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121 ‑ Preaching ‑ HEC notes from physical files

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C:\Users\Cardin750\Documents\HEC‑Filing\0121 ‑ Preaching\Homiletics - The Art and Science of Preaching by Pastor Art Kohl

http://www.gvbc.us/pdf/homiletics.pdf


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Preaching - Biggest Difference - Past 20 Years - Joe McKeever
The Biggest Differences in Sermons and Delivery in the Past 20 Years

Joe McKeever



Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I'm betting you don't preach like Jesus.
Jesus stood up to read His text, then sat down to preach (Luke 4:16,20).
When I preach, I stand up to read and remain standing for the sermon.
Some say that in New Testament days, the congregation stood while the preacher sat.
Customs change.
Sermons change and how sermons are delivered is constantly evolving.


The pulpit, we're told, which had been around since the days of Greek orators, came into its own during the Reformation when leaders wanted to establish the centrality of preaching over the serving of the Eucharist. So, reformers tore out the altars and set up the pulpits.
These days, pulpits are harder and harder to find. No wonder preachers wear sneakers: instead of stationing themselves behind the 'sacred desk," most log a mile or more walking around the platform as they preach.
Recently, while in another state visiting relatives, I worshiped with a nearby church that was pastorless. The interim minister, now almost 80 years old, was well known as a gracious gentleman, a godly leader, and an effective preacher.
His sermon that morning lived up to the billing: it was biblical, well‑developed, effectively presented, and well‑received by the congregation made up primarily of longtime members.
The sermon was straight out of 1959.
The preacher was immaculately turned out in a sharp suit and expensive tie, he stood behind an ornate pulpit, he wore no microphone at all, and he never strayed. There were no screens, no choruses, no drama, nothing surprising. The sermon had no contemporary illustrations; every allusion was to biblical stories and texts; there was nothing personal or current in its content or presentation.
In fact, that sermon could be moved to 1959 (the year I was baptized as a college student and began paying attention to sermons) without a single tweak.
I told my wife later, "It was a great sermon except for one thing: it never touched the ground."
That is, it did not connect with anyone other than mature believers who are already highly motivated to appreciate Scripture and dig into its riches.
Sermons and sermon delivery have always been fluid, changing and adapting to trends and needs, to doctrinal ebbs and denominational flows.
As one who began preaching in 1961 and pastoring the first of six churches the following year‑and who is still at it, let me hasten to add‑I have seen many changes in pulpit ministry. After polling a number of friends of all ages and experience, here are five visible changes in sermons and sermon delivery we have observed over the past two decades.
1) MORE VISUAL


On the giant screens behind the choir ‑‑ which, following the sermon, has gone down into the congregation, another innovation from the last 20 years ‑‑ the audience can see points from the pastor's message. Often his scripture is projected on the screen, and frequently the sermon is introduced by a short film clip. Some of these clips are professionally produced for this purpose, while others may be excerpts from a movie and a television show.
The pastor may interrupt his sermon to present an audience member who walks up and performs a monologue or shares an experience. Recently, in our church, the pastor brought up two deacons to relate in a conversation how one led the other to the Lord some years back.
Posters and banners around the worship center carry out the theme of today's sermon or the title of the sermon series.
2) MORE CASUAL
Fifteen years ago, I introduced a rare phenomenon into the church I was serving. During August, I would wear no tie at all..on Sunday nights. The rest of the year, every man in a leadership position in our church was fully decked out in suit and tie every Sunday.
These days, in the same church and with a congregation numbering several hundred, a half‑dozen men may wear suits and ties. But the pastor and staff wear comfortable casual clothes ‑‑ khakis, pullovers, slip‑ons and even sneakers. And the congregation is fine by that.

http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors‑or‑leadership/biggest‑differences‑sermons‑delivery‑past‑20‑years.html


Our entire culture is becoming more casual.
Here in New Orleans, fewer and fewer restaurants insist on diners dressing up.
The local churches of our denomination where every man wears suit‑and‑tie I can count on one hand.
3) MORE PERSONAL
There was a time when pastors apologetically introduced a personal reference into the sermon. I can hear them now: "Please pardon this personal reference."
No more.
The fact is the collective ears of the congregation perk up when the preacher begins a story, particularly one that happened to him. Hearers who had been drifting off come awake when they hear, "The other day I walked out of Wal‑mart and..." They know this will be something they can identify with.

Formerly, stories were told to illustrate points of the message. These days, stories help to define the message, connect the preacher with his audience, redirect listeners, introduce new insights, and a hundred other benefits.
In modern preaching, stories often carry the freight.
My pastor, Mike Miller, says, "Terms like transparency, confessional, and dialogical are in vogue. Preaching is not as much a man behind a pulpit speaking 'to' people as a man talking 'with' people." He says, "The structure is more inductive than deductive. Pastors share their own spiritual struggles, showing themselves as fellow pilgrims on the journey."
4) MORE EXPOSITORY
My friends disagree. Some point out that sermons are getting shorter ‑‑ 20 to 25 minutes ‑‑ while others insist that 45 minutes to an hour has become the norm.
Some say preaching has become more topical and that expository preaching is a thing of yesteryear. The next email states the opposite.
I suppose it depends on who you've been hearing.
Pastor Mike said, "When I was in seminary (early 1990s), the preachers held in high esteem were Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, Jerry Vines, and W.A. Criswell. These days, the trend has moved to guys like Rick Warren, Matt Chandler, Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, and Tim Keller."
Mike adds, "What's interesting is that with the exception of one or two, they are all preaching theologically rich, lengthy, expository sermons."
5) MORE FLEXIBLE AND FLUID
Randy Hales said, "For me, [preaching has gone from] a formal stylized three points and a poem to more story‑telling and using props and other attention retaining techniques."
"At the same time," he says, "I see a strong emphasis toward a recommitment to exegetical preaching as well, so go figure!"
Go figure indeed.
Don Mabry points out that very few pastors any more keep files of illustrative materials and stories. (I suspect they do, but not in those green metal cabinets that used to dominate church offices.)

Several friends have colleagues in the ministry who do all their research online, and some preach entire messages they find there. (That was bound to happen. Twenty years ago, lazy preachers were lifting sermons from books, so it only makes sense that they would find them online today.)
A few pastors I know are involving their staffs in sermon planning. The different perspectives help the preacher to see what he might have overlooked and, from all reports, end up making the messages stronger. In the old days, sermon‑building was as lonely a craft as was the preaching of them.
Have we arrived at the Promised Land in the building and preaching of sermons?
Not in this lifetime.
So long as new generations come onto the scene with their unique lingo and slang, their technical inventions and gadgets, their peculiar way of dressing and acting and buying and learning, the task of reaching them with the gospel of Jesus Christ will be to find the language and the methodologies to accomplish that.
I told Pastor Mike, "Twenty years from now, you will be writing the article on how preaching has evolved since the ancient days of 2012. I can't wait to read it!"
Dr. Joe McKeever is a preacher, cartoonist, and the Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. Visit him at joemckeever.com/mt. Used with permission.
Publication date: March 20, 2012
http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors‑or‑leadership/biggest‑differences‑sermons‑delivery‑past‑20‑years.html?p=2
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Preaching Changed in the Last 20 Years
Constant Change:

Where Preaching Has Been In The Last 20 Years and Where It Is Going

Rick Ezell
As things change, they stay the same. When one reflects back twenty years has things changed that much? Consider some of the names of preachers that were prominent in prominent in 1985: Billy Graham, Robert Schuller, Charles Stanley. While their names are still prominent in 2005 but their sons have taken the mantel, (Franklin Graham, Robert Schuller II, Andy Stanley).


As much as the practice of preaching has changed over the years, is it not still the same? Granted, the tools are different. In 1985 the power of the Internet lay latent, the use of video and media technology was barely visible, the thought of a team of preachers sharing a pulpit was unheard of, the prevalence of multi‑site churches with the sermon being broadcast live to other preaching points simultaneously was nonexistent. But preaching is still the same. Isn't it?
The Bedrock of Preaching

"Preaching," according to Brian Larsen, Editor of PreachingToday.com says, "must be grounded in the authority of Scripture, true to the gospel of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, clear in its relevance to the hearers, and proclaimed by people of character." That definition would be true yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The purpose of preaching remains a constant from one generation to another. "The purpose of preaching is to help the congregation interpret the world from the perspective of the Gospel," states Ronald Allen of Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN. "The preacher is called to help the congregation interpret life theologically and to help the congregation respond appropriately."


Allen, who pastors as well as teaches homiletics, is adamant about the preacher understanding the primacy of preaching. "This purpose must remain the same from age to age because the church and the preacher are the only institutions in the human world whose reason for being is to carry out that purpose. The church is called to this particular task in a way that no other community is called, and God promises to continue to work through the Spirit to enliven the preacher and church to this task." So whether one is preaching to large crowds or small, using the high tech of video imaging in the sanctuary or sending it be satellite to a multitude of locations, whether the text is read from one of a hundred different versions or translations of the Bible the preaching function has changed little. And, it must not change.
The preacher can't forget the significance of preaching in any age to any people‑ancient, contemporary, or postmodern. If the preacher does the church and society are doomed. "The church survives because of the centrality of preaching," acknowledged H. Beecher Hicks, pastor for twenty‑eight years at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, DC. In his African American tradition and with the clarity of his deep‑bass voice, he stated, "Preaching thrives in hard times. Preaching thrives best when tinged by blood‑life and death crises. When life brings people to the altar and onto their knees preaching will be a necessity to their lives."


Beecher told of viewing a picture of a contemporary sanctuary. What he saw were the rows of chairs for the choir, a majestic grand piano, an electric keyboard and other musical instruments dotting the platform, and, then, off center was a small and frail piece of furniture used for preaching. Drawing a comparison to many church's worship services today, he explained, "Emphasis in worship has shifted toward music, drama, dance, and other avenues of expression. What is required is a level of balance so we are not all for one and nothing for the other. All have their place. We are on a slippery slope when we diminish preaching. The place in which the preacher stands can have significant bearing on how one views oneself and how others views the preacher." He paused, and then added, "If I'm standing in a place (the pulpit) that is minimized then others will minimize it. If one sees the pulpit (and the preaching task) as a place that stands between the living and the dead, then that place must be prominent in the sanctuary of our worship." And, I might add, in the tradition of our churches and in the practice of our faith.
The Winds of Change

While the prominence of preaching in churches and in society has not changed and must not change, several significant changes in the past twenty years have come into the light.



First, an increasing refinement in the understanding of what it means to preach biblically has been evident. "While not confined to the last twenty years, of course, this movement is only gaining steam," states Larson, who also pastors a church on the north side of Chicago. Haddon Robinson is the dean of this movement. Robinson who teaches at Gordon‑Conwell Seminary outside of Boston has left an undeniable mark on the field of preaching with his book, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, his emphasis on returning to the text, his teaching, the countless students who now as preachers are following his model, and a second generation of homiletical teachers in seminaries that he has mentored continuing the tradition of preaching with the full authority of Scripture.
In addition, the return to exposition has moved from finger pointing, "ought to" prescriptions to the idea of Christ‑centered/redemptive sermons. Bryan Chapell, President at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, has been an ardent champion of this movement. Writing in his second edition of Christ‑centered Preaching, he states "The more I have become aware that God's revelation of his redemptive character occurs at the micro‑ as well as the macro‑level of Scripture, the more I have delighted to preach his redeeming character from virtually every page of the Bible." Sidney Greidanus, dean of redemptive preaching, Edmund Clowney, esteemed father of the unfolding mystery of all Scripture, Paul Scott Wilson, insightful scholar of homiletics, have led in the redemptive sermon movement's development and growing influence.


Juxtaposed to the expository model is the narrative model. Its heyday was in the 1970s and 1980s. Its champion was Fred Craddock, Professor of Preaching at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Other notables in this tradition are David Buttrick, Professor of Homelitcs and Liturgics at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and Eugene Lowry, Professor Emeritus of Preaching of St. Paul School of Theology. But according to Tom Long, who now fills the instructional shoes of Craddock at Candler, "One major trend I see, namely the challenges to narrative preaching now arising from the right, the middle, and the left. I am chastened by all of these challenges, but finally persuaded by none of them. I think narrative arts will still be important in the preaching of the next generation." In a recently published essay, "What Happened to Narrative Preaching?" in the Journal for Preachers, Long adds, "But, at its best, the narrative impulse in preaching grows out of a deep sense of the character, shape, and epistemology of the gospel. If preaching is a sacramental meeting place between the church and the word, the hearers and the gospel, then the substance of preaching is shaped by scripture and by human experience under the sign of grace, and both of these aspects call for narration. If we are to be faithful to the biblical testimony, we will not always speak in a narrative voice‑humanity does not live by narrative alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God‑but finally we are compelled to tell the Story and the stories of the God who has acted mightily in many and divers ways and most profoundly in the raising of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead."
It seems that these two models stand in sharp contrast to one another. Twenty years ago preachers often subscribed to one system while thinking that other systems were not as effective. "Now," reports Allen, "recognizing that human understanding and communication is quite diverse. There is much more emphasis today on preachers finding their own voices and doing so in ways that honor the various ways that people hear and speak, and the different contexts in which preaching takes place." The use of various models by a single preacher seems to be more pervasive and prevalent today.
Another change in preaching has been in the area of preparation. Bryan Chapell, who not only serves as President of Covenant Seminary but also as its professor of preaching, states in his second edition of Christ‑centered Preaching, "The impact of technology and mass communication has also made preachers question traditional approaches to preparing sermons." Preachers have always used materials from others in their research and preparation. "Recently," Craig Webb, Editor of Preaching Online, LifeWay Christian Resources, remarked, "there has been a development where preachers have become sermon editors rather than sermon writers. Preachers feel inadequate with so many good resources available. In fact, the abundance and the use of those resources becomes like an addiction replacing good preparation." The expectation of the person in the pew projected onto the pastor is to hit a homiletical home run each week. The people in the pew are more demanding today than ever before. Ray Pritchard who preaches weekly at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, IL attributes this expectation to the "influence of the larger culture, technology brings accessibility to tons of preachers so we all get compared to the best of the best every week." At one time a good church member attended their home church fifty Sundays a year and perhaps would hear an occasional visiting preacher or another preacher on vacation. Today the average church member attends their home church about 35‑40 Sundays a year. When not in their church they can hear some well‑known preachers via television or the Internet. Now, the preacher is compared with the slickest and the best.
The Role of Technology

Can the preacher "hit a home run" week in and week out? Sunday comes every seven days whether the preacher is prepared or not. Can the preacher be at peak performance each Sunday (or weekend)? Don Sunukjian of Talbot Theological Seminary thinks so. He says, "Preaching will always be effective if it does four things: One, it must have a biblical substance. Two, people must track with the preacher. Three, it must be interesting. Four, it must be relevant. Do all four and you will have good preaching. None of the four depend on 'whiz‑bang stuff.'"
The "whiz‑bang stuff" that Sunukjian is referring to is the use of technology. If anything has changed dramatically in preaching in the last twenty years it has been the onslaught of PowerPoint, video clips from movies punctuating sermons, preprinted note‑taking outlines, and anything to hold the listener's attention. Sunukjian is not persuaded that people have short attention spans. "People will watch a movie for two hours and not get bored," he asserts. Good preachers will hold the listener's attention for forty‑five minutes. Sunukjian advises preachers to observe the preachers on television who are preaching to large audiences in their churches and even larger audiences through the television media and none are using technology in their preaching. However, they are using the best of technology to broadcast their preaching.
Allen bores the debate over the use of technology to an even more fundamental state. He fosters, "We do need to figure out the degree to which preachers can and should use electronic media in preaching. I have a hunch (though I cannot yet prove it) that there is something so fundamental in the human being‑to‑human being interchange of the preacher talking directly to the congregation that the dynamic of that interaction changes when PowerPoint and other forms of media are introduced into the pulpit. We need to assess." Technology makes for a powerful servant and a horrible master. Many preachers that I spoke with while researching this article spoke of the countless hours they spend, or others in their church, on finding the right movie clip, or video vignette, to illustrate a point in their sermon. Time is unredeemable. Are the minutes spent on a hunt and find mission for a video is taken from quality exegesis and study? To quote Ron Allen again, both corporately and personally, "We need to assess."
Yet the preacher does not need to rid himself or herself of technology. Pritchard, who uses technology admirably by sending his weekly sermon out free of charge to subscribers all over the world, reminds us, "Preachers today must remain current with technology and the culture around them. They must show they are plugged into the world while remaining true to the biblical text." He adds, "Technology is driving everything. We can now preach via the Internet to the whole world."
Any More Changes?

Allen, a thoughtful examiner of many preaching traditions, notes the following observable changes in the last two decades from his perspective of teaching and preaching in a church related to a long‑established denomination that is "moderate" in theological outlook, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ): "An increasing numbers of women are coming into the pulpit and into the teaching of preaching; an appreciation and understanding of various ethnic and racial cultures that have influenced preaching; a dramatic increase in detailed attention to the context of preaching; an understanding of the congregation as a 'culture' and preaching needing to fit into (as well as be transformative of) that culture; and a new respect for logic, propositions, clarity of ideas, and even deduction and for ways that such things can work together with imagination."
And there are more. One cannot look back on the last twenty years without acknowledging the seeker movement whose champions are Bill Hybels and Rick Warren. The influence of how‑to, seeker‑driven sermons has been mightily felt in the pulpits of evangelical churches. In those churches that have adopted this model for ministry a whole new wave of people are now entering their sanctuaries. The preacher is not only preaching to the already convinced, depending on the success of implanting the model in their church, the preacher may be addressing a larger number of non‑believers who share a greater level of biblically illiteracy than the person in the pew.
The Future and Beyond

Where is preaching headed? Bryan Chapel states, "I remain convinced that an expository approach is the most fruitful as the mainstay of a pulpit ministry (and I rejoice in the recent spate of books re‑endorsing this biblically committed approach), but always we can learn from other communication fields how people hear and how better to minister God's Word to them." Others note the resurgence of the expository model. Ron Allen affirms, "I am convinced that expository preaching continues to be the most reliable way for sermons to accomplish their fundamental aim. However, I also know that doctrinal messages, topical sermons, and various modes of experimental homilies can accomplish the purpose of preaching." While there is not one right style of preaching, any more than there only one right style of Scripture, the emphasis on Scriptural authority will remain high.


James Earl Massey, Dean Emeritus, Anderson School of Theology, comments that "in the next five years preaching must have a greater focus on the essentials of the Christian faith. At a time of pluralism in the United States where it is difficult to distinguish between the church and the world, the need for preaching will be to distinctively focus on the fundamentals of Christianity." He continues, "The battle in the church, and in many respects in preaching, will be over sexual issues."
The primacy of preaching must continue to be central in our churches and the purpose of preaching must remain biblical in the truest sense of the word, if it is to continue to make a difference in the world on this side of the apocalypse. The sermon must come from the heart of the preacher delivered to the heart of hearer. Preaching is still a face‑to‑face and a heart‑to‑heart encounter. The preacher, therefore, must be committed to integrity, authenticity, and transparency. A preacher, whether his or her name is Smith, Jones, Casey, or Brown, who preaches from a platform of biblical authority, speaking to people on real life issues, from a broken and contrite heart will never lack for an audience whether the date is 1985, 2005, or 2015.
Copyright 2005, Rick Ezell.

Rick Ezell has served churches in South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, and Kansas. He has an earned a Doctor of Ministry from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has authored six books:

Sightings of the Savior

The 7 Sins of Highly Defective People

Cutting to the Core: Revealing the Distinctive Life of Character

Defining Moments: How God Shapes Our Character Through Crisis

Hitting a Moving Target: Preaching to the Changing Needs of Your Church

Strengthening the Pastor's Soul: 8 Disciplines to Personal Authenticity and Pastoral Effectiveness

In addition, he has authored over 700 articles in such periodicals as Leadership, Pursuit, The Rev., Home Life, Decision, The Lookout, and many others.

www.rickezell.net/Constant%20Change‑‑Where%20Preaching%20Has%...?

Also see

http://www.preaching.com/resources/articles/11550568/page-4/

http://www.preaching.com/printerfriendly/11550568/


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Preaching - John Knox never entered a pulpit until he was 40 years old


John Knox never entered a pulpit until he was 40 years old and

biographers conclude that much of the fire and energy of his preaching

was due to the fact that the flame had been so long pent up within his

breast.
- - - 1 Pet 1:2 - 1 Peter 1:2

Preaching
Date Originally Filed - 6/1989.19
Dwight L. Moody, by his own admission, made a mistake on the eighth

of October 1871 ‑‑ a mistake he determined never to repeat.


He had been preaching in the city of Chicago. That particular

night drew his largest audience yet. His message was "What will you

do then with Jesus who is called the Christ?"


By the end of the service, he was tired. He concluded his message

with a presentation of the gospel and a concluding statement: "Now I

give you a week to think that over. And when we come together again,

you will have opportunity to respond."


A soloist began to sing. But before the final note, the music was

drowned out by clanging bells and wailing sirens screaming through the

streets. The great Chicago Fire was blazing. In the ashen aftermath,

hundreds were dead and over a hundred thousand were homeless.


Without a doubt, some who heard Moody's message had died in the

fire. He reflected remorsefully that he would have given his right

arm before he would ever give an audience another week to think over

the message of the gospel.


- - - Psa 32:6 - Psalms 32:6 - - 2 Cor 6:2 - 2

Corinthians 6:2 - - Heb 3:15 - Hebrews 3:15




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Evangelist Paul Rader had often urged a banker in New York State to

Date Originally Filed - 2/1989.17

Evangelist Paul Rader had often urged a banker in New York State to

receive Christ, but the man would not make the decision. One day the

preacher sensed that God wanted him to go immediately and speak to him

again. So he took a train to the town where the man worked, hurried

to the bank, and found his friend standing in the doorway.

"Rader," he said, "I'm glad to see you! I wrote a telegram begging

you to come, but later changed my mind and didn't send it."

"That's all right," said the evangelist, "your message came through

anyhow by way of heaven."

Under deep conviction of sin, the banker was impressed by Rader's

earnestness and his special effort to reach him with the gospel, and

within a few minutes he accepted the Lord. In his newfound joy he

exclaimed, "Did you ever see the sky so blue or the grass so green!"

"Hallelujah, you're truly converted!" came Rader's response. "It's

just like the song says, 'Heaven above is softer blue, earth around is


sweeter green, something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never

seen."


Suddenly the banker gave a strange gasp and fell over dead! He had

been saved at the very brink of eternity. What if Paul Rader had

delayed or failed to stress the banker's urgent need of turning to the

Lord immediately? That man may have been lost.


- - - John 3:3‑7 - John 3:3‑7 - - 2 Cor 6:2 - 2

Corinthians 6:2 - - 1 Pet 1:23 - 1 Peter 1:23


Date Originally Filed - 8/1985.25
Shortly after he opened his first plant, Thomas Edison noticed that

his employees were in the habit of watching the lone factory clock. To

the inventor who was an indefatigable worker, this was

incomprehensible. He did not indicate his disapproval verbally.

Instead he had dozens of clocks placed around the plant, no two

keeping the same time. From then on clock watching led to so much

confusion that nobody cared what time it was.
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Preaching - Preach It! Date Originally Filed - 3/1987.23
J. I. Packer said, "Certainty about the great issues of the

Christian faith and conduct is lacking all along the line. The

outside observer sees us staggering on from gimmick to gimmick and

stunt to stunt like so many drunks in a fog, not knowing at all where

we are or which way we should be going. Preaching is hazy; heads are

muddled; hearts fret; doubts drain strength; uncertainty paralyzes

action.... Unlike the first Christians who in three centuries won the

Roman world, and those later Christians who pioneered the Reformation,

and the Puritan awakening and the Evangelical revival, and the great

missionary movement of the last century, we lack certainty. Why is

this?

We blame the external pressures of modern secularism, but this is



like Eve blaming the serpent. The real truth is that we have grieved

the Spirit... we stand under divine judgment. For two generations our

churches have suffered from a famine of hearing the words of the

Lord." That's a tragic truth.


- - - Acts 20:20 - Acts 20:20 - - 1 Cor 9:16 - 1

Corinthians 9:16 - - 2 Tim 4:1‑2 - 2 Timothy 4:1‑2




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Preaching "The Value of Expository Preaching and Teaching,"
In an article entitled, "The Value of Expository Preaching and

Teaching," Roger Johnson laments:


All too often the biblical passage read to the

congregation resembles the national anthem played at

sporting events. It gets things started but it is not

referred to again during the lesson.

The authority behind preaching resides not in the

preacher but in the biblical texts.


‑‑ Stephen Olford, \italic{Preaching the Word of God}, p. 23‑24.
- - - Isa 8:20 - Isaiah 8:20 - - 2 Tim 3:16‑17 - 2

Timothy 3:16‑17



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Preaching - Be Relevant - Date Originally Filed - 3/1988.27
The penetrating words of the German Reformer Martin Luther

frequently flash through my mind:

"If you preach the Gospel in all aspects with the exception of the

issues which deal specifically with your time ‑‑ you are not preaching

all the Gospel."
- - - Acts 17:22‑31 - Acts 17:22‑31 - - Acts

22:1‑21 - Acts 22:1‑21


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Gospel - Good Works - Social Gospel
Why are you taking up so much space in Christianity Today for social issues?
Before I was saved, I belonged to five liberal churches and they

all talked about the social gospel, but I never saw that they

practiced it. They taught me how to dance, drink, smoke, go to


nightclubs, shows, and so on. When I got converted at the age of 19,

I met God's people who believed in the Book, the blood and the blessed

hope. They took me to the rescue missions where I dealt with dope

addicts and drunkards. They took me to prisons where I had the

privilege of winning to Christ rapists, murderers, robbers, and so on.

Isn't this the real social gospel? Haven't God's people always been

zealous of good works?

Let's not get caught in the trap that the liberals have something

to offer us in their so‑called social gospel. While they are talking

about it, let's keep doing it.


‑‑ Jack Wyrtzen, Word of Life, Schroon Lake, N.Y.
- - - Eph 2:10 - Ephesians 2:10 - - 1 John 3:18 - 1

John 3:18


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Preaching - The Light of Your Face - Date Originally Filed - 12/1985.7
Charles H. Spurgeon in training young ministers said to his

students, "When you talk about heaven let your face light up with a

heavenly glory. When you tell about hell, your everyday face will

do."
- - - Psa 34:5 - Psalms 34:5 - - Acts 6:15 - Acts

6:15

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Preaching - Out in Wyoming's ranching country a severe snowstorm hit the area

Out in Wyoming's ranching country a severe snowstorm hit the area

the Sunday before Christmas. Although the minister felt certain that

nobody was going to show up for his church service because of the

weather, he opened up the church just in case someone might appear.

Sure enough, through the cold and snow, a weather‑beaten cowboy

appeared in the doorway of the church. The minister did not recognize

the man as one of his parishioners, however he invited him in and the

cowboy took a seat near the back of the church. After a wait of 20

minutes, it became apparent to the minister that this cowboy was going



to be the only person to attend his church that day.
Approaching the man, the minister asked him if he was expecting a

full service. "I've been a cowboy out in this part of the country all

my life," the fellow answered. "And all winter long I feed 500 cows

every day. And come rain or shine, sleet or snow ‑‑ whether one comes

or all 500 come ‑‑ I feed them every day." Duly inspired, the

minister launched into a sermon that lasted the better part of an hour

and a half. At the conclusion, the minister walked over to the cowboy

and asked him how he enjoyed the service. "Like I said before," the

cowboy answered, "I've been feeding 500 cows every day all my life.

And come rain or shine, sleet or snow ‑‑ whether one comes or all 500

come ‑‑ I feed them every day. But if only one cow comes, I don't

dump the whole feed load."


- - - John 21:15‑17 - John 21:15‑17

<><
Preaching - In his book Real Salvation, R. A. Torrey tells that when

he was studying theology in the university, D. L. Moody came to town

for meetings. Torrey and a few of his friends went to hear him and

concluded that although he was uneducated, he knew some things they

didn't. Wanting to learn the secret of his success, they said to the

evangelist, "We wish you would tell us how to do it." They meant, of

course, how do you preach and get such good results? Moody responded

by inviting them to come back the next evening, promising to answer

their question then. Before the service the following night, they met

with the evangelist again. After giving them a few words of Scripture,

he said, "You go at it! The best way to learn to do it is to do it!"
- - - Deut 5:32‑33 - Deuteronomy 5:32‑33

<<><

Preaching - Attitudes of the Christian - Church Attendance

One person noted: In any church service, the congregation preaches

more than half the sermon. The congregation brings an atmosphere with

it. The atmosphere is either a barrier through which the preacher's

word cannot penetrate; or else it is such an expectancy that even the



poorest sermon becomes a living flame. How did you come to church

today?
- - - 1 Chr 16:29 - 1 Chronicles 16:29 - - Psa

100:2‑4 - Psalms 100:2‑4 - - Acts 16:14 - Acts 16:14

<><
Preaching - Bible - Study of Commanded

Vance Harner said that he heard about a guy who was going to be

original or nothing, and he was both!
- - - 2 Pet 1:12‑16 - 2 Peter 1:12‑16
<><
Preaching - Gratitude To Men - Bible Study of Commanded
Henry David Thoreau once wrote: "It takes two to speak the truth.

One to speak and another to listen." Walt Whitman confessed: "To have

great poets there must be great audiences." I like that ‑‑ someone to

write and someone to appreciate. To have great messages from God,

there must be a well‑prepared spokesman and there must be an equally

well‑prepared congregation. They work in tandem with each other.


- - - Acts 15:7 - Acts 15:7 - - Eph 4:29 - Ephesians

4:29
<><

Preaching - Where do Sermons Go? Faithful Servants - Bible - Study of Commanded

Date Originally Filed - 11/1985.13

When a local preacher died, his relatives found he had neatly tied

up the messages he had delivered and placed a card on top of them with

this inscription: "Where has the influence gone of all these sermons I

have preached?" Underneath he had scribbled in large letters, "OVER."

On the other side this answer was found: "Where are last year's

sunrays? They have gone into fruits and grain and vegetables to feed

mankind. Where are last year's raindrops? Forgotten by most people,

of course, but they did their refreshing work, and their influence

still abides. So, too, my sermons have gone into lives and made them


nobler, more Christlike, and better fitted for Heaven." His comments

apply to the efforts of all who faithfully give out the Word.


- - - Isa 55:11 - Isaiah 55:11 - - 2 Tim 4:2 - 2

Timothy 4:2}, - 5 - 2 Timothy 4:5


<><
Preaching - Communication - Date Originally Filed - 4/1986.7

The Right Image


Recently I read an interesting item in the newspaper that

illustrates the importance of mental associations in making decisions.

A high school in Virginia offered a course called "Home Economics for

Boys." Needless to say, it got little attention. So the following

year it was renamed "Bachelor Living." You guessed it!
The effect was overwhelming ‑‑ 120 boys promptly signed up. The

curriculum never changed. It still offered traditional instruction in

cooking, sewing, laundry, and money management. But it needed the

right image before the students would give the class a second look.

As we present Christ to the world, let's not forget that the

message must never change, but the methods may vary.


- - - Col 4:6 - Colossians 4:6
<><
Preaching - Compassion - Richard Baxter wrote - The Reformed Pastor
Richard Baxter wrote a book called \italic{The Reformed Pastor}.

He wrote in 1656 and he said this: I marvel how I can preach slightly

and coldly. How I can let men alone in their sins and that I do not

go to them and beseech them for the Lord's sake to repent; however

they take it and whatever pains or troubles it should cost me.

I seldom come out of the pulpit but my conscience smites me that I

have been no more serious and fervent than I have. It accuses me not

so much for want of human ornaments or elegance, not for letting fall

an uncomely word, but it asks me:

How could you speak of life and death with such a heart?

Shouldst thou not weep over such a people and should not thy tears

interrupt thy words?

Should not thou cry aloud and show them their transgressions and


entreat and beseech them as for life and death.
- - - Jer 13:17 - Jeremiah 13:17 - - Acts

20:19‑21 - Acts 20:19‑21 - - Acts 20:31 - Acts 20:31


<><
Preaching - Prayer - Watchfulness - Robert Murray McCheyne

Robert Murray McCheyne and his church were visited by a young

pastor. The pastor was taken around by the custodian to see the

church where McCheyne had preached. The custodian took him into a

little room and there was a little stool. The old custodian said,

"Sir, You see that stool?" The young man thought, well that's

strange, to show me a little stool. The old custodian said, "That's

the stool where Pastor McCheyne would kneel and weep before he'd ever

preach."

Then he took him into the pulpit and the pastor saw this great

Bible in the pulpit. He saw that it was all watered and stained and

he said, "Well, what is all this on the Bible? The custodian said,

"Well, that's the tears that Brother McCheyne would shed while he

preached." He is dead but he is still moving lives.


- - - Acts 20:18‑21 - Acts 20:18‑21
<><
Preaching - Christ the Theme of - Spiritual Discernment

Date Originally Filed - 10/1987.15

Billy Gets Nervous Too!
Billy Graham's hands often go clammy and his knees shake before he

preaches.

While most would agree that standing in front of a crowd of people

is probably not their favorite occupation, this is not a confession

one would expect from the man who has preached the Gospel to more

people than anyone else in history.

It is, however, a confession that should encourage a great many of

us.


"Every time I stand before a crowd I feel so unworthy to preach the

Gospel," Graham admitted. "I feel fearful that I may say something or

do something that may mislead someone, because I'm talking to eternal

souls who have the possibility of living in heaven forever."




- - - Acts 4:12 - Acts 4:12
<><
Preaching - The Significance of Sermons

Commanded - Bible - Powerful in its Influence

Date Originally Filed - 10/1988.14
Several years ago the \italic{British Weekly} printed a letter to

the editor:


"Dear Sir: I notice that ministers seem to set a great deal of

importance on their sermons and spend a great deal of time in

preparing them. I have been attending services quite regularly for

the past thirty years and during that time, if I estimate correctly, I

have listened to no less than 3,000 sermons, but, to my consternation,

I discover I cannot remember a single one of them. I wonder if a

minister's time might be more profitably spent on something else?

Sincerely...."


That letter triggered an avalanche of angry responses for weeks.

Sermons were castigated and defended by lay and clergy, but eventually

a single letter closed the debate:
"My dear Sir: I have been married for thirty years. During that

time I have eaten 32,850 meals ‑‑ mostly of my wife's cooking.

Suddenly I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single

meal. And yet, I received nourishment from every one of them.


I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have

starved to death long ago. Sincerely...."


‑‑ James D. Berkley, \italic{Preaching to Convince
- - - Matt 4:4 - Matthew 4:4

3,000 Sermons, 32,000 Meals

‑ 9/2003.101


3,000 Sermons, 32,000 Meals

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and

complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've

gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard

something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't

remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and

the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at

all."
This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor"

column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until

someone wrote this clincher:
"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked

some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire

menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this... They all

nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my

wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.

Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be

spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to

something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and

receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual

nourishment!


<><
Preaching - Commanded

Many preachers think of doctrine as undesirable and impractical. A

major Christian magazine recently published an article by a well‑known

charismatic speaker. He mused for a full page about the futility of

both preaching and listening to sermons that go beyond mere

entertainment. His conclusion? People don't remember what you say

anyway, so most preaching is a waste of time. "I'm going to try to do

better next year," he writes; "that means wasting less time listening

to long sermons and spending much more time preparing short ones.

People, I've discovered, will forgive even poor theology as long as

they get out before noon."
‑‑ Dr. John MacArthur


- - - 1 Tim 4:6 - 1 Timothy 4:6 - - Titus

1:9 - Titus 1:9 - - Titus 2:1 - Titus 2:1


<><

Preaching - Commanded2 - Date Originally Filed - 8/1989.14


You don't get a well‑fed church from serving fast food.

‑‑ Bill Hybels

- - - Ezra 7:10 - Ezra 7:10

<><

Preaching - Commanded3 - Date Originally Filed - 8/1988.12

Preach the Word
The story is told about an old American Indian who attended a

church service one Sunday morning. The preacher's message lacked real

spiritual food, so he did a lot of shouting and pulpit pounding to

cover up his lack of preparation. In fact, as it is sometimes said,

he "preached up quite a storm." After the service, someone asked the

Indian, who was a Christian, what he thought of the minister's

message. Thinking for a moment, he summed up his opinion in six

words: "High wind. Big thunder. No rain." Yes, when the Scriptures

are neglected, there is "no rain." Only when preaching is based on

God's Word are His people blessed and refreshed.


- - - 2 Tim 4:2‑5 - 2 Timothy 4:2‑5
<><

Preaching - Gospel - Worldwide - Missions - Date Originally Filed - 4/1987.8

Mission for Dead
Ever since the close of the Second World War Japanese volunteers

have been searching the island of Saipan for the bodies of soldiers

killed there. Of the 40,000 to 50,000 Japanese soldiers and

dependents believed to have died there more than 30 years ago, only



about half have been found. Because of that, there will be missions

in the future looking for the dead.

The Church, too, has a mission for the dead. Men and women are

"dead" in trespasses and sins, and the Church must seek them out and

proclaim life in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, like the

bones of Ezekiel's vision, these dead shall live.


- - - Eph 2:1‑10 - Ephesians 2:1‑10

<><
Preaching - Destroyed by Silence - Destructive - Sin - Date Originally Filed - 1/1986.24

History records a remarkable account of the destruction of an

ancient town. The watchmen on the walls would call out whenever they

thought they saw a foe approaching. Sensing that the people had begun

to resent them for giving these false alarms, they decided to remain

quiet. Regrettably, not long afterward the enemy actually did come.

The city that could have been saved was assaulted and devastated, and

nothing was left but smoking ruins. Later someone erected a small

memorial inscribed with the following epitaph: "Here stood a town that

was destroyed by silence."

Can God's people afford to be silent about the sin that surrounds

them?
- - - 2 Tim 4:1‑4 - 2 Timothy 4:1‑4


<><
Preaching - Make Your Point - Plainness of Speech - - Date Originally Filed - 4/1987.9
Winston Churchill advised, "If you have an important point to make,

don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit in once.

Then come back and hit again."
- - - 1 Cor 2:1‑5 - 1 Corinthians 2:1‑5
<><
Preaching - Our safety and sense of well‑being ‑‑ our life, in fact ‑‑ depends


Our safety and sense of well‑being ‑‑ our life, in fact ‑‑ depends

on the degree to which we can trust the accuracy of the people we deal

with. For example: in July 1971, a jumbo 747 jet was damaged on

takeoff in San Francisco.

Fortunately, no one was killed, although there were serious

injuries. Later the pilot testified that the flight dispatcher had

told him his runway was 9,500 feet long. Which it was; however,

mostly because of construction work, only 8,400 feet were available.

This led to a miscalculated takeoff speed and the accident.

Investigators thus came down to the use of incorrect takeoff speed,

resulting from a series of irregularities, tiny pieces of

misinformation, or lack of information. Every day thousands of

passengers stake their lives on the gamble that bits of information

vital to their safety will be transmitted with absolute, scrupulous

accuracy.

Pastor, your people are like that. They depend on you to

communicate the unchanging Word of God with clarity and accuracy. So

have at it! Preach the Word!


- - - 2 Tim 2:15 - 2 Timothy 2:15 - - 2 Tim

4:1‑2 - 2 Timothy 4:1‑2



<><
Preaching - "If I had a thousand dollars, do you know what I would do with it?"
"If I had a thousand dollars, do you know what I would do with it?"

The speaker? Adoniram Judson, the well‑known missionary to Burma.


The person to whom the question was put supposed that the veteran

missionary would invest the money in foreign missions.

But, pointing to a college devoted to the training of ministers and

missionaries, Judson said emphatically: "I would put it into such

institutions as that. Planting colleges and filling them with

studious young men is planting seed corn for the world!"


- - - Ezra 7:10 - Ezra 7:10 - - 2 Tim 2:15 - 2

Timothy 2:15




<><

Preaching - Worship Of God Commanded

Martin Luther once asked, "How has it happened that in the secular

field there are so many fine poems and so many beautiful songs, while

in the religious field we have such rotten lifeless stuff." He said,

"We must read, sing, preach, write and compose verse, and whenever it

was helpful and beneficial I would let all the bells peal, all the

organs thunder, and everything sound that could sound.
- - - Psa 7:17 - Psalms 7:17 - - Psa

150:1‑6 - Psalms 150


<><
Preaching - Wise Words

Many churches wisely have a large clock behind the congregation

where it is quite obvious to the preacher. Some don't. The one where

Rev. Sam has been invited to speak did not. As time when on, Brother

Sam finally commented that he had forgotten his watch and asked, "Does

anyone have the time?"

"There's a calendar right behind you," piped a voice.
- - - Eccl 5:3 - Ecclesiastes

5:3}, - 7 - Ecclesiastes 5:7 - - Acts 20:9 - Acts

20:9

<><
Preaching - It All Started with a Visit - Date Originally Filed - 2/1986.30
A Sunday School teacher, a Mr. Kimball, in 1858, led a Boston shoe

clerk to give his life to Christ.

The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist. In England in

1879, he awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of Fredrick B. Meyer,

pastor of a small church.

F. B. Meyer, preaching to an American college campus, brought to

Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman.

Chapman, engaged in YMCA work, employed a former baseball player,

Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work.

Billy Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, N.C. A group of local men

were so enthusiastic afterward that they planned another evangelistic

campaign, bringing Mordecai Hamm to town to preach.

During Hamm's revival, a young man named Billy Graham heard the


gospel and yielded his life to Christ.

Only eternity will reveal the tremendous impact of that one Sunday

School teacher, Mr. Kimball, who invested his life in the lives of

others.
- - - Acts 4:36 - Acts 4:36 - - Acts 9:27 - Acts

9:27 - - 2 Tim 2:2 - 2 Timothy 2:2
<><
Preaching - The Crisis in the University, Sir Walter Moberly

In his book The Crisis in the University, Sir Walter Moberly cites the failure of evangelicals to penetrate university

campuses with the gospel. To those who claim to follow Christ he

says, "If one‑tenth of what you believe is true, you ought to be ten

times as excited as you are."
- - - Rom 1:15‑16 - Romans 1:15‑16 - - 2 Cor

9:1‑4 - 2 Corinthians 9:1‑4 - - Eph 3:8‑21 - Ephesians 3:8‑21


<><
Preaching - Encouragement - Date Originally Filed - 7/1989.16
Alan Loy McGinnis, in \italic{Bringing Out the Best in People},

writes:


A proven motivator will make it to the top before a proven genius.

When Andrew Carnegie hired Charles Schwab to administer his far‑flung

steel empire, Schwab became the first man in history to earn a million

dollars a year while in someone else's employ. Schwab was once asked

what equipped him to earn $3,000 a day. Was it his knowledge of steel

manufacturing? "Nonsense," snorted Schwab. "I have lots of men

working for me who know more about steel than I do."
Schwab was paid such a handsome amount largely because of his ability

to inspire other people. "I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm

among the men the greatest asset I possess," he said, and any leader

who can do that can go almost anywhere and name almost any price.


- - - Acts 11:22‑24 - Acts 11:22‑24 - - 1 Thes

2:3‑13 - 1 Thessalonians 2:3‑13 - - 2 Tim 4:1‑2 - 2 Timothy

4:1‑2


<><
Preaching - Spurgeon How come so many people come and hear you preach?
Date Originally Filed - 1/1989.23
Enthusiasm is so important for pastors and Christian workers. I

think it was Spurgeon who was asked, "How come so many people come and

hear you preach?" He said, "I guess because I'm enthusiastic." "How

do you get enthusiastic?" "Well, I'll tell you how to do it. Get a

can of kerosene, pour it all over you, light yourself on fire, and

they'll come watch you burn."


- - - Psa 69:9 - Psalms 69:9 - - John 2:17 - John

2:17 - - 2 Cor 9:2 - 2 Corinthians 9:2




<><
Preaching - The Pastor's Prayer - Christ the Theme of - Date Originally Filed - 4/1994.9
I do not ask

That crowds may throng the temple,

That standing room be priced;

I only ask that as I voice the message

They may see Christ!
I do not ask

For churchly pomp or pageant,

Or music such as wealth alone can buy;

I only ask that as I voice the message

He may be nigh!
I do not ask

That men may sound my praises

Or headlines spread my name abroad;

I only pray that as I voice the message

Hearts may find God!
I do not ask

For earthly place or laurel,

Or of this world's distinctions any part;


I only ask, when I have voiced the message

My Saviour's heart.


‑‑ Ralph Spaulding Cushman
- - - Rom 6:6 - Romans 6:6 - - Gal 2:20 - Galatians

2:20
<><


Preaching - Ministers - Date Originally Filed - 6/1994.16
Tony Manconi, vacationing in New Hampshire, visited a Nashua church

for the service. The pastor's sermon was very brief, but the pastor

explained. He said his family's new puppy got into his study the night

before and chewed up his notes. Afterward at the door, Tony asked,

"Pastor, are there any more puppies in that litter? I'd like to take

one to my pastor."


‑‑ Paul Harvey, 8‑18‑93.
- - - Prov 10:19 - Proverbs 10:19 - - Eccl

5:3 - Ecclesiastes 5:3




<><
Preaching - Bible - Blessings - Pronounced by Men
Date Originally Filed - 3/1994.3
W. Edwards Deming's hand in Japan's economic revolution is what

\italic{U.S. News & World Report} called in a 1991 story one of

history's nine "Hidden turning points." The others:
1. The Apostle Paul, whose preaching and eloquent writings led to

mass acceptance of Christianity.

2. The bubonic plague, which killed one‑third of Europeans in less

than four years, ended serfdom, and made way for the Renaissance.

3. Christopher Columbus. He didn't discover America, but he opened

the way for colonization.

4. Napoleon Bonaparte for his hand in giving rise to a middle


class, which led to the flowering of democracy.

5. The Japanese rejection of an invention ‑‑ firearms ‑‑ in the

16th and 17th centuries. The Samurai preferred swords.

6. Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, pioneer of realism,

the first to tell it like it is.

7. The public's love affair with Madame Chiang Kai‑shek in the

1940s, which clouded U.S. foreign policy for more than 30 years,

helping to spark involvement in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

8. The sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and the pill.
‑‑ Del Jones, \italic{USA Today}, 12‑21‑93, p. 2b.
See: - 1 Cor 1:18‑29 - 1 Corinthians 1:18‑29 - - 1

Cor 2:4‑7 - 1 Corinthians 2:4‑7 - - 1 Cor 15:6‑11 - 1

Corinthians 15:6‑11
<><
Preaching - Earnestness - Date Originally Filed - 12/1993.18
A bishop ... asked David Garrick, the great actor, how it was

possible to take fiction and produce such a tremendous effect on his

audience.

Garrick replied, "Because I recite fiction as if it were truth, and

you preach truth as if it were fiction."
‑‑\italic{ Walter L. Lingle
- - - 1 Cor 9:16 - 1 Corinthians 9:16 - - 2 Tim

4:2 - 2 Timothy 4:2 - - Jude 1:3 - Jude 1:3



<><
Preaching - Communication - Plainness of Speech

Date Originally Filed - 12/1993.19


Author James C. Himes, writer of speeches for five Presidents,

wrote an award‑winning Churchill biography. His new book, \italic{The

Sir Winston Method, }is a must read for every pastor. This book offers

Sir Winston's five rules of oratory and leadership, which Himes

distilled from Churchill's private notes.


1) Begin strongly.

2) Stick to one theme.

3) Use simple language.

4) Paint word pictures.

5) End with emotion.
- - - Col 1:28 - Colossians 1:28 - - Col

4:6 - Colossians 4:6




<><
Preaching - Religious Awakenings - Date Originally Filed - 10/1990.12
Jonathan Edwards (1703‑1758) was a brilliant theologian whose

sermons had an overwhelming impact on those who heard him. One in

particular, his famous "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," moved

hundreds to repentance and salvation. That single message helped to

spark the revival known as "The Great Awakening" (1734‑1744).

From a human standpoint, it seems incredible that such far‑reaching

results could come from one message. Edwards did not have a

commanding voice or impressive pulpit manner. He used very few

gestures, and he read from a manuscript. Yet God's Spirit moved upon

his hearers with conviction and power.

Few know the spiritual preparation involved in that sermon. John

Chapman gives us the story: "For 3 days Edwards had not eaten a

mouthful of food; for 3 nights he had not closed his eyes in sleep.

Over and over again he was heard to pray, 'O Lord, give me New

England! Give me New England!' When he arose from his knees and made

his way into the pulpit that Sunday, he looked as if he had been

gazing straight into the face of God. Even before he began to speak,

tremendous conviction fell upon his audience."


- - - Psa 51:13 - Psalms 51:13 - - Acts 4:33 - Acts

4:33 - - 1 Thess 1:4‑5 - 1 Thessalonians 1:4‑5


<><
Preaching - Examples of Gospel - Date Originally Filed - 10/1990.15
An engineer at the Christian Broadcasting Network pleaded innocent

to spreading the gospel. Well, with the way he allegedly spread it,



Thomas Hainey is charged with sending out the message "Repent, the

kingdom of God is at hand" in the middle of a cable network show. No,

it wasn't a CBN show; it was a Playboy Channel softcore sex film.
‑‑ \italic{Associated Press} 5‑23‑90
- - - Matt 3:1‑2 - Matthew 3:1‑2 - - Acts

26:20 - Acts 26:20




<><
Preaching - Date Originally Filed - 7/1991.8
Peter Cartwright, a nineteenth‑century circuit‑riding Methodist

preacher, was an uncompromising man. One Sunday morning when he was

to preach, he was told that President Andrew Jackson was in the

congregation, and warned not to say anything out of line.

When Cartwright stood to preach, he said, "I understand that Andrew

Jackson is here. I have been requested to be guarded in my remarks.

Andrew Jackson will go to hell if he doesn't repent."

The congregation was shocked and wondered how the President would

respond. After the service, President Jackson shook hands with Peter

Cartwright and said, "Sir, if I had a regiment of men like you, I

could whip the world."
‑‑ \italic{Leadership}, Vol. XII #1, Winter, 1991, p. 49
- - - 1 Cor 9:16 - 1 Corinthians 9:16 - - 2 Tim

4:2 - 2 Timothy 4:2


<><
Preaching Hell - Date Originally Filed - 9/1991.26
Sydney Harris wrote, "Neither heaven nor hell has been presented by

preachers to make the former attractive or the latter credible so that

the mass of people are moved to yearn for the one or fear the other."
‑‑ John Wesley White, \italic{Survivors}, p. 589.
- - - Luke 12:5 - Luke 12:5 - - Luke 16:19‑31 - Luke


16:19‑31 - - Rev 21:1‑4 - Revelation 21:1‑4

<><
Preaching - Can=t Remember One Sermon - Can=t Remember One Meal

Date Originally Filed - 6/1992.5


Dear Sir:
It seems ministers feel their sermons are very important and spend

a great deal of time preparing them. I have been attending a church

quite regularly for the past 30 years, and I have probably heard

3,000. To my consternation, I discovered that I cannot remember a

single one. I wonder if a minister's time might be more profitably

spent on something else? Sincerely....


For weeks a real storm of editorial responses ensued. The uproar

finally was ended by this letter:


Dear Sir:
I have been married for 30 years, during that time I have eaten

32,580 meals ‑‑ mostly of my wife's cooking. Suddenly, I have

discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet,

I have received nourishment from every single one of them. I have the

distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death

long ago. Sincerely....


‑‑ Editorial Letters, \italic{The British Weekly.

- - - Ezra 7:10 - Ezra 7:10 - - 2 Tim 2:15 - 2

Timothy 2:15 - - 2 Tim 4:2 - 2 Timothy 4:2

Preaching - quit saying it.

Date Originally Filed - 6/1992.17
Many a public speaker knows just what to say, but not when to quit saying it.


‑‑ Source Unknown
- Proverbs 10:19 - - Ecclesiastes 5:3

Ecclesiastes 5:7


Preaching 'Make truth plain, make truth interesting, make truth moving.'"
Date Originally Filed - 6/1992.22
W. Ian Barclay noted, "For over twenty‑five years of ministry I

have had a Latin text on my desk: 'VERITAS PLATEAT, VERITAS PLACEAT,

VERITAS MOVEAT,' which means, 'Make truth plain, make truth interesting, make truth moving.'"

Robert Chalmers warned, "My preaching is a failure if it can charm

but not change."
‑‑ David L. Olford, ed., \italic{A Passion For Preaching,} p. 33.
- - - 1 Cor 1:17 - 1 Corinthians 1:17 - - 2 Tim

4:1‑2 - 2 Timothy 4:1‑2

Preaching - Jokes about dull sermons are plentiful and familiar:
Date Originally Filed - 6/1992.26
Jokes about dull sermons are plentiful and familiar:

* The difference between a good sermon and a bad one is a nap.

* The eternal gospel does not require an everlasting sermon.

* If all the people who sleep in church were placed end to end, they

would be more comfortable.

* If, in fact, all the jokes about dull sermons were placed end to

end, they would more than fill a pew.
‑‑ Tom Mullen,\italic{ Mountaintops and Molehills}, p. 57.
Preaching - longwinded toastmaster

Date Originally Filed - 6/1992.30


A British foreign secretary was once at the mercy of a longwinded toastmaster who took up all the remaining time and most of the

audience's patience. When the toastmaster finally introduced the

secretary with the words, "And now our foreign secretary will give his


address," the gentleman stood up and said, "I have been asked to give

my entire address in the remaining five minutes. That I can do. Here

it is: 10 Carlton Gardens, London, England." He then sat down, to

appreciative applause.


‑‑ Dorothy Leeds, \italic{Powerspeak,} p. 37.
- - - Prov 10:19 - Proverbs 10:19 - - Eccl

5:3 - Ecclesiastes 5:3}, - 7 - Ecclesiastes 5:7


Preaching - Self‑control - Twenty Minutes of a Sermon.

Date Originally Filed - 5/1992.1
Most congregations would agree with Mark Twain, "Few sinners are saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon."

‑‑ Tom Mullen, \italic{Mountaintops and Molehills}, p. 57.



<><

Preaching - Seizing Opportunity - Accountability

Witnessing

Date Originally Filed - 5/1992.3


He cannot afford to be influenced by the reaction of his

congregation, or the opposition of his critics: he is accountable to

his Lord alone.

Jesus transformed a mountainside into a Bible conference; a fishing

boat into an evangelistic platform; a wellside into a counseling room;

and, the shadows of evening into an opportunity to lead Nicodemus into

the experience of the new birth. He preached the Word continuously and

so must we.


‑‑ Stephen Olford, \italic{Preaching the Word of God}, p. 14‑15,

19.
- - - Mark 16:15 - Mark 16:15 - - Rom

1:15‑16 - Romans 1:15‑16 - - 2 Tim 4:1‑2 - 2 Timothy 4:1‑2 -

<><

Preaching - Zeal - Spiritual Power - Date Originally Filed - 5/1992.6



I never see my preacher's eyes,

No matter how bright they shine.

When he prays he shuts them tight,

When he preaches he closes mine.


‑‑ John W. Drakeford, \italic{Humor in Preaching}, p. 30.
See: - Col 4:6 - Colossians 4:6 - - 1 Cor 2:3‑5 - 1

Corinthians 2:3‑5


<><

Preaching - Harvard did a study some years ago on the subject of nonverbal communication

Date Originally Filed - 5/1992.7
Harvard did a study some years ago on the subject of nonverbal communication, and I was stunned at its conclusion. The research revealed that there are over seven hundred thousand different ways to communicate without words.
‑‑ Tim Hansel, \italic{When I Relax I Feel Guilty}, p. 51‑52.

<><
Preaching - Walk of Believers - Date Originally Filed - 5/1993.25
A Spanish artist was employed to paint the Last Supper. It was his

object to throw all the sublimity of his art into the figure and

countenance of the Lord Jesus; but he put on the table in the

foreground some ornamental cups, the workmanship of which was

exceedingly beautiful. When his friends came to see the picture on the

easel, every one said, :What beautiful cups!" "Ah!" said he, "I have

made a mistake: those cups divert the eyes of the spectator from the

Lord, to whom I wished to direct the attention of the observer." And

he took up his brush, and blotted them from the canvas, that the

figure of Christ might be the chief object of attraction.


- - - Luke 10:40‑42 - Luke 10:40‑42
<><

Preaching - Church - Date Originally Filed - 9/1993.9




The problem with the typical morning worship service is that it

starts at 11 o'clock sharp and ends at 12 o'clock dull.


‑‑ \italic{Vance Havner

- - - 1 Cor 2:4‑5 - 1 Corinthians 2:4‑5 - - 1 Tim

5:17 - 1 Timothy 5:17 - - 2 Tim 4:2 - 2 Timothy 4:2 -

- James 1:22 - James 1:22



<><
Preaching - Earnestness - Date Originally Filed - 12/1993.18
A bishop ... asked David Garrick, the great actor, how it was

possible to take fiction and produce such a tremendous effect on his

audience.

Garrick replied, "Because I recite fiction as if it were truth, and

you preach truth as if it were fiction."
‑‑\italic{ Walter L. Lingle
- - - 1 Cor 9:16 - 1 Corinthians 9:16 - - 2 Tim

4:2 - 2 Timothy 4:2 - - Jude 1:3 - Jude 1:3


<><
Preaching - Plainness of - Date Originally Filed - 12/1993.19

Author James C. Himes, writer of speeches for five Presidents,

wrote an award‑winning Churchill biography. His new book, \italic{The

Sir Winston Method, }is a must read for every pastor. This book offers

Sir Winston's five rules of oratory and leadership, which Himes

distilled from Churchill's private notes.


1) Begin strongly.

2) Stick to one theme.

3) Use simple language.

4) Paint word pictures.

5) End with emotion.
- - - Col 1:28 - Colossians 1:28 - - Col


4:6 - Colossians 4:6


<><

Preaching - Paul Harvey, 8‑18‑93. - Tony Manconi, vacationing in New Hampshire, visited a Nashua church


Date Originally Filed - 6/1994.16
Tony Manconi, vacationing in New Hampshire, visited a Nashua church

for the service. The pastor's sermon was very brief, but the pastor

explained. He said his family's new puppy got into his study the night

before and chewed up his notes. Afterward at the door, Tony asked,

"Pastor, are there any more puppies in that litter? I'd like to take

one to my pastor."


‑‑ Paul Harvey, 8‑18‑93.
- - - Prov 10:19 - Proverbs 10:19 - - Eccl

5:3 - Ecclesiastes 5:3




<><
Preaching - Positive/Neg.

Date Originally Filed - 3/1995.101


FEATURE: LARSON: Positive & Negative Preaching By Craig Brian Larson

If you want to reach the hearts of listeners, consider the heart of

the sermon.
I was coaching gymnasts at a local club for a few hours a week. As I

took beginners from basic skills like hip circles on the high bar to

more difficult tricks like giants, I repeatedly faced a decision

intrinsic to the art of coaching: when to say what the gymnast was

doing right and when to say what he was doing wrong. Both were

necessary. I couldn't help a beginner on high bar by ignoring that he

was about to swing forward with his hands in an undergrip position‑‑he

would peel in the front and fall on his head. "Don't ever do that!" I



warned. "You'll break your neck." But my ultimate goal was not just to

avoid injury; I wanted these boys to become excellent gymnasts

someday. So I encouraged them as they developed the fundamentals:

"Good stretch. That's the way to hollow your chest. Nice scoop in the

front." Preachers face the same decision weekly. One of our most

important decisions when crafting a sermon is whether to frame it

positively (what to do, what's right, our hope in God, the promises)

or negatively (what not to do, what's wrong, the sinful human

condition). The choice between positive or negative in the subject,

outline, illustrations, and application powerfully affects the tone of

a sermon. It changes the response of listeners. Surprisingly, it took

a friend editing a piece of my writing to make me sensitive to the

issue of positive and negative preaching. I found he had written a new

conclusion. "I didn't think this ended well on a negative note," he

explained, "so I've converted this to a positive conclusion." I liked

my original version, but as I considered the revised version, I had to

admit the positive conclusion was more effective. It left a hopeful

feeling, and that was appropriate. Thereafter in my preaching, I

became intentional about selecting positive or negative elements. And

I have seen the difference it makes.


SAME TEXT, DIFFERENT SERMONS Recently I preached from

- Malachi 1:6‑14 - Malachi 1:6‑14} and had to choose between

positive and negative approaches. - Malachi 1 - Malachi 1

scathingly indicts the priests and Israelites for what they were doing

wrong. The people were sacrificing to God their blind and lame

animals. The priests were sniffing at the altar, complaining that it

smelled and that the sacrifices were a burden. God angrily rebuked

them because by such "worship" they were showing him contempt rather

than honor. This Old Testament passage forcefully portrays a failing

that Christians can have‑‑we may dishonor God by giving him our worst

instead of our best. In writing the sermon, I had several decisions to

make. First, the subject could have been framed negatively: How people

show contempt for God. I had to develop that theme to be true to the

text, of course, yet I decided to do so under the umbrella of a

positive subject: How to honor God. If I had selected the negative

approach, my main points would have been: We show contempt for God

when we (1) respect a father or employer above God, (2) offer God

what we don't value, (3) worship God as if he were trivial.


In the positive approach, I wrote this outline: We honor God when we

(1) respect God above a father or employer, (2) give God what we

value, (3) worship God in a way that reflects his greatness. I

developed the points with contrast, explaining what the Israelites

were doing wrong and then illustrating positively how we can do what

is right. That one decision early on drastically changed the

application and emotional impact of the entire sermon. My goal is not

a simple fifty‑fifty split between positive and negative messages.

Rather, I want to know which approach I am using and why. Finding the

right balance of positive and negative preaching leads to healthy

Christians and churches, and to sermons that people want to hear.


WHEN TO BE NEGATIVE Both positive and negative elements are especially

effective at accomplishing certain objectives. First let's look at

four legitimate reasons to use a negative approach.
* To show our need. Negative preaching takes sin seriously and leads

to repentance, thus indirectly bringing the positive results of joy,

peace, and life. It is in keeping with the model of Jesus, who clearly

honored God's hatred of sin by telling people what not to do. In his

sermon "God Is an Important Person," John Piper used a negative

approach to help listeners see their need to honor God: "I've been to

church‑growth seminars where God is not once mentioned. I've been to

lectures and talks on pastoral issues where he is not so much as

alluded to. I have read strategies for every kind of recovery under

the sun where God is not there. I have talked to students in

seminaries who tell me of manifold courses where God is peripheral at

best. I have recently read mission statements of major evangelical

organizations where God is not even mentioned. "I admit freely that

I'm on a crusade, and I have one message: God is an important person,

and he does not like being taken for granted." In this case, the

string of negative examples builds forcefully to show listeners their

need.
* To seize interest. As journalists know‑‑and radio hosts like Rush

Limbaugh make a fortune on‑‑the negative gets more attention and

interest than the positive. In his sermon, "Power," Howard Hendricks

immediately gains a roomful of listeners with an introduction that

reminds us our culture is a mess: "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty

Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men

Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again. "What a perceptive parable

of our generation. We live in a society in which everything nailed

down is coming loose. Things that people said could not happen are

happening. Thoughtful though unregenerate people are asking, 'Where is



the glue to reassemble the disintegration and disarray?'... "Then we

usually seek someone to blame. I saw an intriguing piece of graffiti

in the city of Philadelphia some time ago. Scratched across the wall

were these words: HUMPTY Dumpty was pushed." After getting listeners'

attention with negative news, Hendricks goes on to show that only

Christ has the power to straighten out our culture.


* To accentuate the positive. The positive feels even more so after

it has been contrasted with the negative. I appreciated this approach

in Leith Anderson's sermon "Can Jesus Trust Us?" Leith develops one

point negatively to help us grasp the positive. "Jesus ... trusted

John with his love. It is a most extraordinary thing to be described

as 'the one whom Jesus loved,' to be Jesus' best friend. It smacks of

something inappropriate, but the fact is, that's what their

relationship was. "I wonder what it would be like if such a thing were

done today. ... What would happen if in 1994 someone were identified

from all of Christendom as Jesus' best friend? Editors would be lined

up for an interview. That person would be on the cover of every

magazine. What do you think it would do to that person's life? Do you

think that person would write a book or cut a CD or go on the road on

a Best‑Friend‑of‑Jesus seminar? Wouldn't it have the high potential

of ruining that person's entire life? Wouldn't there be a temptation

to arrogance? Wouldn't there be the possibility of treating others in

an inappropriate and disparaging way? "And yet, didn't Jesus have as

much right to a best friend as any of us? If so, wasn't it critically

important that he choose someone whom he could trust to be his best

friend, with the confidence that that person would never misuse their

relationship?" By showing the negative way most people would handle

such a relationship with Jesus, Leith makes the apostle John's

response seem even more positive.
* To warn of danger. If my son reaches toward a hot pan on the stove,

it's no time for me to tell him what great potential he has. "Don't

touch that pan!" is negative‑‑and necessary. In a dangerous world,

much of a responsible pastor's counsel is negative by necessity. In

his sermon "Take Your Best Shot," based on the crucifixion account,

Gordon MacDonald uses a negative approach to warn of evils we must

avoid. "Here are two major forms of evil erupting out of the human

experience. One is the crowd's irrational, angry, brutal resistance

against God, his purposes, and his people. The other is Pilate's

saying, 'I don't want to be identified with it.' In silence and

complicity, he backs off, washes his hands, and decides it would be

better to do nothing. "What bothers me most is my strong suspicion



that I could have been in that crowd. ... I can see the possibility of

being so defiant against God that I would have joined the crowd

saying, 'Crucify him!' self‑righteously justifying myself. I can also

see myself as Pontius Pilate saying, 'I don't want anything to do with

this,' and letting it happen." It's not positive, but it is powerful,

and it warns listeners of a danger to avoid.


WHEN TO BE POSITIVE At the core, however, New Testament preachers

proclaim good news, a message that brings hope, help, strength, and

joy. Jesus sums up the negative commands‑‑don't kill, steal, lie,

covet‑‑in positive terms: Love the Lord and love your neighbor. This

positive approach works best when you have the following objectives:
* To show the goodness of Christ. The negative often focuses on what

people and Satan do. The positive focuses on God's answer, God's

glory, God's nature, God's salvation. Christ‑centered preaching

requires the positive. In his Easter sermon, "Victory for Us," Earl

Palmer shows by an analogy from the Winter Olympics that Christ won a

victory not only for himself, but also for us: "The high point of the

Olympics from a sentimental standpoint is those award ceremonies. When

the victors stand on those three pedestals, that's where everybody is

crying. The three flags are raised, and the national anthem of the

gold medalist is played. "Something else is signified there: not only

did [the various skaters] win, but their countries won, too. Not only

their countries but their parents. Notice how the cameras try to find

parents in the audience and the skaters' trainers and sometimes a

whole town in Wisconsin‑‑they all share in that victory. That's what

makes it great. They won not only for themselves, they won for us,

too. "In the Easter narratives of the New Testament, two great

affirmations are made. One affirmation is that Christ has won the

victory, and it's his alone. But the second theme, perhaps more subtly

portrayed but also present in all the Gospel narratives, is that we

too win a victory on Easter day. Our Lord's victory is his

vindication, but it's also our vindication." The positive approach

fits the theme of resurrection and life.


* To bring encouragement and hope. God wants people to experience

hope, peace, acceptance, courage. Bad news makes people feel bad. So

while the negative is useful, it is rarely helpful to leave that as

the last word. In his sermon, "Listening to the Dark," Eugene Lowry

comforts listeners from the story of God speaking in a still, small

voice to the despairing Elijah: "In the midst of the darkness of the

cave finally came this voice. The voice came up close to the ear and


whispered. And the voice said, 'What are you doing here?' "That's one

of the most remarkable passages in all of Scripture. What do you mean,

'What are you doing here?' Do you notice what the voice did not say?

It did not say, 'What are you doing there?'‑‑as though God were

distant and aloof, looking on to the scene of the cave saying, 'What

are you doing there, Elijah? Why are you there?' We're not talking

there, we're talking here. "God is in the dark. In fact, God is bigger

than the dark. That's the promise. It is God's dark. God is the

Creator of the dark. And the promise is that God will be present. ...

And so with the confidence of children of the Most High God, revealed

in Christ, we may dare to endure the dark."
* To build godliness. People need not only to stop sinning, but also

to start doing God's will. Preaching is both destructive and

constructive, tearing down what's wrong and building what's right.

Preaching positively encourages people to do what's right. In his

sermon "No Ordinary People," Wayne Brouwer affirms the right things

the people in his congregation are doing: "One of the great privileges

we have as pastors is to hear the things that people say to us when

they first join us for worship and for fellowship. Seven times this

past week alone, I've heard things like this: "'I didn't know what

Christianity was about until I came to First Church.' "'You people at

First Church made me feel welcome even when I didn't know what I

needed in my own soul.' "'You know,' said one person, 'I dropped out

of church for many years. I didn't think I needed it. And then my

friend brought me to First Church one day. Now I know what I've been

missing. I'd like to become a member.' "'People at First Church really

live their faith, don't they?' "That's what they're saying about us.

They're not really saying it about us. They're saying it about Christ

in us. ..." This positive approach surely made Brouwer's congregation

want to continue to accept newcomers.
* To bring resolution. Sermons often have greater emotional impact

when we begin with the negative, show the need, and then bring

resolution by showing what God can do. In his sermon "The Love That

Compels," Stuart Briscoe shows the classic negative‑to‑positive form

of Christian preaching: the sin of man and the salvation of Christ.

"Human beings are not unlike volcanoes. Inside a volcano, the pressure

builds until the top blows with a dramatic eruption of lava. At other

times, cracks slowly and insidiously appear on the side of the

volcano, and the lava flows out in a different manner. ... "Inside

each of us, there's a thing called sin. No matter what way our volcano

was formed, whether we blow the top or leak streams of lava, it's the


lava inside that's the problem. "The ultimate disease is the problem,

and there's nothing human beings can do about it. "God demonstrated

his incredible love toward us when he took the initiative and

determined to do something about the sin problem. He invited Christ to

take our sins on himself and die our deaths. God would no longer count

our sins against us. He would reckon the sin to Christ and reckon to

us the righteousness of Christ. That's love." Notice that the negative

opening doesn't find resolution until the positive conclusion. HOW TO

CHANGE DIRECTION As we ponder the purpose of our sermon, we may sense

that we need to flip an element from positive to negative, or vice

versa. Instead of saying what not to do, we want to focus on what to

do. Or instead of illustrating what someone did right, we want to

illustrate what someone did wrong. Here's how to make the switch.
* Switching from negative to positive. In a sermon on - James

1:2‑4 - James 1:2‑4}, I wanted to encourage listeners to persevere

because it makes them mature in character. I suspected, though, that

many of my listeners weren't overly concerned about growing in

character. But I also assumed they don't want to crash and burn

morally. So I began by using a negative example, trying to motivate

them by showing them what to avoid: "No one wants to crash and burn.

"On September 8, 1992, Air Force master pilot Don Snelgrove was flying

over Turkey in an F‑16 fighter. He was on a four‑hour mission to

patrol the no‑fly zone established over northern Iraq to protect the

Kurds. "Nature calls even for master pilots. He pulled out a plastic

container, set his F‑16 on autopilot, and undid his lap belt. As he

adjusted his seat upward, the buckle on that lap belt wedged between

the seat and the control stick, pushing the stick to the right and

sending the plane into a spin. "As he struggled to regain control, the

plane plunged 33,000 feet. Finally at 2,000 feet altitude, he ejected

from the plane. Moments later the F‑16 struck a barren hillside and

burst into flames. Neither the pilot nor anyone on the ground was

injured. But I'll tell you what: there was one very embarrassed master

pilot. That F‑16 burning on a hillside in Turkey cost U.S. taxpayers

$18 million. "Even inadvertent mistakes are terribly embarrassing. How

much worse are the mistakes and failures that result from our

weaknesses, flaws, and sins. But we don't have to crash and burn

morally. We can develop godly character, and - James

1:2‑4 - James 1:2‑4} shows us how." My goal was to use negative

examples to motivate. But I could have begun the sermon positively.

Perhaps the congregation already desired character and needed only

encouragement. In that case, I could have begun the sermon with a

positive example of someone who inspires us with his or her noble


character: "Inside each of us there is the desire to be a better

person. Many of us would love to be more like Dr. Elizabeth Holland, a

pediatrician from Memphis, Tennessee, who has served as a volunteer

doctor for World Vision. "Once she treated patients in the middle of

an African civil war, explains writer Robert Kerr. In 1985 she

performed one appendectomy in which 'the "operating room" was a mud

hut deep in the jungle of Zaire. The anesthetic was an animal

tranquilizer, which ran out in the middle of the operation. Outside,

MIG jets were dropping bombs.' Every time a bomb hit, dirt from the

mud hut fell down on them. She performed a virtual miracle considering

the circumstances, and her patient lived. "During the Angolan civil

war, Holland routinely saw 400 to 500 patients a day. '"I frequently

wrapped broken bones in magazines and used banana leafs for slings."

she said.' "Since food was in short supply, Holland ate a paste made

from ground cassava‑plant roots. '"It tasted like glue," said Dr.

Holland. "The first few days, I thought I would die. But then I got to

where it tasted pretty good. Sometimes when it rained we could get a

few leaves from the trees to cook in with it for variety."' "Across

the Angolan border was a minefield that often killed or injured

civilians; Holland would retrieve them. "'She said, "I learned if I

got my nose down at ground level and crawled along on my stomach, I

could see the mines. So I would make my way across, then throw the

injured person over my shoulder and carry them out the same way I had

come over."' "Maybe we will never be forced to persevere as Elizabeth

Holland has, but each of us can grow in character, and

- James 1:2‑4 - James 1:2‑4} tells us how." Notice that this

example leaves a positive feeling in listeners; it assumes they want

the best and can develop. The negative approach focuses on what to

avoid; a positive approach focuses on what to attempt.
* Switching from positive to negative. Familiar Bible passages can be

presented with a positive or negative approach, depending upon the

situation. Take, for example, the story of Peter trying to walk on

water. In his sermon "A Mind‑Expanding Faith," John Ortberg draws from

the text a positive main idea: "All of us are 'would‑be water

walkers.' And God did not intend for human beings, his children

created in his divine image, to go through life in a desperate attempt

to avoid failure. "The boat is safe, and the boat is secure, and the

boat is comfortable. The water is high, the waves are rough, the wind

is strong, and the night is dark. A storm is out there, and if you get

out of your boat, you may sink. "But if you don't get out of your

boat, you will never walk because if you want to walk on the water,

you have to get out of the boat. There is something, Someone, inside


us that tells us our lives are about something more than sitting in

the boat, something that wants to walk on the water, something that

calls us to leave the routine of comfortable existence and abandon

ourselves in this adventure of following Christ." But the same passage

could be used in a negative approach: to point out Peter's mistakes to

avoid. It might sound like this: "Peter was able to walk on water for

a few steps. But in the middle of that walk toward Christ, something

changed in his heart, and it caused him to sink. "Peter isn't the only

one who has taken bold steps of faith to follow Christ. Many in this

congregation are doing the same. In spite of great fear, you have

begun to teach a Bible class or host a cell group or volunteer at the

local hospital. Now that you've begun, you are beginning to see how

challenging this really is, and you're wavering. You feel like you're

going to sink. Let's see if we can learn from this account how to

avoid what caused Peter to sink." To change from positive to negative,

look for what a text shows not to do.


THE FINE ART OF DISCIPLING My two oldest sons competed on their high

school gymnastics team last year. As the postseason meets began,

Aaron, who was a senior, had the goal of qualifying for state. Ben, a

sophomore, wanted to make it to sectionals. In regionals both Aaron

and Ben had poor meets, missing several routines. When they got in the

car afterward, they were down in the dumps‑‑even though they had both

(barely) made the cut for sectionals. Probably they were a little

embarrassed, not knowing how I would react (I competed in gymnastics

in high school and college). Although after some meets, I have pointed

out flaws in their technique, this time I spent the next thirty

minutes in the car telling them the bright spots, the specific things

they had done well: "Aaron, that was the best double you've ever done

off high bar. You were above the bar." "Ben, your plunge on parallel

bars was unbelievable. You must have held it for five seconds!" By the

time we got home, they were smiling and talking about how much better

they would do in the next meet. Their confidence had returned. One

week later, Ben hit his routines as well as he had all year, and Aaron

reached the goal that he had hoped for all year: he qualified for

state. We coach‑‑and disciple‑‑not only the body but the heart. The

choice between positive and negative in our sermons is a critical part

of training Christians who have the heart of champions.
HOW BALANCED IS YOUR PREACHING? Ways you can measure We assume our

preaching is balanced. After all, we preach what we feel God is

leading us to preach. But our personality, which may have a negative

or positive bias, enters strongly into our sermonizing, so without



knowing it we can easily become a lopsided preacher. Here are a few

signals that our sermons may be more imbalanced than we assume.


POSSIBLE NEGATIVE IMBALANCE ‑‑Your congregation is critical (and you

have been their pastor for more than four years). Conversations center

on what's wrong with the world, people, the denomination, the church.

‑‑You don't feel as though you're really preaching until you are

telling people how they need to change. ‑‑A common compliment you

receive on your preaching is "You really nailed us today, Pastor."

‑‑You preach frequently from the Old Testament prophets or hard

sayings of Jesus.


POSSIBLE POSITIVE IMBALANCE ‑‑You apologize when you point out sin.

‑‑You don't want any sermon to be "a downer." ‑‑You feel as though you

haven't really preached until people are feeling encouraged. ‑‑A

common compliment you receive is you're sensitive to the hurting.


