An End of the Week Vent

I had the best of intentions of doing my usual blogging on Monday and Friday of this past week, but some other things required my attention. I am preaching this Sunday from Daniel 8, had a good number of pastoral care responsibilities to take care of, and am preparing for a short trip to visit my parents for a few days next week.

If you are an American, you may feel a bit like the photo above. Too many signals in and out.

After reading some political posts I’m a bit irked. I have great appreciation for godly men who share their thoughts with us. However, I have a growing concern that the words of people who write books and have megachurches mean way more than the words of local pastors. One article in particular that was thoughtful, passionate, and yet an absolute train-wreck when it came to making a logical argument bothered me in particular. And it was not so much the conclusion reached as it was the fact that a man who will never meet the people I help shepherd can reach into the life of a congregation and have incredible influence.

Hey look, when I write original content, I share opinion. This is opinion. But I’m about as well-known as the name of the guy working in the kitchen at the local McDonalds, so my influence is rather limited. But if people have questions, I would love to see them ask their pastors for help rather than simply tune in to a Christian talking head, assuming that their pastor probably is clueless.

I don’t propose to have an answer. In fact I’ll keep reading these good men and sharing their good articles with you. But folks, they are not perfect, and they are not necessarily authorities on issues they tackle. So read, discern, and think on your own, whether it comes from lil old me or a guy with 5 PhD’s.

Have a good week!

Sometimes You Need to Laugh

I’ve noticed that we Americans tend to turn quickly to humor as a means of coping with difficulties. That has been the case with the recent coronavirus. It’s not that we downplay the seriousness of the pandemic. We just have a tendency to find instances in which people’s thinking or responses can be funny. While some kinds of humor is completely inappropriate, there are ways in which we can step back and laugh at ourselves. As Christians, maybe that is a way of reminding ourselves that God is in control.

For example, several weeks ago when everyone who had a sign was putting out some word of thanks to frontline responders, health workers, and people who were coming in direct contact with the public, a church near where I work put this out on their sidewalk. On a busy street. I thought it was a riot and would drive past wanting to see if someone had finally changed it. But it stayed this way for weeks.

Maybe your’re tired of masks, hand sanitizer, or being asked if you’ve visited Wuhan. Maybe you’re weary of shortages in the grocery store, of being confined to your home, or of some other way the coronavirus has affected you. Maybe you need to smile. So without further delay, here are some things I’ve collected through the past several weeks. They came to me by text or email, or were on various websites that I visit. Enjoy:

And my favorite:

Pressing the Pause Button…

You have to admire a guy like Tim Challies. By the end of this week he will have posted original content for 6000 consecutive days. No breaks. No stoppages. Just churning out something every day. And on top of that his stuff is all worthwhile.

I started this blog near the end of June. This is my 118th post. Hardly Challies-esque. But I’ve enjoyed what I do – posting a list of helpful links on Monday and then putting up original content on Wednesday and Friday. However, I’m going to press that little yellow button in the picture above. I began to write on two different topics today and in both cases I though, “I want to spend more time on this.”

So I will tip my hat to the Cal Ripken, Jr.* of Christian blogs, thank you for reading my stuff, and tell you that I’ll be back on Monday with another set of links and then hopefully have some new posts beginning Wednesday.

In the meantime, be safe. We’re all preparing for hard times over these next weeks. Keep in touch with your people – especially those who are living alone or can’t get out. When this is over, we will no doubt find ways in which God has used this to bring people to Christ. He always does that and this will be no different than any other time of crisis. Pray for that.

Oh, and wash your hands and practice social distancing. See you Monday!

*For you non-baseball fans, Cal Ripken, Jr. holds the record for the most consecutive games played in Major League Baseball. His record of 2,632 games doesn’t hold a candle to Challies’ mark. 🙂

Tools of the Trade for March 9, 2020

A Weekly List of Links and Resources for Pastors

I hope you had a good weekend of ministry. Here are some articles that are worthwhile reading.

Tim Challies wrote one of the best articles I’ve ever read on pastoral ministry on his blog today. You’ll be blessed by what Tim shares.

