Help us equip pastors in the Philippines with the Shepherd’s Fire Audio Library!

Only 10% of the world’s pastors are adequately equipped theologically to lead their flock. In the Philippines, over 40,000 evangelical pastors need resources to not only mature personally, but to grow their gospel effec-tivity.

To meet that need, we developed the Shepherd’s Fire Audio Library, a collection of biblical resources written to fortify and encourage not only those in pastoral ministry in particular, but also all believers who find themselves swimming against the current of a world system opposed to the purposes of God.

Each solar-powered MP3 player contains:

  • The New American Standard Bible
  • 25 Key Expository Sermons by David Harrell
  • Seven Key Principles for Effective Ministry plus other books by David Harrell
  • Audio books by Charles Spurgeon and A.W. Tozer
  • An FM Radio and Recorder

With partners on the ground, Shepherd’s Fire distributes the SFAL to a select number of pastors and partners with them as they preach the doctrines of grace to a nation of over 90 million people.

Guide & Introduction to the Shepherd’s Fire Audio Library
Its Resources & Theology
By David Harrell

Having counseled and mentored many pastors, church leaders, and missionaries over the course of 35 years of ministry, I have developed a deep love for all whom the Lord has called to serve Him in these challenging roles. The Shepherd’s Fire Audio Library (SFAL) is a tangible expression of that love and contains the following audio books/sermons that have been carefully selected for themes and topics relevant to gospel ministry.  We hope it wll be an encouragement to each shepherd and be a means by which to strengthen your ministry.

The contents listed below are in the order they can be heard:

25 Key Expository Sermons by David Harrell:

  • Gracious Thorn and Blessed Grace (2 Cor. 12:6-10)
  • The Coronation of King Jesus (Matt. 21:1-11)
  • Exalting the Incarnate Christ (Matt. 1:18-25)
  • Five Marks of a True Shepherd (2 Cor. 3:1-6)
  • Jesus the Divine Word (John 1:1-5)
  • The Magi and King Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12)
  • The Measure of a Godly Man (2 Cor. 11:16-12:4)
  • Faith in Action (Hebrews 11:1-3)
  • My God in Whom I Trust (Psalm 91)
  • The Filling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost  (Acts 2:1-13)
  • The Efficacy of the Atonement and Resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
  • The Character and Conduct of Christian Hope (2 Peter 3:11-18)
  • Marks of a Missionary Church Planter (Rom. 15:22-33)
  • Counterfeit Spiritual Gifts (1 Cor. 12:1-3)
  • Manifestations of God’s Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4-7)
  • A Mystery Hymn for Christmas (1 Tim. 3:16)
  • Correcting the Misuse of Tongues (1 Cor. 14:1-9)
  • The Spirit’s Revelation of Christ’s Glory (John 16:12-15)
  • The Miracle of Justification (Rom. 3:21-25)
  • Abiding In the True Vine (John 15:1-11)
  • Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer (John 17:1-5)
  • The Night the Rooster Crowed (John 18:1-11)
  • The Terrifying Fate of an Apostate (Hebrews 10:26-39)
  • Elder Essentials (Acts 20:25-38)
  • Divine Comfort in Dire Circumstances (Acts 18:1-17)

10 Books by David Harrell

  • Seven Key Principles of Effective Ministry
  • Why America Hates Biblical Christianity
  • The Marvel of Being In Christ
  • The Miracle of Spiritual Sight
  • Finding Grace in Sorrow
  • Finding Strength in Weakness
  • Glorifying God in Your Body
  • God, Evil, and Suffering
  • God’s Gracious Gift of Assurance
  • Our Sin and the Savior

2 Books by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

  • All of Grace
  • The Saint and His Savior

1 Book by A.W. Tozer

  • The Pursuit of God

The New American Standard Bible (in its entirety)

Together this collection of biblical resources will strengthen, edify, and encourage those in pastoral ministry in particular, but also all believers who find themselves swimming against a world system opposed to the purposes of God. Perhaps a brief overview of some of the basic theology and practical ministry applications of this tool can be helpful in how you use it.

