This page is about serving in and running churches. We'll start with what
God's Word says about every believer, specific offices, and spiritual
gifts. Then, we'll look at specific offices in depth. We'll also look at
examples of loving others.
God's Word lists the Offices and spiritual
gifts. Now, let's learn how to apply them.
- Learn to read God's Word properly
- Learn to use and teach an easy method (example)
of applying it
- Study how Jesus teaches, preaches, and exhorts. Imitate Him, not
- Study how the Apostles did that in Acts to Revelation. Imitate them as
they imitate Christ.
- Small groups: a model,
(pdf), another guide
(pdf), and a class.
- Presentation styles best for teaching and preaching:
- Expository: Gaines
- Expository and Exhortation: Knepshield
- Topical: Spurgeon;
- Conversational: Alan
Parr (about porn); T.G.C.
Note: This style is common in groups and online videos.
- Exhortation: Graham
- Narrative: Lowry
- Topical, Testimony, Exhortation, and Narrative: Hyles
- Testimony with God's Word: ex-Mormon
(uses music, too)
- (Disclaimer: Linked preachers above aren't affiliated with this
site. They're just good at that style.)
- Expository teaching/preaching: free
You can get value out of this without being a counselor. The first thing
it teaches you is to rely on God and His Word for struggles in life. Then,
learning more about specific topics helps you better empathize with people
in their suffering. The resources might give you helpful advice for them.
These techniques can be used for outreach purposes via one-on-one's or
You might also feel called to become a counselor. You'll have to choose
between secular, Christian, and Biblical counseling. I don't have
resources up for those decisions yet. For now, I'm sharing links on
Biblical counseling since (a) it's definitely Biblical and (b) God gave me
more resources on it. Also, pastors or deacons might want to get full
training in counseling because their jobs mostly involve caring for
Here's a bunch of resources:
- Free resources by IBCD
on many topics
- Topical studies + Discipleship
Groups = Biblical, Support Group :)
- ACBC has certification,
for it (pdf),
Note: ACBC certification is much cheaper than seminary or college.
- Training for that certification: IBCD
- For Christian counseling, RTS has a degree.
Course lectures might
- If doing secular counseling, my recommendation as a non-counselor and
- Goal is to evangelize non-believers and build up believers (esp
unchurched or fallen).
- Study and start practicing both of those immediately.
- If your faith is strong, go to a secular college to both learn and
evangelize. God might change it over time.
- If not as strong, go to a Christian college (example).
Grow with other believers.
- In or outside college, take courses
in the Bible, Biblical counseling, and defense (Ex: 1
Note: For the Bible, take Old/New Testament Overview, Hermeneutics,
and Systematic Theology.
- Optionally, start teaching counseling or psychology at a secular
Sometimes, a unchurched group will keep growing, bonding, and serving
together. They may consider becoming a church. The Biblical route is
elders of an existing church planting one with qualified people. This
provides the aspiring church with support, accountability, and help
fighting threats (esp false teaching). Example
of ups and downs of independent church-planting.
Pray on it, talk to established churches, and see if God provides a
route. If He doesn't, that often means it's not His will for you to do
that. You can continue sharing the Gospel and forming discipleship groups
wherever you're at, though.
Let's say you choose to start a church. Missionaries in South Asia
developed the model above to focus on the fundamentals. They've been using
it for over a decade. My missionary friends said the churches over there
had the most committed believers they've ever seen. They regularly shared
the Gospel, too, despite persecution. The model works. Since it's open
source, you can modify it as needed for use in your churches.
General service, specific types, and good examples:
- Common needs: food, clothing, homes, cars, jobs, counseling, and just
- In-church counseling: sins, mentors, mental health, divorce, deaths
- Food pantries: Heartland Hands
- Protecting babies and helping new mothers: Life
- Helping children in your own neighborhood: Together
- Mentoring new mothers: One by
- Homeless: Memphis
- Orphanage: Baptist
- Special needs: Four
- Turning men's lives around (addictions): John
3:16 Ministries (video)
- Turning women's lives around: Warriors
Center for Women (video)
(Back to main page.)