Craig Brian Larson is a contributing editor of LEADERSHIP Copyright

(c) 1995 Christianity Today, Inc./LEADERSHIP Journal



<><
Preaching - CT - Date Originally Filed - 9/1995.101
Preaching
FEATURE: LARSON: Positive & Negative Preaching By Craig Brian Larson

If you want to reach the hearts of listeners, consider the heart of

the sermon.
I was coaching gymnasts at a local club for a few hours a week. As I

took beginners from basic skills like hip circles on the high bar to

more difficult tricks like giants, I repeatedly faced a decision

intrinsic to the art of coaching: when to say what the gymnast was

doing right and when to say what he was doing wrong. Both were

necessary. I couldn't help a beginner on high bar by ignoring that he

was about to swing forward with his hands in an undergrip position‑‑he

would peel in the front and fall on his head. "Don't ever do that!" I

warned. "You'll break your neck." But my ultimate goal was not just to

avoid injury; I wanted these boys to become excellent gymnasts

someday. So I encouraged them as they developed the fundamentals:

"Good stretch. That's the way to hollow your chest. Nice scoop in the



front." Preachers face the same decision weekly. One of our most

important decisions when crafting a sermon is whether to frame it

positively (what to do, what's right, our hope in God, the promises)

or negatively (what not to do, what's wrong, the sinful human

condition). The choice between positive or negative in the subject,

outline, illustrations, and application powerfully affects the tone of

a sermon. It changes the response of listeners. Surprisingly, it took

a friend editing a piece of my writing to make me sensitive to the

issue of positive and negative preaching. I found he had written a new

conclusion. "I didn't think this ended well on a negative note," he

explained, "so I've converted this to a positive conclusion." I liked

my original version, but as I considered the revised version, I had to

admit the positive conclusion was more effective. It left a hopeful

feeling, and that was appropriate. Thereafter in my preaching, I

became intentional about selecting positive or negative elements. And

I have seen the difference it makes.


SAME TEXT, DIFFERENT SERMONS

Recently I preached from - Malachi 1:6‑14 - Malachi 1:6‑14

and had to choose between positive and negative approaches.

- Malachi 1 - Malachi 1} scathingly indicts the priests and

Israelites for what they were doing wrong. The people were sacrificing

to God their blind and lame animals. The priests were sniffing at the

altar, complaining that it smelled and that the sacrifices were a

burden. God angrily rebuked them because by such "worship" they were

showing him contempt rather than honor. This Old Testament passage

forcefully portrays a failing that Christians can have‑‑we may

dishonor God by giving him our worst instead of our best. In writing

the sermon, I had several decisions to make. First, the subject could

have been framed negatively: How people show contempt for God. I had

to develop that theme to be true to the text, of course, yet I decided

to do so under the umbrella of a positive subject: How to honor God.

If I had selected the negative approach, my main points would have

been: We show contempt for God when we (1) respect a father or

employer above God, (2) offer God what we don't value, (3) worship God

as if he were trivial. In the positive approach, I wrote this outline:

We honor God when we (1) respect God above a father or employer, (2)

give God what we value, (3) worship God in a way that reflects his

greatness. I developed the points with contrast, explaining what the

Israelites were doing wrong and then illustrating positively how we

can do what is right. That one decision early on drastically changed



the application and emotional impact of the entire sermon. My goal is

not a simple fifty‑fifty split between positive and negative messages.

Rather, I want to know which approach I am using and why. Finding the

right balance of positive and negative preaching leads to healthy

Christians and churches, and to sermons that people want to hear.
WHEN TO BE NEGATIVE

Both positive and negative elements are especially effective at

accomplishing certain objectives. First let's look at four legitimate

reasons to use a negative approach. * To show our need. Negative

preaching takes sin seriously and leads to repentance, thus indirectly

bringing the positive results of joy, peace, and life. It is in

keeping with the model of Jesus, who clearly honored God's hatred of

sin by telling people what not to do. In his sermon "God Is an

Important Person," John Piper used a negative approach to help

listeners see their need to honor God: "I've been to church‑growth

seminars where God is not once mentioned. I've been to lectures and

talks on pastoral issues where he is not so much as alluded to. I have

read strategies for every kind of recovery under the sun where God is

not there. I have talked to students in seminaries who tell me of

manifold courses where God is peripheral at best. I have recently read

mission statements of major evangelical organizations where God is not

even mentioned. "I admit freely that I'm on a crusade, and I have one

message: God is an important person, and he does not like being taken

for granted." In this case, the string of negative examples builds

forcefully to show listeners their need. * To seize interest. As

journalists know‑‑and radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh make a fortune

on‑‑the negative gets more attention and interest than the positive.

In his sermon, "Power," Howard Hendricks immediately gains a roomful

of listeners with an introduction that reminds us our culture is a

mess: "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king's horses and all the king's men Couldn't put Humpty

Dumpty together again. "What a perceptive parable of our generation.

We live in a society in which everything nailed down is coming loose.

Things that people said could not happen are happening. Thoughtful

though unregenerate people are asking, 'Where is the glue to

reassemble the disintegration and disarray?'... "Then we usually seek

someone to blame. I saw an intriguing piece of graffiti in the city of

Philadelphia some time ago. Scratched across the wall were these

words: HUMPTY Dumpty was pushed." After getting listeners' attention

with negative news, Hendricks goes on to show that only Christ has the

power to straighten out our culture. * To accentuate the positive. The

positive feels even more so after it has been contrasted with the


negative. I appreciated this approach in Leith Anderson's sermon "Can

Jesus Trust Us?" Leith develops one point negatively to help us grasp

the positive. "Jesus ... trusted John with his love. It is a most

extraordinary thing to be described as 'the one whom Jesus loved,' to

be Jesus' best friend. It smacks of something inappropriate, but the

fact is, that's what their relationship was. "I wonder what it would

be like if such a thing were done today. ... What would happen if in

1994 someone were identified from all of Christendom as Jesus' best

friend? Editors would be lined up for an interview. That person would

be on the cover of every magazine. What do you think it would do to

that person's life? Do you think that person would write a book or cut

a CD or go on the road on a Best‑Friend‑of‑Jesus seminar? Wouldn't it

have the high potential of ruining that person's entire life? Wouldn't

there be a temptation to arrogance? Wouldn't there be the possibility

of treating others in an inappropriate and disparaging way? "And yet,

didn't Jesus have as much right to a best friend as any of us? If so,

wasn't it critically important that he choose someone whom he could

trust to be his best friend, with the confidence that that person

would never misuse their relationship?" By showing the negative way

most people would handle such a relationship with Jesus, Leith makes

the apostle John's response seem even more positive. * To warn of

danger. If my son reaches toward a hot pan on the stove, it's no time

for me to tell him what great potential he has. "Don't touch that

pan!" is negative‑‑and necessary. In a dangerous world, much of a

responsible pastor's counsel is negative by necessity. In his sermon

"Take Your Best Shot," based on the crucifixion account, Gordon

MacDonald uses a negative approach to warn of evils we must avoid.

"Here are two major forms of evil erupting out of the human

experience. One is the crowd's irrational, angry, brutal resistance

against God, his purposes, and his people. The other is Pilate's

saying, 'I don't want to be identified with it.' In silence and

complicity, he backs off, washes his hands, and decides it would be

better to do nothing. "What bothers me most is my strong suspicion

that I could have been in that crowd. ... I can see the possibility of

being so defiant against God that I would have joined the crowd

saying, 'Crucify him!' self‑righteously justifying myself. I can also

see myself as Pontius Pilate saying, 'I don't want anything to do with

this,' and letting it happen." It's not positive, but it is powerful,

and it warns listeners of a danger to avoid.
WHEN TO BE POSITIVE

At the core, however, New Testament preachers proclaim good news, a

message that brings hope, help, strength, and joy. Jesus sums up the


negative commands‑‑don't kill, steal, lie, covet‑‑in positive terms:

Love the Lord and love your neighbor. This positive approach works

best when you have the following objectives: * To show the goodness of

Christ. The negative often focuses on what people and Satan do. The

positive focuses on God's answer, God's glory, God's nature, God's

salvation. Christ‑centered preaching requires the positive. In his

Easter sermon, "Victory for Us," Earl Palmer shows by an analogy from

the Winter Olympics that Christ won a victory not only for himself,

but also for us: "The high point of the Olympics from a sentimental

standpoint is those award ceremonies. When the victors stand on those

three pedestals, that's where everybody is crying. The three flags are

raised, and the national anthem of the gold medalist is played.

"Something else is signified there: not only did [the various skaters]

win, but their countries won, too. Not only their countries but their

parents. Notice how the cameras try to find parents in the audience

and the skaters' trainers and sometimes a whole town in

Wisconsin‑‑they all share in that victory. That's what makes it great.

They won not only for themselves, they won for us, too. "In the Easter

narratives of the New Testament, two great affirmations are made. One

affirmation is that Christ has won the victory, and it's his alone.

But the second theme, perhaps more subtly portrayed but also present

in all the Gospel narratives, is that we too win a victory on Easter

day. Our Lord's victory is his vindication, but it's also our

vindication." The positive approach fits the theme of resurrection and

life. * To bring encouragement and hope. God wants people to

experience hope, peace, acceptance, courage. Bad news makes people

feel bad. So while the negative is useful, it is rarely helpful to

leave that as the last word. In his sermon, "Listening to the Dark,"

Eugene Lowry comforts listeners from the story of God speaking in a

still, small voice to the despairing Elijah: "In the midst of the

darkness of the cave finally came this voice. The voice came up close

to the ear and whispered. And the voice said, 'What are you doing

here?' "That's one of the most remarkable passages in all of

Scripture. What do you mean, 'What are you doing here?' Do you notice

what the voice did not say? It did not say, 'What are you doing

there?'‑‑as though God were distant and aloof, looking on to the scene

of the cave saying, 'What are you doing there, Elijah? Why are you

there?' We're not talking there, we're talking here. "God is in the

dark. In fact, God is bigger than the dark. That's the promise. It is

God's dark. God is the Creator of the dark. And the promise is that

God will be present. ... And so with the confidence of children of the

Most High God, revealed in Christ, we may dare to endure the dark." *

To build godliness. People need not only to stop sinning, but also to


start doing God's will. Preaching is both destructive and

constructive, tearing down what's wrong and building what's right.

Preaching positively encourages people to do what's right. In his

sermon "No Ordinary People," Wayne Brouwer affirms the right things

the people in his congregation are doing: "One of the great privileges

we have as pastors is to hear the things that people say to us when

they first join us for worship and for fellowship. Seven times this

past week alone, I've heard things like this: "'I didn't know what

Christianity was about until I came to First Church.' "'You people at

First Church made me feel welcome even when I didn't know what I

needed in my own soul.' "'You know,' said one person, 'I dropped out

of church for many years. I didn't think I needed it. And then my

friend brought me to First Church one day. Now I know what I've been

missing. I'd like to become a member.' "'People at First Church really

live their faith, don't they?' "That's what they're saying about us.

They're not really saying it about us. They're saying it about Christ

in us. ..." This positive approach surely made Brouwer's congregation

want to continue to accept newcomers. * To bring resolution. Sermons

often have greater emotional impact when we begin with the negative,

show the need, and then bring resolution by showing what God can do.

In his sermon "The Love That Compels," Stuart Briscoe shows the

classic negative‑to‑positive form of Christian preaching: the sin of

man and the salvation of Christ. "Human beings are not unlike

volcanoes. Inside a volcano, the pressure builds until the top blows

with a dramatic eruption of lava. At other times, cracks slowly and

insidiously appear on the side of the volcano, and the lava flows out

in a different manner. ... "Inside each of us, there's a thing called

sin. No matter what way our volcano was formed, whether we blow the

top or leak streams of lava, it's the lava inside that's the problem.

"The ultimate disease is the problem, and there's nothing human beings

can do about it. "God demonstrated his incredible love toward us when

he took the initiative and determined to do something about the sin

problem. He invited Christ to take our sins on himself and die our

deaths. God would no longer count our sins against us. He would reckon

the sin to Christ and reckon to us the righteousness of Christ. That's

love." Notice that the negative opening doesn't find resolution until

the positive conclusion. HOW TO CHANGE DIRECTION As we ponder the

purpose of our sermon, we may sense that we need to flip an element

from positive to negative, or vice versa. Instead of saying what not

to do, we want to focus on what to do. Or instead of illustrating what

someone did right, we want to illustrate what someone did wrong.

Here's how to make the switch. * Switching from negative to positive.

In a sermon on - James 1:2‑4 - James 1:2‑4}, I wanted to


encourage listeners to persevere because it makes them mature in

character. I suspected, though, that many of my listeners weren't

overly concerned about growing in character. But I also assumed they

don't want to crash and burn morally. So I began by using a negative

example, trying to motivate them by showing them what to avoid: "No

one wants to crash and burn. "On September 8, 1992, Air Force master

pilot Don Snelgrove was flying over Turkey in an F‑16 fighter. He was

on a four‑hour mission to patrol the no‑fly zone established over

northern Iraq to protect the Kurds. "Nature calls even for master

pilots. He pulled out a plastic container, set his F‑16 on autopilot,

and undid his lap belt. As he adjusted his seat upward, the buckle on

that lap belt wedged between the seat and the control stick, pushing

the stick to the right and sending the plane into a spin. "As he

struggled to regain control, the plane plunged 33,000 feet. Finally at

2,000 feet altitude, he ejected from the plane. Moments later the F‑16

struck a barren hillside and burst into flames. Neither the pilot nor

anyone on the ground was injured. But I'll tell you what: there was

one very embarrassed master pilot. That F‑16 burning on a hillside in

Turkey cost U.S. taxpayers $18 million. "Even inadvertent mistakes are

terribly embarrassing. How much worse are the mistakes and failures

that result from our weaknesses, flaws, and sins. But we don't have to

crash and burn morally. We can develop godly character, and

- James 1:2‑4 - James 1:2‑4} shows us how." My goal was to use

negative examples to motivate. But I could have begun the sermon

positively. Perhaps the congregation already desired character and

needed only encouragement. In that case, I could have begun the sermon

with a positive example of someone who inspires us with his or her

noble character: "Inside each of us there is the desire to be a better

person. Many of us would love to be more like Dr. Elizabeth Holland, a

pediatrician from Memphis, Tennessee, who has served as a volunteer

doctor for World Vision. "Once she treated patients in the middle of

an African civil war, explains writer Robert Kerr. In 1985 she

performed one appendectomy in which 'the "operating room" was a mud

hut deep in the jungle of Zaire. The anesthetic was an animal

tranquilizer, which ran out in the middle of the operation. Outside,

MIG jets were dropping bombs.' Every time a bomb hit, dirt from the

mud hut fell down on them. She performed a virtual miracle considering

the circumstances, and her patient lived. "During the Angolan civil

war, Holland routinely saw 400 to 500 patients a day. '"I frequently

wrapped broken bones in magazines and used banana leafs for slings."

she said.' "Since food was in short supply, Holland ate a paste made

from ground cassava‑plant roots. '"It tasted like glue," said Dr.

Holland. "The first few days, I thought I would die. But then I got to


where it tasted pretty good. Sometimes when it rained we could get a

few leaves from the trees to cook in with it for variety."' "Across

the Angolan border was a minefield that often killed or injured

civilians; Holland would retrieve them. "'She said, "I learned if I

got my nose down at ground level and crawled along on my stomach, I

could see the mines. So I would make my way across, then throw the

injured person over my shoulder and carry them out the same way I had

come over."' "Maybe we will never be forced to persevere as Elizabeth

Holland has, but each of us can grow in character, and

- James 1:2‑4 - James 1:2‑4} tells us how." Notice that this

example leaves a positive feeling in listeners; it assumes they want

the best and can develop. The negative approach focuses on what to

avoid; a positive approach focuses on what to attempt. * Switching

from positive to negative. Familiar Bible passages can be presented

with a positive or negative approach, depending upon the situation.

Take, for example, the story of Peter trying to walk on water. In his

sermon "A Mind‑Expanding Faith," John Ortberg draws from the text a

positive main idea: "All of us are 'would‑be water walkers.' And God

did not intend for human beings, his children created in his divine

image, to go through life in a desperate attempt to avoid failure.

"The boat is safe, and the boat is secure, and the boat is

comfortable. The water is high, the waves are rough, the wind is

strong, and the night is dark. A storm is out there, and if you get

out of your boat, you may sink. "But if you don't get out of your

boat, you will never walk because if you want to walk on the water,

you have to get out of the boat. There is something, Someone, inside

us that tells us our lives are about something more than sitting in

the boat, something that wants to walk on the water, something that

calls us to leave the routine of comfortable existence and abandon

ourselves in this adventure of following Christ." But the same passage

could be used in a negative approach: to point out Peter's mistakes to

avoid. It might sound like this: "Peter was able to walk on water for

a few steps. But in the middle of that walk toward Christ, something

changed in his heart, and it caused him to sink. "Peter isn't the only

one who has taken bold steps of faith to follow Christ. Many in this

congregation are doing the same. In spite of great fear, you have

begun to teach a Bible class or host a cell group or volunteer at the

local hospital. Now that you've begun, you are beginning to see how

challenging this really is, and you're wavering. You feel like you're

going to sink. Let's see if we can learn from this account how to

avoid what caused Peter to sink." To change from positive to negative,

look for what a text shows not to do.




THE FINE ART OF DISCIPLING

My two oldest sons competed on their high school gymnastics team last

year. As the postseason meets began, Aaron, who was a senior, had the

goal of qualifying for state. Ben, a sophomore, wanted to make it to

sectionals. In regionals both Aaron and Ben had poor meets, missing

several routines. When they got in the car afterward, they were down

in the dumps‑‑even though they had both (barely) made the cut for

sectionals. Probably they were a little embarrassed, not knowing how I

would react (I competed in gymnastics in high school and college).

Although after some meets, I have pointed out flaws in their

technique, this time I spent the next thirty minutes in the car

telling them the bright spots, the specific things they had done well:

"Aaron, that was the best double you've ever done off high bar. You

were above the bar." "Ben, your plunge on parallel bars was

unbelievable. You must have held it for five seconds!" By the time we

got home, they were smiling and talking about how much better they

would do in the next meet. Their confidence had returned. One week

later, Ben hit his routines as well as he had all year, and Aaron

reached the goal that he had hoped for all year: he qualified for

state. We coach‑‑and disciple‑‑not only the body but the heart. The

choice between positive and negative in our sermons is a critical part

of training Christians who have the heart of champions.


HOW BALANCED IS YOUR PREACHING? Ways you can measure We assume our

preaching is balanced. After all, we preach what we feel God is

leading us to preach. But our personality, which may have a negative

or positive bias, enters strongly into our sermonizing, so without

knowing it we can easily become a lopsided preacher. Here are a few

signals that our sermons may be more imbalanced than we assume.


POSSIBLE NEGATIVE IMBALANCE

‑‑Your congregation is critical (and you have been their pastor for

more than four years). Conversations center on what's wrong with the

world, people, the denomination, the church. ‑‑You don't feel as

though you're really preaching until you are telling people how they

need to change. ‑‑A common compliment you receive on your preaching is

"You really nailed us today, Pastor."

‑‑You preach frequently from the Old Testament prophets or hard

sayings of Jesus.
POSSIBLE POSITIVE IMBALANCE

‑‑You apologize when you point out sin.

‑‑You don't want any sermon to be "a downer."


‑‑You feel as though you haven't really preached until people are

feeling encouraged.

‑‑A common compliment you receive is you're sensitive to the hurting.

Craig Brian Larson is a contributing editor of LEADERSHIP

Copyright (c) 1995 Christianity Today, Inc./LEADERSHIP Journal

<><
Preaching - Once you get people laughing,

Franklin Planner - Date Originally Filed - 1/1998.101


Once you get people laughing, they're listening and you can tell them

almost anything ‑Herbert Gardner (Franklin Planner ‑ January 6, 1998)

File 88, 121
Humor
<><
Preaching - Saying the wrong thing

Date Originally Filed - 1/1998.101


*

Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the

world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that

but not with all those flies and death and stuff. ‑‑ Mariah Carey


*

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why

Answer: I would not live forever, because we should not live

forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would

live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not

live forever. ‑‑ Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss Universe contest


*

Researchers have discovered that chocolate produces some of the

same reactions in the brain as marijuana...The researchers also

discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what

they are. ‑‑Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show, August 22


*

Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of

your life. ‑‑ Brooke Shields, during an interview to become

spokesperson for a federal anti‑smoking campaign


*

Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates

in the country. ‑‑ Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC
*

The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make

them unsafe. ‑‑ Frank Rizzo, ex‑police chief and mayor of Philadelphia
<><
Preaching - To be boring

Date Originally Filed - 3/1998.101


The way to become boring is to say everything ‑‑Voltaire (Franklin

Planner, March 5, 1998.)



<><
Preaching - Poor Sermon Illustration - Gun

Date Originally Filed - 11/1998.101


Poor Sermon Illustrations
A youth pastor in FL, Melvyn Nurse, 35, wanted to illustrate the

danger of drug use and violence by comparing it to Russian Roulette.

Inserting a blank cartridge into a revolver during a sermon before 250

people, he proceeded to spin the cylinder and fire it above his heard

at each point made in his outline. At the end, the blank cartridge

flew apart and shattered his skull (CCI/USA's Executive monthly, Vol.

13, No. 11).
<><
Preaching - 10 Commandments of Communication by: Dr. John Maxwell ***

Date Originally Filed - 2/1999.101


The Ten Commandments of Communication by: Dr. John Maxwell

Can you hear it? If not, you must be able to see it... There's an

explosion currently taking place in American society, and its effects

are all around us. Television. Radio. Books. Telemarketing. Video

conferencing. Magazines. Newspapers. Online services. Faxes. Overnight

delivery.
For the past 50 years, communication has been growing so explosively

that it seems almost impossible to keep up. In fact, Kaiser Aluminum

News reports that since 1955, fifty percent of the cost of running the

American economy has been related to communication.


And there you are ‑‑ a leader caught in the midst of this

communication cyclone. No matter who your followers are, you recognize

that you must find a way to communicate with them. And not just give

information or talk "at" them; you need to find a way to get through

to them over the din of everything else that vies for their attention.

But how do you do that?


The answer lies not so much in what you say, but in how you say it.

You've got to connect if you want to achieve true communication ‑‑ the

kind that reaches the heart and mind and elicits a response.
In the years I've been speaking to people, whether preaching the

Gospel or teaching leadership principles, I've learned some truths

about effective communication. And I've narrowed them down to ten

"commandments." Over the years, they've helped me improve my ability

to connect, and I believe they can do the same for you.
1. BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU SAY.

It's hard to get excited about someone else's brainstorm. Only when

you "own" an idea can you express a sense of urgency and passion about

it. And while that's easy when an idea begins with you, it's more of a

challenge with pieces of information that get passed down for you to

share with your people. That's when you must find something in the

message that is valuable to you and them, and then express it with

enthusiasm.


2. BELIEVE IN THE PEOPLE TO WHOM YOU SPEAK.

All great communicators have one thing in common: They expect a lot of

their audience. They believe their message has value to their

listeners, and they trust people to understand and apply it to their

lives or work. Because of this attitude, when they're done speaking,

the people come away saying, "This speaker really has my interests at



heart and wants me to be all I can be."
If you're going to reach people you have to believe in them.
3. LIVE WHAT YOU SAY.

In school, many of us were taught that content was the key to

effective communication. But it's not. What is most important is

credibility. When I began preaching in my first church, I often spoke

on evangelism because I believed it was important. But those messages

failed to produce any lasting results in the people's hearts. Why?

Because at the time, I was not doing the work of an evangelist. It was

only after I made a personal commitment to winning souls that I could

effectively preach on evangelism.
If you can't own it, don't quote it. If you don't live it, it won't

fly.
4. KNOW WHEN TO SAY IT.

In many cases, timing really is everything. If you don't take it into

account, even the most inspired or important message can fail to reach

your listeners.
For example, during times when people feel insecure (such as when

layoffs have been taking place within the community), "surprise"

messages are rarely received well. And calls to deep commitment in

times of low morale may not work.


With any message, ask yourself what response you're trying to elicit

from your audience. Then look at the environment, attitudes, and

circumstances the people are currently facing to determine whether you

can expect to get that response right now. If you conclude that the

timing is bad, wait. As circumstances and feelings change, your people

will be more receptive, and you'll have a better chance of succeeding.


5. KNOW HOW TO SAY IT.

Creativity can often make the difference between functional and

memorable communication. Use all the tools you can to make your

message interesting and memorable. Choices include plays on words,

acrostics, humor, stories, etc. And avoid being too predictable. If

people always know what you are about to say or how you will say it,

they will stop listening.
6. KNOW WHY TO SAY IT.


One of my college professors used to tell us, "Preach for a verdict."

In other words, don't speak if you don't know what you want to have

happen when you're done. Always base your announcement or message on

what you want your audience to do, rather than on what you want them

to know. Then make sure to tell them what you want them to do next.

You'd be surprised by how many leaders expect their people to apply

what they've learned without ever being asked to do it.
7. HAVE FUN SAYING IT.

Don't take yourself too seriously. We are all cracked pots ‑‑ and the

bigger the cracks, the more God's light shines through. Make your

communication fun and relaxed. And don't be afraid to use humor.


8. SHOW IT AS YOU SAY IT.

People are very visual. Your listeners are more likely to respond when

they can "see" what you're trying to tell them. Use body language and

hand gestures. Write on a board or overhead screen. Paint word

pictures and use descriptive language to bring what you say to life.

Any time you can conjure an image in people's minds, your ability to

get through to them increases dramatically.
9. SAY IT SO PEOPLE CAN OWN IT.

There's no reason for people to respond to a message that doesn't seem

to be directed at them. To foster ownership in your listeners, you

must include them in your communication.


Speak specifically, not hypothetically. Spell out how your message

affects them personally. If people know what's really at stake, they

respond at a much higher level of commitment.
10. SAY IT SO PEOPLE WILL DO IT.

The bottom line for any communication is action. So make sure that a

call for action is a part of any message you share. As you make the

call, communicate the benefits your audience will receive from

following through. Give them the steps they'll need to respond. And

finally, make sure that they are capable of doing what you're calling

them to do.
In today's world, competition for the hearts and minds of people is

intense. Without a strategy, you're facing a tough battle. But by

applying these "ten commandments" to your communication, I believe you

can increase your effectiveness and connect with them in a positive

way.


http://www.gospelcom.net/injoy/newsletters/leadership‑wired/97/10/mFailure
<><
Preaching - Make Every Sermon Count by Donald S. Whitney

Date Originally Filed - 2/1999.101


Issue 106

Jul/Aug 98

How to Make Every Sermon Count

Preparing your heart and mind to hear God's Word

by Donald S. Whitney
It=s Sunday morning. Your pastor strides to the pulpit. During the

sermon, you=ll invest 25 to 45 minutes of your time listening to what

he has to say. How can you benefit most from this important

investment? What can you do to get the most out of the sermon?


- James 1:21‑22 - James 1:21‑22} teaches us what to do before,

during, and after hearing God=s Word: ATherefore putting aside all

filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the

word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves

doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves@

(NASB).
Heart Preparation

We need to prepare our hearts before we can hear God speak through a

sermon. James= phrase Afilthiness and all that remains of wickedness@

refers generally to any type of sin. When James writes of Aputting

[it] aside,@ he uses a term that describes taking off an old, dirty

coat and laying it aside. In other words, he counsels, the best way to

prepare to hear from a holy God is to put away anything in your life

that is unholy.
The Greek word translated in verse 21 as Awickedness@ is used outside

the New Testament for the wax that forms in the ear. Sin is like that.

It can block our spiritual ears so that we cannot hear what God is

saying to us. The Lord may be speaking clearly through the sermon, and

yet we may not hear Him.
Putting aside sin requires us to examine our hearts, looking for

anything in our lives that would hamper our spiritual hearing. Before

you go to church, carve out a few minutes to pray for your ability to


receive what you hear. Ask God to search your heart. He may place His

finger on a particular sin. If so, confess it, and ask the Lord not to

let it impede your intake of truth. Pray that God would help you

overcome common Sunday morning problems that interfere with listening

to the sermon, such as anger toward a family member who made you late.

Any sin that comes to mind should prompt confession and repentance in

order to better hear God=s pure and holy Word.
Listening with Humility

The second half of verse 21 describes our responsibility during a

sermon: Ain humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save

your souls.@ James is writing to those in whom the Word of God has

already been implanted by God (see v. 18), that is, to believers in

Christ. So when he speaks of the Asaving of the soul,@ James is

referring to the ongoing process of sanctificationBbecoming more like

ChristBin each believer=s life.


What does it mean to receive the Word in humility? To listen with

humility, we must remember that we are coming to hear the Word of God,

not just a pastor=s sermon. Often, we may get hung up on superficial

things that distract us. Perhaps we don=t like a certain pastor=s

preaching style or some annoying mannerism. We must not let such

personal issues derail our attention to the preaching of God=s Word.

When we listen with humility, we=re more alert for the message of God

than for flaws in the messenger or his delivery. Not every word the

preacher speaks will be divinely inspired by God. But if your pastor=s

sermons are based on the Bible, then you are hearing the Word of God.

God is speaking, and He is speaking to you.
To receive the Word of God in humility also means to think about how

it applies to us individually. With some issues, we may be tempted to

think that the sermon doesn=t have much to do with us. We may even

pridefully think, AThis sermon is for ________, not me.@ But we need

to humbly acknowledge that every sermon is for each of us. This is

even true for topics and passages we=ve heard preached many times and

assume that we know well. Instead of thinking, I know this already, we

need to ask the Lord to give us deeper insight and fresh ideas about

how to apply familiar truths to our lives. Because every verse used in

the sermon was inspired by God (see - 2 Tim. 3:16 - 2 Timothy

3:16}), we should assume that there is some way to apply it to our

lives.
The Apostle Paul was exhilarated by how the people of Thessalonica



responded to his preaching. AAnd we also thank God continually

because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us,

you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the

word of God, which is at work in you who believe@ ( - 1 Thess.

2:13 - 1 Thessalonians 2:13}). These people heard what Paul preached

and said to themselves, God is speaking to me.


The gospel is described as a seed that grows when it=s in a receptive

environment. Listening with humility means allowing God=s Word to take

root in your soul and life. Jesus used this analogy in the parable of

the soils (see - Lk. 8:4‑15 - Luke 8:4‑15}). The Word of God

that is sown during a sermon will only flourish in a heart with

receptive soil. Unfortunately, the hearts of many who hear the Word

are hard packed, and the Word finds no receptivity. With others, the

thorns of earthly concerns will choke out the fruitfulness of the

Word. But some, those described as Agood soil,@ will receive the Word,

and an abundant harvest of fruit will result. The way we receive the

Word of God as it is preached indicates the kind of soil we are.
Applying what you hear

James then exhorts his readers to respond obediently to the Word they=

ve humbly received. ABut prove yourselves doers of the word, and not

merely hearers who delude themselves@ ( - Jas. 1:22,

NASB) - James 1:22 NASB}. Our responsibility after the sermon is to

intentionally apply God=s Word. While a good preacher demonstrates the

application of his sermon text to various kinds of hearers, it is

impossible for him to personalize the application for everyone.

Ultimately, we must take the initiative to apply what we hear and thus

Aprove [ourselves] doers of the word, and not merely hearers.@


Make it your goal to determine at least one response to every

scripturally sound sermon you hear. The most appropriate response to

many sermons may be confession, praise, or thanksgiving. Maybe a

sermon has challenged what you believe about a particular verse or

doctrine, and you need to think about and study the issue further on

your own. Perhaps you were convicted to reconcile a relationship,

confront someone who=s wronged you, or confess a sin against an

individual. Perhaps there is a habit to break or to start. If no

application of the message seems obvious, think about how the sermon

might apply in different areas of your life, such as home, work,

church, school, finances, etc.



‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

Tips for Better Concentration

Get enough sleep.

It=s difficult to concentrate on a sermon if you haven=t had enough

sleep. Very few things will help you pay attention better than a good

night=s sleep on Saturday. How you spend Saturday night and early

Sunday morning has a great deal to do with how much you=ll get out of

the sermon.
Take notes.

Taking notes focuses your concentration on the preacher=s message.

Even if you don=t intend to file the notes for future reference,

writing down key thoughts will help you pay attention. Writing down

important ideas burns them into your brain much more effectively than

merely hearing them. You can enhance your note taking by recording

your own thoughts, questions, applications, and related Scriptures as

you listen. This helps make the sermon an interactive, relational

experience instead of simply a passive one.
Sit near the front.

Sitting close to the front minimizes distractions. The less distance

between you and the preacher, the fewer the diversions. You=ll see

fewer people talking and moving. You=ll be less distracted by other

people=s idiosyncrasies, clothing, babies looking at you, or parents

struggling to make their children pay attention.

BDonald S. Whitney

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
Ezekiel spoke about the importance of intentionally applying the

Word. God warned Ezekiel that some who claim to be His people and want

to hear His Word would respond to the prophet=s message by saying to

each other,


ACome and hear the message that has come from the Lord.@ My people

come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your

words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they

express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed,

to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a

beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words



but do not put them into practice. BEzk. 33:30‑33

God was displeased with these people because, despite hearing the

words of His spokesman, they didn=t Aput them into practice.@ They did

not consider God=s words any more important than an entertainer=s

(Aone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an

instrument well@). Hearing God=s Word without doing it is dangerous.

According to - Jas. 1:22 - James 1:22}, it is a delusion to

think that mere exposure to the truth, and perhaps admiration of it,

is sufficient. In - verse 25 - James 1:25}, James emphasizes

that it is not the man who forgets what he has heard, but he who does

it that will be blessed.
Do you have ears to hear?

If you had a weekly meeting with your boss and coworkers to discuss

priorities for the coming week, you would do your part to get ready

for the meeting. During the meeting, you would pay attention to what

your boss had to say. When the meeting was finished, you would go back

over your notes and action items and get to work on your assignments.


Or imagine that you have a weekly appointment with a golf or tennis

pro, or maybe a music lesson. During the week, you would practice

diligently to master the skills your instructor taught you in your

last session. During your half hour with the instructor, you would

soak in everything your teacher told you. From then on, you would try

to apply all you had heard.


Do you take the preaching of the WordBthe Word of God Almighty, the

One who created us and who determines our eternal destinyBas seriously

as a weekly appointment with a boss, a coach, a counselor, or a

customer? We should prepare for these kinds of meetings, but we also

need to prepare to meet with God. As Jesus said, AHe who has ears to

hear, let him hear@ ( - Mt. 11:15, RSV) - Matthew 11:15 RSV}.

We must remember the critical responsibility each of us has to humbly

receive the Word as it is preached and respond in obedience to it.

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

About the Author

DONALD S. WHITNEY is the assistant professor of spiritual formation at

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He


often speaks on spiritual disciplines at conferences and retreats, and

is the author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

(NavPress) and Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church (Moody).
Scripture References

- 1 Thess. 2:13 - 1 Thessalonians 2:13}, - Lk.

8:4‑15 - Luke 8:4‑15}, - Mt. 11:15 - Matthew 11:15}, - 2

Tim. 3:16 - 2 Timothy 3:16},Ezk. 33:30‑33


Discipleship Journal=s Online Archives

http://www.gospelcom.net/navs/NPDate Originally Filed - Jdatabase/template.phtml?1552


<><
Humor - Preaching - Bad Sermons Eggs/Shoe‑box

Date Originally Filed - 3/1999.101


Bad Sermons

Shoebox in the Cupboard


This pastor is rushing around the house looking for his dress shoes

before church. While looking in the closet, he finds this strange

shoe‑box. When he opens it he finds 3 eggs and $100.
The next day he asks his wife what it was all about. She replies, "I

didn't want to tell you before because I didn't want to hurt your

feelings."
The pastor starts wondering what it can possibly be that would hurt

his feelings, and the wife continues, "You see since the day we

married 25 years ago I've been putting an egg in this box for every

bad sermon you've given."


The pastor thinks 3 eggs in 25 years, that's not so bad, then asks

"What's the $100 for?" His wife replies, "Every time I got a dozen

eggs I sold them to the neighbors for 50 cents."
<><
Preaching - The Pope and the Jew - Date Originally Filed - 4/1999.101
The Pope and the Jew


About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to

leave Rome. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jewish

community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate

with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could

stay. If the Pope won, the Jews would leave.
The Jews realized they gad little choice. So the picked a middle aged

man named Moishe to represent them. Moishe asked for one addition to

the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side would be

allowed to talk.


The Pope agreed. The day of the great debate, Moishe and the Pope sat

opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand

and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one

finger.
The Pope raised his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe

pointed to the ground where

he sat. The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe

pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said "I give up. This man

is too good. The Jews can stay."


An hour later the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what

happened. The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent

the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger reminding me that

there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my

finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded

by pointing to

the ground and showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled

out the wine and wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He

pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for

everything. What could I do??"


Meanwhile the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe. "What

happened?" they asked. "Well," said Moishe, "First he said to me that

the Jews had three days to get out here. I told him that not one of

us is leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared

of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here." "Yes,

yes..and then???" asked the crowd.

"I don't know." said Moishe, "He took out his lunch, and I took out

mine"
<><



Preaching - The fewer the better - Less is More

Date Originally Filed - 4/1999.101


- Ecclesiastes 6:11 (NIV) - Ecclesiastes 6:11 NIV} \bold{The

more the words, the less the meaning, }and how does that profit

anyone?
In preaching, the fewer the better.
<><

Preaching - Mother Teresa - preaches without preaching B Mother Teresa


Date Originally Filed - 5/1999.101
One filled with joy preaches without preaching B Mother Teresa

(Franklin Planner ‑ May 20, 1999)


<><
Preaching - The Preaching Report Card

Date Originally Filed - 9/1999.101


Summer 1999
SERMON ASSESSMENT
The Preaching Report Card
Today's listeners grade pastors on what they hear from the pulpit.
Eric Reed
"Good sermon," the churchgoer mumbles every Sunday, shaking the

pastor's hand as she leaves the sanctuary. The pastor wonders, Does

she mean it?
We wondered, too. We wondered how eager congregations are for change

in a time when communication is changing rapidly and dramatically.


We wondered how pastors go about their task, and whether the preaching

moment is all they hope it will be. So we asked pastors and the people



who listen to them to talk to us about preaching.
Our nationwide survey of 206 pastors and 2,233 church attenders was

conducted in February by the research department at Christianity

Today, Inc., and tabulated by Davison Dietsch McCarthy of Chicago.
Some of the results are unexpected. Listeners are satisfied with what

they hear. Their pastors are good communicators, listeners say, but

our survey indicates the people don't always get the message the

pastors intend. And on some issues, the view from the pew is very

different from the pastor's perspective.
We asked several noted preachers (pictured below) who are also

teachers and lifelong students of communication to help us understand

the results.
Here is what we discovered.
1. Pastors are harder on their preaching than their listeners are.
Listeners gave their pastors high marks. Only 6 percent rated their

pastor fair or poor, while 57 percent said excellent. These grades

held up even when comparing their pastor to preachers in other

services they've attended. That's important, according to Haddon

Robinson, preaching professor at Gordon‑Conwell Theological Seminary

in Massachusetts. "The parish concept is dead. People join a church

because of the pastor," Robinson said. "Those who like his preaching

stay, and those who don't go to the church down the street." In

effect, we may be hearing from satisfied customers who, in an era of

many church choices, have found what they like.


Churchgoers are satisfied, according to James Earl Massey, because the

quality of preaching has improved. Massey is dean emeritus of Anderson

University School of Theology in Anderson, Indiana, and former pastor

of Metropolitan Church in Detroit. "The tide is rising. Where once we

had a generation marked by just a few pulpit giants, today all our

ministers are better educated, have greater resources, and are simply

better preachers."
Both preachers and listeners surveyed agreed that the sermons were

encouraging, interesting, and compassionate, but beyond that their

perspectives differed. Listeners chose the terms clear and convicting,

while preachers saw themselves as energetic and conversational. Massey



attributes the difference, in part, to each person's concern with his

or her own goals. The listener wants comfort and direction. The

preacher wants to communicate well.
Warren Wiersbe, former pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago and

teacher on "Back to the Bible," agreed. "The congregation is thinking

I need healing, and the preacher enters the pulpit thinking

professionally. He's like a surgeon in the operating room. The surgeon

would say to his colleagues as they're washing down, >Textbook

surgery.' He's thinking about his technique. The patient would wake up

and say, >I feel much better.' He's thinking about his pain."
Now retired, Wiersbe often views preaching from the pew. "Some of the

sermons that have moved me greatly would not be considered great

preaching. I don't care if the (preacher) stumbles. If he says

something that really touches my heart and gives me the strength I

need for the week, I'm happy."
2. Listeners aren't preachers, but preachers must be listeners.
THUMBS UP

Which of the following words describe your/your pastor's preaching?

(each person could choose four)
PASTORS LISTENERS

Encouraging 68% 66%

* Clear 46% 58%

Interesting 44% 45%

Compassionate 40% 43%

* Convicting 18% 32%

Authoritative 28% 30%

* Energetic 43% 29%

* Conversational 46% 22%

Non‑threatening 7% 10%

Intense 9% 8%

Confrontational 10% 6%

Formal 3% 5%

Unclear 1% 2%

Uninteresting 0% 2%
* = More than 10% differential

Pastors want to know if the sermon is hitting home, if people really

understand. Listeners said they get the message, but the differing


responses on the pastor's themes for the previous year indicate that

what's said isn't always what's heard. When asked, "What major themes

were preached last year?" considerably fewer listeners than pastors

said sermons were about "handling personal life issues."


"I can see why there's a tendency for people to say, >He never spoke

to my problem,'" Robinson said. "The pastor, like a hovercraft, floats

over a lot of issues and believes he's talking to them, but he doesn't

address them directly."


The missing component is specificity. Robinson recommended applying

the scriptural principles to several different life situations.

"People will say, >He really gets down where we are.'"
Pastors fear offending church members, said Calvin Miller of Beeson

Divinity School in Birmingham. "We preachers are more courageous in

our minds than in what we are saying. The genius of application is in

the courage to say exactly what you mean and not be afraid of

offending anyone."
We found some areas where listeners were willing to risk having their

toes stepped on. Application of Scripture to their lives was one. Time

was another.

Do You Hear What I Hear?


69% of pastors say they addressed

personal life issues last year. Only 52% of listeners agree.


53% of pastors say they preached

through a book of the Bible last

year. Only 38% of listeners

perceive it that way.


40% of pastors say God was a

main theme last year. 47% of

listeners spotted that theme.

The length of the sermon is important to some people, but not nearly



as important as we thought. In fact, pastors are more worried about

pleasing parishioners than parishioners are concerned about getting

out on time‑‑63 percent of pastors said they should trim their sermons

to congregational expectations, but only 39 percent of listeners

expected it.
Church attenders may recognize what Miller calls the bigger question:

Is God in charge? "(They want to know) is he really bringing revival

on these people? When that begins to occur, sermon length doesn't

matter much. In fact, services get longer, because something bigger is

happening."
Bryan Chapell, president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St.

Louis, Missouri, calls the 30‑minute sermon "the evangelical

standard." Our survey backed him up. Confirming that they were

describing the same experience, both pastors and listeners reported

sermon lengths that averaged 31.1 minutes. Just over one‑third were

more than 35 minutes.


Congregations grow accustomed to their preacher's habits, including

sermon length. "Exegete the culture and the text," Chapell said. "See

what their tolerances are. Make decisions based on what you are trying

to accomplish and on the capacity of the people to whom you are

speaking."
The 11 percent of listeners who wanted shorter sermons reported an

average length of 37.2 minutes. For those who believe the length is

fine as it is, their pastors' sermons averaged 30.3 minutes.
3. Preaching improvement must be self‑motivated.
Why Preach?
35% of pastors say changed lives

is their primary goal. 28% say

to glorify God.

If the congregation is generally satisfied with what it hears on



Sunday, then it will be up to the pastor to better his pulpit

performance. Few in the congregation have the expertise to judge the

technical aspects of preaching, and pastors may have too few points of

reference to make adequate comparisons.


The two groups showed the greatest differences of opinion when asked

how the sermon could be improved. Pastors were conscious of public

speaking techniques and trends in communication; listeners generally

were not.


Asked from whom they take their cues in preaching style, 66 percent

said preachers I know and 53 percent cited preaching classes or books.

Fewer than one‑fourth said they looked to preachers on radio or TV and

almost none cited other media personalities. Still, 46 percent called

their preaching conversational, a description not often used before

the TV age.


"Preaching is moving to a more conversational form, a more narrative

form," in Robinson's view. "TV is reflected in the style of the

leading preachers who in turn influence those who follow. Preachers

are more influenced by media than we realize." Robinson cited the

desire most pastors have to appear to be preaching without notes (even

though 95 percent use some kind of notes according to our survey.)


Blame it on the TelePrompTer. "For every 30‑minute sermon the pastor

preaches, the people invite Dan Rather into their homes five times,"

Miller said. "It's difficult to match that."
Massey says, don't try. "Pastors should note what makes television so

attractive to people, but the glamour of it doesn't bless the church.

There's simplicity in preaching that being a television personality

doesn't honor."


Hone/Alone


45% of pastors say their greatest

need in sermon delivery is

spiritual preparation.

43% say making applications is

their greatest improvement in

the past five years.



29% say it still needs work.

If exposure to media has changed expectations for communication, our

study showed the pastors are not likely to hear so from their people.

Only about half of the pastors we polled have an intentional ongoing

review of their preaching in place. Of that half, only 34 percent

include church members in the process. Pastors are more likely to ask

a spouse's opinion (61 percent) or self‑diagnose (56 percent regularly

listen to tapes of their sermons).


One question we asked could indicate the listeners' extreme

satisfaction with sermon delivery. More likely it shows who's actually

in touch with sermon trends and technique. Pastors were much more

likely to think that more illustrations, more narrative elements, and

a more commanding presence in the pulpit would make their sermons more

effective. Listeners were unmoved. Robinson said, "The survey says

listeners know what they like. I think they like what they know."
That the listeners are largely unaware of technique may be a good

thing. Wiersbe contended, "The ideal sermon is one where people come

up afterward and say, >You know, I could have done that.'"
4. The future is now, for some.
EYE CONTACT

57% of pastors want to use a computer and video projector when they

preach. Here's how many use some visual enhancements:
Handout/bulletin insert 69%

Drama Team 30%

Overhead projector 25%

Video projector and PC 15%

Movie Clips 13%
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


None of these 21%

Listeners showed little desire for their pastors to employ multimedia

in sermon delivery. As expected, interest in video projector and

computer‑enhanced sermons was higher among younger church attenders,

with 29 percent of those under 40 in favor of more usage. Better


educated listeners were also more open to innovation. Video elements

were favored by 37 percent of those listeners with a master's degree.

But overall, only 20 percent of listeners said sermons would be

improved by such additions. Response was similar for all visual and

dramatic elements: more than twice as many preachers as listeners

wanted media used to augment sermons.


"Pastors are trying anything to attract the next generation," said

Marguerite Shuster, pastor and preaching professor at Fuller

Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. "I'm for the use of

various enhancements, on an occasional basis and for specific

purposes. But these technologies are head trips rather than anything

that is likely to engage a person at the motivational level. It

teaches preachers that if they can just get information up on the

board, they don't have to worry about the skill of their composition,

the skill of their rhetoric." Shuster warned, "The power of personal

address‑‑God's address coming through the preacher‑‑is lost."


Others agreed. Calvin Miller said, "A measurable rapport, where the

audience actually leans toward the communicator, depends on an

undivided attention. If you have them looking at a bulletin and a

screen, you lose their attention to the speaker to some degree."


I Love to Tell My Story


25% of pastors think they should

tell more personal stories.

12% of listeners agree.

If a Powerpoint outline is directed to the head, then drama and movie

clips are aimed at the heart. Both miss their mark, in Chapell's

estimation. "If you are really going to move people at the level of

their will, you've got to get away from the media presentation. I hear

people‑‑not preachers, people‑‑say, >We are saturated, drowning in

media overload. Sometimes we want to go to church where we can sit in

a quiet place and hear from God.'"


Chapell said the fascination with media in worship is a "passing fad."

But for now, most preachers want a video projector they can plug into

their computer and a drop‑down screen over the pulpit.


5. Staff size affects the pastor's perspective and sermon preparation.
THE RELENTLESS RETURN OF THE SABBATH

Here's a look at the pastor's week:

MON Start Sermon: 46%

TUE Start Sermon: 28%

WED

THUR Finish Sermon: 13%



FRI Finish Sermon: 24%

SAT Finish Sermon: 42%

SUN Finish Sermon: 18%

Solo pastors stood out in a couple of areas: they were not as likely

to have planned their sermon schedule in advance, and they were

significantly less optimistic about the long‑term effect of their

preaching.
Asked, "Compared to the time when you first started preaching, how do

you feel today about the power of your preaching to change lives?" 95

percent of pastors with full‑time ministerial staff responded more

hopeful. Only 74 percent of solo pastors said they were more hopeful.


Time may be a factor‑‑Wiersbe pointed out that the solo pastor is

always on call. Wiersbe said the size of his staff at the Moody Church

forced him to plan ahead. Solo pastors may not plan as far in advance

because they don't have as many people coordinating services and

programs with their preaching themes. But the issue may not be how the

solo pastor spends his or her time, but with whom.


"Solo pastors have more immediate contact with the sheep, and sheep

bite," observed Robinson. "Pastors with staff are shielded from a lot

of the trivia of a church‑‑Aunt Maude doesn't like praise choruses or

Uncle Joe is disgruntled. The solo pastor is more likely to deal with

the sick sheep than the well sheep."

Wiersbe concurred. "Those who have staff get better reports. Who does

the pastor ask, >How am I doing?' If he asks the elders, the ones who

like him are going to say, >You're doing fine, Pastor; we love you.'

The ones who don't like him won't say anything. My staff was always

honest with me."


Pastors with staff were much more likely to employ sermon evaluation.

Pastors with part‑time staff topped out at 70 percent, but only 43



percent of solo pastors reported systematic critique.
"If (pastoral staff) really are a team, then they have an advantage,"

Miller concluded.


"Those who have staff are more likely to focus on follow‑up than on

what happened on Sunday," Massey said. He warned the solo pastor

against concentrating on his preaching as the defining event of the

week. Ministry that results from the sermon is more important than the

sermon itself. The task for the solo pastor is to create a team with

his volunteer leaders that will put the message into action.


6. Some things get better with age.
Finally, how does age affect the preaching moment? Given the current

emphasis on the needs and tastes of younger listeners, we investigated

whether there are noticable differences between younger and older

listeners. Two trends surfaced: older listeners more readily accept

the authority of the message, especially if the messenger has been

their pastor for a long time, and older preachers are more comfortable

with the task.
In our list of 14 words used to describe their pastor's preaching,

authoritative was ranked fifth by listeners age 55 and older but fell

to ninth among listeners under 40. Almost half of listeners (48

percent) ascribed authority to the sermons of pastors they had heard

more than 15 years, but for those they've heard a shorter time, the

percentage was 29.


Massey senses a different attitude toward the sermon among younger

church attenders, one that may represent a shift in the culture away

from acceptance of objective authority. Younger listeners more

intentionally filter what they hear through their own experiences.

Older listeners are more ready to take Scripture at face value.
Still, the younger pastor is at a disadvantage, Robinson said. "The

congregation says, >It's hard to believe that this kid can teach me

anything.' Respect comes with age. People sort of assume you're doing

it right."


While the congregation grows comfortable with their pastor over time,

the pastors grow more assured.



Feelings
More than 60% of listeners say

they feel challenged and

encouraged after their pastor's

sermons. Fewer than 5% say they

are bored, discouraged, or glad

it's over.

"When you're younger, you're always wondering if you're getting it

right‑‑in theology, homiletics, communication," Robinson said. Our

survey shows that older preachers don't seem to worry so much. Before

the sermon, 81 percent of older preachers (age 55 and over) described

themselves as motivated and 52 percent were confident. Younger

preachers (age 40 and under) register motivation at 61 percent and

confidence at 39 percent. Younger preachers were more anxious than

older preachers, 39 percent to 19 percent.
Two‑thirds of younger pastors found the preaching event draining while

two‑thirds of older preachers called it fulfilling. And while four in

ten younger preachers replayed the sermon in their minds afterward,

only one in ten of the long‑term pastors relived the moment.


"Older preachers have less emotional attachment to their words,"

Miller observed. He finds encouragement in that. "They've preached a

lot of sermons so they don't think every sermon has to be a

world‑changing event. They no longer have to play the prophet. They

can state the truth and not get all bothered by it. When they finish

the sermon, there will still be hands to shake and babies to kiss at

the door."
Eric Reed is associate editor of LEADERSHIP.
The experts who helped us interpret our survey's findings:
Bryan Chapell

James Earl Massey

Calvin Miller

Haddon Robinson

Marguerite Shuster

Warren Wiersbe



Copyright 8 1999 by the author or Christianity Today, Inc./Leadership

Journal. Click here for reprint information on Leadership Journal.

Summer 1999, Vol. XX, No. 3, Page 82
See the web site, it has great graphics ‑

http://www.christianity.net/leadership/9L3/9L3082.html


<><
Preaching - Internet Sermons (on preaching - Date Originally Filed - 10/1999.101
‑ Exegesis

What to do before you write the sermon

The Practical Use of the Greek New Testament C Part I: The Greek New

Testament and Expository Preaching

Study Preparation and Pulpit Preaching

Bible Translations: The Link between Exegesis and Expository

Preaching

‑ Sermonic Styles

Topical, textual, expository or extemporaneous?

What Expository Preaching Can Do

The Art of Effective Preaching

The Mandate of Biblical Inerrancy: Expository Preaching

Rediscovering Expository Preaching

The History of Expository Preaching

The Mandate of Biblical Inerrancy: Expository Preaching

The Crisis in Expository Preaching Today

What is Expository Preaching?

An Old Testament Pattern for Expository Preaching

Must Expository Preaching Always be Book Studies? Some Alternatives

The Priority of Prayer in Preaching

Suggestions for Expositional Preaching of Old Testament Narrative

Preaching into the 21st Century

The Pulpit is Still Primary

Effective evangelistic churches stress expository preaching

How to Preach Like John Grisham Writes

Point of Need Evangelism

Reach them where they're at.

‑ The Introduction

Making the connection, arousing interest, creating the need to listen

What People Expect from Church

Start Where They're At

‑ The Main Idea



What is your sermon about? Will they want to listen?

‑ Illustrating the Sermon

‑ Application

Answering the "big one:" So What? Preaching to Those Who Those Who

Just Don't Get It

Making Effective Sermon Applications

‑ The Conclusion

Wrapping it up in memorable terms

About invitations...

‑ Mechanics

Things to do, mistakes to avoid Six Serious Sermon Blunders

Preaching the Gospel Via the Mass Media

Essential Stages of Sermon Preparation

Preaching with Conviction and Compassion

Taking the Drudgery out of Sermon Preparation

‑ Long Range Sermon Planning Preaching the Book of Acts

http://www.wsbaptist.com/fsi/kerux/index.htm
Speaking With Bold Assurance

http://www.boldassurance.com

Preaching

Advice To Aspiring Writers by Wayne Jackson

Book Chapter and Verse by Dave Miller

Compromising by Gus Nichols

God Bidden Preaching by B. J. Clarke

God's Preachers by Johnny Ramsey

Just Preach Jesus by Timothy A. Forlines

The Message of the Failed Sirens by Mike Benson

A Minister's Apologia

The Preacher as a Student by Dabney Phillips

Out of the Dark Ages by Lynn Parker

Preachers' Methods. by J. W. McGarvey

Preaching: Has The Change Been For The Better Or For The Worse? by

Dennis Gulledge

Preaching Power In Acts by Johnny Ramsey

Preaching Tips For Preachers by Glann M. Lee

The Right Kind Of Preaching by Johnny Ramsey

Same Message, New Aim by Dub McClish

Sound Doctrine by Harold G. Taylor

Study Is Not A Four‑Letter Word by B. J. Clarke

The Support Of Gospel Preachers by Wayne Jackson

What An Eldership Would Like To See In A Preacher by James Williams

What Is Required by Bobby Key


Why Are You Going To Work Today, Daddy? by B. J. Clarke

Why Go To Rome? by John W. Moore

Preaching

Advice To Aspiring Writers by Wayne Jackson

Book Chapter and Verse by Dave Miller

Compromising by Gus Nichols

God Bidden Preaching by B. J. Clarke

God's Preachers by Johnny Ramsey

Just Preach Jesus by Timothy A. Forlines

The Message of the Failed Sirens by Mike Benson

A Minister's Apologia

The Preacher as a Student by Dabney Phillips

Out of the Dark Ages by Lynn Parker

Preachers' Methods. by J. W. McGarvey

Preaching: Has The Change Been For The Better Or For The Worse? by

Dennis Gulledge

Preaching Power In Acts by Johnny Ramsey

Preaching Tips For Preachers by Glann M. Lee

The Right Kind Of Preaching by Johnny Ramsey

Same Message, New Aim by Dub McClish

Sound Doctrine by Harold G. Taylor

Study Is Not A Four‑Letter Word by B. J. Clarke

The Support Of Gospel Preachers by Wayne Jackson

What An Eldership Would Like To See In A Preacher by James Williams

What Is Required by Bobby Key

Why Are You Going To Work Today, Daddy? by B. J. Clarke

Why Go To Rome? by John W. Moore

<><
Preaching - Top 10 Mistakes

Date Originally Filed - 5/2000.101


Top 10 Mistakes
Vol. 4 No. 1 Winter 2000
A look at the biggest issues facing novice preachers‑what to avoid and

how to do better.


By Steve Nicholson


Over the years I've coached dozens of young preachers. It usually

takes years of development and practice to become a really good

preacher. Along the way, there are many mistakes to overcome. The

following is a list of the top ten that, in my observation, are the

most common. If you're struggling with these problems in preaching,

take heart! Nearly all preachers have had to overcome these

difficulties along the way. You will, too. Let this list be an alert

to help you.


1. Trying to do too much in one sermon

In their eagerness, young preachers often end up trying to preach too

many ideas with several main points all in one sermon‑with the result

that the sermon is confused or too long or missing application. Ask

yourself of each sermon, "What one main thing should the person

listening to this sermon take home?" and then work on supporting that

one main point.
2. Failing to plan ahead

For years I thought I had hear from God each week about what was to be

preached the following Sunday. For some reason, God all too often

didn't speak until Saturday night, which meant there wasn't enough

time for good preparation and study. I often found that enormous

amounts of time were expended trying to decide what to preach‑to the

expense of actual preparation of the sermon. Then I realized that God

could speak months in advance just as easily as minutes in advance. I

now pray and plan for sermon series six months ahead, and our schedule

usually includes the preacher assigned (we have team preaching) and

the text or title of the series. We typically preach 4‑6 week series,

and thus actually cover about 10 different series a year. Not only has

this helped my sanity, but it has done wonders for preparation. I can

gather material for something now which I know I'm doing months from

now, and can do much more in‑depth study and preparation.
3. Failing to actually preach from the Bible

It is far too easy to use a line or verse from the Bible as a

springboard into what we want to say rather than taking the Bible

seriously and wrestling with its implications. In recent years it has

become popular to string together a series of disconnected verses to

fit into a preacher‑constructed message about a "better way to live."

While on occasion this may be appropriate, I don't think this is good

as a steady diet for those who want to grow in Christ. Our preaching

should also be teaching our people a respect for the Word of God and

giving them an idea about how to actually study it. They need to learn



about the flow of scripture, the characters of scripture, the stories

of scripture, and the arguments of scripture. They need to hear us

preach about the difficult passages as well as the ones we like. Even

though my preaching team tends to do series with a topical subject, we

almost always insist that any given sermon be from ONE passage of

scripture, and that the points of the sermon be taken from the

scripture text itself. Otherwise we could be in danger of becoming

preachers of the latest pop theories rather than preachers of the Word

of God.
4. Slipping into too much negativity

We all know that, whether we're talking to children or the family dog,

the tone of voice can communicate more than the actual words. But we

often forget that this is true of adults and congregations as well.

People may end up "taking home" our attitude as much as anything we

actually recommend. After a few years of cleaning up people's sins and

problems and encountering various disappointments, it's easy for a

pastor to become overly negative, or to shift into constantly

challenging people to do more, more, more. The result can be

demoralizing for a congregation which feels it's being "whipped" every

Sunday, or that nothing is ever enough for this pastor. So, watch your

tone. Give people hope. Preach about what God has doneYand not only

about what people need to do.
5. Weak introductions

Have you ever noticed how most TV shows begin by a little segment that

grabs your attention even before the opening credits roll? Sermons

likewise need to grab people's attention quickly. Otherwise many

people will tune out before you've even begun. Introductions need to

give people a beginning answer to the question "So what?" Begin with a

story that illustrates the problem you plan to address, or the point

you are trying to make. There are many creative ways to do

introductions, but don't fail to make it interesting and compelling.
6. Not taking the actual lives and situations of the congregation into

account


The young preacher can fall into the trap of directing the bulk of his

comments, illustrations, and applications to only one segment of his

congregation and leaving the rest out. And he can run the risk of

preaching the ideals without taking into account the difficulties and

complexities of actually living the life of the average person in the

pew. Remember that in most groups you have single mothers, students,

people with jobs demanding 60‑80 hours a week, people who've been


divorced, people who are grieving, people under stress and financial

difficulty. Don't fail to take their actual lives into account as you

are preaching.
7. Over ‑generalizing

This is the error of turning "some" into "all," and "sometimes" into

"always." If you over‑generalize about any situation or group, there

are always going to people who feel that the generalization is not

true and who‑on that one point‑invalidate the whole sermon.
8. Too few illustrations and stories

These are the "windows" of the sermon. A sermon that goes on too long

without these becomes a lecture that few people will be moved by. It

gets stale, like a house without windows. So unless the whole sermon

is in essence "a story", be sure to add some for each major point or

every 10 minutes or so.


9. Weak applications

I've seen many young pastors with a great message with a great point

then fail to "take it home" by too little application. Ask yourself

and then answer, "What do I want people to do with this message?" Make

sure you ask people to evaluate themselves, to consider their own

lives, to make different choices, to think differently in some way or

another. And the applications need to be clear and specific enough

that people can easily visualize what it is you are talking about.


10. Too little creativity in conveying the message

Irrelevancy and boredom are two of the greatest factors leading young

people out of church. We need to be careful that this is not the case

with our preaching. Good preaching should have them on the edge of

their seats, or sinking down with conviction, or laughing with joy‑but

never yawning because it's boring and predictable. That takes a lot of

work. But it's worth it.
Steve Nicholson is the senior pastor of the Evanston vineyard and

directs church planting nationaally for VineyardUSA.


\webpage{http://www.vineyardusa.org/forums/churchplanting/cuttingedge/2

000/vol4no1/10_mistakes.htm


+++++++


/mChristmas

/sThe Santa Question (Kids)

/i21

Date Originally Filed - 5/2000.101



/t

/fN


The Santa Question How to separate fact from fiction‑‑ without

ruining your kids= Christmas

by Richard Patterson, Jr.

illustration by Kari Kroll

Go to any mall this season and you=ll hear "Santa Claus Is Coming to

Town." It=s music to children=s ears, but after our first son was

born, it became unwelcome noise to my wife and me. We wanted our

family to celebrate Christmas for what it really is: Jesus= birthday.


We soon learned that good intentions go only so far. It seemed that

everyone was asking our son, "What did you ask Santa for?" And from

mid‑November on, every store we visited had a costumed Santa (or two

or three) on hand. We couldn=t just ignore this guy: He was

everywhere!
My own childhood memories include Santa: I can remember going into the

woods to cut our Christmas tree, decorating it with tinsel and then

waiting impatiently for Santa to arrive. So many of the Christmas

memories that I wanted to share involved Santa. It became clear that

we needed to deal with Santa before we could help our son learn the

true meaning of Christmas. But how could we talk about Santa and still

give Christ his rightful place?
Even though for some, Santa symbolizes the commercialism that taints

the Christmas season, we knew that stern lectures about consumerism or

materialism would make no sense to a child. After all, how can a

jolly, generous guy who loves children and gives them presents be bad?

Instead we opted for a nonconfrontational approach. We decided to

gently but firmly undermine Santa whenever the opportunity arose,

while focusing most of our efforts and excitement on celebrating the

birth of the Christ child. That way, we hoped, it would be clear to

our son that Jesus really is the center of our family=s Christmas

celebration.


Gentle Questions

By the time he was 5, our son started noticing that there were Santas

at every store, and he began to ask questions: "Which one is the real

Santa, Daddy?"
I took advantage of the opportunity by asking him: "What do you think?

A real person can=t be in a lot of different places at the same time,

can he? And how can Santa visit all the houses of all the children in

the world in just one night? A real person couldn=t do that, but a

pretend person could, couldn=t he?"
Children have a marvelous ability to believe in magical behavior. But

by the time they=re 5 or 6, they begin to separate fact from fantasy.

When reading fairy tales to my son, I would stress that Jack of Jack

and the Beanstalk or Paul Bunyan were able to do things that real

people couldn=t. With carefully worded questions, I knew I could

encourage his developing ability to understand that not every person

we talk about is real; some "people" are just pretend.
When your child begins to ask questions about how Santa can enter a

house that doesn=t have a fireplace, help her understand that Santa is

a pretend person, like a cartoon character. You can even make a game

of it. When reading a favorite children=s book with her, ask, "Is

Curious George real or pretend? Are Mom and Dad real or pretend?"
Fantasy and play acting are a fun and healthy part of childhood. And

if your kids understand that Santa isn=t real, there=s no harm if they

join their friends in pretending about him. When our first son was

young, we=d exchange a wink as we secretly went along with others

(adults as well as children) who spoke of Santa as if he were real. It

became a game our entire family enjoyed.

We hoped it would be

clear to our son

that Jesus really is

the center of our family's

Christmas Celebration

Since some parents encourage their children to believe in Santa, we

told our kids: "If other children=s parents want them to believe in

Santa, don=t argue with them. You=re grown up enough to know the

truth, and someday these other children will be, too."


If your child wants to know the origins of the Santa legend, explain

that Santa is also called "Saint Nick" for Saint Nicholas, a fourth

century Christian known for his tremendous kindness and generosity.

That can lead into a discussion of the wonderful gift of God=s grace

that came to earth when Christ was born on the first Christmas.
Real, But Unseen

Christian parents want their children to understand that while Santa

is pretend, Jesus is real! We celebrate Jesus= birth at Christmas and

he=s still alive today. Making that powerful truth clear to our son

was the second part of our strategy. While we adopted a policy of

"benign neglect" toward Santa, we focused our energies on enjoying the

many Christmas traditions that honor the living Savior.
As our family grew, our sons had fun opening the little pockets of the

Advent calendar we used during the month leading up to Christmas. Each

pocket contained a Bible verse. When they were old enough, they would

read the verse to the rest of us.


Some families we know gather on Christmas Eve to read the Christmas

story from the Bible. As the children are able, they take turns

reading, or each one reads the part of a different character in the

story. We made it a tradition to attend Christmas Eve worship at 11:00

p.m.
Even as children move into their teen years, they still need Christmas

traditions that keep them focused on Christ. Encourage your older kids

to give Jesus a "birthday gift," such as a promise to help an elderly

neighbor, or to give a portion of their allowance to advance missions

or assist the needy. The act of giving something that blesses the

lives of others is a perfect way to stress an important Christmas

truth: God sent the ultimate blessing to earth in the gift of his Son.
The Joy of Giving

Our culture has shifted its focus from giving to getting, but

Christians know the truth: Christmas is a season for giving. We wanted

our children to know that not only have they been given the greatest

gift of all, God=s Son, but that it is indeed "more blessed to give

than to receive" ( - Acts 20:35 - Acts 20:35}).


It=s important to observe holiday traditions that teach this

principle. Many churches have "Angel Trees" that list the names of

children in need. Families can choose one or more names, and child ren


can help purchase gifts for those in need.
Some families we know have "adopted" a child through World Vision or

Compassion Inter national. In addition to sending a special gift at

Christmas, they also send the child a handmade card with greetings

from each member of the family. Other families arrange to bring small

gifts to kids who have to be hospitalized over the holidays.
For the past several years, our family has given a grocery store gift

certificate to a needy family. We also sign up to serve Christmas

dinner at the city mission. Last year we helped serve almost 1,000

meals in about three hours. We were all pretty tired, but came away

with a sense of having honored some of those Christ called "the least

of these brothers of mine" ( - Matt. 25:40 - Matthew 25:40}).

It has helped our sons experience firsthand the blessedness of giving

and also helped them appreciate the difference between what we want

and what we truly need.
The clamor about Santa and "what am I getting?" seemed to fade from

our sons= consciousness a little each Christmas. Of course, they were

growing up, but I think it was more than that. I believe it came from

an emphasis on Christ‑centered traditions and our own example of

downplaying Santa. Those are the most effective ways to drown out the

clamor of commercialism and help our children hear clearly the "good

news of great joy" that truly is our greatest Christmas gift.
Richard Patterson, Jr., is a children and family ministries specialist

from New York state. He is the author of Confident Parenting in

Challenging Times (Tekna). He and his wife have two children.

We'd really like to know what you think about this article!


Is this the kind of article you'd like to see more of?

Is there a topic you'd like us to cover?

Please send your suggestions to cpt@christianparenting.net



Copyright(c) 1999 by the author or Christianity Today, Inc./Christian

Parenting Today Magazine.

Click here for reprint information on Christian Parenting Today.

Sept/Oct 1999, Vol.12, No. 2, Page 40


http://www.christianityonline.com/cpt/9g6/9g6040.html
<><

Preaching - Lessons on Preaching

Date Originally Filed - 9/2000.101
Journal Articles

Exegesis


What to do before you write the sermon

The Practical Use of the Greek New Testament C Part I: The Greek New

Testament and Expository Preaching

Study Preparation and Pulpit Preaching

Bible Translations: The Link between Exegesis and Expository

Preaching

Sermonic Styles

Topical, textual, expository or extemporaneous?

What Expository Preaching Can Do

The Art of Effective Preaching

The Mandate of Biblical Inerrancy: Expository Preaching

Rediscovering Expository Preaching

The History of Expository Preaching

The Mandate of Biblical Inerrancy: Expository Preaching

The Crisis in Expository Preaching Today

What is Expository Preaching?

An Old Testament Pattern for Expository Preaching

Must Expository Preaching Always be Book Studies? Some Alternatives

The Priority of Prayer in Preaching

Suggestions for Expositional Preaching of Old Testament Narrative

Preaching into the 21st Century

The Pulpit is Still Primary

Effective evangelistic churches stress expository preaching

How to Preach Like John Grisham Writes

Point of Need Evangelism

Reach them where they're at.





The Introduction

Making the connection, arousing interest, creating the need to listen

What People Expect from Church

Start Where They're At

The Main Idea

What is your sermon about? Will they want to listen?


Illustrating the Sermon
Application

Answering the "big one:" So What? Preaching to Those Who Those Who

Just Don't Get It

Making Effective Sermon Applications

The Conclusion

Wrapping it up in memorable terms

About invitations...
Implications from the purpose of John's Gospel

Mechanics

Things to do, mistakes to avoid Six Serious Sermon Blunders

Preaching the Gospel Via the Mass Media

Essential Stages of Sermon Preparation

Preaching with Conviction and Compassion

Taking the Drudgery out of Sermon Preparation

Long Range Sermon Planning Preaching the Book of Acts


http://www.wsbaptist.com/fsi/kerux/index.htm
<><
Preaching - Playful - The Playful Preacher - By Richard Hansen
Date Originally Filed - 3/1995.101
FEATURE: HANSEN: The Playful Preacher

By Richard Hansen
If trying harder doesn't work, try a lighter touch.

"Rich, you've got to try harder!"


An earnest student, I had conscientiously visited everyone on the

hospital


floors assigned to me. I had written detailed verbatim reports. Now,

my

clinical pastoral education supervisor was frustrating me.


"What more should I do?" I replied.
"Just try harder" was his enigmatic reply. So I tried harder. But

every week

his exhortation was the same. One day, in anger and frustration, I

blurted


out, "I can't try harder! I give up!"
"Good!" he replied, softening immediately.
The lesson I learned fourteen years ago still lingers: trying harder

doesn't


work. It's like a pair of Chinese handcuffs: the harder you pull, the

tighter


they get. Only by pushing both fingers together (the opposite of

trying


harder) will the handcuffs release.
The same is true in my preaching. When I work too hard to make an

impact,


when I assume too much responsibility for changing others, I can

inhibit the

very changes in my listeners I desperately seek. My well‑intentioned

efforts


actually make matters worse.
In his book "Generation to Generation," Edwin Fried man speaks to the

paradox


of trying harder: "If we assume that any chronic condition that we are

persistently trying to change will, perversely, be supported not to



change by

our serious efforts to bring about change, then it is logical to

consider the

possibility that one way out of this paradox is to be paradoxical."


The paradoxical way: to become less serious and more playful.
But that's not easy for me, one whose spiritual ancestors are John

Calvin and

John Knox. They were passionate for the gospel, but playful? Still,

having


wrestled with the paradoxes of trying too hard, I decided to lighten

up.


Here's what I've discovered.

COLORING INSIDE THE LINES


Playfulness is sometimes misunderstood.
One of my early attempts came while preaching about sexuality. To

introduce

the sermon, I asked both the men and women to read responsively some

of the


more graphic passages from the Song of Songs. Sure that I had made my

point,


I playfully asked when they were finished, "Did any of you know this

X‑rated


material was in the Bible?"
I was met with stone‑faced, hostile silence.
The following Monday, a line of unhappy campers were parked in the

reception

area for their turn to file into my office: "We don't use that kind of

language in church!" Even a woman of my own baby‑boomer generation,

whose

support I had come to expect, said later, "If I'd had to say 'breasts'



one

more time, I would have died!"


One person's playfulness is another's irreverence. So it is wise to

know your



congregation's limits.
Another try with my current church brought better results. A guest

preacher


had described being so excited when his football team scored a

touchdown that

he jumped off the couch in front of the divided, pumped his arm up and

down,


and shouted, "Yes, yes, yes. YES!" So I decided to use his antics the

following Sunday after a soloist had just sung a deeply moving piece.


"There's just one thing I want to say after James's song," I said in

my best


preacher's voice. I paused. Then, pumping my arm, I said, "Yes, yes,

yes.


YES!" Everyone who had attended the previous Sunday roared with

laughter.


My former congregation would have seen this as irreverent. But not

this


church. They considered it playful‑‑and appropriate.
Playfulness is more than spontaneity. Witty, extroverted preachers are

not


necessarily playful. Nor is it a worship style. "Free" worship styles

can


also have cemented boundaries‑‑just try something that isn't

spontaneous!


Neither is playfulness reverse psychology. It's not stating the

opposite of

what I desire. ("Guess what? Our church does not need your money this

year.")


Such obvious gimmicks are both ineffective and false.
Playfulness does not misrepresent or deny the truth; it creates a new

dynamic‑‑within me.


"The major effect of playfulness and paradox is on the perpetrator,"

says


Friedman. "It takes him or her out of the feedback position. It

detriangles

and changes the balance of the emotional interdependency. It is the


change in

the structure of the triangle that gets the other person functioning

or

thinking differently."


In preaching, I am the "perpetrator." Becoming more playful affects me

more


than my audience. I lighten up. Playfulness frees me from trying so

hard to


make an impact. Hence, the emotional triangle involving me, the

congregation,

and the message changes. People are free to listen without activating

their


defenses. The possibility of impact actually increases.
That's the paradox.

AROUND THE MAGINOT LINE


I've found it helpful to identify who in the congregation I feel most

responsible to convince. Ironically, these are often the very people I

will

never touch. Why? They have built a Maginot Line.


The Maginot Line was the impenetrable system of barriers and bunkers

built by


France to protect itself from Imperial Germany after World War I. In

World


War II, however, Hitler didn't attack France through the Maginot Line.

His


Panzer divisions made a sweeping detour around it through Belgium.

France


fell swiftly.
When preachers try too hard to make an impact, klaxons sound and

bunker walls

go up. My people often know what I'm going to say even before I say it

(they


know the issues I'm most serious about). When facing a Maginot Line,

frontal


attacks are valiant but ineffective.


Rather than slug it out in a frontal attack, wisdom suggests a detour.

What


is the last thing they expect me to say on this issue? What would make

them


laugh? How can I good‑naturedly (not spitefully) be playful? Why am I

trying


so hard with them anyway?
In a sermon on God's destruction of Sodom, my self‑diagnosis revealed

that I


especially wanted to reach the folks who cheer for judgment rather

than, as


Abraham did, pray for mercy. My detour began with a playful scene of

righteous folks building grandstands on the hills above that evil city

to

enjoy the Lord's impending judgment:


"With football‑stadium fervor, they waved banners and chanted, 'Go

God‑‑crush

Sodom!' But Abraham was not cheerleading. Sodom included his own

nephew, Lot.

For Abraham, Sodom could never be just 'them,' those evil people not

like us.


There is some of 'us' in Sodom, for Abraham and for all of us.

Realizing this

prompts us to pray for God's mercy rather than cheer for God's

judgment."


(One elderly farmer who obviously didn't take the detour said to me

afterward, "While you were preaching, all I could think about is

wishing God

would push the whole city of San Francisco into the ocean!")

TO STING LIKE A BEE
Trying‑harder preaching often goes hand in hand with an over‑emphasis

on

content. As a young preacher, I was certain that if I marshaled enough



exegetical evidence (from the original languages, of course), I could

bludgeon my listeners into belief. My sermons were like boxing

matches: I

didn't always score a knockout, but I expected to win on points.



Since then, I have joined the Mohammed Ali school of homiletics. I

must learn

to dance like a butterfly if I want to sting like a bee. The footwork

of the


sermon (how you say it) is just as, if not more, essential than the

content


(what you say).
Of course, you remember the cartoon of a boxer who dances all over the

ring,


obviously impressed with his footwork, only to be knocked out by a

single


punch. Footwork is a means to an end‑‑impact. Playful sermons are not

intended to impress the listener (or the preacher) with one's

creativity.

They are used to communicate truth.


Once I wanted to preach about the Lord's Supper as being a prelude to

the


Messianic banquet. I wanted to communicate the joy felt by the early

church


as they celebrated this event. However, only by coming at the sermon

in a


lighter fashion could I detour around my church's years of solemn

tradition.

The Sacrament had an aura more of wake than banquet.
I hit on the idea of having eyewitnesses report on their joyful

experience.