A Biblical Worldview and Philosophy of Ministry

First, it is important to understand that theology determines one’s philosophy of ministry. The two cannot be separated. What we believe informs what we do. If one’s theology is wrong, his ministry will be dishonoring to God and he will forfeit blessing in his life. This fundamental truth is at the very heart of the SFAL and is addressed in my book, Seven Key Principles for Effective Ministry: Nurturing Thriving Churches in a Postmodern Culture. The following excerpt from its preface explains this important principle from a practical perspective:

As in every period of redemptive history since the birth of the church at Pentecost, there have been troubling dispensations of compromise that have plagued the church. While the specifics may vary, in every situation the rise and fall of faithfulness in the church has been dependent upon pastors, men whom God has commissioned to speak on His behalf and shepherd His flock. When they have failed, the church has followed suit. But when they have stood firm in the faith, the church has flourished, not only surviving in the midst of great opposition, but also thriving as a result of it.

We now live in a postmodern age that poses many unique threats to the evangelical church. Many pastors admit they are in crisis because of this. Evangelicalism—once defined by its commitment to doctrines and practices of the Protestant Reformation—has now become an amorphous spiritual movement whose only connection to historic Christian faith is what is written on the doctrinal statement of individual churches; a document most church members have never read nor could they explain. Christianity today is being forced to embrace experience over truth. In fact, the concepts of absolute or moral truth are now rejected in our postmodern culture with its prevailing attitude of skepticism, subjectivism, and relativism. We live in a world where all viewpoints—no matter how absurd and contradictory—must be considered equally valid. Whether it is politics or religion, emotion has now replaced reason.

Unfortunately, most evangelicals believe the most effective means to reach this postmodern world for Christ is for the church to become more attractive and relevant to the culture. It must reinvent itself, adjust its gospel message, be less dogmatic, more therapeutic, tolerant, and entertaining. It must pander to the culture, take up its social causes, even conform to it, but never oppose it.

Others will argue, as I do in this book, that such a position is totally foreign to Scripture and therefore mitigates the power and blessings of God. Moreover, because God is not even remotely like us, it is foolish to try to make Him part of us. His nature and attributes are infinitely beyond our ability to even imagine. His greatness and holiness are outside the bounds of our thoughts and ways. Therefore, He cannot be adapted to fit into our world—a world He has gone to such great lengths to save us out of and will one day destroy.

Though hideously offensive to the culture, God is concerned with only one thing: His glory, which is revealed most vividly in the person and work of His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died vicariously to save sinners. Because of this, His church is to be singularly focused on the gospel and His promise to save all who turn from sin and trust in Christ as Savior and Lord.

Furthermore, by its very nature the church is radically different from anything in culture. It is an outpost of a celestial kingdom the world cannot comprehend. It is made up of alien people whose citizenship is in heaven; people who have received a Word from another realm and who long to leave this earth at God’s appointed time. So when Christians meet together to worship, they do so because an unfathomably glorious God has summoned them to worship Him and hear from Him, making their worship service an otherworld experience; a gathering where God speaks through the stammering lips of divinely appointed men, and where sacraments are administered in remembrance of Christ, keeping His worshippers in a state of breathless adoration.

In light of this biblical worldview, instead of reinventing the church to make it relevant I will argue that we must recapture the essence of the New Testament church whose spiritual authenticity can be seen most clearly in the Protestant church of the Reformation.

The Glory of God’s Sovereign Grace

It is also important to understand that foundational to the SFAL is a thrilling commitment to the doctrines of sovereign grace in salvation, which is central to a biblical understanding of the gospel. In many ways, the content of this library is a recovery of the true, God-centered gospel that has been subtly replaced by a distorted, man-centered gospel. We must never forget that God saves sinners to make them holy, not happy, worshipful, not successful. Moreover, He saves sinners on the basis of His eternal decrees and supernatural acts—which is very different from the man-centered gospel that would have us believe that He merely enables men to cooperate with Him and thus save themselves independent of His divine decrees and actions. As ministers of the gospel, we can all rejoice knowing that our God is an omnipotent Sovereign actively drawing sinners to Himself, not an impotent Savior knocking on the door of men’s hearts hoping they will let Him in.

