Holy Community
How to Preach (Series: The Contemplative Life)

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and tears and with trials that happened to me…
Acts 20:18, 19

The Alphabet of Devotion

Colmán mac Beógnai (fl. early 7th century)

“In what manner should the truth be proclaimed?
With humility, without indulgence;
for the truth is not indulgent.
The humble person, however:
he who is not truly humble is not righteous;
he who is not righteous is not truly wise.
For there is not room for both true wisdom and unrighteousness in a person…”

It is a great privilege, and a stewardship to which nothing else compares, to be entrusted with the ministry of the Word. God calls men to preach so that He might equip His saints for every good work and make the Good News of Jesus known to the world. God seeks His glory through the ministry of the Word, for only when the glory of God is known do people enter into the life-changing work of the Spirit. If in any way we as preachers intrude self-interest or a desire for personal glory into our work, if anything other than humility before God, His Word, and His people characterizes our approach to ministry, then we need to do some serious searching of our souls.

How would you counsel a young pastor, just beginning his ministry, to make sure that he pursues it “with all humility and tears”?


Source: All quotations are from Colmán mac Beógnai, Aipgitir Chrábaid in John Carey, ed., King of Mysteries: Early Irish Religious Writings (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1998), pp. 233 ff.

To learn more about Celtic Christianity and its impact in Church history, order the book, How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill, from our online store.


Pastors: Special Opportunities at the Wilberforce Weekend Conference, April 26-28.

Make your plans now to attend the Wilberforce Weekend Conference, “Making the Invisible Kingdom Visible,” in D. C. We’re planning a number of activities within the program focused especially on pastors and the work of the Kingdom. Check out the information page here, and make your plans accordingly.

Seeking the Kingdom:
A Worldview Church Webinar Series

Join the Kingdom Conversation
Our conversations concerning the Kingdom of continue on the first Monday in March. You may register either for the 2:00 or the 9:15 sessions. All sessions are free.

The focus of our February conversation is on awakening.Awakening is what revived people and renewed churches bring to the culture and society around them. There have been many seasons of awakening in Church history – some national or international, others more local – and we believe God can move in such a way in our own day. But we need to know what to pray and how to prepare.

If you’re already on our list of webinar participants, we’ll send you the worksheet for February. Otherwise, if you’d like to join us, send an email to T. M. Moore at tmmoore@ailbe.org and he will send you the document, What We Seek: A Kingdom Manifesto, and a worksheet to help you prepare for January’s conversation. Now more than ever in our lifetimes, we need to be earnest about seeking the Kingdom of God. Join the conversation and let’s help one another in this high and holy calling.

Pastor to Pastor brings the insights of great servants of God from the past to pastors in our own day, to link our ministries with theirs in the grand tradition of building the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Philemon 7

Spiritual Friendship

Aelred of Rievaulx (1109-1167)

“A human being without a friend is like a beast: for he lacks someone with whom he can share his joy in prosperity and his sadness in adversity, to whom he may unburden his mind when he is preoccupied, with whom he may talk whenever he has had a particularly sublime or illuminating insight…That person is completely along who has no friend.”

St. Brigid said that a man without a spiritual friend is like a man without a head. He can’t think clearly, can’t see the world as it really is, and doesn’t even know what’s wrong with him. Aelred says that those who have no friends are like beasts – competing for everything, wary of everyone, consumed only with, well, consuming. True spiritual friends care about our souls and seek, like Philemon, to bring refreshment and renewal to our hearts, that we might know joy and comfort. This is what it means to be a true spiritual friend.

To whom are you a true spiritual friend like this?