Rather than using real people, I imagined what caterers present at the

meals


might have observed.
The sermon opened with two caterers pausing for breath while serving

the


heavenly banquet. Soon they begin to reminisce about their previous

catering


jobs for the Lord. They remember the joyful Old Testament feasts in

the


Temple, Jesus' upper room meal with his disciples, the agape meals of

the


early church, and twentieth‑century expressions that somehow (in the

caterers' minds) lost the intended joy. Finally, the caterers gesture



at the

people enjoying the heavenly banquet and ask each other, "When they

were back

on earth, do you ever wonder if they really understood what they were

doing?"
This sermon, "Observations of God's Caterers," was my fancy footwork

around


the entrenched expectations of my listeners. Because it was screened

through


playful, imaginary characters, most who listened did not feel

defensive or

threatened.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE


Some of us need permission to be playful. Like my personality, my

preaching

tends to be serious: to travel well‑worn intellectual pathways,

expressing

the doctrines of the faith in centuries‑old imagery. Fortunately, I

also have

some friends who release me to be playful with the great themes of my

faith.
One such friend is Frederick Buechner. Another is C.S. Lewis. While

studying,

I keep an anthology of one or the other close at hand. I often dip

into it

for fifteen or twenty minutes as I begin thinking about my sermon.

Their

playful ideas, even on topics completely unrelated to my theme, push



me to

play with ideas as well. In their company, I see fresh approaches to

the old,

old story.


One such approach is playing the Devil's Advocate. Serious preachers

like me


often have so many points to make, we skip over the questions that

perplex


our listeners. I have to keep coming back to the question: How might

my

message not ring true with life on the street?


While preparing for a sermon on Jesus' challenge to enter the kingdom

of God


like a child, a woman in one of our seeker Bible studies came to mind.

Deathly afraid of being manipulated, she would be repelled by Jesus'

challenge. To her, children are vulnerable.
That caused me to imagine other objections: Is reclaiming childhood

innocence

a sentimental illusion for an adult? If Jesus is talking about naive,

simple‑minded faith, what adult wants that?


Soon I not only had lots of questions to ask the text on behalf of my

people,


but the questions pushed me beyond the pat answers I might otherwise

have


offered.

PLAYING WITH WORDS


"The difference between the right word and the almost right word,"

wrote Mark

Twain, "is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."
That's a helpful reminder. Words are the raw materials of sermons. The

right


use of words can inject a sermon with needed doses of playfulness.

Here are


some questions I ask myself to add freshness to my words:
Can it be understood in different ways? While preparing an Easter

message on

the Emmaus road experience, I noticed that when the doubtful disciples

were


confronted with the risen Christ, they "disbelieved for joy"

( - Luke 24:41 - Luke 24:41},

RSV).
It dawned on me that "I can't believe it" can be understood in two

ways:


either as an expression of doubt or as an ecstatic expression of joy

(like


when the 1980 U.S. hockey team won an Olympic gold medal against

overwhelming

odds: "I can't believe it!").
My sermon traced the journey each of us take with the disciples. It

began


with the "I can't believe it" of doubt and despair while trudging down

the


Emmaus road and ended with the "I can't believe it" of joy, hugging

and


dancing in the presence of the risen Christ.
Does it mean the same thing to all people? Fresh off the farm, I once

heard


several teenagers in inner‑city Minneapolis exclaim that a sleek

passing car

was "bad." I was their youth worker.
"What's bad about it?" I asked naively. "It looks neat to me!"
That embarrassing moment started me thinking of events in life we

wrongly


interpret as bad in the literal sense but which a sovereign God sees

as being


ultimately good.
Does it have a little known or surprising meaning? Dr. Ian

Pitt‑Watson,

professor of preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary, once preached a

sermon


in which he playfully countered the common assumption that Jesus'

beatitude

"blessed are the meek" implies wimpish weakness.
He observes of the word meek: "In the French Bible the word is

translated

debonnaire‑‑debonair!‑‑with overtones of courtesy, gallantry, chivalry

(remember Hollywood's 'golden oldies' and Cary Grant in his heyday?).

Debonair: gentle, sensitive, courteous, modest, unpretentious‑‑yet

strong and

brave and fun and happy."


Debonair Cary Grant released meekness from the negative images from

which I


had imprisoned it.
Will different age groups hear it differently? Recently I introduced a

sermon


by narrating a comic strip showing Barney, the preschooler's purple

dinosaur,

being swallowed up by a fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park.

I

began, however, by asking the congregation, "When you hear the name



Barney,

who flashes into your mind?"


I offered some possibilities that occurred to me as a child of early

divided


(Barney Fife, Barney Rubble). Shaking hands at the door afterwards,

the older

generation bombarded me: "I thought of Barney Oldfield," "I thought of

Barney


Google."
Introducing the sermon by simply playing with one word arrested the

attention

of several generations.
Not every sermon can or should be playful. But when we find ourselves

trying


harder to little effect, we may be caught in the handcuffs of trying

harder.


Freedom comes as we can say with Bill Murray, an alumnus of Saturday

Night


Live, "Hey, I'm serious!"
Richard Hansen is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Visalia, California.

Copyright (c) 1994 Christianity Today, Inc./LEADERSHIP Journal


<><
Preaching - How to Be Heard

Date Originally Filed - 2/1999.101



Summer 1997

How to Be Heard

Mastering six overlooked fundamentals of clear communication.

by Fred Smith


When this article appeared in Leadership, exactly a decade ago,

readers gave it high marks. Many books and articles on preaching, it

seems, are too simple or too complex. Readers told us they appreciated

this article by Fred Smith because it applies expert wisdom to the

basics. It's uncommonly wise on the common elements of public

speaking.


Every summer you can find advertisements for basketball or football

camps where big‑name stars, for a fee, will instruct young people

dreaming of athletic greatness.
I wonder how much actual learning takes place when an all‑star

quarterback, who spends most of his time reading and outmaneuvering

sophisticated defenses, tries to coach a junior‑higher who's still

trying to figure out how to grip the ball with hands that aren't quite

big enough.
Sometimes people learn more, not from the superstars who have long

since learned to perform the basics without conscious thought, but

from others only slightly further down the road, those who've recently

shared the same struggle.


Often, I suspect, a similar effect happens to those who want to

achieve superstar poise and eloquence in the pulpit. The key is

focusing not on the dazzling techniques but on the fundamentals.

Improvement comes from concentrating on the basics until we can

perform them without conscious thought. We need to focus on the basics

and to find pleasure in the step‑by‑step advance.


Here are some fundamental areas that I find speakers may overlook as

they try to improve.


Establishing a friendly atmosphere

To a large degree, the atmosphere we establish will determine how

effective our sermon is going to be. Atmosphere is created by both our

verbal and nonverbal messages.


I hear a lot of preachers, for instance, who are pretty sloppy in

their opening comments. Perhaps it's because they haven't thought

about them, but the mood they create right from the start makes it

tough to benefit from the rest of the sermon.
Most of us know you don't want to start on a negative note. "I hope

you all will excuse my voice this morning. I've had a cold all week."


Or "I really appreciate you all coming on a miserable, rainy day like

today."
Or "Folks, we just are not getting enough people. When I stand up here

and look out at this congregation..."
What kind of impression do these introductions make on the listeners?

Probably not a good one. You're not starting from their need. You're

starting from your need. And that's not the way to fill people with

anticipation for the Word you have to give.


This is why I enjoy starting with something like "This has been a

wonderful week"‑‑people want to know why it's been wonderful. They've

had a lousy week. But there are few weeks for which you can't think up

some way it has been good‑‑"I haven't been sued a single time this

week." And people laugh.
Or "I haven't had an automobile accident this week, not even a

scratch." Little things like that. And then you can say, "No, really.

It's been a fine week. I talked to some friends on the phone, and I

was just reminded of the marvelous gift of friendship."


This builds a friendly atmosphere. It conveys a feeling anybody can

identify with.


People may say to themselves, "Yes, I talked to some friends this

week, too. And sometimes I forget how good that is."


That's one way to help establish a warm, friendly atmosphere. There

are other ways, but the important thing is to avoid opening negatively

or from self‑interest or insecurity. I want to communicate openness,

that I'm here to serve these people.


This setting of the atmosphere, of course, begins before I speak my

first word. We can show warmth by our demeanor on the platform. I try

to pick out certain people and smile at them. This not only affirms


those people, but it also shows the whole congregation I'm glad to be

there.
People need to know how you feel before you start to speak. They want

to know whether you're friendly or worried or mad. For me, the most

difficult discipline in speaking is going in with the proper attitude.

If I do not want to speak, it is so difficult for me to speak well.
Attitude control is essential. I must go up there with a friendly

attitude, with a genuine desire to help those people, to give them

something they'll find beneficial.
It also helps to notice how people are sitting and to gauge the

emotional climate of the congregation. This affects how you need to

come across.
Recently I spoke at a Presbyterian church in Memphis. The 8 a.m.

service was about half full. People were sitting in ones and twos and

threes. This means I needed to communicate with them individually. The

11 a.m. service, however, was packed, which meant I needed to

communicate to them en masse.
What's the difference? When people are scattered in a sparsely

populated sanctuary, they feel exposed. They can't hide. In a jammed

auditorium, people think they're hidden, anonymous, and therefore as

you speak, you can detect a more open response.


So in the 8 a.m. service, I knew I had to be more personal, speaking

as if we were standing face to face and having a conversation. In my

opening comments, I used the approach I would if I'd just shaken hands

with someone. "You know I'm a Baptist. You also know I'm a social

climber, since I'm talking to Presbyterians." I laughed, and they gave

a me a courteous laugh. You don't expect a big laugh out of a sparse

audience any more than you would from someone you're just getting

acquainted with.


Then I said a few more personal things, just as if we were still

shaking hands. "You know, I was born less than a hundred miles from

this place. The town has been kind enough not to put up a sign

disclaiming it, even though they haven't put up a sign claiming it."


That kind of light humor fits a small audience. I wouldn't tell a

story that requires a big audience in that situation. I just needed to



introduce myself with a warm, friendly little greeting.
At 11 A.M., however, with the place packed and with the magnificent

choir behind me, I started by turning to the choir and saying, "I

wanted to be a singer, not a businessman. And I had everything except

talent." That's a crowd joke. I wouldn't have said that to just a few

people. But the choir laughed, and the whole church laughed. Then I

went ahead and said, "When I found out I couldn't be a singer, I went

into religious music, leading singing." They, of course, caught the

innuendo, and they laughed freely with me, and I was ready to proceed

with my remarks. But that kind of humor requires a large audience.
So whether you're a rookie speaker or a seasoned pastor, and by

whatever the technique, it's important to begin by establishing a

friendly atmosphere.

When people are thinking more

about how you're saying something

than what you're saying, your effectiveness is lost.


Encouraging participation, not observation

Another way we all can improve is by remembering that our goal is not

simply to have people sit quietly while we talk, but to have their

minds actively engaged by our subject matter.


Since I've been writing for Leadership, I've had various preachers

send me sermon tapes. I have to believe they send me their best tape.

And I really ache. I'd like to sit down with them and say, "Let's talk

about what you're doing as a communicator."


One common mistake is trying to create feelings by

overdramatization‑‑by telling sob stories, or getting tears in the

voice, or yelling. Listeners quickly realize the speaker isn't

depending on the subject matter to produce the emotion, but the

dramatization. And when people are thinking more about how you're

saying something than what you're saying, your effectiveness is lost.


On the other hand, some preachers are so deadpan, they might as well

be reading a recipe or a research report. You'd never guess they

thought real people were listening.


In either case, my recommendation is to try more conversational

preaching. People listen to it without antipathy. When I raise my

voice, people tend to put up a barrier to my increased volume. It's

like that story about the kid who told his mother he'd decided to be a

preacher.
"Why?" she asked.
"Well," he said, "if I'm going to be attending church all my life, I'd

much rather stand up and yell than sit and listen to it."


The minute somebody starts yelling, people mentally distance

themselves. Many preachers think they're doing it for emphasis, but

generally it doesn't work that way. It deemphasizes.
If I want to say something really important, I'll lower my voice‑‑and

people will kind of lean forward to hear what I'm saying. In a sense,

you're putting intimacy in a point by lowering your voice. You're

saying, "This point means something to me. I'm telling you something

from my heart."
By increasing the volume, often the sermon comes across as more a

performance than a heartfelt point you're making to another

individual. If you want people to digest what you're saying, you don't

want them to feel you're performing.


I don't want people to observe. I want them to participate, because

the whole object of speaking is to influence attitudes and behavior.


How do I encourage participation? Not necessarily by being

entertaining. If people are listening for the next story or next joke,

I've become a performer. I've got to be smart enough to know when my

material is getting inside them. I may need to make them laugh. I may

need a pointed statement. But when they are genuinely listening and

understanding, they are participating.


My goal is not to have people say, "Oh, you're such a great speaker."

Then I know I've failed. If they are conscious of my speaking ability,

they see me as a performer. They have not participated. My goal is for

people to say, "You know, Fred, I've had those kinds of thoughts all

my life, but I've never had the words for them. Now I've got words for

them." Then I feel I've given them a handle for something. I've

crystallized their thoughts and experiences into a statement or story


and made it real for them. I've enabled them to give it to somebody

else.
Obviously speakers must do the talking, but you let the audience

"talk" too. You talk for them. If I'm making a controversial point,

I'll say, "I can tell by your faces that you really don't agree with

that." Or "You're saying to me, 'That's all right for you to say, but

that doesn't fit my situation.' And I agree with you, because all of

us are not alike."
What I've done is to say their words for them. They're thinking, He

understands. He's not trying to poke this stuff down our throat. And

they want me to continue the conversation.
The key here is to make sure we see the process as a conversation and

not a performance. The way I've disciplined myself on this is to ask

myself if I secretly enjoy the front‑and‑center role. I believe I'm

never ready to speak for God unless I'd rather somebody else do it. No

matter how much preparation I've done, if at the moment before I

stand, I wouldn't be happy for somebody else to do it, then I'm not

ready to speak for God. I'm really going to be speaking for myself.

And people will be observing a performance, not participating in the

presentation of a clear biblical word.
Ensuring I'm believable

I keep a constant watch on my believability. Unless I can believe me

when I make a statement, I won't make it.
At certain times I can believe me saying something, because I'm

practicing what I'm preaching. But other times I can't, and I'll cut

that part out of my speech. Let's say I've had an argument with my

wife before I speak. I will not use an illustration or statement about

the marital love relationship because Mary Alice wouldn't believe me

if I said it‑‑and I wouldn't, either. Even though the statement is

absolutely true, I could not say it and believe it.
Now, if I get with Mary Alice and say, "Honey, I was wrong" or "You

were wrong" or "We were wrong," and we resolve the issue, then I can

believe me saying some things about marriage. But I won't ask my

audience to believe what I can't.


For me, this has meant giving up saying some things I would love to be

heard saying.



This also affects the references I can make. I have a private love of

literature, for instance, that for some reason I'm not able to get

across to people. It's not an area I can communicate believably, no

matter how interested I am. Perhaps it's my southern accent, perhaps

it's just personal style, but I'm much more effective using some of my

homespun common sense.


Nor can I, for example, use stories that have sexual overtones. There

are people who can use sexual material effectively. I can't.


I don't use politically oriented material because I'm not particularly

interested in politics. I would laugh at myself waving the flag and

making a Fourth of July speech.
I can't effectively use material that has to do with sudden

"miraculous" changes because I'm such a believer in process. While I

believe in the miracles of the Bible, I have difficulty teaching

people to expect them.


I can't be an inspirational speaker saying, "You can do anything you

think you can do ... and what the mind can conceive, the body can

perform." That just isn't me.
Nor am I able to preach effectively on prophecy. While I can listen to

others do it and appreciate their ability to do so, I can't do it

believably because I have so many personal misgivings. I would not

feel on solid ground. I'd have to quote someone else.


I want to be like Jesus as much as I can, "speaking as one having

authority." Unlike the scribes, who spent most of their time quoting

other authorities, Jesus spoke directly. He, of course, had divine

authority.


How do we establish our authority? As credible speakers, we've got to

establish some authority or there's no reason to listen to us.


You can establish your authority by being a researcher, a Bible

scholar, or a collector of scintillating anecdotes. You may have had

certain life experiences. But whatever your authority, you have to be

careful of extrapolation‑‑taking a principle from an area you know and

trying to apply it to an area you don't know.
Extrapolation is where most speakers show their ignorance, and it


undermines their genuine authority.

I believe I'm never ready

to speak for God unless

I'd rather somebody else do it.


I listen to some preachers extrapolate their knowledge into the

business world, and they do it well. Others, however, tell a business

story and they reveal how little they know about business.
A friend of mine was preaching and trying to relate to the sportsmen

in the congregation, so he told a story about ice fishermen in

Minnesota who were sitting in their huts catching muskies.
Afterward a man in the congregation told him, "That was a good story,

but they don't fish for muskies in the winter." My friend's attempt to

come across as "in the know" only showed the sportsmen he wasn't.
So I'm careful when I extrapolate. Did I stick to things I know? When

people see that I'm pretending to be familiar with something I'm not,

that hurts my believability.
Making my voice inconspicuous

Few speakers have great voices, but most have ones perfectly adequate

if people can understand the words. But I've found people are turned

off by preachers who have a seminary brogue, who have developed an

intellectual pronunciation, or who preach as if they were reciting

Shakespeare. I immediately say, "They're performing."


If I'm conscious of a speaker's voice after listening for two minutes,

then the voice has become a distraction. In the first two minutes,

people should make a decision about your voice and then think no more

about it. It's exactly like your clothing. When you stand up, if

people are conscious of your clothes after once seeing you, there's

something wrong with your clothes. You're either overdressed or

underdressed. You're not properly dressed to speak.
The same is true of the voice. It should come across as natural. But

there's more to it than that.




The voice should always contain some fire‑‑conviction, animation. Fire

in the voice means that the mind and the voice are engaged. There's a

direct relationship between an active mind and an active voice.
If you recite the nursery rhyme "Mary had a little lamb," you don't

have to engage your brain. Chances are you'll say it with a sing‑song

voice. The voice indicates what's going on in the mind.
In preaching it's important that the voice be in gear with the mind,

that it accurately represent the mind.


For example, if I am not really interested in a point I will leave it

out, because my voice will be flat. My voice will say, "This point

isn't important" no matter what my words say. It will tell the

audience I'm really not interested. If I try to fake it, those who are

sensitive will know it. So it's counterproductive to try to convince

people of a point your voice doesn't believe.


I like to listen to people say certain words. The way people say the

word God has always intrigued me. With some people, you can almost

feel the relationship. It's personal. With others, it's majestic. With

others, it's sharp or brittle. The fact that it is so different among

different people means there is a different relationship and the voice

is saying what the mind feels.


Sales people sometimes call this quality enthusiasm. I think it's more

than enthusiasm. Sometimes it will be awe or reverence. There are

times when the voice ought to halt in reverence before a word. You

don't do that like an actor. It's just that when the mind halts, the

voice ought to halt. The voice is truly a mirror of the mind.
Fire in the voice has nothing to do with having a good voice or a poor

voice. Some of the whiniest voices I've ever heard come from the best

speakers. But audiences will listen to a poor voice, as long as

there's fire, because as soon as the audience realizes the voice is

real, they adjust to it.
Using gestures effectively

Gestures have a vocabulary all their own. The Spanish painter Goya

charged as much to paint the hands as to paint the face, because the

hands are the most difficult of all parts of the body to paint.


Delsarte, back in the last century, studied for several years how the

hands show emotion. He got so good at it that he could sit in a park

and tell whether a baby was held by a maid or its mother by the

intensity of the hands.
I, too, have become interested in what hands say. When I watch a

speaker, I watch the hands. I want to see whether gestures are

spontaneous or programmed. I want to see whether the spontaneous

gestures are repetitious or varied. My friend Haddon Robinson has one

of the finest pairs of hands I know. I've tried to count the different

formations his hands make, and the number gets astronomical. Yet

they're absolutely spontaneous, and they're in harmony with what he's

saying and with the sound of his voice. He has a large vocabulary of

both gestures and words.
One of our former presidents could say something like "You know I love

you," but he would make a hacking gesture. Some psychiatrist friends

who used to watch him told me, "His hands tell you how much he really

loves you." You don't use a hacking motion with a genuine, spontaneous

expression of love.
Great music conductors, for example, will often not use a baton so

they can communicate more clearly. The orchestra can read their hands

better than the baton. The baton can give the beat or the accent, but

hands can give the nuance.


Many people will prophesy with their hands. They'll let you know

what's coming before they actually say it. The hands come alive before

the voice does. And people detect this even if they're not aware of

it.
Or you see somebody who points his finger at you like a pistol. You

never expect a real friendly statement after that. The teacher points

a finger at you and then reprimands you.


I've found speakers can't develop mastery of gestures quickly, but

they can give themselves permission to improve. Sometimes people don't

succeed because they're afraid to try. Any time we want to develop our

skills, we start by giving ourselves permission to grow.


With gestures, the key is simply to make sure they're spontaneous and

that they represent the voice and the mind. But give yourself

permission to let them vary and be expressive.


Here's one to start with. If you're going to be delivering a climactic

statement, instead of getting intense too soon, it's better to relax

your body and back away a half step from the audience. Then just

before you come into the climactic statement, step toward the audience

and straighten up. That way your body as well as your voice projects

the message.


Gestures also include giving people your eyes. In speaking, eyes are

almost as important as the voice. Everyone knows the importance of eye

contact, but the temptation I have is to zero in on a few people up

front who are attentive. Maybe I'm insecure, but it's easier to talk

to those people. I have to remind myself not to neglect those out on

the wings. Like the farmer who's feeding the chickens, you have to

throw the corn wide enough for everyone to get some. So I tell myself,

Remember the smaller chickens on the fringe. I want them to know I'm

thinking of them, too.
Remembering my limited knowledge

I remember an embarrassing situation one night at a business meeting

with a group of executives.
One man, who considered himself an authority on international oil

because he read the newspaper, was popping off about the oil situation

and how it could easily be resolved.
What he didn't know was that another man in the room had just returned

from chairing an international conference of major oil companies.

After the first fellow finished spouting off, proving his ignorance,

this man quietly but effectively showed him to be the fool he was.


I said to myself, I hope that never happens to me!
I left that meeting determined to make sure, in any speaking I do,

that I leave open the possibility that someone may be there who knows

an awful lot more about the subject than I do. The memory of that

business meeting has stayed in my mind and tempered many remarks I've

been tempted to make.
On the other hand, sometimes speakers are too impressed with who's in

the audience.


The other night I was in a church listening to the preacher when a

well‑known university president slipped into the sanctuary. The



preacher changed his style considerably; I could tell he was preaching

for the benefit of this one individual. He went from preaching to

giving an intellectual performance, trying to impress with his

learning. He seemed to forget the rest of the audience.


I couldn't be too critical, however, because at times I've done the

same thing. When some prominent person is present, the great

temptation is to speak to him alone. But that's prostitution. That's

spending other people's time simply to make a personal impression.


But as I sat listening to the preacher being overly influenced by this

university president, suddenly the thought occurred to me, Doesn't he

realize God is listening?
When God is listening, that's about as big a celebrity as anyone is

going to have. And isn't he always our ultimate audience?


So in the back of my mind, I always try to remember that God is

present. And if he isn't, maybe we ought to dismiss early.


Fred Smith is a business executive in Dallas, Texas; a board member of

Christianity Today, Inc.; and a contributing editor of Leadership.


Copyright(c) 1997 by the author or Christianity Today, Inc./Leadership

Journal. For reprint information call 630‑260‑6200 or e‑mail

LeaderJ@aol.com.

Summer, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Page 86


http://www2.christianity.net/leadership/7L3/7L3086.html
++++++
We need to:

1. Examine

Be aware

2. Diagnose

What's needed?

3. Prescribe

What's God saying?

<><


Preaching - How Well Do You Listen? - Date Originally Filed - 1/2001.101

"How Well Do You Listen?"


INTRODUCTION 1. During His earthly ministry, Jesus often concluded a

lesson by crying out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" a.

E.g., concerning John the Baptist ‑ - Mt 11:15 - Matthew

11:15} b. E.g., the parable of the sower ‑ - Mt 13:9 - Matthew

13:9} c. E.g., the explanation of the parable of the tares ‑

- Mt 13:43 - Matthew 13:43} 2. In His letters to the churches

of Asia, Jesus concludes each with a similar saying: "He who has an

ear. let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." ‑ Re

- 2:7 - Matthew 2:7}, - 11 - Matthew

2:11}, - 17 - Matthew 2:17},29; - 3:6 - Matthew

3:6}, - 13 - Matthew 3:13},22 3. What is the point of these

sayings? a. It is akin to saying "What is being said is very

important, so you had better pay attention and listen!" ‑ cf.

- Mk 4:23‑25 - Mark 4:23‑25} b. It illustrates that Jesus had

a problem that often exists today 1) Many people simply don't listen

2) Or don't listen so as to understand 4. I am convinced that many

today don't appreciate the importance of listening well... a. It

concerned Jesus... b. So I believe it is appropriate to ask, "How Well

Do You Listen?" [It might be profitable to begin by pointing out there

are...] I. THREE TYPES OF LISTENERS A. THE "DULL OF HEARING"... 1.

Some of the Hebrew Christians were like this ‑ cf. He

- 5:11 - Mark 5:11} a. Note that when a person has this

problem, it is hard for others to explain things to them! b. The fault

is not with the "subject" material, nor the "presenter", but with the

"listener"! 2. Isaiah wrote of such people, and Jesus applied it to

many in His day ‑ - Mt 13:13‑15 - Matthew 13:13‑15} a. People

are this way because they are dull of heart! b. This prevents them

from: 1) Understanding God's truth 2) Turning from sin to God 3) And

being healed (saved) by God! ‑‑ Who would want to be this type of

listener? B. THOSE WITH "ITCHING EARS"... 1. Paul describes these in

- 2 Ti 4:3‑4 - 2 Timothy 4:3‑4} 2. Such people listen only to

that which is pleasing a. So they don't like "sound doctrine" (which

often requires the kind of preaching mentioned in - 2 Ti

4:2 - 2 Timothy 4:2}) b. They will find the teachers they want...but

then they turn from the truth to fables ‑‑ Many today are often

afflicted with this "hearing" problem! C. THOSE WHO HEAR WITH "A NOBLE

AND GOOD HEART"... 1. Jesus speaks of these in - Lk

8:15 - Luke 8:15} 2. The Bereans were listeners of this kind ‑



- Ac 17:11 - Acts 17:11} a. They were "fair‑minded" (NKJV),

thus willing to give Paul a fair hearing b. It showed in how they

"received" (or listened to) the word: "with all readiness" ‑‑ This is

the kind of listener we all should be! [Why is it so important to be

this kind of listener? There are several reasons...] II. THE

IMPORTANCE OF GOOD LISTENING A. ESSENTIAL TO BEING BLESSED... 1. For

those willing to listen properly, there are wonderful things to learn

‑ - Mt 13:16‑17 - Matthew 13:16‑17} 2. Many things which great

people (David, Daniel, etc.) did not have the opportunity to learn 3.

Things pertaining to wonderful blessings that are now available in

Christ! ‑ cf. - Ep 1:3 - Ephesians 1:3} ‑‑ We miss out on

these blessings if we do not carefully listen! B. ESSENTIAL TO SAVING

FAITH... 1. God has ordained that we be saved through faith in Christ

‑ cf. - Ro 1:16‑17 - Romans 1:16‑17} 2. Such faith comes

through proclaiming the gospel, often involving listening to a

preacher ‑ cf. - Ro 10:14 - Romans

10:14}, - 17 - Romans 10:17} 3. While one can certainly gain

faith through reading God's Word (cf. - Jn 20:30‑31 - John

20:30‑31}), the fact remains that many are often dependent upon what

they first hear proclaimed a. One reason faith is often lacking is

because people simply are not good listeners b. They miss out on the

evidence in God's Word which produces faith! ‑‑ Does your "listening"

hinder the development of your faith? C. ESSENTIAL TO BEARING FRUIT...

1. In the parable of the sower, the only kind of soil (heart) capable

of bearing fruit was the one which listened properly ‑ - Lk

8:15 - Luke 8:15} 2. That is because bearing fruit comes from

"understanding" the grace of God! ‑ cf. Co - 1:6 - Luke 1:6

a. Note that the gospel was bearing fruit in the Colossians b. But

that was "since the day you heard and knew (understood, NAS) the grace

of God in truth;" ‑‑ Only by listening well can we "understand" god's

grace, and be thus motivated to bear fruit to his glory! D. ESSENTIAL

TO PREVENTING APOSTASY... 1. There is a real danger of drifting, by

neglecting "so great a salvation" ‑ He - 2:1‑3 - Colossians

2:1‑3} 2. The only solution is to "give the more earnest heed to the

things we have heard" ‑‑ Poor listening is often the first step to

apostasy! E. ESSENTIAL TO AVOIDING REJECTION AND CONDEMNATION... 1. If

we do not listen as we should... a. Those who teach God's Word have a

right to reject us ‑ cf. - Mt 10:14‑15 - Matthew 10:14‑15} b.

We are judging ourselves unworthy of eternal life ‑ cf. - Ac

13:44‑49 - Acts 13:44‑49} 2. If we reject the gospel (perhaps by poor

listening?), the men of Nineveh and the queen of the South will


condemn us at the judgment! ‑ cf. - Mt 12:41‑42 - Matthew

12:41‑42} a. The men of Nineveh repented after hearing just one lesson

from Jonah; will we reject the gospel of Christ after being given many

opportunities? b. The queen of the South went great lengths to hear

the wisdom of Solomon; are we willing to go just a short distance to

hear God's Word proclaimed? ‑‑ The rejection and condemnation is not

limited to coming from just these individuals...it will come from God,

too! [Hopefully, we appreciate the wonderful opportunities we have to

be able to listen to God's Word, and the importance of good listening!

How then can we improve our ability to listen? For just as speakers

need to learn to speak so as to be understood, people need to learn to

listen so as to understand! Here are some ...] III. STEPS TO BETTER

LISTENING A. MAKE LISTENING AN ACT OF WORSHIP... 1. How you listen to

God's word being read or preached is as much an indication of your

devotion to God as to how you pray or sing 2. So when you have

opportunities to listen, do it with "a worshipful attitude" a. Think

of how you would listen if some great person were speaking b. Imagine

your rapt attention if you were listening to some famous person ‑‑

Does not the proclamation of God's Word deserve as much attention? B.

LISTEN FROM FIRST TO LAST... 1. I.e., pay attention all the way

through a. Do you expect to understand a novel by simply reading a

sentence here and there? b. So it is with listening...sentences,

phrases, words, to be understood must be heard in light of the context

in which they are presented 2. Speakers must follow certain rules of

speech so as to be understood: a. Introduce the subject b. Present

main points with supporting arguments c. Conclude with a summary ‑‑ So

listeners must listen to ALL the parts to truly understand C. LOOK AT

THE SPEAKER... 1. This greatly aids your concentration a. Looking

elsewhere makes it easy for your mind to wander b. Closing your eyes

makes it easy for you to nod off! 2. This requires self‑discipline,

but it is conducive to developing a longer attention span ‑‑ Try it,

and see if it doesn't make a difference! D. READ ALONG IN YOUR

BIBLE... 1. You remember more of what you both see and hear over what

you simply hear a. Which is why visual aids are often used in sermons

b. But the greatest visual aid is your own Bible! 2. Your knowledge of

the Scriptures can be greatly improved by doing this 3. It is hard at

first to keep up, but persevere and it will soon become easier ‑‑ We

encourage our children to do this, shouldn't adults provide an example

and do the same? E. LISTEN WITH FAITH... 1. I.e., listen with a

willingness to accept and believe what is shown in God's Word 2.

Notice He - 4:1‑2 - Jonah 4:1‑2 - those who died in the

wilderness did not listen with faith! ‑‑ If we don't listen "with

faith," the same sort of thing will happen to us; i.e., fall short of


our heavenly rest! F. LISTEN WITH A MIND TO ACT... 1. Are we like the

people in Ezekiel's day? ‑ cf. - Eze 33:30‑32 - Ezekiel

33:30‑32} a. They loved to hear him, but for the wrong reason b. Do we

love to hear sermons because of how well the speaker presents them? 2.

Hearing must be accompanied by doing to be of any profit ‑

- Ja 1:22‑25 - James 1:22‑25} ‑‑ As important as good

listening may be, the blessedness comes only if we are doers as well

as hearers! CONCLUSION 1. To be blessed in what we do... a. That is my

goal in presenting these thoughts on listening b. For it all begins

with listening in the proper way 2. How important, then, is listening?

a. When it comes to listening to God, very important! ‑ - Isa

55:2‑3 - Isaiah 55:2‑3} b. It is essential for the good of our soul! 3.

Is there ever a time when GOD does not listen? a. Yes, when our sins

are between us and God ‑ cf. - Isa 59:1‑2 - Isaiah 59:1‑2} b.

But we can take care of that problem by receiving God's Mercy ‑ cf.

- Isa 55:6‑7 - Isaiah 55:6‑7} Today, that mercy is offered

through Jesus Christ, God's Son. And as God said: "This is My beloved

Son. Hear Him!" ( - Lk 9:35 - Luke 9:35}) Have you heeded Him

by obeying His word? Or does the following cry of Jesus apply to

you...? "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things

which I say?" ( - Luke 6:46 - Luke 6:46})
http://www.bible.ca/eo/top/listen.htm

<><
10 Things to Do with a Sermon - Preaching - How to Listen

Date Originally Filed - 3/2001.101


Viewpoint: Ten things to do with a sermon
Gordon Matties
Most people forget most sermons by the middle of the week. Recently

someone told me he'd just as soon sit in the car and read a good book

as listen to a sermon.

As an occasional preacher, I find these are forbidding thoughts.

What's more, even if I think everyone is listening, I can't speak to

everyone's situation every time.


So did I waste my Saturday preparing that sermon on repentance? Why

not simply offer people a thought‑byte or two? Instead of 20 minutes



on John the Baptist's

call to repentance, I could have given them my 55‑word synthesis of

Matthew's repentance theme to post on their refrigerator door in the

hope that it would edify

them throughout the week.
But that wouldn't be a sermon. And I don't suppose most congregations

are about to replace sermons with a thought for the week.


Our problem is that most of us have grown up listening to sermons

without ever knowing what we were to be listening for. Preachers have

countless resources for

how to prepare, construct and deliver sermons. Yet I've never read

anything on how to listen to a sermon.
I suggest, therefore, that it's time for the congregation to take some

responsibility for the sermon. To assume that it's up to the preacher

to communicate effectively

with us is asking too much if we're not willing to work at listening.

We listeners have to create a way of entering the sermon, especially

when the sermon doesn't

create an easy entry point for us.
If we listen well, we will share the burden of sermon preparation and

delivery. Making the sermon "ours" will mean that we will have less to

criticize after walking out

the door. Active listening may even help us discover that sermons are

rather good food for body and soul.
Listening well is learning to pay attention
Simone Weil, in her book Waiting for God, suggests that paying

attention is the virtue that trains us in prayer. Listening well is a

spiritual discipline. Since we're not

likely to change every sermon to suit the tastes and needs of every

one of us, the best strategy is to change the way each of us listens.

That way, we become as

responsible for what we "take" from a sermon as preachers are for what

they "give" us. Rather than seeing ourselves as an audience, why not

become partners in the

sermon? The sermon can then be a responsive part of worship‑‑a

"service" that we all offer to God rather than a speech telling us

what we ought to do or feel.



Listening well involves using the imagination
What you hear is not the same as what's been spoken. No sermon can get

into your head, your experience or your heart unless you do something.

Only you can

open your mind or heart to the Spirit. You can actively invite the

newness and nurture that God wishes to bring into your life by His

Word. Let me explain:


1. Listen from within your experience. Bring all of who you are and

put it on the table: work, love, children, friendships, loneliness,

fear, addiction, anger.

Whatever your life experience, whether joy or pain, whether stability

or disorientation, find a crack somewhere into which your imagination

can slip. Then push at

what you hear, as though it is a wedge. As a crack opens a space in

the sermon, imagine what you might say, if given an opportunity, to

fill out what you need to hear

so that the sermon can touch your experience.


2. Imagine your way into the sermon's agenda. Among other things, a

preacher may be trying to change our minds, move us to commitment,

invite us to act in the

light of the gospel or nurture our relationship with God. Yet many

sermons don't begin by telling us those things. Imagine what the

sermon wants to do. What

outcomes are necessary for this sermon to have been successful in

accomplishing its purpose?


3. Imagine yourself rewriting the sermon. One person, the preacher,

cannot be master of the biblical text. Sermons are always submitted to

the congregation for

discernment. A sermon offers only one voice; you must add your own.

Ask yourself What does this text mean for me today? How would I put

that into words if I

were preaching? What would I add? What would I omit? What would I

change?
4. Imagine an illustration. Some congregations offer people time to

respond to every sermon. Sometimes people stand to share an

illustration that puts a unique

spin on the sermon, or that provides a concrete example of an abstract

idea from the sermon. Even if you can't do that publicly, imagine your



own story that

demonstrates the truth you are hearing.


5. Imagine a piece of music or artwork you know that offers a window

into what you are hearing. Imagine using that piece as an object

lesson for the

congregation, explaining how this work embodies the biblical text or

sermon.
6. Imagine people you know. Are there people who embody the virtues

highlighted in the sermon? Are there people whose lives might be

touched with the healing

and hope you are hearing? Listen for how you might channel grace to

others because of what you are hearing.
7. Imagine what response the sermon is calling you to make. Ask how

the theology in the text or sermon challenges or supports what you've

always thought to

be true, right, good or beautiful. Imagine being wrong. What would

need to change about your behaviour? What should change in your

attitudes?


Not all sermons move toward a decision. You may wish to make that

imaginative move yourself. As a result of the sermon, what action is

called for? When will you

begin to act on what you have decided? What first steps will you take?


8. Imagine hearing the text from the underside. Sermons often identify

with a central character, or a person in charge. Imagine the text from

the side of what's left

out, or who's left out. What insight would you offer from that vantage

point in the text? What could you add to the sermon without denying

the different perspective

of the preacher?
9. Imagine a New World in which what you hear is truly practised.

Jesus called this "seeking the kingdom". Ask yourself what hinders

your wholehearted search for

the kingdom. What prevents you from acting out that vision in your

life?
10. Now it's your turn I invite readers to make suggestions for active

sermon listening and send them to me. Perhaps we'll include a list of



these suggestions in a

future issue of the Herald.


Active listening puts an end both to silence and to criticism. It

frees us to interact with the preacher in a healthy way because we

become responsible for what we

hear. Listening is hard work. It requires an imagination that moves us

beyond the words we hear from the front. Disciplined and creative

listening will change us, for

in listening we practise what Paul recommends‑‑that we offer our

bodies and allow our minds to be transformed ( - Romans

12:1‑2 - Romans 12:1‑2}). To listen actively is to turn the

sermon into a prayer in the presence of God's transforming Spirit.


Gordon Matties is associate professor of Old Testament at Concord

College in Winnipeg. He can be reached at 169 Riverton Ave., Winnipeg

R2L 2E5,

phone 1‑204‑669‑6583, fax 1‑204‑663‑2468, email

gmatties@ConcordCollege.mb.ca

Return to the M.B.Herald Vol. 36, No. 11 Home Page


http://www.mbconf.ca/mb/mbh3611/matties.htm
<><
Preaching - Best Sermons into Tracts - Extend the Life of Your Sermons with Tracts" by Roscoe Barnes Iii.
Date Originally Filed - 3/2001.101
Turning your best sermons into tracts

April 2001 issue

Ministry section
"Extend the life of your sermons with tracts" by Roscoe Barnes III.

Pulpit Helps, Dec 2000 (Vol 25, No 12). Page 24. Topic: evangelism.


You pour hours and hours into preparing a sermon and spend half an

hour preaching it, only to wonder just how long the message will have

any impact. Have you ever wondered how to give your ideas some


permanence? Try writing your sermons down in the form of a tract.

Tracts are a powerful way to communicate timeless messages. Almost

everyone entertains the idea of writing a book at some point, but

tracts have certain advantages. Tracts are often more appealing to

readers than are lengthy books. They can be written quickly and

published inexpensively, reaching a wider audience than a book could.

The late John R. Rice, for example, put his sermon "What Must I Do to

Be Saved?" into print. To date more than 44 million copies of this

tract have been printed, with over 10,000 claiming to come to Christ

through that booklet within the space of one month.

Many powerful sermons have been handed down through the years via

tracts. Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry

God," written hundreds of years ago, is still touching souls today in

tract form.

Would you like to share an important message that could outlast

you for generations? Write your sermons into tracts!

Topics: Evangelism;Preaching;Sermons;Writing
http://www.navpress.com/cttFullArticle.asp?WriArt=DPD0000202001April
http://www.navpress.com/ctt/view_article.asp?articleID=13482&tbvw=SEC&S

ectionID=Ministry




<><

Preaching - Martin Luther King Jr.'s

Date Originally Filed - 3/2001.101
King of the pulpit: a model for preaching

April 2001 issue

Ministry section
"Martin Luther King Jr.'s preaching as a resource for preachers" by

Richard Lischer. Journal for Preachers, Easter 2000 (Vol 23, No 3).

Pages 18‑22. Topic: preaching.
Martin Luther King Jr. remains an inspiration for young African

American preachers, but he is rarely studied by students of



homiletics. Much of King's oratorical talent can only be fully

understood in the unique context of the civil rights movement. Today's

social ills are more likely to be addressed by governmental economic

adjustments than by religiously inspired exhortations to protest that

would involve personal sacrifice.

King's homiletical practices aren't at all like today's preaching

methods. He wasn't conversational in style. He hardly ever used humor,

a low road to audience entertainment. While King's oratory delighted

his listeners, he chose the higher goal of moving his audience,

changing their hearts and behaviors.

King organized his sermons around a handful of universal themes

including the destiny of man, the importance of love, and the

greatness of God. Self‑disclosure hardly ever played into his sermons.

When he did talk about himself, he did so as a dignified public

persona.

Finally, King differed from contemporary preachers in his approach

to the Bible. He eschewed higher textual criticism, choosing to step

allegorically into Scripture to describe the principles of civil

rights and social justice.

In many ways, though, King serves as an excellent resource for

modern preachers. Listening to tapes of King's sermons, one realizes

that he was absolutely bone‑tired when he preached. He was determined

to preach, though, even after marathon negotiating sessions, bombings,

and the myriad problems of the civil rights movement. He did so not

only from a sense of duty, but because it revitalized him.

King is also a model for today's preachers in the way in which he

pursued poetry and art in his preaching, even when he was away from

the spotlight. He used illustrations and metaphors to demonstrate the

link between Scripture and the lives of oppressed people. King took

language to its heights, whether he was preaching on the national

platform or speaking to his home congregation.

Topics: Preaching;Black churches;Sermons,

effective;Blacks;Sermons;Bible interpretation;Bible, interpreting the

> Bible interpretation;Interpretation, biblical > Bible

interpretation;Homiletics > Preaching;Churches, black > Black churches

Original Source: Journal for Preachers

http://www.navpress.com/cttFullArticle.asp?WriArt=DPD0000152001April



<><
Stories We Hear, the Stories We Tell by Richard Frazier.

March 2000 issue

Ministry section

- 3/2001.101


Preaching and the retelling of stories

March 2000 issue

Ministry section
"The stories we hear, the stories we tell" by Richard Frazier.

Quarterly Review, Fall 1999 (Vol 19, No 3). Pages 184‑197. Topic:

storytelling. See also Oct99‑6a.
Most preachers use stories in their sermons. They appear as anecdotes,

attention‑getters, or illustrations. They are hung on the sermonic

tree like Christmas lights offering something beautiful to look at,

but not necessarily providing much light.

Too many stories are sentimental, shallow, moralizing and

unsatisfying. Good stories, on the other hand, raise questions,

address the complexities of life, invite exploration, and offer

surprise. Robert Coles says that the great storytellers use stories to

hold up a mirror to reveal hypocrisy and the shallowness of society.

They also depict real people struggling with their own conflicts.

Sometimes these stories are open‑ended, refusing to offer an easy

answer. Frequently they address the main themes of the sermon. They

may do so using a variety of literary forms, including metaphor,

aphorisms and proverbs, parables, parallelism, and dialectic.

The parable is one of the most popular forms of storytelling,

perhaps because Jesus used it so frequently. A parable, called by some

an extended metaphor, is invitational and subversive. That is, it is a

story that invites the listener to participate, that engages the

listener with his or her own experience, an experience of a world that

is familiar. But it is subversive in that the story then shifts to a

different world which functions with an alien set of principles. In

parables, things are not always as the appear.

The preacher can improve his preaching by sharpening his ability

to see a parable as it occurs in literature, film, or even the

everyday happenings of life. The story doesn't need to have a strand

of piety to it; it is better if it doesn't.

We are taught to preach in a way that people have something

concrete to take home with them. It would be better if we preached in



a way that people had something abstract to take home with them. You

can't do much with the concrete, but with images there is a lot of

flex room. They will continue to work in the mind and heart of the

audience long after the benediction has been pronounced.

Therefore, the preacher is well‑advised to pay attention to the

form of the story as well as its content. One might start by asking a

series of questions about the stories in the sermon: What will my

audience hear? Is the story open‑ended so that it invites discussion?

Will my audience relate to the characters or the situation? What is

the tension in this story? What are the metaphors? Does it work with

surprise or irony? In what way is it subversive? Does it leave a

visual image? Can God use this story and my telling of it?


Topics: Storytelling;Illustrations, sermon;Sermons,

effective;Preaching;Narrative;Homiletics > Preaching;Preaching,

narrative > Narrative;Sermon preparation;Culture and religion;Religion

in the U.S.;Jews;AntiSemitism;Harassment, religious;Hate crimes

Original Source: Quarterly Review
http://www.navpress.com/cttFullArticle.asp?WriArt=TFM0000072000March

<><
Preaching - Getting Your Class To Talk

Date Originally Filed - 4/2001.101


Getting Your Class To Talk

by Rob Steed Australia's Small Group Guru

Helping class members to talk is an important part of successful class

time.
The success of a class is very dependent on the teacher's ability to

facilitate good discussion. The class that effectively discusses the

lesson is more likely to enjoy a study that is practical, supportive

and interesting. A key ingredient as to whether such discussion occurs

is the ability of the class members to communicate effectively.


The following actions help promote good communication in a class.
1. Respond Actively: When someone makes comment of asks a question

respond actively. Often immature (low level of communication) classes

allow members' disclosures to pass by without response. They may not

understand what has been said or they may disagree. When this happens

the person disclosing will often withdraw, feeling that nobody is

interested in their viewpoint. 2. Listen to what's Happening: Class

members will know whether others are listening or not (body language).

By looking interested physically people are encouraged to share more

fully. Groups are most effective when all members take interest in all

interactions and feel free to enter and assist in others' dialogues.
3. Take Risks in Self‑Disclosure: Self‑disclosure breeds more

self‑disclosure. For example ? "I would like to begin our study today

regarding prayer by sharing with you an experience..." Taking the risk

to share personally encourages others to do the same. The result being

that trust builds and members feel confident to share more at a

personal level.


4. Encourage Others Self‑disclosure: Give recognition to others when

they share their ideas and experiences. Praise encourages the reticent

to contribute even further.
5. Enter Ongoing Conversations Appropriately: Showing involvement by

joining in conversations builds class communication. However, avoid

disrupting the conversation by refocusing the conversation. Your right

to involvement is based on you contributing to the conversation.


6. Ask for Feedback: Seeking other members views rather than accepting

one viewpoint enriches the discussion. For example ? "That is an

interesting point of view how do others feel about this " The more

views expressed the better the quality of discussion and interest.


7. Seat the class for communication: How the class is seated will

either encourage or handicap good discussion. A circle is the most

conducive to discussion. All members of the class need to be able to

see each others faces. The more the teacher models effective

communication skills the more other class members will follow.


Question That Facilitate Discussion

A key part of any good lesson discussion is asking good questions.

Most of us if we work long enough at it can develop good questions.
Don't ask: "Too personal" questions too early in the life of the

class. Personal questions are vital as trust builds but timing is

important.
Don't ask long involved questions. Keep them short and concise. In

other words one question at a time.


Don't be afraid of silence. A good question will require some time for

people to think through before giving an answer.


Don't ask closed questions. Yes and no answers do not lead to

discussion and sharing. Open ended questions are best.


Do share your own experience as this encourages others, Questions that

get to a personal level facilitate a more practical discussion.


Do ask questions that have some relevance to people's lives. Questions

that are trivial frustrate most people


Do clarify your question when asked.
Don't rush in with your own answer out of nervousness.
Do allow other group members to ask questions. The teacher doesn't

have sole rights to asking questions.


http://www.joshhunt.com/getting_your_class_to_talk.htm
<><
Making Class Interesting When the Passage is Boring by Josh Hunt
Making Class Interesting When

- 4/2001.101


Making Class Interesting When the Passage is Boring

by Josh Hunt

All scripture is inspired by God. All scripture is equally inspired by

God. But it is not all equally inspiring! Let's face it, some passages



are a pretty hard read. Harder still to create a stimulating

discussion. Here are some tips to make class interesting when the

passage is boring.
Relax

The Bible was written over a long period of time to a variety of

people with a variety of needs. Some passages were not really written

for us, and it makes sense that they do not apply to us directly. We

can be thankful we have these passage and appreciative of their

God‑inspired quality while candidly acknowledging that they are not as

inspiring as some other parts of the Bible

Class visioning, organization, evaluation and health

When the text is boring, you might spend a little extra time on issues

related to the class, but not related to the text. Spend some time

evaluating how the group feels about your experience together. Set

some goals. Cast a vision. Get organized. Plan some fellowships. Get

as many people with roles and tasks as you can. Get an inreach leader,

outreach leader, fellowship leader, etc.


Group Life

Group life has two goals: to get to know the Bible and to get to know

one another. When the passage is boring, spend a little time getting

to know one another. Have one person each week share their testimony,

or let the group get to interview them.
Quiet time accountability

I was talking to a friend the other day about how I love my life. I

work out of a home office and am self‑employed. I get up on my own,

take a bath and show up for work without a boss. I love it. I am one

of those people for whom work is more fun than play. I tend to have to

discipline myself to play with my kids more than I discipline myself

to do my work. My friend looked me in the eye and said, "I could never

do what you do. If I tired I would sleep in, read the sports page,

watch CNN, fritter around and next thing you know it would be 11:30

and I wouldn't have done a thing." Then he looked at me and said, "And

I think more people are like me than like you." I think he is right.

Most people need external forms of accountability. They need people to

ask them from time to time, "What are you and God talking about these

days? What have you read in your quiet time?" If the passage is

boring, you could spend some time on this with great profit.


Teach the topic

Sometimes you can summarize the meaning of the passage into a Biblical

principle and talk about that principle. In Leviticus you might derive

a principle about holiness or worship or atonement and talk about that

topic.
Teach cross references and related passages

"This reminds me of another passage. . ." And off you go to that other

passage!
Zoom in: Look for details in the text

Sometimes one work is enough to create a good lesson. I have done a

whole sermon on the word "beloved." From a homiletical viewpoint it

was not one of my best, but it sure was well received. There is a

passage in one of the gospels that says, "Go, tell the disciples and

Peter. . ." There is a great lesson in those two words, "and Peter."


Take it as a challenge

I have talked to snow skiers who see themselves as expert skiers

except, "I don't sky powder well, and mogals kind of trip me up and

everyone hates ice and steep slopes are not my forte and, and, and. .

." The deal is, this is snow skiing. It is about mogals and steep

slopes and powder and so on. If you can't ski that, you can't ski.

Teachers are sometimes the same way. They can do a bang up job in

- Philippians 2 - Philippians 2}, but drop them in the middle

of Numbers somewhere and they are outta here. Take it as a challenge.

You are a good teacher. Good teachers make difficult passages

interesting.
Zoom out ‑ teach the context

Lots of believers know the stories of the Bible, but they do not know

the story of the Bible. Spend some time putting the difficult passage

in context of the whole Bible story.


Fake it

Don't tell them this is a boring passage and don't be bored yourself.

Find something to get excited about. If you are enthusiastic, the

people will be to even if this is a difficult passage. I think it is a

sin to bore people with the gospel. Get excited about something.
Punt

If worse come to worse, punt. Don't teach the boring passage. Set

aside the literature. Teach something else. Far better to do that than


to bore people with the gospel. The number one problem in the American

Sunday School is boredom. Don't be part of the problem. Pray Ask God

why he put this passage in there. Ask Him what He would have you teach

His children. Ask for the meaning behind the passage. Ask for wisdom.

Ask for ability. Ask for enthusiasm.
http://www.joshhunt.com/MakingBoringInteresting.htm

<><

Preaching - Using teamwork in sermon prep

Date Originally Filed - 6/2001.101
Using teamwork in sermon preparation

"Sermon research teams" by Brad Johnson. Growing Churches, Fall 2000

(Vol 11, No 1). Pages 5‑7. Topic: sermon preparation. See also

Mar00‑24a. Topic: SERMON PREPARATION

Preparing weekly sermons isn't always a delightful task. Often it's

arduous and frustrating. However, Brad Johnson, teaching pastor and

minister of missions at Saddleback Valley Community Church, has

discovered that planning sermons together with other pastors has

enhanced the process for him.

When pastors plan sermons together, iron sharpens iron and offers

the benefits of accumulated variety, wit, and wisdom that paves the

way for clear and effective presentation. Such sharing keeps pastors

from getting in sermon ruts and provides a practical time‑saver for

already cramped schedules. It also affords lots of free research as

everyone willingly shares his personal resources.

Pastors interested in participating in such sermon research teams

should look for like‑minded colleagues who are willing to commit to

the plan, can mutually respect each other, be obedient to the Holy

Spirit's direction as they plan, and share their best material

(articles, Scripture references, and humor) freely. Before they meet,

they should bathe their potential plans and sermon possibilities in

prayer, asking for the Spirit's guidance and leading. Pastors should

then share a one‑day retreat to discuss ideas for their sermons, which

should be planned as a sermon series for the year. Weekly meetings to

discuss specific sermon needs will follow.

Such sharing allows each person to contribute his greatest



strength. One may be an excellent outliner; another may contribute

humor. Combining everyone's strengths contributes to the most

effective sermons. Also, the fact that the sermon series is planned

well in advance affords worship leaders, actors, and technicians

adequate opportunity to augment the sermons with appropriate music,

drama, and lighting.

This type of sermon preparation may not be for everyone. However,

those who try it will experience rich fellowship and support as they

pray and perhaps counsel together. They will also find sermon

preparation to be less of a burden and more of a blessing.


http://www.navpress.com/ctt/view_article.asp?articleID=14421&tbvw=SEC&S

ectionID=Ministry




<><

Preaching Preparation - Date Originally Filed - 6/2001.101


Sermon prep as theological process

"The theological process in sermon preparation" by Timothy Warren.

Bibliotheca Sacra, Jul‑Sep 1999 (Vol 156, No 623). Pages 336‑356.

Topic: sermon preparation. See also x3017 and May99‑17b. Topic: SERMON

PREPARATION

Expository preaching has three components. First, the text is

examined; then the theological principle emerging from the text is

defined; and finally, the application to the listener is announced.

This means that the goal of preaching is to create a bridge between

the text and the listener by means of a homiletical process. Two

worlds are thus involved: the world of the text and the world of the

contemporary audience. The preacher must know both.

There are three elements in this bridge‑building process:

stylizing, theologizing, and organizing.

$ Stylizing. This involves moving from "technical exegetical

language to general theological language." A technical approach might

use words like "parallelism" and discuss rhetorical context and

narrative elements of the text. When all of the technical elements



have been stated, it is then time for the preacher to attempt to put

these concepts into understandable English without the esoteric

jargon.

$ Theologizing. The next step is to take the principle of the

text and begin to do the theological work it suggests. The preacher

now is looking for the universal and timeless principle of the text.

This task involves three theological initiatives:

Biblical theologizing moves the preacher beyond the text to the

big picture or metanarrative. The question is not, What does the text

say? but, What does the text mean? To get to this, the preacher must

interpret and identify how the author may have understood the message

in terms of his own worldview. Thematic issues will soon emerge. In

Genesis, for example, biblical theologizing will quickly spot the

themes of blessing and cursing. Other questions can then follow: who,

why, when?

Canonical theologizing places the text within the larger unit of

Scripture itself, seeking to discover the connections between the text

and other relevant passages. When the parameters of the text are

expanded, the meaning is likewise amplified. Thus, an examination of

- Hab. 2:4 - Habakkuk 2:4} would move the preacher away from

Habakkuk to - Ro. 1:17 - Romans 1:17}, - Gal.

3:11 - Galatians 3:11}, and - Heb. 10:38 - Hebrews 10:38}.

Systematic theologizing tests the conclusions of the work in

progress against the standards of coherence, comprehensiveness,

adequacy, and consistency. One's conclusions, in other words, must

make sense, must represent all of Scripture, must be the preferred

explanation of the text, and must mesh with all of biblical truth.

Theologizing, of whatever type, requires other skills such as

bracketing, validating, and principlizing. Bracketing is a technique

whereby the interpreter suspends, or brackets, previous notions about

the text in order to approach the text with fresh perspective.

Validating calls for rational skills which seek to justify the

proposition or conclusions of the text. Principlizing is the skill of

stating a theological message in a universal and timeless form.

$ Organizing. Having done the exegetical and theological work,

the preacher now presents the material in a logical format. One takes

the exegetical outline and transforms it‑‑based on the theological

work on the text‑‑into a coherent outline.

To summarize, the three components of sermon preparation are

exegetical, theological, and homiletical; i.e., the preacher

determines what the text says, what it means, and what it means to us.

This work involves stylizing, theologizing, and organizing. Preaching

requires skills; skills require continual sharpening.


http://www.navpress.com/ctt/view_article.asp?articleID=15908&tbvw=SEC&S

ectionID=Ministry


+++

Preaching - Nonverbal preaching

Date Originally Filed - 6/2001.101
Nonverbal preaching

"Preaching is more than words" by Wayne McDill. Preaching, NovDate Originally Filed - ec

1999 (Vol 15, No 3). Pages 43‑49. Topic: communication, effective. See

also x3011 and Oct99‑14a. Topic: COMMUNICATION, EFFECTIVE

Preaching is not just about words. Clearly, words are an important

part of oral communication, but not the most important part. Studies

show that 65% of communication is received through channels other than

words. Moreover, most listeners tend to judge the effectiveness of a

speech or sermon in terms of delivery, and not content. Nonverbal

channels of communication such as body language, gestures, and facial

expressions are often more important than the verbal channel. The

listener who cannot see the speaker does not grasp the message as

clearly as those who can.

$ Platform movement. Some preachers seems glued to the pulpit.

It renders a certain stiffness to their delivery. Yet moving about on

the platform can be distracting, too, especially if the movement is

nothing more than pacing. It is best to establish a "home base" near

the center of the platform; any movement away from this point should

be purposeful and arise out of the content of the sermon itself.

$ Gestures. Effective gestures reinforce rather than contradict

what is being said. Sometimes simple gestures can be used in the

absence of a verbal message. Most of the time, gestures complement

what is being said. Gestures can also be used for the sake of emphasis

and to regulate or control the interaction with the audience.

$ Facial expression. Many preachers seem to preach without

expression. When this happens, the preaching seems lifeless because

the face of the preacher is lifeless. Preachers think they are showing

facial expression, but by the time the expression hits the face, it

has disappeared. This is why practicing in front of a mirror helps a

preacher see what the audience sees.



$ Eye contact. A speaker who looks at you is saying that you

are the object of his attention. Eye contact with the audience

establishes a relationship with the audience, thus opening

communication, creating rapport, and making the preacher more

believable. It also serves to keep the audience interested.

$ Voice signals. The way a preacher uses his voice is called

paralanguage. It includes tone of voice, pitch, rate, and volume. The

key point here is to inject variety.

While nonverbal cues do not comprise the whole sermon, they

usually make the difference between a sermon that works and one that

doesn't.

http://www.navpress.com/ctt/view_article.asp?articleID=15909&tbvw=SEC&S

ectionID=Ministry
<><
Preaching - Tips For Preachers -- 9/2001.101
Some Things You May Have

Wanted To Know About Your

Preacher . . . But Never

Bothered To Ask

By Glann M. Lee

Introduction:

Scriptures:

- Rom. 10:13‑17 - Romans 10:13‑17}.

- 2 Tim. 4:1‑8 - 2 Timothy 4:1‑8}.

Preaching the gospel is the most wonderful privilege.

Of all callings God could have called upon His Son to pursue, He chose

that Jesus be a preacher.

Matthew Henry observed that "the ministry is the best calling but the

worst trade in the world."

Discussion:

Preacher Categories.

Those forgotten.

They had little influence on us.

They "squandered" precious time and opportunities.

Those never forgiven.

They were harsh and failed in communicating.

They may be looked upon in "after years" in pity.

Those never forgotten.


They cared.

They prepared.

They shared (communicated).

Preacher Effectiveness.

Know the Master.

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true

God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." - John

17:3 - John 17:3}.

Effective teachers practice what they preach.

- 1 Tim. 4:16 - 1 Timothy 4:16}.

- 2 Tim. 2:2 - 2 Timothy 2:2}.

Know the message.

They prepare.

- 2 Tim. 2:15 - 2 Timothy 2:15}.

- James 3:1 - James 3:1}.

One cannot teach what one does not know.

Know the mission.

They share.

- Lk. 19:10 - Luke 19:10}.

Christ died to purchase the church. - Acts 20:28 - Acts

20:28}.

The gospel is to be preached to all. - Matt.

28:18‑20 - Matthew 28:18‑20}.

Know the methods.

They care.

Know people (human nature).

Know possibilities (mold souls for eternity).

The parable of the soils shows that not all are alike.

- Matt. 13 - Matthew 13 - - Lk 8 - Luke 8}.

- Rom. 12:18 - Romans 12:18}.

Know problems (challenges).

Know mercy.

They know charity (love).

They know compassion.

Privileges (Joys) Of Preaching.

The preacher is dealing with one's most precious possession ‑ one's

soul.

- Matt. 16:26 - Matthew 16:26}.



- Mk. 8:36 - Mark 8:36}.

- Mk. 2:5 - Mark 2:5}.

- 3 John 2 - 3 John 1:2}.

Preaching is God's choice for His scheme of redemption.

- Matt. 28:18‑20 - Matthew 28:18‑20}.


- 1 Cor. 1:17‑22 - 1 Corinthians 1:17‑22}.

- 2 Tim. 2:2 - 2 Timothy 2:2}.

- 2 Cor. 4:7 - 2 Corinthians 4:7}.

Jesus was the master preacher / teacher.

- John 3:1 - John 3:1}ff.

- Matt. 4:17 - Matthew 4:17}.

- Acts 1:1 - Acts 1:1}.

Problems Of Preachers.

Demands.

Administrator, organizer, counselor, visitor, teacher, preacher, etc.

Limited time.

"Double standard" expectations.

Often "higher standards" are expected of the wife.

Children may feel they are in a "fish bowl".

Defeats. (frustrations ‑ setbacks) .

Desire to do more.

Indifference of times, members, etc.

Disappointments.

Members may not understand the work of the preacher.

Members / community may have unrealistic expectations.

Defense ("Security") problems.

Housing, retirement, moving, expenses.

Limited periods of usefulness.

Depreciation of self.

Not accept own limitations.

Too hard on self.

Preachers God Approves.

Preachers of the gospel/truth.

- 1 Pet. 4:11 - 1 Peter 4:11}.

- Gal. 1:8‑10 - Galatians 1:8‑10}.

Balanced preaching. - Acts 20:20 - Acts 20:20},

- 27 - Acts 20:27}.

Preaching that exalts Christ.

- Gal. 6:14 - Galatians 6:14}.

- Acts 8:1 - Acts 8:1}ff.

Proper presentation.

- Eph. 4:15 - Ephesians 4:15}.

- Matt. 7:12 - Matthew 7:12}.

Personal example/preaching.

- 1 Cor. 11:1 - 1 Corinthians 11:1}.

- 1 Tim. 4:16 - 1 Timothy 4:16}.

Projection (world wide) preaching.

- Matt. 28:18‑20 - Matthew 28:18‑20}.


- Mk. 16:15‑16 - Mark 16:15‑16}.

Conclusion:


You have the power to "make or break" the preacher.

Criticism.

Constructive or destructive?

Sandwich criticism between compliments.

Cooperate.

Commission to preacher / teach.

Pray for the preacher.
http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/1999/mar/page19.shtml

<><

Preaching - Using Illustrations - 9/2001.101

Using Illustrations in Your Teaching
by Ron Rule

Whether you are teaching a Sunday school class, speaking at AWANA,

sharing at a bible study or preaching a sermon, the use of

illustrations can be a vital part of your ministry. This article will

focus on a bit of the how and why of illustrations.
Some have thought that illustrations are simply an attempt by teachers

and preachers to cater and compete with a TV entertained society. The

average adult who spends fifty hours a year in a pew, will spend two

thousand hours at home watching television. Some estimate that the

average American child will spend more time watching television before

entering school than they will spend listening to their parents in

their entire lifetime.
Illustrations are a vital part of learning and remembering. Think back

to a sermon or a Sunday school lesson where you can still clearly

remember something that you learned. Do you remember a series of

abstract theological concepts presented in logically sound statements

of scriptural premises and conclusions, or do you remember a well

illustrated lesson.


Scripture is full of stories and accounts that illustrate the truth

being taught. Christ taught with parables. Much of the language of

scripture is figurative and illustrative rather than literal. In

- Genesis 1:4 - Genesis 1:4} we read "And God saw the light,

that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness." Here

we have both a literal description of creation and figurative picture

of good and evil.


We seem to learn best by experience, and illustrations are ways for

someone to vicariously experience a learning experience. The listener

becomes involved in imaginative or sympathetic participation in the

experience of another with the very emotions that are involved. Take

the account of the Prodigal Son. Does scripture give a detailed

description of the fathers FEELINGS of love for his returning son? NO

not really, instead it describes what the father DOES: he sees his son

a long way off, runs out to meet him, and falls on his neck to kiss

him. Your own past experience and feelings come to mind as you hear

the story and the love of the father is communicated to your heart.


One vital aspect of using illustrations is that they be used in a way

that the listener remembers not only the illustration, but the lesson

being taught. The following section is an example of an illustration

that paints a vivid picture in our minds and that leaves behind a

lesson. (Note: the accompanying picture is one my son Timothy drew

after reading this account and represents what he saw in his mind=s

eye.)
Paul London from Sudan used the following illustration while speaking

at a missions conference.


Where I minister in Africa the strongest man of the tribe is the

chief. You might think this is because the chief must wear a very

large headdress and heavy ceremonial robes, but there are other

reasons, as you shall soon see.


Water is very scarce where these people live, so they have to dig deep

wells. These are not wells as we know them with brick walls, a pulley,

and a bucket at the end of a rope. The African people sink a narrow

well shaft as much as 100 feet into the ground. Even though the well

is deep, the ground water of that dry land seeps very slowly

into it and there is never a drop to waste. If the water were too easy

to reach, the people might not use it sparingly, or an enemy might


steal the next day's supply at night. So, the tribesmen cut

alternating slits into the wall of the well all the way down to the

water. By alternating his weight from one leg to the other, a man can

use these slits as steps to walk down the shaft to the water. Only the

largest, strongest men can make the arduous climb down the well and

back up again with a full water skin for the whole tribe.


One day a man carrying water out of the shaft fell and broke his leg.

He lay at the bottom of the well. No one dared to help because no one

had the strength to make the climb carrying another man. The chief was

summoned. When he saw the plight of the injured man, he doffed his

massive headdress and discarded his ceremonial robe. Then the chief

climbed down into the well, took the weight of the injured man on

himself, and brought the man to safety. The chief did what no one else

could do.


This is just what Jesus did for us. He came down to rescue us by

taking the weight of our sin on himself. He put aside his heavenly

honors, just as the chief put aside his headdress and robe, in order

to save us. But let me ask you a question, friends. When that chief

took off his headdress and robe, did he stop being the chief? No, of

course not. In the same way, when Jesus "made himself nothing" and put

aside his heavenly glory, he never ceased being God.

HOW You Can Use Illustrations Effectively ?


1) Never start an illustration with the words: "Now let me

illustrate", instead simply shift to a different time, situation and

place: "Two weeks ago while I was at home reading the newspaper..."
2) Don=t abstract the experience: "Some time ago I read in some

newspaper that...", instead be concrete: "Two weeks ago I read in the

Seattle Times editorial section that..." People need detail to share

effectively in the experience.


3) Focus on aspects that best illustrate the point you are teaching

and be careful about bringing in extraneous information that could

distract your listeners mind. For example: "Last week I had an

opportunity to share Christ with my neighbor who is an avid

fisherman." If the rest of the story has nothing to do with his

fishing, you are better off leaving out this aspect of your human



interest story, because you can very easily send some of your

listeners off day dreaming about their fishing experiences and they

will completely miss the boat when it comes to your lesson.
4) Remember, every effective lesson will only have a few major points

that you as the teacher are driving home. If your lesson rambles

through a lot of items, your listeners may follow them at the time but

won=t retain them. Learning is accomplished through repetition. Build

on each point. Think of your points as the mountain peaks to which you

are guiding your students. Illustrations in your talk are like

watersheds bringing the points down to the rivers of everyday life.
5) Build your lesson around your scripture passage or topic, NOT

around your illustrations. Illustrations and analogies don=t "prove

doctrinal points", they just help communicate them. A sound lesson

springs from prayerful study of the Word of God. The points in the

content of your lesson should come out of your passage.
6) Don=t fall into "Here is a great illustration trap". Last week you

ran into a great human interest story that will make a vivid

illustration. Your tempted to put it in your lesson for Sunday school

class. Ask yourself, does it really support the points being taught?

If not save it in your "illustration file box."
http://www.anewsong.org/articles/useillus.htm

<><

Preachers - Mark Twain - I always have to stand when that fellow lectures!

Twain was a standee

One day during a lecture tour, Mark Twain entered a local barber shop for a shave. This, Twain told the barber, was his first visit to the town.

AYou=ve chosen a good time to come,@ he declared.

AOh?@ Twain replied.

AMark Twain is going to lecture here tonight. You=ll want to go, I suppose?@

AI guess soY@

AHave you bought your ticket yet?@

ANo, not yet.@

AWell, it=s sold out, so you=ll have to stand.@


AJust my luck,@ said Twain with a sigh. AI always have to stand when that fellow lectures!@
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1101454‑witty‑and‑funny‑stories

July 9, 2013


<><
Preaching - Attitude Towards

Date Originally Filed - 10/1991.101


Henry Ward Beecher asked Park Benjamin, the poet and humorist, why he

never came to hear him preach. Benjamin replied, "Why, Beecher, the

fact is, I have conscientious scruples against going to places of

amusement on Sunday."


Preaching - Bad

Date Originally Filed - 6/1991.101


Child to preacher: "That was some sermon! It made my dad slump way

down."
‑ Unknown

‑ PULPIT HELPS, Sept., 1990
Preaching - Bad

Date Originally Filed - 6/1991.101


A minister visited a rural family for supper and they ate before

church.


He explained that he couldn't eat very much if he wanted to preach a

good message.

After supper the wife asked the husband to go on to the service with

the minister while she washed the dishes and then worked in the

nursery.

When the husband returned, she asked him how the preaching was.

"Oh, to tell you the truth he may have as well et," said her

husband.


‑ Unknown

‑ PULPIT HELPS, Sept., 1990


Preaching - Effective

Date Originally Filed - 6/1991.101




The early evangelist George Whitefield, was one of America's most

effective preachers who won thousands to Christ. He was vigorously

opposed by Charles Chauncy, pastor of Boston's famous First Church.

Rev. Chauncy objected to the idea of instantaneous conversions and

to the emotional excitement caused by Whitefield's ministry.

On Whitefield's second visit to Boston, in 1774, the two met.

Chauncy said, "So you have returned, have you?"

"Yes," replied the evangelist, "in the service of the Lord."

"I'm sorry to hear it," Chauncy said bluntly.

"So is the devil," retorted Whitefield.

The devil hates any preacher who fearless and effectively sounds the

gospel trumpet.

‑ PULPIT HELPS, July, 1991

Lack Of Righteousness

- 6/1991.101
Quote
"When there is no thirst for righteousness, the sermons seem dry."

‑ Unknown

‑ PULPIT HELPS, Sept., 1990

Preaching - Too Long

Date Originally Filed - 10/1991.101
Claude Swanson, late governor of Virginia, made a particularly long

and rambling speech at a banquet one evening. An old lady came up to

him afterward to shake his hand. "How did you like the speech?" asked

Swanson. "I liked it fine," she replied, "but it seems to me you

missed several excellent opportunities." Swanson looked puzzled.

"Several opportunities for what?" he asked. "To quit." she snapped.


<><
Humor - Preaching - 5/1992.101
Joke
A popular preacher got sick on a Sunday morning, and he called a

retired minister and asked if he would preach the service for him.



The substitute agreed but felt inadequate in filling in for such a

good preacher. When he entered the pulpit, he struggled for a

metaphor that would express his humility in his task.

"I feel inadequate in taking the place of your minister this

morning. He is such a good preacher and brings light just like the

sunlight through a clean pane of glass. I, on the other hand, am like

the piece of cardboard that you have seen substituted for the pane in

a window."

He went on and preached a pretty good sermon. At the door

afterwards, a good sister of the church gushed, "Preacher, you're no

cardboard; you a real pane."
‑ Loyal Jones

‑ _The Preacher Joke Book_, edited by Loyal Jones, p. 48.


Preaching - Quote - 5/1992.101
"Illustrations, like windows, let light into the mind."
‑ C. H. Spurgeon, _Flashes of Thought_ (London: Passmore &

Alabaster, 1874), p. 218.


Humor - Bad and Sorry - 5/1992.101
I was preaching in this church, and this boy would have something

negative to say eery Sunday, no matter what I preached on. One Sunday

he said, "That's about the sorriest sermon I ever heard."
The next Sunday he came by and said, "Do you call that a sermon?"
The third Sunday he said, "That is about the nearest nothing sermon

I think I ever heard."


I got so upset that I went to the deacons and said, "Gentlemen,

every Sunday this man has some negative comment to make about my

preaching."
One of them replied, "Oh don't pay any attention to hi,. He's just

a half‑wit. All he can say is what he repeats from other people."


‑ Rev. George Goldtrap, Madison, TN

‑ _The Preacher Joke Book_, edited by Loyal Jones, pp. 53‑4.




Humor - Preaching -- 5/1992.101

"The city preacher worked hard on his sermon most of the week and

retyped it on Saturday night. But during the night his dog chewed it

all up. He didn't notice until it was time to go to church. When he

got in the pulpit, he said, "I had a nice sermon prepared for you this

morning, but my dog chewed it up. I'm going to have to rely on the

inspiration of the Lord today, but I promise to do better next

Sunday."
‑ _The Preacher Joke Book_, edited by Loyal Jones, p. 16.

Humor - Preaching - 5/1992.101
A man got up in the middle of the pastor's sermon and walked out.

After church, his embarrassed wife sought to explain to the preacher.

"I hope you don't think he disagreed with what you said. He just

has a tendency to walk in his sleep."


‑ Dr. Charles S. Webster

‑ _The Preacher Joke Book_, edited by Loyal Jones, p. 30.

Humor - Long and Dull

Originally Filed - 5/1992.101


A preacher, known for long and boring sermons, had been into a

particularly tedious one for nearly an hour, when he stopped to scold

his congregation.
"I know you think my sermons are long, but I've got something

important to impart to you. Now, I don't mind you looking at your

watches while I'm preaching, but I want you to know that I resent you

shaking them to see if they're still running."


‑ Loyal Jones

‑ _The Preacher Joke Book_, edited by Loyal Jones, p. 50.

Preaching Long and Dull

Date Originally Filed - 5/1992.101


A little boy noticed a plaque in the back of the church and asked

the preacher what it was.
"Oh, those are the church members who died in the service," he

explained.


"Which," the boy asked, "the morning or the evening one?"
‑ Dr. Michael Nichols, Lexington, KY

‑ _The Preacher Joke Book_, edited by Loyal Jones, pp. 63‑4.


Humor - Preaching Pulpit Committees

Date Originally Filed - 5/1992.101


A young preacher was invited into a church to preach a trial

sermon, with the understanding that he might be hired as pastor. He

liked the looks of the church, and he like the people. Everything was

fine at the beginning of the service, with hymns and the prayer. As

the young preacher mounted the pulpit, however, and old man came in,

followed by a huge Redbone hound. He sat down on the front row, and

his dog plopped down beside him. The young preacher thought this was

unusual, but he read his text and launched his sermon, at which point

the hound let out a huge yawn with a yip at the end. This interrupted

the preacher, but he began again. The dog began to scratch a flea,

his leg whacking the floor with each lick, and the preacher stopped

again and asked if someone would take the dog outside. Neither the old

man not anyone else moved, so the preacher started in again. The dog

let out a growl and a deep bark, disturbed at something he heard

outside. Again the preacher stopped and again asked if someone would

take the dog outside. When on one responded he got down from the

pulpit, took the dog by the collar, led him outside, and closed the

door behind him. Returning to the pulpit, he preached a pretty good

sermon.

After the service he asked the deacon who was the head of the

pulpit committee how he had done.

"Well," the deacon said, "You preached a right good sermon. I

believe you're all right there, but you really shouldn't have taken

Old Man Johnson's dog out. I know the dog disturbed you, but you

know, Mr. Johnson is a faithful member of this church, and he's on our

pulpit committee. He always brings his dog to church. He loves that

dog, and we're used to it, and it don't bother us to have him here. I

think you ought to apologize to Mr. Johnson for throwing his dog out

like that. I believe you better do that."

So the young preacher approached the old man outside and said, "I



sorry I put your dog out. The deacon here told me how much you think

of your dog and how you always bring him to church. I'm real sorry

that I did that, and I hope you'll accept my apology."

