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Sermons found for the topic Pastors

Our Name is Our Mission

Dr. Ray Pritchard gives the 2007 President’s Report on the work of Keep Believing Ministries. He explains the thinking behind the Keep Believing logo, reports on various ministry projects, and shares his dreams for the future. More

The Pastor’s Reward - 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

Only two things in this world are eternal—the Word of God and people. It only makes sense to build your life around those things that will last forever. More

When Jesus Comes to Church - Revelation 2:1-7

How easy it is to substitute knowledge for a warm heart toward Jesus. How quickly we justify our hard hearts by pointing to all our well-intentioned religiosity. More

The Blessing and Burden of an Utterly Predictable Life - Daniel 6

Be of good cheer! Do not fear your enemies and do not fear what they can do to you. Remember the story of Daniel and pray for the same kind of utterly predictable faith. More

The Tragedy of Open-Minded Christianity - Revelation 2:12-17

Christians are narrow-minded about God’s truth. We believe something the chattering classes find incredible. We believe that God has spoken in his Word and that his Word is to be obeyed, not debated. More

The Church Christ Prefers - Revelation 3:7-13

Jesus wants his churches to be motivated by love, founded on the truth, strong under pressure, and unashamed of his name. More

How Do You Measure Success? - 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

God measures our success in terms of lives changed. He’s evidently not that impressed by the size of our budget or by the stained glass in our sanctuary. The One who hung the stars in space doesn’t really care how many books we’ve written or how much money we make or whether or not we see our name in lights. More

Love Means Telling the Truth - 2 Corinthians 7:8-13

God intends for the church to become a body of committed, loving truth-tellers. Easy to say, hard to do. More

Do Not Neglect Your Spiritual Gift - 1 Timothy 4:14

Is ministry your Spiritual Gift? No man calls himself into the ministry or into local church leadership. A self-called man and a God-called man are two different people. One man thinks he’s qualified so he calls himself. The other man feels unworthy but responds to God’s call. If God has called you, rise up, go forth and serve the Lord. More

Wanted: Bold Believers! - Colossians 4:2-4

Learning how to pray effectively is essential for spiritual growth. Based on the prayers of Paul, we can learn to pray boldly for the commitment of those on the front lines of spiritual conflict, for open doors of opportunity for evangelism, for courage despite difficult circumstances and persecution, and for clarity in presentation of the Gospel – especially encouraging pastors. More

Helping Through Prayer - II Corinthians 1:8-11

Prayer helped Paul when he was depressed and discouraged, giving him hope and encouragement through trust in God. Praying for others and the prayers of others for us glorify God, partnering with Him to help those in need and heightening joy as our prayers are answered. More

Portrait of a Godly Pastor - Romans 15:14-21

In 1978 Michael Hart wrote a book called “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential People in History.” In it he ranked the most important people in the history of the world, taking into account the people they influenced, they movements they started, the impact they made, and the legacy they left behind. Needless to say, the book was controversial from the moment of its publication, which no doubt helped increase its sa More

Portrait of a Godly Leader - I Timothy 3; Titus 1

We begin with the words of Robert Cook: “There is no substitute for character. You can buy brains, but you can’t buy character.” When it comes to selecting leaders, nothing is more important than godly character. You can buy talent … or brains … or knowledge … but you can’t buy character. Either a person has it or he doesn’t. That fact has come home to me in recent days as o More

How Will You Be Remembered? - II Timothy 2:1-13

How will you be remembered? It’s a simple question that defies a simple answer. After you are dead and gone, after you’ve lived your 40 or 60 or 80 years, when your time on earth has come to an end, when you are here no more, how will you be remembered? What will you leave behind as the legacy of your life? When they talk about you, if they talk about you at all, what will they say?Let me sharpen the question just a bit. More

Blueprint for a Healthy Church - Romans 12:3-8

What makes a great church? We hear that expression often–"a great church"–but no one knows exactly what it means. How do you know when a church has truly become “great?” To begin with, humility, participation, cooperation and the exercise of the spiritual gifts are signs of a church that is healthy and on track. More

Lessons Learned Along the Way

Shortly before Christmas Dr. David Olford called and asked if I would consider speaking in early January at an evening session of the Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching in Memphis, Tennessee. He told me that I would be addressing 40-50 men who were taking a basic course in expository preaching. About half were students taking a Doctor of Ministry course for credit and the other half were men in pastoral ministry who wished More

Have You Been With Jesus? - Acts 4:13

The world cannot ignore a life truly changed by Christ. More

Bad Manners at the Dinner Table - Galatians 2:11-14

We need an infusion of God’s love to make us open in our friendships, open in our churches, and open on Sunday morning to new people who love the Lord but don’t fit our particular target group. More

Grumblers Anonymous - Matthew 20:1-16

This parable is not just teaching us about final rewards. It is also probing at the level of our motives. Why are we doing what we do? If it’s a straight reward you want, fine, you’ll get it. God will never cheat you. But that’s all you’ll get. And you’ll go to heaven grumbling all the way, always checking to see how you are doing compared with someone else - overestimating your own importance and underestimating the grace of God. Bu More