We tend not to think about theology when we think about buildings. But we should. The folks at 9Marks posted this article by John Henderson.

This article by Jared WilsonAnxious for Nothing: Addressing the Worry I Can’t Explain – is something you can share with your people as well as read it for yourself.

Another Challies article: When Parents Fail Like We Are Mostly Failing Most of the Time. For your literature table.

Tim Patrick and Andrew Reid give us 7 Tips for Planning a Sermon Series.

Your people wonder how to reconcile our prayers with God’s sovereignty. John Piper provides an answer.

Jen Oshman talks about A Personal vs. Private Relationship with Christ. Good stuff.

Timothy Paul Jones encourages us with Don’t Be Afraid to Preach for Conversions. It’s so important to keep the Gospel and the need to believe it in front of our people!

Amen! Amen! Andrew King says Don’t Bring Your Greek or Hebrew Bible to Corporate Worship.

Here’s a book review of Reformed Preaching by Joel Beeke by Mark Redfern over at 9Marks.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this question, but Michael Krueger gives his opinion on Should You Preach from a Full Manuscript?

Put a dozen copies of this article on your literature table and I’ll bet they’re gone within a week or two. Scott Sauls tells us about Hope for Busted Up Sinners Like Me.

Christy Britton writes This Little Church of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine.

Colton Corter tells us Why Church Members Must Be Theologians. Of course, that means we need to preach and teach them accordingly.

And that does it for this week. I hope something above will be useful to you and your people! God bless you as you serve him this week!

Tools of the Trade for March 2, 2020

A Weekly List of Links and Resources for Pastors

It’s hard to believe that it’s March already! Here are some links for reading, filing, and sharing with your people. Some of the articles I link to make great resources for counseling.

For a pastor, making the decision to leave your church is one of the most difficult decisions to make. Jeff Robinson writes about how pastors should think through this issue.

This article relates the experience of a church planter, but anyone who has been deeply hurt while in ministry can benefit from this article on healing by Tyler St. Clair.

Here’s an article about taking notes. The article comes from a secular source, but the title, “Take Notes That Can Be Understood Two Weeks from Now” talks about a practice that most of us can use in our ministries. And if you’re still in school . . .

Those of you in church plants or re-plants will appreciate this article on celebrating milestones. It’s available as a podcast or as text.

This is one that you can sneak on the literature table. It’s about responding to change.

I did not have the opportunity to attend seminary to the point of getting a Master’s Degree. I wish I had, though. This article by Tim Gough encourages youth pastors to attend seminary.

I just returned from my monthly lunch with two pastor friends. Ironically, two of us are no longer in ministry, but that’s what we end up talking about. We’ve been meeting for over a decade, and have stood with each other through some hard stuff. I’ve written about this, and Daryl Dash reinforces the importance of pastoral friends.

Here’s one for the literature table by Kristie Anyabwile. She writes “An Open Letter to the Older Women in the Church.”

Do you get discouraged when there are a lot of empty spaces in the congregation? Here’s some encouragement on how to respond as preachers.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for dropping by. I hope something above is helpful. See you on Wednesday!

Tools of the Trade for February 10, 2020

A Weekly List of Links and Resources for Pastors

It’s a glorious week as baseball’s spring training begins. While you follow your favorite team, here are some articles to read, file, or share.

Ajith Fernando speaks to the subject “Is the Church Facing A Discipleship Crisis?”

Brad Larson tells us “How to Fire Someone Like Jesus Would.” If you’ve had to make staff changes you know how painful it can be. This is also one to share with businesspersons in your congregation.

This one is worth holding onto for counseling couples or doing premarital counseling. Tim Challies gives us “A Few Practical Pointers on Sexual Intimacy.”

Tim also wrote “On Living in a Post-Christian Context.”

Jeremy Todd affirms “Yes, Pastors Should Have Friends in the Church”

Here is an article for church planters, but it applies to anyone thinking through ministry strategy.

