March 7, 2013

Can You Preach Expositional Sermons in Poor, Uneducated Areas of the World?

This is the title of an article I wrote a year or so ago and then adapted for my friend Brian Croft at Practical Shepherding Ministries. Click on the link here to read the article in full.

Practical Shepherding is a Gospel-driven resource center for pastors and church leaders to equip them in the practical matters of pastoral ministry. A wise trainer of pastors once said he would rather address 50 pastors than 1,000 churchmen. This statement highlights the obvious implication of how best to impact God’s people in local churches—by reaching their pastors.

Many pastors lack the necessary training to perform even the most basic of pastoral duties. In fact, even pastors who have had some kind of formal theological training still lack the practical training that every pastor will inevitably need to face the daily grind of pastoral ministry. There are very few outlets and resources for this training, and this reality grows even dimmer once outside the United States.

Because of this, Practical Shepherding exists to try and meet these many needs and is primarily accomplished through . . .


Many of these books have been translated into several languages and have been distributed all over the world. The 3rd edition of Brian’s first book, Visit the Sick, was just released. Brian’s 7th book, The Pastor’s Family, co-written with his wife, is being published by the second largest Christian publisher in the world (Zondervan Publishing) and was released August 2013. Additionally, Brian has an open invitation from several publishers to write for them—on whatever topic—and whenever he desires. Books #8 (Caring for Widows) and #9 (Planning and leading Worship) are already in the early planning stages to be written in 2013.


The Practical Shepherding blog has approximately 4,000 subscribers (many pastors or aspiring ones) with 15,000—20,000 additional hits every month. Several other blogs repost Brian’s materials weekly. Pastors from every continent in the world (excluding Antarctica) have written Brian, leaving comments and asking questions in regard to the weekly posts he writes.


The audio of Brian’s Sunday sermons, as well as his practical shepherding teachings and trainings at other conferences and seminars, are made readily available to download and listen to for free. Brian speaks and trains pastors throughout America and in several other countries around the world.

Articles and Book Reviews:

These resources are shorter than a book, but longer than a blog post. They focus on the different practical matters of pastoral ministry and careful evaluation of the latest ministry books. These are free resources that help pastors discern what books and resources are more helpful than others. This section will also include other credible book reviews on pastoral ministry books and resources.

Pastoral Training:

Brian is often asked to meet with pastoral interns, elder boards, and theological institutions to teach on the practical matters of pastoral ministry. These trainings have a variety of men who range from young and aspiring pastors to seasoned pastors of many years. Many requests come from key, strategic places unable to fund travels there.


Brian receives weekly phone calls in the United States and more emails than can be answered from every continent of the world (again, excluding Antarctica) asking questions, seeking counsel, and desiring help in the midst of the very difficult, painful, and complicated issues that pastors face regularly.


An example  of a workshop is a half-day training seminar that cover these three areas: The Pastor’s Soul, Family, and Ministry. A practical shepherding workshop is typically hosted by a church where books are given away, questions are answered, difficult—yet common—pastoral matters are discussed, and needed practical pastoral training is offered.

Pastoral Fellowships:

Brian leads with three other pastors a pastoral fellowship in Louisville, KY (The Pastoral Fellowship for Practical Theology) that has over 70 pastors involved who meet every two months for free books, free lunch, fellowship, teaching, and pastoral networking. Brian has also been a catalyst to start other pastoral fellowships in other areas modelled after this group in Louisville.

Recommended Resources:

Brian carefully chooses and recommends other books and resources he feels would serve pastors in the different areas of a pastor’s ministry. Some of those areas include: the pastor’s soul care, ministry, study, family, preaching, the local church, perseverance, and encouragement.

Strategic Partnerships:

We also desire to partner with other ministries and organizations who share a similar vision to minister to needy pastors and local churches around the world. Our gospel-centered practical resources work as helpful companions with many other ministries who are serving pastors. We believe we can do more and expand our reach by locking arms with those who desire pastors to be equipped and local churches to grow in health.

20schemes is delighted to be partnering with Brian and his fantastic ministry.

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