Founders Journal 88 · Spring 2012 · p. 1

Watching Over the Flock and the Shepherd

Tom Ascol

Pastors are always in need of encouragement. Paul understood this and so laces his letters to young Timothy with exhortations and reminders that are designed to keep Timothy motivated and focused on the goal of his high calling. Thirty-five years ago the late Louis McBurney published a book entitled, Every Pastor Needs a Pastor. Taking his cues from Paul, McBurney tried to offer practical encouragements to pastors who, too often, walk a lonely road. As a young pastor, I was greatly helped by his insights.

Founders Ministries has always been primarily (though not exclusively) focused on pastors. Through the years we have tailored our efforts to encourage pastors to be faithful to their calling and to persevere in their responsibilities. Our theory has been--and remains--that if we help a pastor, we help a church (or perhaps, multiple churches). The older that I get, the more I find my heart going out to my fellow pastors and the more I want to encourage them in the great work to which we have been called.

This issue of the Founders Journal--the first that is being published exclusively in an electronic format--is designed with that goal and purpose in mind. B. H. Carroll's sermon was directed particularly to pastors and is a good reminder of the incredible responsibility and privilege that go with being a preacher of the gospel. Chris Lee's insights into the ministry of the Puritan, Thomas Watson, are relevant and applicable to modern pastors, as is the comfort that John May draws out of Horatius Bonar's reflections on rest.

If you are a pastor, my prayer is that you will be encouraged by the articles in this issue. If you are not a pastor then I hope that not only will you be encouraged but also that you will pass along these articles to your own pastor in hopes that he might be helped by them, too.