Andrew Menkis shares insights in this article that would work well on your your literature table: “What You Need to Know About God’s Plan for Your Life.”

Stephen Wellum writes “10 Doctrines You Need Today (And Every Day).” Aside from good reading, maybe this can be the skeleton for a preaching or teaching series in your church.

Nicholas Davis tells us “How to Build Community in a Consumer Church Culture.”

Greg Morse answers a difficult question: “Will Hell Really Last Forever? Answering Objections to Eternal Punishment.”

Peter Mead talks about common, ordinary preachers and encourages us that “Your Church Does Not Need a Superstar.”

Brianna Lambert writes a thoughtful article on a very unusual subject. “Worship God: Start a Hobby.”

Amanda Criss writes an article to share with the moms in your church: “The Inefficient Ministry of Motherhood.”

John Bloom encourages people going through trouble in his article “Waiting for God Alone: How Desperation Teaches Us to Trust.”

John Lee with 9Marks shares a really helpful piece called “Defining the Stuff We Do On Sunday Mornings: A Congregational Worship Glossary.”

The folks at Crossway share links and information about the key creeds and confessions of the Christian Church. It would be worth sharing and is must reading for you as a pastor.

I have a few others that I had saved for this week, but this should keep you reading. I find reading these kinds of articles to be both helpful and educational. I hope you find something like that here.

Have a good week!

Tools of the Trade for September 16, 2019

A Weekly List of Links and Resources Especially for Pastors

Chris Scotti is the VP and Publisher of 316 Publishing, which features a number of New American Standard Bible Resources. One of their resources is a great NASB app with Greek and Hebrew lexicon. I’d been using it on occasion before getting an email from Chris and recommend it for its ease of use. You can see the various resources available at

Here’s a short piece by Peter Mead on approaching the text we preach with the right goal in mind.

Tim Challies, who contributes so much to the Christian community, writes about how to frame our preaching for maximum benefit to our audience.

The folks at always produce good stuff for us. Here’s an article by Jeff Mooney on dealing with those times when we feel spiritually dry.

Nothing controversial here. 🙂 “I’d Probably Still Cancel Your Short-Term Missions Trip.” You may not agree, but Carlson raises some issues worth considering.

Here’s encouragement to prepare our people to suffer.

John Piper talks about God’s sovereignty and our unproductive days.

Here’s a good article to share with parents and those who work with kids.

Have a great week of ministry!!!

Tools of the Trade for August 19, 2019

A Weekly List of Links and Resources for Pastors

Lots of things to share with you today.

If you’re reading this blog and find it helpful, or if you have an idea for something you’d like to read about, please feel free to contact me at

Here are today’s links:

If you’re a younger pastor, well, it’s good to be prepared. Mid-life issues affect pastors too. If you’re approaching or already in mid-life, this article from May by John Piper may be worth reading and saving.

Here’s another article by John Piper in which he reflects on a statement once made by James Denny, a Scottish preacher from over a century ago. Denny said, “No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.”

Every aspect of pastoral ministry involves leadership. We always want to lead well, but as Clint Eastwood once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” We can’t – and won’t – do everything well.

A few weeks back I wrote about time management and recommended the Bullet Journal system as a simple but helpful way of keeping track of what you have to do. If you prefer computer apps over pen and paper, this article may be of help.

Our churches are busy places. Stephen McAlpine has an idea for slowing down, at least for a season.

“Why Pastors Burn Out (And How to Avoid It).” Enough said. Read it.

What’s the difference between a lecture and preaching? Here’s an opportunity for self-check.

Back in June, Dr. Brian Chapell asked and answered a question about avoiding a preaching rut. I’ve had them, and you probably have too. Or will. Here’s good counsel.

