As any of this blog's consistent readers may have gathered, Dr. Richard Belcher is a man close to my heart. You may recall in particular my previous blog entry entitled, Unsung Hero of the "Calvinist Comeback".
Dr. Belcher was one of my professors at Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University), and the most significant mentor in my preparation for pastoral ministry. By God's sovereign grace and providential guidance, his teaching and example have helped to shape my ministry like no other single person.
This is why I wanted to share an audio message with the blog's readers from the 2005 conference of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (F.I.R.E.). It is a message delivered by Dr. Belcher, and it is entitled "The Minister's Study Life." The focus of the message is on having a "balanced study life." It will give you a taste of what I have learned from one of my favorite teachers, and it will help you to either be a better elder or to better know what to look for in an elder.
As the Apostle Peter taught the elders of his day, "Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock...." (1 Peter 5:2-3). In my experience, their have been few better examples than my old friend and teacher, Richard Belcher. Listen to the message and see what I mean. If you don't come away with a renewed zeal for God's Word and a deeper passion for studying it and sharing it with God's people, you may want to check your pulse!