I Am a Sinner Too: What Pastors Need to Remember

My text is Ecclesiastes 7:19-22: “Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city. There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins. Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you–or you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.”Seminary is wonderful but you can’t learn everything there. The year I g More

Bad Manners at the Dinner Table: A Powerful Lesson in Biblical Confrontation - Galatians 2:11-14

This is a sermon about conflict in the church—where it comes from and how to handle it. As a place to begin, I’d like to start with the observation that most church conflicts fall into one of two categories. Let’s talk first about the second category.Category 2 conflicts are those disagreements that are non-biblical in nature. That is, they deal with matters that are not directly discussed in the Word of God. Most c More

The Church in Many Places - Acts 8:1-4

God uses catastrophe and disasters to scatter the church so that His word can be spread to all parts of the world. We can become comfortable and content in our lives, but God in His sovergn nature does things we are not used to. More

Take Me to Your Leaders - 1 Peter 5:1-4

In early March I preached on “Are You Prepared to Suffer for Christ?” from I Peter 3:13-17. After the final service that morning, a first-time visitor came up and thanked me for my sermon. In the course of the conversation, he made an interesting comment: “You don’t seem to have a care in the world.” He didn’t seem to mean it in a negative way, more along the lines of, “You don’t seem t More

John Sergey Funeral Service

Message given by Ray Pritchard at the funeral service for John Sergey, January 5, 2009, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, IL. More

The Standing Orders of the Gospel - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The real impact of the gospel will be seen when we don’t feel joyful, when we don’t want to pray, and when we can’t think of a reason to be thankful. That’s when we discover if our Christianity is the genuine article or a spiritual counterfeit. More

Why God Chooses Splendid Sinners and Lovable Losers - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

When God chooses people for his family, he picks those the world considers losers. This means that imperfect people make excellent candidates for the grace of God. Since we are all imperfect, when we boast, let us boast only in the Lord. More

Lessons for Modern-Day Sowers of the Word - Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23

The last few days I have been meditating on the famous parable of the seed and the sower. It is obviously important because is found in three different places in the gospels (with Jesus’ explanation in parenthesis):Matthew 13:3-9 (18-23)Mark 4:3-8 (14-20)Luke 8:5-8 (11-15)Context is all-important in understanding this parable. It stands first in a list of seven stories Jesus told in Matthew 13. Verse 1 tells us that Jesus gave More

Inside the Wedding Ring - Romans 15:5-7

I was twenty-five years old and fresh out of seminary when I became the pastor of a small church in Downey, California. I stayed there almost five years and then moved to Garland, Texas to pastor another church for five-and-a-half years. Then we moved to Oak Park, IL where I served as pastor for just over sixteen years. If you add it all up, I was a pastor for almost twenty-seven years. And for the last eighteen months, I have been s More

Jesus Christ and Him Crucified - I Corinthians 2:1-5

"I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:2). We have a word for people like Paul. We call a person like him a “one-note Johnny.” He was a man of one message. If you heard him in Thessalonica or Athens or Rome, it was always the same—Jesus Christ and him crucified. He never strayed from his basic message. Someone once asked the great British preach More

Renewing Your Passion - II Timothy 1

Today we are beginning a summer series from the little book of II Timothy. People sometimes wonder how pastors choose what to preach on. In this case, I feel like I didn’t choose II Timothy; II Timothy chose me. Last fall as we were finishing up our trip on the “Bible Bus,” we came to II Timothy. Even though I had read the book before, the power of its message grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It seemed to say, More

Restless, Waiting, Willing

RESTLESS, WAITING, WILLING by Ray Pritchard At our recent Pastors’ Retreat, Howard Duncan shared something the Lord had put on his heart overnight. He said that as pastors, we are called to ask, “What is God doing and how can we join him in his work?” That's different from asking, “How can we get God t… More

Servanthood: The Mark of Authentic Leadership - Various

Warren Bennis is an educator, a philosopher, an author, a scholar and a keen observer of the American scene. These are his words. “Leadership is a word that is on everyone’s lips. The young fight against it. Police seek it. Experts claim it. The artists spurn it. Scholars want it. Bureaucrats pretend to have it and politicians wish they could find it. Everyone agrees on this one fact. There is less of it today than there More

This Must Be the Place: - Various

Seven times in nine years I have given a State of the Church address to Calvary Memorial Church. In my first message I quoted the famous words of Daniel Burnham, architect and author of The Chicago City Plan: “Make no small plans. They have no power to stir men’s blood.”I have tried to follow that advice from the very first day. Over these nine years together we have seen God do some amazing things in our midst. The More

Men and Women in Biblical Perspective - Genesis 1-3

I find myself in a peculiar position this morning. No matter what I say, or how carefully I say it, someone is bound to disagree with me. But that doesn’t begin to cover the subject. Not only will some people disagree with me, even the people who agree with me will probably not agree with everything I say. If I can find any comfort in that—and I don’t find very much—it is that at least I can guarantee you an e More