"Oh, that's alright," the old man said. "I wouldn't have wanted my

dog to hear that sermon anyhow."
‑ Dr. Lee Morris

‑ _The Preacher Joke Book_, edited by Loyal Jones,

pp. 28‑29.
<><
Preaching

Date Originally Filed - 2/1992.101


Quote
"He who practices what he preaches may have to put in some

overtime."

‑ Unknown

‑ Pulpit Helps, Dec. 1991, p. 12.


Preaching

Date Originally Filed - 2/1992.101

Story
There was an letter once printed in a British weekly which read as

follows:
Dear Sir,

It seems ministers feel their sermons are very important

and spend a great deal of time preparing them. I have been

attending a church quite regularly for the past 30 years,

and I have probably heard 3,000. To my consternation, I

discovered that I cannot remember a single one. I wonder if

a minister's time might be more profitably spent on

something else?

Sincerely....


For weeks a real storm of editorial responses ensued. The uproar

finally was ended by this letter:


Dear Sir:

I have been married for 30 years. During that time I have

eaten 32,580 meals ‑‑ mostly of my wife's cooking.

Suddenly, I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu

of a single meal. And yet, I have received nourishment form

every single one of them. I have the distinct impression

that without them, I would have starved to death long ago."

Sincerely....
‑ _Pulpit Helps_, August, 1990, p. 14.
Preaching - Boredom - 2/1992.101

Quote
"Any subject can be made interesting, and therefore any subject can

be made boring."
‑ Hilaire Belloc

‑ _Instant Quotation Dictionary_, p. 44.


Preaching - Boredom

Date Originally Filed - 2/1992.101

Quote
"A guy who wraps up a two‑minute idea in a two‑hour vocabulary."
‑ Walter Winchell

‑ _Instant Quotation Dictionary_, p. 44.



<><
Preaching - John Stott the Preacher's Portrait P85
Date Originally Filed - 3/1992.101
"I have always liked the definition of preaching given by Professor

Chad Walsh, 'The true function of a preacher is to disturb the

comfortable and comfort the disturbed.'"
John Stott THE PREACHER'S PORTRAIT p85

Humor - Preaching



Date Originally Filed - 3/1992.101
I heard about a man who was walking a pit bull down the road. The

dog got away and walked up to a preacher and bit him on the knee.

Then the dog went across the street and bit a beautiful young woman.

The owner was brought before a judge who asked, "Why did your dog

bite the preacher?" The man answered, "I don't know! He's never done

anything like that before." Then the judge asked, "Well why did he

bite the young woman?" The owner replied, "Oh that's easy to answer!

He wanted to get the taste of that preacher out of his mouth!"


‑ Mike Minnix
Preaching - Bad - Worth saying?
Date Originally Filed - 3/1992.101
A preacher in India began his sermon on - 1

Corinthians 13 - 1 Corinthians 13} as follows: "The beatific

familiarity of this chapter traditionally appointed for Quinquagesima

must never cause us to neglect its profundity."


His interpreter translated this for the benefit of the Indian

congregation as follows: "The speaker has not said anything worth

remembering so far. When he does I will let you know."
1500 ILLUSTRATIONS FOR PREACHING & TEACHING Backhouse

compiler p308‑9

Preaching - Hitting the Bullseye
Date Originally Filed - 3/1992.101
(This Jewish tale contains some excellent advice on the art of

storytelling.)


There was once a rabbi who answered every question by telling

a story. One day a student asked his teacher. "Rabbi, you have a

wonderful ability to select just the right story for each question.

What is your secret?"


Smiling impishly, the old teacher replied, That a reminds me

of a story. Once a young soldier was traveling through the country

when he stopped to rest his horse in a small village. As he walked

around the small houses he spotted a wood fence. On the wood fence

were nearly forty small chalk circles and right in the center of each

was a bullet hole.
"What amazing accuracy," the soldier thought as he examined

the fence. "There is not a single shot that has not hit the

bullseye."
The soldier quickly et out to find the one who possessed such

great skill. He was told that the sharpshooter was a small boy.


"Who taught you to shoot so well?" the soldier asked.
"I taught myself," the young lad replied.
Not yet satisfied the soldier pressed the young boy. "To what

do you contribute your great skill."


"Actually," the young lad began, "it is not very difficult.

First I shoot at the wall, and then I take a piece of chalk and draw

circles around the holes."
The rabbi chuckled for a moment. "Now you know my secret. I

don't look for a story to answer a question. I collect every story or

parable I hear and then store it in my mind. When the right occasion

or question arises, I point the story in its direction. In effect, I

simply draw a circle around a hole that is already there."
as told in STORIES FOR THE JOURNEY by William R White

Humor - Preaching - 3/1992.101

There were these two boys that were growing up. One was a

Wesleyan and one was a Catholic. They were good friends and they

always talked about the church that they went to. And so one day, the

Wesleyan decided that he would go to church with the Catholic and the

Catholic decided that he would go to church with the Wesleyan. So the

Wesleyan boy went to church with the Catholic boy one Sunday. And

while they were sitting there in the service, the Catholic explained

to this Wesleyan boy everything that they did. He explained why the

prayed the way that they did, when they stood up, when they sat down,


what they said. He explained everything and he told him all of these

things and what they meant. And so they left church and the next

Sunday, they went to the Wesleyan Church. And the little Catholic

didn't understand. He thought, "man these Wesleyans are weird

people". And so, the Wesleyan began to explain why we pray like we

pray, why we sit like we sit, why we stand like we stand, why we take

the offering like we do and all of these things. And at this

particular Wesleyan church, they had a pastor who had a habit of

preaching a long time. And one of the things that the pastor would

always do. He would always take his watch off and he would lay it

right there like that. Because everyone always got on him about how

long he preached. And so, here's this little Catholic boy sitting in

the service and he saw the preacher take off his watch and set it

right there, and so the boy asked, "What does that mean?" And so the

Wesleyan boy responded: "It doesn't mean a thing."
Dan Tilley

NewLife Wesleyan Church

Waldorf, Maryland

(06/04/91)


<><
Humor - Preaching Bad

Date Originally Filed - 6/1991.101


A minister visited a rural family for supper and they ate before

church.


He explained that he couldn't eat very much if he wanted to preach a

good message.

After supper the wife asked the husband to go on to the service with

the minister while she washed the dishes and then worked in the

nursery.

When the husband returned, she asked him how the preaching was.

"Oh, to tell you the truth he may have as well et," said her

husband.


‑ Unknown

‑ PULPIT HELPS, Sept., 1990


<><
Humor - Preaching - Funny - Small Comfort


A senile old man greeted a guest preacher at the door after the

service, and said, "It was a good talk, Son, but you talked too

long." He paused, then he added, "And you talked too fast." Again he

was quiet for a moment, then he said, "You didn't say anything

either."
At this point, one of the members felt it his duty to intervene.

"Don't worry, Reverend," he said, "that poor old fellow isn't all

there. He only repeats what everybody else says."

Preaching Cuts on His Face...


One Sunday morning, the congregation noticed that Rev. Gordon's face

was full of cuts. His sermon had also been far longer than it usually

was, and their patience had been sorely tried.
After the service, one of the deacons went to him, and said, "My dear

brother, whatever did you do to your FACE?"


"Well," said the minister, "this morning I was so worried about my

sermon that I cut myself while I was shaving."


The deacon replied: "May I suggest, my brother, that in future you

worry about your FACE ‑ and cut your SERMON!"

Humor - Hit Me Again!
A minister was delivering a tedious and lengthy address at a local

charity. He was running long over time. The master of ceremonies tried

to signal to him to stop, but without success.
Finally, in desperation, he picked up the gavel, aimed and threw, but

missed the minister and hit a man in the front row. The man slumped

down, and as he slipped into unconsciousness, he was heard to say,

"Hit me again! I can still hear him preaching!"


Humor - a Button in His Mouth
A certain minister's sermons were always just twenty minutes in

length. One Sunday, however, he went on for an hour and twenty

minutes.


When someone asked him why his sermon had run so long overtime, he

explained: "I always put a Lifesaver in my mouth ‑ and when it melts,

I know the twenty minutes are up. But this Sunday, I reached in my

pocket, and put a BUTTON in my mouth by mistake!"


<><
Humor - a Young Preacher's Ordeal
A YOUNG PREACHER'S ORDEAL
A young man stood up to preach his first sermon. He was so frightened

that he could hardly speak, but he had written a good, long sermon, so

he just kept plodding on through it.
"Speak up!" a man yelled from the back of the church. "We can't HEAR

you back here!"


The young man tried to preach louder, but in a little while the man

called out again, "We can't HEAR you!"


The young man tried a little harder, but he became more frightened by

the minute. Finally, the man at the back stood up and shouted: "We

can't hear a thing you're SAYING!"
Another churchgoer in the front pew stood up, turned around, and said,

"What are you COMPLAINING about? Just sit down and thank God, or I'll

change PLACES with you!"

/mMinister (New)

/sFunny

/i

Date Originally Filed -



/tTHE REPUTED BISHOP

/fS


A young man had just finished journalism school, and got a job on the

staff of a local newspaper. His first assignment was to cover the

ordination of a new minister in town.
The bishop, who was present for the occasion, felt that he should warn

the young man against the half‑truths and sensationalism of his

profession. "Young man," said the bishop, "never write anything unless

you are absolutely sure of it. And make a point of using the words,

'alleged', 'reputed', 'claimed', or 'it is said'."


The young reporter repeated these instructions to himself as he

covered the ordination service.


The next day, the following report appeared in the newspaper: "The

Reverend Hiles, who is alleged to have graduated at seminary, was

ordained yesterday by the reputed Bishop of Durban, who claimed to

have been ordained in the same church. Some exceptional eats were

provided by Mrs. Hiles, who is said to be the minister's wife."
<><
Humor - Presidential Candidate Dukakis
When presidential candidate Dukakis made one of his whistle stops during the 1988

campaign, a group of listeners stood in the back and help up their

plaques and chanted, "Bor‑ing," Bor‑ing," "Bor‑ing," "Boring."

Sometimes a congregation might be thinking the same thing, especially

when a manuscript sermon is read.
<><

Preaching - Effective, not Offensive - The Cause of His Interest


A clergyman in Boston had a plain country pastor visit him, and

invited him to address his people. The preacher was so familiar in his

speech and illustrations that the city pastor was disturbed lest his

cultivated city congregation should take offense. A few days later

there came a prominent member of that congregation to his pastor, in

earnest desire for Christ; and when asked as to the cause of his

interest, he referred to the homely words of that country preacher,

who had spoken right to his heart as he had not been spoken to from

that pulpit before. When the pastor told this story he said: "I'll

never again distrust God's Spirit in guiding His preachers. I had

written more than one sermon for the express purpose of reaching that

man; but he was reached by one sentence from a plain man whom God's

Spirit guided."

<><
Preaching 9/1997.101 Bill Crumley's life was filled with heartbreak.
Bill Crumley's life was filled with heartbreak. Oh yes, in

college, he played on a national championship baseball team. Then



came a good job, marriage, and two adopted children. But later the

business failed. Then the marriage failed. Bill lost all. Another

company went bankrupt, and Bill lost that job, too. Sad years passed;

then he married a wonderful woman who also had known heartbreak.

At 55, Bill felt God's call to preach, but his church would not

ordain a divorced man. Totally surrendered to God, Bill gave up

everything that seemed to be for self, even melting down his gold,

college championship ring for seminary funds. He eventually finished

his seminary training through a correspondence course. Then he

preached in nursing homes, little churches, and went to the

Philippines with an evangelistic group.

The Crumleys minister to small, country churches. This preacher

with the heartbreak past is powerfully ministering to others with

heartaches. Bill says he preaches the gospel, not for his glory but

because he must. It is a task God has laid on him.
Open Windows
<><
Preaching - A Young Boy, Who Did Not Care Much for Preaching, 9/1997.101

A young boy, who did not care much for preaching, came to church

one night to hear an evangelist. The boy sat down next to a deacon,

who was delighted to see him. Halfway through the message the young

man got up to go. The deacon whispered, "Where are you going. He's

not done yet."

The young boy replied, "I need to get a haircut."

"Why didn't you get one before you came?" the deacon asked.

"Because I didn't need one before I came," answered the boy.
<><
Preaching - Dr. Donald Campbell, president of Dallas Theological Seminary 9/1997.101
Many people do not know what expository preaching is. Dr. Donald

Campbell, president of Dallas Theological Seminary, recalled some

early advice he received while a youth minister in a small Texas

town. His pastor said to his young apprentice, "Son, there are two

types of sermons: topical and suppository!"

Preaching

- 9/1997.101


Once my sweet little wife suggested that when I prepare my sermon

to remember the advertisement of a new washing machine: "After it

spins dry, it shuts itself off automatically."
‑ Tal D. Bonham & Jack Gulledge, \italic{The Treasury of Clean Senior

Adult Jokes }(Nashville: Broadman Press, 1989) 32


<><

He Is Still Moving Lives

Robert Murray McCheyne and his church were visited by a young

pastor. The pastor was taken around by the custodian to see the

church where McCheyne had preached. The custodian took him into a

little room and there was a little stool. The old custodian said,

"Sir, You see that stool?" The young man thought, well that's

strange, to show me a little stool. The old custodian said, "That's

the stool where Pastor McCheyne would kneel and weep before he'd ever

preach." Then he took him into the pulpit and the pastor saw this

great Bible in the pulpit. He saw that it was all watered and stained

and he said, "Well, what is all this on the Bible? The custodian

said, "Well, that's the tears that Brother McCheyne would shed while

he preached." He is dead but he is still moving lives.


Preaching - He Was Both!
Vance Havner said that he heard about a guy who was going to be

original or nothing, and he was both!


Preaching - Anointed - The Making Of An Evangelistic Preacher
During the great, Welsh revival, it is said a minister was

marvelously successful in his preaching. He had but one sermon, but

under it hundreds of men were saved. Far away from where he lived, in

a lonely valley, news of this wonderful success reached a brother

preacher. Forthwith, he became anxious to find out the secret of this

success. He started out and walked the long and weary road, and at

length reaching the humble cottage where the good minister lived he

said: "Brother where did you get that sermon?" He was taken into a

poorly furnished room and pointed to a spot where the carpet was worn

shabby and bare, near a window that looked out towards the solemn

mountains, and the minister said:

"Brother, that is where I got that sermon. My heart was heavy for



men. One evening I knelt there and cried for power to preach as I had

never preached before. The hours passed, until midnight struck, and

the stars looked down on a sleeping valley and the silent hills; but

the answer came not, so I prayed on until at length I saw a faint grey

shoot up in the east; presently, it became silver and I watched and

prayed until the silver became purple and gold, and on all the

mountain crests blazed the altar fires of the new day; and then the

sermon came, and the power came, and I lay down and slept, and arose

and preached, and scores fell down before the fire of God; that is

where I got that sermon." ‑‑G. Campbell Morgan


Preaching - When To Stop Boring

Beneath a glass atop a pulpit which Dr. Walter Wilson approached to

bring a message occurred these wise words of wisdom, "If after ten

minutes you don't strike oil, QUIT BORING!" ‑‑W. B. Knight


Preaching - Why Their Sermons Were Anointed - John Livingston
John Livingston, of Scotland, once spent a whole night with a

company of his brethren in prayer for God's blessing, all of them

together besieging the throne; and the next day under his sermon five

hundred souls were converted. All the world has heard how the audience

of Jonathan Edwards was moved by his sermon on "Sinners in the Hands

of an Angry God," some of them even grasping hold of the pillars of

the sanctuary from feeling that their feet were actually sliding into

the pit. But the secret of that sermon's power is known to but very

few. Some Christians in that vicinity had become alarmed, lest, while

God was blessing other places, He should in anger pass them by; and so

they met on the evening preceding the preaching of that sermon, and

spent the whole of the night in agonizing prayer. ‑‑H. C. Fish


Preaching - Earnestness - Preaching As One Dying To Those Dying

It is said of a famous preacher that he always preached "as a

dying man to dying men." It is such preaching that is always

effective. A minister visiting a penitentiary one Saturday, was

invited by the Christian warden to speak to the inmates the next day.

That evening the minister felt impressed to go to the penitentiary and

learn the details regarding the service. Noting two chairs draped in

black in the main assembly room he inquired as to the reason. Said the

warden, "These two chairs are draped for death. Your sermon will be

the last these men will ever hear." There are chairs in most

audiences draped for death. The only difference being, that in most

instances they are not seen. Nonetheless, every preacher would do well



to remember that he is a dying man addressing men who are appointed to

die.‑‑The Toronto Globe


<><
Preaching - The Preaching Lincoln Liked - fighting bumble bees
Abraham Lincoln put it rather strongly but effectively nevertheless,

when he said: "I do not care for cut and dried sermons. When I hear a

man preach I like to see him act as if he were fighting bumble bees!

‑‑Selected


Preaching - Obedience In The Pulpit
A French preacher was appointed the king's chaplain. Shortly after

the chaplain's appointment, the king was taken by death. His son

succeeded him. After a chapel service, some men of the court came to

the chaplain. "Your preaching is offensive to the new king," they

said. "If you do not change, you may be replaced." He is my king when

I am in my home," the chaplain replied. "When I stand in the pulpit,

Jesus Christ, my King of kings, is the only one to whom I must be

obedient."


Preaching - Reproof In Preaching
One thing I have against the clergy, both of the country and in the

town; I think they are not severe enough on their congregations. They

do not sufficiently lay upon the souls and consciences of their

hearers their moral obligations, and probe their hearts and bring up

their whole lives and actions to the bar of conscience. The class of

sermons which I think are most needed are of the class which offended

Lord Melbourne long ago. Lord Melbourne was seen one day coming from a

church in the country in a mighty fume. Finding a friend, he

exclaimed: "Its too bad! I have always been a supporter of the Church,

and I have always upheld the clergy. But it is really too bad to have

to listen to a sermon like that we have had this morning. Why, the

preacher actually insisted upon applying religion to a man's private

life!" But this is the kind of preaching which I like best, the kind

of preaching which men need most; but it is also the kind of which

they get the least. ‑‑W. E Gladstone

Preaching-Faithfulness In-The Preaching Daniel Webster Chose To Hear



Every Sabbath morning and evening in a small New England church,

there was seen among the few worshipers a man whose great head and

cavernous eyes were in keeping with his great distinction. Someone who

knew him in Washington asked him how it was that, there in the

village, he was so regular in going to the small church and listening

to the ungilted minister, whereas in Washington he paid little

attention to great churches and distinguished preachers. The man with

the great head and the wonderful eyes answered: In Washington they

preach to Daniel Webster, the statesman and the orator. Here in this

village, this man preaches to Daniel Webster, the sinner." ‑‑McCartney

Preaching - Opening And Closing - Don't Make Your Introduction Too Long!
A preacher can make his sermon introduction too long, and thereby

lose his listener's attention before he even begins preaching the body

of his message.

Washington Irving told the humorous tale of a Dutchman who, having

to leap over a ditch, went back three miles that he might have a good

run at it. He found himself so completely winded when he arrived at

the edge of the ditch again, that he was obliged to sit down on the

wrong side to recover his breath! ‑‑adapted from Horace Smith

Preaching - Opening And Closing - Oysters Do Better Than Some Preachers
I heard one say the other day that a certain preacher had no more

gifts for the ministry than an oyster, and in my own judgment this was

a slander on the oyster, for that worthy bivalve shows great

discretion in his openings, and knows when to close. If some men were

sentenced to hear their own sermons It would be a just judgment upon

them, and they would soon cry out with Cain "My punishment is greater

than I can bear." ‑‑Spurgeon

Preaching - Pointedly And Clearly - Clarity Is Needed


An exchange has the following story: A minister preached on

- 1 Corinthians 13:1 - 1 Corinthians 13:1}. The reporter for

the daily paper, strangely enough, got it right, but the linotype

operator, in setting the word "charity," made the mistake of using an

"L" instead of an "H," and the proofreader overlooked it. So the

minister was reported in the morning paper as having preached from the



following text: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,

and have not clarity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling

cymbal." Commenting on the story the editor says: "As it appears in

print it was not New Testament truth, but it was truth, nevertheless.

The people want the preacher to be luminous rather than voluminous,

and the preacher who is without clarity will soon be without a

congregation." ‑‑Moody Monthly

Preaching - Make Your Point Pointedly And Clearly


Winston Churchill advised, "If you have an important point to make,

don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit it once.

Then come back and hit again."
Preaching - Preaching That Aims At Everything Hits Nothing
Charlie Shedd tells a parable about a duck hunter who hunted all

day and bagged nothing despite the fact that ducks were everywhere.

His companions, seeking to discover the cause of his problem, followed

him to the blinds the next day. Their analysis of the difficulty was

succinctly stated: "His trouble was that he was shooting ducks in

general and not in particular."

Shotgun sermons can have a similar lack of effectiveness. He who

makes no point in preaching, also makes no sense. Aimless, pointless

preaching often confuses more than it convicts. In order to bear the

truth home effectively, a sermon should have a clear focus on one or

more precise points of truth. ‑‑Duane V. Maxey

Preaching To Bring Them In


A sailor had just returned from a whaling voyage, and he was taken

by a friend to hear an eloquent preacher. After the sermon he said:

"Jack wasn't that a fine sermon? "Yes, it was shipshape," said Jack,

"the masts just high enough, the sails and rigging all right, but I

did not see any harpoons. When a vessel goes on a whaling voyage, the

great thing is to get whales, but they do not come because you have a

fine ship; you must go after them and harpoon them. The preacher must

be the whaler. ‑‑W. H. Griffith


<><


Preaching - Unfit For Dogs
A dirty, bedraggled cocker spaniel showed up frequently at the

services of our West Virginia camp meeting. Washed and brushed it

would have been handsome. The friendly mutt especially liked the

prayer meetings, and it would sit quietly near the altar as people

prayed. It seemed to enjoy Morris Wilson's preaching, too. I was a bit

put out when it trotted in one morning, saw that I was the preacher

for that service, and immediately departed. It reminded me of an old

story.


A new pastor booted a hound out of the church. While preaching, the

pastor noted a man wearing an angry scowl and thought, Oh, oh, that's

the dog's master, and I've made an enemy. As the sermon progressed,

the man's face brightened, so the pastor mustered courage to approach

him with an apology after the benediction. "That's OK" the man said.

"I was angry at first, but I decided I didn't want my dog to hear that

kind of preaching anyhow."

Preaching - Where The Fox Could Hide


There was a worldly parson in Philadelphia‑‑a great fox hunter whom

a Spruce Street Quaker took in hand. "Friend, said the Quaker, I

understand thee's clever at fox‑catching. "I have few equals and no

superiors at that sport," the parson complacently replied.

"Nevertheless, friend," said the Quaker, "if I were a fox I would hide

where thee would never find me. "Where would you hide?" asked the

parson, with a frown. "Friend," said the Quaker, "I would hide in thy

study." ‑‑Moody Monthly

Preaching - Testing The Acoustics Resulted In A Conversion
Spurgeon went one day into Albert Hall, where he was to preach on

the coming Sabbath. In order to test the acoustics of the hall with

his voice, he mounted the platform and repeated the text, "The blood

of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." ( - 1 John

1:7 - 1 John 1:7}) Not long afterward, he received word that the

repetition of that text had borne rich fruit. A painter at work in

some part of the great hall was startled when he heard the voice of

Spurgeon repeating, in the empty hall, that great sentence of John's.

The words so impressed him that he was converted and brought to

Christ. ‑‑McCartney



<><
Preaching - The Conversion Of An Unseen Listener
Stephen Grellet, the noted Friend, once felt a burden on his heart

and the leading of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel to men in an

American lumber camp. But when he arrived at the camp he found it

deserted, for the men had gone farther into the forest. Feeling,

nevertheless that he had been sent there by the Holy Spirit, he stood

up in the empty mess hall and delivered his sermon, heard, as he

thought, only by the board walls of the building and the lofty trees

of the forest.

Years afterward, crossing London Bridge in the evening gloom, he

was somewhat rudely stopped by a man who accosted him and said, "You

are the man I have been looking for all these years. I have found you

at last!" "There must be some mistake," said Grellet, "I have never

seen thee." "No," said the man, "but did you not preach at a lumber

camp in the American forest?" "Yes, but there was no one there." I was

there," responded the man, "and I heard the sermon."

Then he went on to relate how he had come back from where the men

were working to get a saw that had been left behind, when he was

startled and alarmed at hearing the sound of a man's voice.

Approaching the building, he looked through a chink of the logs and

saw Grellet standing by himself preaching the sermon. He listened to

the preacher, was convicted of sin, got hold of a copy of the

Scriptures, learned the way of life, was saved, and brought others

with him into the Kingdom of Heaven. ‑‑McCartney

<><
Preaching - The Impact Of Wesley's Preaching
Mr. Madan, who had been educated for the bar and being a great

mimic, was desired one evening by some wicked companions to go and

hear John Wesley. After hearing Wesley, Madan was to return and mimic

Wesley's mannerisms and message for their entertainment.

Accordingly, he went to the meeting with this intention; when, just

as he entered the place, Wesley named as his text: "Prepare to meet

thy God;" with a solemnity of accent that struck Madan very forcibly,

inspiring a seriousness which continued to increase as Wesley

proceeded in exhorting his hearers to repentance. On returning from

the meeting, Madan was accosted by his acquaintances, "Have you taken



off the old Methodist?" (Were you able to pick up his mannerisms so as

to mimic them?) "No, gentlemen," he replied, "but he has taken me

off!" ‑‑Dictionary Of Illustrations
<><
Preaching - The Reply To Wesley's Observation
It is related of John Wesley that on one occasion he was riding

along a high road when he saw a man kneeling by the roadside breaking

stones. "Ah," said the preacher, I wish I could break the hearts of

some who hear me preach as easily as you are breaking those stones."

The man looked up and replied, "Did you ever try to break them on your

knees?"
Preaching - Where Do Sermons Go?


When a local preacher died, his relatives found he had neatly tied

up the messages he had delivered and placed a card on top of them with

this inscription: "Where has the influence gone of all these sermons I

have preached?" Underneath he had scribbled in large letters, "OVER."

On the other side this answer was found: "Where are last year's

sunrays? They have gone into fruits and grain and vegetables to feed

mankind. Where are last year's raindrops? Forgotten by most people,

of course, but they did their refreshing work, and their influence

still abides. So, too, my sermons have gone into lives and made them

nobler, more Christlike, and better fitted for Heaven." His comments

apply to the efforts of all who faithfully give out the Word.

Preaching - Brevity In Preaching Is Sometimes Wise


Very wisely does an American writer say: "There is a mighty

difference between preaching the everlasting Gospel and preaching the

Gospel everlastingly." There is no end to the truth, but there should

be an end to the sermon, or else it will answer no end but that of

wearying the hearer. A friend who occasionally visits the Continent

always prefers the passage from Dover to Calais, for a reason which we

commend to the notice of certain prosy speakers‑‑it is short. If you

speak well, you will not be long; if you speak ill, you ought not to

be so. We commend to the verbose brother the counsel of a costermomger

to an open‑air preacher‑‑it was rather rude, but peculiarly

sensible‑‑"I say, old fellow, cut it short." ‑‑Spurgeon


<><
Preaching - Enters Glory "Hitting On All Cylinders"
The Rev. James Harris, 77, of Oreana, Illinois, collapsed and died

at the end of his sermon in a county home for the aged. With his last

breath, he said, "I have just one more point to make and then I'll

close!" We believe he made that "last point" in the presence of his

wondrous Lord! ‑‑W. B. Knight
<><
Preaching - Good Preaching, Not Like An Endless Rope
Don't preach too long. I should say, if you are earnest and

interesting that whatever you are preaching about, you should preach

about forty minutes. Some sermons remind me of the sailor who was told

to pull a rope on board; he pulled and pulled until he was tired and

then declared that he believed the "end of this 'ere rope is cut off."

‑‑Spurgeon


<><
Preaching Too Long
Many churches wisely have a large clock behind the congregation

where it is quite obvious to the preacher. Some don't. The one where

Rev. Sam has been invited to speak did not. As time when on, Brother

Sam finally commented that he had forgotten his watch and asked, "Does

anyone have the time?" "There's a calendar right behind you," piped a

voice.
<><


Preaching With Simplicity And Tact - Using Words Easy To Be Understood
An Englishman crossed the Channel to France and was exceedingly

disturbed by the fact that he could not understand a word of the

French language. He was met at the depot by a Frenchman, and the

driver of the cab talked to him in French. When he got to the hotel,

he found nothing but the French language there and a man, with French

language, took him to his couch at night. He was almost exhausted

because of his incapacity to understand anything that was being said


to him, and in sad mind he went to sleep. In the morning, he woke up

and he heard a rooster crow and he said, "There's some English, at

last."

And what a relief it is, after hearing some men talk in learned



technicalities, foreign to our capacity, to suddenly hear something

the plainest people can understand! I know only of one use for words,

and that is to let men know what you mean. ‑‑Spurgeon
<><
Preaching - Why One Succeeded And The Other Didn't

Two clergymen were settled in their youth in contiguous parishes.

The congregation of the one had become very much broken and scattered,

while that of the other remained large and strong. At a ministerial

gathering Dr. A said to Dr. B.‑‑"Brother, how has it happened that I

have labored diligently as you have, and preached better sermons and

more of them, my parish has been scattered to them winds, and yours

remains strong and unbroken?" Dr. B facetiously replied, "Oh, I'll

tell you, brother. When you go fishing, you first get a great, rough

pole for a handle, to which you attach a large, cod line and a great

hook, and twice as much bait as the fish can swallow. With these

accouterments you dash up to the brook and throw in your hook, with

'There, Bite, You dogs!' Thus you scare away all the fish. When I go

fishing, l get a little switching pole, a small line, and just such a

hook and bait as the fish can swallow. Then I creep up to the brook

and silently slip them in, and I twitch 'em out and twitch'em out till

my basket is full." ‑‑Preacher's Lantern
Preaching - High Wind, Big Thunder, No Rain!
The story is told about an old American Indian who attended a

church service one Sunday morning. The preacher's message lacked real

spiritual food, so he did a lot of shouting and pulpit pounding to

cover up his lack of preparation. In fact, as it is sometimes said,

he "preached up quite a storm." After the service, someone asked the

Indian, who was a Christian, what he thought of the minister's

message. Thinking for a moment, he summed up his opinion in six

words: "High wind. Big thunder. No rain." Yes, when the Scriptures

are neglected, there is "no rain." Only when preaching is based on

God's Word are His people blessed and refreshed.




<><
Preachers

I am not a obstetrician bringing babies to birth, but a

pediatrician whose job it is to give believers the milk of the Word

and then to try to give them a porterhouse steak now and then.


‑ J. Vernon McGee, \italic{Thru the Bible Radio


<><
Preaching - World War II Wayne Oates 0 2/1997.101
During World War II Wayne Oates was driving from Louisville,

Kentucky to North Carolina. He and his wife, Pauline were eager to go

home from Southern Seminary, where he was a student, to see her

parents. They saved their gasoline stamps ‑ which were necessary to

buy gasoline during the war ‑ and finally got enough to make the trip.

Just before they got to the mountains, a car pulled alongside them,

and the driver waved them over. Wayne pulled over and stopped behind

the man. They noticed there were two little boys in the back seat of

his car.

When Wayne approached, the man said: "As you can se, I'm drunk.

I'm too drunk to drive this car over this dangerous two‑lane mountain

road. I see there are two of you, would one of you please drive me

and my boys over the mountains?" Wayne and Pauline agreed and Wayne

did so.


They hadn't been driving long when the man said: "What's your

work?"


"I'm a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in

Louisville," Wayne said.

"I want to tell you something," the man said. "Please don't take

this personally ‑ because I know you aren't a phony. You wouldn't be

driving my car if you were. I mean, there's nothing at all in this

for you. But, I want to tell you something important: Preaching is a

racket! If you get on through seminary and spend your life in

ministry, you just remember that ole Dave told you: 'Preaching is a

racket.'"
‑ \italic{Fellowship News, }May/June 1994


<><
Preachers - 1/1997.101
Someone has said that there are only two kinds of speakers: those

who have something to say, and those who have to say something!


Preachers

- 5/1997.101


A young preacher, looking up from his reading, asked his wife, "How

many really great preachers do you think there are?" She replied,

"Well, I don't know, but there is probably one less than you think."
Preaching

- 5/1997.101


One of the things I want to call for is a new emphasis on the

spiritual vitality of the preacher. Preaching is more than a craft or

an art or a profession. It is more than the shaping of some words

designed to dazzle the ears of hearers. Preaching grows out of the

minister's own experience with the living God. As preachers, we stand

inside the faith. We are not objective. We bear witness to what has

changed our lives.
‑ Charles B. Bugg, Professor of Preaching at The Southern Baptist

Theological Seminary


Preaching

- 5/1997.101


A fine preacher was once complimented by a little boy who said,

"You're not a great preacher because I could understand every word you

said."
Preaching

- 5/1997.101


A man wrote home that he had been to the big city to hear two great

preachers, one in the morning and one at night. He said that in the

morning he heard Dr. B., and at night Dr. S. "I was impressed by

both. Dr. B. is a great preacher, but Dr. S. has a wonderful

Savior."


Preaching

- 5/1997.101


An older minister said to a new preacher who asked for advice,

"Tell them what you know. Don't tell them what you don't know for

that will take too long."
Preaching

- 5/1997.101


Two Welsh preachers were on their way to a meeting. One noticed

that the other had a written outline of his sermon. He remonstrated,

"You can't carry fire on paper."

"True," replied his companion, "but you can use paper to start a

fire."
Preaching

- 5/1997.101


A preacher is not so much a builder of sermons as he is a builder

of people; to build people into what God wants them to be, he must

love them. It is not enough to love to preach; we must love those to

whom we preach. Without love, preaching is just noise.

‑ Roger Campbell

See - 1 Cor. 13:1 - 1 Corinthians 13:1

Preaching

- 1/1997.101

"I preached as never to preach again, as a dying man to dying men."

‑ Robert Murray McCheyne

Preaching

- 1/1997.101


Helena Modjeska (1844‑1909) was one of the most popular actresses

of her time because of her emotional style and superbability. Once,

to demonstrate the raw power of her ability, she gave a dramatic

reading in her native tongue, Polish. No one at the sedate dinner

party understood Polish, but all were in tears by the end of her

performance. Such was the power of her presentation. Only later was

it revealed that the piece that had moved the sophisticated audience


to tears was the Polish alphabet.
Preaching

- 1/1997.101


Upon accepting his first church, a young pastor asked an elderly

board member if he had any wise advice. The elderly man responded,

"Son, a sermon is like a good meal; you should end it just before we

have had enough."


Preaching

- 1/1997.101


Preaching has been described this way: "A mild‑mannered man

standing up before mild‑mannered people and exhorting them to be more

mild‑mannered."

The true function of preaching is to disturb the comfortable and to

comfort the disturbed.
Preaching

- 5/1997.101

A father gave a report on his son's performance in a school play.

He said, "He did not have many lines, but he spoke them at the right

time, and he spoke them well."
Preaching

5/1997.101

The story is told of a patient in a mental ward who attended chapel

services with the other patients in the ward. The chaplain who spoke

was so confusing that one of the patients going out was heard to say,

"There, but for the grace of God go I."


- 7/1997.101

A little four‑year‑old girl noticed that her daddy always bowed his

head just before time for him to step into the pulpit. One day she

asked, "Daddy, why do you always bow your head just before you get up

to preach?"

Her preacher father answered, "Honey, I bow my head and ask God to

help me to preach a good sermon."

With all the innocence of childhood, the little girl said, "Daddy,

why doesn't God answer your prayer?"



‑ Raymond Clubb, \italic{Proclaim, }July, August, September, 1995,

"Story Writing for Sermons" p. 44


Preaching

- 7/1997.101


Nearly a century ago, John Milton Gregory proposed what he called

the first law of teaching: "The teacher must know that which he would

teach." That law must govern the preacher's message as the first law

of thermal dynamics governs the physical universe. We cannot declare

with authority what we do not know from God's Word. The congregation

deserves to know that "Thus saith the Lord" lies behind their pastor's

message. We can declare God's truth with even greater authourity when

we have experienced its truth ourselves.


‑ Bill O'Conner, \italic{Proclaim, }July, August, September, 1995

"Preaching from a Firm Foundation" 40


Preaching Style Don't Let Your Underwear Show

In A sermon, Greek and Hebrew are like underwear: they add a lot

of support, but you don't you don't want to let them show.

‑ Michael Green


Preaching

- 7/1997.101


I never see my pastor's eyes Though they with light may shine; For

when he prays he closes his, And when he preaches, mine.


J. D. Grey, \italic{Epitaphs for Eager Preachers }(Nashville: Broadman

Press, 1972), 122.



<><

Preaching - Expository Preaching by Ray C. Stedman

- 11/2001.101

THE WORD OF POWER


The greatest contribution the Church can make today to a troubled and

frightened generation is to return to a consistent and relevant

preaching of the Word of God! All Christians would agree that what is

most needed in the present age is a loosing of the power of God among

us, but what is often forgotten is that the proclamation of His word

has always been God's chosen channel of power. "He sent his word and

healed them," the psalmist declares. And it is not so much preaching

from the Bible that is needed, as it is preaching the Bible

itself‑‑‑in a word, expository preaching!

WHAT IS EXPOSITION?
Exposition is preaching that derives its content from the Scripture

directly, seeking to discover its divinely intended meaning, to

observe its effect upon those who first received it, and to apply it

to those who seek its guidance in the present. It consists of deep

insight into and understanding of the thoughts of God, powerfully

presented in direct personal application to contemporary needs and

problems. It is definitely not a dreary, rambling, shallow verse‑by

verse commentary, as many imagine. Nor is it a dry‑as‑dust

presentation of academic biblical truth, but a vigorous, captivating

analysis of reality, flowing from the mind of Christ by means of the

Spirit and the preacher into the daily lives and circumstances of

twentieth century people.


I first came to understand and value expository preaching from the

writings of G. Campbell Morgan, the Prince of English expositors in

the early decades of the 20th century. I ran across his books while

trying to teach an evening Bible study class of sailors at Pearl

Harbor during World War II. I learned from him not only how to

discover the patterns of thought‑development in a biblical passage,

but how to organize those patterns into contemporary presentations

that would touch directly upon the issues of life today. In 40 years

of preaching and teaching I have never been able to match Morgan's

beauty of language and richness of literary allusions, but I have had

him continually before me as a model to follow.
Other expository preachers have added touches of their own uniqueness

to my learning process. Dr. Harry Ironside of the Moody Church of

Chicago left his mark upon me through a summer spent with him as his

chauffeur, secretary, and constant companion. From him I learned

simplicity of style and warmth of illustration. Campbell Morgan's

successor at Westminster Chapel, D. Martyn Lloyd‑Jones, also greatly



raised my appreciation of the Bible's relevancy and authority. I was

privileged also to know with some degree of intimacy such expositors

as J. Vernon McGee, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Richard Halverson, Stephen

Olford, John R. W. Stott, Frances Schaeffer, and J. I. Packer. These

all have, in one degree or another, taught me lessons of preaching

power.


PREPARING TO PREACH

Upon coming to Palo Alto in 1950 I began immediately to preach through

books of the Bible, working my way through Sunday after Sunday until I

had finished the whole book. I have tried to keep an even balance

between the New Testament and the Old, usually alternating from one to

the other. This has great advantages over textual preaching in that it

forces one to handle the difficult themes of Scripture as well as the

more popular ones. Further it keeps truth in balance since it follows

the pattern of Scripture itself in mingling several themes in one

passage; and thus makes possible the apostolic goal of "declaring the

whole counsel of God." If a series grows so long it tends to weary the

congregation, I do not hesitate to break it off in favor of another,

but will come back later and finish the original series. Since for

years now all our messages have been put into print, when a series is

finally finished it is a complete coverage of the biblical book and is

available as a unit for private or group study.


My method of sermon preparation has evolved from this concept. Having

chosen which book of the Bible I will preach through, taking into

consideration the needs of the congregation, the level of doctrinal

instruction they may yet lack, and the spirit of the times we may be

passing through, I then begin to read the book through several times

in various versions. My objective is to create a general outline of

the book as a guidline to my preaching. I note the broad divisions of

the book, and the major changes of subjects. What I want is a

bird's‑eye view of the whole. For instance, my division of the gospel

of John is very simple: Prologue, - 1:1‑18 - John 1:1‑18} ‑

The Manifestation of the Messiah, - 1:19‑4:54 - John

1:19‑4:54} ‑ Growing Unbelief, - 5:1‑12:50 - John 5‑12} ‑ The

Unveiling of the Church, - 13:1‑17:26 - John 13‑17} ‑ The

Murder of the Messiah, - 18:1‑19:42 - John 18‑19} ‑ The New

Creation, - 20:1‑21:25 - John 20‑21}.
I then choose a section from the first division upon which to base my

first message. The section should be short enough to be manageable in



the time available (30‑40 minutes) but yet constitute a single main

theme. I next check out all lexical or linguistical problems that may

be present, and read the historical background for customs or color

that needs explaining or emphasizing. Then I begin work on a detailed

exegetical outline of the passage. Outlining permits me to put textual

truth into my own words, and yet reveals clearly the logical

development of the author's thought. This outline is the backbone of

my message. It may take several hours of work to produce, but it is

essential in order to maintain clarity and faithfulness to the text.

WHERE COMMENTARIES COME IN


After I have completed this outline, then (and only then) do I read

commentaries or other messages on the passage. This reading

constitutes a check upon my own exegesis and permits me to make

changes or add insights (with due acknowledgment) to my own work. At

this point I have probably put 8 to 10 hours of work into my text, but

have only reached the half‑way point of preparation. The exegesis is

now complete. I know what I am going to say, but I do not yet know how

I am going to say it.


I turn then to the work of presentation. Here I begin to form what I

call my preaching notes. They are based upon the exegetical outline I

have made, but I must now select what to include and what to leave

out. Here also I add in the illustrations which will make the text

stick in people's minds and hold their attention until the end is

reached. I think through how best to introduce the passage, usually

with a personal story or reference to some current event. I must

choose which themes to enlarge upon and which only to touch upon and

then pass on. My notes will reflect all this and lead me logically and

climactically to my predetermined conclusion. I will take these notes

to the platform with me, but I try to know them so thoroughly that I

need only the briefest glimpse from time to time to keep me on track.

I believe it is very important to maintain eye contact with my

audience while I am preaching.

THE PREACHING EXPERIENCE
I try to have my preparation complete by Friday afternoon, or at the

latest, Saturday morning. I need to let my notes alone for at least

half a day before preaching, while I prepare my body and heart with


rest and prayer and other work. Following this approach, through the

years I have gained a growing sense of the grandeur of preaching. I

have seen many examples of its power to transform both individual

lives and whole communities. I have increasingly felt a divine

compulsion to preach, so that I know something of Paul's words, "Woe

is me if I preach not the gospel!" But even more‑‑‑I feel a deeply

humbling conviction that I could never be given a greater honor than

the privilege of declaring "the unsearchable riches of Christ." I

often hear in my inner ear the words of the great apostle: "This is

how one should regard us; as servants of Christ and stewards of the

mysteries of God!" A servant of Christ! A steward of the mysteries! I

can think of no greater work than that.

The Ray Stedman Library Index

From the archives of Elaine Stedman, July 30, 1996.


http://www.pbc.orgDate Originally Filed - p/stedman/misc/expos.html

<><
Preaching Prophetically See A. W. Tozar, Of God and Man, pp 20‑25.
- 5/2002.101
See A. W. Tozar, \italic{Of God and Man, }pp 20‑25.

Not just echoing the Word, but seeing and speaking as God sees and

speaks.
What is God saying right now.?
Also, see the Charisma article: (Prophecy)
"Beyond Prophesying: Traits of a Prophetic Church" By Mike Bickle

1. Revealing the Heart of God

2. The Fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy

3. The Prophetic Standard in the Scriptures

4. Moving When the Cloud Moves

5. Demonstrating the Power of God

6. Prophetic Dreams and Visions

7. Crying Out Against Social Injustice

8. Crying Out for Personal Holiness and Repentance


MIKE BICKLE is the senior pastor of Metro Vineyard Fellowship in

Kansas City, Mo., and the author of a new book, Growing in the

Prophetic (Creation House).
<><
Urgency in Preaching
The Necessity for Urgency in Preaching

Preaching - Urgency - 7/2002.101


The biblical theme of the Lord=s imminent return will do much to

inject urgency in a gospel service


By Thomas H. Lindberg

There is a constant need for pastors to examine the important areas of

biblical truthCin the realms of both faith and practice. One area a

preacher should continually be improving is that of preaching.


The world today is a gigantic playground in which people are fighting

over expensive toys. The need of the hour is priority and direction.

The man of the hour is the preacher with the inerrant Word of God in

his or her hand. Preachers today dare not be little children at a time

when God is looking for mature men and women to stand tall and help

build His Church. Pastors today speak clearly, confidently, and

convincingly to announce, "This is the way; walk in it"

( - Isaiah 30:21 - Isaiah 30:21}).*


In the Book of Acts, Luke made it evident that the leaders of the

Early Church were preachers. But how did the apostles preach? What

characteristics marked their preaching?
The 21st‑century preacher should not slavishly imitate the precise

methodology of the apostles, for the Spirit ever leads the church down

fresh paths. However, a preacher may learn from the basic elements

found in apostolic preaching. Let=s examine one trait in New Testament

preachingCthe apostles preached with urgency.
URGENCY IN THE BIBLE


Webster=s defines urgent as "calling for or demanding immediate

attention; conveying of a sense of urgency." That is precisely how

leaders in Acts declared their message.
On the Day of Pentecost, Peter called for immediate action. After the

Holy Spirit had been outpoured, Peter stood and preached the gospel.

The crowd listened attentively and then asked how they should respond

to God ( - Acts 2:37 - Acts 2:37}). Peter did not suggest they

delay their decision. He did not encourage the people to think about

his message overnight. The hour was urgent. Peter exclaimed to the

people, "Repent and be baptized" ( - Acts 2:38 - Acts 2:38}).
- Acts 3 - Acts 3} is another example of preaching marked by

urgency. A lame man had been miraculously healed, and Peter seized the

opportunity to preach the gospel. He did not discuss various

theological theories. The issue of salvation was far too urgent. Peter

cried, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped

out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord" ( - Acts

3:19 - Acts 3:19}).
Urgency is also clearly evident in Paul=s preaching. On one occasion,

when addressing the need for salvation, he made the matter most

urgent: "I tell you, now is the time of God=s favor, now is the day of

salvation" ( - 2 Corinthians 6:2 - 2 Corinthians 6:2}, emphasis

added). Perhaps Paul=s theology and methodology on the issue of

urgency in preaching is summed up in his statement, "We are therefore

Christ=s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.

We implore you on Christ=s behalf: Be reconciled to God" ( - 2

Corinthians 5:20 - 2 Corinthians 5:20}).
A case may be built for preaching with urgency by examining two

passages from Paul=s letters. The first is - 2 Corinthians

5:11 - 2 Corinthians 5:11}. The broader context shows that Paul was

writing about the future ( - 5:1 - 2 Corinthians 5:1}). Then he

made a sobering statement when he wrote, "For we must all appear

before the judgment seat of Christ" ( - 5:10 - 2 Corinthians

5:10}). Finally, Paul concluded, "Since, then, we know what it is to

fear the Lord, we try to persuade men" ( - 5:11 - 2 Corinthians

5:11}).
Some have argued that this fear of the Lord applies only to Christians

who will stand before God. One author wrote, "This fear is the fear of

regret that a Christian=s life will be revealed as one wasted and


spent in selfishness rather than in devotion to Christ." That writer

is correct in his statement, but he did not press far enough in his

application of the text. This verse reaches past the boundaries of the

converted community and touches all people. Those without faith in

Christ will one day face the eternal terror of the Lord. Preachers

must never forget that fact: they must be urgent in their preaching.


A second passage that presents a case for urgency in preaching is

- 2 Timothy 4 - 2 Timothy 4}. In - verse 2 - 2 Timothy

4:2}, Paul urged Timothy, "Preach the Word." The next verse

demonstrates that Paul desired Timothy to preach with urgency. He

wrote, "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound

doctrine" ( - 4:3 - 2 Timothy 4:3}). People will not always be

open to the message of Jesus, therefore we must preach with urgency

whenever we have the opportunity.


The world today is in a darkened mess. You have only to read the

papers or listen to the news to verify this fact. J.I. Packer wrote

with sharp insight about our world today: "For at no time since the

Reformation have Christians as a body been so unsure, tentative, and

confused as to what they should believe and do. The outside observer

sees us as staggering from gimmick to gimmick and stunt to stunt like

a drunk in the fog. Preaching is hazy, heads are muddled, and hearts

fret.
The Pentecostal Preacher is one who should preach a biblical message

and deliver it with urgency.
"Why is this? We blame the external pressures of our world, but this

is like Eve blaming the serpent. The real trouble is that for two

generations or more our churches have suffered from a famine of

hearing the Word of the Lord."


Packer mentioned the word "famine." When a famine occurs, urgent

action must be taken. The Pentecostal preacher is one who should

preach a biblical message and deliver it with urgency.
Moses preached with urgency. He said, "This dayYI have set before you

life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life"

( - Deuteronomy 30:19 - Deuteronomy 30:19}).
Elijah is another example of a preacher who declared God=s Word

urgently. - First Kings 18 - 1 Kings 18} records the



confrontation on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

When God=s man spoke he cried, "How long will you waver between two

opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him" ( - verse 21 - 1

Kings 18:21}). The prophet allowed no middle ground. He spoke to the

people with urgent words.
Again and again the preachers and prophets of the Bible spoke with

urgency. You only need to read the sermons of Joshua

( - Joshua 24:14 - Joshua 24:14}B24), Samuel ( - 1

Samuel 15:12 - 1 Samuel 15:12}B33), and Jonah ( - Jonah

3:1 - Jonah 3:1}B4) to see nothing less than urgency will do when

speaking for God to men about eternal issues.


The student of preaching will quickly discover that urgency in

preaching was not limited to Bible days. Many preachers through the

centuries had a pressing appeal in their voices and messages.
URGENCY IN CHURCH HISTORY

John Chrysostom of Antioch (347B407) was one of the Eastern Church

Fathers. He became known as "John the golden‑mouthed" because of his

anointed preaching. One historian wrote of Chrysostom: "As he advanced

from exposition to illustration, from Scripture to practical appeals,

his delivery became gradually more rapid, his countenance more

animated, his voice more vivid and intense. The people would hold

their breath. They felt as if drawn forward toward the pulpit by a

sort of magnetic influence. Some who were sitting rose from their

seats. By the time the discourse came to an end, the great mass of

that spellbound audience could only hold their heads and weep with

tears."
George Whitefield (1714B70) moved thousands of people in both England

and America with his preaching. He preached to all levels of society.

Whitefield often wept during his urgent appeal. When asked why, the

evangelist responded, "You blame me for weeping, but how can I help it

when you will not weep for yourselves. Your immortal souls are upon

the verge of destruction, and, for ought you know, you are hearing

your last sermon, and may never more have an opportunity to have

Christ offered to you." To Whitefield, preaching was a matter of

pressing importance and required urgency by the preacher in the

delivery of his message.
URGENCY TODAY

The entire gospel service should contain a sense of urgency. The



meeting ought to inform both the visitor and longstanding church

member that Jesus is Lord and is worthy to be worshiped. The opening

words of the sermon should tell the congregation that the message they

are about to hear is of great importance. Then, as the preacher

launches into the message, he or she must deliver the sermon with

feeling so as to capture the listener=s attention and move each person

toward an encounter with Christ.
Urgency may be produced by the preacher=s voice. You should guard

against two extremes. One is the artificial whine that pitches high

and borders on sobbing. The other is a monotonous drone that lulls

people to sleep. Either is a mistake to be avoided. Preachers should

use their normal voices, speaking clearly with authority, variety, and

a ring of excitement.


The choice of words a preacher uses can help to stir urgency. Strong,

action verbs communicate more effectively than lazy verbs. For

example, "he bolted out the door" is superior to "he ran out the

door."
Additionally, the good preacher who wishes to instill urgency into the

service must guard against predictability. As soon as people know your

next move, the outcome of your next illustration, the common patterns

of words you employ, and the regular themes you preach, their interest

and your urgency diminish. The rule of thumb is this: As your

predictability in the service rises, your urgency falls.
The biblical theme of the Lord=s imminent return will do much to

inject urgency in a gospel service. It=s worth noting that many of the

sermons in the Book of Acts end with Jesus= return and the judgment

that follows.


The preacher today faces many temptations. One temptation is to lose

urgency in preaching. As ministers, we must guard against this at all

costs.
John Stott issued a warning and a challenge to all preachers of the

gospel when he wrote, "A preacher can be faithful to Scripture, lucid

in explanation, felicitous in language, and contemporary in

application, yet somehow appear cold and aloof. No note of urgency is

ever heard in his voice, and no suspicion of a tear is ever seen in

his eyes. He would never dream of leaning over the pulpit to beg

sinners in the name of Christ to repent, come to Him, and be


reconciled with God."
To preachers who model their preaching after the preaching of the New

Testament, they must gain and maintain the use of urgency in their

messages. This is the preaching that must take place in our churches

today if we are going to be effective in proclaiming the gospel.


Thomas H. Lindberg, D.Min., is senior pastor of First Assembly of

God, Memphis, Tennessee.


*Scripture references are from the New International Version.


http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/enrichmentjournal/200202/200202_082_urg

ency.cfm



<><
7 Deadly Power Point Ideas - Multimedia Design and Presentation Sins

Preaching - Power Point Ideas - 10/2002.101

Avoiding Seven Deadly Multimedia Design and Presentation Sins
Thomas H. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Faculty Excellence

Associate Professor, Instructional Media

Southern Utah University

Cedar City, Utah 84720
Have you ever attended a lecture or conference presentation where the

presenter projected text material that was unreadable to all but the

people in the first few rows? Have you ever seen a World Wide Web page

where the color combinations made your eyes cross? As I attend various

professional conferences or browse through web pages, I pay attention

to not only what is being presented but also how it is presented. In

this way, I get ideas to improve my own presentations; I also see many

presentation sins. Frankly, I have been guilty of every sin mentioned

in this article, and I am occasionally tempted to backslide into some

of them. Nevertheless, the first step in changing behavior is to



recognize the problem. Some of these design and presentation sins can

be committed with an overhead projector as well as with any

computer‑based multimedia, so ask yourself if you have committed any

of them. Because the ideas in this article can be applied to a variety

of presentation media, the term "presentation" will be used

generically, referring to overhead transparencies and computer

presentations alike, whether the media are intended for individual

viewing, such as a web page, or for large groups using a video

projection system or large screen monitor.

Seven Common Presentation Sins and Their Ab‑Solutions


Sin 1. Letter fonts are too ornate, or there are too many different

fonts, styles, and font colors in a single presentation.


Ab‑Solutions: Avoid the temptation to use fancy fonts and instead

choose one that is easy to read. Just because your computer has 100

fonts and can show millions of colors does not mean that you should

try to use them all in one presentation. Limit a presentation to one

or two letter fonts, styles, and/or font colors and then be consistent

in how you use them, such as to show captions, headings, subheadings,

and so on. If you feel compelled to use an ornate font, use it only

with a few words and be careful to use it appropriately. For example,

do not use all capital letters with a font such as Old English, which

requires mixed upper and lower case letters for legibility.


Sin 2. Font sizes and/or graphics are too small.
Ab‑Solutions: Sometimes the default font sizes in presentation

software are too small for people in a large room to read, so do not

rely on defaults. Plan your screens or transparencies so that people

in the back row can easily read the smallest lines of text and clearly

see all of the graphics.
Sin 3. The background is too "busy" and/or the background and text

color combinations do not have enough contrast for legibility.


Ab‑Solutions: Make sure that any designs and colors in the background

do not conflict with the text, and that the background and text

adequately contrast each other, such as a dark background with light

text or vice versa. Avoid the color red for text. Red text can be

difficult to read, and many people are color blind to red.


Sin 4. Crowding too much information onto a single screen or

transparency.


Ab‑Solutions: Keep screens simple and clear. Do not crowd text, but

allow plenty of line spacing and generous margins. Use short phrases

and key words, or break large blocks of text into several screens. In

a face‑to‑face presentation, you will appear to be in command of your

subject if you give more information as you speak than appears on the

screen. Using key words will also help you to avoid reading the screen

to your audience. For a large group presentation, whether you are

using overhead transparencies or a computer presentation, follow the

six‑by‑six rule of thumb: Generally, no more than six lines of text

per screen and no more than six words per line. Pretend that you are

having to pay six dollars for every word you use. The temptation to

reduce the font size is usually a signal that you are trying to put

too much on one screen.
Sin 5. Leaving a screen unchanged for too long, or not leaving a

screen up long enough for the audience to take notes.


Ab‑Solutions: Create suspense and interest by using the Layer or Build

feature in presentation software, or overlays on a transparency, to

progressively reveal information. If you will not refer to information

on the screen for a while, insert a blank background into your

presentation sequence, or turn the overhead projector off, so the

audience will focus attention on you. With presentation software, you

can use the handout feature to provide screen information to the

audience so they will not need to copy it.


Sin 6. Overusing special effects.
Ab‑Solutions: With presentation software, be consistent in the use of

special effects, such as text flying in, dissolving, and so on. Do not

use too many different effects because the audience may become more

interested in what the next special effect will be than in your

message.
Sin 7. Presentation is all text, no pictures.
Ab‑Solutions: Don't forget that computer presentations and

transparencies are visual media. Too much text can be boring. Use

pictures, charts, graphs, and cartoons to illustrate ideas and to add

interest.



Certainly there are more than just seven sins that can be committed

while designing and presenting instructional multimedia. The preceding

sins are committed when the equipment is working. Another sin might be

the over dependence on computer technology. We have probably all

attended, and perhaps delivered, presentations plagued by technical

difficulties.


First, if you must use a computer and video projector or LCD plate for

your presentation, you should know how to set up the equipment

yourself, and, if possible, test it on location before you do the

presentation. Take a Run‑Time or Player version of the presentation

software with you for an off‑campus presentation so that you are not

dependent on event organizers for supplying you with the correct

version of your software. New software versions will usually play

presentations created with older versions, but not vice versa.


Second, you should have a backup plan in case of complete equipment or

software failure. If this happens, do not spend more than five minutes

of your presentation time trying to make the equipment work. Apologize

to the audience ONCE, but then take care to avoid the statement "If

the equipment were working, we could show you . . . " The audience is

already keenly aware of that fact, so it is better to just go on with

a discussion of your ideas and do your best to describe what they

would have seen. If you want to be better prepared for such disasters,

you should provide handouts from the software that show in miniature

what is on the screen, or if you must have an on‑screen presentation,

such as for a very large audience, prepare overhead transparencies or

35mm slides and have a projector handy as a backup for your

presentation. Be sure to test the backup equipment to make sure it is

working, too!


In summary, as you design and prepare your presentation media, whether

you will use overhead transparencies, 35mm slides, presentation

software, or the web, keep in mind your audience and the situation in

which they will view the presentation. Carefully consider your layout

and your use of letter fonts, styles, sizes, colors, backgrounds, and

images. Clarity should be your priority; then go ahead and make it

pretty.
______________________________________________
Thomas H. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Instructional Media



Director, Center for Faculty Excellence

http://www.indiana.edu/~simms/MDPD/cunningham.html



<><
How To Preach Without Results - Charles G. Finney
- 11/2002.101
How To Preach Without Results

by

Charles G. Finney



Edited and paraphrased by

Keith and Melody Green


Let your supreme motive be to increase your own popularity ‑ then, of

course, your preaching will be suited for that purpose, and not to

convert souls to Christ.
Avoid preaching doctrines that are offensive to the carnal mind, lest

they should say to you, as they did of Christ, "This is a hard saying,

who can hear it?" ( - John 6:60 - John 6:60})
Make no distinct points, and do not disturb the consciences of your

hearers, lest they become alarmed about their souls.


Avoid all illustrations, repetitions, and emphatic sentences that may

compel your people to remember what you say.


Avoid all heat and earnestness in your delivery, lest you make the

impression that you really believe what you say.


Address the emotions, and not the conscience, of your hearers.
Be careful not to testify from your own personal experience of the

power of the Gospel, lest you should produce the conviction upon your

hearers that you have something which they need.
Do not awaken uncomfortable memories by reminding your hearers of

their past sins.



Denounce sin in general, but make no reference to the specific sins of

your present audience.


Do not make the impression that God commands your listeners here and

now to obey the truth. Do not let them think that you expect them to

commit themselves right on the spot to give their hearts to God.
Leave the impression that they are expected to go away in their sins,

and to consider the matter at their convenience.


Dwell much upon their inability to obey, and leave the impression that

they must wait for God to change their natures. Preach salvation by

grace, but ignore the condemned and lost condition of the sinner, lest

he should understand what you mean by grace, and feel his need of it.


Preach the Gospel as a remedy, but conceal or ignore the fatal disease

of the sinner.


Do not speak of the spirituality of God's holy law (by which comes the

knowledge of sin ‑ - Romans 3:20 - Romans 3:20}), lest the

sinner should see his lost condition and flee from the wrath to come.
Make no appeals to the fears of sinners, but leave the impression that

they have no reason to fear.


Preach Christ as an infinitely amiable and good‑natured being, but

ignore those scathing rebukes of sinners and hypocrites which so often

made His hearers tremble.
Encourage lots of church socials, and attend them yourself.
Make it your great aim to be personally popular with all classes of

your hearers.


Aim to make your hearers pleased with themselves and pleased with you,

and be careful especially not to wound the feelings of anyone.


Especially avoid preaching to those who are present. Preach about

sinners, but not to them. Say "they," and not "you," lest anyone

should take your subject personally, and apply it to their own life,

securing the salvation of their soul.





\webpage{http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?id=402&rc=1&list=multi

WAS ‑


\webpage{http://www.lastdaysministries.org/articles/howtopreachwithoutresults.html

<><
7 Laws of the Learner by Bruce Wilkinson

- 3/2003.101

Learner

Expectation

Application

Retention

Need

Equipping



Revival

\webpage{http://www.joshhunt.com/7LAWS.html


\webpage{http://www.christianity.com/CC_Content_Page/0,,PTID310806%7CCH

ID585666%7CCIID,00.html

\webpage{http://www.bible.org.za/LifeChange%20Resources/Video/7Learner.

htm

Also ‑ \webpage{http://www.multilanguage.com/video/7laws.htm


7 Laws of the Learner ‑ Bible Study Lessons.pdf

www.joshhunt.com/7LAWS.html

The 7 Laws of the Learner


by Bruce Wilkinson

Founder and President of Walk Thru the Bible Ministry

Chapter One: The Law of the Learner
Home Page Articles Email Resume Conferences
Introduction:
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
The Seven Laws of the Learner has impacted my ability to teach and preach more than any other book. I believe it is the best book on teaching ever written. I strongly encourage you to purchase this book and study it carefully. If I were a pastor I would go through the video series every year with my teachers until I felt we had all saturated the material. The chapter below is provided to whet your appetite to read the whole thing. I was thrilled to receive permission to provide this for you.
You can purchase The Seven Laws of the Learner book and DVD video curriculum online at www.walkthruthebible.christianbook.com/. You can reach Walk Thru the Bible at 1 (800) 361‑ 6131.
Enjoy some great reading!
‑Josh Hunt

Text of Chapter One


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
The first time I heard him teach, I said to myself, "I want to study under that man!" His name was Howard G. Hendricks, and I entered seminary to learn everything I could from this master teacher. I wanted to learn not only what he taught by also how he taught.
During those four years of graduate study, I listened to him for more than 350 hours and always left his class instructed, challenged, and a step closer to God. But the time I was a senior I began to wonder if "Prof" even understood the word boring.


After studying how he taught for four years, I discovered he followed a basic style. About three minutes before class began, his right foot began to bounce underneath the old oak desk. At the precise moment the second hand swept past twelve he raised his right forefinger into the air, announced "Ladies and gentlemen. . . " and delivered an opening one‑liner that was so stimulating all of us couldn't help but copy it down. After three to four minutes he told his first joke. Eight to ten minutes into class he would inevitably rise from his desk and draw a graph or chart on the white board. Always the blue pen first. Then the purple. And always with the unique squiggly underline for emphasis. His rhythm was unmistakable. And it worked‑‑just ask any of the thousands who have studied under him.
During my last year of seminary, I decided to give Dr. Hendricks a test. I wanted to see what this master teacher would do if one of his students would not‑‑no matter what‑‑pay attention in his class. I sat in the back right‑hand corner of the room, next to the only window, and decided to gaze out the window the entire class session. Since there were only thirty students in the class, he was sure to notice. I took off my watch and started timing. What would he do if he couldn't get my attention.
As expected, he started off with a bang and delivered his typical one‑liner. Although my hand began to tremble, I forced myself not to record the line. From the corner of my eye I could see that he noticed immediately I wasn't paying attention. He broke tradition and in the first minute told a joke‑‑totally out of context. If I laughed he would immediately know I was listening, so I discreetly put my hand over my mouth and continued staring out that window.
As the two‑minute mark passed, he got up from his chair and started drawing on the board‑‑much too early. He again noticed I wasn't taking notes, stopped right in the middle of his chart and didn't even finish it.
He put the pen down and walked to the corner of the room in order to look down the aisle at me‑‑desperately trying to make eye contact. Sweat beaded on my brow, but the seconds continued ticking by. I wasn't going to pay attention.
Finally, he broke. This master teacher almost leaped down the aisle and yelled, "Wilkinson, what on earth are you looking at outside that window?!"
With a sheepish glaze, I turned around and said, "Nothing, Prof. Sorry." I looked down at my watch to determine his grade. Only three minutes and thirty‑seven seconds had passed! Incredible. His tolerance for one student not paying attention was limited to 217 seconds.
With that remarkable experience freshly imprinted on my mind, I walked down the hall into the next class with a different professor. Talk about a contrast. One side of the room was filled by students who never paid attention but did their homework for another class. This teacher, however, didn't seem bothered; he just turned and lectured to the students sitting on the other side. His mindset was, It's not my problem if you don't want to learn.


What a contrast of teacher mindset‑‑and what a contrast of student learning. One teacher could tolerate for only a few seconds one student not learning what he was teaching, and the other didn't seem to care for the whole semester!
How would you have fared on that quiz with one of your students looking out the window? Would you have cared? Would the clock still be ticking?
Dr. Hendricks believed that as the teacher, hew was the one responsible for my learning. By contrast, the second teacher thought he was responsible only to cover the material, regardless of whether anyone learned.

Learner Mindset


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
What an extraordinary example for the heart of the Law of the Learner. Dr. Hendricks believed that as the teacher he was the one responsible for my learning. He felt responsible, and if I wasn't learning, he did whatever it took‑‑changed his lesson plan, his style, told an irrelevant joke, even ran down the aisle and confronted me.
In contrast, the second teacher's mindset was limited to his responsibility to cover the material whether anyone was learning it or not.
The foundational attitude lies at the very heard of The 7 Laws of the Learner. In a sense, all of the laws are like a row of dominoes; this first one ultimately controls all the dominoes that follow.
Every master teacher I know shares this mindset and senses it is his responsibility to cause the student to learn.
But do you know what the prevailing mindset is in the preaching and teaching community today? A tragic divorce has occurred‑‑teachers have separated themselves from their students and redefined teaching as what the teacher says rather than what the student learns.
Teachers have redefined teaching as "the coherent speaking of an adult located at the head of the class to a passive gathering of students." They believe their primary responsibility is to cover the material in an organized manner.
They think about teaching as what they do‑‑their focus is upon themselves. Many teachers cover their material and leave the room thinking they have taught. But if you gave their students a pop quiz, you would find out they hardly learned a thing. The divorce between teaching and learning is tragic and the root of many of our educational woes.

Dr. Hendricks modeled a revolutionary mindset. He saw teaching as not what he did but what his students did. His focus was not upon himself but upon his students. Since that student looking out the window was not learning, Dr. Hendricks realized he was therefore unable to teach. That's why he stopped delivering his content and ran down the aisle!
Can you sense what difference it would make in your life and the lives of your students if you joined Dr. Hendricks?
In addition, what does God have to say about this issue of teaching? Could it be that we have abandoned God's perspective and directive given to teachers?
We've been asking people wherever we travel how they would define the responsibilities of a teacher. Over and over again they say, "to teach the facts" or "to cover the material" or "to complete the lesson plan." The focus of all these definitions is upon anything but the student's learning.
Somehow we think teaching is talking. If I come to the class and go though my notes and get you to laugh a couple of times, and you copy down my notes and may ask one or two questions, then I have taught you. No, that is not teaching. True biblical teaching doesn't take place unless the students have learned. If they haven't learned, I haven't taught.
What does the Bible mean by "teach" and what does it mean by "learn"? Does God divorce teaching and learning? Let's look at a couple of verses out of Deuteronomy that are very similar but have a different focus. One focuses on teaching, the other on learning.

And Moses called all Israel, and said to them, "Hear, O Israel, the statues and judgements which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them." (Deuteronomy 5:1)


What does it mean to "learn?"

Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgements which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you. (Deuteronomy 4:1)


What does it mean to teach? How are these two concepts‑‑learning and teaching‑‑related? Are they as divorced from each other as we have come to believe?


In order to grasp the full meaning of these words, let's investigate the terms in the original Hebrew. The word learn in 5:1 is XYZAB and teach in 4:1 is XYZDE. When the prefix and the suffix are taken off of learn, all that remains is the root Hebrew word, XYZ. When the prefix and the suffix are take off the word teach, all that remains is the Hebrew root XYZ.
Can you believe that? It's the same word! That's right, the same Hebrew word means to learn and to teach. Do you realize the significance of that? We can't separate teaching from learning. They are married, they are one. Somehow and in some way what the teacher does and what the student does must be inextricable related.
There is a further insight into this Hebrew word for teach and learn. The root means "learn," but when you alter it and put it into another stem called the Piel, it changes the meaning to "teach."
According to Hebrew grammar, the fundamental idea of the Piel is "to busy oneself eagerly with the action indicated by the stem." What's the stem? "To learn." To teach, therefore, means to busy oneself eagerly with the student's learning. It also means "to urge," "to cause others to do," and "an eager pursuit of an action."
Do you see how the Bible's mindset is the opposite of the normal mindset? The Bible says that teaching means "causing learning." This is the heart of the Law of the Learner. No longer can you or I consider teaching merely as something the teacher does in the front of the class. Teaching is what the teacher does in the student. How do you know if you are a great teacher? By what your students learn.
That's why Dr. Hendricks stopped what he was doing and ran down the aisle to challenge me. He knew that because I wasn't learning, he wasn't teaching.
Can you imagine what would happen in the classrooms across the country if teachers returned to their rightful heritage? If they walked down the aisles, not with their outlines and notes, but with their students? If they vowed to be fully obedient to the biblical mandate of "causing to learn"? It would cause a revolution. Learning would once again soar, discipline would return, and students would start loving learning instead of hating school.
The Law of the Learning is illustrated by this diagram. The left box represents the "speaker" or the "communicator." The center box is the "subject" or "content." And the right box represents the "student" or "Class."

The two small arrows in this model represent the action of the teacher or the student. Normally, the teachers focuses on the subject‑‑"lectures" and speaks the "words"‑‑whereas the student "Listens" and "Writes" those words. Notice both of their points of attention‑‑it's on the process of covering the material. What often occurs is a thorough lack of learning. Students are free to move their minds into neutral with only their pencils in gear and all too often slide into the "Pit of Passivity."




The preferred mindset requires the teacher to refocus attention from the subject to the student. This is represented by the lower arrow pointing from the teacher to the student with the words, "Cause to Learn."
One of the most striking quotes I have read was from a frustrated inner‑city father about the educational system's dramatic failure to cause his daughter to learn:

You people operate a monopoly like the telephone company. I have no choice where I send my child to school. I can only go where it's free.

And she's not learning.

That's your responsibility, it's the principal's responsibility, it's the teacher's responsibility that she's not learning. And when you fail, when everybody fails my child, what happens? Nothing. Nobody gets fired. Nothing happens to nobody except my child.


How tragic. . . but how true! The 7 Laws of the Learner is written to enable you to turn this quote around. To teach so effectively that no one would ever consider looking out that window.

Learning Maxims


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
This second section, the Maxims, continues to develop the main concept introduced in the Mindset and Model. In order to clarify and expand your understanding, the "big idea" under consideration is investigated from a number of different angles and perspectives. A maxim is a brief statement of a general principle or truth, and therefore each of the maxims that follow reflect a different facet of "cause to learn." By the end of this section you should much more fully grasp the greater meaning and significance of what it really means to "cause to learn." The deeper and fuller your understanding, the easier it will be for you to use this truth in your own teaching.

Maxim 1: Teachers are responsible to cause students to learn.


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


It was a once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity to conduct an experiment. It was my first class on my first day of my first year of teaching college. My slate was clean and my reputation as yet unformed. My students had no way to know what to expect.
Class started and I began teaching the way I had been taught by my teachers. You know, the traditional outline with main points and sub points.
The students dutifully took notes. After about twenty‑five minutes, I said to my trusting class. "Please put away your papers, it's time for a test." You could almost hear their hearts stop‑‑in unison. They were freshmen, and this was their first class. When I announced a test‑‑on the first day‑‑their world almost came to an end. Finally the deafening silence was broken by a courageous girl in the back row: "But sir, we haven't even had a chance to study this yet."
"I know, but let's see how you do," I said. I offered no explanation or it would have ruined my experiment. There was rattling of notebooks as they dug for paper; then it got real quiet. I asked a few questions from the twenty‑five minutes of "teaching" I had just completed.
All but a couple of students failed. Royally. Tension was heavy, and I could read the glances that shot across the room‑‑"I'm transferring out of this guy 's class."
Then the girl in the back row raised her hand again. It was obvious she was used to getting As. "You can't count that!" she protested.
"Why not?"
"It's not fair. We didn't have a chance to learn it!"
"So how did you do on the test?" She looked down and said, "Sixty percent."
"What am I?" I asked.
"The teacher."
"And what's the teacher supposed to do? Teach the class, right?" I paused and smiled. "If I'm the teacher and I'm the one who is supposed to teach you to know the material, then how did I do so far? What grade would you give me?"
Their faces said they were bursting to tell me. "Young lady, if your test score revealed how effectively I taught you today, what grade would you give me?"
By now, no one was even breathing. Everything in this young lady wanted to tell me, but she didn't know if she should. So I told her. "Your grade is my grade. What you did or did not learn is dependent upon how I did as your teacher. So your grade of 60 percent designates me as a teacher who failed to his job. I failed to cause you to learn. Give me an F!"

The class was stunned.
I took off my coat, loosened my tie, and continued. "Now, why are you paying this college all this tuition and not expecting me to do my job? How come I can "teach" for thirty minutes and the whole class not learn anything? I thought my job is to learn you to learn."
They wanted to nod. Some wanted to cheer‑‑this was starting to make sense. "From now on, when you come to this class, I'll take the responsibility for your learning. If you'll come with an open mind‑‑and an open heart‑‑then I'll do my part as your teacher to fill it.
For the next twenty minutes I taught them. I taught them until the knew the material. Then I tested them on that material and all by two got an A. With a twinkle in my eye I told them we couldn't count the first test because I wouldn't want such incriminating evidence of my poor teaching recorded anywhere in print. Ah, the joys of college teaching!!
How many times have you and I sat through an hour‑long class, dutifully taken notes, and then met someone in the hall after class who asked us what we learned‑‑and we couldn't remember one thing! Would the Bible say that we had learned? That "Pit of Passivity" can suck us into its mire if we are not careful.
Are you sensing the utter importance of this mindset, that the teacher is the one who is responsible? Obviously, the students are responsible to learn the material‑‑but the teacher is responsible to cause them to know the material.
For the most part, the last few generations of teachers have been led to believe that they are not responsible, their students are. Any attempt to relate performance to teacher effectiveness quickly escalates into World War III.
Is our discussion really new or just forgotten? Have we not tragically abandoned what used to be clear? For instance, what do you think is the dictionary definition of teach? Want a shock? The dictionary defines teach as "to cause to know the subject," has the person who taught them been a good teacher? Perhaps many of today's teachers are irresponsible because they no longer consider themselves responsible for their student's learning.
At the very heart of The 7 Laws of the Learner is a total commitment to the full responsibility of the teacher to do everything in his power to cause the student to learn.
Years ago my son and I were talking about teaching, and I asked him if he ever had to learn anything over and over again.‑‑something that he was supposed to learn but didn't.
He laughed and said, "Yes! Language. You know how many times I've learned language, Dad? I still don't understand language."


I said, "Dave, you've never been taught language."
"What do you mean?"
"If you didn't learn it, your teacher didn't teach it to you."
"Sure she did. We were on language for weeks."
"Dave, did she keep teaching you until you learned it?"
"No, Dad, she said we had to move on."
"Were there other students in you class who also didn't learn it?"
He laughed, "Lots, Dad. Most of my friends didn't understand either. But, we had to move on in the book."
You can see it now, can't you? My son's grammar school teacher thought she was supposed to cover the book instead of teach her students. This law says that teacher really didn't teach, because he didn't cause her students to learn.
While we unequivocally state that the teacher is responsible, we must quickly add that this responsibility is shouldered by others as well: the students, their parents, other related and interested individuals, and society in general. The teacher is not solely responsible for the students, but he is the one under consideration in this book.
When people begin to understand this law, they begin to reclaim their responsibility. It's happened many times as I've taught this course around the world. the light goes on and the teacher realizes, "It's my responsibility." Then everything changes, because when you and I accept our rightful responsibility as God desires, learning soars.
One evening at dinner my son announced he wasn't gong to get a good grade in math. When I questioned further, he politely informed me, "Dad, those math grades are not my fault. My teacher is boring and class is terrible. He needs to come to the Seven Laws course because he is not causing any of us to learn.
My wife shot me a glance that said, "What on earth are you teaching our children?" and I realized this moment called for immediate innovation.
"Well, Son, you are forgetting the Law of the Student," I said.
"What? You never talked about that at the conference!"


