Pastor to Pastor

Fan into Flame: God’s People and God’s Word

Fan into Flame: God’s People and God’s Word

In this issue:
Fan into Flame: God’s People and God’s Word
Opportunities: Fall Action Groups
Resources: If Men Will Pray
Monthly Resource

Fan into Flame: God’s People and God’s Word
The Westminster Confession of Faith (1648) commends the reading and study of Scripture for all lay people, and urges the translation of Scripture into the language of the people, “because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them...that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.”(I.8).

We note the following about the relationship between Scripture and the followers of Christ:

  1. The people have a right to the Word. It is therefore the duty of shepherds to make every effort to establish them in it, ensuring, to the best of their ability, that the people know how to read and search the Scriptures, that they are in fact doing so, and that they are faithful in hearing the Word of God preached and taught.
  2. The people of God have an interest in the Scriptures, in that it holds many benefits for them. Thus, they should faithfully direct their souls to the investigation of the Word. It is important that shepherds teach the Lord’s flock to delight in His Word.
  3. The people are commanded by Godto read and search His Word, keeping in mind the fear of God, that is, His readiness to discipline any who refuse to obey His commands and submit to His ways (Heb. 12.3-11).
  4. The people must so read and search the Scriptures that the Word will dwell plentifully in all of them(Col. 3.16),
  5. with the result that all will be renewed in their worship, minds, and walk, not according to the ways of the world but according to the Spirit of Christ, which is their reasonable service of worship (Gal.‪5.16-23; Rom. 12.1, 2).

Here are some excellent goals for you to think about as you plan your fall and winter preaching and teaching. How can you emphasize the importance of God’s people making good use of His Word? We must not simply assume that the people are diligent in reading and attending to the Bible. Only the Scriptures, in the power of the Spirit, can bring true life to the people of God (Jn. 6.63).

Our job, as shepherds, is to make sure all the sheep are feedingin the lush meadows of God’s Word.

Opportunities: Fall Action Groups
So far it looks as if the Action Groups on worship and outreach are drawing the most interest. Please let us know what your preference might be, as we prepare our fall Action Group schedule.

An Action Group is made up of men who gather online once a month for 7-9 monthsfor study, discussion, prayer, friend-making, and Kingdom action. We provide the resources to seek the Word of God on a particular topic. Then we come together online monthly to teach and encourage one another, pray, and to prepare for taking action in our own ministry spheres.

Again, we’re considering four areas for Action Groups, but we’d like to narrow this down to three. Any preferences among these?

  • Apologetics: Learning how to encourage believers to take on the challenges of unbelieving worldviews.
  • The Outreach Church: Discovering the work of evangelism and how to get your whole church involved.
  • Worship: What is the divine pattern for worship, and how can we enter more fully into it?
  • The Disciplined Life: Fill the time of your life with Biblical disciplines for seeking the Kingdom of God.

If you have interest in one or more of these subjects, and would be willing to commit to a monthly Action Group, please let me know via email right away (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Resources: If Men Will Pray
We’re looking for men who want to serve as point-men for enlisting, training, and encouraging men to pray.

We already have in place the first of three legs of a comprehensive training program to outfit men for more consistent and effective prayer in the form of our booklet, If Men Will Pray. Here is a 30-day regimen for men, working together, to improve their prayer lives by studying God’s Word, enlarging their prayer lives, and meeting together for prayer and encouragement.

Pastor, you owe it to men of your church to lead them into prayer. If Men Will Pray could help. Please visit our website to watch the brief video which further explains how If Men Will Pray can be used to light a fire for prayer under the men of your church. Then order a copy for yourself, to work with one other man in this 30-day prayer regimen.

Monthly Resource: Augustine, On Christian Doctrine
This month’s resource can provide a refresher course on reading and studying the Bible. It’s based on Augustine’s great hermeneutical treatise, On Christian Doctrine. And it’s free, in a PDF download, simply by clicking here.

Get a copy for yourself, then send the link to all your Bible teachers, and encourage them to learn from Augustine how and why to read and teach the Word of God.

To learn more about the ministry of the Word of God, and other areas of pastoral ministry, order our handbook for pastoral ministry Fan into Flamefrom our online store (click here). Here you’ll find excellent tools to review and improve your own work as a shepherd in God’s flock. Visit our bookstore to discover other resources for helping you improve your ministry of the Word.

We’re happy to provide Pastor to Pastor and other online resources at no charge. If this ministry is helpful to you, please consider joining those who support our work financially. It’s easy to give to The Fellowship of Ailbe, and all gifts are, of course, tax-deductible. You can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Dr., Essex Junction, VT 05452.

You can download this month’s devotional, The Ministry of the Word, by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore