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The Front Pew

A conversation between a few pastors scattered around, sharing their perspective on life, ministry, theology, culture and church.
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The Front Pew
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Nov 13, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! This week it is just Ben and Chris in the studio, as Matt is away on a marriage retreat. We decided to chat a little bit about the relationship between a pastor and a state convention or other network. Statistics show that the average age of pastors are increasing, and that younger pastors are not very interested in denominational convention meetings. We chat about why this might be, and how we should think about these types of relationships.

Also...we announce the winner of our Rock-tober book giveaway! Was it you? Listen in to find out!

We really do appreciate you listening to this little podcast, sharing it with your friends, and sending us little notes of encouragement along the way. Feel free to connect with us via email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Face Book page!

Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review, and share an episode with your friends on social media!

Nov 6, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! This week we are concluding our chat about the reformation by digging into Semper Reformanda, which simply means that we are to "always be reforming" our lives according to the Scriptures. We discuss some areas that we think need to be always reforming in the life of the pastor and the church. 

Also, Chris shares a brief update on his recent medical/health issues.

We would love to hear from you! You can email us (frontpew1@gmail.com), tweet us (@thefrontpew) or comment on our Face Book page. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, leave us a review, and share us with your friends!

Thanks to all who played along with our Rock-tober book giveaway...we will announce the winner next week. As always, we really do appreciate you listening in!

Oct 30, 2017

Welcome to another episode of the Front Pew! We are so thankful that you are taking the time to listen in. This week we conclude our series on the five solas of the reformation by discussing soli Deo gloria--glory to God alone.

There is also time for you to enter our huge book giveaway. There are three ways to enter:

(1) Use Facebook or Twitter to share an episode of the podcast, and include the hashtag #thefrontpew. That gets you 1 entry.

(2) Post a picture of your child pulling the socks off your feet. That gets you 5 entries.

(3) Give us a written review on iTunes...that will get you 10 entries!

We really do appreciate you listening to our little podcast thingy, and we hope that it encourages you as you seek to serve the Lord well. Connect with us via email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Facebook page.

Oct 23, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! Ben is out of town, so it's just Chris and Matt continuing the conversation on the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation. This week we take a look at Solus Christus, or Christ Alone.

Also, we are still gathering entries for our huge Rocktober book giveaway. You can enter to win 3 ways:

(1) Link to an episode on Facebook or Twitter and include the hashtag #thefrontpew. That will get you one entry.

(2) You can post a picture of your child pulling your socks off. That will get you 5 entries.

(3) You can write us a review on iTunes. That will get you 10 entries!

We do appreciate you listening in. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review and share us with your friends. You can also connect with us via email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Facebook page.

Oct 16, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! We are still celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by discussing the Five Solas. This week we dive into Sola Gratia, grace alone.

 

Don't forget about our Rocktober Book Giveaway! We've got a stack of books that one listener is going to win! In order to win, you need to get your name in the hat. How? Three ways:

1) Use Twitter or Facebook to promote your favorite episode and include the hashtag #thefrontpew. That gives you 1 entry.

2) Use Twitter or Facebook to post a photo of your child pulling your socks off. That gives you 5 entries.

3) Leave us a written review on iTunes. That gives you 10 entries!

 

Thanks again for sitting with us on the Pew! We appreciate you listening. Make sure to subscribe on iTunes, share us with your friends, and leave us a review. You can contact us via email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Face Book page.

Oct 9, 2017

Welcome to another episode of the Front Pew! This month we are digging into the Five Solas, and this week we are looking at Sola Fide, or Faith Alone. What is this doctrine? Why does it matter? How does it impact ministry for the church and the pastor? We deal with these and other issues pertaining to this foundational and very important doctrine!

We also want to remind you about our Rocktober Book give-away! We are hitting up our contacts in order to give a huge gift to one of our listeners this month. But to win you have to enter! How?

First, you can use Twitter and/or Facebook to post a link to one of our episodes and include the hastage #thefrontpew. That gets you one entry.

Second, you can use Twitter or Facebook to post a picture of your kid(s) pulling off your socks. Listen to this episode for more details on this one. That gets you 5 entries. 

Finally, you can leave us a written review on iTunes. That will get you 10 entries.

We think there will be close to $200 worth of books and stuff that one person will win. We will put all the entries into a hat, pull one out, and that one will win it all! So, make sure you enter to win!

Thanks again for being a part of the Front Pew. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review and share us with your friends. You can also connect with us via email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Face Book page!

Oct 2, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew, and welcome to October! As you are probably already aware, this month marks the 500th anniversary of an event known in history as the "Protestant Reformation." On October 31, 1517, a monk named Martin Luther nailed his infamous 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and that one little act spark a reformation fire that still burns today. God used that event to literally change the world.

So, this month, in remembrance of that moment we want to spend the month of October talking about the Five Solas, which are the main doctrinal tenets that were recovered in this moment. They are: sola Scriptura, sola Fide, sola Gratia, solus Christus, and soli Deo Gloria. This week we get started by discussing "Scripture Alone."

Also, we have announce a big give-away for October in honor the reformation and Pastor Appreciation Month! The way you enter to win is by leaving us a review on iTunes. If you don't know how to do that, Google it or find a video on YouTube to help you!

Here are some resources we mentioned in the show that we would encourage you to read as you grow in your appreciation for the reformation:

"Here I Stand," Roland Bainton

"The Refomation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World," Stephen Nichols

"The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation," Michael Reeves

 

Thanks again for listening! Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review and share us with your friends! You can connect with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) and on our Face Book page.

Sep 25, 2017

Welcome to a fresh episode of the Front Pew! This week we are continuing our discussion on the importance and roles of the deacon in the local church. We are asking, "Who can be a deacon?" We also deal with some issues surrounding deacon ministry, such as, can a deacon be divorced? Can they drink? Can a woman be a deacon?

We started by talking about the recent church shooting in TN, then discussed the NFL protests, and even talked a little bit about funerals. Then we got on with it! We had fun with this one, and we hope you enjoy the conversation!

We appreciate all our listeners, and we love to hear from you as well. You can connect with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) and on our Face Book page. We would love to have you share some show ideas with us, or to answer any questions you might have for us. 

If you are able, please subscribe to our little podcast on iTunes, leave us a review and share us with your friends! Thanks again for listening!

Sep 18, 2017

Welcome to a fresh episode of the Front Pew! This week we decided to talk about deacons. Of course, this is definitely one of those subjects that pastors talk about on the front pew! We love those who serve as deacons in our churches, but we also know that sometimes the relationship between pastor and deacons can be difficult and confusing. So, we thought we would chat a little bit about it.

 

Also, in this episode we try to answer some listener email. It's the first time in a month that we have all been together to record, and we had a good time. We hope you enjoy listening.

 

We really do appreciate our listeners, and we invite you to interact with us! You can connect with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) and on our Face Book page. Subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review and share us with your friends!

Sep 11, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! We are glad you are listening in. This week is part 2 of our topic on knowing when it is time to resign and move to another ministry position. Last time we talked about this from the perspective of a senior pastor, and this week we jump in and talk about it from the perspective of a staff pastor. 

Ben is out of the country, so it is just Chris and Matt. We hope that if you are a staff pastor, that this episode will be an encouragement and a help to you as you seek to serve the Lord faithfully in your ministry.

Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review! Share us with your friends and connect with us either through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew), or on our Face Book page. 

Sep 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day! Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! We really do appreciate you listening to our little podcast, and we hope that in some way the Lord will use it to help you grow in your trust in Jesus.

Since our life on the Front Pew has been quite hectic of late, we thought that we would drop another sermon for you, that we hope is an encouragement to your soul. Ben has been preaching through Galatians, and in this sermon he deals with the issue of genuine transformation.

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? It's easy to do through iTunes. Have you left us a glowing 5-star review yet? If not, then why not? Share us with your friends and connect with us! You can do that through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) and on our Face Book page. 

Don't eat too much on this Labor Day! 

 

Aug 28, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! We really appreciate you listening and being a part of the conversation!

In today's episode we get really personal. How does a pastor know if or when he should resign? The average tenure of a pastor is between 5-7 years, so this is an issue a lot of churches and pastors wrestle with and walk through. Ben and Chris share some personal stories about their experiences in this area, as well as give some advice to a pastor or a church that finds themselves asking these same questions.

Have you subscribed to the podcast on iTunes yet? It is easy to do, and you can also give us a review! Share us with your friends, and connect with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) and on our Face Book page!

Aug 21, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! We really appreciate you listening! Today we are discussing a couple of important current events dominating the cultural conversation. First, today is the day of the big eclipse. Don't look at it without glasses or you'll go blind! We talk about why the Christian community is so interested in this event, especially when someone suggests that it could be a sign that the end of the world is near.

Second, we wade into a discussion about the recent events in Charlottesville, VA, where a white nationalist group marched in protest of the removal of a Confederate statue, and their clash with those who met in opposition to them. It has reminded us that there are serious issues in the human heart and in our culture when it comes to the sin of racism. How should we respond as Christians, and as pastors?

Have you subscribed to the podcast? You can on iTunes! If you can, leave us a review and share us with your friends. You can also connect with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew), or on our Face Book page. We love hearing from you, and welcome your comments and/or questions.

Enjoy the eclipse!

Aug 14, 2017

It's that time of year when students are returning back to school after their summer break. With that in mind, we thought we would talk about the need for pastors to "study to show themselves approved," and to position themselves to be lifelong learners. Ministry in this day and age is more complex and complicated than ever, and we are being forced to understand and grapple with cultural ideas that we couldn't have imagined 10-20 years ago. So, we dig into topics such as: should pastors go to seminary or is the Holy Spirit enough? If they do, how do they survive? How can they continue to grow as a learner after seminary?  

We really do appreciate you being a listener of this little podcast by pastors for pastors. Our prayer is that it will not only encourage you, but enable you to serve the local church well. 

Please feel free to contact us and connect with us! You can do so via email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Face Book page. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. We would love it if you would give us a review and share us with your friends!

Thanks again for listening and learning with us!

Aug 7, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! This week we are talking about the practice of altar calls, or what is know as "the invitation." Is this biblical? Is it ok? What about emotionalism and manipulation? Should this be a part of our worship services?

To help us think through this, Chris interviewed Dr. Thomas Kidd who is a history professor at Baylor University, and is way, way, way smarter than any of us on the podcast. His insights are very helpful, and we hope that you find them to be so as well.

We had a fun time chatting through this important topic! Our prayer is that you will laugh with us and be encouraged in your ministry as we all seek to serve Jesus well.

Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review, and share us with your friends! You can connect with us via email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Face Book page.

Music: "Softly and Tenderly," Johnny Cash

Aug 1, 2017

Welcome to a new, but delayed, episode of the Front Pew! Our summer schedules have finally crossed us up, and we just weren't able to get an episode done by Monday. So, that you for your patience!

Also, thank you for interacting with us. We appreciate the emails and comments that you send our way. You can subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review and share with your friends, and you can connect with us via email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Face Book page.

We knew the summer might be rough with our schedule to put out a fresh episode each week, so we thought that when necessary we would share a sermon from one of us. This week we offer a sermon preached by Chris a few years ago at Southeastern Baptist Theological seminary. Before the sermon, Chris and Matt talk a little bit about preaching then the sermon rolls out. The text is Mark 14:66-72 which deals with Peter's denial of Christ. The title is "Failure and Grace," and our hope is that you will be encouraged in the gospel as you listen!

Jul 24, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! So, have you been on vacation yet this summer? We hope so, since we believe that it is important for us as Christians to work hard and to take time off to relax and recharge. In this episode we discuss the importance of relaxation, but share that rest is much better for us. 

What is the difference between relaxing and resting? What does it mean to rest and how do we do it? Especially as pastors, when we live with the sense that there is always a need, always a task, and always a sermon in front of us.

Ben has done a lot of study on rest and why it is so crucial to us as believers. He actually preached a sermon series on it a couple years ago and took a sabbatical in order to practice what he preached! He shares a lot of wisdom in this episode (Capper is absent since he is away at youth camp...he will need some rest after that).

We also introduce a new segment on the show entitled "Depravity Files," which we think you may find quite entertaining!

Thanks again for listening and for sharing this podcast with your friends. You can subscribe at iTunes, and if you are able, give us a review! You can email us (frontpew1@gmail.com), tweet us (@thefrontpew) or follow us on our Face Book page.

Ben's book recommendation: "Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul," Lance Witt.

Music: "A Shot in the Dark" by The Coffin Daggers

Jul 17, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! We appreciate you sitting with us as we chat about things that we think about as pastors. This week we received an email from a listener who asked if we could talk about church membership and what that looks like in our local churches. So, we want to thank Josh for the suggestion and this episode is our attempt to answer his question!

We also are giving away another book, and this week it's a good one--"Those Who Must Give an Account: A Study of Church Membership and Church Discipline" by John Hammett and Benjamin Merkle. Listen in on who you can get this book!

We really do appreciate you taking a hour or so out of your life to listen to us ramble on about church and pastor stuff. Thank you for reaching out to us as well with your comments and suggestions. You can email us at frontpew1@gmail.com, or follow us on Twitter (@thefrontpew) and on our Face Book page. 

Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, and if possible, leave us a review and share us with your friends!

Jul 10, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! We really appreciate you listening and joining with us! Remember to subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review and share with your friends! You can also connect with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) and on our Face Book page.

In today's episode we talk about pastors and friendship. A recent study revealed that most pastors struggle to make and maintain good, healthy friendships. So, we thought we would weigh in on this and talk about why we struggle with friendship and how to we can be good friends.

This episode ends with a spontaneous musical moment that you won't want to miss. Plus, we are giving away another book! Listen to the episode to learn how to win it! Thanks again for listening!

Jul 3, 2017

Welcome to another episode of the Front Pew! Hope everyone is enjoying this time of the summer when we celebrate the 4th of July! Inevitably, this time of year raises some questions for some pastors and churches concerning how blended our patriotism (which is good) and our worship of Jesus (which is also good) should be when we gather in our churches. Should we have patriotic services? Should we sing patriotic songs? What about fireworks in the sanctuary?