"I know. I making it up right now for you and for all who would attempt to follow in your creative footsteps. The Law of the Student states that the student is responsible to learn regardless of the quality of the teacher. You see, Dave, when you are the teacher, teach like you are 100 percent responsible. When you are the student, learn like you are 100 percent responsible."
I could tell David didn't like this, but my wife sure did. "But then who's responsible, Dad‑‑me or my teacher?"
"Yes. You've got it Dave! You're both 100 percent responsible. And by the way, Son, I'm gong to be holding you responsible for your 100 percent in this course!"
(Dave comments made me remember Joseph Bayly's statement, "Never let school interfere with your child's education!")
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Shirley M. Hufstedler was right on when she said, "The secret to being a successful teacher is. . . to accept in a very personal way the responsibility for each student success or failure. Those teachers who do take personal responsibility for their students' success. . .produce higher achieving students."
My grandmother had it right years ago when, in a moment of frustration, she said to me, "I'm going to learn you, young man."

Maxim 2: Teachers will stand accountable to God for their influence.


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
The partner to full responsibility is accountability. When someone delegates responsibility to us for a given project, usually we must give an account for our performance. God's Word clearly reveals that each of us is going to be held accountable to God for how we fulfilled his instructions.

For we must all appear before the judgment s eat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (I Cor.5:10).


There will be a future Day of Accountability. Not only will God hold us accountable for our motives, words, actions, and faithfulness, buy he also has announced that he will hold some of us additionally accountable. Repeatedly the Bible admonishes leaders about the seriousness of their responsibilities and its accompanying accountability.


My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgement (James 3:1).
James is clear: teachers will be more strictly judged by God because of their greater responsibility. God will hold us accountable, not only for how we live, but also for how we teach. We face a stricter judgement because of our role as teachers.

Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you (Heb. 13:17).


The writer of Hebrews also notes that those who have positions of authority will give account. Because that is true, the author encourages the believers under those leaders to obey and submit to them, making it easier for them to fulfill their responsibility. It appears from this verse that not only will teachers be held accountable, but in some way so will the students.
There are several practical implications of this maxim. First, the only reason God can hold us accountable as teachers is because we are responsible! Second, God views the role and responsibility of teaching as extremely important. Don't allow society's current lack of respect for the teaching community to lessen the honor you give it. Third, allow the emphasis of Hebrews 13:17 to impact you fully. Remember, teachers "watch out for your souls," not just the test scores!
Finally, some classes and some students will be more inclined to cause you grief. Realize that such classes and individuals are part of the teaching territory. Even the Master Teacher himself had students such as the Sadducees and Pharisees and Sanhedrin who attacked not only his content but his reputation and eventually his life. Don't allow yourself to retreat into the false concept that when you teach for the right reasons and with all your heart, everything is automatically going to be wonderful. It may not! God never promised to give you a class that always responds joyfully to you and your subject.
So set your expectations clearly. Teach when you experience joy and teach when you feel grief. Teach because God has divinely called and commissioned you. Teach for your students' grade on Friday's test, and teach for your grade on the Final Test.

Maxim 3: Teachers are responsible because they control subject, style, and speaker.


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


Although it may not always appear to be true, the teacher has incredible control in the teaching‑learning process. It's because of that control that the Lord can hold us accountable. Consider for a moment what the teacher has control over:
1. Full control over the subject. The teacher can control every word he speaks. If he wants to change the subject at any time and for whatever reason, he can. If he wants to give an illustration, he can. If he wants to go in depth in one area and skim over another, he can. If he wants to tell a joke to relieve a bored class, he can.
2. Full control over the style. The teacher also can control his delivery and method. If he wants to whisper or shout, stand still or jump, clap hands or fold his arms, it's all in his control. Likewise, he can employ small groups, or lecture, or discussion, or panel, or debate, or a film, or a skit. Dr. Hendricks changed his style repeatedly during those three minutes and thirty‑seven seconds in order to cause me to learn.
3. Full control over the speaker. The teacher also is in full control of himself. He can come dressed any way he wants, from formal to informal‑‑even a costume. He can come early and stay late. He can talk with the students or remain distant from them. He can sit, stand, or walk around. The teacher has full control over the speaker.
Do you see how very much control the teacher has over almost everything in the teaching‑learning process? It's amazing when you think about the incredible power and freedom of the teacher (within boundaries of course).
The teacher has control over every major element in the teaching‑learning process except one‑‑the student! If the teacher is supposed to cause the student to learn, and yet cannot control him, and how does this law work?
The teacher causes the student to learn by the correct and appropriate use of the subject, style, and speaker. Those three elements have the overwhelming power to cause the student to learn.
Do you know what an effective teacher does? Effective teachers control these three elements in the right way. Ineffective teachers don't.
Illustrations of this occur in classrooms across America every day. Just recently my daughter told me about one of her classes which is "just a disaster, Dad‑‑people talk all the time, throw things, don't learn anything." One week the usual teacher ( and I use that word begrudgingly) was sick and a substitute teacher cam in. Jennifer couldn't believe the difference. Within three minutes she didn't recognize the class. No one was talking‑‑they were learning and even enjoying the subject for the first time that semester.
Then Jennifer said something I'll never forget: "Dad, I know this is not very kind, but I kind of hope my regular teacher doesn't get better very soon."


We all can identify with that, can't we? It's sad . . . because it is unnecessary.
I can almost guarantee that the regular teacher had long ago decided the unruly class wasn't his fault‑‑it was just that they were completely out of control. The truth was, he was out of control because the was misusing the subject, style, and speaker.
Do you know the only real difference between those two experiences of my daughter? Notice what was the same:

$The same school

$The same subject

$The same day of the week

$The same students

$The same class objectives


What then was the difference? Just be the teacher, right? Yes, but what about the teacher?

$Not the color of hair

$Not the height

$Not the width

$Not the type of clothes

$Not the personality

$Not the car driven
What then?
The only difference was the effective teacher knew how to cause the students to learn by readjusting what she did, what she said, and how she said it.
Master teachers develop such an advanced skill of understanding the teaching ‑learning process that they immediately recognize the problem that is hindering learning and then implement the corresponding solution.
Too often teachers cast blame with "something's wrong with my class" when the problem really lies with their class's teacher! The first step in solving this almost universal problem is to clearly identify the problem. Once the problem is obvious, then identifying and implementing the correct solution is much easier. (The learner Method‑‑which will be presented in the next chapter‑‑reveals how to determine the problems with its corresponding solution.)

Maxim 4: Teachers should judge their success by the success of their students


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


Suppose you were a principal interviewing two candidates for high school science teacher. Which of these two candidate would you select?
Candidate A Female, forty‑eight‑years of age, married with three grown children, master's degree in science, twenty years of teaching experience, published numerous articles in magazines and journals, served on various administrative committees, working on a doctorate, hobby of gardening and raising award‑winning orchids.
Candidate B. Male, twenty‑five‑years of age, single but has a cat named Whiskers, bachelor's degree in science, three years of teaching experience, no published articles or books, served on building and grounds committee, considering starting master's next couple of years, hobby water skiing and volunteers at the nearby zoo.
It's decision time. Would you hire candidate A or B?
Believe it or not, you have no way of knowing. If the definition of teach is "cause to learn," then none of the above information gives me any clue as to the real teaching ability of either.

$Not the gender

$Not the age

$Not the marital status

$Not the earned degrees

$Not the articles published

$Not the committees served

$Not the hobbies

$Not even the years of teaching experience
Of course, their credentials are relevant and important. But none of them tell us anything about how effective that person will be in the classroom because they all center around the teacher, not what the teacher can do in the lives of the students. Both of these candidates could be dismal teachers, or they could be outstanding.
The only fact which indisputably proves what kind of teachers the candidates will make is how their previous students performed at the end of a school year compared to the start of the class in the fall.
After teaching this Law of the Learner in a recent conference, a well‑dressed businessman of about fifty came striding up to the platform. It was obvious he had something on his mind. "I decided after all these years in business to go back to graduates school and earn my MBA," he said. "But something recently happened that really upset me. I had to take a course on statistics, and the teacher was the chairman of the entire MBA program. I couldn't wait to study under this great teacher‑‑but do you know what she said on the first evening we met? She said that this course is so tough that more than 70 percent of us would fail!


"At first I was so impressed. I thought, what a teacher this is! But, now I realize the opposite is true‑‑she isn't that hot of a teacher. Only 30 percent of her class even passed!"
The businessman's conclusion was right. This professor may be a great leader, a smart woman, and an outstanding author, but her performance as a teacher earns her a dismal grade. Never forget this. Teachers cause students to learn the material, and great teachers cause great numbers of students to learn great amounts of material.
Not only do we hire people on the wrong basis, we also reward and promote on the wrong basis. Which of the two teachers listed below would get the higher recognition, promotion, and financial reward? These two high school teachers teach the same subject to the same age to the same type of students in the same school.

1. Teacher A completes his second master's degree, whereas Teacher B's students score 25 percent higher than Teacher's A students on the SAT exams for that subject.

2. Teacher A publishes three articles in a professional magazine, whereas Teachers B's students win three blue ribbons in the subject at the statewide competition.

3. Teacher A serves on the education committee for the county, whereas Teacher B's students average a full grade higher on their reports cards.

4. Teacher A receives the majority of the teachers' votes for the "Teacher of the Year" award; Teacher B' was fifteenth on the list. Teacher B receives the majority of the students' votes for the "Teacher of the Year" award, and Teacher A was fifteenth on the list.
The philosophy assumed in this book is that though the activities and committees and degrees are undeniably important, the most important test of teacher effectiveness is student performance.
Sometimes the very things we promote can lessen the effectiveness of the teaching process. It was an all too common joke among the students when I was in graduate school that the more degrees behind a teacher's name, the less effective the teacher probably was. More knowledge doesn't necessarily make a better teacher. This may sound untraditional, but it would be interesting to test student performance before and after a teacher receives his next degree.


Now, don't misinterpret me. I'm all for further education and am constantly encouraging others to pursue further study. I attend courses, watch training videos, listen to tapes, read books, and attend seminars. But the focus always must be upon the results of those educational activities, not the accumulation of them.
It's what the student does that counts, not what the teacher does, If the student has succeeded, then so has the teacher.

Maxim 5: Teachers impact more by their character and commitment than by their communication.


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This maxim compares the impact of "who the teacher is" (character and commitment) with "what the teacher says" (communication). Character out‑influences communication every time.
Consider your own career as a student. Pick out two or three of your favorite teachers. I'll bet your selection had more to do with what you thought of them than what you thought of their talk.
Those timeless proverbs‑‑"What you do speaks more clearly than what you say," and "Actions speak louder than words"‑‑are true. When words and actions are in opposition, actions always overpower words.
Unfortunately, the world and the church often sing the tune that words are all that matter. Recently a deacon of a local church told me the deacon board just voted six to three to keep the church's pastor, a man in the middle of divorcing his wife to marry another married woman in the same church!
I asked him how his church could rebel so blatantly against the principles of Scripture. "Oh," he said, "our pastor is such a wonderful preacher we don't want to let him go. Besides, a larger church in another state has offered him another senior pastor's position. We'll probably have to offer our pastor a large raise to keep him, but almost everybody wants him except for a few hard‑nosed conservatives."
Is it possible for that pastor to openly sin, splitting his own family and another woman's, and still be a powerful preacher?
Yes, I believe it is.
Some of the world's "greatest" teachers and preachers are openly opposed to Christ. Many of the men who hold the most powerful pulpits of the land do not hold to the doctrines of the virgin birth, the inspiration of the Bible, the resurrection of Christ, or even the deity of Christ. Yet their powers of oratory and persuasion are remarkable. Their words can bring all of us to tears. But being moved emotionally does not always equate with God's affirmation nor his blessing.

We err greatly when we think that just because a man or woman can teach effectively or pastor graciously or preach powerfully that the hand of the Lord must be on that life. The hand of the Lord cannot be upon a person who rejects the deity of Christ; the Bible labels him an "enemy of the gospel."
When that church chose to retain its pastor, it took a public stand for sin and against the Savior. The unbelieving community will once again blaspheme the cause of Christ because even it knows a moral outrage when it sees one.
But what about that preacher's preaching? Come back in five years and you'll see the fruits that are now being planted. You can already begin to see the word Ichabod being etched over the entry‑way. I've seen it happen too many times, without exception. God's principles for ministry have always been the same: first the character, then the communication. That's why I Timothy and Titus are so clear‑‑the life of the communicator must first be in harmony with the message before he speaks the message.
In fact, character will always control the content‑‑eventually. When the Spirit of God is quenched and sin is given free reign, not only will the Spirit not be present in the teaching, but soon neither will the Scriptures. The teacher or preacher will begin to shape the content to match his lifestyle. I shudder to think of that pastor, his new wife, and those six deacons when they stand accountable before another Court for the travesty they have wrought.
When I ask adults to select the teacher who most influenced them, it is always the one who had the most noble character and commitment. Those teachers usually were not the easiest nor the hardest in the classroom, but something about them a roused genuine respect and admiration. We, their students, wished that someday we could be like them.
May your students desire to be like their teacher!

Maxim 6: Teachers exist to serve the students.


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
Everyone enjoys going out to a nice restaurant for a delicious meal, graciously served. How would you respond if the next time you visited your favorite restaurant and asked for some water, the waitress said. "Get it yourself! What are you, helpless? I'm not your slave, you know!" You'd soon leave that place, thinking that the service was the worst you'd ever seen. You's probably never return.


You view that waitress as your servant. Part of what you pay for is her willingness to serve you‑‑that is her job. If, however, you were out on a picnic a couple of days later and saw that same waitress and asked her to get you some water, how do you think she would respond?" The roles we play in certain situations influence the behavior we feel is appropriate.
Now consider the role of teacher. Who in the classroom is supposed to serve the water and re fill the plate and ask the people if there is anything else they would like? Unfortunately, many of us in the teaching‑preaching profession have forgotten that we are servants. Most classes have a severe case of "role reversal" from all appearances the student has become the servant. Teachers have forgotten that they exist to meet the needs of their students, not their own needs.
Why is this problem so easy to recognize when it surfaces in the restaurants but so difficult to recognize in the classroom?
I remember the first time I had to speak in front of a large audience many years ago. My heart was racing, knees shaking, palms sweating, and I was frantically praying that maybe God would help me out by initiating the Second Coming right then. Sitting next to me on the platform was a well‑known, seasoned speaker. While we were singing the hymn right before I had to speak, I turned to him and said, "I'm so nervous! I don't know if I can do this."
Without batting an eye, this great man said, "Bruce, don't be so proud and self‑conscious."
That's not something you like to hear right before you speak. So I asked him, "What do you mean?"
"You are so concerned about yourself, and how you will do, and what the people will think about you‑‑that's why you are nervous. If you'd get your eyes off yourself for a moment and on the people in front of you and start caring about meeting their needs, not your own, you'd stop being so nervous. You see, it's only when we are self conscious rather than other‑conscious that we become so very nervous. When we focus on serving our audience, then the Lord is free to use us."
Then he smiled and went back to singing the hymn as if nothing had happened. And I went back to the Lord for a moment of divine readjustment and purpose fully stopped serving my needs and started attending to my audience's needs. Most of the butterflies headed south for the season, or at least they begin flying in formation.
Serving students can be much like loving our children. Often we do things for our children that we think communicate love to them, but they don't receive it that way. Similarly, many times I think teachers strive to serve their students, but their student don't feel it. Perhaps it's because the teachers unconsciously do things that communicate the very opposite of their intentions.


Throughout this book I will present many ways to concretely serve your student‑‑ways they recognize and appreciate. In the Law of Expectation you'll learn practical ways to communicate love to your students. In the Law of Need you'll learn the secrets Christ used to motivate his students to want what he was going to teach. In the Law of retention, you will be exposed to some revolutionary approaches that will enable you to "speed teach" material.
All Seven Laws of the Learner are focused on this very issue‑‑How does the teacher truly serve the student in the classroom? As you began to understand these laws and practice them, you will see frustration replaced by motivation. You'll have an incredible set of transferable skills that will work with any subject you are teaching to any age student. How can we make these claims?: Because these principles are universal, like gravity, and when you and I practice them, our students feel served.
Join the small band of teachers who enter the classroom with clear resolve and unwavering purpose to serve your students with all of your heart, all of your mind, and all of your soul.

Maxim 7: Teachers who practice the Laws of the Learner Teacher can become master teachers.


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
There was an opening for a teaching position in a junior high school in Dallas, and a number of people applied. Finally they screened the candidates down to two finalists.
The first man had taught school for thirty‑five years; the other candidate was in only her second year of teaching. The experienced teacher with all the credentials was sure he would get the job. But by the end of the week, the young woman was chosen
The older man was livid. He stormed into the personnel committee meeting, demanding to know why he wasn't hired‑‑after all, he was the one with thirty‑five years of experience. The wise administrator paused for a moment and then answered, "Sir, it's true you have been teaching for thirty‑five years, but I could not see any improvement over those years. The way I see it, you had one year of experience repeated thirty‑five times!"
Unlike the popular notion that great teachers are just born, I believe master teachers are not born, not manufactured, but just improved! To believe that people are born great teachers is an illogical as believing that people are born great scientists. Of course, there are varying degrees of innate ability, but the majority of people who achieve in their fields do so with persistent effort over a long period of time.
Blot out of your thinking the other false concept that greatness comes through gigantic steps of improvement. Real effectiveness if developed through many years of improving just a few steps at a time.


Every year at the ministry of Walk Thru the Bible we are concrete proof of this truth. We have a tradition of publicly recognizing the top ten Walk Thru the Bible instructors each year. Inevitable there is at least one surprise. One year, I had some intense discussions with our dean of faculty about one of our lowest‑rated instructors. We have a high standard of excellence for our seminar faculty, and I kept encouraging our dean to dismiss this man. Finally he said, "Give this man one more year of opportunity to improve. If he doesn't, I'll be the first to vote to let him go."
I questioned why he was so supportive of this marginal performance, and he said, "this man is working harder to improve himself than anyone else on the WTB faculty. He is watching the videos of the best teacher, having his wife and friends constantly evaluate him, always asking me for ways to improve. I believe he can do it, and he deeply wants to."
The next year, when evaluations were made to determine the top ten, guess who had achieve it? This same man I was ready to dismiss the year before. did he have those rare abilities to make it naturally to the top tine? No, he didn't. The best rarely are composed of the people who have the most natural talent, but rather by those few who have a passion to fulfill their God‑given talents and reach the top of their potential.
http://www.joshhunt.com/7LAWS.html

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Biblical Storytellers by Dennis Dewey

Story ‑ Developing

- 5/2003.101
A Select Bibliography for Biblical Storytellers by Dennis Dewey
Includes sections on biblical storytelling, oral culture, memory,

lifestory, storytelling.

Biblical Storytellers

Bartholomew, Gilbert. Pass It On: Telling and Hearing Stories from

John
Bartholomew, Gilbert, ed. The Journal of Biblical Storytelling
Bausch, William. Storytelling: Imagination and Faith


Boomershine, Thomas. Story Journey: An Introduction to the Gospel as

Storytelling


Brown, Robert M. "My Story and 'The Story'" in Theology Today, v. 23,

#2, 1975
Coward, Harold. Sacred Word and Sacred Text


Cupit, Don. What Is a Story?
Fisher, Walter. "Homo Narrans: Storytelling in Mass Culture and

Everyday Life" in Journal of Communications #35, 1985


Jensen, Richard. Thinking in Story
Liebelt, Philip. Making Connections: Telling and Hearing the Parables

in Luke
McKim, Donald. "Story Theology" in What Christians Believe About the

Bible
Russell, Joseph. Sharing Our Biblical Story
Shea, John. Stories of God
Simpkinson, Anne. "Sacred Stories" in Common Boundary,

NovemberDate Originally Filed - ecember 1993


Stewart, Sonja and Berryman, Jerome: Young Children and Worship
Stroup, George. The Promise of Narrative Theology
Tilley, Terrance. Story Theology

Oral Culture

Bardt, Kevin. Story, a Way of Knowing


Graham, William. Beyond the Written Word
Harrell, John. Origins and Early Traditions of Storytelling
Kelber, Werner. The Oral and the Written Gospel
Kelm, Herbert. Oral Communication of the Scriptures
Lord, Albert. The Singer of Tales
Ong, Walter. Orality and Literacy
Ong, Walter. The Presence of the Word
Ong, Walter. Oral Tradition, The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible

Memory
Alkon, Daniel. Memory's Voice


Baddeley, Alan. Memory: A User's Guide
Hilts, Philip. Memory's Ghost: The Strange Tale of Mr. M and the

Nature of Memory


Luira, Alexander. The Mind of a Mnemonist
McConkey, James. The Anatomy of Memory
McConkey, James. The Court of Memory

Rose, Steven. Making of Memory


Schacter, Daniel. The Seven Sins of Memory
Yates, Frances. The Art of Memory

Lifestory




Davis Donald. Telling Your Own Stories
McAdams, Dan. Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of

Self
O'Heron, Edward. Your Life Story


Schank, Roger. Tell Me a Story: A New Look at Real and Artificial

Intelligence


Sheehy, Gail. New Passages: Mapping Your Life Across Time
White, Michael and Epston, David. Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

Storytelling


Atkinson, Robert. The Gift of Stories: Practical and Spiritual
Livo, Norma and Rietz, Sandra. Storytelling: Process and Practice
Smith, Jimmy Neil. Storytelling Magazine (PO Box 309, Jonesborough, TN

37659)
\webpage{http://www.nobs.org/biblio.htm


<><
Dyin' On the Platform - 4/2001.101
"What to Say When You're Dyin' On the Platform!" book by Lilly Walters, from McGraw Hill

It's just amazing how many things can ... and do ... go wrong when you

give a presentation. Having strategies and "saver‑lines" at the ready

can make the difference between being a brilliant communicator or

watching yourself die a slow painful death up there. Following are a

just a few scenarios, savers and solutions you should keep in mind

when you present, with special advice from successful speakers,

executives and entertainers.




All material from the following is (c) 1996 by Lilly Walters, and may

not be reproduced in any manner with written permission from Lilly

Walters, PO Box 1120, Glendora, CA 91740, phone 818‑335‑8069, fax

818‑335‑6127


So, what should you do and say when ..
YOU TRIP ON THE WAY TO THE LECTERN

TO PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING

Before you stand up to walk to the lectern, take a deep breath, get

"centered," then stand up and walk. Go slow. Your adrenaline is

running at a much ‑ MUCH ‑ faster pace than the audiences. So although

you feel like you are crawling slowly to the lectern, they are seeing

you scurry along at a good clip. Slow down.
WHAT TO DO

So you trip. Y'all know no one really minds that you trip. Chevy Chase

made a career out it. They mind if you get hurt. They mind if you seem

upset or angry. Just be light hearted about it and it will set the

stage for a great presentation. They like you better when you're human

and have faults ‑ especially if you can laugh at them. Turn it into a

gag, overstate it. Make it so big that the audience thinks it's so

exaggerated, it must be part of the act. ‑ Ron Lee


WHAT TO SAY

Tah dah! (Put you hands in the air as if you planned it) ‑ Terry

Paulson I think I may have stumbled onto something back there. ‑ Roger

Langley Thank you. That was my impersonation of Chevy Chase (or Gerald

Ford, Dick Van Dyke, John Ritter, Evel Knievel) ‑ John Nisbet Hey,

it's an acquired skill. ‑ Bob Burg Practice, practice, practice. ‑ Jim

McJunkin So, let me tell you how things are going at charm school. ‑

Steve Gottlieb


YOU SWEAT

TO PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING

Remember the movie "Broadcast News" (Twentieth Century Fox), with

Albert Brooks? One day Albert's character finally gets his big chance

to anchor the news. In front of the camera his body goes crazy. He can

barely see from the sweat pouring down his face and into his eyes.

Yes, it can happen to anyone. (Please God, not me!) It might happen to

you for several reasons: 1. It's hot In which case, everyone else is


sweating too, and nobody really cares 2. You're physically ill 3.

You're having a nervous attack. Now this we can do something about.

This sort of nervousness will hit you when you think are bombing.

Simply go the the material you are 100% comfortable with, and deliver

that. If it is going to be your first time up there, you will cure 75%

of your fears through rehearsal and preparation.


WHAT TO DO

Break them into discussion groups. While they are talking among

themselves ‑ calm down. Go over your notes, cut the things you are not

feeling comfortable about. Firmly think of the three things you want

them to take home. Go back into the speech with those three things in

mind. Don't worry about the presentation being too short; they'll

rarely complain about that.
WHAT TO SAY

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. ‑ Winston

Churchill What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a

continual state of inelegance. ‑ Jane Austin, 1775‑1817, Englist

novelist. There must be something very sensual about speaking in front

of this audience. This doesn't normally happen to me. ‑ Terry

Braverman

YOUR FEET HURT

TO PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING

Normally your feet go on strike when you are doing a several hour

program. Although your feet may hurt in a shorter session, your

adrenaline will carry you through and you most likely won't notice. I

was in a musical where I had to do two hours barefoot. No problem

until I pulled a tendon in my foot and it kept screaming at me when I

stepped on it. But every time a cue came for me to go on, I forgot

everything but the show. I was not being brave, the pain just went

away while I was performing, waiting in the wings again was another

story. However, if your doggies are barking at the end of an 8 hour

session, the old adrenaline rush that carried you that far is pretty

much gone. So some smarter tactics ‑ other than relying solely on your

enthusiasm ‑ are a super idea. One obvious strategy is to wear

comfortable shoes ‑ ladies. Yes, ladies. We are worst for wanting to

show off a nice thin (looking) calf ‑ which is why some masochist

female invented high heels. The downward slant of the foot makes the

calf ever so much more attractive. But, if at the end of 8 hours they


are still thinking about your calves and not your content, you might

as well try a new career. Wear shoes you know you can wear all day,

low heels, good support and padding (running shoes would be great if I

felt I could get away with it :::sigh:::, and no, we can't). NEVER

present or perform in new shoes, unless you are going to be seated for

the whole presentation! Try them out someplace else, make sure to wear

them for the same amount of time you will standing on them.
WHAT TO DO

Go into the restroom, run the water as hot as you can get it. Take

your shoes, one at a time, and allow the water to totally saturated

the inside and outside of the leather. Make the wetness even, or your

shoes will look wet. Shake them off and use a paper or cloth towel to

dry them a bit more. Now put the wet (and yes squishy) shoes on your

feet and go back to work. The wet, even though warm, is soothing to

your feet. The hot water loosens the leather which helps combat the

chaffing. As the leather dries it conforms to your foot, not the foot

of some model back at the shoe factory. Because you carefully wet the

whole shoe, it will just appear darker in color, not wet to the

audience. Soaking your shoes can't be very good for their longevity.

But, your performance, and your lack of pain, are more important than

a few months added to your shoe's life! Better the shoes early demise

than your feet! I hesitate to mention this, but when I went to

Australia, guess who used brand new shoes for her full day programs?

Yeah, yeah, yeah Š that's why they asked me to write my last book,

"What to Say When You're Dyin' On the Platform!" (McGraw Hill,

March,1995) ‑ I've done plenty of dumb things. Within the first hour

of the seminar I do a section on how important it is to be physically

comfortable in order to teach well. Well there I was, with my footsies

were hurting big time already! Inspiration hit, I said, "The most

important thing is for you to let go of your worries of how they think

about you! You need to concentrate on them! If your shoes hurt ‑ get

rid of them!" and I kicked my shoes off with a great show and said

with great sincerity, "They are not important," pointing at the shoes,

"the audience, their needs and wants is what matters. That is what you

are there for." I saw all their eyes glaze as they filled with

inspiration. I'm thinking, whoa, that stays in. I did the entire rest

of the day barefoot.


WHAT TO SAY

(make a big show of dramatic, limping ) It is better to die on your

feet than to live on your knees! Thank goodness I don't have my brains

in my feet. (look at an audience member and say), Never mind, don't



say it. ‑ Lilly Walters
All material from the following is (c) 1996 by Lilly Walters, and may

not be reproduced in any manner with written permission from Lilly

Walters, PO Box 1120, Glendora, CA 91740, phone 818‑335‑8069, fax

818‑335‑6127 Lilly Walters is a best selling author, she is a featured

author in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul," series of products and the

author of "What to Say When You're Dying On the Platform!" (McGraw

Hill, 1995) "Secrets of Successful Speakers" (McGraw Hill, 1993).

"Speak and Grow Rich" (Prentice‑Hall, 1988 and 1996)


http://www.joshhunt.com/lilly1.html

<><

Secrets of Successful Speaker

- 4/2001.101
Your Image From the Platform by Lilly Walters

Secrets of Successful Speakers ‑

How You Can Motivate, Captivate and Persuade"

(McGraw Hill, 1993).


Chosen as a major selection by Fortune Book Club, and a selection of

Book‑of‑the‑Month Club and Business Week Book Club. In 1996 it was

selected as one of the top most valuable books ever written from

professional speakers. For more of the top products for professional

speakers, go to http://www.walters‑intl.com/ or call 818‑335‑8069, Fax

818‑335‑6127 ALL material below is (c) Lilly Walters, 1996, and may

not be duplicated in anyway without written permission., Phone

818‑335‑8069, Fax 818‑335‑6127, PO Box 1120, Glendora, CA, USA,

91740‑1120
What makes you attractive on the platform? Here are some tips from the

masters of the spoken word about your clothes, mannerisms, and your

image form the inside out. Secrets have been included in this article

from these Masters of the Spoken Word: Dr. Ken Blanchard, Harvey

Diamond, Bobbie Gee, Hermine Hilton, Danielle Kennedy, Stew Leonard,

Jr., Dr. Layne Longfellow, W Mitchell, Mona Moon, Judi Moreo, Tom

Ogden, Dr. Terry Paulson, Rosita Perez, and Gene Perret.
"More often than not a speaker's image will remain in a person's mind

long after the words have been forgotten. You can never be over



dressed or too polite. It sends a message of the respect you hold for

your audience."

Harvey Diamond, Author "Fit For Life", Lecturer, Wellness Pioneer

How To Decide On Your Personal Image

Whenever you see pictures in magazines and newspapers, which ever

image makes you stop and think, 'I like that!', then clip them out. I

keep mine in a folder in my desk. Before I go out to buy an outfit, I

review the pictures in my folder. Think about the mood you want to

create with the presentation. Do you want this audience to feel

interactive and warm? Do you have enough time to establish your

expertise? Will your power image need to say it all? How much

authority do you really want to exude? Look at the pictures you have

collected and decide which images match the ambiance you want to

create. What they don't teach you in image seminars is that

everybody's idea of "power" is different. When I do my seminar, I show

a series of slides, with two people in each slide. I use the slide to

show what subtle differences in dressing and image does to the

perspective of power. The first time I used these slides in a seminar

was a real adventure. I put the first slide up and asked the audience,

who of the two people in this photograph has the greatest authority?

To me, it was crystal clear. But my audience was split right in half!

This was not the point I was trying to make at all. Luckily I had two

more slides ‑ I tried again. Same result. Half agreed with me, the

other half thought the other person in the slide had more power. Same

thing happened with the third slide! Every time I do the seminar I get

the same result. I have no doubts in my mind which of the people has a

greater 'power' image. It came as a shock to me that once you get past

some rather basic rules of image ‑ dark suit, solid colors, clean,

ironed, etc., the rest is up for grabs.
So what is a "power" image for speakers? It's whatever makes you feel

like a presenter who can move and motivate an audience.


"I want my appearance and demeanor on the platform to be first rate ‑‑

whether it's something I buy or something I have to develop. It's not

so important that the audience knows it; it's more important that I

know and feel it." ‑Gene Perret Humorist and Head‑Writer for Bob Hope

"'I yam what I yam." (Popeye).

"I wear flowers in my hair and tell them why that's important to me. I



like dramatic vibrant colors and sleeves that 'move' to emphasize my

gestures. I always consider my comfort up there as I use a guitar to

make my points. I do what works for me!" Rosita Perez President,

Creative Living Programs, Inc., motivational speaker

"The audience starts forming their opinions of you from the first

moment they see you. If you make a mistake, make it on the

conservative side."‑ Judi Moreo, motivational keynote speaker

Tips for Fabulous Fashion in the Footlights

Fashion in the footlights is not governed by the same rules that tell

us what is appropriate fashion when we are one‑on‑one. As a presenter,

you need to dress for success from across the room. When you try on

the clothes you are considering using on the platform, do you stand

about five feet from your mirror as you review your image? I always

did. Until it hit me one day. The audience will be 10 to several

hundred feet away! Lines, colors and images change drastically when

seen from a distance ‑ as your audience sees you. Walk way across the

room from your mirror. Walk as far as the majority of your listeners

are from you on the platform, and then decide if you like what you

see. Men, that patterned tie looks great up close. But it confuses

your audiences eyes from a distance and distracts from their

concentration on your topic.
"I watched a famous woman golfer speak once. She carried a huge white

handbag loaded with junk and plunked it on the lectern. We looked at

it throughout her presentation. I don't remember a word she said, but

I do remember the handbag."

‑ Judi Moreo

How Much Authority Do You Want Your image to Generate?

Before we go on with tips on how to create an authority or power image

from the platform, ask yourself, "How much power and authority do I

want my appearance to generate?" If you project too much "authority",

your listeners will never "know how much you care" because they'll

assume you're not the caring type. Authoritative people seem to create

that kind of environment. So, you may want to dress with less than the

look of The Absolute Authority. Still, you need to know what the rules


are of creating an authority power image before you can break them Š

or before you decide if you want to break them. If you're presenting

for only an hour, you don't have as long to build credibility with

people. You need to rely on your image more heavily to help you

establish credibility. If you have several hours, it won't matter how

good your image is. If you don't follow the other steps in growing

this tree, your listeners will see right through the temporary effect

you create with your image.


Tips On Creating an Authority/Power Image For Men

John T. Molloy author of the world famous book, Dress For Success said

in a keynote I heard , "There are only three appropriate colors for

men in a business setting ‑ 'dull, dark and drab.' I think a step or

so beyond Mr. Molloy's "Drab" category is acceptable. A good quality

suit, perhaps just a shade or so lighter than the traditional dark

grey, black or dark blue, but still within that realm of "dull and

dark" can be very nice and at the same time help the speaker stand out

on the platform. If you have any doubts as to what the standard

traditional "success" look is, see Mr. Molloy's Dress for Success.

Tips On Creating an Authority/Power Image For Women

Women have a tougher time than men figuring out what to wear in a

business setting. Since the turn of the century, men have been wearing

"dull, dark, drab" trousers, vest, and jacket. Sure, the lapels and

tails changed slightly, but a man's suit has hardly changed at all

compared with women's fashions. At the turn of the century, women wore

Victorian bustles, huge hats with feathers, ribbons, and stuffed birds

draped in odd places ‑ over their shoulders and on their heads. Not

what you see walking into the boardroom today! Men have only worn

"dull, dark, drab," this entire century. Women have been appropriate

in the entire color spectrum. So as we have entered the business

world, it has made it hard for us to decide what is acceptable to

wear. Here are a few quick guidelines:


Subdued, solid colors will make you appear more authoritative.

The higher the neckline, the less frivolous you appear.

A tailored look gives you more power and authority. "Tailored" means

form fitting, not baggy. If you want a more powerful look, and you're

wearing something that's meant to button, button it. It's natural and


stylish for women to have a blouse left unbuttoned at the top. Or a

jacket that should button, worn open. It's a "pretty" look, but it

immediately takes away from your authority.

If you want more authority, put your hair up and pull it away from

your face in a tighter, tailored look.

A high heel gives you more sophistication.

Power Image Tips For the "First Impression"

Image is based on people's first impression assumptions (which, by the

way, are often wrong.) Your performance on stage will change their

"first impression" anyway Š but it won't hurt to try and create a good

first impression that might help get your message home. Here are a few

ideas on image assumptions you may not have thought of:


For more authority, a dark suit rather than a sports jacket and

slacks.


Graying hair and wrinkles that put you into the 45 ‑ 65 category, have

more authority than dark shiny hair and a youthful complexion.

Someone with a suntanned look, always seems too casual. People assume

a serious professional would not have time to sit in the sun.

Wearing glasses makes people think you read more, are more

intelligent, and older so therefore they assume you are more

intelligent. (If you wear them on the platform, get the non‑glare kind

so people in the audiences are not looking at two little mirrors

reflecting lights into their eyes.)

"Taller" gives your appearance more authority. "Taller" has very

little, if anything, to do with real authority and power. We are only

talking about the first impressions. Someone who stands tall can give

/much the same power image effect.

Using Color To Persuade and Enhance Your Image

A Munich Psychological Institute study showed that children improved

their I.Q. scores if they were tested in rooms painted with "happy"

colors: light blue, yellow and orange. But those who were tested in

rooms painted in "ugly" colors ‑ black, brown and white ‑ got lower

scores. You can use color psychology to help create moods within your

audiences too. First, decide how much authority and power you want to

create, then use color as tool to help you achieve it. You can use

color in the room and in your materials as well as in your clothes.





Color Meanings

Dark Colors: have more authority, power and control.

Brights: are more attention getting so they will keep peoples

attentive.

Blue: most likely the most popular color. When you wear dark blue,

people think you are intelligent, knowledgeable, credible, powerful,

and you have a solid strength (than red, which is also an action

color.) Soft blues, i.e.: sky blue, are calming.

Red: is energetic and dynamic. A strength color, but one that implies

movement, danger, fast things happening.

Yellow: is bright, cheerful, action color. It's also a high anxiety

color.


Brown: can be very calming. Unfortunately, it can be so calming it's

boring. In theater, they often put the person who is not supposed be

"smart" in a brown suit.

Black: is very authoritative. But it can be too authoritative and

overwhelming with the result that some will want to keep their

distance.

White: is clear and crisp, and contributes to an appearance of purity

and youthfulness. But under spotlights, it can be glaring, because the

lights will bounce right back off the white you wear and into their

eyes. The audience won't see your face, just a white suit. When you

are on television, don't wear white. Men: even your shirt ‑ wear a

blue shirt, off‑white, ivory, anything but white. It makes you look

pale and creates technical problems for the camera people as the

lights jump off the white and create spots.

Pastels: may make you appear soft, perhaps even weak.

Choosing the Type and Color of Material For Your Clothes

Patterns make your eyes blink. Every time your eye blinks, it takes

away from the brain's concentration on the topic. When we look at you

from across the room, we should see you, not your necklace, tie or

jewelry. Don't buy fabrics that have a shine or glimmer under bright

lights. (Beware ‑ lights in department stores, are not the same type

that hit you on stage.) Be careful or you will be shining a light into

your audience's eyes, almost like a mirror. Instead, buy material with

subdued colors and solid patterns. A very subtle pattern or a very

light pin strip is acceptable.

"People tell me again and again my wheelchair and my unique physical



appearance pretty much disappears. My movement back and forth across

the stage are just one more sign that helps convey that although I am

disabled I am not unable."

‑ W Mitchell, motivational speaker and author

Coordinate Your Colors With More Than Just Your Hair and Skin Colors

You decide on a dark blue suit, light blue shirt, solid steel blue

tie. Now you walk out in front of the audience in front of that dark

blue backdrop. Lights! Camera! Action! Š and you disappear! Great for

a magic show. Not so good for a business presentation. To avoid this,

wear a color that makes you stand out from the background. Try to

coordinate your colors so you don't clash with the room color.
How do you know what the room color will be? Before you get dressed ‑

preferably the night before ‑ check out your entire room set‑up,

including room color. If this is impossible, bring two suits, a dark

and a light.


My choice of clothing comes from a heart decision. What can I wear

today to make my audience feel good about me and about themselves? I

want my clothes to merely be a frame around the love that permeates

from my heart."

‑ Danielle Kennedy, M.A., Professional speaker, author of "Selling the

Danielle Kennedy Way"

It's Hard to Persuade Anyone When Your Feet Hurt

Wear "wearable" clothes. Try your outfit on for a nice long period, at

least as long as the presentation. If it's a several day presentation,

one day is enough. If you're pulling at your drawers, or cringing

every time you take a step because your shoes are too tight, you won't

have the concentration to be able to persuade your audience to do

anything. Your focus turns from them to yourself. Women have a more

difficult time than men when it comes to shoes. Men wear shoes that

are meant to be walked in. Women have been taught that high heels are

"the thing" for the well dressed business‑woman. If you can stand in


high heels from sunup 'till sundown and not feel excruciating pain,

your feet don't have nerve endings or you're a masochist! Ladies,

let's be honest, there is only one reason to wear high heels Š they

make our calves look thinner. But no presenter has ever told me, "I

had them in the palm of my hand! Persuaded and motivated! Suddenly,

someone looked at my legs and said, 'Oh heavens! She has heavy calves!

How can she possibly know what she's talking about?" I, on the other

hand, have taken a stand for women's rights. I just don't care how

heavy my calves look when I'm on the platform (when I'm on a date it's

a different story!) When I'm giving a full day session I've decided to

wear shoes I can walk, move and be energetic in all day long. True,

adrenaline will often carry me through the first day, regardless of

how uncomfortable I am. But at the end of that day I have sat in my

hotel room in tears because of my silly vain choice of shoes. Day two

was not a pretty picture. Mona Moon, has a clever trick. She has a set

of high heels which she wears until lunch. She buys flats in the same

material which she slips on for the afternoon. No one ‑ but me ‑

seemed to notice. Nice compromise, smart idea.


"Never wear white shoes ‑ unless you want your audience to look at

your feet the entire presentation."‑ Bobbie Gee

Match the Meeting's Ambiance

If they're having a Western Hoe‑down, or a Hawaiian luau, dress to

match the mood. You look pretty silly if you come out in a tux and

they have jeans and cowboy boots on. It's important for the speaker to

help the meeting planner create the mood and environment for their

event. Find out what the majority of your audience will be wearing ‑

and dress just a tad nicer. Don't give all of your authority away by

dressing "too casually", but don't spoil their fun either. Just

because it's at the beach and they will be wearing bathing suits, does

not mean you should! You should be in a casual outfit, perhaps a

muslin type Caribbean looking suit. (Men, this might be a great time

to pull those white suits out of storage!)

"I come dressed up, but I'm ready to dress down to make a human

connection to the audience. The first impression should match your


introduction and the credibility you want to build. Even when I'm told

to dress casual, I start off in a suit and take off my coat after they

know I have one! Once you have connected with an audience, they won't

care what you look like. But 30% of an audience can be so

image‑oriented that inappropriate attire can turn them off in a way

you will never be able to recover. Never be afraid to ask what is

appropriate and then, as a rule of thumb go one step up from what they

ask for."

‑ Terry L. Paulson, Ph.D., CSP, CPAE, Psychologist and Professional

Speaker, author of "They Shoot Managers, Don't They?"

Make Up (Gentlemen, don't skip this section!)

Yes, I mean you too. The tiniest bit of oil in your skin looks very

shiny to the audience and in photographs. A bit of face power every

hour of so does wonders. If you have never purchased face power, go to

any department store that has a make‑up counter. Men, just look

helpless and explain to the nice attendant you are a presenter ‑ you

need something to cut the glare under the lights. They'll be very

understanding and helpful.


"I often use a light amount of face make up on my nose and temples,

especially if there is a spot light, I never use a lip gloss, it looks

like lip stick. If I'm playing to a crowd of 2,000 or more, eye liner.

Wives or girl friends will love to give you lessons.

‑ Tom Ogden Master Magician and comedian

How To Hide Nervous Shaking

Even tried and true masters of the platform can loose their control

and start to shake. Not a good image enhancement technique. Here are a

few tricks to help you appear normal in an abnormal situation.


Don't hold your notes or workbooks in your hands. Find something to

set them on. When you shake, so does whatever you are holding.

Take your hands and put them behind your back. Notice the way the

Royal families always stand. Maybe they get a bit nervous too.



Grasp your lectern if the shakes hit you. It's not a power stance, you

should be naturally gesturing. But watching you shake uncontrollably

is much worse than watching you hang on to the lectern.

Try giving a simple group exercise. This gives you a few minutes to

get hold of yourself, go back over your notes and visualize the

audience being uplifted. It will soothe, calm you and get you back in

control.

"Clothes should match the audience. You can choose your clothes and

you can train your voice, but your personality is best the opposite ‑‑

unchosen, untrained, natural."

‑ Dr. Layne Longfellow president of Lecture Theatre

Image ‑ From the inside Out

It's good to get rid of the obvious habits that might distract

listeners. However, all image problems are just symptoms of how you

feel about yourself. The presenters who have the greatest impact on

their audiences follow very few of the traditional "rules" of image.

Tom Peters paces back and forth across the stage and often looks like

he slept in his clothes. Ken Blanchard often wears a sports coat.

Hermine Hilton a memory expert, wears pants instead of a skirt and her

hair often looks like she forgot to brush it when she got up that

morning. Yet all three leave their audiences wanting more and raving

about their fantastic impact. If you have an obvious "flaw" in your

image, i.e.: "too fat," "icky voice," "too short," "handicapped," not

"educated enough," please understand, the audience is not very

concerned about you. They are concerned about what you are going to do

to make them feel better. Consider your impression of the following

list of presenters ‑ did their "flaws" effect the brilliance of their

presentations


"too fat," Winston Churchill

"icky voice," Helen Keller

"handicapped," Franklin D. Roosevelt

not "educated enough," Will Rogers

"You know what happens, people get too worried with this looking like

a professional speaker deal. Everybody tells you, 'Here's how to give

an executive presentation ' and 'You're suppose to wear a blue suit

and red tie.' And you know what happens? Here's a lively, colorful,

dynamite person that is stuffed into this square box. All the

enthusiasm and excitement is just drained right out of them. You



should try to look nice up there, but more important, look like you."

‑ Stew Leonard Jr., President of "Stew Leonards" in Connecticut

(Featured in "In Search of Excellence" by Tom Peters
ALL material above is (c) Lilly Walters, 1996, and may not be

duplicated in anyway without written permission., Phone 818‑335‑8069,

Fax 818‑335‑6127, PO Box 1120, Glendora, CA, USA, 91740‑1120
http://www.joshhunt.com/lilly2.html
<><

Inspire Any Audience - Proven Secrets of the Pros for Powerful Presentations by Tony Jeary

- 4/2001.101
Inspire Any Audience :

Proven Secrets of the Pros for Powerful Presentations

by Tony Jeary
Chapter 3

Secret Steps for Going from Nervous to Natural


I am preparing to do the final editing on a new book that I am working

on entitled Disciplemaking Teachers (to be released by Group in Jan

1998). In preparation, I have been grabbing everything I can get my

hands on that deals with communication, teaching and the

disciplemaking process. I so enjoyed Tony Jeary's new work I was

pleased that he allowed me to make this chapter available to you. I

was also pleased to discover that Tony is a committed Christian. I

think you will enjoy this chapter so much you will want to buy the

full book. You can purchase it online at www.amazon.com.

‑Josh Hunt


1. Know what you're talking about.

Thorough preparation equals total confidence. Prepare then rehearse,

rehearse, rehearse! Understand that your audience really wants you to

succeed. Practice meaningfully‑the way you'll actually deliver your

presentation. Refer to chapter 2 for the best techniques on

rehearsing.


2. Be yourself.

Use your own natural speaking style. Don't try to be someone you're



not.
3. Psyche yourself up‑use positive self‑talk.

Visualize success: picture your audience applauding you at the end of

your presentation then work toward it.
4. Work with your body's physical reaction to nerves.

Do stretching, isometrics, or some other exercise to relieve physical

nervousness. Take deep breaths to control breathing. Pausing: proper

pausing conveys relaxation and confidence.


5. Bond with your audience. Keep the audience on your side.

Pick two or three friendly faces; speak to them in your opening and

feed off their positive energy. Get a good night's sleep before your

presentation.

The Scene . . .

You know you have to lead a presentation at the quarterly sales

meeting next month and you know your material well‑your boss knows

that. But you're terrified of speaking in front of people. Or‑you've

prepared and rehearsed for your presentation on local safety issues to

be delivered to the local Commerce Committee until it seems like you

could deliver it in your sleep. Your 3‑D outline is as solid as

Plymouth Rock. You look great on your videotape. But as soon as you

stand up to rehearse in front of two or three of your friends, your

mind goes blank. You have to look at your rehearsal cards, which

confuses you even more, and before you know it, it's as if you never

even prepared. If you can't stay calm in front of three or four

friends, how will you ever manage to deliver your presentation in

front of a room full of strangers? Or‑in about one hour you have to

speak You've been reviewing your notes, avoiding coffee, and trying to

psyche yourself up for success. But you're so nervous that your hands

are shaking and your knees feel weak. If only there were something to

do to get it under control


The Solution . . .

Since there's more than one kind of nervousness (as the previous

scenes suggest), we need a system that addresses all the different

ways in which we feel nervous, a single system that addresses the

physical manifestations of nervousness‑butterflies in the stomach, dry



mouth, wet palms‑as well as the mental manifestations‑ negative

self‑talk, fear, and apprehension. In fact, an ideal solution would

take all that energy you're wasting on being nervous and funnel it

back into the presentation in the form of enthusiasm. You're Not Alone

There's good news and bad news about nervousness‑the good news is that

everyone feels it. The bad news is that everyone feels it. Or more

accurately, it never goes away. The differences between those who

appear to be free of nervousness and those who suffer the devastating

effects of obvious nervousness at the front of the room is control.

Every time you see someone who seems relaxed, confident, and natural

at the front of the room, it's because that person has mastered the

techniques of keeping her nervousness under control so well that

she'll never let you see her sweat!
Speaking in public is the number‑one fear of people in America‑ if you

can conquer this, it gives you a great competitive edge!


Step 1. Conquer Nervousness: Know What You're Talking About

The single best way to fight nerves is to prepare yourself. This is

because nervousness is rooted in psychological stress (fear of

failure) that manifests itself in physical symptoms (fast pulse,

shallow breathing, dry mouth, sweaty palms, sick stomach, strange

voice, and jittery knees). The bottom line is: preparation pays big

dividends. If you've prepared well and still feel nervous, your

preparation is going to help reduce your nerves once you begin to

talk. This section of the book and its tips deals with nerves at all

stages of the game‑a month before, the night before, or the hour

before your presentation. If you've followed the easy steps to

preparation and rehearsal outlined in chapters 1 and 2, you've

probably got a whole binder full of papers. The night before your

presentation, TAKE ACTION by reviewing these notes and running the

checklists you've prepared. This action will help reduce nerves.

Professional speaker David Peoples, author of Presentations Plus, has

this to say about reducing nervousness:


"The single most effective thing you can do for sweaty palms is

rehearse. The second most effective thing you can do for sweaty palms

is rehearse. Guess what the third most effective thing is?"


Step 2: Be Yourself

Don't even think about trying to be someone you're not. You might see

a great presenter a week before your presentation‑someone who has a

Don Rickles style of poking jokes at the audience, or someone who runs

back and forth and makes things up as she goes along. The audience may

love these folks and you might be tempted to imitate them. Take it

from me‑don't. Audiences see through pretense. You have enough to

worry about when you're giving a presentation‑don't add to your burden

by trying to do imitations. Here's just a partial list of what can go

wrong when you try to be someone else.


You can make a poor first impression and then have nowhere to fall

back.


Humor will be strained, because it is not natural‑not from your heart,

like all good humor. Unnatural humor ranges from dry and boring to

utterly disastrous.

Your eye contact will be weak because you'll be busy focusing on being

something you're not.

You will invariably lack conviction and enthusiasm.

The audience will resent your attempt or be embarrassed for you. All

of which is to say once more: Be yourself!

"What if my natural self is a nervous wreck?" you ask. Great

question! Proceed to step three and let's get to work fixing up that

nervous wreck.

Step 3: Psyche Yourself Up Effectively: Your Mind's Reaction

Everyone speaks to him or herself. It may or may not be in words‑but

in any case you give yourself messages and commands constantly. In

fact, we do it so often, we don't even think about it. This constant,

often wordless, dialogue we carry on with ourselves is known in the

presentation business as "self‑talk." All too often we let our

self‑talk become negative without realizing it. Often, it's the most

common of phrases. Some examples of this include:
"They're gonna hate me."

"I'll never get prepared in time."

"I'm just too nervous to stand up in front of those people."

"Last time I stood up in front of this group, I dropped all my

files‑what if it happens again?"



This negative self‑talk sends exactly the wrong message to

ourselves‑it psyches us out. Change this negative self‑talk! Try

something positive:
The audience is going to love me because they really want me to

succeed. (See sidebar on facing page.)

If I take a deep breath and concentrate, I will be more than prepared

on time.


Following the steps to reducing nerves in Inspire Any Audience: Proven

Secrets of the Pros will make me confident and competent in front of

ANY audience. All I have to do is be myself.

Last time I stood up in front of this group, I dropped my files‑but I

also got them laughing with me at the end of my presentation. I'll

focus on the positive outcome, not a negative incident.

If you can't help but think negatively, try this. Visualize failure

and then raving success. Which is more fun? A technique I've used to

calm my jitters is to put things into perspective. I "catastrophize"

and ask myself, "What's the worst possible thing that can happen?" In

the big scheme of things, the worst possible thing to happen during my

presentation probably isn't that terrible anyway. It is only a blip on

the radar scope of eternity. Think positively!

The Mind‑Body Connection

Self‑talk works for you (or against you) because of what nervousness

really is. What we call nervousness is really our body's natural

response to stressful situations. Scientists believe that these

feelings date back to our pre‑historic ancestors, who were

instinctively programmed for "fight or flight" when faced with stress

in the wild‑maybe in the form of a saber‑toothed tiger or a big brown

bear. Today, when we're faced with the unknown‑such as speaking in

front of a group of people we don't know‑that old mechanism kicks in

and our body gets prepared for fight or flight. Modern civilized life

doesn't leave us much room for fighting. As a result, we have nowhere

to turn to relieve this stress. Our ancestors could burn away this

stress by defending themselves or hightailing it out of there. But we

have to bottle it up and stand there. That internalized energy causes

all those unpleasant physical sensations we call nerves, platform

jitters, the shakes, and so on.


Step 4. Learn to Work with Your Body's Physical Reaction

Positive thinking won't make the symptoms of nervousness disappear

altogether, though it will greatly reduce your body's tendency to get

nervous. And sometimes, as I mentioned above, your body can be

treacherous. Even though you know better, even though you think

positively, your body insists on going through the motions of feeling

nervous. Unfortunately, the appearance of nervousness is often more

than enough to cause the reality of nervousness. Fortunately, once you

know a handful of "secret" techniques, dealing with nervousness is far

easier than you might imagine. The key to gaining control of your

body's reaction to the fight‑or‑flight instinct is to understand that

the symptoms of nervousness come from the tension of not being able to

burn off the fight‑or‑flight adrenaline. Burn off the excess energy,

relax, and you reduce the nerves.


Physical stress reducers:
Deep breathing

Isometric exercises

Vigorous exercises

Relaxation techniques

Yawning

Talking to yourself

Moving and gesturing

Pausing


Deep breathing helps control stress by returning our breathing to its

natural, pre‑stress patterns. Try taking a few deep breaths then

attempt to breathe normally over a period of a few minutes. Isometric

exercises are stationary exercises in which one group of muscles works

against another. Try pressing your fingertips gently together, then

press harder and hold for a few seconds. You can even do these as you

begin speaking‑no one will know that you're burning bottled stress and

reducing nervousness. Vigorous exercises such as jogging, walking, or

swimming help keep stress low. A night or two before your

presentation, take time out to go for a walk. If you're still nervous

just before your presentation, find a storage room or empty rest room

and do a few vigorous jumping jacks. Don't drench yourself in sweat,

just do enough to get the blood flowing. It's a great stress reducer.
Relaxation techniques: Relax by focusing on tense muscle groups. First

relax your scalp, then your eyebrows and ears, then your tongue and

jaw, then shoulders and on down to your feet. Repeat as necessary or

try stretching in combination with this technique. Yawning is the



natural way to relax. Try yawning widely a few times. It's the body's

natural way of relaxing itself. It also stretches the muscles of your

neck and throat to make for more natural speaking. Talking to

yourself: This is different from self‑talking. Here I mean literally

talk to yourself to warm up your voice. One trick: practice saying

"Good morning!" over and over as you're on your way to a presentation.

People may look at you as if you're nuts, but it's a small price to

pay to reduce nerves and get yourself prepared for a great

presentation!
Moving and gesturing: As you begin to speak, move, gesture, and burn

some nervous energy. It catches your audience's attention when you're

animated.
Pausing: Once you begin speaking, nerves can make you speak quickly,

alerting everyone to your nervous state. Control it by learning to

pause. Proper pausing conveys relaxation and confidence. An audience

will sit up and listen when you pause. Surprisingly a pause of two,

three, or even more seconds not only catches the attention of the

audience, it lets them know you're in command. Learn to use the power

of silence! Practice one or more of these techniques regularly and

learn how to tailor them to your own particular patterns of

nervousness. Combined with positive self‑talk they represent a

powerful combination for combating nervousness.


Step 5: Bonding with the Audience

Don't be too concerned if you still have a touch of nervous energy

left as you approach the front of the room. It's useful energy at this

point‑in fact, it's something you can use to build excitement, project

enthusiasm, and create a bond with the audience. Building an early

rapport helps boost
your confidence and increases the audience's natural urge to want you

to succeed. Bonding with your audience begins long before you start to

speak.
Arrive early‑before any audience members do. This sends the message

that you care enough to get things ready in advance.

Meet and greet the audience yourself‑I never cease to be amazed at

presenters who stand off in one corner or officiously read notes while

their audience files in. Get on your feet and greet! This gives you a


great opportunity to build rapport by meeting audience members as

individuals.

Always ask for their names, shake their hands, and make solid eye

contact. When there's time, finding out how far they drove to get to

the presentation, where they work, and other personal information

provides you with important material and begins the process of

developing audience advocates.
Start off by grabbing your audience's attention‑(See chapter 4, "The

First Three Minutes," for details.) Get your audience involved

immediately! This will make them buy‑in to what you say for the rest

of your presentation.

Let your audience know what's in it for them‑Begin with a statement

that reduces their nervousness. (Yes, your audience is nervous, like

you‑everyone is!) Let them know they aren't wasting their time.

Make eye contact‑Search out a few friendly faces‑those folks who are

smiling, nodding at what you say, laughing at your jokes. Look them in

the eye and draw power from them. A good place to start are those few

brave souls who sat in the front seats.

Show genuine enthusiasm‑Let them know you're happy to be there, and

they will be too. This will reduce your nervousness and make you

comfortable. You probably didn't know all or even most of this

information beforehand. Chances are no one told you that learning

these things can make a friend of your audience. Getting that

information beforehand greatly increases your success rate and

confidence, thereby reducing or even eliminating your nervousness. You

might have heard how important it is to "build a rapport" with your

audience‑that is, getting them to know and like you. But has anyone

ever told you that building a rapport with your audience begins BEFORE

you ever see them? The research you do even just a day or two before

you meet your audience can make a big difference. They will begin to

know and like you at the beginning of the talk if you have begun to

know (and like) them BEFORE the talk.
One More Note on Nerves

Nervousness doesn't have to be your enemy. It's a natural and healthy

sign. The day I stop feeling nervous is the day I know I'm no longer

an effective presenter. The trick to nerves is making them work for

you and not against you. Always strive to appear poised. It's one of

the few miracles of the real world. The more you practice not looking

nervous, the more you become less nervous. And finally, never

apologize to your audience for feeling nervous. Your audience has no

idea you're feeling the jitters. Only you can let them know, so don't!


Very Important Points to Remember

Everyone gets nervous‑it's a natural physical reaction that can be

controlled, both mentally and physically.

Your audience really wants you to win.

Being completely prepared is the key to reducing nervousness.

Use positive self‑talk to reduce your mental stress.

Use appropriate stress and tension reduction exercises to lessen your

physical stress.

Convert nervousness to enthusiasm by bonding with your audience. Get

them immediately involved.

Practice feeling confident and you will be confident. Never let 'em

see you sweat!

http://www.joshhunt.com/nervous.html


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Preaching - Good Questions - 4/2001.101

Sunday School Bible Study Sunday School Bible Study Sunday School

Bible Study Sunday School Bible Study Sunday School Bible Study Sunday

School Bible Study


Philosophy Behind Good Question Sunday School Lessons

by Josh Hunt


My most life changing experiences have been engaging conversations.
When I look back over the topography of my life, many of the peaks

have been spiritually and intellectually stimulating moments of

dialogue.
The purpose of Good Question is to create these moments in the

classroom each week. My goal is to help you create moments for your

students. Moments that come and go but leave footprints. Footprints

that forever mark the learner. Moments about which students will later

say, "I remember one time we were talking in Sunday School and. . ."

The learner is forever touched by that moment. Moments like that last

forever‑‑moments where the Spirit of God is forever present. It is in

these moments that disciples are made.




The goal of Christian teaching is to make disciples‑‑men and women,

boys and girls who love God with all their heart, soul, mind and

strength. People who are putting relationships together. People of

faith and prayer. People of character. People of passion for God.

People who "know, love and follow Christ."(1)
The test of the teacher is the life of the student. Paul told the

Corinthians that they were, "a letter from Christ, the result of our

ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,

not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." (II

Corinthians 3:3) The test is not the preparation or the level of

knowledge of the teacher or even the quality of the lesson. The test

is the life. The bottom line is not creating great lessons; it is

creating great lives.


As you teach these lessons keep this focus in mind. Your goal is not

to cover the material or to ask every question. Resist the compulsion

to ask every question. This is a cafeteria style approach. Choose what

works for you. Choose those questions that will help you create

disciples in your group. Let the conversation flow freely. It is in

these moments disciples are made. Avoid allowing the conversation to

drift aimlessly. It is your responsibility to guide the conversation

according to the teaching aim for the day and the needs of the

students. The greater priority, of course, is the needs of the

students.


Do not try to teach too much. We often teach so little because we try

to teach so much. One simple truth, pounded deeply into the hearts and

minds of the students, is a formidable task and a worthy

accomplishment. You will notice that in this book, every question that

could be asked is not asked. Every verse is not studied. Another 4,000

good questions could be written. I have isolated one or two main

themes per chapter and centered the questions around these.

Preparation


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


The best lessons are prepared like good chili: slow cooked over a long

period of time. My great fear in preparing this volume is that lesson



preparation may become so easy that teachers fail to prepare

themselves. If you think you have in this volume a ready made lesson,

you will be disappointed. Lessons cannot make disciples; people do.

You can take one of these lessons and walk into class with virtually

no preparation whatsoever and present a reasonably good lesson.

However in doing so, you will not make disciples. You will only

present good lessons. There is a difference.
I invite you to begin reading both the text and the questions early in

the week. Read them slowly. Let the stories fill your imagination.

Feel what the original writer felt. Live with the text. Bombard the

text with questions of your own‑‑thousands of questions. Thinking

teachers create thinking disciples. The role of the teacher is not to

present all the answers. It is to engage the mind of the student. Do

not be too quick to give answers. Let the students struggle. Do not

let them drown; do let them imagine they might. This is the stuff of

discipleship.
Pay special attention to the "Jump Ball Question." This is the heart

of the lesson. Let me explain. There is more than one way of looking

at most everything in Christianity. The jump ball question could be

answered legitimately in more ways than one. The tension that exists

when differing opinions occur is what creates stimulating dialogue. As

these opinions are expressed, a conversation will develop among the

people in the group. Contrast this group interaction with a simple

dialogue between the teacher and individual members. If you, the

teacher, do not understand the tension in the jump ball question, a

simple answer may be assumed and the whole lesson will go flat.


Here is an example of a jump ball question:
Is Christianity easy or hard?
A well‑educated disciple will see that, on one hand, Christianity is

easy and, on the other hand, Christianity is hard. Jesus said, "For my

yoke is easy and my burden is light." ( - Matthew

11:30 - Matthew 11:30}). "Then he said to them, 'If anyone would come

after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow

me.'" ( - Luke 9:23 - Luke 9:23}) In a way Christianity is

easy, and in a way Christianity is hard. Of course, it would be easy

enough for a teacher to simply tell this to a group. However, I have

experienced that it is far better to lead a group discover this on

their own‑‑in the context of mind‑bending discussion. Discovered truth



is remembered truth.
Many times, the group will all jump to one side of the jump ball

issue. In this case, the teacher needs to jump on the other side‑‑but

not too strongly, lest he persuade the whole group too quickly. The

goal is to create an engaging conversation, not to mindlessly

persuade.
For example, if you were to ask the question, "Is Christianity easy or

hard?" you might get the simple answer, "It is hard." To which I would

immediately respond, "Then why did Jesus say, 'My yoke is easy and my

burden is light.?'" Immediately the mind switches on: "How can that

be? It always seems hard to me. What is it that I don't understand?

What is it that is missing?" Sit back and watch as the piranhas go

after the meat. This is the climate in which disciples are made. Let

the group grapple with the jump ball question.


You might ask the question, "Is Christianity easy or hard?" and hear

the answer, "Easy." In this case, push the jump ball back to the

center by asking, "Why did Jesus say, 'Children, how hard it is to

enter the kingdom of God!'?" ( - Mark 10:24 - Mark 10:24}).

After the group has wrestled with the issue, summarize by saying

something like, "In a way Christianity is easy and in a way it is

difficult. If Christianity is a day‑to‑day struggle, you are probably

losing. There is a certain grace and flow to living the Christian life

that is easy. When you are walking in the spirit, the fruit of the

spirit naturally flows out. On the other hand, if discipleship is not

the most demanding thing you have ever encountered, there is a good

chance you have missed it. . ."


As you prepare, make sure you understand the tension built into the

jump ball question so that you can direct the question into an

engaging conversation and summarize the truth on both sides.

Types of questions


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


Several types of questions are employed. Each has a specific purpose:


Life exposure question. These are somewhat bizarre, off‑the‑wall,

ice‑breaker questions. Their purpose is to get the group talking and

to build fellowship. They are loosely related to the text. Don't spend

too much time on these, but you will find them helpful in getting the

group going.
"What does the text say" question. You have to know what the text says

before you can know what it means and know how to apply it to your

life. Do not assume that the group knows what the Bible says. Get the

truth in front of them. This should not take long, but is an important

foundation for the rest of the discussion. Often, very simple question

can be used to draw out quiet members of the group. You might ask,

"Silent Sally, how did God demonstrate his love for us according to

- Romans 5:8 - Romans 5:8}." This simple question will build

Sally's confidence and make it easier for her to answer more difficult

questions. One other hint: make sure Silent Sally can answer the

question. Otherwise, the last state will be worse than the first.

These simple questions should not take a lot of time. They quickly set

the stage for what is to follow.
WHAT DOES THE TEXT MEAN? QUESTION These are the bread and butter

questions. Examples include:


What does the word redemption mean?
What does it mean to be a fisher of men?
HOW DID THEY FEEL? QUESTION These questions help the group to get into

the passage in a personal way. An example is, "How do you think the

prodigal son's father felt when he first saw his son?"
REAL LIFE QUESTION Instead of talking about the text, these questions

expose life. Suppose you are doing a study on I Peter 5:7 "Cast all

your anxiety on him because he cares for you." You might ask, "Can you

tell the group about a time when you were able to cast all your cares

upon God? What happened?"
JUMP BALL QUESTION This is the heart of the lesson. Pay special

attention to the tension in the question. There is more than one way

of looking at things. See discussion above.
APPLICATION QUESTION The key to life change is application. The keys

to good application are:



Simplicity. The more simple the application, the greater the chance

they will do something about it. Don't ask them to memorize 50 verses.

Ask for one.
Specific. Don't ask how they will do better in general. Ask for one

specific act.


Time. Ask what they will do this week, today, now. Applications

without a deadline are only good ideas.


ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTION These can only be used in a limited way in

open groups. (Open groups are groups like Sunday School classes where

people can enter at any time.) Keep the accountability of short time

duration. Ask how they applied last week's lesson; don't ask them how

they are doing on the six month plan the group is following.

The Big Idea


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


Each chapter centers around one or two big ideas. This volume makes no

attempt to cover every idea in every chapter. On the contrary, I have

selected one or two themes from each chapter and built the lesson

around these. Often, we teach so little because we try to teach too

much. If you are looking for questions related to a particular verse,

you may be disappointed as I may have skipped over that verse

altogether. Space limitations simply would not allow this to be an

exhaustive treatment of every verse in the New Testament.


Closing Challenge


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


I love small groups. I love the laughter. I love the friendship. I

love the unpredictable, off‑the‑wall comments that people make; that

is part of learning. I love the mind‑boggling confusion that sometimes

arises from a good jump‑ball question. I love the clarity of truth



that often results. I love the smiles. I love the tears. I love the

reality. I love the life change. Most of all, I love to see lives

change.
This web page is dedicated to you, the small group leader who will

change lives through your small group. My life is richer because of

people like you. My prayer is that your teaching will be richer for

the use of this volume.


1. Schultz, Thom and Joani, Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at

Church: and How to Fix It.


http://www.joshhunt.com/teaching.html
++++++
Good Question!

Why Asking Questions is the Best Way to Teach

by Josh Hunt
May I confess my sin to you? I am far more interested in what I have

to say than what you have to say. I think this is true of most people.

We are all interested in ourselves and what we have to say, but we

wonder if anyone else is interested in us and our ideas. We wonder if

anyone cares. This is one reason why asking questions is one of the

best ways to teach.


It is difficult not to pay attention when you are talking. It is easy

to dose off when someone else is talking‑‑ even if that person is

pretty interesting. This is another reason why asking questions is the

best way to teach adults. If you would become a half‑way decent

teacher, make lavish use of questions as a teaching method.
I believe in questions so much that I write 25‑ 30 questions for my

teachers each week. These are now available on my home page on the

World Wide Web. One of my life goals is to have the questions written

on the whole Bible. Using questions accomplish at least three things.


1. Questions involve the group.

Where there is no involvement, there is no disciple making. Where

there is no involvement, there is no change. Where there is no



involvement, there is no education.
Let me be clear, you can involve the group without asking questions.

You can involve people in lecture and story telling and various other

methods. They might listen. But they are nearly guaranteed to listen

to themselves. It is hard to daydream when you are talking. So why

take a chance? If people are listening and not talking, they may or

may not be involved. If they are talking, it is not likely that they

are secretly dozing off. This is why it is a worthy goal to allow each

one in your group say something of significance to them every week.


2. Questions build relationships

Small groups have several purposes. One purpose is to make people

smarter. People who attend over several years should learn something

about the Bible. There is no virtue in ignorance. My personal goal is

that anyone who sits under my teaching for two years or more would be

able to tell the story of the Bible in a five minute overview. I try

to teach content.


A second purpose has to do with ethics. People should be challenged to

live better lives. They should be challenged to pursue love, faith,

and holiness. This is a second important purpose of groups.
Another equally important purpose is that they should be building

relationships. This is the formation of a little platoon. We should

form relationships in class that continue all through the week.
If the only purposes were to become smarter and live better, we could

get video tapes that would do a far better job of lecturing than you

or I could do. We cannot compete with the people who are available on

video tape today. But video tapes do not form relationships. In

addition, the discussion provided by good questions not only let you

know the group better, they let the group know the group better. This

is hard to take, but the truth is that most adults do not attend

Sunday school because they have a burning desire to know more.(1) They

would like to learn; they also want to meet some friends. We live on a

lonely planet.


And what better place to meet friends than in a small group? Where

would you have them go to meet friends, if not at church?




Groups that double every two years or less tend to be relationally

tight. One of the best ways to build relationships is to ask lots of

questions.

3. Questions help you to discover what they still need to learn

We don't normally give tests in our groups. But we still need to know

what the people know and don't know. If you are presenting half‑way

decent lessons, your people already know quite a bit. But you won't

know what they know without asking questions. Asking questions allows

you to discover the level of knowledge and maturity of the group.
I follow several principles that relate to this: "never attend a

conference you could have taught," and "never read a book you could

have written." In the same way, don't make your people attend a class

they could have taught. If you want to double your class every two

years or less, you won't do it by going over the same old pool of

knowledge. By asking lots of questions, and carefully listening to

people's answers, you will soon learn what areas need further

emphasis.


One of the best ways to become a halfway decent teacher is to ask lots

of questions.

1. Dick Murray, Strengthening the Adult Sunday school Class, p. 26,

Creative Leadership Series, Lyle Schaller, Editor, Abingdon.


http://www.joshhunt.com/goodart.html
+++++

Preaching and the retelling of stories

"The stories we hear, the stories we tell" by Richard Frazier.

Quarterly Review, Fall 1999 (Vol 19, No 3). Pages 184‑197. Topic:

storytelling. See also Oct99‑6a. Topic: STORYTELLING

Most preachers use stories in their sermons. They appear as anecdotes,

attention‑getters, or illustrations. They are hung on the sermonic

tree like Christmas lights offering something beautiful to look at,



but not necessarily providing much light.

Too many stories are sentimental, shallow, moralizing and

unsatisfying. Good stories, on the other hand, raise questions,

address the complexities of life, invite exploration, and offer

surprise. Robert Coles says that the great storytellers use stories to

hold up a mirror to reveal hypocrisy and the shallowness of society.

They also depict real people struggling with their own conflicts.

Sometimes these stories are open‑ended, refusing to offer an easy

answer. Frequently they address the main themes of the sermon. They

may do so using a variety of literary forms, including metaphor,

aphorisms and proverbs, parables, parallelism, and dialectic.

The parable is one of the most popular forms of storytelling,

perhaps because Jesus used it so frequently. A parable, called by some

an extended metaphor, is invitational and subversive. That is, it is a

story that invites the listener to participate, that engages the

listener with his or her own experience, an experience of a world that

is familiar. But it is subversive in that the story then shifts to a

different world which functions with an alien set of principles. In

parables, things are not always as the appear.

The preacher can improve his preaching by sharpening his ability

to see a parable as it occurs in literature, film, or even the

everyday happenings of life. The story doesn't need to have a strand

of piety to it; it is better if it doesn't.

We are taught to preach in a way that people have something

concrete to take home with them. It would be better if we preached in

a way that people had something abstract to take home with them. You

can't do much with the concrete, but with images there is a lot of

flex room. They will continue to work in the mind and heart of the

audience long after the benediction has been pronounced.

Therefore, the preacher is well‑advised to pay attention to the

form of the story as well as its content. One might start by asking a

series of questions about the stories in the sermon: What will my

audience hear? Is the story open‑ended so that it invites discussion?

Will my audience relate to the characters or the situation? What is

the tension in this story? What are the metaphors? Does it work with

surprise or irony? In what way is it subversive? Does it leave a

visual image? Can God use this story and my telling of it?
http://www.navpress.com/ctt/view_article.asp?articleID=15180&tbvw=SEC&S

ectionID=Ministry


+++


March 2000

Article Summary

Section: Ministry

How to knock your (sermon) block off

"Breaking through sermon block" by Merle Mees. Proclaim!, Wint 2000.

Page 20. Topic: sermon preparation. See also Feb00‑15b, Feb00‑15a.

Topic: SERMON PREPARATION

It's a preacher's worst nightmare: Sunday's coming, and you don't have

a clue for a sermon. It's a common problem for creative people, and

pastors are no exception. Sermon block need not be a permanent

condition, however. Here are some techniques which might help you get

off your block.

$ Go somewhere else. If you can't think in your office, then grab

your laptop, and go to a local restaurant or the library. Often just a

change of scenery will get your juices going.

$ Change your approach. As a preacher, you're a creature of habit.

You have a typical method of sermon preparation that usually works for

you. When it isn't working, however, change the routine. Don't start

with the text; start with context. Do some general reading. Something

will come to mind.

$ Adjust the schedule. If you have set aside the morning for

writing and study but nothing is happening, give it up. Make phone

calls, and clear out other responsibilities you were going to do

later. Then come back to it.

$ Get in the mood. Put on a favorite CD, or spend sometime in the

chapel in prayer. Take a walk. Putting on a mood change will help you

get into the Spirit.

Sermon block can be the result of pressure. Perhaps you have too

much going on, and it's time to clear off the plate. Doing so could

sharpen your creative edge and give some space for God to break

through!
http://www.navpress.com/ctt/view_article.asp?articleID=15182&tbvw=SEC&S

ectionID=Ministry


<><
Why Nobody Learns Much - 4/2001.101


Why Nobody Learns Much 1
Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything At Church: and How to Fix It

Chapter 5: MAKE PEOPLE THINK

by Thom and Joani Schultz

Home Page Articles Email Resume Support


Note: the full copy of this excellent book is published by Group

Publishers and is available at your bookstore. One online source is

www.amazon.com

Today's students have been trained not to think. They aren't dumber

than previous generations. We've simply conditioned them not to use

their heads.


You may have heard this old Sunday school story:
TEACHER: All right, boys and girls, what's fuzzy, has a bushy tail and

gathers nuts in the fall?


JOHNNY: Sure sounds like a squirrel to me but I know the answer must

be Jesus.


You see, we've trained Johnny and his classmates to respond with the

simplistic answers they think the teacher wants to hear.

Fill‑in‑the‑blank student workbooks and teachers who ask dead‑end

questions such as "What's the capitol of Delaware?" have produced

kids‑and adults‑who've learned not to think. We've programmed kids to

look for snappy black‑and‑white answers that teachers want.


Researchers recently probed a group of second‑graders in Birmingham,

Alabama. These kids had just scored well above average on a statewide

standardized math test. Now the researchers gave them this problem:

There are 26 sheep and 10 goats on a ship. How old is the captain?


Ninety percent of the children gave the same answer: 36.1
We've withered kids' thinking and doused their common sense. What's

more, we've chilled their creativity. They're programmed to repeat

what the workbook or teacher has prescribed. There's no room in this

system to think "out of the box." Just say what the teacher wants to

hear and forget about it.
Look at this typical problem from a child's reader:


The tightrope walker _________________ on the tightrope.
a. balanced
b. baked
c. bubbled
d. barked
Students who check b, c or d fail the question. But why should they

fail? Think about those responses in b, c and d. They conjure up far

more creative thoughts than the response the teacher wanted. But no.

