This is part of a series called Faithful Shepherd Friday, which attempts to learn from faithful shepherds of Christ’s church laboring in obscurity.
Today’s faithful shepherd is Josh Greene who serves at First Baptist Church in Fairdale, KY. I had the pleasure of being a member of FBCF while at Boyce College and I served under him as youth pastor from 2010-2012.
Where do you serve as pastor and how long have you been there?
First Baptist Church Fairdale. I began as the youth pastor in 2003 and became Lead Pastor in 2009. 18 years total. 12 as pastor.
How do you go about sermon preparation?
3 Phases of Sermon Preparation for me:
1) I know by Sunday evening/Monday morning what my text is for the upcoming Sunday. I pray through the outline. I aim to have a rough outline by Monday.
2) Then the rest of the week I study. Read commentaries. I have no real set schedule, just whenever I have free time. Sometimes on the go, sometimes in my office, sometimes at home. And a large portion of that preparation is working through it all mentally as to how I will deliver it.
3) I start putting it down on paper on Friday/Saturday.
– Lots of prayer goes into sermon preparation.
– Very little effort goes into illustrations.
– I am always thinking of a few people in the congregation who I know will be there and thinking of how can I preach in a way they will receive well.
– I still use paper notes.
What book has impacted your preaching or pastoral ministry? Why do you think it is important for pastors to read this particular book?
- Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan). It makes me think so much about who the people are I’m preaching to and what they are going through. Life is so hard. Everyone that shows up to church is struggling. They are wondering, “Is this worth it?” They ask, “Can this truth sustain me and satisfy me?”
2. Preaching and Preachers (Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones). So good!
What figure from church history has been a source encouragement for pastoral ministry?
I’m not sure I have one. I think the biggest influence is knowing how many saints suffered and yet stayed faithful. Jesus was their reward. Today churches pay a lot, people move around a lot, and there is lots of vain attention to receive. Many from church history are an inspiration and example to be simple, humble, and faithful.
If you were speaking to someone new to pastoral ministry, what encouragement would you give?
1.You don’t have to be great like your heroes. You need to serve God as yourself.
2. Spend as much time as you can with your people. Visit. Visit. Visit.
3. Stay off social media.
4. Out work your people. Never ever let them think you are lazy.
5. Discipling your family is more important than anyone else you will disciple.
6. Stay as long as you can.
How can we pray for you?
That God would make me a good husband and dad.