For years now there has been a passionate debate, especially in the South where we are, about God and country. Many claim that America was founded as a Christian nation, and others disagree. In some contexts it is difficult during this time of year to discern who or what is being worshiped in our churches when we are waving our flags and singing patriotic songs. Some churches bend the other way and see all patriotic expressions as harmful and sinful.

So, in this episode of the Front Pew we wade into the discussion. To help us, we reached out to Dr. Nathan Finn, a Christian who also happens to be a professor with an expertise in history. His interview was very helpful and we hope you are encouraged by it.

We also want to give you a book or two! So, the first listener to tweet us with this message "I want the book" and include the hashtag #capper will win Mike Cosper's "Rhythms of Grace" from our friends at CrossWay. We've got a lot of other stuff to give away in the near future as well!

Thanks again for listening! If you are able, subscribe on iTunes, leave us review and share our little podcast with your friends! You can connect with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) and on our Face Book page. 

Have a great 4th! 

Jun 26, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! This week we dive into the subject of mission trips and whether or not they are good for us to be involved in. Now, we all agree that the mission of making the glory and fame of Jesus known in all the earth matters, but are we doing that when we go on short-term mission trips? Isn't there a better use of all that money that we spend when we go on these trips? Do they really help anyone, really?

We wrestle with these and other questions in this conversation. It's just Chris and Ben, since ironically, Matt is on a mission trip!

Thanks again for listening! Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review. You can connect with us by email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Face Book page. 

Jun 19, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! This week we have a friendly chat about denominations were we ask: what are they? do they matter? what are the benefits? what are the liabilities? 

It was a fun discussion, especially since Matt and Chris are part of the Southern Baptist denomination and Ben is non-denominational. This show was actually prompted by Chris' involvement last week in the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix.

Join in the conversation with us! How? Send us an email (frontpew1@gmail.com), connect on Twitter (@thefrontpew) or send us a message on our Face Book page. We really do appreciate you listening and connecting with us!

Now, go grab you an ice cold Fresca and enjoy the show!

Jun 12, 2017

Welcome to another episode of the Front Pew! Today is a very special podcast as Ben welcomes his younger brother Rich to the program to talk about the highs and lows of international church planting. For the past few years Rich has been serving in Germany amidst the post-modern atheistic folks as well as the Middle Eastern refugees, with the goal of seeing the gospel take root in their hearts. It is a great honor to have him join us on the Front Pew for an honest conversation about ministry in Germany and how it contrasts with life in the States.

We want to encourage you to not only pray for Rich and his family, but to connect with them as well. You can do so through email at richardrudolph@gmail.com

From time to time we like to highlight some of the stuff that we celebrate as we see God at work among his people. We hope you are encouraged by these testimonies of grace and that you will rejoice as well that God is accomplishing His purposes in the heart of His church.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave us a review. Share it with all you friends and connect with us: frontpew1@gmail.com, @thefrontpew (Twitter) or on our Face Book page. Thanks again for listening!

Jun 5, 2017

We love books, and one of the things that we often talk about as pastors are different books that have shaped us and encouraged us in ministry. As the saying goes, every leader is a reader. So, in this episode we talk about books, reading, book allowances and how all of these help both pastor and people sharpen their mind, strengthen their faith and grow as leaders in the church. 

 

We review four reasons why reading is essential, as well as give our summer reading suggestions from several categories, including theology, history, the Christian life and potpouri! Look for these suggestions on our Face Book page.

 

We admit it...this is kind of a nerdy episode, but we believe it is more important than ever that we as pastors and people grow in our understanding of the gospel, know how to give a defense of the faith in light of the secular culture, and engage our minds to grow through reading. After all, reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

 

In this episode we also announce the winner of Mike Cosper's book "Rhythms of Grace" as well as announce a new contest where somebody is going to win another book! 

 

Thanks for listening to us on the Front Pew, and we would love for you to connect with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Face Book page! Make sure you subscribe on iTunes, leave a review and share with your friends!

May 29, 2017

Welcome to a new episode of the Front Pew! We appreciate you taking some time to listen in and interact with the show. This week it is a mythbuster episode where we try to deal with a common myth that exists when it comes to pastors and churches. 

Have you ever heard someone say that pastors only work 2 days a week, or that they keep bankers hours? It's a silly little joke that has floated around for a while that every pastor has heard at one time in his ministry. So, we thought we would try to bust this myth by talking about how ministry is work and what that work should look like. We enjoyed swapping some stories, sharing how we organize our work week, and how we have learned how to find some balance between family, ministry, preaching and other responsibilities that we have as pastors.

Have you subscribed to the podcast on iTunes yet? Subscribe and leave us a review and share the show with your friends! You can chat with us through email (frontpew1@gmail.com), Twitter (@thefrontpew) or on our Facebook page. Thanks again for sitting with us on the Front Pew!

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