The student is reprimanded for thinking, for being creative.


THE LAND OF THE R‑BBIT

Our children are schooled very early not to think. Teachers attempt to

help kids read with nonsensical fill‑in‑the‑blank drills, word

scrambles and missing‑letter puzzles. Educator Frank Smith calls these

exercises "r‑bbits." He coined the term (pronounced "are‑bit") after

attending the International Reading Association convention. A computer

program was displayed that "helps kids read." The computer asked: "Can

you fill in the missing letter in r‑bbit?"
Smith says, "The r‑bbit teaches children nothing about the way people

employ spoken or written language. Filling in blanks is not the way

anyone uses language, spoken or written. No one ever says to a child,

'Put on your _________ and we'll go to the game as soon as you guess

the missing word.' The r‑bbit is irrelevant and misleading."2
Sadly, the Christian world has followed secular education into this

folly. Most Christian curricula consist of wall‑to‑wall r‑bbits. Look

at some actual examples from well‑known denominational and independent

Christian publishers:

Write these words in the correct spaces:
forgive confess sins



If we ___________ our __________ to God, God will ___________ us our

sins. - 1 John 1:9 - 1 John 1:9


* * * * *

Read the Bible verses and unscramble the words to answer the questions

about trusting God:
- Isaiah 40:28‑29 - Isaiah 40:28‑29}: What will God give those

who are weak and tired?


W E R P O _______________ and G S T T H E R N _______________


* * * * *


Remove the Ds, Ps and Ks:
K P C H R I S T I A N S D B E G A N P D T O K M E E T K
I N D T H E P C A T A C O M B S D P K K P K D D P K K P D P K
The writers of this material obscure God's word; they intentionally

hide the truth. This is what consumes our children's time in church.

And we wonder why they don't understand even the most basic tenets of

our faith?


Puzzles, scrambles, fill‑in‑the‑blanks and encoded messages do not

promote thinking. They confuse and consternate. Through this type of

meaningless busywork our students will not grow closer to God. They

may, however, grow closer to winning a spot on "Wheel of Fortune."




THE THINKING CHURCH

Some church leaders aren't altogether sure they want their people to

think. They figure they've already done the thinking for their people.

All their followers need to do is obey them. Without question.


But research shows that churches that encourage thinking produce more

Christians with mature faith. However those churches are in the

minority. Only 46 percent of church‑going adults say their church

challenges their thinking. Only 42 percent of teenagers say their

thinking is challenged in church. 3 And only 35 percent of fifth‑ and

sixth‑graders say their church classes make them think.4


Learning is a consequence of thinking. If our people aren't thinking,

they're not growing in their faith. Christian educator Howard

Hendricks says the average church attendee" is not excited by the

truth‑he's embalmed by it. The educational program in the churches is

often an insult to people's intelligence. We're giving them wilted cut

flowers instead of teaching them how to grow by means of God's word,

which is alive!"5


PEOPLE WANT ANSWERS

"Today's people want answers. And here at First Church, we give them

the answers."


Some churches advertise this almost boastful, arrogant attitude. The

message seems to be: "Ours is a black‑and‑white world. Come to our

church with your questions, and we'll quickly dispense all the right

answers and send you on your way."


Well, people today are seeking answers. But most aren't looking for

quick and easy answers dispensed to them by authority figures. They

want to find answers. They're weary of "just do it because I said so."
Search Institute's Christian education study found that young people

said "teaching how to make moral decisions" is a chief responsibility

of the church. Notice they did not ask for a list of the right

decisions. They want us to teach them the skills to make their own

good Christian decisions.


Our people don't need to be told what to think. But they desperately

need to learn how to think in a Christian context.


Telling people what to think programs them to be susceptible to

unhealthy influences around them. The church often warns teenagers of

the dangers of peer pressure. But what is peer pressure? It's the act

of basing one's behavior on the influence of outside voices. It's the

preclusion of thinking for one's self. The more we tell people what to

think, the less they rely on their own thinking processes. The most

authoritarian churches, the most authoritarian parents, produce the

most peer‑pressure prone people.


We help our people grow not by giving them all the answers, but by

helping them learn to think on their own. When they learn the process

of finding God's direction in their lives, their learning becomes

portable. They're able to learn and grow even when we teachers aren't

around.
In Japan, where education has been shown to be more effective,

students learn to think. As early as the first grade, Japanese

students are given up to a week to solve arithmetic problems. They're

encouraged to work together and critique each other's approaches.

Teachers deliberately avoid supplying the answers. The kids learn. And

they learn to think.


"Too much 'teacher talk' gets in the way
of higher‑level reasoning
because it prevents children from doing their own thinking."
Jane Healy, Endangered Minds 6

JESUS THE ASKER

Jesus, the master teacher, displayed a determination to make his

learners think for themselves. Even to this day followers contemplate

and ponder Jesus' teachings. That's exactly how he planned it.
Jesus often refused to give a direct answer to a direct question. A

lawyer once asked him, "Who is my neighbor?" Instead of supplying a

direct answer, Jesus launched into a story about a Samaritan


( - Luke 10:29‑37 - Luke 10:29‑37}).
He used parables to make people think. And only rarely did he tell his

listeners the meaning of his stories. He wanted them to think. And

even today the mental wrestling we do helps us wring rich messages

from Jesus' parables. And we grow more because we're engaged in the

thinking process.
Many contemporary preachers also use parables. They call them sermon

illustrations. But few preachers exhibit the faith in their listeners

that Jesus did. Instead of telling their stories and sitting down,

they usually go on to explain their stories. Their conviction of their

flock's inability to think is a self‑fulfilling prophecy. So long as

Rev. Smith always explains his illustrations, no need to think. Might

as well click off the old brain.
Jesus, on the other hand, believed in his listeners' ability to think,

and he trusted the Holy Spirit to nudge their thinking. Jesus knew

that once you plant a seed, you can trust God and the soil to do the

rest.
"I planted the seed,


and Apollos watered it.
But God is the One who made it grow."
- 1 Corinthians 3:6 - 1 Corinthians 3:6

Jesus also demonstrated his commitment to thinking by the number of

questions he asked. We went through the gospels and highlighted every

question Jesus asked. Those books are now a patchwork of yellow

highlighter markings. Scores and scores of questions.
Often when people approached Jesus with a question he responded with a

query of his own. One day in the temple, the priests and elders asked

Jesus, "What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you

this authority?"


Jesus said, "I also will ask you a question. If you answer me, then I

will tell you what authority I have to do these things. Tell me: When



John baptized people, did that come from God or just from other

people?" ( - Matthew 21:23‑25 - Matthew 21:23‑25}). Those men

were forced to think.
You see, Jesus didn't come to settle minds, but to jolt them. He

didn't come to make us more comfortable, but to stir our thoughts, to

help us learn, to make us think.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

So, we observe that Jesus was an asker. Step into any secular or

church class and you'll find the teacher asking questions there too.

What's the difference? There's a big difference.
Most teachers ask the wrong questions. We visited a typical first

grade Sunday school class and observed the teacher question her kids

about Jesus' birth. She spent a significant portion of class time on

this question: "Where was Jesus born?" Some of the kids eagerly thrust

up their hands. "In heaven," said one. "In a hospital," said another.

A little girl said, "On the earth."


The teacher said, "Yes, but where on the earth?"
"In Jerusalem?" inquired one child.
"No," said the teacher." It was in Bethlehem. But where in Bethlehem?"
The questioning continued like this for several more minutes. The

teacher had in mind a specific answer she wanted. The kids grew weary

of her grilling and lost confidence in their ability to read the

teacher's mind.


Finally, with a bit of desperation, the teacher tried to break the

stalemate with a clue: "Jesus was born in a m‑m‑m‑m‑m‑mmmmmm." The

kids still didn't get it. The other teacher in the room finally jumped

in and said, "He was born in a manger. As usual we're running out of

time."
That's the kind of questioning that wastes time and chills thinking.

Most of the class sits with dulled minds while one or two students try

to reward the teacher with a factoid. That style of asking dominates

the time in our churches and schools. One study found that fewer than



one percent of teachers' questions illicit more than a factual answer

or routine procedure.7


Asking students to recite facts from the Bible or elsewhere exercises

just their memory, not their understanding. Even the scribes and the

Pharisees knew the facts.
Instead of looking for a response such as m‑m‑m‑m‑m‑manger, why not

try a thinking question? "Jesus was born in the cold where the animals

were kept. What do you suppose that was like for him and his mother?"

Each individual in the class can answer that question. Each is

required to think, to contemplate the humble way in which Jesus came

to Earth.


Do you see the difference in goals between the two questions about

Jesus' birth? The m‑m‑m‑m‑m‑manger question sought a single student

who might know that one‑word answer, like in a TV game show. The "what

do you suppose" question sought to make each child think, to imagine,

to identify with Jesus.
Jesus didn't question his listeners in order to warehouse facts. He

questioned them to make them think. Look at a few of his examples from

the book of Matthew:
And why do you worry about clothes? ( 6:28)

Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend's eye, but

you don't notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? (7:3)

Which is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven, or to tell him,

"Stand up and walk"? (9:5)

Why did you doubt? (14:31)

What do you think about the Christ? (22:42)

Christian educator and author Dorothy Jean Furnish said, "Avoid

questions that require predetermined answers. This practice results

eventually in hypocrisy on the part of children because they tell us

what they think we want to hear."8
http://www.joshhunt.com/whynob.html
See #2
Why Nobody Learns Much 2
ENCOURAGING THINKING


Helping our people think requires a paradigm shift in how we teach. We

need to plan for higher‑order thinking, set aside time for it and be

willing to reduce our time spent on lower‑order parroting, r‑bbits and

the like.


Thinking classrooms look quite different from traditional classrooms.

In most of our church non‑thinking environments, the teacher does most

of the talking in hopes that knowledge will somehow transmit from his

or her brain to the students. In thinking settings, the teacher

coaches students to ponder, wonder, imagine and problem‑solve.
Let's examine five strategies you can implement right away that will

encourage thinking in your church.

1. Ask open‑ended questions

"Where was Jesus born?" is a closed‑ended question. This type of

question is associated with lower‑order thinking‑memory and recall of

facts. There's typically only one right answer to a closed‑ended

question. A student either knows the answer or not. And if he or she

answers, the rest of the class will be uninvolved.


Open‑ended questions require more than simplistic answers. They

require students to think. And all students can be involved in the

process. Thought‑provoking open‑ended questions invite all to think,

to listen to others' responses, and to contribute their own ideas.

Open‑ended questions cause people to use the content they've learned.
Some examples of open‑ended questions:
Why did you think God allowed Jesus, his only son, to be born in a

stable?


If Jesus were born today, what kind of place would God choose for

Jesus' birth?

If today, an unwed teenage girl gave birth to a boy in an alley, what

would it take for you or anybody to believe he was the Messiah, the

Son of God?

2. Ask follow‑up questions

Today's learners are conditioned to give pat answers‑without thinking.

But as teacher‑coaches we don't have to settle for snap, no‑brain

responses. We can encourage thinking by asking follow‑up questions.


Some examples:
What do you mean by . . . ?

What reasons do you have?

How did you decide . . . ?

Tell me more.

Now, guess what you're likely to hear from time to time? "I don't

know." This terribly common response is the battle cry of a generation

that's been taught not to think. But, again, we don't have to settle

for it. We can ask an extension question to "I don't know." Some

samples from the book Creating the Thoughtful Classroom:
Ask me a question that will help you understand.

If you did know, what would you say?

Pretend you do know‑make something up. 9

3. Wait for students' answers

Today's teachers dread silence after they've asked a question. In

fact, the average teacher waits only about one second before

panicking. Then the teacher typically gives away an answer, rephrases

the question or scolds the students.


But thinking takes time. If we ask a good question we need to allow

the time necessary for thinking to germinate. The minimum is five to

10 seconds.
We can make think time work by following some simple guidelines:
Tell your class or group what think time is, and why you use it. It's

no deep, dark teacher secret. You and your students will be more

comfortable with silence if everyone knows its purpose.
Sometimes ask students to write their responses first. Then ask them

to share. This encourages everyone's participation‑and soaks up the

silence with active thinking.
Wait until most students have thought of a response before listening

to anyone. Always calling on Howie Handraiser shuts down thinking

among the rest of the group. Use think time to allow everyone to

devise a response.





4. Don't evaluate students' discussion responses

This is the toughest guideline for us church folks. We naturally want

to affirm everyone. And we do that habitually in teaching situations.

We love to say, "Good answer!" "Right!" and "Great!"


But think about it. What do those responses do to the rest of the

class or group? They telegraph that the right answer has already been

given‑time to shut down the brain. Smarty Pants has already done the

thinking and won the teacher's approval.


The authors of Creating the Thoughtful Classroom write: "Art Costa is

a strong proponent of teaching without opinions, and he once

demonstrated how the power of opinions can shut down thinking. He

began a mock discussion and solicited ideas from his adult audience.

Several responses later, he said 'good!' to an idea put forth. Within

an instant, I could watch myself mentally shut down. I knew the person

was 'right' and had given the answer he was looking for, and I didn't

need to think any longer. Your students will do the same thing (and do

already, all the time) if you selectively comment on students

responses."10


We must recognize that teacher reinforcement is powerful. We must use

it wisely.


So how can we respond? We can use non‑judgmental responses such as

"okay," "thank you" and "uh‑huh." These responses acknowledge that

students have been heard, without passing judgment, and without

chilling thinking among the other students.


We can also reserve our opinion until the end of the discussion. After

everyone has shared‑and engaged their brains‑we can help illuminate

the subject with our thoughts or with an insight from God's Word. In

this way students aren't encouraged to let the teacher do all the

thinking.
But what if a student makes a theologically or morally absurd

statement? How do we handle that non‑judgmentally? At this point we

can jump in with follow‑up questions that may help the student and the

class see the absurdity. We can also ask others to give their opinion.

These techniques can help students discover the truth and flex their

brains.




5. Encourage students' questions

As we've seen, thinking percolates when teachers ask good questions.

But a sure sign that thinking goes into four‑wheel drive is when

students begin to ask the questions.


And faith grows when people feel free to ask questions about God.

Search Institute found that a church's "thinking climate" grows when

members are encouraged to ask questions. However, most churches don't

do too well in this department. Only 40 percent of adults and 45

percent of teenagers say their church encourages them to ask

questions. 11


When people become askers they become learners. They become thinkers.
We need to do a better job of inviting questions. And when those

questions come we must resist the temptation to provide instant, pat

answers. We must turn back the myth that our students will lose all

respect for us if we sometimes answer their tough questions with "I

don't know."
We must allow our people time to think, to wrestle with the issues. As

Jesus often did.


And we can create a better thinking climate by encouraging students to

ask one another questions. Let them forget we're the teachers for a

while. Let them be the askers.
Educator and author Jane Healy said, "The teacher has to be able to

stop dispensing information long enough to listen to the children,

listen and encourage the children's questions."

THINKING IS ALIEN

Implementing these thinking strategies may not go smoothly at first.

We're talking a new language here. Higher‑order thinking is a new idea

in the schools and in the church. Neither our kids nor our adults are

accustomed to really thinking in church.


All of us grew up in the Land of Word Scrambles. We've all been

trained to underuse our brains.


So we must be patient. And we can't give up after our first attempt at

cultivating thinking. Our people will at first stare at us like deer

stunned in the headlights. But they'll come around. They'll grow to

love the stimulation that thinking brings. And their faith will grow.

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled,


but a lamp to be lit."
Anonymous

The "DO IT" section that follows offers practical programming ideas to

help you share and apply these principles in your church.

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
*DO IT*

Discover ways to create a thinking atmosphere in your church. The

following ideas can spark teacher training ideas, yet they can also be

adapted to classrooms for older children, youth and adults. In fact,

taking students through some of these exercises will set the stage for

greater thinking in the future‑because they'll understand why things

are changing in the classroom. Go for it!

http://www.joshhunt.com/whynob.html

See #3
Why Nobody Learns Much 3

7 Thinking Boosters

1. Develop a cadre of great askers.

Teachers will need to shift from old ways of doing things. Delve into

the "Encouraging Thinking" section on page XX.


Plan to dissect each strategy by creating two different thinking

approaches:


The "chills and kills" approach uses closed‑ended questions, doesn't

wait for answers and discourages further questions.

The "sparks and embarks" approach uses open‑ended questions and

follow‑up questions, allows wait time, and encourages questions.

Here's how to begin.

Create five teams (a team can be one person). Assign each team one of

the five portions of the "Encouraging Thinking" section:
(1) Ask open‑ended questions.
(2) Ask follow‑up questions.
(3) Wait for students' answers.
(4) Don't evaluate students' discussion responses.
(5) Encourage students' questions.
Have teams read and discuss their section and prepare "classroom"

scenarios that will teach the group their strategy.


Assign each team a scripture to portray in their classroom scenario.

For example, use - Genesis 11:1‑9 - Genesis 11:1‑9} (tower of

Babel); - Psalm 23 - Psalms 23} (shepherd's psalm);

- Matthew 4:1‑11 - Matthew 4:1‑11 - (Jesus' temptation);

- Luke 15:1‑7 - Luke 15:1‑7} (lost sheep); - 1

Corinthians 13 - 1 Corinthians 13} (love chapter). Or assign only one

passage to all the teams and see what each comes up with to represent

their assigned strategy.


Have each team prepare two brief classroom scenarios to present to the

entire group that demonstrate the point they studied. One scenario

must represent the "chills and kills" thinking approach that shows

what not to do‑even though it may be typical or natural for most

teachers. The second scenario must show the "sparks and embarks"

thinking approach explained in their section of the chapter.


For example, the "chills and kills" scenario could show a teacher

asking the students yes‑or‑no/fill‑in‑the‑blank answers with only one

excited, very interested student raising her hand to answer.


The "sparks and embarks" scenario could show a teacher asking

open‑ended questions that kids take time to think about, then discuss

with thoughtful responses.
After each team "acts up," discuss the differences in the two

scenarios. What's scary about the "chills and kills" scenario? Jot

those fears on newsprint or a chalkboard for all to see. (Plan to use

the list later in prayer.) Then create another written column of fears

concerning the "sparks and embarks" scenario.
Analyze the fear list. Are there common threads? Who or what are

people most afraid of? How can those fears be overcome? What's the

Holy Spirit's role in the thinking process?
Conclude with a circle prayer. Have each person pray about one of the

fears on the list.


2. Create a "safe" thinking place.

Before you launch into requiring more student participation and

thought, assess the class atmosphere. For example, is there one person

who spouts theology and intimidates the less knowledgeable? Do the

junior highers hurl putdowns that insult certain class members? Are

there too many kindergartners for one teacher, so some feel trampled

and left out? All these things could contribute to people not feeling

"safe" to think.
Use the "Safe Thinking Zone Ahead?" quiz below.

Safe Thinking Zone Ahead?

Rate your learning setting by marking the appropriate box.

1. There's adequate adult supervision/leadership.


_Always
_Sometimes

_Never

2. People listen to the person speaking.


_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

3. People show respect in the way they talk to one another.


_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

4. People show respect in the way they act toward one another.


_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

5. The teacher shows respect to each person and each person's ideas.


_Always
_Sometimes
_Never



6. Expectations and rules are clear.
_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

7. Rules are few.


_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

8. People know the consequences if they violate the rules.


_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

9. The teacher models being a learner.


_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

10. Humor is used positively, never to put down a person or that

person's thoughts.


_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

11. Everything that's taught and done has a clear purpose that aligns

with your goal for learning in the church.
_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

12. Mistakes and failures are viewed as opportunities for growth and

further learning.
_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

13. People feel a sense of trustworthiness among the group to take

risks.
_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

14. People feel a sense of care and concern from others.




_Always
_Sometimes
_Never

Tally the number of boxes you checked for each:


___Always
___Sometimes
___Never

If most of your boxes said "Never," you've got a long road ahead to

change the atmosphere to a safe one. Find a support person or group of

people who'll help you make the significant changes necessary. Train

students to strive for the 14 items listed in the quiz. With God's

help and the help of others it is possible to change and bring people

on board for a new, more exciting, life‑changing approach to learning.
If most of your boxes said "Sometimes," congratulations! You've got a

good start. People in learning situations understand the tip of the

"safe" iceberg. Continue to verbalize the 14 items listed in the quiz.

This will help train others to focus on the same goal, so you can move

more toward "Always."
If most of your boxes said "Always," GREAT! You've obviously worked

hard to achieve trust and clear boundaries. Keep it up and use the 14

items listed on the quiz to help others to join in your "safety"

cause. You've mastered a safe zone for thinking!


3. Help students succeed by being very clear about your expectations.

Together create a "covenant" or agreement for your class.
One successful teacher begins every year with one rule: RESPECT.

Students explore respect and divide it into three categories: respect

for the teacher, respect for one another, and respect for the


facility. Together they decide what that means: what respect looks

like, sounds like and feels like in each category. Next they design a

colorful poster with the word "respect" on it, plus their definitions.

Once it's completed, each person signs the poster as a commitment to

respect. Since the teacher has used this activity, the classes have

run more smoothly and the atmosphere is more conducive to thinking.


Here's a list of expectations that promote thinking among students.

Talk about the list. Don't keep it a secret! Let people know how

important these elements are to the success of the class. You'll

commit to doing the best you can and expect the same in return. Help

students develop these skills:
listen to one another

participate

take time to think‑ and feel okay about that

give reasons for answers

stay on the task or topic

ask thought‑provoking questions

4. Study how Jesus asked questions.

Turn teachers into detectives. Do a Bible study that explores Jesus'

question‑asking techniques. Have teachers pair up and divide one

Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) into sections among the group. Or

if you have four groups, assign one Gospel to each group. Have them

list on paper every question Jesus asked in their portion of

scripture. Encourage teachers to analyze why the question was so

effective or powerful in each setting. What can they learn about

formulating questions after studying Jesus' questions?

5. Learn to phrase thought‑provoking questions.

In the book Endangered Minds by Jane Healy, the author speaks of

children lacking experience with "wh" questions (who, what, when,

where, why and how). "Studies demonstrate that educating teachers in

specific questioning techniques can improve their students' reading

comprehension, among many other skills, by moving their thinking up

from literal repetition of facts into the realms of comprehension,

application and inferential reasoning."12 Here are samples of some

particular types of questions:




Closed‑ended question: "What did Goldilocks do when she got to the

three bears' house?"

Comprehension question: "Why did Goldilocks like the little bear's

chair best?"

Application question: "If Goldilocks had come into your house, what

are some of the things she might have used?"

Analysis question: "How can we tell which things belong to which

bear?"


Synthesis question: "How might the story be different if Goldilocks

had visited the three astronauts?"

Evaluation question: " Do you think Goldilocks had a right to do what

she did? Why or why not?"13


Share the preceding information with teachers. Discuss each kind of

question. Have teachers each bring their curriculum teachers guide to

review. Where there are closed‑ended questions, replace them with

comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis or evaluation

questions.
For fun, star all the questions in the teachers guide that require

higher‑order thinking. Count them and see how the questions rate on

making people think. How much of it do you have to adapt?
For additional flexing, assign teachers various scripture passages and

have them devise thought‑provoking questions for them.

6. Develop a list of tips for thought‑full teachers and classrooms.

Together, brainstorm ideas that will help students and teachers create

a thinking atmosphere. Discussion‑time ideas could include:
Write questions on the board or newsprint for all to see. (Since most

people are visual learners, this helps learners focus on questions

that might otherwise be lost because they're handled only verbally.)
Explain to students up front what you're up to. (Let students know

you're trying something new and why. Let them join in making a

thinking classroom happen.)
Tell students you'll wait for answers. (Good questions mean people

will need time to formulate answers.)


Let students know you'll be giving them feedback on their answers with

words such as "thank you" and "uh‑huh." If they're used to you gushing

praise on their answers, this will help them understand you aren't

disappointed with them, you just want to make sure everyone gets a

chance to think before assuming the "right" answer has already been

given.)
Explain the use of small group interaction. (Chapter 7 will address

that more in depth.)

7. Challenge teachers to break old habits.

If teachers want to improve their ability to ask better questions,

they can:
Use an audio or video cassette to record their class. This will help

"play back" the reality of what's asked during class time. (Those

who've done this warn teachers not to be too hard on themselves. Don't

pick at each little infraction, but rather evaluate the scope of

what's asked and ways to improve.)
Invite someone they respect to be their "observer." This person can

watch and analyze classroom interactions that the teacher might

overlook. They can spend time processing the class with their

observer, celebrating their successes and growing from their

weaknesses.
Invite students to listen for closed‑ended questions and point them

out to the teacher during class. (One courageous teacher who tried

this technique gave points to students who recognized closed‑ended

questions. She discovered this not only helped her, but got students

to really listen!)
Find a support system. Get together with other teachers who are trying

on new teaching methods. It'd make a great support group at church.


Then work on improving bit by bit. Don't give up. Remember, we've gone

for years and years teaching a certain way. It's not easy to break old

patterns. And it takes time to develop new habits.
Let God's words "Well done, good and faithful servant!" ring in your

heart.




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Saintmaking 1
Saintmaking

by Josh Hunt


Have you ever seen an alcoholic trying to get off of alcohol? I have.

It is not a pretty sight. Pretty dog gone pitiful, really.


"Johnny, please, please, please, just one little drink. Please. If you

love me, Johnny. I am dying. You don't know what this feels like. I

just need one little drink. Just one. I won't ask for anymore. Please,

Johnny please. I know it is bad. I know it is awful. I know I am

awful. I am really ashamed of myself. I am really ashamed your friend

would see me like this. But, right now, I really don't care about all

that. Right now, all I want is one drink. I have just got to have a

drink. Now please, please, PLEASE, give me a drink. . ."


I have heard the endless begging and pleading and scratching a crying

and crawling and dying. It is humanity at its worst.


I have a theory‑‑a conviction really. Many sinful patterns are at

least as difficult to break as is the addiction to alcohol. An

addiction to pornography, or gossip, or materialism, or prejudice, or

a depression may be just as hard to break as an addiction to alcohol.

Saintmaking is hard work.
Growing a church is untimely about saintmaking. It is not about

gathering crowds. That is the easy stuff. The hard stuff is turning

sinners into saints. Saintmaking is hard work.
Here are some verses that speak to this:
- Galatians 3:22 - Galatians 3:22} But the Scripture declares


that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised,

being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who

believe.
This verse says we are prisoners to sin. The idea is we can't get out.

We can't escape sin's deadly grip. Here is another one:


- Ephesians. 2:1 - Ephesians 2:1} As for you, you were dead in

your transgressions and sins,


Here we are taught that we were dead in our sin. Dead people don't get

better through diet and exercise. They need someone on the outside to

raise them. Here is a third verse:
- Romans 5:6 - Romans 5:6} You see, at just the right time,

when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.


Here Paul reminds us that we were powerless to do anything about our

condition. Our hands were tied behind our back. We needs some force

outside of ourselves to untie us.
These three verses speak explicitly to the moment of salvation. They

also teach us volumes about saintmaking. The process of coming to

Christ and the process of becoming like Christ are very much the same.

They have to do with learning truth and repenting and faith.


The process of becoming a saint is just like the process of becoming a

Christian. We are saved in an instant, sanctified over a lifetime,

perhaps more. Still, the process is the same. It is about God

revealing himself to us. It is about recognizing and admitting that we

are sinners and are powerless to change. It is about a life of

confession and repentance. It is about embracing the acceptance that

God offers to sinners only on the basis of his grace; never on the

basis of our goodness. It is about standing in repentance. It is about

standing in grace. It is about standing in the acceptance of God. It

is about embracing the God who embraces me. It is about embracing his

love and his power. It is about taking hold of his power to live out

the Christian life. It is learning like Paul that, "I can do

everything through Christ." ( - Philippians 4:13 - Philippians

4:13}) It is about enjoying God.


The process of saintmaking is impossible to understand. How exactly

does God turn a sinner into a saint? I don't know. However, we can



understand the conditions necessary for saints to grow. The process by

which a seed sprouts and grows and finally reproduces seeds of its own

has alluded scientists for centuries. School children can understand,

however, that if your put a bean in water and expose it so sunshine it

will grow. Understanding the ingredients necessary for growth is far

easier than understanding the exact process by which growth happens.

This chapter is about the conditions necessary for saintmaking.

Myths about Maturity


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


We can learn much through the process of elimination. By eliminating

the things that are not true, we make it easier to get about the

business of seeing the things that are true about saintmaking.
The most common myth regarding saintmaking is what I call "maturity by

hanging around." It is the myth that says if you stay in McDonalds

long enough, you will eventually turn into a hamburger. There is more

truth to that than the notion that if we simply hang around long

enough we will become a saint. Just hanging around church will not

make you a saint. Still many believe that if you attend enough bible

studies, go on enough mission trips or have enough quite times. . .

presto! out pops a saint. Occasionally, it does happen. Flowers grow

in odd places. The conditions for growth do not have to be perfect to

create life. Life is resilient enough to express itself in the

dessert, and saints can grow even if conditions are not optimal.

Still, if we intend to grow a garden we must be intentional and

knowledgeable about it.
Many believe that saintmaking is automatic. This too is a myth.

Saintmaking is not automatic. It is not even probable unless the soil

is carefully prepared. Because of the power of the world and the flesh

and the devil the odds are greatly against saintmaking. Unless we are

very intentional, purposeful, and knowledgeable, it will not happen,

except occasionally. But the exception does not prove the rule.

Saintmaking is difficult work and is best done by people who have

carefully thought through what they are doing and how they are doing

it.


Saintmaking is not the inevitable result of salvation. Many

times‑‑dare I say it‑‑most times it simply doesn't happen. This is why

Paul admonished so strongly "to work out your salvation with fear and

trembling," ( - Philippians 2:12 - Philippians 2:12})


Some equate saintmaking with activity. To hear some church leaders

though, you would think the goal was to make people "active." Pastors

talk over coffee about who is active in church and who is not. Active

is good. Inactive is bad. Jesus didn't tell us to go make people who

were active in church activities. Church activities can be a

distraction to the real business of enjoying God and serving him in

the world. Church activities can merely distract us from the main

thing. It makes us feel good to be active. We can even get confused

and think our acceptance by God is based on activity in church. We can

pridefully look down our noses at the people who are not active. We

are very far from the kingdom of God when we believe that acceptance

by God is based on church activity. Church activity can be a drug that

keeps us from feeling the pain of a bad marriage or a bitter

depression. Many marriages would be stronger if couples were not at

church 5 nights a week. Activity can be a means to an end. It is the

place of encouragement, equipping, fellowship, teaching and worship

that prepares us for a life of enjoying God and serving him in the

world. It can be the train that gets us to maturity. But it is not

necessarily so. It is possible to drive around in circles, spiritually

speaking. It is possible to spend a lot of time on the train and never

become mature. Activity in church alone does not guarantee maturity.
There are some who understand the myth of "maturity by hanging

around." They understand that maturity is not the same as being active

in church. They understand it is not automatic. They place their bets

with commitment. Commitment is the key to making great disciples.

Great disciples are people of great commitment. This is true, as far

as it goes. Great commitment is necessary to produce great

discipleship. It is the ticket to the party. - Luke

14:33 - Luke 14:33} In the same way, any of you who does not give up

everything he has cannot be my disciple. That's commitment. But, it is

possible to give up everything to follow Christ and still miss out.

Paul warned that without love we could give our bodies to be burned

and it would count for nothing. Commitment alone is the not enough to

produce disciples.
Knowledge is not enough. Knowledge is important and necessary. It is

the truth that sets us free. We are transformed by the renewing of our



minds. But, the point is not to make us smarter sinners; the point is

to make us saints.


Maturity is not automatic. It must be intentional. We must renounce

the myth of maturity is hanging around. Church attendance alone is not

enough. Commitment alone is not enough. Knowledge alone is not enough.

What does it take to make disciples? What are the conditions necessary

to produce saints?

How God Changes People


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


I approach this subject from a great deal of personal interest.

Someone came to me once and said something like this, "I don't

understand it; I can't explain it; I wish it were not true.

Christianity does not work for me. I attend the services. I go to the

Bible studies. I try to do all this stuff. But, it just isn't working.

I am not able to live the life I know I am supposed to live." Last

night, my wife and I reflected on that conversation. "What made the

difference for you?" I asked. "What was missing then that you were not

able to put it together in living the life?"
It was a strange thing for me back then. Living the life of a

minister. Trying to make disciples and lead a church to make

disciples. Yet, this one who was closest to me, who was at my side,

who attended all the meetings and did all the stuff was beyond

frustrated. She was dead. She had simply given up. She had been

frustrated, but no longer. Frustration assumes a blocked goal. She had

given up. If you try and fail long enough, you eventually just give

up. Sharon was at that point.


What was missing? She had attended worship and Bible study. She had

many Christian friends that she fellowshipped with. She was exposed to

good Christian teaching. I knew her. I knew she honestly tried. Here

was someone who had given their life to God and to the church, and

said, "Here I am, make a disciple out of me." Ten years later she was

no closer to the goal than when she started.


If the church failed to make a disciple out of one person we could

write it off and go on. What I learned next convinced me otherwise.
The path we were on led us to the counselor's office. We went through

several regimes of therapy. I read deeply in the recovery literature.

What I found shocked me. Many many many Christians are trying and

failing to live the Christian life. Sharon was not alone. Many try but

cannot seem to make the Christian life work. It is a depression or a

lust problem or some blind spot or a chemical dependency cycle of

abusiveness or something. It is not saintly. It is not pretty.
One of two things is true. Either the Christian psychologists are

writing about a lot of fictitious people, or there are a lot of people

for whom the Christian life is basically, fundamentally not working.

They can't explain it. They don't understand it. They wish it were not

true. They come to church. They worship. They attend Bible Studies.

They try. They really try. They really really try. And it just doesn't

work. Works for others; they understand and accept that. But, it just

doesn't seem to work for them. If Christian psychologists are at all

in touch with reality, there are millions of people out there for whom

this is true.


Christian therapy is a burgeoning industry that is picking up the

pieces of what the church is failing to deliver. Counselors are doing

what churches have not. I am grateful for therapy. I am grateful for

the counselors I have been helped by. I have benefitted for the

recovery books I have read. I am grateful that they have benefitted

others. But, it causes me to wonder, "Is this God's plan? Discipleship

by professional, $100 an hour therapy?"
The counselors I have talked to would respond with a resounding "No."

Discipleship by professional counselor is not God's plan. Professional

counselor's can help in the cases where they are needed, as every

member of the body of Christ is needed. But they are not the bread and

butter strategy for making disciples.
Most counselors will argue that much of what they do could be done and

ought to be done routinely in Christian fellowship. "Most of what I do

is just listen to people and love them," they say. Listen and love;

simple. Why don't we do it?


The answer is as easy as it is profound. Church has ceased to be a

hospital for admitted sinners. Church has become a club for nice

people. People don't confess their sins to each other, and there is no


healing taking place. We don't admit to each other, except in a very

general way, that we are sinners. We say that we are sinners, but we

do not talk about he sins that we struggle with. We pretend we are

nice people who have it all together.


The gospel we embrace teaches us otherwise. The bible teaches us that

we are all sinners, all cut from the same bolt of cloth as Hitler and

Charles Manson. All capable of the worst of sins. But we interact with

each other in such a way that we pretend it is not true. The Bible

teaches that as long as this is true, we will never find the healing

our soul needs. "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each

other so that you may be healed." ( - James 5:16 - James 5:16})

Again, no healing is promised to the person who confesses their sin

only to God and never to another human being. We are not confessing

our sins to one another. When was the last time you heard a brother

say to you, "May I confess my sins to you?" When was the last time you

confessed your sin to a priest? I venture it has been a while. No

wonder we are sick people. God told us it would be true.
When I confess my sins, there are two things I don't need to hear:

condemnation and law. Condemnation has no place in Christian

experience, and law never changed anyone.
Many people‑‑many Christians‑‑don't believe this. They believe in

grace, for sure. But they believe in grace plus. Grace plus a little

bit of condemnation. "There has to be balance." Little bit of grace,

little bit of condemnation. Balance. Baloney! There is no place in

Christian experience for condemnation. None. It is all grace balanced

with truth. Not condemnation, truth.


Truth says if you keep sinning you will screw up you life. It will

cost you. There may be consequences you don't want to live with. But

it will never call into question whether you are loved by God or me.

That is grace and truth. Until we become skilled priests who can

represent God to each other there will be no saintmaking.
We think confessing our sins to a priest is a catholic concept. It is

not. It is a biblical one. Our difference with the Catholics is not

over whether we should confess our sins to a priest. This is spelled

out in scripture. Of course we must. Our difference with the Catholics

has to do with who the priests are. We believe in the priesthood of

all believers. We believe that we all can and should represent God to

each other as priests.


We are afraid to do this because we are afraid of condemnation.

Confession is hard. It involves risk. It involves exposure. It

involves exposing my tender insides to the possibility of

condemnation. If I receive condemnation, however, I can be sure of one

thing: I did not expose my tender inside to a priest. Rather, I have

exposed myself to a son of condemnation, and we know who his father

is.
The truth is I will stay afraid of condemnation until I confess my

sin. I will always wonder if I am really forgiven and accepted and

loved until the real me comes out in the light and hears someone say

verbalize grace to me. This is the work of the priest‑‑to verbalize

grace. There is no saintmaking until the sinners comes into the light

and a priest pronounces the words of grace to him: "On the authority

of the very words of God, I pronounce your forgiven, clean and

accepted, brother. Your sins are forgiven." Ahhh! Grace is so sweet.

But there is more.
Priests do more than listen as people confess their sins. They do what

God does. They offer to help. They ask, "How can I help you in this

area to 'go and sin no more.'' An informed disciple will answer

something like . . .


"You could help me be calling me once a week and asking me if my

thought life is what it should be," or

"Ask me ever so often how I am doing with my temper," or

"Tell me how you discipline your children," or

"Teach me how to control my anger," or

"Just hold me for about five minutes," or

"I honestly don't think I need any more help. You have been great.

Thanks."


In other words, the confessor may want to ask the priest to hold them

accountable.


There is more misunderstanding per square inch on the topic of

accountability than just about anything else. Accountability is

helping another person reach his goals. It is not imposing my will on

to them. That is controlling. That is sin. Accountability is always at

the invitation of the person being held accountable. They can ask you

not to hold them accountable if they like. There is a place for

confronting a sister for her sin, but that is not what we are talking

about here. That is church discipline; this is accountability. The key

issue in accountability is that the person holding someone accountable


always serves at the request of the one they serve.
Many of us need accountability do live the disciplined life we need to

live. It is part of the necessary ingredients to saintmaking. Most

people mean well, but are not all that disciplined. We need bothers

and sisters to ask us on a regular basis.


This is what fellowship is all about. It is not just tea and cookies.

It is creating an atmosphere where the real me has a chance to be

real. It is creating a place where I can confess my sins. It is

offering to hold a brother accountable for his goals. It is the stuff

of discipleship. It is an ingredient in the soil that grows saints.

But there is more.


http://www.joshhunt.com/saint.html
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See #1

Worship
John recorded that when we see Him, we will be like Him. There is

something about seeing God that makes us godly. Fifty years ago A.W.

Tozer wrote that worship is the missing jewel of the church. I am

afraid it is still missing. Let us be clear. There will be no

saintmaking without all‑out worship.


Worship does something to the soul that nothing else can. Worship

helps us to see God. Worship helps us to refocus our priorities.

Worship is the prerequisite to seeing our sin and repenting of it. We

are so smug about our goodness because we have not seen God. People

who get a peak into the heavenlies come out with their face in their

hands. They come out weeping and crying, "Woe is me, I am ruined."

( - Isaiah 6:5 - Isaiah 6:5})


Donald McCullough has served the church well in rebuking us for the

Trivialization of God. "Reverence and awe have often been replaced by

a yawn of familiarity. The consuming fire has been domesticated into a

candle flame, adding a bit of religions atmosphere, perhaps, but no

heat, no blinding light, no power for purification."(1)
I said in the section above that the problem with most churches is

that they have become a club for nice people rather than a hospital

sinners. Assuming this is true, what is the solution? Shall we sin

that grace may abound? May it never be. ( - Romans 6:1 - Romans

6:1}) We don't need to sin anymore. We have sinned plenty. The problem

is our perception of ourselves as nice people when we are in fact,

sinners. The solution is not more sin, it is better worship. Seeing

the light helps us to see the dirt more clearly. Only when we see the

sin can we confess and know the joy of grace.
Jesus taught that whoever has "been forgiven little loves little."

( - Luke 7:47 - Luke 7:47}) This poses an interesting dilemma.

You want to love God a lot, don't you? I do. Jesus said if you have

not been forgiven very much, you won't love God very much. What

conclusion do you draw as a path to loving God more? Sin more? That

would miss an important detail of what Jesus said. Jesus did not say

people who have sinned much love God much. Many people who have sinned

much do not love God at all. Their sinfulness does not draw them to

God. Their heart grows colder with each passing day. Sin does not

cause them to love God more. Forgiveness does. Jesus said that whoever

has been forgiven little loves little. If you would love God more, ask

forgive you more.


Simple you say, I can do that. I can ask God to forgive me more. No.

You are wrong. You cannot. The Bible teaches that repentance is a

gift. ( - 2 Timothy 2:25 - 2 Timothy 2:25}) We cannot repent on

our own. We need God's help because we are blinded so that we cannot

see our own sin. We cannot repent more except that God reveal to us

our sin. Or sins lie in a blind spot so that we cannot see them.


You have had the experience, as I have, of having the Holy Spirit

convict you of sins that you have been over a long period of time. You

get up every day and spend time with the Father. Each day you confess

your sins. You think of everything you can that would hurt the heart

of God. Then, one day, the Holy Spirit reveals something you have been

doing for years. Perhaps it is a petty dishonesty or a hurtful way you

have been relating to your wife or a failed opportunity at service or


an ineffectiveness in ministry‑‑whatever‑‑the Holy Spirit screams the

transgression to you so that you finally see it. For a moment, you

cannot see anything else. You wonder how in the world you went all

those years so blind. That is what the Bible says about us, we are

blind. We need God to grant us the gift of repentance and faith.
We cannot force the hand of God to give us the gift of seeing our sins

so that we can repent of them and receive his grace. We can, however,

stand close to his throne. It is closeness to God that always, always,

always reveals our sin. Worship draws us close to God. We enter into

his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.

( - Psalm 100:4 - Psalms 100:4})


You have known hard‑hearted believers, haven't you? Ever hear a sermon

that sounded like it was crafted for a particular person's sin and

they never hear it? We can be very very blind. Chance are, you and I

are still very very blind in certain areas. Have you asked for the

gift of repentance lately?
The gift of repentance is quite a gift because it without it there is

no grace. And without grace, their is no Christianity. Only the smelly

stuff of pharaseeism. Christianity is continually standing in

repentance and grace.


When people worship God, God gives them the gift of repentance. Only

in the light can we see the dirt.


How are we doing. If we can believe the surveys, not very well.

Barna's research indicates 61% of those who attend church say they

sense God's presence only occasionally, seldom, or never.(2) That is

not a 61% success rate‑‑that would be bad enough. That is a 61%

failure rate. Sixty one percent of people who come to church don't

find God. We gotta do better than that.


I am not just talking about attending a worship service. I am talking

about a certain kind of worship. In fact, it wouldn't have to be in a

worship service, though most of us are well served by someone leading

us to worship. Most of us don't get around to private worship often

enough on our own. One of the greatest travesties is worship services

where two out of three people there don't worship.


The worship of which I speak is the kind of worship where people are

swept away into the presence of God. Where people see God in their



spirits and hardly see anything else. Where people forget about their

cares, their problems, their affections and their attractions to be

wonderfully attracted again by the sheer wonder of God. Worship that

leaves your mouth dropped open. Worship that leaves you speechless.

Worship that leaves your cheeks wet and your heart warm. How long has

it been since you worshiped like that?


By the way, the worship of which I speak rarely happens accept I am

concentrating on God alone. That is why it is important that churches

provide for children to learn to worship separate from their parents.

When my children are beside me, I tend to think about them and worry

with whether they are behaving properly. I can tend to kids, or I can

worship. I cannot do both at the same time. Not real worship. The

worship of which I speak requires an undivided heart. I cannot worship

in a way that changes my soul and, at the same time, see that my

children do not talk too loudly or roll crayons down the slopped floor

of the sanctuary. If you would lead people to worship, provide

something for their children‑‑even their older children‑‑during

worship.
Without worship like that there is no discipleship. Without worship

like that, we will never be all God intended. When we see him, we will

be like him.


If you are serious about the business of saintmaking, create an

atmosphere where people can be honest with each other and honest about

their sins. Create an atmosphere where people can and will and do

confess their sins to one another. And create an atmosphere where

people who come to a worship service worship. There is no saintmaking

with out it. One more thing is needed.


Teaching
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
We need fellowship to make disciples. But not just any kind of

fellowship; fellowship where I can confess my sins to a priest and

that priest will represent God to me and be to me grace and truth.

Never condemnation; grace and truth.




We need worship to make saints. Not just any kind of worship. Worship

that leads me to see God and begs he give me the gift of repentance,

faith and grace.
We need teaching to make disciples. It is the truth that sets us free.

( - John 8:32 - John 8:32}) We are transformed by the renewing

of our minds. ( - Romans 12:2 - Romans 12:2}) But, not just any

kind of teaching.


Teaching that makes disciples is long on application. It shows people

how. It does not merely tell what we are to do or why we are to do

them. Teaching that produces saints shows people how to live the

Christian life.


Most believer would gladly live the Christian life if someone would

just show them how. It is teacher's job to show people how. Very

specifically. Very methodically. Very systematically, we need to show

believers. . .


How to have a daily time with God

How to know we are born again

How to conquer temptation

How to love a woman

How to discipline children

How to confess sins

How to be a priest

How to hold someone accountable without being controlling

How to be a person of grace and not condemnation

How to memorize scripture

How to witness

How to know your spiritual gifts and discover your place in the body

of Christ

How to resolve conflict

How to become a person of faith and confidence

How to deal with life when life deals you a bad hand

How to enjoy God

On and on and on. Good teaching shows believers specifically how to

live the Christian life. Good teaching makes it easy for believers to

be doers of the word and not hearers only. ( - James

1:22 - James 1:22})
We have dealt with three ingredients in the soil of saintmaking:

fellowship, worship and teaching. There is one more.



Pain
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
Pain has a way of doing something to our souls that nothing else can.

There is something about pain that will mold us and make us into the

shape of Christ that nothing else will do. Study the lives of people

that God had greatly used and you will find people that have

experience much pain.
Even though I know this, I still find myself disobedient to the

command of God to not be surprised by pain. ( - 1 Peter

4:12 - 1 Peter 4:12}) I am still surprised. I still say, "Why me? Why

now? When will it ever stop?" I have often found myself disobedient to

James' admonition to "Count it all joy." ( - James 1:2 - James

1:2})
I still remember my last spanking as a child. I was crawling to find

some way of escape on the top bunk as my mother wielded her weapon.

"Ouch! That hurts, Mom!" I honestly expected her to be surprised,

apologize and stop. Maybe if I was lucky, some milk and cookies.

Surely she didn't mean to hurt her boy. "I meant for it to hurt." She

knew that pain would drive the folly far from me. But, it has to hurt.

Pain hurts. That is why they call it pain.


There is no discipleship without pain. While we are designing systems

to encourage members to memorize scripture and be priests to each

other and worship God as he deserves to be worshiped, God is working

on another curriculum; a curriculum of pain.


We do not have to provide a curriculum of pain. God will provide that.

He can find plenty of sinful people to hurt us and plenty of folly in

our hearts to get us into trouble. We need not try to find pain. It

will find us.


I don't know what it is about that pain that works its miracles, just

as I do not know what is in an antibiotic that makes the sickness go

away. All I know, I take it and I feel better. Pain is like that.
You can tell people that have experience pain, can't you? I can. They


have a softness about them. The sarcasm and harshness and

heartlessness is gone. They are broken. They are like God. Pain did

that. Even Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered.

( - Hebrews 5:8 - Hebrews 5:8}) So must we. Jesus was called a

man of sorrows acquainted with grief. ( - Isaiah 53:3 - Isaiah

53:3}) People who are acquainted with sorrow act like Jesus. People

who have never known sorrow act like mere people.
The only appropriate response to a brother in pain is compassion. They

do not need lectures. They do not need teaching. They do not need

condemnation. They do not need to be told that their sin or their

stupidity caused this, even though it may have. They just need to be

held. They need to be told you care. They need compassion.
We need not invent pain. We do need to prepare for it. We need to

teach about it. We need to tell people it is coming and that it is a

necessary part of the saintmaking process. A well taught believer will

never ask, "Why me?" He knows better. He has been tutored to say to

himself, "Why not me? This is part of the curriculum. I knew it was

coming. The Bible tells me so." If I know that pain is part of the

curriculum, at least I can prepare. We can tell people that pain is

coming and we can admonish people to reach out to people in pain. We

can encourage people to share their pain with others. We can show

people how to help people in pain.


Conclusion


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


I do not understand saintmaking. I do not understand the process by

which God turns a hardened sinner into a broken, passionate saint. I

do not understand growth of any living thing. I do not understand how

God turns a pumpkin seed into a pumpkin or a human seed into a baby

and then an adult. I do not understand the process; however, I do

understand the conditions under which seeds become full grown. Seeds

need water and soil and warmth and sunshine and nutrients.
I do not understand the process by which saints are created. I do,

however, understand the conditions necessary to turn a newly born

again believer into a full blown saint. The soil must contain


fellowship where we become priests to one another. The soil must

include worship that moisten the cheeks and drys the throat. The soil

must contain teaching that points the way. The soil must contains

stones.

20 Questions
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


1. Who have you known that hung around church a lot, for many, many

years, and never really seemed to become a mature follower of Christ?


2. What went wrong?
3. Describe the most mature example of the kind of person we are

trying to create that you have known?


4. What do you know of this person's process toward becoming a saint?

How did they get where they are?


5. What about for you? What have been the most pivotal events that

have pole vaulted you to the next level spiritually?


6. What setback have blocked your progress toward maturity?
7. On a scale of one to ten, how would you evaluate the average

maturity level in your church?


8. What are the most common myths about maturity that people you know

seem to hold to?


9. Why do you think the Protestant church has forgotten the truth of

- James 5:16 - James 5:16}?


10. How can we teach people to be priests to one another?
11. Describe the most meaningful experience of worship you have ever

been a part of?


12. How could we improve worship so that 90% of the people who

attended our worship services encountered God?
13. Why is worship important to the saintmaking process?
14. How would you evaluate the worship in your church? What do you

feel good about?


15. What would you most like to improve?
16. What is the place of pain in saintmaking?
17. Describe a painful season in your life when God used the pain to

take you to the next level?


18. How can we prepare people for pain?
19. What do people need to know in order to help a friend who is in

pain?
20. Is there anyone going through something right now that is

difficult and you would like the group to pray for you and encourage

you?


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


1. Donald McCullough, The Trivialization of God, (Colorado Springs,

Colorado: Navpress, 1995), p. 13.


2. George Barna, Evangelism that Works, (Ventura, California: Regal

Books, 1995), p. 58.


http://www.joshhunt.com/saint.html

<><
Muzzle The Talkative Person - How to Muzzle the Overly Talkative Person by Josh Hunt

How to Muzzle the Overly Talkative Person

by Josh Hunt


One person can single handedly ruin a class. All the prayer, study and

preparation that went into the lesson can be ruined by one person who

talks too much. It is frustrating to the teacher and frustrating to

the other pupils. Here is what you can do about it.


The Indirect Appeal

If the problem is mild but persistent, this is the best way to deal

with it. Begin the class session with a statement of your goals. You

might say something like this:


My goal for this class is to involve everyone in the discussion. Does

everyone agree that this is a good goal? OK, then I want to ask for

your help. I want to ask some of you to get real brave and dive in a

little more often, while I want to ask some of you to back off until

everyone has had a chance to talk. I am not trying to squelch the

conversation; quite the contrary. I am trying to get everyone talking.

If we get into the discussion and you have shared several times and

you notice some of the rest have not shared so much, I want to ask you

to back off. Sound fair enough?
Get everyone to nod and agree. If the problem persists, you can

probably get away with reminding everyone one time during class about

the goal. Beyond this, I would go to the Private Appeal.

The Private Appeal

The private appeal has the same goal and works in much the same way.

Because it is private it tends to be more direct and therefor

effective. The key is to not approach this as scolding; that will

never work. Instead, appeal to a common goal: good group discussion.

The private appeal might go something like this:
Bob, have you noticed that I just can't seem to get everyone in the

class talking? It is really frustrating for me as the teacher. I was

wondering if you could help me? Here is what I have in mind. I know

you know the answer to a lot of the questions I ask. Often times, you

answer exactly right as soon as I ask. While this gets us to the right

answer right away, I would sill like to see if I could get some of the

quiet people talking. What would you think about helping me out by

backing off a bit and not answering so quickly? Let's see if we can

get everyone involved.

The Direct Appeal

There comes a time to be more direct. The needs of the many outweigh

the needs of the few. It is better to hurt one person's feelings, if

that what it takes, than to let one person ruin the whole group for

the rest. There is a lot riding on this. Courage is necessary. If it

comes down to it, you might need to say something like this:
Bob, can I shoot straight with you? You are talking about twice as

much as anyone else in the group. While you have some good things to

say, others won't talk when you are doing as much talking as you are.

I need to ask you to back off a bit. Here is a rule for you to follow:

don't talk three times everyone else has talked once. I really need

you to do this for the group. Can you do that for me?


What Is Wrong With These People, Anyway?

In order to effectively deal with overly talkative people, it is

helpful to understand what drives them. I can think of at least two

things:
Some people are just buffoons. These are those fun loving,

enjoy‑talking, happy people. They are the easiest to deal with. We can

make a joke out of the issues with these people. "Come on, Mary, let

someone else have a shot."


Some talkers are deeply insecure. They deal with their insecurity by

talking, talking, talking. Talking feels like love to them. It feels

like love to them when they talk and others listen. These people must

be handled more carefully. The only way to really solve the problem is

to help them with this core need. We must muzzle them, and make them

feel good in the process. This can be a real challenge, but no one

said teaching a small group would be easy. Compliment them. Praise

them. Take them to lunch. Don't reject them. Don't crush them. Love

them.

What If Nothing Works?

The needs of the many out way the needs of the few. An overly

talkative person can single handedly ruin a Sunday School class. Do

the brave thing. Do the courageous thing. Do the loving thing. Do


whatever it takes to create a group discussion. Love them, but love

the group as well. Do what it takes to keep the whole group talking.


Do what needs to be done, but do it with grace. Remember, this is a

brother for whom Christ's died. If you do not love him as Christ loves

him, you will never help him to change. People only change in an

atmosphere of love. Be grace and truth to him. Grace is about telling

him he is accepted. Truth is about telling him he is driving everyone

craze and he needs to be quiet.


Your Support Makes This Ministry Possible!

This ministry is supported in the same way your church is

supported‑‑through the voluntary and generous contributions from the

people we serve. Like your pastor, I am not "in it for the money."

And like your pastor, I need to feed my kids. I dream of providing an

ever growing library of resources aimed at helping groups double every

two years or less. The ultimate goal is to help the church in America

double over the next 20 years by helping the individual teacher to

double every two years or less and helping pastors double their

churches every five years or less. This ministry serves people all

around the world, from China to Japan to the USA. (It really is a

World Wide Web.) If you use these lessons regularly, I would like to

ask you or your church to make a regular contribution to this

ministry. Make checks to Josh Hunt and mail to 2744 Crown Point, Las

Cruces, New Mexico 88011 (505) 532 9693. (Users outside the USA are

exempt from this request.) You can make contributions online at

www.youcandouble.com

http://www.joshhunt.com/muzzle.html

<><
10 Marks of Great Teaching by Josh Hunt

- 4/2001.101


10 Marks of Great Teaching

by Josh Hunt


An unexamined life is not worth living. Unexamined teaching is not all

that great either. If you would improve your teaching, begin by

evaluating.


What do you do well?

What comes naturally for you?

What do you struggle with?

Evaluation is the beginning point of any improvement process.


I use ten characteristics to evaluate a good lesson. Every one of

these does not have to be in every lesson. Build on your strengths.

The quickest way to improve your teaching is not to focus on making

your weaknesses better. Rather, the best way to improve your teaching

is to make your strengths stronger. Work on overcoming your weaknesses

as well, but concentrate on maximizing your strengths. Here are ten

benchmarks of great teaching. Use these as a plumb line to evaluate

your teaching.


Passion


Did you present the truth with some fire? If the truth does not matter

to you, it will not matter to them. Howard Hendricks is fond of

saying, "if you are going to bore people, don't bore them with the

Gospel. Bore them with calculus, bore them with earth science, bore

them with world history. But, it is a sin to bore people with the

Gospel." Someone asked Spurgeon once, "What is the secret of great

preaching?" He replied, "Get on fire with the Gospel and people will

come to watch you burn." This was the approach of the Psalmist in

- Psalm 39:3 - Psalms 39:3}: "My heart grew hot within me, and

as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue." This

ought to be the goal of every teacher: to cultivate a hot heart before

you speak. I have seen teachers with mediocre content who spoke with

such conviction that you just had to listen. This is not one of those

either/or things. You can have both good content and communicate it

passionately. This is teaching at its best. Apollos was an example of

accuracy and fervor:


- Acts 18:25 - Acts 18:25} He had been instructed in the way

of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus

accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. It is possible,

of course, to have a passionate heart and not let it come out. Often

times, gestures and voice inflection need to be overdone in order to

appear interesting at all. Animation in teaching is like stage



make‑up. The point is not to look like you have make‑up on. The point

is to look normal. If you do not have make‑up on when you are on

stage, you will look flat. In a similar way, the point of animation in

teaching is not so much to appear animated, but to appear normal. If

you use a normal voice in teaching, you will probably sound flat

(read, boring). Not many teachers are too animated. Err on the side of

overdoing it. Ultimately, the point is not how fired up you appear,

but how fired up you really are. How deeply are you excited about the

grace of God? I close with my favorite verse in Romans. Note that this

is a command from God: Get fired up and stay that way.


- Romans 12:11 - Romans 12:11} Never be lacking in zeal, but

keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.


Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten. How passionate are you in your

teaching of the greatest news ever?


Practicality

Imagine yourself teaching your group this weekend. Now, in your

imagination, write a sign in red paint on each of their foreheads that

asks, "So what?" If your students were not so polite, they would ask

you the question out loud. That is what they want to know. "What

difference does this truth make to my Monday morning?" If you do not

have a ready answer to that question, go back to the study until you

get one. Teaching is about application.
Did you give specific application that can be applied to life this

week? Did you teach for a life‑change? People are not interested in

accumulating information that does not relate to their life. We are

not out to make smarter sinners. We are seeking to change lives.

Disciple making is about application.
The key thing is to ask for small, specific, incremental changes. Do

not push for monumental changes every week, just try to get a little

bit of change each week. Ask things such as, "What is one thing you

could do this week to demonstrate your concern for the lost." When

someone says, "I could pray once for my neighbor, John," make a hero

out of that person. That is application that begins to make a

difference and it paves the way for further application. The ship

begins to turn. The application does not need to be, "See ten people

come to faith this week." That is good, but too lofty for most people.


It is like asking someone to high jump 6 feet. Most of us need to

start with eighteen inches. Get people jumping over the bar before you

move it too high. If the bar is perceived to be too high, people will

not even attempt to jump it.


"Pray once this week" may be enough. Some application is better than

no application at all. Application needs to be specific and have a

time orientation. It needs to be something people can do this week. If

it is something that they are going to do next winter, or when the

kids are grown, or when they grow old, forget it. Application needs to

be small, and it needs to be something people can do this week.


It is also a good idea to ask each week about the application

suggested the previous week. "Last week we talked about praying for

our lost friends. Did anyone do this? What other steps could we take?"

In an open group such as a Sunday school class or cell group,

accountability needs to be kept pretty simple. Don't hold people

accountable for the last 25 verses they have been memorizing if you

expect new people to feel comfortable in the group. Those kind of

intense, accountability oriented discipleship groups are great in

creating depth. But in providing an open place for people to come,

they are a killer. Week‑to‑week accountability, however, will not run

people off.
Accountability needs to find the razor's edge of speaking the truth in

love. If we communicate condemnation to those who fail (and everyone

fails) we miss the gospel entirely. There is no place in Christian

experience for condemnation. There is, however a place for truth

spoken in love. If someone says, "I want to have a quiet time five

days this week and I want you to hold me accountable," we need to do

so.
I am familiar with a group leader who was holding a group accountable

for daily quiet times. When the group failed to have quiet times, he

would say, "That is OK, no big deal. I didn't have any quiet times

this week either." That kind of accountability will not make

disciples. We need to speak the truth in love. We need to communicate

that disobedience never cancels grace. It never calls into question

God's love for us. Sin does bear its consequences. We reap what we

sew. Condemnation says, "You are bad because you sinned." Grace says,

"You sinned. You are bad. That is obvious. But, there is grace. You

are accepted. You are forgiven. You are loved."




In addition, there is a fine line between accountability and

controlling. Accountability is holding people accountable for their

goals. Controlling attempts to manipulate people against their will.

The issue on the table is not the goodness of the activity. The issue

is, who gets to decide? Suppose you were to try to "hold someone

accountable" for not watching R rated movies because you have a

conviction about R rated movies. Suppose that they hold no such

conviction. Suppose you try to hold them accountable anyway. That is

not accountability. That is controlling. Accountability is holding

people accountable for their goals. About such matters Paul said,

"each one should be fully convinced in his own mind."

( - Romans 14:5 - Romans 14:5})


Bruce Wilkinson gives an extensive treatment of the importance of

application in his work, The Seven Laws of the Learner. He tells of

reading through and marking the manuscripts of great preachers in

order to identify the portions that were application and the portions

that were not application oriented. The best preachers, both

contemporary and in the past, had between 50% ‑ 75% application. Your

teaching also should emphasize application.
Finally, all application does not have to do with doing. Sometimes the

application is to feel or to believe. The application of

- Psalm 23 - Psalms 23} is to believe that God is my Shepherd

and that I need not want. I am obedient to the truth of the passage

when I rest in Him. The application of - Philippians

4:4 - Philippians 4:4} (Rejoice in the Lord always. . . ) is to enjoy

God. Many of the issues of Christian discipleship are issues of the

heart. If we do not see this, we run the risk of being Pharisee makers

instead of disciple makers. The Pharisees had application down to a

science, but they missed the issues of the heart.


Evaluate yourself on a scale of one to ten. Give yourself a ten if

every week you are teaching for a specific application. Give yourself

a one if you hardly ever do so.

Humor


Were there points when the group laughed together? Were there time

when the group grabbed their sides. slapped their knees, threw back

their heads and laughed? Laughter is one of the best indicators of

health in a group. When a group loves each other, when they enjoy



being together, when Christian fellowship is what it should be, people

laugh. When their is tension and ill will in the body, however, no one

laughs.
I am not talking about telling jokes. I am talking about the

spontaneous, unrehearsed laughter that bubbles up from healthy

relationships. There is nothing that makes the class time more

enjoyable than a little humor. Humor is the jam on the bagel.


Humor can often be used to open up the group to receive God's truth.

It lets everyone relax. Their guard comes down and they become more

responsive. You have probably had the experience, as I have, of

laughing until your side hurt, only to find a dagger in your side. A

speaker had skillfully used the sword of the Spirit in such a way that

you did not even know an incision had been made. Laughter was the

anesthetic.
It ought to be fun to come to class. It should to be more than fun‑‑it

should be informative and life changing and all the rest, but still

fun. Your class will tend to grow if people like to come to class.
I am not talking about pretending to be a stand up comic. (Although if

you hear a good joke that relates to the topic that is O.K. too.) The

key thing is to allow humor when it comes; you don't have to plan it.
Never force humor. There are few things as disgusting as someone

trying to be funny who isn't. Forced humor is worse than no humor at

all. But don't be so serious about studying the Word that you will not

let people enjoy the Christian fellowship and pleasure of being

together.
Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten. How well do you use humor in

your class?


Personal


If you want to make your teaching interesting and effective, make it

personal. Teaching that does not apply itself personally to people

does not apply at all. Good teaching is not about vague distant

abstractions. God is personal, and the process of Christian

discipleship is personal. Ask yourself:


Did you touch them where they live?

Were you open about yourself?

You need to make the application personal to your group, and you need

to be open enough to show how the truth works in your life. Do not use

exclusively personal illustrations, but do use some. This is a small

group. There is something very personal about small group ministry.

But you must set the tone for the rest of the group. They will

generally be as transparent and open as you are. One reason we have

small groups is so the universal message of the Gospel can be

personalized to the individual. Your job is to take the cloth and to

tailor it to fit the individual.
Being personal is also one of the best ways of creating interest.

People are interested in people ‑‑ especially the personal lives of

people. That is why the tabloids sell. Personalness is interesting. If

you ever sense that people's interest is slipping, remember this: one

of the best ways to grab the attention of the group is to tell how the

truth applies personally to you.


Don't take this too far. This is Sunday school, not therapy. I was in

a group once in which a member confessed to a previous life of

prostitution. The group was on the edge of their seats, holding their

breath. Her story held the interest of the group, but she never came

back. She felt too exposed and was embarrassed to show herself again.

She got caught up in the moment and was too transparent. This is not

what I am advocating.
I am talking about being as open, as transparent, and as honest as you

can be within the bounds of good sense and discretion. Unfortunately,

my experience has been that most groups are not personal enough.
Put yourself on a scale of one to ten. Do you teach in a way that is

personal and touches people where they live?


Involvement

Was everyone interested? Were they "with you"? Did you most of the

group participate in the discussion? Did over half the group talk? Or

were they looking at their watches?
One way to insure that people are involved is by asking questions and

getting the group talking. When you are talking, they may or may not



be interested. When they are talking, you can be sure that they are

interested. That is one of the advantages of asking questions. I will

devote a whole chapter to the art of asking good questions later in

this book.


Of course, people can be involved without saying anything. But if they

are answering a question, you can be almost sure they are paying

attention. Only very rarely can people talk and not listen to

themselves. These people are really difficult to teach. If they are

not involved, they are not learning, you are not teaching, and

disciples are not being made.


Examine yourself. Was the group involved and paying attention?

Preparation

Did you prepare well enough to present the lesson with confidence?

Confidence is everything. You will never master every detail of even a

short passage. That is the beauty of the Bible: we never plummet the

depths of its beauty and insight. But we do need to have a basic grasp

of what is in the text. Do not be afraid to tell people that you do

not know. On the other hand, try to know as much as you can!

Preparation shows itself both in content and in confidence.
One of the best ways to do this is to read the passage daily as part

of your devotional discipline. Read it often so that you have a good

feel for the text. Read it in several translations. Read it early in

the week. Ask your friends questions about the text. Involve yourself

in the text so you are very familiar with it and can speak confidently

about what the text says.


Preparation that yields confidence cannot be gained in the final

hours. You cannot look at a text for the first time on Saturday night

and teach well on Sunday morning. Preparation that yields confidence

is built slowly. Enjoy the passage. Learn from the passage. Let the

Holy Spirit be your teacher before you are your group's teacher.
Evaluate yourself on a scale of one to ten. Was your preparation

strong enough to give you a sense of confidence in teaching the

passage?



Background

Did you reveal some interesting background not evident from a casual

reading of the text? You need to know the text, but also you need to

know what lies behind the text. You need to be able to answer the

questions the text asks. For example, suppose you are teaching on

- Luke 13:4 - Luke 13:4


Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them ‑‑ do

you think they were more guilty than all the others living in

Jerusalem? There is an obvious question that you better know the

answer to: what is the deal with this tower? You as the teacher ought

to give a simple, straightforward answer to this question without

looking at any notes.
Sunday school needs to be more than a "pooling of ignorance". You will

have a few people in your group who will have studied, and you should

encourage them to do so. Still, you, the teacher, need to bring that

extra level of depth that makes the group feel it was worth coming

because they learned something they did not know before.
The longer you are at this, the easier this becomes. One of the joys

of studying the Bible is the accumulation of knowledge over years of

study. But, be careful! All our brains are buckets with holes (for

some of us it is mostly holes!). We need to make sure there is a

constant input of fresh information. That is the joy of preparation.

That is why many teachers love to spend money on books.


Place yourself on a scale of one to ten. Did I understand the

background well enough to dice the conversation with some fresh

information that is not obvious from a casual reading of the text?

Introduction

Did you seize their attention the moment you began? Did you begin the

lesson with something that pulled them to the edge of their chairs and

made them take notice? Or, did anyone secretly say to themselves, "Oh,

gee whiz, another Sunday school lesson. Yawn."


Two parts of the lesson ought to be especially well‑prepared, the

beginning and the end. Here are some tools you can employ to wake the



group up and get everyone paying attention:
A thought‑provoking question.

Example: is Christianity easy or hard?


A heartwarming story

Example: A boy was walking the seashore picking up starfish and

tossing them back into the ocean. Someone asked him what he was doing.

"The starfish will dry out and die if they are not thrown back into

the ocean." The beach was littered with mile after mile of starfish.

"You can't make a difference with all these star fish. Look around.

They go on for miles." The boy was silent. He stopped down and lifted

a drying starfish from the sand. With a flick of the wrist, he tossed

it to the safety of the water, saving it life. "I made a difference

with that one."


A shocking, or controversial statement.

Example: The world is lost and dying and going to hell, and you don't

give a damn. What is worse, you are more concerned about the fact that

I said the word "damn" than you are about the fact that the world is

lost and dying and going to hell.
Holding the group's attention during the whole hour is difficult

enough. The easiest time to get the group's attention is at the

beginning. If they do not lend you their attention then, they probably

never will. Remember, if their mind is wandering, you are not making

disciples.
Evaluate yourself on a scale of one to ten. Did you come off the

starting blocks with zest? Did you begin the lesson with an

attention‑getting opening?

Inspiration

Did you attempt to inspire them to do what you wanted them to do?

Teaching is more than telling them what happened or what ought to

happen. It is inspiring people to do what they ought to do. You may

not be the nation's best Christian motivator. You are not Zig Ziegler,

but you can learn from Zig Ziegler. People need, want, and crave

inspiration. Motivation is 90% of almost everything. Do not be afraid

to "preach a little." Challenge them to the worthy cause of living

fully devoted lives for Christ.



Most of know far more than we actually do. In most cases, the problem

is not knowledge, it is motivation. You must provide both how‑to and

want‑to.
There are two ways to motivate: with a carrot and with a stick. You

motivate by teaching the benefits of obedience (carrot) and the bad

things that happen when we are not obedient (stick). It is not very

motivating to be told we simply ought to do something because it is

right. - Hebrews 11:6 - Hebrews 11:6} teaches that faith has

its rewards: "And without faith it is impossible to please God,

because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that

he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Teachers need to show what

these rewards are. Giving has its rewards. Fidelity has its rewards.

Honesty has its rewards. Paint these rewards in large, colorful

letters.
On the other hand, the Bible is not squeamish about punishments and

neither should teachers. Warn them as a profit that bad things will

happen if they are unfaithful. Paint compelling word pictures about

the pain of disobedience.


Inspiration also has a lot to do with enthusiasm. People are not going

to get any more excited about living the Christian life than you are

about teaching your lesson. Motivate with enthusiasm. Remember,

enthusiasm means, "God in me."


A final component of inspiration has to do with your confidence in

your class members. If you believe they can do it, they probably can.

There is something very motivating about having someone in your corner

who believes you can do it. Teach from a positive faith that we can do

all things through Christ.
Evaluate yourself on a scale of one to ten. Did you go beyond telling

the group what they ought to do? Did you inspire them to do what they

ought to do? Do you use an appropriate balance of carrot and stick?

Focus


Did you have one "big idea" that you attempted to drive home

throughout the lesson? Did you hunt with a rifle or a shotgun? The

great danger for many teachers is not that they say too little but

that they say too much. Your lesson needs to have a central focus, a



big idea. If someone stopped you before you walk into your class and

asked, "What are you teaching today?" You ought to be able to respond

in one sentence, "Today, I will be teaching my class . . ." If you

think this is an unrealistic goal, I challenge you to ask your pastor

sometime, "What is the big idea of today's sermon?" Effective pastors

will not stutter in their reply, "Today, I will be preaching on . . ."

One pastor told me he asks his kids at Sunday lunch, "Ok, kids, what

was the big idea in today's sermon?" If they can give it to him, he

feels he has done pretty well. It is ok to chase a few rabbits, but

drive to a central, focused verdict.


The unexamined life is not worth living and the unexamined teacher is

not so good either. Evaluate yourself regularly on these criteria. On

the following page is an evaluation sheet. Make copies and evaluate

your self each week. If you are really brave, have your spouse or a

class member do the evaluation with you. The fastest way to grow a

class is to increase the effectiveness of the teaching. Every teacher

can improve. You can. I can. Even Chuck Swindoll can. If you are going

to double your class every two years or less, you have to teach a

half‑way decent lesson each and every week; nothing less will do.

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
SELF‑EVALUATION

Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten with one being poor and ten

being excellent.
Passion. Did you present the truth with some conviction?
Practical. Did you give specific application that can be applied to

life this week? Did you teach for a verdict?


Humor. Were there points when the group laughed together?

Personal. Did you touch them where they live? Were you open about

where you are at?


Involvement. Was everyone interested and with you? Did you have a good

number of people participate in the discussion?


Preparation. Were you well prepared enough to present the lesson with

confidence?


Background. Did you bring some interesting background not evident from

the casual reading of the text.


Introduction. Did you grab their attention at the first?
Inspiration. Did you attempt to inspire them to do what you wanted

them to do?



Focus. Did you have one or two "big ideas" that you attempted to drive

home throughout the lesson?

Note: permission to copy granted.


http://www.joshhunt.com/ten.html

<><
Half‑Way Decent Lesson by Josh Hunt
- 4/2001.101
The Importance of a Half‑Way Decent Lesson

by Josh Hunt


Note: this is an excerpt from my book You Can Double Your Class in Two

Years or Less (Group 1997).


The number one variable in predicting the growth of a class is the

teaching ability of the teacher. If someone is not doing a good job

with the teaching. . .
No amount of outreach will be enough to grow a class, and
Disciples will not be made. We need quality teaching to make quality

disciples.


On the other hand, with quality teaching, groups seem to grow almost

automatically. Jesus attracted huge crowds. In part this was because

he was such a masterful teacher. Good outreach can accelerate the

growth even further, but we must have the base of good teaching in

order to grow a group. Notice I say, "good teaching"; it does not have

to be sensational.


I take great comfort from knowing that I do not have to hit home runs

with every lesson. I do need to hit singles regularly. If people are

not hearing something meaningful and applicable to them, you will not

keep them, no matter how often you invite. It does not have to be the



greatest lesson ever, but it does need to meet needs.
If you want a church to grow, somebody better be saying something

helpful in the pulpit. Nothing can replace good preaching. Would you

be attracted to a church that had a great program, spent a lot of

money on advertising, had nice music, but the preaching was lousy?

People will sometimes stay in a church like that if they have a strong

network of friends. They stay reluctantly. The same is true with small

groups. You can have all the parties and games and invitations you

need to get a crowd there. Guaranteed. But if someone is not saying

something helpful to the group, people will not come back. Good

advertising will never cover for a bad product. The label is

important, but sooner or later, it is what is in the bottle that

counts. Even if people do stay, they will not become disciples. It is

the truth that sets people free. We are transformed by the renewing of

our minds. Consequently, the disciple making process depends on

half‑way decent teaching.
Thom Rainer's research bears this out: "One significant study done by

and for mainline denominations found that in‑depth teaching and

preaching of orthodox Christian belief was the single best predictor

of church participation. Strong Sunday school and

scripturally‑authoritative preaching engendered long‑term health for

the church."(1) (Italics mine.)We must have half‑way decent teaching.


I have attended a number of church growth conferences. Speakers never

talk about the importance of preaching and teaching loudly enough.

Humility forbids them. Bill Hybels cannot stand up at his church

growth conference and say, "If you would just preach as well as I do,

growth would take care of itself." Yet when I hear Bill Hybels preach,

I know his preaching skill is a huge factor in Willowcreek's growth.

There is a reason they sell 300,000 tapes a year.
Some will object that I am not casting a high enough vision. Some have

told me that we should ask for better than half‑way decent teaching,

that we want excellent teaching. They want me to say that only

fantastic teaching will grow a class. There is no doubt that fantastic

teaching can certainly help, and in some sense, it is the goal. I want

you to teach as well as you possibly can. But I also want to lend

confidence to you if you are not Bill Hybels or Chuck Swindoll. You do

not have to be Chuck Swindoll to grow a class. I am trying, in this

chapter to walk a delicate balance of emphasizing the importance of

good teaching while, at the same time, lending confidence to the



teacher of average skill.
I have seen teachers who are so good that they can grow a class

without applying many of the principles in this book. But they are

rare. Can I be honest with you? You are probably not that good. But

you are probably good enough to grow a class. Good enough to double

that class every two years or less. Good enough to be used greatly by

God.
Consider fast food hamburgers. Do we eat fast food hamburgers because

we think they are the greatest hamburgers in the world? Would we give

them a 10 on a scale of one to 10? Would we even give them a soft 8? I

don't think so. I have asked groups all over the nation to rate fast

food hamburgers on a scale of one to ten. They usually get about a

four or five. That is half‑way decent. But half‑way decent hamburgers

are good enough to make them a phenomenon. The half‑way decent

hamburger is sold around the world with clean stores, good service and

good advertising. And half‑way decent lessons can be 'sold' with good

fellowships and outreach. But, they have to be at least half‑way

decent.
I had a teacher one time who was teaching on the passage that refers

to Judas as the "Son of perdition." The word means under condemnation.

