching—key thrust: “say what unconverted people will like.”
- Theological and biblical preaching—key thrust: “what God means by what He says and Christ.”
PREACHING AND PREACHERS
Ligon Duncan, Chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary
- Our theology must inform our preaching.
- Discipleship is the means of growth.
- Don’t grow weary in well-doing and preaching.
- Teach people how to listen to preaching.
- Don’t underestimate the power of connection in preaching.
- High impact comes from influence and living the truth with the people.
- Duration trumps intensity.
- Steel yourself against wanting to be seen rather than heard—you are a preacher!
- Don’t try to minister without being fed yourself.