I’m copying these right from the newsletter of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Both of these books should be of interest to pastors of all ages:

The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart (Lexham) by Harold L. Senkbeil. Harold Senkbeil helps remind pastors of the essential calling of the ministry: preaching and living out the Word of God while orienting others in the same direction. And he offers practical and fruitful advice born out of his five decades as a pastor” that will benefit both new pastors and those with years in the pulpit. In a time when many churches have lost sight of the real purpose of the church, The Care of Souls invites a new generation of pastors to form the godly habits and practical wisdom needed to minister to the hearts and souls of those committed to their care. (Note from me: The Kindle price is half of the paper price)

Saint Peter’s Principles: Leadership for Those Who Already Know Their Incompetence (P&R) by Peter A. Lillback. Laurence J. Peter argued that competent employees are promoted until they reach positions where they are incompetent. Any wise leader, then, can learn from Saint Peter, a man who knew his own incompetence, trusted in Christ, and met his deficiencies through the insights of God’s Word.

That’s all for this week. May God bless your efforts to serve him throughout these next days.

Great News for Pastors (and Everyone Else Too!)

My intent is to post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. However, I am a software junkie of sorts and have been experimenting with a some different blogging tools. I’ve settled on one called Ulysses. You can pick up the basics pretty quickly, but from what I’ve read the program has a great deal under the hood.

One thing I’ve learned about Ulysses is that if you press the “publish” button, your writing gets published. This is great if you’re ready for prime time, but not so good if the post is still in process or you want it to be posted at another time.

On Tuesday (yesterday), I had written a post for today and ended up not being attentive enough. So it published a day early. Which is hardly a major issue, but it’s not a good idea to leave too much time between posts. With that in mind I will post this brief quote that I hope will be an encouragement, whether or not you are in vocational ministry.

There’s a devotional book based on the writings of Martin Luther that you can get at Amazon. On the January 7 reading, reflecting on 2 Corinthians 5:21, we read these words:

”You must rely on these and similar verses with your whole heart. The more your conscience torments you, the more you must rely on them. For if you don’t and try to quiet your conscience through your own sorrow and penance, you will never find peace of mind and will finally despair in the end. If you try to deal with sin in your conscience, let it remain there, and continue to look at it in your heart, your sins will become too strong for you. They will seem to live forever. But when you think of your sins as being on Christ and boldly believe that he conquered them through his resurrection, then they are dead and gone. Sin can’t remain on Christ. His resurrection swallowed them up.” (Emphasis mine)

Whoever we are, whatever vocation we find ourselves in, the simple fact (as you well know) is that we are sinners.

May God encourage you with Luther’s thoughts on God’s word as you wrestle toward holiness!

Welcome to “For Younger Pastors!”

Maybe you’re in seminary, contemplating ministry. Or you’re new to the role of pastor. Have you been a pastor for a while? Then this site has been designed with you in mind. Welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

Let’s face it – there’s a lot that they don’t teach you in seminary. I spent over forty years in ministry and without question the entire time was a learning experience.

I want to say up front that I am not a ministry expert.  I haven’t pastored a mega church.  I haven’t written any books (but man, could I!).  I was an ordinary pastor in an ordinary church.

There were good times and hard times. But in both good times and bad times ministry is a challenge. I hope to share some of what I learned over my years.

I have a concern for young guys just starting out and those who have been pastors for a few years.  Some of you have no one to talk to. Some of you are facing challenges and you don’t know how to handle them. Some of you face opposition.  How do you keep from getting crushed?   Ministry isn’t easy.

Before I start posting, let me introduce myself. My name is Peter Bogert. I graduated from Northeastern Bible College in 1976. My wife and I served for about three years in a Baptist church in northern New Jersey. In 1980 we moved to suburban Philadelphia. Initially I worked as the Education Pastor.  In 1987 I added oversight of our elementary school to my list of responsibilities.  In 1996 our school closed, and I resumed my role as Education Pastor, focusing on adult education. In 2003 the church called me to be the Senior Pastor. I held that position until I retired in June of 2017.

Again, I am not an expert. But I am a listening ear and have a bunch of things I want to share in this blog. My goal is to post about 3 times a week. Some posts will be on dealing with “stuff.” Other posts will focus on being challenging and encouraging. If I don’t answer a question that you have, use the contact button and let me know how I can help. I’ll do the best I can.

Thanks again for stopping by! May God bless you as you serve him.