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The Pastor’s Marriage

The marriage of a pastor, like any man, shapes him and impacts his work.  In this episode, we discuss Loehe’s reflections on the pastor’s marriage.  Is celibacy a higher calling?  How does the biblical qualification of “husband of one wife” relate to a widower or a divorced man?  Is the calling of the pastor’s wife different from other wives?  Join us as we continue our discussion of Loehe’s book “The Pastor.”

Host: Rev. Willie Grills

Regular Guests: Rev. Adam Koontz and Rev. David Appold

Episode: 65

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A Pastor’s Public Life

The social and cultural expectations for pastors change from time to time and place to place, but there is something unchanging about the source of a pastor’s life in Christ.  Listen to find out more about how the hidden life with God nourishes a pastor’s public conduct and why distraction plagues pastors in Loehe’s time and our own.

Hosts: Rev. Willie Grills and Rev. Zelwyn Heide

Regular Guest: Rev. Adam Koontz

Episode: 63

Join our Facebook group Word Fitly Posting to discuss this episode or any other topic. Follow us on Twitter: @wordfitly. Send us a message: [email protected] Subscribe to the podcast: RSS Feed, iTunes, Spotify, or your favorite podcasting app.

Lent Midweek Sermon Series: 1 Peter 5

In light of coming persecution for the saints in Asia minor, as well as God’s faithfulness in all things (1 Peter 4:12-19), pastors are to watch over the flock of God.  They are to do so with pure motives rather than for personal gain; they are not to do so in a domineering way, but rather as examples.  The difficult labors of this life will not last forever; Jesus will return (1 Peter 4:4).  All—whether pastors or hearers, young or old—should treat each other with humility. 

We should also humble ourselves before God.  He gives grace to the humble (Prov. 3:34);  saving them, but bringing down the arrogant (Psalm 18:27; Luke 1:52; James 4:10).  Each of us should remember his place as a creature.  Each of us should, in meekness, be mindful of our sin.  None of us should regard himself more highly than he ought (Rom. 12:3)—whether before man, or before the Almighty.  Instead, we should have the same mindset as Christ, who in humility gave himself into death in our place (1 Peter 4:1; Phil. 2:5-7). Pride is a snare of the Devil (1 Tim. 3:6).

Satan prowls looking for prey therefore the Christian should be sober and watchful (Job 1:7; 2:2; Eph. 4:27).  He is a liar and murderer (John 8:44).  We should pray against temptation (Matt. 6:13; Matt. 26:41).  If we resist the Adversary, he will flee; instead we should draw near to God (James 4:7-8; 2 Tim. 2:22). 

Whatever the nature of the temptation—whether persecution for the saints in Asia Minor, or fleshly enticements for us today—no temptation, no testing, lasts forever (1 Peter 5:10; 1 Cor. 10:13).  As the Book draws to a close, we see again one of the first themes of the Epistle: “after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).  These trials work for our good and God’s glory (1 Peter 1:6-7; 1 Peter 3:14-17).   

Christ is the cornerstone of the church (1 Peter 2:7).  We are a building for his habitation (1 Peter 2:4-5).  He is the Head of the body, his church (Col. 2:19; Eph. 4:15).  He alone has brought us to God (1 Peter 3:18).  All things have been subjected to him unto all eternity (1 Peter 3:22; 1 Peter 5:11).  His power sustains us to the end, so that we might with him in his glory forever (1 Peter 5:10).

Loehe on Starting in the Office

After advising the student of theology, Loehe continues by giving insight into how a pastor should begin his work in a new parish, especially young pastors going into the parish for the first time.  Join us as we delve into the next chapter of Loehe’s book and tackle issues like not attempting to do too much too quickly, the pastor’s public and social life, and the need for self-control.

Hosts: Rev. Willie Grills and Rev. Zelwyn Heide
Regular Guest: Rev. David Appold
Episode: 53

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Loehe on Preparation for the Holy Office

What makes a good pastor? For Wilhelm Loehe, the beginning was all. You’ll hear discussions about classical education, the focus of parish life, and the need for humility in this first episode in our series on Loehe’s “The Pastor.”

You can purchase a copy of “The Pastor” here.

You can also purchase a copy of “Seed Grains of Prayer,” another translated work of Loehe mentioned in the podcast, here.