As we have all experienced, the natural (unsaved) man is incapable of seeing his need to be reconciled to God and wants nothing to do with the gospel (1 Cor. 2:14). Therefore, apart from the miracle of the new birth where the sinner is given eyes to see his rebellion against God and ears to hear the truth of the gospel (Matt. 13:16-17), he will never believe and be saved. This is often called the effective (or efficacious) call of God, an operation of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God whereby individuals respond in faith and accept God’s offer of salvation (Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 1:23-24; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Eph. 1:18; 2 Peter 1:10).

God’s efficacious calling and regeneration results in the conviction of sin (Rom. 7:7), which in turn leads to repentant faith that turns to Christ for salvation and turns away from sin and self-righteousness (Acts 26:17-18; 1 Thess. 1:9). Because the natural man is dead in sin (Eph. 2:1-3) and thus unable to savingly understand and joyfully yield to the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:14), repentant faith cannot occur apart from the new birth (John 1:13). This is a work in which sinners are entirely passive—for we “were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13; cf. James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:3; John 3:3-8). Unfortunately, these essential elements of the gospel are seldom mentioned in the man-centered gospel of modern evangelicalism; and when challenged, they are often met with fierce opposition.

To be sure, the authentic gospel is profoundly humbling, because apart from regenerating grace, fallen sinners have neither desire nor power to believe, rendering every external human inducement to get them to “make a decision for Christ” ineffective on its own. But we can rejoice knowing the power lies not in man, but in God, as James put it so clearly, “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth” (1:18). What a motivating truth when proclaiming the gospel! Salvation is all of grace from beginning to end.

The Marvel of Being United to Christ

Throughout this audio library you will see the implications of God’s grace, as in Paul’s doxology recorded in Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” That little preposition “in” (“in Christ”) signifies the deep wonder of Christ being more than with us, more than existing outside us, but One who is in us, and we are in Him. This is an expression of interconnectedness whereby we share a common spiritual life with Him, for “[we] have died and [our] life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3), he is “our life” (Col. 3:4), and He lives in us (Gal. 2:20). For this reason Christ is not merely a means to an end, He is the all-sufficient and all-glorious end in Himself!

This is what makes our union with Christ so magnificent. This is what makes the gospel such amazingly good news, because saving grace is more than a gift made available through Christ; it is Christ Himself! Because we are united to Him we have “peace with God” (Rom. 5:1) which allows us to pass through the veil of separation and have access to God. The writer of Hebrews elaborates on this saying,

Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
(Heb. 10:19-22)

A Union Decreed in Eternity Past

These magnificent gospel truths permeate the SFAL and can be summarized as follows: though once separated from God by sin, because of His great mercy and love set upon us before the foundation of the world, He chose us in Christ (Eph. 1:4). Indeed, He “saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Tim. 1:9). In keeping with that union decreed in eternity past, He made us alive with Christ. This is a union so certain that it is described as already accomplished:

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
(Rom. 6:4-11)

Final Word of Encouragement

With these glorious gospel realities being foundational to the theological resources supplied in the SFAL, we encourage you to listen very carefully, with your Bible open and pen in hand, ready to record whatever the Spirit of God reveals to your heart. If you merely listen without taking notes, you will quickly forget much of what you have heard and forfeit many of the great benefits of the audio library. If possible, we suggest you have notebooks or folders dedicated to every book and every exposition in the audio library so you can record what you learn along with your own thoughts. Then we recommend you use your notes not only for further study, but also as a resource library for your own teaching, preaching, and counseling. In fact, sharing what you learn will help you learn it even better! So take these resources and make them your own. Teach them, preach them, write them, and proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ with others, to the praise of His glory!

Also, encourage others to join with you in organized listening sessions. Then after each session, discuss what you have learned, apply the Word to your lives, and use its truths to inform your conscience and prayers. And finally, if you will, share with us what God is doing in and through you as a result of using the SFAL ( We would love to hear from you so we can rejoice with you and know how to specifically pray for you. As you listen and apply yourself to these ends, we are confident the Holy Spirit will use this tool to “equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in (you) that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20).