This is the way the teacher approached the text. "Predestination. Who

really understands predestination. . .?" We have to do better than

that! First of all, the word is perdition, not predestination. Second,

you need to come up with something better than, "Who really

understands. . ." I have observed a lot of Sunday school teachers over

the years. Some of them are teaching on this level. We have to do

better than this if we are going to reach America for God through

groups that are doubling every two years or less.
If you can do better than half‑way decent, great. Strive for

excellence. But you need to hit at least a single just about every

time you come to the plate.(2) Central to the process of creating

disciples is creating good, solid, half‑way decent lessons each and

every week. Nothing less will do. I am working on a book that will

explore the craft of teaching in more detail. In the next chapter, we

will cover the highlights of good teaching in 10 essential qualities

of half‑way decent teaching.

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
1. Thom Rainer, Giant Awakenings, (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and

Holman, 1995), p. 177.


2. It is beyond the scope of this work to do an exhaustive treatment

of great teaching. For that, I recommend Bruce Wilkinson's The Seven

Laws of the Learner. It is available in both book and Video format,

and it is quite a bit better than half‑way decent. It is incredible.


http://www.joshhunt.com/half.html
<><
Creating Tension by Josh Hunt
- 4/2001.101
Creating Tension in Class

by Josh Hunt

This is an excerpt from Disciplemaking Teachers, (Group, Jan. 1998)
Have you ever noticed that it is nearly impossible to leave a movie

during its final five or ten minutes, but people gladly leave Sunday

school in the final five minutes to go sing in the choir? It never

seems to bother them. They almost seem happy to slip out early.


Why is this, and what does it have to do with great teaching? What do

great movies, great books, and great teaching have in common?


They all have cloud of "Who dun it?" hanging over. You can't leave

during the last five minutes of a movie because by that time you are

so involved, so worked up, so curious that you just can't leave.
Ever read a novel that you just couldn't put down? What are the

chances of getting to the final four or five pages and just wandering

off. It will never happen. If the author has done his job, there is an

atmosphere of suspense that will not let you go. It is that creative

tension that keeps you flipping pages until the very end.
No amount of special effects or cinematography or even great acting


will overcome a bad plot in a movie. A good plot keeps you guessing to

the final moment how the whole thing will work out. The writers build

in a problem that demands to be solved. We gotta know who dun it.
Good lessons are this way as well. Good teachers create more problems

than they can solve. That is what the light of the Word does: it

creates problems. We didn't know what the problems were when they were

in the dark. Our life was a messy garage with the light out. Now, with

the light on, we can see the problems plainly. Good teaching is not

just about solutions, it is about creating problems. Until the

problems are in the light, there can be no solutions.
Good teachers leave a little creative tension in the air the whole

hour. There is an atmosphere that you can almost touch that just

reaches out to you and says, "How is he going to explain this one?

What is the answer to this dilemma? How do I solve this mystery? What

is the solution?"
Mediocre teachers prefer to avoid tension at all costs. They like

everything settled, everything neat, everything as it should be. They

don't like any questions, any uncertainty. All is at peace. All is

quiet. All are bored.


Skilled is the teacher who can employ creative tension. People dare

not leave because they want to see how this whole thing shakes out.

Everyone keeps paying attention because they are curious. No one looks

at their watches. If they do, it is because the wonder how in the

world the teacher will bring this thing to closure in the time

remaining.


This is what makes a ball game exciting, isn't it? You are wondering

who will win. No matter how exciting the play by play, if you know the

outcome, the predictability makes it boring. Too many Sunday school

lessons are too predictable. We need an element of creative tension‑‑a

bit of "who‑dun‑it" in every lesson.
Here is an example of creative tension in practice. Suppose the text

for the day is - Philippians 1:6 - Philippians 1:6} "Being

confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it

on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." A teacher could

approach this text by simply explaining the meaning of all the

words‑‑the Greek for confident, the history behind good work, some

cross reference material on completion, and so on. Or, the teacher


could create some creative tension by asking: Whose job is it that we

grow to maturity in the faith: Ours? God's? The church's? The

pastor's?
Nine times out of ten people will answer that it is our job. Then read

the text to them and ask, "Then why does God say he will take on the

responsibility for our sanctification?" Get real quiet and let them

begin to chew. If they beat you to the punch and quote

- Philippians 1:6 - Philippians 1:6}, follow up by asking,

"Then what is our role in sanctification?" or, "Then is our role

strictly a passive one‑‑'let go and let God' as some put it? Let's

suppose this is true, that ours is a strictly passive role in

sanctification. Why does - Philippians 2:12 - Philippians

2:12} say to work out our salvation with fear and trembling? Does that

sound passive to you? What about these verses: (pass these out on

strips of paper or have individuals look them up.)


- Luke 13:24 - Luke 13:24} "Make every effort to enter through

the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will

not be able to.


- Romans 14:19 - Romans 14:19} Let us therefore make every

effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.


- Hebrews 12:14 - Hebrews 12:14} Make every effort to live in

peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see

the Lord.
II Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to

this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace

with him.

"The Bible cannot contradict itself. So, why does Philippians teach

that God is bringing our salvation to completion while these verses

say we are to make every effort to move toward maturity?


Long pause. Make them struggle. Don't solve the problem; create the

problem and leave it with them. Make the problem as tough as you can:

"Look at - Hebrews 4:11 - Hebrews 4:11}. What are we to make

every effort to do in this verse? How do you make an effort to rest?"



Between each of these questions the teacher should pause and let the

group think. Let them discuss it. If the small group is not very

small, break them up into groups of four or five. Let a real dialogue

take place. Let them fight just a bit. Don't let it get ugly, but let

the discussion be real. Let some real creative tension develop. Let

them grapple with problems before you give them answers.


When they start to get settling on a conclusion, rattle them again.

Set - Hebrews 13:17 - Hebrews 13:17} before them:


Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over

you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will

be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Then ask: "What are leaders responsible for? Doesn't this passage

teach that it is not God's responsibility, or our responsibility, but

the responsibility of those who are in leadership to bring us to

maturity? How do you fit this in?"


Be quiet, and let them chew on it. No one will look at their watches.

No one will yawn. No one will leave early for choir. You might make an

enemy of your choir leader, but so be it.

How not to do it

I contrast this method with a lesson my Dad tells me he heard one

time. The text was the story of the rich young ruler

( - Matthew 18:18 - Matthew 18:18} ff). A great passage to

create creative tension. The passage begs to stimulate controversy.

But not this day. Not this class. The teacher read the passage, then

explained, "Now, this passage, of course, doesn't really mean we

should give away everything. No. We should all tithe, of course, and

be willing to give a little extra from time to time, but God doesn't

expect all his children to give up everything to follow him. Why, that

would be works theology and we all know that isn't right."


Everyone one nodded in agreement. Everyone felt better. Another

discomforting passage of scripture successfully laid to rest. All was

at peace.
If I had been a student in class, I would have nailed to the wall. Why

does - Luke 13:33 - Luke 13:33} say, "In the same way, any of



you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."

Then I'd be quiet and let them chew on it. If they came to an answer

too quickly, I would press them harder. Make them squirm. Make them

think. That is how disciples are made.


By the way, please note that the teacher's theology was orthodox. It

is generally believed that God does not expect every believer to give

away everything he owns. I have no quarrels with the teacher's

theology. But, there are far better ways to communicate this. I think

the rich young ruler squirmed and our students ought to squirm when

they talk about it.


Toward the end of the hour, you can release the tension in a simple

summary. You might say, "God may not want every believer to give away

everything. But, he certainly wants every believer to be willing to

give up everything. Sometimes he will come into our lives, place his

hand on something of value, and say, 'Do you love me more than this?'

We need to be willing to say yes. Let me ask you to bow your heads.

For the next 90 seconds, ask God this question, 'Is there anything

that I have withheld from you that you would ask of me? Anything of my

time? My talents? My treasure? I lay it all on the altar again. As

Abraham laid Isaac on the altar, I lay everything I have on the altar.

Do with my life what you will. I give complete control to you.'"

Unresolved tension

You might want to leave the group with the tension unresolved. Leave

them wondering. Leave them asking. Leave them talking. Study the

teaching style of Jesus. He left a lot of things unanswered. We want

everything to be tidy and neat.


Has anyone ever called you during the week and said, "Teacher, I have

been thinking all week about our lesson, and I think I have some

insight into it. Have you ever thought about. . . ?" When they do, you

will know that learning is taking place.


You might think that this approach will get old week after week. You

might think that after a while people will get used to this

tension/resolution cycle. You might think that after a while they will

not really involve themselves in the tension, knowing that a

resolution is certain. It seems like they might, but they don't.


I have a friend who is a western novel buff. After he curls up for a

weekend with a good western novel, his wife will ask him, "Well, did

the hero get the villain and ride off with girl?" He smiles and

echoes, "Yeah, the hero got the villain and rode off with the girl."

"Good." She squeezes his hand and smiles. All is as it should be. They

rode off into the sunset together. Next weekend, he will read another

good western novel. Gotta find out who dun it.
In the same way, creative tension in class never gets old. It is

effective week after week. If you want to double your group every two

years or less, employ creative tension in your teaching. It will help

you to be more than halfway decent.


http://www.joshhunt.com/tension.html
+++++++
Questions In Teaching - The Skillful Use of Questions In Teaching Adults by Josh Hunt
- 4/2001.101
The Skillful Use of Questions In Teaching Adults

by Josh Hunt


Home Page Articles Email Resume Support
This is an excerpt from Disciplemaking Teachers, (Group, Jan. 1998)

I am not absolutely convinced that asking questions is the only way to

accomplish the four things that must happen in the student for

disciplemaking to take place. Lectures and creative methods have their

place and can contribute. But, the truth is, leading discussions is by

far and away my favorite way to teach. I rarely speak more than a

paragraph without involving the group with a question. I really feel

it is the best way. I am so committed to asking questions as a way of

teaching I write 25 or so questions on the passage most of our groups

are studying each week. I have about half the Bible completed and hope

to publish them some day. There are a number of similar resources

already on the market, such as the Serendipity Bible. Let me mention

two or three kinds of questions I use. Here is the overview:
The Life Exposure Question


What Does the Text Say?

"How Did They Feel?" Questions

"Jump Ball" Questions

Application Questions

Accountability Questions

Testimony Questions: How Has It Worked So Far?

The Life Exposure Question (top)

I like to begin almost every class I teach with a kind of off‑the‑wall

question that just gets everyone mentally checked in, and allows the

group to get to know something about each other besides their view on

various Bible subjects. Some people think this is a waste of time, but

I think it is important. I am careful, however not to spend too much

time on it.
I often do this by having everyone introduce themselves and share some

silly thing, like. . .


Their favorite restaurant.

Their favorite recent movie.

Their favorite TV show.

One outdoor (or indoor, or spectator or participative or summer or

winter) sport they enjoy.
Their favorite way to spend a Saturday.

If they could live anywhere in the world, where would they choose?

Here is my favorite one:
If you had one life to waste, to absolutely blow on something totally

outrageous, what would you waste it on?

I have heard answers ranging from sky diving to traveling to

overdosing on drugs. It opens the window a bit into each person's

life. Here is the key thing: it gets everyone talking right up front.

It is hard to talk and not be paying attention. Getting everyone

saying something once early in the session will make it easier for

everyone to talk when we get to talking about things that matter. It

also allows people to identify people in the group with whom they have

some common interest. Part of what we are about in small group work is

cultivating relationships.
Sometimes I use more serious questions that in some way relate to the

text. If I am teaching on the fatherhood of God I might ask them to



share their name and, on a scale of one to ten, rate your relationship

with your father growing up. Or, if I am teaching on wisdom and

guidance, I might ask them to share one time they felt God helped them

with a decision. I try to be meaningful, but not so personal as to

embarrass anyone. I once asked a singles group to share their name and

how old the were when they first kissed someone other than family. One

girl shared she had never been kissed. Ouch. Don't ever ask questions

like that. Repent!


This first question may or may not have all that much to do with the

text. It just gets everyone mentally checked in and exposes the group

to each other in friendly way. The next question begins the exposure

to truth.


What Does the Text Say? (top)

My daddy used to say, "You gotta know what the Bible says before you

can know what it means." We often want to skip this. Maybe because we

are so familiar with the text we assume everyone is. Maybe we just

don't want to take the time.


It is safer to assume that many are fuzzy on at least the details of

the text and need to be reminded. Many people don't read well. Many

more don't read at all. We serve them by getting them thoroughly

acquainted with what the text says. If we are doing our outreach well

we will have a number of people who do not know the Bible well. It is

a shame for a teacher not to have a number of spiritual babies or lost

people in their class. Sometimes you hear comments that make you think

teachers are proud of how well the whole group knows the Bible and

grasps deep spiritual truths. It just means they are lousy at

outreach. Healthy groups have spiritual babies in them.


"What the text says" questions are good questions to draw out quiet,

shy, or introverted people. Just get them used to opening their mouth

in front of this group. I might call on a quiet person to look at a

specific verse and tell me one bit of information from that verse. You

can bet they will pay attention. Here are some examples, along with

the verses so you can really see how they work.


Jerry, who was the demon possessed man commanded to tell?
Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them

how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."

( - Mark 5:19 - Mark 5:19})


Follow up question: what is the application? (This is asked to the

whole group.)


John, how does Paul describe what God has done to us in verse 21?
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might

become the righteousness of God. (II Corinthians 5:21)


Follow up question: how does it feel to you to say, "God has made me

to be the righteousness of God?" (From there I might ask questions

like:
Why does it feel awkward?
Is it true, or is this just hyperbole or God talk?
What difference would it make if we came to accept this on face value?
If I am the righteousness of God, why do I so often feel like a crumb?
If I am God's righteousness, why do I sin so much?
How could we come to take ownership of this truth so that our feelings

about ourselves were not so far from what the Bible says?


I might also throw in a short talk on how identity produces behavior.
Sarah, what is the job description of pastors and teachers in verses

11 and 12, and by implication, what is the job description of everyone

else? (This more complex question I would only ask to someone I knew

could handle it.)


It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to

be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, To prepare God's

people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built

up. ( - Ephesians 4:11 - Ephesians 4:11},

- 12 - Ephesians 4:12})
Follow up questions: What do you think these works of service include?

What are some examples? What works of service have we been equipped



for and done in the last three weeks?

"How Did They Feel?" Questions (top)

In narrative material I have found it very helpful to look beyond the

text and what happened to the emotions they felt as the events took

place. Here are some examples:
Story Question

Prodigal son. How did the son feel as he approached the father near

the end of the story?

How did the father feel?


What was the elder brother feeling?
Abraham offering Isaac. What was Abraham thinking as he got up early

in the morning to take Isaac to be sacrificed? What was he feeling?

How do you think he felt when he saw the ram?
Nathan confronts David. As he was preparing to talk to David, what

was going through Nathan's head? How did he feel as he stepped to the

door?

How do you think David felt when Nathan said those dramatic words,



"You are the man."?
Paul's conflict with Barnabas over John Mark? Why did Barnabas feel

so strongly about keeping John Mark on the team?

What were Paul's feelings on the matter?
What do you think John Mark felt?
Was this a polite disagreement, or were they really angry? Do you

think they raised their voices?

When you ask emotion questions you are not just looking for one

answer. Many times we have mixed feelings‑‑that is, we are feeling a

variety of things. You might have several in mind and if the group

does not name an emotion you might just ask, "Do you think David felt

defensive or convicted?" (Maybe both, which makes it a good jump ball


question, which we will talk about next.)
So far we have looked at three types of question, can you remember

what they are?


The ________________ ____________________ Question

What Does the _________________ Say?

"How Did They ________________ ?" Questions

"Jump Ball" Questions

Application Questions

Accountability Questions

Testimony Questions: How Has It Worked So Far?

Jump Ball Questions (top)

When I get into the heart of the lesson, I like to have a good jump

ball question. A jump ball question is a question that can

legitimately go either way. If I write the question well there will be

some who will answer the question one way, while others take the

opposite viewpoint. If I do this successfully, I just sit back and let

them wrestle it out for a while.


What I am trying to create is a discussion where I am a player, even

the most important player, but just a player still. This is very

different than many questions that are just a dialogue between the

teacher and one student at a time. I am trying to get the students to

interact with each other.
Here is an example of a good jump ball questions I have used. If you

teach a group, you might want to use this one the next time you are

together and see where it goes.
Is Christianity easy or hard?
As far as I am concerned, this question can be answered either way,

depending on what you mean. Experience will teach most people to

naturally react that it is difficult, and there are verses that point

in this direction. But, Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden

is light." ( - Matthew 11:30 - Matthew 11:30}). In my opinion,

Christianity is either easy or impossible. It is like good dancing. It

requires discipline and practice. But if you are struggling with it,

you are probably losing. It ought to look easy. There ought to be a

grace and a poise and a joy in it that makes it easy. This is why the


Puritans taught us that the chief end of man is to glorify God and

enjoy Him forever. Christianity is at its best when we enjoy it. Yet,

it demands everything. We must deny ourselves, take up our cross and

follow him. We must give up everything to be his disciple. So, in a

way it is easy and in a way it is hard. That is why this is a good

jump ball question.


Sometimes, the trajectory of a jump ball has to be altered slightly,

either because you miscalculated the release, or because of the mind

set of the group. For example, with the above example, you might have

a group that will land completely one way or the other. If this

happens, you take the other side.
Suppose they all say, "Christianity is hard." Ask: "What about the

verse that says, 'My yoke is easy.' What is the answer according to

that verse?" If they all say it is easy, I ask, "Is it always easy for

you?"
Sometimes I alter the trajectory just to push the discussion a little

farther, or in a new direction. Here is an example of a question I

used in two groups, and got completely different reactions. I had to

alter the trajectory of the jump ball question in order to create the

discussion. In order to launch the jump ball, I had to tell a story:


I was talking to a guy the other day and at a certain point in the

conversation I said to him, "You are saying to me that a sinner comes

to God and says, 'please help me quit sinning' and God might say to

him, 'no'." "That is exactly what I am saying," he replied. Reflect on

that for me? Is that true? How could it possibly be true?
After they discussed for a while, I altered the trajectory: "What

about with reference to knowing God‑‑could it ever be that someone

would come to God and ask to know Him and God would say, "no"?
The point of the first question was to impress the students with the

idea that it is possible to come to God and ask him for help in

dealing with sin and your motives be all wrong. It may be you have no

real interest in God, it is only that sin has become inconvenient. It

has messed up your life and you simply want a better life for you.

Maybe you have some habit or addiction that has gotten out of control

and you want God to do what Weight Watchers or AA could not do. In

this case you may not really be interested in God of the kingdom. God

becomes a Jeanne, another self‑help method. I have turned to tapes and


books and they didn't work; I want a better life so I turn to God. God

may say, "no".


In a similar way, it is possible to come to God asking him to know

him, and the motive be all wrong. Jesus said to Peter, "Peter, do you

love me more than these?" (I think he was speaking of the nets, not

the other disciples in - John 20 - John 20}.) I think that is

not just a question for Peter, but for everyman. Jesus points to the

various attractions in our life and says, "Do you love me more than

these?" It is possible to want to know God because we think that is

part of the good life as we define it. The question about Job is also

every man's question, "Will Job serve God for nothing?" Will you? Will

I? Or do we want to know him for what we will get out of it. There

comes a time in every believer's life when he does to us what he did

to Abraham when he says, "Take your son, your only son whom you love.

. . and sacrifice him."
This is an abbreviation of a 5 minute lecture I would give in class

after the mind has been opened with the jump ball question.


Application Questions (top)

Application is the point. As Howard Hendricks says, "We are not out to

make smarter sinners, but saints." Application is not something we

tack on the end of a good discussion. It is the point of the

discussion. In teaching at its best, all roads lead to application.

Every question, story, verse, illustration, example, lecture‑‑all of

it leads to application.


Application questions are pretty straightforward:
How can we apply this to our lives?
What difference would it make on Monday morning if we knew God?
Specifically, how do we go about enjoying God?
What advice would you give to a friend who did not see himself as the

righteousness of God, as II Corinthians 5:20 describes? (People are

often better at giving advice to a friend than they are telling

exactly how they would do something.)




What specific steps could we take to make this a reality in our day to

day lives?


What is one thing you could do for your spouse this week that would

demonstrate a servant's heart. Name something you were not already

going to do anyway.
The key to good application questions is their specificity. Resist

like the plague the temptation to be too grandiose. Talk about

specific things they can do this week.
People forget most of what they hear. They even forget a lot of what

they see and talk about (though the percentages go down). But we

remember a lot of what we do. If you can get the group to do one small

thing in application of the truth studied you greatly multiply the

chances of them permanently altering their life.
The other side of the application issue is that there is a lot more to

being a disciple than doing. There is being, feeling, knowing. If

people come to understand that God is all‑knowing, all‑powerful, wise,

immutable, transcendent, holy, loving, kind, etc, it will alter the

way they think, feel and live. In fact, you could argue that it would

not be possible to really be a maturing disciple without most of our

concepts about God being accurate. These are not always easy to apply.

The fact that I am thoroughly impressed by the fact that God is holy

is important. Application can come later. I just need to understand

something about God. We need to relax and not push for application

where it is not appropriate. We also need to be aware and push for it

every time we can.


Time to review. Let me hold you accountable for what you have learned.

How many of the questions we have talked about so far. How many types

of questions can you remember?
_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

"__________ ___________" Questions

_______________________ Questions

Accountability Questions

Testimony Questions: How Has It Worked So Far?



Accountability Questions (top)

Open groups‑‑that is, groups that people can walk in on anytime‑‑have

an inherent limitation with reference to accountability. In a closed

group you can build some discipleship momentum so they know they will

be held accountable every week for their quiet time or scripture

memory or whatever. It is difficult to do this and be an inviting,

including, evangelistic group. Both kinds of groups‑‑accountability

and evangelistic‑‑can be used by God in the disciplemaking process.


Still, there can be accountability in open groups. The accountability,

however, needs to be short term. If I give an application this week

about having the world on our heart and praying for a missionary of a

country this week, I need to ask them about it the next. If I

challenge the group to memorize one verse this week, I need to hold

them accountable the next. People who are new to the group will not

feel they have come in on the middle of something. They will realize

this is an assignment just given last week, and if they come next

week, they will be right up to speed.
Another kind of accountability has to do with beliefs. Say we teach a

lesson on the idea that we are to enjoy God ( - Psalm

37:4 - Psalms 37:4 - - Philippians 3:1 - Philippians 3:1},

- 4:4 - Philippians 4:4}). I might ask the next week, "Did

anyone have any moments this week when you enjoyed God? Tell us about

it" Or, more simply, if I teach a lesson on the fatherhood of God, I

might ask the following week, "What did we say last week, is God more

like a policeman, or a father? Have you had a chance to think about

that the last week?"
In addition to accountability in class, the teacher should be pushing

for personal accountability between members outside of class. This

will be dealt with in more detail in a later section. (p. 134)
Are you up for another review?
The ______________________________________ Question

What Does the ________________ Say?

"How Did They _______________ ?" Questions

"___________________ " Questions

________________________ Questions

_________________________ Questions

Testimony Questions: How Has It Worked So Far?


Testimony Questions: How Has It Worked So Far? (top)

Most people are more persuaded by the group than they are the truth.

That is why we facetiously ask our kids, "If all your friends jumped

in the fire, would you?" The ironic thing we seldom think about is

that the answer to that question is "yes" more often than we know.

Think about Jonestown. I have a guy in our church that was among the

first team of people to go to Guyana and investigate. He explained why

the early estimates of the number of dead were so low (about 300

verses about 900). They knew about how many people lived in the

commune, yet they did not see that many bodies. They assumed hundreds

of them had run away. That is a logical, because we think that is what

we would do. We would run into the jungle if someone asks us to drink

cyanide laced kool‑aid. We forget the pull of the crowd. What they did

not realize was that people took the cyanide and laid down on other

dead bodies to die, so that the dead were stacked three and four and

five deep. There is an incredible power in the influence of the group.


We often think of peer pressure as a teen issue. It is not. Peer

pressure effects everyone. The role of the teacher is to capitalize on

this fact in the disciplemaking process.
This is why testimonies are so valuable. Consider this, in nearly all

Sunday School classes there is a wide variety of maturity represented

in the people present. Rather than just telling everyone, for example,

that they ought to have a quiet time, why not allow three or four of

the people to share their story?
What does it mean to them?
What specifically do they do?
Where do they sit, what time, what are the details?
How did they get started?
Why do they do it?
What are the rewards?
These testimonies will be far more valuable than your persuasion.

People are persuaded by their friends. They do what they see their

friends doing. In almost any area of application you can ask for

testimonies of people who are doing it.



By the way, I have seen testimonies work the other way, and it is

disastrous. Suppose a group was holding one another accountable for

having a daily quiet time. The leader comes in and asks how the group

did this week. One pipes up, "I didn't do so well. Not a single day."

"Yeah, I didn't do any better." "Well, I read one day, but I didn't

get too much out of it." This teacher is in deep weeds.


Review (top)

What have we learned so far? See if you can recall the seven kinds of

questions we can use to teach a group.

http://www.joshhunt.com/question.html

<><
How to Speak with Authority - Gothard

- 5/2001.101


How to speak with authority

1. Speak with a good conscience.


‑ Guilt brings fear, distraction, distortion, wrong motives, and

failure.
I Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some

having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
‑ Guilt dims our eyes and eye contact.
‑ Guilt hides God's ways.
- Matthew 5:8 - Matthew 5:8} Blessed [are] the pure in

heart: for they shall see God.


2. Speak with scripture.
‑ Ultimate authority "Thus saith the Lord"

‑ "We have the mind of Christ."
I Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he

may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.


‑ Speak as the oracles of God.
I Peter 4:11 If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of

God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God

giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ,

to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


‑ "A discerner of thoughts"
- Hebrews 4:12 - Hebrews 4:12} For the word of God [is]

quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing

even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and

marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


3. Speak to the conscience.
‑ This was Paul's method.
II Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of

dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God

deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to

every man's conscience in the sight of God.


We can say "we have sinned," and then asked, "what will you do?"

You must ask permission to speak to their conscience. This will

reveal hidden things.
‑ Establish conviction with commandments.
‑ Investigate root problems.
- Acts 8:20 - Acts 8:20} But Peter said unto him, Thy money

perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may

be purchased with money.

- Acts 8:21 - Acts 8:21} Thou hast neither part nor lot in

this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

- Acts 8:22 - Acts 8:22} Repent therefore of this thy

wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be


forgiven thee.

- Acts 8:23 - Acts 8:23} For I perceive that thou art in the

gall of bitterness, and [in] the bond of iniquity.
Anything you hide in darkness, the devil is given authority over

this. [HEC ‑ He is the prince of darkness. You are living in his

dominion. Move out.]
Houdini developed his stomach muscles and said that anyone could hit

him and it wouldn't hurt. He forgot to say with his permission.

Someone hit him and he died from this.
This is bitterness, greed, and impurity.
4. Speak from experience.
‑ You speak with authority when you give your life message.
I - John 1:3 - John 1:3} That which we have seen and heard

declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and

truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus

Christ.
- John 9:25 - John 9:25} He answered and said, Whether he be

a sinner [or no], I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was

blind, now I see.


1. Describe a personal struggle ‑ (Like ‑ Fear)
2. Explain how you tried to solve it. ‑ (Bitterness.)
3. Present God's solution to it. ‑ (His Word.)
4. Report the results. ‑ (Peace)
Most people need help with this. Sometimes people try to share

someone else's testimony. Tell your story.


5. Speak with clear facts.
‑ Speak the truth in love.
- Ephesians 4:15 - Ephesians 4:15} But speaking the truth in

love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even]

Christ:
It's the idea of love versus harshness.


‑ Avoid unnecessary words that offend.
Don't use words that we do not need.
‑ Major on common words. (Beatitudes)
In the Beatitudes, 110 words of Jesus were one syllable words.
‑ Check accuracy. (Scopes trial)
Clearance Daryl, flattered William Jennings Bryant. Then he

reasoned, "You don't believe the story of Jonah swallowing the whale,

I mean the whale swallowing Jonah." Bryant said, "Well it said a

great fish." Daryl said, "Jesus said it was a whale." Bryant lost

favor with the people.
6. Speak with grace and "salt"
‑ Salt creates curiosity to know truth.
- Colossians 4:6 - Colossians 4:6} Let your speech [be]

alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to

answer every man.
Use curiosity to attract people. Jesus told a part of the story and

then the people followed to the next city.


‑ Grace motivates people to do God's will.
We have the desire and the power to do God's will.
Rewards versus a bribe. A reward is for doing good, a bride is for

doing bad. God is going to reward us.


- Psalms 1:3 - Psalms 1:3} And he shall be like a tree

planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his

season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall

prosper.


Bill offered $1.00 if these Russian people could quote this word

perfect. In these than two minutes, a little boy came and quoted.

Then a girl, then the principle raised her hand. He gave her $2.00.
‑ Appeal to the 7 motivational gifts. ( - Romans 12 - Romans

12})
To the teacher, document it, to the organizer, end on time.


‑ Require commitment to receive answers.
Some of you only want to be average Christians, that's fine, but

some of you want to be totally dedicated to God. You come at this

time. The more sure you are of your answers, the more commitment from

your hearers. This is why Jesus commanded full commitment.

7. Speak by the Holy Spirit. - Ephesians 6:19‑20 - Ephesians

6:19‑20

‑ Be filled with the Spirit
- Ephesians 5:19 - Ephesians 5:19} Speaking to yourselves in

psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in

your heart to the Lord;
‑ Don't grieve or quench God's Spirit.
‑ Relate every experience to Scripture.
From the video "How to reach your city for Jesus." This was from the

brother from Argentina. (Ed Sevosia.)


When you are preaching, you are not only preaching to the people, but

you are preaching to the principalities in that area. We can't just

preach to them, we have to set them free. When we preach Christ and

the Cross, we have the power of God and then the wisdom of God. This

is why people are still doing horrible things. They say, "I am still

working on my salvation, but I'm saved." You may not know how to

explain it, "I was bound, but now I'm free." We must have power

first, then wisdom. "I was blind, but now I see." We need the power



of God so that the wisdom of God can take root.
Your enemies and my enemies do not have skin, it's satan. You are a

soldier. Sometimes you fire, sometimes you are fired on. Make a list

of 20 people who are not believers and pray for them everyday. Serve

eviction notices on the powers that have control of them.


Eviction notice, a man who dressed up nice and will deliver a piece

of paper. You don't move, then 12:01, the sheriff comes with a lot of

deputies and they start throwing everything out.
When we serve an eviction notice, it provides God with a legal means

to do this. It may seem to cost us nothing, but it cost Jesus

plenty. General Wainwright was the only General captured in WWII.

Can you picture this frail man walking with a cain. These well fed,

strong soldiers standing over him. No one told him that Japan

surrendered. An American soldier flew in and told the General. This

General walked into the commanders office, kicked the door in and

said, "My commander and chief has defeated your commander and chief,

I'm in charge here." It's not a matter of strength, it's authority.

You can not live in sin and fight the devil.

Bill Gothard, Bill Gothard Seminar

Atlanta, GA

April 24, 1992

Notes taken by H. E. Cardin



<><
6 Features of Good Sermons: Fred Craddock

- 12/2003.101


Fred Craddock lists six features of good sermons:

1) A unified theme that gives confidence to the preacher and clarity

to the listeners

2) A "memory" that sets the sermon within the tradition of the

believing community

3) A nod of recognition that precedes any shock of recognition

4) A quality of identification with human situation that draws in

listeners

5) A form that creates and sustains anticipation


6) An intimacy between speaker and hearer that is supported by an oral

tradition.


http://www.luthersem.edu/stewardship/resource_detail.asp?resou

rce_id=386




<><
CJ - Preparing to Hear

- 7/2004.101

SOUL JOURNEY
SATURDAY JUNE 26
- James 1:19‑21 - James 1:19‑21} 19 My dear brothers, take

note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and

slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the

righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral

filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the Word

planted in you, which can save you.


ARE YOU PREPARED? How do you prepare for work? How about for a date?

Do you have a specific preparation routine before you go to the gym?

How about when you wash clothes, shop for groceries, or plant a

garden? Preparation is essential for any area of life, especially if

we are going to have any kind of effectiveness.
The book of James reminds us of the importance of preparing to hear

from the God of the universe.


Open my ears‑‑be quick to listen. Having open ears means anticipating

that God has something to say that will have an impact on my emotions,

my thinking, and my will. Having open ears means that I will receive

what God has to say without a debate, a fight, or a prideful attitude.


Close my mouth‑‑slow to speak. Someone has quipped, "God has given us

one mouth and two ears so that we would listen twice as much as we

talk." We really can't hear from God when we are constantly talking.

Sometimes we should prepare to hear from God in silence.


Cool my head‑‑slow to become angry. Anger is an emotion that

constantly battles against God's Word and ultimately prevents the Word

from having its intended impact in our lives.


Clean my life‑‑get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so

prevalent and humbly accept the Word. Just as an infection impairs our

physical hearing, so sin blocks our spiritual ears, preventing us from

hearing what God has to say.


Your heart is like a precious garden. If left to itself, the soil will

produce only weeds‑‑materialism, worry, hatred, jealousy, envy, sexual

sins, harsh words, problems, and "being a know‑it‑all but practicing

none‑at‑all." These things choke out the effectiveness of God's Word.


Are you prepared to hear what God has to say to you? ‑‑Marvin

Williams
DESTINATION POINTS * How much time do I spend preparing to hear from

God, and how can I do a better job preparing? * Do I have any weeds

growing in the garden of my heart? * What sins do I need to confess so

that God's Word can have its intended impact in my life?
LINKS: Tracking God

\webpage{http://www.christianitytoday.com/moi/2001/003/may/7.7.html


bottom line: Open ears start with an open heart for God.


Today's Soul Journey can be found at

\webpage{http://www.soul‑journey.org/20040626.php



<><

Books on Homiletics - 8/2004.101


Allen, Ronald J. Interpreting the Gospel: An Introduction to

Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1998.

BV 4211.2 .A387 1998




Broadus, John Albert. A Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of

Sermons, ed. by Edwin Charles Dargan. NY: A. C. Armstrong and Son,

1898; or New and rev. ed. by Jesse Burton Weatherspoon. NY: Harper

Brothers, 1944. (The latest edition, revised by Vernon Stanfield

[1979], is not recommended.)

BV 4211 .B863o or .B863t

Buttrick, David G. Homiletic: Moves and Structures. Philadelphia:

Fortress Press, 1987.

BV 4211.2 .B86 1987

Craddock, Fred B. Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1985.

BV 4211.2 .C755 1985

Davis, Henry Grady. Design for Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress

Press, 1958.

BV 4211.2 .D25d

Long, Thomas G. The Witness of Preaching. Louisville: Westminster/John

Knox Press, 1989.

BV 4211.2 .L67 1989

Lowry, Eugene L. The Sermon: Dancing the Edge of Mystery. Nashville:

Abingdon, 1997.

BV 4211.2 .L69 1997


Untener, Ken. Preaching Better: Practical Suggestions for Homilists.

NY: Paulist Press, 1999.

BV 4211.2 .U55

Vinet, Alexandre R. Homiletics: Or, The Theory of Preaching.

Translated and edited by Thomas H. Skinner. New York: Ivison &

Phinney, 1853.

BV 4213 .V53 1853
Waznak, Robert P. An Introduction to the Homily. Collegeville, MN:

Liturgical Press, 1998.

BV 4211.2 .W33 1998

Wilson, Paul Scott. The Practice of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon

Press, 1995.

BV 4211.2 .W56 1995


<><
African American Preaching - 8/2004.101
African American Preaching

Andrews, Dale P. "A Covenant Model of Ecclesiology for Black Practical

Theology: Spanning the Chasm between Black Theology and African


American Folk Religion." Ph. D. diss., Vanderbilt University, 1998.

BT 82.7 .A537 1998


Blount, Brian K. Go Preach!: Mark's Kingdom Message and the Black

Church Today. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1998.

BS 2417 .K5 B55 1998
Bond, L. Susan. "To Hear the Angels' Wings: Apocalyptic Language and

the Formation of Moral Community with Reference to the Sermons of

Gardner C. Taylor." Ph. D. diss., Vanderbilt University, 1996.

BV 4211.2 .B633 1996


Collier‑Thomas, Bettye. Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers

and Their Sermons, 1850‑1979. San Francisco, CA: Jossey‑Bass, 1997.

BR 563 .N4 C646 1997
Crawford, Evans E., with Thomas H. Troeger. The Hum: Call and Response

in African American Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.

BV 4208 .U6 C72 1995

Davis, Gerald L. I Got the Word in Me and I Can Sing It, You Know: A

Study of the Performed African‑ American Sermon. Philadelphia:

University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985.

BV 4221 .D38 1985
Dennard, David C. "Religion in the Quarters: A Study of Slave

Preachers in the Antebellum South, 1800‑1860." Ph. D. diss.,

Northwestern University, 1983.

BR 563 .N4 D466 1998

Forbes, James A. The Holy Spirit & Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon

Press, 1989.

BV 4211.2 .F65 1989
Franklin, Marion J. "The Relationship of Black Preaching to Black

Gospel Music." D. Min. thesis, Drew University, 1982.

BR 563 .N4 F836 1982a

Gray, C. Jarrett. "Soteriological Themes in African‑American Methodist

Preaching, 1876‑1914." Ph. D. diss., Drew University, 1993.

BV 4241.5 .G739 1993a


Hamlet, Janice D. "Religious Discourse as Cultural Narrative: A

Critical Analysis of the Rhetoric of African‑American Sermons." Ph. D.

diss., Ohio State University, 1989.

BV 4221 .H365 1989a



Harris, James H. Preaching Liberation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press,

1995.


BV 4208 .U6 H37 1995

Lacy, Cleopatrick. "From Sermon to Service: The Role and Impact of

Preaching in the Historic African‑American Church." D. Min. thesis,

United Theological Seminary,

1991. BV 4241.5

.L339 1991a


LaRue, Cleophus J. The Heart of Black Preaching. Louisville:

Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.

BV 4208 .U6 L37 2000
Lischer, Richard. The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the

Word that Moved America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

BV 4208 .U6 L57 1995
May, Marvis P. "Didactic Preaching in the Black Church Tradition." D.

Min. thesis, United Theological Seminary, 1992.

BV 4241.5 .M334 1992a
McDonald, Isaac. "A Study of the Effects of College Education on

African Americans' Expectations of Preachers and Their Preaching." D.

Min. thesis, Lancaster Theological Seminary, 1996.

BV 4241.5 .M336 1996a

McMickle, Marvin Andrew. "Film Portrayals of the Black Preacher from

1929 to the Present." Ph. D. diss., Case Western Reserve University,

1998.

PN 1995.9 .N4 M365 1998a


McMickle, Marvin Andrew. Preaching to the Black Middle Class: Words of

Challenge, Words of Hope. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2000.

BR 563 .N4 M355 2000
Mitchell, Henry H. Black Preaching: the Recovery of a Powerful Art.

Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990.

BV 4208 .U6 M57 1990

Mitchell, Henry H. Celebration and Experience in Preaching. Nashville:

Abingdon Press, 1990.

BV 4211.2 .M54 1990


Moss, Beverly J. "The Black Sermon as a Literacy Event." Ph. D. diss.,

University of Illinois at Chicago, 1988.

BV 4241.5 .M677 1988a

Moyd, Olin P. The Sacred Art: Preaching & Theology in the African

American Tradition. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1995.

BV 4208 .U6 M693 1995

Nealy, Geoffrey DeWayne. "Black Styles in Preaching: Essential

Characteristics in the Black Preaching Tradition." D. Min. thesis,

Divinity School, Vanderbilt University,

1993. D. Min. 178
Nichols, M. Celeste. "The Rhetorical Structure of the Traditional

Black Church." Ph. D. diss., University of Louisville, 1991.

BV 4241.5 .N53 1991
Pipes, William H. Say Amen, Brother!: Old‑Time Negro Preaching, A

Study in American Frustration. Detroit: Wayne State University Press,

1992.

BR 563 .N4 P53 1991


Proctor, Samuel D. The Certain Sound of the Trumpet: Crafting a Sermon

of Authority. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1994.

BV 4222 .P746 1994

Proctor, Samuel D. "How Shall They Hear?": Effective Preaching for

Vital Faith. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1992.

BV 4222 .P75 1992

Roberts, Samuel K., Ed. Born to Preach: Essays in Honor of the

Ministry of Henry and Ella Mitchell. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press,

2000.

BV 4208 .U6 B67 2000


Rosenberg, Bruce A. Can These Bones Live?: The Art of the American

Folk Preacher. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.

BV 4208 .U6 R67 1988

Smith, Kelly Miller. Social Crisis Preaching. Macon, GA: Mercer

University Press, 1984.

BV 4222 .S64 1984


Spencer, Jon Michael. Sacred Symphony: The Chanted Sermon of the Black

Preacher. NY: Greenwood Press, 1987.

Central BV 4221 .S64 1987
Spillers, Hortense Jeanette. "Fabrics of History: Essays on the Black

Sermon." Ph. D. diss., Brandeis Univerisity, 1974.



BV 4241.5 .S64 1974a

Stephens, Reginald Van. "The preaching of Howard Thurman, William A.

Jones, Jr., William Watley, and Jeremiah Wright, Jr.: A Comparison of

Distinctive Styles in Black Preaching." D. Min. thesis, United

Theological Seminary (Dayton, OH), 1992.

BV 4211.2 .S747 1992


Stewart, Warren H. Interpreting God's Word in Black Preaching. Valley

Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1984.

BV 4221 .S73 1984

Stone, Sonja Haynes. "The Black Preacher as Teacher: An Exploratory

Study." Ph. D. diss., Northwestern University,

1973.


BR 563 .N4 S786 1973a
Taylor, Gardner C. How Shall They Preach? Elgin, IL: Progressive

Baptist Publishing House, 1977.

BV 4211.2 .T38

Thomas, Frank A. They Like to Never Quit Praisin' God: The Role of

Celebration in Preaching. Cleveland: United Church Press, 1997.

BV 4208 .U6 T43 1997

Townes, Emilie Maureen. "The Kingdom of God in Black Preaching: An

Analysis and Critique of James H. Cone." D. Min. thesis, University of

Chicago, Divinity School, 1982.

BX 4827 .C65 T69 1982a


Washington, Preston Robert. "The Black Religious Imagination: A

Theological and Pedagogical Interpretation of the Afro‑American Sermon

in the Twentieth Century." Ph. D. diss., Teachers College, Columbia

University, 1991.

BR 563 .N4 W338 1991
Wharry, Cheryl. "'I'm Gonna Preach It, Amen': Discourse Functions of

Formulaic Expressions in African American Sermons." Ph. D. diss.,

Oklahoma State University, 1996.

BV 4241.5 .W437 1996a


See also: Callen, Howard, "African American Preaching Bibliography,"

and Simmons.

\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm



<><

Biblical Interpretation for Preaching

- 8/2004.101
3.2 Biblical Interpretation for Preaching

Allen, Ronald J. Contemporary Biblical Interpretation for Preaching.

Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1984.

BS 534.5 .A45 1984

Allen, Ronald J., and John C. Holbert. Holy Root, Holy Branches:

Christian Preaching from the Old Testament. Nashville: Abingdon Press,

1995.

BS 1191.5 .A44 1995


Bailey, Raymond, Ed. Hermeneutics for Preaching: Approaches to

Contemporary Interpretation of Scripture. Nashville: Broadman Press,

1992.

BS 534.5 .H47 1992


Bartlett, David Lyon. Between the Bible and the Church: New Methods

for Biblical Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1999.

BS 534.5 .B36 1999

Best, Ernest. From Text to Sermon: Responsible Use of the New

Testament in Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1978.

BV 4211.2 .B46


Buttrick, David G. Speaking Parables: A Homiletic Guide. Louisville:

Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.

BT 375.2 .B89 2000
Camery‑Hoggatt, Jerry. Speaking of God: Reading and Preaching the Word

of God. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995.

BV 4211.2 .C25 1995
Farris, Stephen. Preaching That Matters: The Bible and Our Lives.

Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.

BS 534.5 .F37 1998

Fuller, Reginald H. The Use of the Bible in Preaching. Philadelphia:

Fortress Press, 1981.

BS 534.5 .F84 1981

Gowan, Donald E. Reclaiming the Old Testament for the Christian


Pulpit. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1980.

BS 1191.5 .G68

Graves, Mike. The Sermon as Symphony: Preaching the Literary Forms of

the New Testament. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1997.

BS 2341.3 .G72 1997

Greidanus, Sidney. The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text:

Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature. Grand Rapids, MI:

Eerdmans, 1988.

BS 534.5 .G74 1988
Holmgren, Frederick C., and Herman E. Schaalman, Eds. Preaching

Biblical Texts: Expositions by Jewish and Christian Scholars. Grand

Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1995.

BS 1225 .P73 1995


Jacobsen, David Schnasa. Preaching in the New Creation: The Promise of

New Testament Apocalyptic Texts. Louisville: Westminster John Knox

Press, 1999.

BS 646 .J337 1999


Jones, Larry Paul, and Jerry L. Sumney. Preaching Apocalyptic Texts.

St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999.

BS 646 .J66 1999

Keck, Leander E. The Bible in the Pulpit: The Renewal of Biblical

Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1978.

BS 534.5 .K42

Long, Thomas G. Preaching and the Literary Forms of the Bible.

Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1989.

BS 534.5 .L66 1989

McKenzie, Alyce M. Preaching Proverbs: Wisdom for the Pulpit.

Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

BS 680 .P7 M37 1996


McKim, Donald K. The Bible in Theology & Preaching. Nashville:

Abingdon Press, 1994.

BS 500 .M35 1994

Thompson, William D. Preaching Biblically: Exegesis and

Interpretation. Nashville: Abingdon, 1981.

BS 534.5 .T48

Wardlaw, Don M., Ed. Preaching Biblically. Philadelphia: Westminster

Press, 1983.

BV 4211.2 .P735 1983


Webb, Joseph M. Old Texts, New Sermons: The Quiet Revolution in

Biblical Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000.

BS 534.5 .W43 2000
Williamson, Clark M., and Ronald J. Allen. Interpreting Difficult

Texts: Anti‑Judaism and Christian Preaching. Philadelphia: Trinity

Press, 1989.

BM 585 .W5 1989


Wilson, Paul Scott. The Four Pages of the Sermon: A Guide to Biblical

Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1999.

BS 534.5 .W55 1999

See also: Blount and Shelley


3.3 Evangelistic Preaching

Allen, Ronald J. Preaching for Growth. St. Louis: CBP Press, 1988.

BV 4211.2 .A39 1988

Chilson, Richard. Evangelization Homily Hints: A Resource for Catholic

Preachers. NY: Paulist Press, 2000.

BX 2347.4 .C45 2000


Duffett, Robert G. A Relevant Word: Communicating the Gospel to

Seekers. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1995.

BV 4319 .D84 1995
Loscalzo, Craig A. Apologetic Preaching: Proclaiming Christ to a

Postmodern World. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

BV 4211.2 .L6737 2000
Loscalzo, Craig A. Evangelistic Preaching that Connects: Guidance in

Shaping Fresh and Appealing Sermons. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity

Press, 1995.

BV 4211.2 .L674 1995

Walker, Alan. Evangelistic Preaching. Grand Rapids, MI: Francis Asbury

Press, 1988.

BV 4221 .W35 1988

Willimon, William H. The Intrusive Word: Preaching to the Unbaptized.

Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1994.

BV 4211.2 .W524 1994

See also: Stuempfle

\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm



Books - General Works and Surveys on Preaching

- 8/2004.101
General Works and Surveys

Brilioth, Yngve T. A Brief History of Preaching. Translated by Karl E.

Mattson. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1965.

BV 4207 .B857b


Connors, Joseph Michael. "Catholic Homiletic Theory in Historical

Perspective." Ph. D. diss., Northwestern University, 1962.

BV 4207 .C666 1963a

Cooke, Bernard J. Ministry to Word and Sacraments: History and

Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976, pp. 219‑340.

BV 4006 .C66

Crowe, Frederick E. Theology of the Christian Word: A Study in

History. NY: Paulist Press, 1978.

BT 180 .W67 C76

Dargan, Edwin Charles. The Art of Preaching in the Light of Its

History. New York: Doran, 1922.

BV 4211 .D21

Dargan, Edwin Charles. A History of Preaching. 2 Vols. New York: Burt

Franklin, 1905, 1912; Volume 3 by Ralph G. Turnbull. Grand Rapids, MI:

Baker, 1954

BV 4207 .D3


Fant, Clyde E., and William M. Pinson, Jr., Eds. 20 Centuries of Great

Preaching: An Encyclopedia of Preaching. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1971.

BV 4241 .F34

Lischer, Richard. Theories of Preaching: Selected Readings in the

Homiletical Tradition. Durham, NC: Labyrinth Press, 1987.

BV 4222 .T48 1987


Old, Hughes Oliphant. The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in

the Worship of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans,

1997‑

BV 4207 .O43



Osborn, Ronald E. Folly of God: The Rise of Christian Preaching. St.

Louis: Chalice Press, 1997.

BV 4207 .O83 1997

Petry, Ray C. Preaching in the Great Tradition: Neglected Chapters in

the History of Preaching. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1950.


BV 4207 .P4

Smyth, Charles H. E. The Art of Preaching: A Practical Survey of

Preaching in the Church of England, 747‑1939. London: Society for

Promoting Christian Knowledge; New York, The Macmillan Company, 1940.

BV 4208 .S5

Telford, John. A History of Lay Preaching in the Christian Church.

London: C.H. Kelly, 1897.

BV 4235.L3 T4

Webber, Frederick R. A History of Preaching in Britain and America. 3

Vols. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1952‑57.

BV 4207 .W37h

Wilson, Paul Scott. A Concise History of Preaching. Nashville:

Abingdon Press, 1992.

BV 4207 .W53 1992

Zawart, Anscar, O. M. Cap. The History of Franciscan Preaching and of

Franciscan Preachers (1209‑1927): A Bio‑Bibliographical Study. New

York: Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., 1927. Franciscan Studies. No. 7

(February 1928): 241‑596.

BX 3601 .F8 v. 6‑7
\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm


<><
Preaching in the Early Church

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Preaching in the Early Churches

Carroll, Thomas K. Preaching the Word. Wilmington, DE: Michael

Glazier, 1984.

BV 4207 .C377 1984


Cunningham, Mary B., and Pauline Allen, Eds. Preacher and Audience:

Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Homiletics. Leiden: Brill,

1998.

BV 4208 .B98 P74 1998



Dodd, C. H. The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments. New York:

Harper and Brothers 1936.

BS 2545 .E7 D6 1936

Hunter, David G., Ed. Preaching in the Patristic Age: Studies in Honor

of Walter J. Burghardt, S.J. New York: Paulist Press, 1989.

BV 4207 .P65 1989

Litfin, A. Duane. St. Paul's Theology of Proclamation: - 1

Corinthians 1‑4 - 1 Corinthians 1‑4} and Greco‑Roman Rhetoric.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

BS 2675.6 .P8 L57 1994

MacDonald, James I. H. Kerygma and Didache: The Articulation and

Structure of the Earliest Christian Message. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1980.

BS 2545.K43 M23 1980

Mühlenberg, Ekkehard, and Johannes van Oort, Eds. Predigt in der Alten

Kirche. Kampen, the Netherlands: Kok Pharos, 1994.

BV 4207 .P743 1994

3.4.3 Preaching in the Middle Ages

Amos, Thomas L., Eugene A. Green, and Beverly Mayne Kienzle, Eds. De

Ore Domini: Preacher and Word in the Middle Ages. Kalamazoo, MI:

Medieval Institute Publications, 1989.

CB 351 .S83 v.27
Briscoe, Marianne G. Artes Praedicandi. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols,

1992.


Central Z 6203 .T95 fasc. 61

Caplan, Harry. Of Eloquence: Studies in Ancient and Mediaeval

Rhetoric. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1970.

Central PA 6083 .C3

Kienzle, Beverly Mayne, Ed. The Sermon. Typologie des Sources du Moyen

Age Occidental, Fasc. 81‑83. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols,

2000.

BV 4205 .S476 2000


Muessig, Carolyn, Ed. Medieval Monastic Preaching. Leiden: Brill,

1998.


BV 4207 .M42 1998
Neale, John Mason. Mediæval Preachers and Mediæval Preaching: A Series

of Extracts, Translated from the Sermons of the Middle Ages,

Chronologically Arranged; With Notes and an Introduction. London: J.

C. Mozley, 1856.

BV 4207 .N34

3.4.3 Preaching in the Reformation Era



Kiessling, Elmer C. The Early Sermons of Luther and Their Relation to

the Pre‑Reformation Sermon. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing

House 1935.

BR 334 .K47e

McGinness, Frederick J. Right Thinking and Sacred Oratory in

Counter‑Reformation Rome. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,

1995.

BV 4208 .I8 M35 1995



Meuser, Fred W. Luther the Preacher. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing

House, 1983.

BR 325 .M46 1983

Parker, T. H. L. Calvin's Preaching. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox

Press, 1992.

BX 9418 .P342 1992


Wozniak, Judith T. A Time for Peace: The Ecclesiastes of Erasmus. New

Orleans: University Press of the South, 1996.

BV 4211.2 .W79 1996

\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm


Books - Preaching in the "Modern" Era

- 8/2004.101


Preaching in the "Modern" Era

Baumer, Fred A. "Toward the Development of Homiletic as Rhetorical

Genre: A Critical Study of Roman Catholic Preaching in the United

States since Vatican Council II." Ph. D. diss., Northwestern

University, 1985.

BV 4207 .B386 1985a


Brastow, Lewis O. The Modern Pulpit: A Study of Homiletic Sources and

Characteristics. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1906.

BV 4207 .B82
Holland, DeWitte, Ed. Preaching in American History: Selected Issues

in the American Pulpit, 1630‑1967. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1969.

BV 4208 .U6 P92

Hurel, Augustin‑Jean. Les Orateurs Sacrés à la Cour de Louis XIV.

Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1971 (original ed.: 1872).

BV 4208 .F8 H8 1971



Milburn, Geoffrey, and Margaret Batty, Eds. Workaday Preachers: The

Story of Methodist Local Preaching. Peterborough: Methodist Publishing

House, 1995.

BV 4235 .L3 W675 1995


Peay, Bede Steven. "Change in the Theology and Practice of Preaching

in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, 1935‑1983". Ph. D.

diss., St. Louis University, 1990.

BV 4208 .U6 P349 1990

Stout, Harry S. The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture

in Colonial New England. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

BV 4208 .U6 S75 1986

Toulouse, Teresa. The Art of Prophesying: New England Sermons and the

Shaping of Belief. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987.

BV 4208 .U6 T68 1987


\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm
Books on Homiletic Pedagogy

- 8/2004.101


Homiletic Pedagogy

Bence, Philip Arthur. "An Analysis of the Effect of Contrasting

Theologies of Preaching on the Teaching of Preaching in British

Institutions of Higher Learning." Ph. D. diss., St. Mary's College,

University of St. Andrews, 1989.

MiFilm D‑892


Bresee, W. Floyd. "An Analysis of Homiletics Teaching Methods

Advocated by Contemporary Homiletic Authorities in the United States."

Ph. D. diss., Northwestern University, 1971.

BV 4222 .B38


DeLeers, Stephen Vincent. "A Process for the Assessment of Liturgical

Preaching Reflecting Official Roman Catholic Understanding of the

Homily." D. Min. thesis, Aquinas Institute of Theology, 1996.

BV 4211.2 .D454 1996a


Levering, William Henry. "The Development of the Field of Homiletics

in America from 1960‑1983." Ph. D. diss., Temple University, 1986.

BV 4208 .U6 L484 1986a
McCants, David A. "A Study of the Criticism of Preaching Published in


America Between 1865 and 1930." Ph. D. diss., Northwestern University,

1964.


BV 4208 .U6 M333 1964

Miller, David L. "The Status of Homiletics in Speech Communication

Journals." Ph. D. diss., Southern Illinois University, 1988.

BV 4221 .M555 1988a


Perry, Lloyd Merle. "Trends and Emphases in the Philosophy, Materials,

and Methodology of American Homiletical Education as Established by a

Study of Selected Trade and Textbooks Published between 1834 and

1954." Ph. D. diss., Northwestern University, 1961.

BV 4211.2 .P477 1961a
Wardlaw, Don M., Ed. Learning Preaching: Understanding and

Participating in the Process. Lincoln, IL: Academy of Homiletics:

Printed by the Lincoln Christian College and Seminary Press, 1989.

BV 4222 .L437 1989

3.6 Liturgical Preaching

Babin, David E. Week In, Week Out: A New Look at Liturgical Preaching.

New York: Seabury Press, 1976.

BV 4211.2 .B224

Bass, George M. The Renewal of Liturgical Preaching. Minneapolis:

Augsburg Publishing House 1967.

BV 4221 .B317r

Daw, Carl P., Jr., Ed. Breaking the Word: Essays on the Liturgical

Dimensions of Preaching. New York: Church Hymnal Corporation, 1994.

BV 4235 .L43 D38 1994

Fuller, Reginald H. What is Liturgical Preaching? London, SCM Press,

1957.


BV 4211.2 .F96

Greenhaw, David M., and Ronald J. Allen, Eds. Preaching in the Context

of Worship. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000.

BV 4211.2 .P736 2000


Joncas, Jan Michael. Preaching the Rites of Christian Initiation.

Forum Essays, No. 4. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications in

cooperation with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, 1994.

BX 2045 .I55 J66 1994

Keir, Thomas H. The Word in Worship: Preaching and Its Setting in

Common Worship. London: Oxford University Press, 1962.

BV 4211.2 .K286 1962

Lowry, Eugene L. Living With the Lectionary: Preaching Through the

Revised Common Lectionary. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1992.


BV 4235 .L43 L69 1992
Monshau, Michael. "The Influence of the Twentieth‑Century Liturgical

Movement upon the Second Vatican Council's Reclamation of the

Word/Sacrament Structure for Eucharistic Worship." Ph. D. diss.,

Vanderbilt University, 1997.

BX 1970 .M667 1997

Skudlarek, William. The Word in Worship: Preaching in a Liturgical

Context. Nashville: Abingdon, 1981.

BV 4211.2 .S538

Sloyan, Gerard S. Worshipful Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress Press,

1984.


BV 4211.2 .S57 1984

3.7 Narrative Preaching

Bass, George M. The Song & the Story. Lima, OH: C.S.S. Publishing

Company, 1984.

BV 4211.2 .B27 1984

Ellingsen, Mark. The Integrity of Biblical Narrative: Story in

Theology and Proclamation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

BV 4235 .S76 E44 1990

Eslinger, Richard L. Narrative & Imagination: Preaching the Worlds

That Shape Us. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.

BV 4211.2 .E84 1995

Jensen, Richard A. Telling the Story: Variety and Imagination in

Preaching. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1980.

BV 4211.2 .J45

Jensen, Richard A. Thinking in Story: Preaching in a Post‑Literate

Age. Lima, OH: C.S.S. Publishing, 1993.

BV 4235 .S76 J46 1993

Lowry, Eugene L. Doing Time in the Pulpit: The Relationship Between

Narrative and Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1985.

BV 4221 .L678 1985

Lowry, Eugene L. The Homiletical Plot, Expanded Edition: The Sermon as

Narrative Art Form. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

BV 4235 .S76 L69 2001

Lowry, Eugene L. How to Preach a Parable: Designs for Narrative

Sermons. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989.

BV 4221 .L68 1989

Robinson, Wayne Bradley, Ed. Journeys Toward Narrative Preaching. New

York: Pilgrim Press, 1990.

BV 4235 .S76 J68 1990

Steimle, Edmund A., Morris J. Niedenthal, and Charles L. Rice, Eds.

Preaching the Story. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980.


BV 4211.2 .S73

Waznak, Robert P. Sunday after Sunday: Preaching the Homily as Story.

New York: Paulist Press, 1983.

BV 4211.2 .W34 1983

\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm
Books on Ethical Issues and Preaching

- 8/2004.101


Ethical Issues and Preaching

Burghardt, Walter J. Preaching the Just Word. New Haven: Yale

University Press, 1996.

BX 1795 .J87 B87 1996

Childs, James M. Preaching Justice: The Ethical Vocation of Word and

Sacrament Ministry. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2000.

BV 4235 .S6 C45 2000
Jones, Hugh Geraint Martin. "A Survey of Protestant Preaching in the

Area of Ecology." D. Min. thesis, Vanderbilt University, 1972.

BV 2 .V35 J655
Kee, Howard Clark, and Irvin J. Borowsky, Eds. Removing Anti‑Judaism

from the Pulpit. New York: Continuum, 1996.

BT 93 .R45 1996
McLaughlin, Raymond W. The Ethics of Persuasive Preaching. Grand

Rapids: Baker Book House, 1979.

BV 4235 .E75 M23
Masabakhwa, Raphael Achandom. "Justice as a Constitutive Dimension of

the Preaching of the Gospel: An African Perspective and an Overview of

Collaboration and Solidarity with the U.S.A. Church." M. A. thesis,

Kenrick School of Theology, 1995.

BX 1795 .J87 M373 1995
Phillips, Jennifer M. Preaching Creation: Throughout the Church Year.

Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2000.

BX 5979.5 .P73 P45 2000


Wogaman, J. Philip. Speaking the Truth in Love: Prophetic Preaching to

a Broken World. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.

BV 4235 .S6 W64 1998

3.9 Preaching and Psychological Issues

Geest, Hans van der. Presence in the Pulpit: The Impact of Personality

in Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981.

BV 4211.2 .G4313

Hedahl, Susan K. Preaching the Wedding Sermon. St. Louis: Chalice

Press, 1999.

BV 4278 .H43 1999


Hughes, Robert G. A Trumpet in Darkness: Preaching to Mourners.

Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985.

BV 4275 .H83 1985

Jabusch, Willard. The Person in the Pulpit: Preaching as Caring.

Nashville: Abingdon, 1980.

BV 4211.2 .J28

Jackson, Edgar N. A Psychology for Preaching. Great Neck, NY: Channel

Press, 1961.

BV 4211.2 .J12p

Kemp, Charles F. Pastoral Preaching. St. Louis: Bethany Press, 1963.

BV 4211.2 .K32p

Marty, Martin E. The Word: People Participating in Preaching.

Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984.

BV 4211.2 .M276 1984

Nichols, J. Randall. Building the Word: The Dynamics of Communication

and Preaching. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1980.

BV 4211.2 .N48 1980

Nichols, J. Randall. The Restoring Word: Preaching as Pastoral

Communication. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987.

BV 4211.2 .N49 1987


Preaching on Death: An Ecumenical Resource. Silver Spring, MD:

Liturgical Conference, 1997.

BV 4211.2 .N49 1987

Ramsey, G. Lee. Care‑Full Preaching: From Sermon to Caring Community.

St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000.

BV 4211.2 .R28 2000

Sonefeld, R. C. Preaching the Funeral Homily: Proclaiming the Gospel

of Heavenly Hope. San Jose, CA: Resource Publications, 2000.

BV 4275 .S553 2000


Wallace, James A. Imaginal Preaching: An Archetypal Perspective. New

York: Paulist Press, 1995.

BV 4211.2 .W275 1995
Welsh, Clement. Preaching in a New Key: Studies in the Psychology of

Thinking and Listening. Philadelphia: United Church Press, 1974.

BV 4211.2 .W42
Wimberly, Edward P. Moving from Shame to Self‑Worth: Preaching and

Pastoral Care. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1999.

BT 714 .W55 1999
\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm

Books on Theological Issues and Preaching

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Theological Issues and Preaching
Allen, Ronald J., Barbara Shires Blaisdell, and Scott Black Johnston.

Theology for Preaching: Authority, Truth, and Knowledge of God in a

Postmodern Ethos. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.

BV 4211.2 .A394 1997

Allen, O. Wesley. Preaching Resurrection. St. Louis: Chalice Press,

2000. BV 4211.2 .A385 2000


Allmen, Jean‑Jacque von. Preaching and Congregation. Richmond: John

Knox Press, 1962.

BV 4211.2 .A413
Avram, Wesley D. "Theo‑Homilia: Rhetorical Theology through the

Thought of Emmanuel Levinas and Mikhail Bakhtin." Ph. D. diss.,

Northwestern University, 1994.

B 2430 .L484 A87 1994a

Barth, Karl. Homiletics. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press,

1991.


BV 4214 .B313 1991
Bartow, Charles L. God's Human Speech: A Practical Theology of

Proclamation. Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans, 1997.

BV 4211.2 .B263 1997


Bond, L. Susan. Trouble with Jesus: Women, Christology, and Preaching.

St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999.

BT 205 .B56 1999

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Worldly Preaching: Lectures on Homiletics. New

York: Crossroad, 1991.

BV 4214 .B661325 1991

Brooks, Phillips. Lectures on Preaching. New York: E. P. Dutton &

Company, 1877.

BV 4211 .B873l
Bullock, Jeffrey Francis. Preaching with a Cupped Ear: Hans‑Georg

Gadamer's Philosophical Hermeneutics as Postmodern Wor(l)d. NY: Peter

Lang, 1999.

BV 4211.2 .B835 1999


Buttrick, David G. Preaching Jesus Christ: An Exercise in Homiletic

Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988.

BV 4222 .B88 1988
Buttrick, David G. Preaching the New and the Now. Louisville:

Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.

BT 94 .B97 1998

Campbell, Charles L. Preaching Jesus: New Directions for Homiletics in

Hans Frei's Postliberal Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: William B.

Eerdmans, 1997.

BV 4211.2 .C26 1997

Carl, William J., III. Preaching Christian Doctrine. Philadelphia:

Fortress Press, 1984.

BV 4211.2 .C27 1984


Cho, Il Koo. "Preaching as a 'Theological Act': A Theology of

Confession and Encounter Based on Minjung and Tochakwha Theologies."

D. Min. thesis, School of Theology at Claremont, 1995.

BV 4208 .K6 C463 1995a

English, Donald. An Evangelical Theology of Preaching. Nashville:

Abingdon Press, 1996.

BV 4211.2 .E54 1996

Forde, Gerhard O. Theology is for Proclamation. Minneapolis: Fortress

Press, 1990.

BV 4211.2 .F68 1990

Forsyth, P. T. Positive Preaching and the Modern Mind. New York:

Hodder & Stoughton, 1907.

BV 4211 .F6


González, Justo L., and Catherine G. González. The Liberating Pulpit.

Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.

BV 4211.2 .G645 1994

Grasso, Domenico. Proclaiming God's Message: A Study in the Theology

of Preaching. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1965.

BV 4211.2 .G769p


Greenhaw, David Mark. "Creative Preaching: An Alternate Metaphor for

the Function of Preaching." Ph. D. diss., Drew University, 1987.

BV 4211.2 .G744 1987a

Gross, Nancy Lammers. "A Re‑Examination of Recent Homiletical Theories

in Light of the Hermeneutical Theory of Paul Ricoeur." Ph. D. diss.,

Princeton Theological Seminary, 1992.

BV 4211.2 .G776 1992
Hilkert, Mary Catherine. Naming Grace: Preaching and the Sacramental

Imagination. New York: Continuum, 1997.

BV 4211.2 .H47 1997
Hilkert, Mary Catherine. "Towards a Theology of Proclamation: Edward

Schillebeeckx's Hermeneutics of Tradition as a Foundation for a

Theology of Proclamation." Ph. D. diss., Catholic University of

America, 1984.

BV 4211.2 .H474 1984a
Hughes, Robert G., and Robert Kysar. Preaching Doctrine: For the

Twenty‑First Century. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1997.

BV 4235 .D63 H84 1997
Hyung Suk Na. "Paul Tillich's Theology of Preaching: Boundary

Preaching." Ph. D. diss., Drew University, 1996.

BX 4827 .T53 N332 1996

Janowiak, Paul A. The Holy Preaching: The Sacramentality of the Word

in the Liturgical Assembly. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000.

BX 1795 .P72 J36 2000


Lischer, Richard. A Theology of Preaching: The Dynamics of the Gospel.

Rev. Ed. Durham, NC: Labyrinth Press, 1992.

BV 4211.2 .L536 1992
McKeown, Eileen A. "A Theology of Preaching Based on Karl Rahner's

Theology of the Word." Ph. D. diss., Fordham University, 1989.

BV 4211.2 .M355 1989a


Massa, Conrad Harry. "Toward a Contemporary Theology of Preaching: An

Historical Study of the Nature and Purpose of Preaching, with Special

Reference to Representative Works of Homiletical Theory." Ph. D.

diss., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1960.

BV 4211.2 .M2765 1960a
Rahner, Karl, Ed. The Word: Readings in Theology. New York: P.J.

Kenedy, 1964.

BV 4319 .W924
Suchocki, Marjorie. The Whispered Word: A Theology of Preaching. St.

Louis: Chalice Press, 1999.

BV 4211.2 .S87 1999

Tisdale, Lenora Tubbs. Preaching as Local Theology and Folk Art.

Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.

BV 4211.2 .T575 1997


Williamson, Clark M., and Ronald J. Allen. A Credible and Timely Word:

Process Theology and Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1991.

BT 83.6 .W55 1991

Books on Women's Preaching

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Women's Preaching

Brekus, Catherine A. Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in

America, 1740‑1845. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina

Press, 1999.

BV 4208 .U6 B74 1999
Chilcote, Paul W. John Wesley and the Women Preachers of Early

Methodism. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1991.

BX 8345.7 .C45 1991

Chopp, Rebecca S. The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God. New

York: Crossroad, 1989.

BT 83.55 .C48 1989

Hogan, Lucy Lind. "The Overthrow of the Monopoly of the Pulpit: A

Longitudinal Case Study of the Cultural Conversation Advocating the

Preaching and Ordination of Women in American Methodism 1859‑1924."

Ph. D. diss., University of Maryland at College Park,

1995. BX 8345.7 .H644

1995a


Howard, Robert R. Noadiah's Daughters: A Brief History of Women's

Preaching. Unpublished manuscript written for author's Ph.D.

qualifying exams at Vanderbilt University, December 1, 1995.

BV 4207 .H693 1995


Kienzle, Beverly Mayne, and Pamela J. Walker, Eds. Women Preachers and

Prophets Through Two Millennia of Christianity. Berkeley, CA:

University of California Press, 1998.

BV 676 .W556 1998


Larson, Rebecca. Daughters of Light: Quaker Women Preaching and

Prophesying in the Colonies and Abroad, 1700‑1775. NY: Knopf, 1999.

BX 7636 .L37 1999
Lawless, Elaine J. Holy Women, Wholly Women: Sharing Ministries of

Wholeness Through Life Stories and Reciprocal Ethnography.

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993.

BV 676 .L393 1993

Lawless, Elaine J. Women Preaching Revolution: Calling for Connection

in a Disconnected Time. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania

Press, 1996.

BV 4241 .L38 1996


Lindsey, Judy Ann. "Preaching Through the Eyes of Eve: Feminine

Experience and Biblical Hermeneutics." D. Min. thesis, School of

Theology at Claremont, 1990.

BS 680 .W7 L563 1990a

Norén, Carol M. The Woman in the Pulpit. Nashville: Abingdon Press,

1991.


BV 676 .N67 1992

Rose, Lucy A. Sharing the Word: Preaching in the Roundtable Church.

Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997.

BV 4211 .R75 1996


Shelley, Anne Carter. "Feminist Hermeneutics and Their Use in Biblical

Preaching." Ph. D. diss., University of North Carolina at Greensboro,

1997.

BS 476 .S545 1997a



Smith, Christine M. Preaching as Weeping, Confession, and Resistance:

Radical Responses to Radical Evil. Louisville: Westminster/Knox Press,

1992.

BV 4211.2 .S623 1992



Smith, Christine M. Weaving the Sermon: Preaching in a Feminist

Perspective. Louisville: Westminster/J. Knox Press, 1989.

BV 4235 .F44 S63 1989


Tucker, Cynthia G. Prophetic Sisterhood: Liberal Women Ministers of

the Frontier, 1880‑1930. Boston: Beacon Press, 1990.

BX 9867 .T83 1990
Turner, Mary Donovan, and Mary Lin Hudson. Saved from Silence: Finding

Women's Voice in Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999.

BV 4235 .F44 T87 1999
Ziel, Catherine Agnes. "Mother Tongue/Father Tongue: Gender‑Linked

Differences in Language Use and Their Influence on the Perceived

Authority of the Preacher." Ph. D. diss., Princeton Theological

Seminary, 1991.

BV 4211.2 .Z545 1993a

See also: Bond, Collier‑Thomas, and Howard, "Women's Preaching

Bibliography."

\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm

Books on Various Topics and Preaching

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Various Topics and Preaching

Allen, Ronald J., and Gilbert L. Bartholomew. Preaching Verse by

Verse. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.

BV 4211.2 .A393 2000


Allen, Ronald J. The Teaching Sermon. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.

BV 4235 .T43 A44 1995

Allen, Ronald J. Preaching the Topical Sermon. Louisville:

Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992.

BV 4235 .T65 A44 1992

Black, Kathy. A Healing Homiletic: Preaching and Disability.

Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996.


BT 366 .B58 1996

Carl, William J., Ed. Graying Gracefully: Preaching to Older Adults.

Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.

BV 4235 .A44 G73 1997


Childers, Jana. Performing the Word: Preaching as Theatre. Nashville:

Abingdon Press, 1998.

BV 4211.2 .C464 1998

Condon, Thomas M. "Guidelines and Strategies for Effective Preaching

in Multicultural Settings." D. Min. thesis, Aquinas Institute of

Theology, 1997.

BV 4211.2 .C646 1997a
Hogan, Lucy Lind, and Robert Reid. Connecting with the Congregation:

Rhetoric and the Art of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1999.

BV 4211.2 .H615 1999
Jeter, Joseph R. Crisis Preaching: Personal and Public. Nashville:

Abingdon, 1998.

BV 4211.2 .J47 1998
Kim, Eunjoo Mary. Preaching the Presence of God: A Homiletic from an

Asian American Perspective. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1999.

BV 4235 .A83 K55 1999
Kurewa, John Wesley Zwomunondiita. Biblical Proclamation for Africa

Today. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.

BR 1430 .K87 1995

Kurewa, John Wesley Zwomunondiita. Preaching and Cultural Identity:

Proclaiming the Gospel in Africa. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2000.

BV 4208 .A357 K87 2000


Lee, Jung Young. Korean Preaching: An Interpretation. Nashville:

Abingdon Press, 1997.

BV 4208 .K6 L44 1997

Mitchell, Jolyon P. Visually Speaking: Radio and the Renaissance of

Preaching. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1999.

BV 656 .M583 1999


Nunes, John. Voices from the City: Issues and Images of Urban

Preaching. St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1999.

BX 8074 .P73 N86 1999


Parachini, Patricia A. Lay Preaching: State of the Question.

Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1999.

BV 4235 .L3 P37 1999

Rzepka, Jane Ranney. Thematic Preaching: An Introduction. St. Louis:

Chalice Press, 2000. BV 4235 .T65 R94 2000
Saunders, Stanley P., and Charles L. Campbell. The Word on the Street:

Performing the Scriptures in the Urban Context. Grand Rapids: Wm. B.

Eerdmans, 2000.

BV 4456 .S38 2000


Webb, Joseph M. Comedy and Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1998.

BV 4235 .H85 W43 1998


Webb, Joseph M. Preaching and the Challenge of Pluralism. St. Louis:

Chalice Press, 1998.

BV 4221 .W43 1998
\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm

Books on Preaching - General Works

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General Works

Bishops' Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry, National Conference

of Catholic Bishops. Fulfilled in Your Hearing: The Homily in the

Sunday Assembly. Washington, DC: Office of Publishing Services, United

States Catholic Conference, 1982.

BV 4211.2 .F845 1982

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Worldly Preaching: Lectures on Homiletics. New

York: Crossroad, 1991.

BV 4214 .B661325 1991

Browne, R. E. C. The Ministry of the Word. Philadelphia: Fortress

Press, 1976.

BV 4211.2 .B73 1976


Brueggemann, Walter. Cadences of Home: Preaching Among Exiles.

Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.



BV 4211.2 .B745 1997

Brueggemann, Walter. Finally Comes the Poet: Daring Speech for

Proclamation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989.

BV 4211.2 .B75 1989

Buttrick, David G. A Captive Voice: The Liberation of Preaching.

Louisville: Westminister/John Knox Press, 1994.

BV 4211.2 .B858 1994

Capon, Robert Farrar. The Foolishness of Preaching: Proclaiming the

Gospel Against the Wisdom of the World. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans,

1997.


BV 4211.2 .C265 1997

Carrell, Lori. The Great American Sermon Survey. Wheaton, IL: Mainstay

Church Resources, 2000.

BV 4211.2 .C37 2000


Craddock, Fred B. As One Without Authority. Nashville: Abingdon, 1979.

BV 4211.2 .C7 1979

Craddock, Fred B. Overhearing the Gospel. Nashville: Abingdon, 1978.

BV 4211.2 .C75

Eslinger, Richard L. A New Hearing: Living Options in Homiletic

Method. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1987.

BV 4211.2 .E85 1987

Eslinger, Richard L. Pitfalls in Preaching. Grand Rapids: William B.

Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996.

BV 4221 .E75 1996

Hoefler, Richard Carl. Creative Preaching and Oral Writing. Lima, OH:

C. S. S. Publishing Co.,

1978.

BV 4211.2 .H644 1978



Kennedy, Rodney. The Creative Power of Metaphor: A Rhetorical

Homiletics. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1993.

BV 4211.2 .K45 1993

Massey, James Earl. Designing the Sermon: Order and Movement in

Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1980.

BV 4211.2 .M277

McClure, John S. The Four Codes of Preaching: Rhetorical Strategies.

Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991.

BV 4211.2 .M33 1991
McClure, John S. The Roundtable Pulpit: Where Leadership and Preaching

Meet. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.

BV 4235 .C64 M33 1995


Meyers, Robin R. With Ears to Hear: Preaching as Self‑Persuasion.

Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 1993.

BV 4211.2 .M42 1993
Randolph, David J. The Renewal of Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress

Press, 1969.

BV 4211.2 .R3

Reid, Clyde H. The Empty Pulpit: A Study in Preaching as

Communication. New York: Harper & Row, 1967.