Hosts: Rev. Willie Grills and Rev. Zelwyn Heide
Regular Guest: Rev. Adam Koontz
Episode: 47

Join our Facebook group Word Fitly Posting to discuss this episode or any other topic.
Follow us on Twitter: @wordfitly
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Walther on the Lord’s Supper


God’s mandate matters. What did Jesus mean His Supper to be? How should His holy words and holy things be handled by pastors? All this and much else about the Supper C.F.W. Walther discusses in his Pastoral Theology. We dig into why Lutheranism is distinctive in its use of the Lord’s Supper, why that’s a good thing, and what makes the Sacrament what it is.

Books for further reading: Pastoral Theology, and Suelflow’s biography Servant of the Word.

Hosts: Rev. Willie Grills and Rev. Zelwyn Heide
Regular Guest: Rev. Adam Koontz
Episode: 25

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Paul the Pastor


Was Paul serious when he said that pastors should be ‘above reproach’? What does it mean to lead God’s people, and if the church is a family, does household have a head as the family does? Listen to find out how the Christian pastor is a steward of God’s mysteries, the overseer of God’s household, and a good father to his people.

Hosts: Rev. Willie Grills and Rev. Zelwyn Heide
Guest: Rev. Adam Koontz
Episode: 13

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The Work of an Evangelist


Is evangelism an optional activity for Christians, or is it at the heart of serving Christ? We discuss why the gospel is urgent and how to spread this life-changing message.

Hosts: Rev. Willie Grills and Rev. Zelwyn Heide
Guest: Rev. Adam Koontz
Episode: 10

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Send us a message: [email protected]
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The Pastor’s Work: Gerberding Continued


Continuing our discussion of Gerberding’s The Lutheran Pastor, the crew tackles a number of questions. What does a pastor do? What should he leave undone? Listen to learn about preaching, visiting, and all the other work of a man of God.

Hosts: Rev. Willie Grills and Rev. Zelwyn Heide
Guest: Rev. Adam Koontz
Episode: 9

Follow us on Twitter: @wordfitly
Send us a message: [email protected]
Subscribe to the podcast: RSS Feed, iTunes, or your favorite podcasting app.

The Evangelist’s Slumber

Our Lord at times desired to have time apart from the demands of His ministry. He was often entirely alone, retiring to mountains where He could not easily be found. Sometimes His attempt at seclusion was frustrated through the demands of others for His presence and attention. Sometimes He called his disciples to come with Him into seclusion.

This is all tremendously needful, refreshing, and helpful. Who does not desire some time apart? Who of us can say that at every waking moment he is entirely ready and willing to carry out the ministry of the gospel? No honest man could answer “Yes.”

But there is a danger in the desire for rest. Rest is not only the resort of the hard-working. Rest is also the refuge of the lazy man who is unprepared for life’s demands. Rest throughout the week, not only on the Sabbath, is what a man does with himself when he is not carrying out his God-given tasks.

How much have we been resting from spreading the gospel? How much preparation time, reflection time, and downtime do we need until we are ready to spread the kingdom of God the Lord? How many books and conferences and modules and workshops on evangelism does one man need? How many years will pass in which we seek conversions only from other forms of Christianity rather than the ever-increasing number of people in our country who have never known Christ in the least? Godly rest and relaxation and meditation and prayer are one thing. Ungodly sluggishness and laziness and most of all apathy are another altogether.

How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep—
So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
(Prov. 6:9-11)

We are most apt to rest prematurely when the work is hard. Calling up a friend and sharing ecclesiastical gossip is easily accomplished. Firing off a profound theological put-down on social media is easily accomplished. Assembling one’s theological books for an Instagram gem is easily accomplished. We are more apt to put off things like calling on a parishioner who has some beef with us or to do the hard work of engaging and evangelizing a completely new person because those things require hard, uphill, back-breaking, and at times spirit-breaking work.

But the Lord has said, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We do not say these things only to condemn. We say this, as our Lord said what He did to his lazy, restful followers in Gethsemane: Would you not watch with Me? If our lazy, apathetic flesh could not remain awake for the betrayal of God’s Son, how likely is it to remain watchful for the hard but much smaller tasks of the ministry, including doing the work of an evangelist?

Honesty about our apathy is honesty about ourselves, about what we are most prone to love (our flesh) and most prone to neglect (our hardest tasks). Honesty about our apathy is like every confession the gate to a new path. We see head-on how ugly and untimely and niggardly our apathy about the gospel and the spread of the gospel is. We see how captivating and world-changing and bounteous is our Lord’s compassion for sinners. Knowing our hearts and knowing His mighty love and purposes, we set our hands to the hard tasks, the things we’d rather stay in bed than get up for, the things that call sinners out of their slumber into the wakefulness of the dawning light of Christ:

Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead,

And Christ will give you light. (Eph. 5:14)