October 3rd, 2013 | 1 Comment »

For several years I did this talk using Batman Begins as a key to the believer’s journey with God. This past summer, I retired this teaching. Here it is, in case you wanna see/hear it again.

[tentblogger-vimeo 44907065]

 

September 24th, 2013 | 3 Comments »

Preaching is terribly important.

In fact, it may be more important now than it ever has been. Everyone – both Christian and non-Christians – have some thought, idea, or question about preaching and what preaching should be.

What we like. What we don’t like. Who we believe is effective and who isn’t, all of these issues are front and center in the mind of the hearers when it comes to preaching.

Since Christians spend a good bit of time throughout their lives, sitting in pews and listening to preaching, it’s fair to assume that each would have opinions. Therefore, I’m not surprised to find an increasing number of people asking me about the preaching event and preparation for preaching. In recent weeks I’ve been contacted by preachers, youth ministers, lay persons, elders, and all other stripes of church members about my preaching, their preacher, their preaching, or becoming a better preacher (This is not necessarily because I am a great preacher, but rather because I’ve become well-known and greatly teased for my all too frequent railings about bullet points). To shed some light on my process, I’m going to spend a few posts dealing with – what I hope – is a helpful approach to the weekly homily. I pray I don’t bore my “non-preacher” readers with a shade too much “inside baseball.” Let’s start with a few words from a preaching giant, Dr. Fred Craddock:

[tentblogger-youtube eCCo5RWxqZg]

Share with us: What do you think makes good preaching? 

 

Posted in Bible, homiletics, preaching
May 28th, 2013 | 4 Comments »

You have a role to play in helping your preacher preach better. At the top of the list are time and prayer.

A sermon, like any form of communication, can go in one ear and out the other. Worse, a sermon can find hospitality in the head and hostility in the heart. Many of us struggle with the weekly homily. We struggle applying it, remembering it, living it out, and making sense of it in a world wherein we hear so many messages all the time.

Try theses 5 Strategies to “Getting” the Sermon.

1. Dwell In The Word. If Sunday morning is the first or only time you’ve spent in the scriptures this week, you’re bound to miss a great deal. Understanding God means encountering him in the scriptures. Knowing the scriptures will give  the sermons a depth and richness that only accompany knowing the Bible.

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June 1st, 2012 | No Comments »

Congratulations. You’ve delivered your sermon. All that’s left to do is sleep – but you’re going to have to deal with the feedback from your sermon first. Even though you’ve spent considerable time praying, planning, writing, and delivering your sermon, your hearers just heard it and are presently dealing with the message. What’s more, they’re going to tell you about it. Some people will appreciate your work and what you said, some won’t.  Someone’s life my have been changed, someone else fell asleep. Before you get in the car and head home, you may have glimpses of all of these reactions and more. If you care about people at all, you’ll want to hear how the message was received.

But you are in phenomenal spiritual danger if you listen to it – whether the feedback is positive or negative.

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Posted in homiletics, preaching
May 31st, 2012 | 4 Comments »

No one cares if you lead a good staff meeting.

 

Seriously.

There are hosts of things that pastors have and need to do each week – visiting the sick, leading the staff, vision casting, prayer, and so on – but don’t deceive yourself, your job is about what you deliver on Sunday. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself: What is my congregation talking about at lunch Sunday?

The sermon.

Of course your congregation is going to want you to be everything – friendly, out-going, caring, a great administrator, a theologian, and whatever else they can come up with, but if you had to reduce your job description to one sentence it’s this: Preach good sermons. It’s the least forgivable duty you have. As Peggy Hill once said of her retiring pastor, “That man works half a day one day a week….” Like it or not, the sermon is they only work some people think you do.

That being the case, you need to prioritize your weekend around delivering your best on Sunday.

Here are super Saturday and Sunday practices I’ve gleaned from close friends and a few of my preaching heroes:

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Posted in homiletics, preaching
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