Posts by Joe Thorn


Denying the role of theological coaches in your life is to deny the very structure of the church God has created. He gave us teachers and preachers for the equipping of the church. And pastors need equipping as well. Yes, Scripture alone is our authority, and it alone tells us what we need to know about the Lord. But we need help understanding all that God has revealed in Scripture. Does any pastor think he has somehow attained a kind of theological perfection? God help him.


The most beautiful display of the Kingdom of God is when the church gathers for corporate worship. There we gather as one people, confessing one Lord, sharing in one Spirit, singing with one voice, while resting together in the gospel of Jesus Christ


Pastors sometimes say stupid things. Sometimes those stupid things are catchy and wind up being repeated by many other pastors. One of the more preposterous pithy statements I have heard many preachers say is, “Sheep are dumb.” They say this as shepherds and are referring to the sheep of the church—the congregation. The idea is that sheep are dumb, and must be led well. We shouldn’t be surprised when they do stupid things. My problem with this statement is that it disrespects people made in God’s image and redeemed by God’s Son.


I have always been drawn to those who can speak with creativity and with conviction. This was true before my conversion, and is especially true today. Since my conversion, I find myself hungering to hear the word preached. When it comes to preaching, there are two basic things that I want to hear from a preacher: the word of God and earnestness. If he doesn’t bring the word of God, he has nothing to say. If he isn’t earnest, I’m tempted to not believe him. As I evaluate my own preaching, and coach other preachers, I find that earnestness is one of the areas that needs the most attention. A man’s earnestness in preaching is often the hand that grips the hearer and brings him along side the preacher to the truth proclaimed.


When I was a freshman student in Bible college I had a conversation with a senior who was excited to graduate and plug into pastoral ministry. One day he said to me, "I don't need this theology crap. I just need my degree so I can get to work." I was shocked then, but am concerned because I have repeatedly heard similar sentiments over the years from people entering or are already in the pastorate. For them, theology is at best an unnecessary garnish on the plate of ministry.