Praying For the Sick - James 5:13-16

If you have read the title, you know exactly what this sermon is about. Praying for the sick is something we are all asked to do from time to time. It is certainly something that all pastors do every week. That fact alone makes the subject important, especially when I consider that in four years of seminary, I learned Greek, Hebrew, exegesis, hermeneutics, theology, and church history, but less than an hour was spent on this topic. M More

Ten Happy Years: - Various

It all started late in 1988 when I was sitting at my desk at home in Garland, Texas wondering what I would do with the rest of my life. I was 36 years old, with a wife, three children, a mortgage, and no regular job. Five days a week I drove from Garland to Irving where I worked for Shepherd Ministries as a conference coordinator. I created that title for myself because it made me feel better. Actually I spent all day every day makin More

The Decision You Must Make - John 1:12-13

This is the final sermon in the series “How to Be Right with God.” As I have mentioned earlier, these sermons will form the basis for a “gospel book” I am writing under the co-sponsorship of Moody Press and the Committee on the Gospel. I ask for your prayers as I work on the manuscript during November. If all goes well, the book will be published next summer. Our hope is that God will mightily use it around th More

Does God Lead His Children Into Temptation? - Matthew 6:13

“And lead us not into temptation.” Matthew 6:13aBefore we begin: What is the difference between temptation and testing? How can a temptation to sin become an avenue for spiritual growth? Does God lead his children into temptation? This is not an easy question to answer. We know what the word “lead” means-or at least we think we do. And we know what “temptation"-or at least we know what it is when More

The God-Dependent Life - 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

While living in this flesh, we face the same limitations as others do. We keep going because our confidence is on God, not in ourselves. More

Living on a Spiritual Plateau–Part 1 - 2 Corinthians 3:18

Spiritual plateaus, like physical plateaus, are natural and normal and necessary. They are part of God’s “scenery” of the Christian life. More

We Believe, Therefore We Speak - 2 Corinthians 4:13-15

May God give us preachers with some backbone who won’t back down. God deliver us from politically correct sermons and preachers who preach everything but the Word of God. More

How God Pursues Prodigals, Part 1 - Jonah 1:4-17

The people of the world can do without our sermons, but they can’t live without our prayers. And if they get our prayers, they might one day listen to our sermons. More

Where Grace and Wrath Meet - Romans 3:24-26

God is fully satisfied with the work of his Son. Those who come to him find that their sins are forgiven forever. More

The Blessing No One Wants - Matthew 5:4

If you feel the heavy weight of God hammering down on you, rest assured that nothing is being wasted. In the end, God will be glorified, and you will be more beautiful than you ever dreamed possible. More

The Incredible Adventure Begins - Genesis 12:1-9

This morning we are beginning a brand-new sermon series. This series is brand-new in two ways. It is new to us as a congregation and it is new to me personally. Although I have been your pastor for nearly seven years, I served two other churches before coming to Oak Park in 1989. Over the last 18 years I have preached hundreds of messages from all parts of the Bible—quite literally going from Genesis to Revelation in the pr More

The Shepherd's Gift - Ephesians 4:11

About the time I graduated from seminary in 1978, a leading Christian magazine published an article entitled, “Things They Didn’t Tell You at Your Seminary Graduation.” It is subtitled, “Some aphorisms for the brand-new pastor.” I cut it out and saved it because at that time I was most definitely a brand-new pastor. Here are a few gems from that article:•If you don’t know what you’re More

Singing Your Way to Victory - 2 Chronicles 20

"I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.” Martin Luther.“After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they we More

When Christians Disagree - Acts 15:36-41

Christians disagree about almost everything. And when we disagree, we usually start a new church. Which reminds me of a story I heard a few years ago. A Scottish Presbyterian is rescued after many years of living alone on a desert island. When he is picked up, the captain says to him, “I thought you were stranded alone.” “I was,” replied the castaway. “Why are there three huts on the beach?” & More

Why We Don't Have to Win Every Argument

For the last few weeks in our studies of Romans 14-15, we have been looking at the call of God for believers in Christ to live together in peace despite our differences over secondary issues. Just as a reminder, here are some of things Paul has said:Welcome weaker believers – 14:1Don’t quarrel over secondary matters –14:1Don’t despise someone you disagree with – 14:2Don’t pass judgment on another b More

Why We Pray - Romans 15:30-33

A quarter-century ago, when we were living in the Los Angeles area, I attended an all-day seminar on prayer led by Warren Wiersbe. Those who know Dr. Wiersbe will not be surprised when I say that it was an extremely profitable day. I still remember his first words. He looked at us for a moment as if he was thinking about how to begin, and then he said, “All of us know we need to pray more than we do.” With that one senten More

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Discovering Real Christians

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What I Wish I Had Known

I am a new pastor. What is one thing no one warned you about, but you wish you would have known?

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2013 KBM Winter Report