BV 4211 .R353e

Riegert, Eduard R. Imaginative Shock: Preaching and Metaphor.

Burlington, ON: Trinity Press, 1990.

BV 4211.2 .R544 1990
Sittler, Joseph. The Anguish of Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress

Press, 1966.

BV 4222 .S623a
Taylor, Barbara Brown. When God is Silent. Cambridge, MA: Cowley

Publications, 1998.

BV 4222 .T39 1998
Theissen, Gerd. The Sign Language of Faith: Opportunities for

Preaching Today. London: SCM Press, 1995.

BV 4214 .T4513 1995

Troeger, Thomas H. Imagining a Sermon. Nashville: Abingdon Press,

1990.

BV 4211.2 .T763 1990


Troeger, Thomas H. Preaching While the Church is Under Reconstruction:

The Visionary Role of Preachers in a Fragmented World. Nashville:

Abingdon Press, 1999.

BV 4211.2 .T7654 1999

Wilson, Paul Scott. Imagination of the Heart: New Understandings in

Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1988.

BV 4211.2 .W54 1988
Witten, Marsha Grace. All is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American

Protestantism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993.

BR 526 .W58 1993


\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm

Collections of Essays

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Collections of Essays

Academy of Homiletics. Papers of the Annual Meeting.

BV 4222 .A233

Burke, John, Ed. A New Look at Preaching. Wilmington, DE: Michael

Glazier, 1983.

BV 4202 .N48 1983


Callen, Barry L., Ed. Sharing Heaven's Music: The Heart of Christian

Preaching: Essays in Honor of James Earl Massey. Nashville: Abingdon

Press, 1995.

BV 4211.2 .S49 1995


Clarke, Erskine, Ed. Exilic Preaching: Testimony for Christian Exiles

in an Increasingly Hostile Culture. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press

International, 1998.

BV 4211.2 .E95 1998


Eslinger, Richard L., Ed. Intersections: Post‑Critical Studies in

Preaching. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1994.

BS 534.5 .I54 1994
Fasching, Darrell J. The Jewish People in Christian Preaching. NY: E.

Mellen Press, 1985.

BT 93 .J48 1985

Foley, Nadine, Ed. Preaching and the Non‑Ordained: An

Interdisciplinary Study. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1983.

BV 4235 .L3 P73 1983

Hessel, Dieter T., Ed. For Creation's Sake: Preaching, Ecology, and

Justice. Philadelphia: Geneva Press, 1985.

BT 695.5 .F67 1985

Hessel, Dieter T., Ed. Social Themes of the Christian Year: A

Commentary on the Lectionary. Philadelphia: Geneva Press, 1983.

BS 391.2 .H45 1983


Kato, Tsuneaki, Ed. Preaching as God's Mission. Tokyo: Kyo Bun Kwan,

1999.


BV 4211.2 .P9213 1999

Long, Thomas G., and Edward Farley, Eds. Preaching as a Theological

Task: World, Gospel, Scripture: In Honor of David Buttrick.

Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

BV 4211.2 .P7344 1996

Long, Thomas G., and Neely Dixon McCarter, Eds. Preaching In and Out

of Season. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1990.

BV 4211 .P737 1990
McClure, John S., Ed. Best Advice for Preaching. Minneapolis: Fortress

Press, 1998.

BV 4211.2 .B478 1998
McClure, John S., and Nancy J. Ramsay, Eds. Telling the Truth:

Preaching about Sexual and Domestic Violence. Cleveland, OH: United

Church Press, 1998.

BV 4221 .T45 1998

O'Day, Gail R., and Thomas G. Long, Eds. Listening to the Word:

Studies in Honor of Fred B. Craddock. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993.

BV 4211.2 .L543 1993

Rahner, Karl, Ed. The Renewal of Preaching: Theory and Practice. New

York: Paulist Press, 1968.

BV 4211.2 .R43

Schulz, William F., Ed. Transforming Words: Six Essays on Preaching.

Boston: Skinner House Books, 1996.

BV 4222 .T73 1996

Siegfried, Regina, and Edward Ruane, Eds. In the Company of Preachers.

Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1993.

BV 4211.2 .I56 1993

Simmons, Martha J., Ed. Preaching On the Brink: The Future of

Homiletics: In Honor of Henry H. Mitchell. Nashville: Abingdon Press,

1996.

BV 4211.2 .P73726 1996


Smith, Christine M., Ed. Preaching Justice: Ethnic and Cultural

Perspectives. Cleveland, OH: United Church Press, 1998.

BV 4221 .P74 1998
Stuempfle, Herman G., Ed. Preaching in the Witnessing Community.

Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1973.

BV 3797.A1 S8

Van Seters, Arthur, Ed. Preaching As a Social Act: Theology &

Practice. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1988.

BV 4211.2 .P734 1988



See Also: Amos, Green & Kienzle; Bailey; Carl; Cunningham & Allen;

Daw; Greenhaw & Allen; Holland; Holmgren & Schaalman; Hunter; Kee &

Borowsky; Kienzle & Walker; Milburn & Batty; Muessig; Mühlenberg & van

Oort; Rahner, The Word; Robinson; Steimle, Niedenthal, & Rice; and

Wardlaw, Preaching Biblically.
\webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm

<><

Online Sites Treating Preaching

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Online Sites Treating Preaching

Internet Guide to Preaching.

x \webpage{http://www.cyberword.com/preach/index.asp

The Pulpit Preacher ‑ Jewish Sermons.

x \webpage{http://uahc.org/congs/ky/ky001/Pulpit.html

Sermons from the Duke University Chapel (streaming video).

\webpage{http://www.chapel.duke.edu

Sermons from the Fathers of the Church. Searchable by keyword.

\webpage{http://www.ccel.org

Sermons & Sermon‑Lectionary Resources.

\webpage{http://www.rockies.net/~spirit/sermon.html

Living Web Lectionary Project. An outstanding collection of links to

resources helpful to understanding and preaching the various

ecumenical and confessional lectionaries. Includes links to

lectionary readings, discussion forums, and lectionary preaching


resources, from both ecumenical and denominational perspectives.

\webpage{http://www.livingweb.com/lectionary

SAMUEL (Scripture and Memory: A Universal Ecumenical Library). A

comprehensive site of resources for worship, Bible study and sermon

preparation, produced by the United Church of Christ.
\webpage{http://www.ucc.org/worship/samuel/index.shtml

Wabash Center Internet Guide: Preaching. A fine ecumenical compilation

of links, divided into the following categories: syllabi and teaching

resources, electronic texts, electronic journals, websites,

bibliographies, and listserv discussion groups.
x \webpage{http://www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu/Internet/preach.htm

Preaching Helps. Produced by professors and students from the Lutheran

School of Theology at Chicago to offer resources, insights, and tools

to help in the preaching task. Includes: methodology, weddings and

funerals, theology of preaching, preaching and liturgy, lectionary

history and helps, and historical sermons, among other categories.


x \webpage{http://members.home.netDate Originally Filed - parrello

Online Preaching Resources. A useful collection of weblinks, exegeses,

and information about preaching , especially the preaching of

Apocalyptic‑genre texts, by a fine young homiletician, Dr. David

Schnasa Jacobsen, at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.
\webpage{http://www.wlu.ca/~wwwsemDate Originally Filed - sjDate Originally Filed - sjhome.html
X \webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/bibs/homiletics.htm

+++
See‑


HOMILETICS & LITURGICS DIVINITY LIBRARY
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


Dave Barnhart is the Homiletics Bibliographer for the Divinity

Library. To make a purchase recommendation or ask a question, e‑mail

Dave at: barnhart@library.vanderbilt.edu. If making a purchase

recommendation, please check ACORN before submitting your request to

see if the Libraries already own the item. Dave or another staff

member will contact you about your request or question.

Homiletics Bibliography

Liturgics Bibliography

Electronic Resources for Homiletics & Liturgics

Lectionary Readings for Reference & Reflection


Lectionary Preaching

Finding Sermons in the Divinity Library

Tools for Homiletics and Liturgics: Research Guide

Topical Preaching Research Guide


X \webpage{http:/Date Originally Filed - ivinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/homiletics.htm


<><
Hooks, Lines & Thinkers - How to Write Sermon Titles that Sizzle
- 11/2004.101

Hooks, Lines & Thinkers

How to Write Sermon Titles that Sizzle


By Brian Mavis, Site Manager, SermonCentral.com
A book was written and released with two different titles. Both

received identical marketing. One was called The Art of Courtship and

the other The Art of Kissing. Which would you buy? Kissing sold 60,500

copies, while Courtship only sold 17,500!


A book titled Compact Classics was not selling well. The book was

renamed with this provocative title, The Great American Bathroom Book.

The added subtitle was ASingle‑Sitting Summaries of All‑Time Great

Books.@ It went from an obscure reference book to a national best

seller within weeks. The demand was so great that they created an

entire book series.


A Virginia high school offered a class called AHome Economics for

Boys@ and it generated little interest. The next year it was renamed

ABachelor Living.@ The result was tremendous: 120 boys eagerly

enrolled. The curriculum didn't change, but the image did.


When it comes to your weekly sermons, how do your titles fare? If you=

re like most pastors, your sermon titles could probably use a little

flair and pizzazz. Even John Newton, who penned the most popular

Christian song ever, needed help. AAmazing Grace@ is a fantastic

title, but he originally named it, AFaith=s Review and Expectation.@

Yes, even this poet could blow a title. Here are ten ways to take your

sermon titles from average to outstanding.
1. HARNESS THE POWER OF POP CULTURE

Connect to what people are watching and talking about. For example, if

college football is hot in your community, come up with some

provocative titles, such as AMaking It to the Endzone,@ ATime for a

Time Out?@, AFourth Down and 30 to Go@ or AScoring a Touchdown in the

Game of Life.@


2. PLAY WITH WORDS

I had written a sermon about Jacob wresting with God. My working title

was AJacob Wrestles with God.@ Pretty clever, huh? Then I changed it

to AFighting with God.@ Better. Then I called it AHow to Pick a Fight

with God and Win.@ This was even more provocative. Later, I thought

about a cultural event that could tie into my sermonCthe ATouched by



an Angel@ television show. Too mushy for me. But then I played with it

and came up with APunched by an Angel.@ I had it.


3. TURN CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ON ITS HEAD

This is easy because so much of God=s wisdom goes against conventional

wisdom. How about AGood People Don=t Go to Heaven@ or AGod Helps Those

Who Can=t Help Themselves.@ Try AGod Is a Divorcée and Wants to Be

Remarried to You@ or even AJesus Is Not a Good Teacher.@
4. A CALL TO ACTION

Why wait until the actual sermon to give your application? Tell people

what God wants them to do in the title. Two examples are AWhen

Wronged, Turn the Other Cheek@ and APray for Someone Who Has Hurt

You.@ Someone may miss the point of your sermon, but he won=t miss the

point in the title.


5. CHOOSE A TITLE FROM SCRIPTURE

There may be a great title hidden in the passage you=re preaching. I

preached a sermon on how to renew our love from - Revelation

2:4‑5 - Revelation 2:4‑5}. The phrase ADo the Things You Did at First@

was so captivating that I used it as the title and as a refrain

throughout the sermon.


6. SPOTLIGHT THE BENEFITS

Why do people think that obeying God is such a drag? Change their

perception by highlighting the benefits of obeying God. Titles like

these highlight the benefits of obedience: APraying Will Bring You

Peace,@ AForgiveness Frees You From Bitterness@ or ASex God=s Way is

Safe, Satisfying and Sizzling.@


7. SPECIFICALLY SPEAKING

Ironically, the more specific the sermon title, the wider and deeper

it can impact your listeners. AAddiction@ is a poor title. ABreaking

the Bonds of Addiction@ is a good title. But if you preach on ABreak

the Bonds of Lotto Fever,@ you just moved from vague helpfulness to

AWe=re going to see what God has to say about this problem in today=s

society.@
8. HOPE SELLS

After experiencing grief, loss, unmet expectations, broken homes and

shattered dreams, many of us are looking for hope in life.

Straightforward, encouraging titles like these can be good medicine:

AGod Is Near the Brokenhearted,@ AGod Will Bring Good Out of Your


Suffering@ or AGod Has a Hope and Future for You.@
9. THE POSITIVE SPIN

If your sermon identifies a problem, highlight the solution. For

example, instead of having a sermon called AThe Debt Trap,@ call it

AEscape the Debt Trap.@


10. BY THE NUMBERS

Something as simple as adding some numbers to your title can make it

more interesting. Instead of AWays to Tell Good from Evil,@ title it

A5 Ways to Tell Good from Evil.@ Instead of ASatan=s Temptations,@

name it ASatan=s Top 10.@
So the next time you=re searching for a sermon title, try one of these

tactics. You=ll draw a crowd and keep them listening!


8 2002 Outreach Magazine. All right reserved. Copyright permission to

make up to fifty copies of each article for free distribution is

granted Christian churches at no charge. The reprint must include the

article in its entirety with author credit and the following

sentences:.


8 2002 by Outreach, Inc. Used by permission. www.outreachmagazine.com.
For all other uses, permissions or reprints, contact

editor@outreachmagazine.com.


<><
Ultimate Preaching Rules

- 4/2005.101


Ultimate Preaching Rules ‑ Author Unknown
1 According to your congregation, there are bad sermons and short

sermons but there are no bad short sermons.

2 A life saver mint will last 22 minutes exactly if left laying

between the cheek and gum during the normal course of talking. This is

a helpful hint to time your sermon. Just don't make the mistake of

putting a button in your mouth instead of a life saver before you get

up to preach.


3 It never fails that when an "Awesome Sermon" is preached, members of

the congregation cannot remember the scripture citations or what the

sermon was about when the service is over.

4 When you reach a weak point in the sermon, raise the pitch and

volume of your voice to compensate.

5 Have the congregation stand for the last hymn before the message, to

assure everyone starts out awake.

6 Have a good opening. Have a good closing. The middle will take care

of itself if you quote enough scripture.

7 Every good sermon must contain two good parables and a scripture, or

two good scriptures and a parable.

8 The number of faithful tithers in a congregation, and the amount in

the offering plate is in direct inverse proportion to the number of

sermons the pastor delivers on stewardship and tithing.

9 The likelihood that someone will walk down the isle drops by a value

of 10 percent for each minute the sermon goes into overtime.

10 The louder the congregation sings the longer the preacher should

preach.


11 It is a well kept secret among Music Ministers that the offering

total goes up 5 percent each time the third verse of a hymn is skipped

(so, that's why they do that).

12 Contributions to "special" or "dedicated" funds go up and

contributions to the "general" fund go down in direct proportion to

the pastors popularity.

13 Almost everyone is capable of being a Pharisee from time to time.

14 The purpose of a great sermon is to comfort the afflicted, and

afflict the comfortable. The latter is preferable to the former.

15 No matter how hard you have studied and prayed, some sermons seem

to barely get out of your mouth before they drop on the floor in front

of the first pew.

16 Whatever scripture you quote and whatever your sermon outline,

remember that your verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.

17 If you wear a big shinny watch, when the congregation starts to

doze off you can wake them up by catching light from the back window

and reflecting it into their eyes (with a little practice). For extra

amusement with some additional skill you can get an extra bounce off

of bald heads.

18 When the congregation starts to lose interest and doze off you can

awaken them by saying loudly, "And Finally" or "In Conclusion." This

will only work about four times per sermon.

19 A good sermon should NEVER generalize.

20 No matter how hard you may try, sometimes a scripture just will not

fit in the sermon you wanted to use it in.


21 Analogies in a sermon sometimes fit like feathers on a snake.

22 Murphy must have been a preacher, but at least he was an optimist.

23 When you lose your place in your sermon notes, a well placed prayer

can help distract the congregation and give you time to get things

back on track.

24 If you have repeated yourself more than three times in a given

sermon it is time to quit.

25 Have a good opening point. Have a good closing point. Keep the two

as close together as possible.

26 The quality of a sermon can be judged first by the number of people

who walk the isle, and second by the number of people who are willing

to stand in line for 15 minutes after the service to shake hands with

the preacher and tell him what a great sermon he preached.

27 You can judge the length of your sermon by the length of response

from your SPOUSE to the question, "How was my sermon, honey?"

Examples: "Fine" means Way too long." "It was okay" Means A bit

lengthy." "It was really good this week ‑ I gained a blessing dear!"

28 means Just about right.

29 If you're going to preach on Sunday morning, do not eat onions on

Saturday night.

30 Take advice from the rooster. One day, a hen expressed the ultimate

ambition of her life, which was to lay an egg in the middle of a busy

expressway. So the rooster took her there. When they got to the edge

of the road, and traffic was whizzing by, the rooster gave her this

advice: "All right now! Make it quick, and lay it on the line!"

31 You know your sermon is not connecting when the choir begins their

final number and you haven't reached your last point yet!

32 Always remember, those nods of agreement from our silvery‑haired

friends may just be nods!

33 A good sermon is similar to a good sandwich. It has two ends: the

bread, and lots of meat in the middle. However, unlike a sandwich, the

two ends of a good sermon should be as close together as possible.




<><
Humor for Semi‑professional Speakers?

Humor for Semi‑professional

- 8/2005.101
HUMOR FOR SEMI‑PROFESSIONAL SPEAKERS?


Attitude
One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling

blocks.
Jack Penn


Accountants
Old accountants never die. They just lose their balance.
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑
How is your daughter doing in accounting class?
Great. Now instead of asking us for her allowance. She bills us for it
Adam and Eve
Adam was created before Eve so that he would have a chance to learn

how to speak.


Alzheimer's


After an extensive battery of tests, a guy meets with his doctor to

discuss the results.


"I'm afraid I have two pieces of rather bad news," says the doctor,
"First, you have inoperable cancer."
"Oh my god," says the patient, "what's the second piece of bad news?"
"You have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's," says the doc

sympathetically.


"Well," responds the guy, "at least it's not cancer!"
Ambition
"I knew I was an unwanted child when I saw my bath toys were a radio

and a toaster."

‑‑Joan Rivers

***
Baby Sitters
A baby‑sitter is a teenager acting like an adult while the adults are

out acting like teenagers.


Bribery
After watching sales falling off for three straight months at Kentucky

Fried
Chicken, the Colonel calls up the Pope and asks for a favor.


The Pope says, "What can I do?@
The Colonel says, "I need you to change the daily prayer from, 'Give

us This day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken'.

If you do it
I'll donate 10 Million Dollars to the Vatican."
The Pope replies, "I am sorry. That is the Lord's prayer and I can not

change the words."


So the Colonel hangs up. After another month of dismal sales, the

Colonel panics, and calls again.


"Listen your Excellency. I really need your help. I'll give you $50

million dollars if you change the words of the daily prayer from 'Give

us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken.'"
And the Pope responds, "It is very tempting, Colonel Sanders. The

church could do a lot of good with that much money. It would help us

support many charities. But, again, I must decline. It is the Lord's

prayer, and I can't change the words."


So the Colonel gives up again. After two more months of terrible sales

the Colonel gets desperate. "This is my final offer, your Excellency.

If you change the words of the daily prayer from, 'Give us this day

our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken' I will donate



$100 million to the Vatican."
The Pope replies, "Let me get back to you."
So the next day, the Pope calls together all of his bishops and he

says, "I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news

is that KFC is going to donate $100 million to the Vatican."
The bishops rejoice at the news. Then one asks about the bad news.
The Pope replies, "The bad news is that we lost the Wonder Bread

account."


Bureacrats
"Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned." ‑‑Milton Friedman
Cake
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, but when they lit a fire

in the craft it sank proving once and for all that YOU CAN'T HAVE YOUR

KAYAK AND HEAT IT, TOO.
Comedy
When you cut your finger, that's a tragedy. When you fall down a man

hole and die, that's a comedy".


~ Mel Brooks
Discretion
"Discretion is being able to raise your eyebrow instead of your

voice." ‑‑Unknown


Dyslexia
A man with dyslexia walks into a bra!
Foreign Languages
A flock of sheep are grazing in a field, happily going "baa baa" to

each other and discussing life as usual when suddenly they hear a "moo



mooooooooooooooooooo!"
They look around and see only sheep. They carry on grazing as before.
"Moooooo mooooooooooo mmmoo!"
One sheep can hear it all too clearly next to him. He shuffles away a

little from his friend, a worried look on his face and then asks

"George, why are you mooing. Your a sheep. Sheep go 'baa!'"
His friend replies gladly: " I know, I thought I would learn a foreign

language!"


Friendship
"The only way to have a friend is to be one." ‑‑Ralph Waldo Emerson
God
A young woman brings home her fiancee to meet her parents.
After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young

man. The father invites the fiancée to his study for a drink.


"So what are your plans?" the father asks the young man.
"I am a Torah scholar," he replies.
"A Torah scholar. Hmmm," the father says. "Admirable, but what will

you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she's

accustomed to?"
"I will study," the young man replies, "and God will provide for us."
"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she

deserves?" asks the father.


"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replies, "God will

provide for us."


"And children?" asks the father. "How will you support children?"
"Don't worry, sir, God will provide," replies the fiancé.

The conversation proceeds like this, and each time the father

questions, the young idealist insists that God will provide.


Later, the mother asks, "How did it go, Honey?"
The father answers, "He has no job and no plans, but the good news is

he thinks I'm God."


Hairdressers
Psychologists with scissors
Happiness
ASome cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."

‑‑Oscar Wilde


Heart
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or

even touched ‑‑ they must be felt with the heart." ‑‑Hellen Keller


Internal Revenue
A businessman on his deathbed called his friend and said, "Bill, I

want you to promise me that when I die, you will have my remains

cremated."
"And what," his friend asked, "do you want me to do with your ashes?"
The businessman said, "Just put them in an envelope and mail them to

the Internal Revenue Service.


Write on the envelope, 'Now, you have everything .'"
Jewish Holidays
Short summary of every Jewish Holiday:
They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat.
Motza


A Jewish man took his Passover lunch to eat outside in the park. He

sat down on a bench and began eating. Since Jews do not eat leavened

bread during the eight day holiday, he was eating Matzoh, a flat

crunchy unleavened bread that has dozens of perforations.


A little while later a blind man came by and sat down next to him.

Feeling neighborly, the Jewish man passed a sheet of matzo to the

blind man.
The blind man handled the matzo for a few minutes, looked puzzled, and

finally exclaimed, "Who wrote this crap?"


Originality
In truth there are only five jokes in the world, God made one a day.

On the sixth day he made man.


Put Down lines for disruptive audience members
Did you have a troubled childhood?
Everyone is entitled to be stupid but you're abusing the privilege.
Man, it may just be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve

as a warning to others.


Religion
Sometimes we turn to God when our foundations are shaking, only to

find out it is God who is shaking them.


Revenge
In a city park stood two statues, one female and the other male.
These two statues faced each other for many years.
Early one morning an angel appeared before the statues and said,
Since the two of you have been exemplary statues and have brought

enjoyment to many people, I am giving you your greatest wish. I hereby

give you the gift of life. You have 30 minutes to do whatever you

desire.@


And with that command, the statues came to life.
The two statues smiled at each other, ran toward some nearby woods and

dove behind a couple of bushes. The angel smiled to himself as he

listened to the two statues giggling, bushes rustling and twigs

snapping.


After fifteen minutes, the two statues emerged from the bushes,

satisfied and smiling.


Puzzled, the angel looked at his watch and asked the statues, AYou

still have fifteen minutes. Would you like to continue?@


The male statue looked at the female and asked, ADo you want to do it

again?@
Smiling, the female statue said, ASure. But this time YOU hold the

pigeon down and I=ll poop on its head.@
Self Confidence
"Self confidence comes not from always being right, but from not

fearing to be wrong."


Senility
George Bush was campaigning at a old age retirement home.
He went up to a woman and shook her hand and said "Do you know who I

am?"
"No," replied the old woman, "but if you go to the front desk, they'll

tell you!"
Smoking
Warning: Smoking can seriously lead to statistics
Speeches
I was always told that a good speech should have a good beginning

middle and end. I would add that the nearer these three elements are

the better


‑‑‑‑
If you can't convince them, confuse them. ~ Harry S. Truman
Tax
Everything we have is taxed ‑ even our patience.

\webpage{http://www.freemaninstitute.com/speakers.htm



<><
Why Jesus Used Stories - George Temple
Preaching

Why Jesus Used Stories ... an

Date Originally Filed - 9/2005.101
Why Jesus Used Stories ... and Why You Should Too

George Temple, Sermonspice


Jesus realized the power of telling stories when He taught and

communicated with others. Using illustrations is just as powerful

today. We live in an entertainment driven culture, spending billions

on movies, DVDs, theater, music, and other entertainment.


If our culture is willing to spend so much money to watch visual

stories (i.e. movies, etc.), then shouldn't the church be investing in

communicating this way? As a pastor or group leader, sermon

illustrations bring to life the truth you are seeking to communicate.


Why do we need videos in church?
Churches are a part of the culture we live in. Illustration videos

play an important role in your church or group, providing not only an

excellent visual tool to help communicate a life‑changing message, but

to provoke thought, inspiration, and understanding, with an approach

that's entertaining.
Every church has its own unique qualities or "personality" if you

will. Videos can be used to enhance this uniqueness, and can be used



in a variety of different settings and groups to serve many different

purposes.


There are a multitude of topics ranging from marriage, Jesus'

teachings, the Holy Spirit, stewardship to cults. Working with

hundreds of churches every week, I see one of the most effective ways

ministers use videos is to support a theme or provide an illustration.

Karen Donovan and her husband, Pastor Joe, lead the people at West Bay

Community Church, a new church with a small but growing congregation

in Largo, Florida.
"We use videos to reach as many people as we can in every way we can,"

says Karen. "Some of them have incredible production values yet others

may have a more homemade look. I use them both. Different situations

require a different approach."


Pastor Rick Rocco of Frontline Christian Church, a new

non‑denominational church plant in Hamden, Connecticut explains, "I

didn't realize that when I stumbled across that first downloadable

short video, my entire ministry would change. I run two separate types

of services, one family worship service on Sunday and one Emerging

Church on Monday night...we use videos for both. My congregation is

excited and is retaining more of the Word because of video tools."
Here are more examples: The video Rush, by Golden Lamb is a fast paced

vignette documenting a businessman's busy schedule from dawn to dusk.

It poses the question; is the rush worth it? A parenting video called

Fatherhood by Stewart Redwine takes a humorous look at how parents can

make mountains out of molehills in their children's lives. And, in an

artistic interpretation The Stations, Ghislaine Howard's paintings

cause us to do more than wait. Her stark images will help your

congregation enter into the reality and the horror of Christ's agony.


In addition to supporting sermon themes and illustrations, videos can

be used to show a compelling testimony, add humor, or as a closer.


"With the advent of video in mainstream church ministry, we have seen

a dramatic increase in our sermon effectiveness as well as the

tremendous impact that a carefully crafted video illustration or video

vignette brings to the service setting," says Pastor Steve Mohr, who

leads a post‑modern church of 350 plus in the Assemblies of God

denomination in rural Seattle. "We use [video] materials for a

welcome/greeting transition; humorous interludes, as well as serious


media to set up the message or to enhance a point of the message."
One area where we have seen explosive growth is in the use of videos

for worship. In the video Galaxy, by Highway Video, the producers

created compelling images of the universe with graphics and animation.

Visual metaphors are used along with worship music to usher in an

extraordinary worship experience.
Pastor Scott Keller of Skyline Community Church in O'Fallon, Illinois

states, "[Videos] have provided our creative team with fresh ideas,

such as using a video along with our own praise band to play live over

the video. It looked like we had spent hours putting it together and

it made a huge impact."
There are numerous videos to support virtually every category topic.

What touches an individual? It may be the music, the words on the

screen, or the story itself. Whatever part of the service they are

used, videos can enhance our experience with God, help drive home the

message we are trying to communicate, and add impact and effectiveness

to the church experience.


With the excellent media sources available today, I encourage you to

go beyond the "normal" routine, and try adding a new video component

to your service. You may be surprised at the results.
George Temple is President of Sermonspice, located in Fresno, CA ‑

www.sermonspice.com

Subj: Crosswalk Pastors Resource: Why Jesus Used Stories ... and Why

You Should Too ‑ Aug. 29, 2005

Date: 8/29/2005 11:03:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: Crosswalk_Pastors_Resources@crosswalkmail.com


<><
3 Legs of Preaching
- 10/2005.101
3 Legs of Preaching
Three Legs of Preaching

A balanced message is theological, biblical, and practical. An interview with Randy Frazee.
Randy Frazee
Topics: Doctrine; Leadership; Logic; Planning; Preparation;

Relevance; Series; Subjects; Workshop


Preaching Today: In every sermon you preach, you strive to have what

you call the three legs of preaching. What are they?


Randy Frazee: The three legs are simple C theological, biblical, and

practical. I'm trying to present a message that's balanced C not just

balanced in terms of preparing or crafting a sermon, but balanced for

the listeners, the people you hope to be transformed into

Christlikeness.

What we've done, first of all, is define what we believe are the core

components of a Christian life. We call it the Christian Life Profile.

It is made of ten core beliefs that we see are the predominant themes

of the Scripture, and that should make up the way in which a believer

thinks about the Bible and about life. These are ten core practices,

as we read Genesis through Revelation, and particularly the New

Testament, that the believer is to engage in.

Spiritual disciplines.
Spiritual disciplines, exactly right. We have a set of beliefs that

renew our minds, and a set of practices that we put into play, and

then finally a set of ten virtues, what God wants us to become. So it

is a know, do, be structure.

We have also resurrected the idea of a church calendar. Instead of a

church calendar built around doctrinal beliefs, to separate correct

biblical ideas from heresy, we've created what we call " the spiritual

formation calendar " where we place all 30 theological ideas in a

calendar. We deal with the first core belief in January, and we deal

with the final core virtue in December. We've been doing that for

three years. We see a language of spiritual formation beginning to

emerge in our congregation. People are not only talking about how a

particular sermon hit them on a particular Sunday, but they're

beginning to see how it fits in the overall scheme of things in terms

of living.

Talk in depth about the first leg.


The first is the theological leg. It means to present an operating

system for life. That requires the pastor to ask himself some



questions. If the pastor gave a sermon on , that suggests Christ is to

be formed in us. As a pastor and church we're going to work hard to

see Christ formed in us. If a visitor said, " I'm excited about that.

What might I expect? " I think the pastor would often step back and

say, " Well, I don't know what to tell you. "

Here's where the preacher needs to become crystal clear in scope and

sequence of what to work on. The preacher says, " While the Bible is

made up of more than these topics or subtopics, we're going to lay out

the core beliefs, the core practices, and the core virtues. And we're

going to work hard to get those things working in your life. " That's

the theological perspective.

We created a calendar to insure we have balance in our theological

perspective.

For example, in the first decade of my ministry, I would pick out

popular texts that I thought would work for the congregation either

from a practical or preaching perspective. What I've come to discover

is I have an obligation to the congregation to speak on subjects that

may not be culturally attractive, but critical to making the Christian

life work C subjects like biblical community and the nature of the

church and God's desire for the church. In the individualistic world

we live in most people aren't that interested in the idea of the

corporate church, but I've got to teach on it. Going through the

spiritual formation calendar every year requires that I present

balance in speaking to subjects that our people need to hear.

What are the ten core beliefs?
The ten core beliefs are

The Trinity


Salvation by grace
Authority of the Bible
Personal God
Identity in Christ
Belief in the church
God's view of humanity
Compassion


Eternity
Stewardship
The ten practices are

Worship
Prayer


Bible study
Single mindedness
Biblical community
Giving away my time
Giving away my faith
Giving away my life
Giving away my money
Spiritual gifts
The virtues are things we're pursuing to become. Essentially they are

the fruit of the Spirit. They are

Joy and peace
Self‑control
Faith, and faithfulness
Humility
Love
Patience
Gentleness
Kindness


Goodness
Hope
We have gone back in church history and found how earlier Christians

dealt with the burden of transferring Christian living to the people

in a congregation. The church created creeds. So for each of these 30

ideas we created a creed we recite on Sunday. We've created banners.

We put them everywhere. So while we're a contemporary church, we have

found a new need for creeds.

For example, we are trying to create an understanding of what the

Trinity is. And so our people memorize, " I believe the God of the

Bible is the only true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit " ().

Let's go to the second leg.


The second leg is the biblical. Hearers probably have been trained the

most in this particular category. But I'd like to suggest we take a

fresh look at it. By biblical, we are suggesting that each sermon must

be rooted in a specific biblical text, and the message of that text in

its historical and literary context must be maintained, so that what

we proclaim is not just workable but profound and revelatory.

So it is true exposition of that text.
It's true exposition of the text. Now, at our church we don't

necessarily go through a book verse by verse. When we deal with a

specific text, we deal with it in its historical, literary context to

extract the actual message of the text.

The reason that's important is as a contemporary church we are taught

to be practical, which is the third leg. One of the temptations of

being practical is not to be biblical. We desire to scratch where

people itch. We know they scratch in the area of failure in their

marriage the struggle of raising children, with finances, with desires

to set goals in the areas of success for their career, with the desire

to have meaningful relationships, or a happy life. So we in the

contemporary church do all these practical series where people itch.

But the solutions we give are often not rooted in the historical text

of Scripture. At the end of the day the preachers who are overtly

practical but not careful to be biblical will find they have developed

a large crowd, but they're not profound in giving them solutions to

life.

For example, it's possible a pastor would give a sermon on marriage



communication, because the vast majority of people in his congregation

are struggling to communicate in marriage. What he or she proceeds to



do is lay out a series of practical things you could find in a

self‑help book. For example, before you speak, hold your breath and

count to ten. That's a practical suggestion, but Scripture offers more

than just teaching people how to contain the darkness within them.

Scripture offers, in an encounter with Jesus Christ through the Holy

Spirit, an opportunity to remove the darkness and to develop the fruit

of the Spirit. You can say to a married couple, " If you really come

to know Christ, we can teach you, as you develop a relationship with

Christ, how joy and gentleness will emerge in your life. When Jesus

said you need to turn the other cheek when someone insults you, he

wasn't suggesting that you turn the other cheek in anger. He is

suggesting that there should be no retaliation in your heart.

Therefore, you can gladly turn the other cheek because you have no

insult to return. "

That's the profound truth of Scripture. Practical preaching is

absolutely central. It's one of the major legs in the stool, but one

of the dangers of practical preaching is we speak a lot from the book

of Proverbs or we use a lot of text but do not provide profound truth

that comes from the Word of God. Therefore, I don't think it's as life

changing as it would be if the message was rooted in the text.

Let's go then to the practical leg of preaching.
The practical leg of preaching is to take a theological idea grounded

in a biblical text and address it in a way that touches your audience.

This would be the burden of the preacher if you lived in 1980 or 1990

or 2090. We must speak to the culture we are working with. So we have

to find creative ways to do that.

I'll give you a couple of examples. We want to do a series on some of

the core virtues in our theological model C love, patience,

gentleness, and kindness. That's a theological construction, the

operating system we want our people to get. Every year we are going to

speak on those topics. This year, however, we're going to look at the

life of David in the Psalms and in First and Second Samuel. We will

cover his life biographically in the text to show how David or the

people in David's life either demonstrated or failed to demonstrate

the core virtues. So we put together a series practically entitled "

How to Really Love Someone. " This is a subject our people are

interested in. They're not only interested in how can they really love

someone, but they're interested in receiving that kind of love from

someone else. That's starting where people are at.

We dealt with the core virtues. We dealt with them in a biblical way

because each message was rooted in a specific text that dealt with

David's life. So, for example, when we came to the issue of


gentleness, we looked at the life of David in his encounter with

Abigail and Nabal. It's a fascinating study on gentleness from all

three characters. So in that series we were able to accomplish a

balance in this three‑legged stool.

If I want to preach with those three legs of the stool, how do I

approach sermon preparation? Do you take a certain leg first?


We start with the theological because that's what drives what we're

going to speak on. We have the calendar. I know in the first three

weeks of every year I'm going to be talking about the Trinity C

Father, Son, Holy Spirit C some aspect of God. It may be the person of

the Father, the person of the Son, the person of the Holy Spirit, the

works of God, the attributes of God, the decrees of God. Over the

course of the year I'm going to spend at least three weeks talking

about some aspect of God.

Then that determines what text you're going to choose.
That's exactly right. Each year we highlight a different aspect. For

example, one year we did a series on the existence of God. The next

year we did a series on the power of the work of the Holy Spirit in

bringing transformation to our lives. Last year we did a series on the

attribute of God's goodness in the face of trial. Each year we're

bringing out a different aspect rooted in a different biblical text.

We'll sit in a creative session and say, " Okay, we know we're dealing

with the Trinity. Which aspect of the Trinity do our people need to

hear this year? Where are they at? " We might determine our people

have experienced a lot of tragedy, and they are questioning God's

goodness. " Let's deal with the attribute of God's goodness. " Then

we'll say, " Where in Scripture will we teach this idea? " You can

obviously teach out of the Book of Job. We chose to look at some of

the Psalms as well as the Writings of Paul and his experience with

pain, and the healing of the blind man, when it appeared as though God

came through for somebody in the midst of tragedy. So the biblical leg

comes second.

The final leg is the practical. We brainstorm. For example, we're in a

series on the core practice of biblical community. Our creed says, " I

fellowship with other Christians to accomplish God's purposes in my

life, in other's lives, and in the world. " This year we wanted to

talk about the value of inter‑generational community and the need for

accountability in community. A major issue to be addressed in the

twenty‑first century is individualism. It seeks to pawn itself off as

community when it is really nothing more than a collection of

individuals in a room. That's the major problem with American small



groups right now. So we wanted to address this subject in a

straightforward manner .

We decided to go to the Book of Titus. In and the apostle Paul

addresses the topics of older women instructing the younger women, and

he says Titus is to hold them accountable, to encourage them and

rebuke them in sound doctrines. We did a two‑week series. We wanted to

capture that practically for people, and so we called the series "

Survivors " C off the popular hit show, and we called it " Winning

Immunity through Community. " We showed the contrast of Christian

concepts of surviving through community versus the contemporary show

which said you vote each other off the island. With all that in mind

we were able to accomplish that three‑legged balance.

This article is a transcript from Preaching Today audio #209.

\webpage{http://preachingtoday.com/16687



<><
Potholes And Pitfalls For Young Preachers - Bruce McAllister

Today's Christian Preacher

- 12/2005.101
Potholes And Pitfalls For Young Preachers

Bruce McAllister, Today's Christian Preacher


How shocking to suddenly strike a deep pothole while driving! How much

more stunning to run onto the shoulder of the road and lose control of

the car! The lack of alertness or focus can lead to great harm while

one is driving.


Potholes and pitfalls may also bring much damage to young ministers.

In the pastoral epistles Paul warns Timothy about these dangers. These

warnings match observations I have made throughout years of service to

churches.


Improper motives:

Paul tells Timothy that "the end of the commandment is charity out of

a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned" (I

Timothy 1:5). The compelling goal of ministry is to lead people to



love God and others. However, the man not driven by this goal may feel

compelled to prove himself, to take control, to display his newly

gained seminary knowledge, or to "make things happen." Wrong motives

underlie many destructive patterns of behavior among ministers.

Harshness, impatience, dishonesty, and arrogance may develop because

we forget our goal in ministry.


Immaturity:

Paul enjoins his younger comrade, "Let no man despise thy youth, but

be thou an example of the believer" (I Timothy 4:12). The younger

preacher is to give no occasion for older people in the congregation

to deprecate his leadership due to his unwise, youthful behavior.

While believers usually welcome the leadership of a young man of God

and are willing to allow for his growth and development, they are

sometimes appalled at the attitudes and actions taken by the young

man. His speech, behavior, and inner character should befit a shepherd

of God's flock. It seems that God often provides an older, gracious,

Christlike man within the congregation to remind the pastor by example

how he should conduct himself.


Intimidation:

Paul urges Timothy to "stir up the gift of God, which is in thee. . .

. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of

love, and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:6, 7). Perhaps Timothy was

timid. Paul was easily assertive, but not every God‑called man is at

ease with the necessary duties of the ministry. It is difficult to

confront the backslider, counsel the confused, comfort the grieving,

and motivate the stagnant. The complexities of modern ministry make

demands for which young men of God are not fully prepared. Some just

feel overwhelmed and apprehensive. Yet fear clearly does not come from

God. How the young man needs to draw upon the resources of God's

power, love, and truth!


Indiscretion and immorality:

"Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity,

peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (II

Timothy 2:22). The sinful desires of youth last a lifetime. Young

people wrestle with the pull of strong desires. Nonetheless, by God's

grace Christians are to refrain from giving in to these passions. This

is all the more true for pastors and evangelists. The young man must

be extremely careful in his relationship with women. The appearance of

indiscretion is almost as damaging to one's testimony as the very act

of immorality.



The pastor must avoid inappropriate touching, intimate conversation,

or having frequent fellowship with a woman other than his wife. Build

careful ministry and marital guidelines to protect yourself from the

snares of Satan and the flesh. You cannot be too careful. Delegate the

counseling of women to your wife or other godly women in the church.
Insolence:

The young preacher should memorize this passage: "And the servant of

the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach,

patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves" (II

Timothy 2:24, 25). Some men love a fight. However, the propensity to

fight is not godly but carnal. And fighting in the flesh is weakness.

So Paul reminds us that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,

but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." (II

Corinthians 10:4)
Pugnacious young men may have acquired their contentious spirits by

attending a preachers' conference where "hotshots" and "hotheads" led

the services to the shouts and cheers of other preachers. But God's

man will be strong in spirit, courageous in stand, and Christlike in

his control. The power of God's Spirit needs no accompanying display

of a man's youthful arrogance or brashness.


Insubordination:

"Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father" (I Timothy 5:1).

Most young preachers start their ministries by serving under an older,

seasoned pastor. The Bible underscores the wisdom of such a practice.

Unfortunately, the great lessons offered by the journeyman‑pastor are

too often overlooked by his apprentice. Worse, the younger staff

member may actually be disappointed or even disaffected from his

ministry calling. Frustration and anger may build (sometimes in both

parties) until harsh words flow. The young man must keep before him

the channel of proper appeal to the older man, intreating him as a

father.
There is a proper manner in which to seek clarification, express

concerns, and raise appropriate questions with one's mentoring pastor.

One can hope that the pastor will keep this channel of discussion open

for the young man. But, whatever the case, there is no place for

disrespect, disregarding instructions, or deliberate disobedience. The

young man who ignores this advice will not only lose his current

ministry but many opportunities for future service.


Insatiableness:

"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into

many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and

perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while

some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced

themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee

these things" (I Timothy 6:9‑11). Some pastors are never satisfied.

They demand big salaries, top benefits, and the latest car.


They conduct themselves in the extravagant lifestyle of corporate

executives. Younger pastors may begin to practice this covetous

pattern of ministerial behavior. The love of money can affect the man

in the pulpit just as surely as anyone in the pew. How many men have

undermined their credibility with their demanding lifestyles! Deacons

listen dismayed as such preachers speak of sacrifice. If God blesses

financially in His timing and through His abundant provision, rejoice!

But no pastor, young or old, should make extravagant demands of God's

people.
>> Today's Christian Preacher is the magazine for those involved in

ministry and those training for ministry service who live in the

United States. TCP won't help you preach a better sermon or build a

larger ministry. It will help you in your personal life. For more

information, call 1‑800‑588‑7744.

Subj: Crosswalk Pastors Resource: Potholes And Pitfalls For Young

Preachers ‑ Dec. 19, 2005

Date: 12/19/2005 10:43:21 AM Eastern Standard Time

From: Crosswalk_Pastors_Resources@crosswalkmail.com
<><
Why Do We Preach? Albert Mohler
- 12/2005.101

Preach the Word! That simple imperative frames the act of preaching as

an act of obedience. That is where any theology of preaching must

begin.



Preaching did not emerge from the church's experimentation with

communication techniques. The church does not preach because preaching

is thought to be a good idea or an effective technique. The sermon has

not earned its place in Christian worship by proving its utility in

comparison with other means of communication or aspects of worship.

Rather, we preach because we have been commanded to preach.


Preaching is a commission‑‑a charge. As Paul stated boldly, it is the

task of the minister of the gospel to "preach the Word, . . . in

season and out of season" [ - 2 Tim. 4:2 - 2 Timothy 4:2}]. A

theology of preaching begins with the humble acknowledgement that

preaching is not a human invention but a gracious creation of God and

a central part of His revealed will for the church.


Furthermore, preaching is distinctively Christian in its origin and

practice. Other religions may include teaching, or even public speech

and calls to prayer. However, the preaching act is sui generis, a

function of the church established by Jesus Christ.


As John A. Broadus stated: "Preaching is characteristic of

Christianity. No other religion has made the regular and frequent

assembling of groups of people, to hear religious instruction and

exhortation, and integral part of divine worship." The importance of

preaching is rooted in Scripture and revealed in the unfolding story

of the church. The church has never been faithful when it has lacked

fidelity in the pulpit. In the words of P. T. Forsyth: "With preaching

Christianity stands or falls, because it is the declaration of the

gospel."
The church cannot but preach lest it deny its own identity and

abdicate its ordained purpose. Preaching is communication, but not

mere communication. It is human speech, but much more than speech. As

Ian Pitt‑Watson noted, preaching is not even "a kind of speech

communication that happens to be about God." Its ground, its goal, and

its glory are all located in the sovereign will of God.


The act of preaching brings forth a combination of exposition,

testimony, exhortation, and teaching. Still, preaching cannot be

reduced to any of these, or even to the sum total of its individual

parts combined.


The primary Greek form of the word "preach" (kerusso) reveals its

intrinsic rootage in the kerygma‑‑the gospel itself. Preaching is an



inescapably theological act, for the preacher dares to speak of God

and, in a very real sense, for God. A theology of preaching should

take Trinitarian form, reflecting the very nature of the

self‑revealing God. In so doing, it bears witness to the God who

speaks, the Son who saves, and the Spirit who illuminates.
The God Who Speaks
True preaching begins with this confession: we preach because God has

spoken. That fundamental conviction is the fulcrum of the Christian

faith and of Christian preaching. The Creator God of the universe, the

omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Lord, chose of his own sovereign

will to reveal Himself to us. Supreme and complete in his holiness,

needing nothing and hidden from our view, God condescended to speak to

us‑‑even to reveal Himself to us.
As Carl F. H. Henry suggests, revelation is "a divinely initiated

activity, God's free communication by which he alone turns His

personal privacy into a deliberate disclosure of his reality." In an

act of holy graciousness, God gave up His comprehensive privacy that

we might know Him. God's revelation is the radical claim upon which we

dare to speak of God‑‑He has spoken!


Our God‑talk must therefore begin and end with what God has spoken

concerning Himself. Preaching is not the business of speculating about

God's nature, will, or ways, but is bearing witness to what God has

spoken concerning Himself. Preaching does not consist of speculation

but of exposition.
The preacher dares to speak the Word of truth to a generation which

rejects the very notion of objective, public truth. This is not rooted

in the preacher's arrogant claim to have discovered worldly wisdom or

to have penetrated the secrets of the universe. To the contrary, the

preacher dares to proclaim truth on the basis of God's sovereign

self‑disclosure. God has spoken, and He has commanded us to speak of

Him.
The Bible bears witness to itself as the written Word of God. This

springs from the fact that God has spoken. In the Old Testament alone,

the phrases "the Lord said," "the Lord spoke," and "the word of the

Lord came" appear at least 3,808 times. This confession brings the

preacher face to face with Scripture as divine revelation. The

authority of Scripture is none other than the authority of God



Himself.
As the Reformation formula testifies, "where Scripture speaks, God

speaks." The authority of the preacher is intrinsically rooted in the

authority of the Bible as the church's Book and the unblemished Word

of God. Its total truthfulness is a witness to God's own holiness. We

speak because God has spoken, and because he has given us His Word.
As Scripture itself records, God has called the church to speak of Him

on the basis of his Word and deeds. All Christian preaching is

biblical preaching. That formula is axiomatic. Those who preach from

some other authority or text may speak with great effect and

attractiveness, but they are preaching "another gospel," and their

words will betray them. Christian preaching is not an easy task. Those

who are called to preach bear a heavy duty.
As Martin Luther confessed "If I could come down with a good

conscience, I would rather be stretched out on a wheel and carry

stones than preach one sermon." Speaking on the basis of what God has

spoken is both arduous and glorious.


A theology of preaching begins with the confession that the God who

speaks has ultimate claim upon us. He who spoke a word and brought a

world into being created us from the dust. God has chosen enlivened

dust‑‑and all creation‑‑to bear testimony to his glory.


In preaching, finite, frail, and fault‑ridden human beings bear bold

witness to the infinite, all‑powerful, and perfect Lord. Such an

endeavor would smack of unmitigated arrogance and over‑reaching were

it not for the fact that God Himself has set us to the task. In this

light, preaching is not an act of arrogance, but of humility. True

preaching is not an exhibition of the brilliance or intellect of the

preacher, but an exposition of the wisdom and power of God.
This is possible only when the preacher stands in submission to the

text of Scripture. The issue of authority is inescapable. Either the

preacher or the text will be the operant authority. A theology of

preaching serves to remind those who preach of the danger of confusing

our own authority with that of the biblical text. We are called, not

only to preach, but to preach the Word.


Acknowledging the God who speaks as Lord is to surrender the preaching

event in an act of glad submission. Preaching thus becomes the



occasion for the Word of the Lord to break forth anew. This occasion

itself represents the divine initiative, for it is God Himself, and

not the preacher, who controls His Word. John Calvin understood this

truth when he affirmed that "The Word goeth out of the mouth of God in

such a manner that it likewise goeth out of the mouth of men; for God

does not speak openly from heaven but employs men as His instruments."


Calvin understood preaching to be the process by which God uses human

instruments to speak what He Himself has spoken. This He accomplishes

through the preaching of Scripture under the illumination and

testimonium of the Holy Spirit. God uses preachers, Calvin offered,

"rather than to thunder at us and drive us away." Further, "it is

singular privilege that he deigns to consecrate to Himself the mouths

and toungues (sic) of men in order that His voice may resound in

them."
Thus, preaching springs from the truth that God has spoken in word and

deed and that He has chosen human vessels to bear witness to Himself

and his gospel. We speak because we cannot be silent. We speak because

God has spoken.

Subj: Crosswalk Pastors Resource: Why Do We Preach? ‑ Dec. 26, 2005

Date: 12/26/2005 6:56:12 AM Eastern Standard Time

From: Crosswalk_Pastors_Resources@crosswalkmail.com

Reply‑to: hjewjpwteeyaa@crosswalkmail.com


<><
Humor - You Might be a Preacher if...

- 2/2006.101


You Might be a Preacher if...."
1. You've been asked, "What's so hard about preaching?"
2. Others wished they only worked one day a week for a weeks pay!
3. ...if you have ever said "I'm NEVER going to be a preacher!"


4. You wear your new shoes to church and someone comments "We are

paying you too much money!"


5. Women call up and say they want you to marry them.
6. You keep relating movies you've seen to sermon topics.
7. Your children are the worst kids in the church!
8. You name your bed "The Word." ‑ ( You tell everyone that you "Stay

in the Word")


9. You jiggle all the commode handles at the church before you leave.
10.Instead of being "ticked off," you get "grieved in your spirit."
11.You've ever dreamed you were preaching only to awaken and discover

you were.

++++
You Might be a Preacher if......
‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑


To get us started....
1. You hesitate to tell people what you do for a living.
2. You've ever dreamed you were preaching only to awaken and discover

you were.


3. You've wondered why people couldn't die at more appropriate times.
4. You find yourself counting people at a sporting event.
5. You're leading the church into the 21st century, but you don't know

what you are preaching on Sunday.


6. A church picnic is no picnic.


7. You've ever spoken for free and were worth every penny of it.
8. You drive a Buick with more than 100,000 miles on it.
9. People sleep while you're talking.
10. It's Sunday, but Monday's coming.
11. You feel guilty when you go fishing.
12. Instead of being "ticked off," you get "grieved in your spirit."
13. You've been tempted to take an offering at a family reunion.
14. You jiggle all the commode handles at the church before you leave.
15. You'd rather talk to people with their heads bowed and every eye

closed.
16. You've ever wanted to 'lay hands' on a deacon's neck.


...by Stan Toler and Mark Hollingsworth from the book "You Might be a

Preacher if..."



<><
Why is Preaching So Important?
Why is Preaching So Important

- 2/2006.101


Why is Preaching So Important?

- 2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV - 2 Timothy 4:2 NIV}, NIRV, TNIV, KJV)

PREACHING=S IMPORTANCE

WHY IS PREACHING SO IMPORTANT?


A. God commands us to preach when it=s convenient and when it=s not,

to reprove, rebuke, encourage with great patience and instruction.



( - 2 Tim. 4:2 - 2 Timothy 4:2})
B. Preaching follows the models of Christ, Paul, and the Prophets. We

are told to imitate the faith of those who have gone before.

( - Heb. 13:7 - Hebrews 13:7})
C. Preaching has great power, potential, and capacity to bring about

change in individuals, institutions, and societies. ( - Mt.

28:19 - Matthew 28:19}, - 20 - Matthew 28:20})
D. Preaching is one of the most effective ways of winning people to

faith in Jesus Christ. ( - Mk. 16:15 - Mark 16:15})


E. Historically, preaching has become the principle means of leading,

teaching, and feeding the flock of God. ( - Jn. 21:15‑17 - John

21:15‑17})
F. Despite all the competition, preaching continues to remain the most

popular form of expositing the word of God throughout the world.

( - Rom. 1:16 - Romans 1:16})
G. Preaching offers tremendous variety in presenting the truth of God

from the scriptures (Expository, topical, biographical, thematic,

textual, devotional, evangelistic, children=s sermons, weddings, etc)
H. Preaching is fit for all types of occasions; funerals, baptism,

weddings, launchings, graduations, tithing conferences, revivals,

church planting conferences, Sunday morning services, prayer meetings,

naming ceremonies, child dedications, film shows, conventions, board

meetings, building dedications.
I. Preaching offers great authority which people recognize through the

credibility of the word of God.


J. Some preaching can also be used to forward personal interests over

the interest of the scriptures. It is for this reason that we must be

careful how we use the pulpit lest God be displeased.
K. Poor preaching has a way of detracting from the essential messages

of scripture.


L. Incomplete preaching has a way of communicating only partial truths

that are out of balance with the full counsel of God.



M. False preaching can dangerously lead people into heretical

doctrines.


N. Counterfeit preachers can lead people down paths of destruction.
O. Social preachers can inadvertently fool people into thinking that

they are doing the full will of God.


P. Poorly prepared preachers will be accountable to God for their

failure to feed, teach, and mature their flock.


R. Incompetent preachers will come under stricter judgment from God

for their distorted teaching. (Jm. 3:1)


S. Preaching has universal appeal in its ability to communicate truth

simply, clearly, and convincingly.


T. Preaching can reach the highly educated as well as the uneducated.
U. Preaching can cut across all tribal, social, political, age, sexual

(Male‑Female), cultural, physical, and language lines if done

properly, contextually, and effectively.
V. God continues to speak through preachers today in powerful, timely,

and relevant ways. Who are we to refuse to listen to God=s message?


W. Preaching can touch many different people in many different ways.

The Holy Spirit can take the message of scriptures and use it to

convict individuals in personal ways.
X. Biblical preaching can never grow old since the scriptures are

living and active with the ability to discern the thoughts of each

person=s heart.
Y. Preaching may not appear to be the most rational way to effect

change, but the scriptures teach that God=s ways are higher than man=s

way. ( - Isa. 55:8 - Isaiah 55:8}, - 9 - Isaiah 55:9})
Z. The Lord promises us that His word will not return to Him without

accomplishing His purposes. ( - Isa. 55:10 - Isaiah

55:10}, - 11 - Isaiah 55:11})
AA. - Isa. 40:8 - Isaiah 40:8} promises preachers that their


labor is not in vain in the Lord. ``The grass withers and the flowers

fall but the word of our God stands forever!==

THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PREACHER
A. He must be a born‑again Christian who is in intimate fellowship

with Christ.

B. He must know the scriptures and the power of God. ( - Mk.

12:24 - Mark 12:24})

C. He must know his audience; their needs, wants, and problems.

D. He must be a man above reproach, a one woman man, not quarrelsome,

temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not

addicted to wine, or possessing a hot temper, kind, gentle, humble,

loving, patient, rejecting those who are in opposition so that God

could grant them knowledge of the truth.

E. Commitment to Christ, the church, and to the great commission

( - Mt. 28:19 - Matthew 28:19}, - 20 - Matthew 28:20}).

F. Leadership qualities that express themselves in service.

G. A call of God to preach the word with confidence, boldness,

accuracy, empowerment from the Holy Spirit, uncompromising spirit,

truth, forcefulness, and courage!

H. Gifts from the Holy Spirit in the areas of preaching, teaching, or

exhortation.

I. Training in hermeneutics (Interpreting the Bible) and homiletics

(Preaching the Bible).

J. Knowledge of the science and art of human relations,

communications, and the scriptures.

K. A moral, ethical, and upright life that does not distract from one=

s preaching.

L. Evangelistic fervor to see many people saved from hell.

M. A desire to continually grow in grace and knowledge of Christ.

N. A love for Jesus Christ and people.

O. A deep trust, evidenced through a strong prayer life.

P. Discipline to continually be a student of the Bible.

Q. Physically, socially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually fit.

R. Ability to manage his own house.

S. A solid theological foundation.

T. Access to good Biblical tools for sermon preparation. (Bible

dictionary, commentaries, concordance, and Preacher=s Manuals).

U. Educationally capable of learning means of improving his preaching.

V. Ability to infuse variety in his preaching through expositional,

biographical, topical, thematic, historical, devotional sermons etc.


W. Ability to plan his sermons with prayer and illustration materials.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=38378&Contrib

utorID=6170

<><
Humor - Reading - Sam Clements, age 6

- 3/2006.101


Sam Clements, age 6, the grand son of North American Presbyter Sam

Clements said with tears, "I'm called to preach."


The response was given, "That's great ‑ what's wrong?"
"Crying, But I can't read, "he quickly responds. (Bringing a smile to our face.)

<><
Preaching to the Secular Mind

- 7/2006.101


Preaching to the Secular Mind
Speaking to the Secular Mind

We can't win non‑Christians if we don't know how they think, and we

can't know how they think if we never enter their world.

By Bill Hybels

Driving home from church one day, I pulled behind a guy on his

Harley‑Davidson. I noticed a bumper sticker on the rear fender of his

motorcycle, so I pulled closer. It read: [EXPLETIVE] GUILT.
After the shock wore off, I was struck by how different his world was

from the one I'd just left, and even from the world a generation ago.

In my day, we felt guilty, I thought. Now, it's not only "I don't feel

guilty," but "[Expletive] guilt."



There was a time when your word was a guarantee, when marriage was

permanent, when ethics were assumed. Not so very long ago, heaven and

hell were unquestioned, and caring for the poor was an obvious part of

what it meant to be a decent person. Conspicuous consumption was

frowned upon because it was conspicuous. The label self‑centered was

to be avoided at all costs, because it said something horrendous about

your character.
Today, all of that has changed. Not only is it different, but people

can hardly remember what the former days were like.


Why We Need a New Approach

Many churches, however, still operate with the understanding that

non‑Christians are going to come through the doors, feel pretty much

at home, understand the sovereignty of God and the redemptive work of

Jesus Christ, and in one morning make a complete transition from a

secular worldview.


Even 20 years ago that may have been a reasonable hope. The secular

worldview wasn't that disconnected from God's agenda. A guy would hear

the claims of Christ and say, "Well, that makes sense. I know I'm a

sinner" or "I know I shouldn't drink so much" or "I really should be

faithful to my wife."
Today, even though we're asking for the same thingCa commitment to

ChristCin the perception of the secular person, we're asking for far

more. The implications of becoming a Christian today are not just

sobering; they're staggering.


Recently I preached on telling the truth, and afterward a man came up

and said, "You don't understand what you're saying."


"What don't I understand?" I asked him.
"You're just up there doing what pastors are supposed to doCtalk about

truth. But my job requires my violating about five of the things you

just talked about. It's part of the job description; I can't be 'on

the level' and keep the position. You're not asking me to adopt some

value system; you're asking me to give up my salary and abandon my

career."
We preachers, I was reminded that day, have our work cut out for us.

The topics we choose, the way we present Scripture, the illustrations


we use, the responses we ask for, all need to contribute to our goal

of effectively presenting Christ to non‑Christians. Here is what I've

learned, sometimes the hard way, about what kind of preaching attracts

them, keeps them coming back, and most important, leads them to take

the momentous step of following Jesus Christ.
Sensitive Training

If we're going to speak with integrity to secular men and women, we

need to work through two critical areas before we step into the

pulpit.
The first is to understand the way they think. For most of us pastors,

though, that's a challenge. The majority of my colleagues went to a

Bible school or Christian college and on to seminary, and have worked

in the church ever since. As a result, most have never been close

friends with a non‑Christian. They want to make their preaching

connect with unchurched people, but they've never been close enough to

them to gain an intimate understanding of how their minds work.


If we're serious about reaching the non‑Christian, most of us are

going to have to take some giant steps. I have suggested for many

years that our pastors at Willow Creek find authentic interest areas

in their livesCtennis, golf, jogging, sailing, mechanical work,

whateverCand pursue these in a totally secular realm. Instead of

joining a church league softball team, why not join a park district

team? Instead of working out in the church gym, shoot baskets at the

YMCA. On vacation, don't go to a Bible conference but to some state

park where the guy in the next campsite is going to bring over his

six‑pack and sit at your picnic table.


The second prerequisite to effective preaching to non‑Christians is

that we like them. If we don't, it's going to bleed through our

preaching. Listen closely to sermons on the radio or television, and

often you'll hear remarks about "those worldly secular people."

Unintentionally, these speakers distance themselves from the

non‑Christian listener; it's us against them. I find myself wondering

whether these preachers are convinced that lost people matter to God.

It's not a merciful, "Let's tell them we love them," but a ticked off

"They're going to get what's coming to them." These preachers forfeit

their opportunity to speak to non‑Christians because the unchurched

person immediately senses, They don't like me.
Creative Topics and Titles


Unchurched people today are the ultimate consumers. We may not like

it, but for every sermon we preach, they're asking, Am I interested in

that subject? If they aren't, it doesn't matter how effective our

delivery is; their minds will check out.


When the book Real Men Don't Eat Quiche came out, sales immediately

took off. Everyone was talking about it. As I was thinking about the

amazing success of that book, I decided to preach a series, "What

Makes a Man a Man? What Makes a Woman a Woman?" Unchurched people

heard the titles, and they came; attendance climbed 20 percent in just

four weeks.


"Why" Explanations

Unchurched people don't give the Bible a fraction of the weight we

believers do. They look at it as an occasionally useful collection of

helpful suggestions, something like the Farmer's Almanac. They tend to

think, The Bible has some neat things to say once in awhile, but it's

not the kind of thing I'm going to change my life radically to obey.


If we simply quote the Bible and say, "That settles it. Now obey

that," they're going to say, "What? I'm supposed to rebuild my life on

some book that's thousands of years old? I don't do that for any other

respected literary work of antiquity." It just doesn't make sense to

them.
So almost every time I preach, I'm trying to build up the reliability

of Scripture and increase their respect for it. I do that by

explaining the wisdom of God behind it. When you show them how

reasonable God is, that captivates the secular mind.


Most secular folks have written off Christians as people who believe

in floods and angels and strange miracles. My goal is to explain, in a

reasonably intelligent fashion, some matters that touch their lives. I

hope when they leave they'll say, "Maybe there is something to the

Bible and to the Christian life."
Consider, the verse that instructs us, "Don't be unequally yoked."

Some teachers speaking on that passage will say, "The implications are

obvious: Don't marry a nonbeliever. The Bible says it, and we need to

obey it." For the already convinced person, who puts great value on

the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture, that might be enough.

I don't think most church people buy it as much as we hope they will,

but let's say they give us the indication that they do.


The secular guy, on the other hand, sits there and thinks, That is

about the most stupid and discriminatory thing I have ever heard. Why

should I refuse to marry someone I love simply because her religion is

a little different? So one Sunday morning, I started by saying, "I'm

going to read to you the most disliked sentence in all of Scripture

for single people who are anxious to get married." Then I read.


"This is that awful verse," I said, "in which, under the inspiration

of the Holy Spirit, Paul cuts down the field from hundreds of

thousands of marriageable candidates to only a handful. And almost

every single person I know, upon first hearing it, hates that verse.

What I want to do is spend the next thirty minutes telling you why I

think God would write such an outrageous prescription."


During the rest of that message, I tried to show, using logic and

their experience, that this command makes terrific sense. We were in a

construction program at the time, so I used this illustration: "What

if I went out to the construction site, and I found one contractor,

with his fifteen workers, busily constructing our building from one

set of plans, and then I went to the other side of the building, and

here's another contractor building his part of the building from a

totally different set of blueprints? There'd be total chaos.


"Friends," I continued, "what happens in a marriage when you've got a

husband who says, 'I'm going to build this marriage on this

blueprint,' and a wife who says, 'I'm going to build it on this

blueprint'? They collide, and usually the strongest person winsCfor a

time. But then there's destruction.
"God wants his children to build solid, permanent relationships, and

he knows it's going to take a single set of plans. In order to build a

solid building or a sound marriage, you need one set of blueprints."
Over time, I try to increase gradually their respect for Scripture, so

that someday they won't have to ask all the why questions but will be

able to say to themselves, Because it's in the Book, that's why.
Freeing Responses

When people walk into church, often they're thinking they'll get the

party line again: Pray more, love more, serve more, give more. They

just want something more out of me, they think. I wonder what it'll be

today that I'm not doing enough of.


It's easy for us pastors to unintentionally foster that understanding.

One pastor asked me for help with his preaching, and we talked about

what responses he wanted. I suggested, "List the messages you've

preached in the last year, and write either pray more, love more,

serve more or give more next to any message where that was the main

thrust of the sermon."


He came back and said, "Bill, one of those was the thrust of every

single sermon last year." He recognized the implications. If every

time my son comes into the living room, I say, "Do this more; do that

more," pretty soon he won't want to come in the living room. But if he

comes in knowing there is going to be some warmth, acceptance, a

little humor, and encouragement, then on the occasions I need to say,

"We've got to straighten out something here," he can receive that.
Trying to reach non‑Christians isn't easy, and it's not getting

easier. But what keeps me preaching are the times when after many

months, I do get through.
Once a man said to me, "I came to your church, and nobody knew what

really was going on in my life because I had 'em all fooled. But I

knew, and when you started saying that in spite of all my sin I still

mattered to God, something clicked in me. I committed myself to

Christ, and I tell you, I'm different. My son and I haven't been

getting along at all, but I decided to take two weeks off and take him

to a baseball camp out west. He started opening up to me while we were

out there. Thanks, Bill, for telling me about Jesus."


For a preacher, such a joy far surpasses the ongoing challenge.
From the book Growing Your Church Through Evangelism and Outreach.

Copyright 8 1996 by Christianity Today International/LEADERSHIP.


\webpage{http://www.christianitytoday.com/bcl/areas/missions/articles/0

71206.html



<><

Preaching - Spiritual Blindness



John Knox never entered a pulpit until he was 40 years old and

biographers conclude that much of the fire and energy of his preaching

was due to the fact that the flame had been so long pent up within his

breast.
- - - 1 Pet 1:2 - 1 Peter 1:2




<><
Evangelists - Dwight L. Moody

- 6/1989.19

Dwight L. Moody, by his own admission, made a mistake on the eighth

of October 1871 ‑‑ a mistake he determined never to repeat.

He had been preaching in the city of Chicago. That particular

night drew his largest audience yet. His message was "What will you

do then with Jesus who is called the Christ?"

By the end of the service, he was tired. He concluded his message

with a presentation of the gospel and a concluding statement: "Now I

give you a week to think that over. And when we come together again,

you will have opportunity to respond."

A soloist began to sing. But before the final note, the music was

drowned out by clanging bells and wailing sirens screaming through the

streets. The great Chicago Fire was blazing. In the ashen aftermath,

hundreds were dead and over a hundred thousand were homeless.

Without a doubt, some who heard Moody's message had died in the

fire. He reflected remorsefully that he would have given his right

arm before he would ever give an audience another week to think over

the message of the gospel.
- - - Psa 32:6 - Psalms 32:6 - - 2 Cor 6:2 - 2

Corinthians 6:2 - - Heb 3:15 - Hebrews 3:15



<><
Preaching ‑ Get Real - 6/2007.101
Acknowledge the reality that life in a fallen world includes sin and

suffering. Don't pretend to be happy all the time or to have all the

answers. Don't give your congregation sugar‑coated pop psychology,

oversimplify complex issues, or mince words with them. Admit your



frailties. Be humble, open and honest. Let your authenticity lead you

to confess your sins and turn from them so your congregation can see a

holy God transforming a broken human being. Speak as freely about your

doubts and pain as you do about your faith and joy, because each

extreme gives context for the other to glorify God's work.

Adapted from Future Church: Ministry in a Post‑Seeker Age, by James L.

Wilson, 2004, Broadman & Holman
Subj: Church Leaders Intelligence Report Enclosed ‑ 05.30.2007

Date: 5/30/2007 8:09:52 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: ChurchLeaders@nc.churchleaders.com


<><
If They Pay You to Speak, Is It Ministry? Or Business? Rebekah Montgomery

- 7/2007.101


If They Pay You to Speak, Is It Ministry? Or Business? Rebekah Montgomery

When it comes to ministry and money, there is not a one‑size‑fits‑all

answer. Look over these examples. Where do you fit? What fits you?

Most importantly, how is God telling you to handle this?


Ministry By Faith
During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia begging him,

ACome over to Macedonia and help us.@ ( - Acts 16:9 - Acts

16:9}‑NIV)
Like Paul, for most of us, it=s not about money. Perhaps you also hear

voices of women calling for help in your sleep. So when you speak, it

is about answering the vision God has given you ??? not collecting

your honorarium.


Here=s something about Paul=s Aministry fees@ you=ll want to remember:

Paul=s first contact and convert in Macedonia was Lydia, a

businesswoman to the rich and famous of Philippi. She not only made

sure Paul met her influential clientele, she provided for him

financially.


God has called some of us to ministry by faith. We receive a vision,

step out and go to Macedonia ??? or Paducah ??? and God provides a

Lydia in the person of a supportive husband, a sponsor, or maybe a

financial bequest.


Ministry By Making Tents

PaulY went to Corinth. There he met Aquila with his wife Priscilla and

because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with

them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogueY (Excerpts from

- Acts 18:1‑4 - Acts 18:1‑4})
A few years ago, I encountered an elderly but spry widow woman

preaching the Gospel outside Jerusalem=s Joppa Gate. She told me that

she has preached on 7 continents and that her ministry is

self‑supported ??? by selling cosmetics!


God has called some of us to minister by Amaking tents@ or working

with our talents to support our ministry. Right to the Heart of Women

eZine=s main sponsor, Jubilant Press , is one such Atentmaker

ministry.@


Ministry‑For‑Hire

A...for the worker is worthy of his support.@ ( - Matthew

10:10 - Matthew 10:10})
Jesus said it. We believe it. But even so, this area can be awkward to

talk about.


Kathy Collard Miller=s book, The Complete Guide to Speaking

Professionally , addresses the subject of ministry‑for‑hire. Here is a

small excerpt:
AMost people do not understand the expenses that a speaker has. There

are costs like office supplies, telephone charges, dry cleaning,

specialized clothing, automobile expenses, printing costs, and mailing

costs. Though we may speak for only one hour at an event, a lot more

time and energy is expended to do that.
AThe most awkward part of fees, obviously, is actually discussing them

with the meeting planner. If they do bring it up themselves and ask,

AWhat do you charge?@ I respond by asking, AWhat do you have available

in your budget for the speaker?@ If they respond with an amount that

is more than you usually request, you can cheerfully say, AThank you


very much.@ If it is less than you usually request, you can say

something like, AWell, I usually request such and such an amount. Is

there any way that you can raise your budget?@ You must decide whether

you are willing to take the lower fee.


AAlthough this is indeed an awkward part of our ministry, talking to

knowledgeable people and seeking the Lord's guidance will give you

greater confidence in determining your fees.@
Please Click
Here to subscribe to the Right to the Heart mailing list.
Rebekah Montgomery is the editor of Right to the Heart of Women

e‑zine, a publisher at Jubilant Press, and the author of numerous

books on spiritual growth. She can be contacted for comments, reprint

requests or speaking engagements at rebekahmontgomery.com. 8 Rebekah

Montgomery 2007. For reprint requests, contact Rebekah at her website,

www.RebekahMontgomery.com


Crosswalk Pastors Resources



<><
Contextual Preaching - The Key to Preaching So Your Audience Can Hear by Ed Stetzer

- 8/2007.101


Contextual Preaching:

The Key to Preaching So Your Audience Can Hear

by Ed Stetzer
At the heart of effective preaching is a solid missiological

perspective. Are you communicating in such a way that your words

actually convey biblical truth to your audience? Or does your

preaching float right past your hearers because it=s not delivered Aon

a frequency@ that they listen to? In this respect, we can probably

learn as much about good preaching from Hudson Taylor as we can from

Haddon Robinson.


Indigenization

Jesus left his comfortable dwelling in heaven and took on the

appearance of those he sought to reach. He wore their clothes, ate

their food, spoke their language, and understood their culture at its

deepest level. He fully identified with his hearers.

The idea behind indigenization for us today is that a church should

spring forth out of the soil in which it is planted. It is indigenous

in that its leadership, expressions, forms, and functions reflect a

biblical expression in a certain context.

What we have found is that when the pastoral leadership, core of the

church, and community all line up, the potential for the church to

take on an indigenous or contextual form is significant. This

combination seems to provide a greenhouse for explosive growth.

Preaching is a central part of that process.


Contextualization


If the church is to become an indigenous expression of its context,

then contextualization comes into play. When it comes to

contextualization, reality suggests that the eternal, universal truth

of God=s Word is understood and appropriated by people through a

cultural grid or framework. Though we understand and appropriate the

truth as conditioned by culture, biblical truth is eternal. However,

we (and the hearers) are not!


The Way the Message Is Communicated





By far, the most controversial point of this whole discussion is the

way the message is communicated. Many in the Christian church suggest

that the only way to communicate the gospel is through verse‑by‑verse

expository preaching. Others like Rick Warren have adopted what he

calls a topical exposition approach. Still others like Dan Kimball, in

The Emerging Church, talk about a theotopical approach. I=ve written

more about types of preaching elsewhere. But, the issue here is not

whether you approach Scripture from an expository perspective or a

topical one; it has more to do with your starting point so you can be

understood by your hearers.


Most Christians prefer to begin at the point of biblical

revelationCAThus saith the Word of God!@ For us, a simple reference to

- John 3 - John 3} or - Psalm 32 - Psalms 32} means

that we are about to hear something important and relevant to our

lives. From biblical revelation, we move toward application or

relevance. Based on what God=s Word says, here is how we need to apply

it to our lives. For those who are disconnected from Christ and the

church or even new believers, their beginning point can be very

different. They are often ignorant regarding any expression of

Scripture and, at the very least, neutral toward it if not hostile.

As one person in our church asked: AHow many books do Christians use?

I hear you talking about the Old Testament and the New Testament. The

other day it was the book of John and then it was the book of Luke.

How many books do you use?@ This is not uncommon in our culture today.

For those with no biblical reverence point, the beginning point is

often that of relevance. They are asking, ADoes this have anything to

do with my life?@ Or AIs it relevant?@


Since we know it is true and we know it is relevant we have to help

them see that it is both.

After you have done the most important part of working through the

Scriptures to understand and convey them accurately, then help your


hearer understand why they should pay attention. So, we would

encourage you to start like this:


Why is this important and how does it relate to me?

What does the Bible say about it?

What am I going to do with what the Bible says about it?

Instead of:
The Bible says this.

It is important.

You should do it.

Paul demonstrated this when he was invited to speak to a completely

Jewish audience after entering a synagogue in Pisdian Antioch; he

began with the Old Testament. He did not quote directly from the Old

Testament, but began by summarizing its historical account. AMen of

Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! The God of the

people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during

their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that

country, he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert,

he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people

as their inheritance. All this took about 450 years@ ( - Acts

13:16‑20 - Acts 13:16‑20}).


When communicating to the less educated at Lystra ( - Acts

14 - Acts 14}), he used examples of nature, sea, and crops. He spoke

to an agrarian people with agrarian metaphors.


On the other hand, when Paul was in front of a very different audience

in Athens, his starting point was different. We read in

- Acts 17 - Acts 17}, APaul then stood up in the meeting of

the Areopagus and said: >Men of Athens! I see that in every way, you

are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at

your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:


TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am

going to proclaim to you@ ( - Acts 17:22‑23 - Acts 17:22‑23}).


The Apostle Paul began where the people he was speaking to were. For

the Jews, the starting point was their ancient history rooted in the

Old Testament Scriptures. On the other hand, Paul connected with the

Greeks at their point of relevance. Notice that he presented Christ in

both cases. For us, we may start in a different place, but the context

of the message needs to be Christ and the fullness of Scripture. The

key is where the communication begins. Scripture sets the agenda and

shape of the message, but every message must answer the question, AWhy

is this important to me/us?@ If there is no point of connection, the

message is simply meaningless facts rather than life‑changing truth.

Redemptive Analogies


When we begin at the point of relevance, it does not in any way

nullify the importance of rightly dividing the Word of God. We think

that a common mistake many seeker‑driven churches made early on was

trying to communicate relevant messages that had little or no biblical

content. It seemed that the sermons were basically explanations of

common‑sense wisdom or perhaps biblical principals, but the Bible did

not set the shape or agenda of the message.


We must always remember that Aconsequently, faith comes from hearing

the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ@

( - Rom. 10:17 - Romans 10:17}) and Athe word of God is living

and active. Sharper than any double‑edged sword, it penetrates even to

dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts

and attitudes of the heart@ ( - Heb. 4:12 - Hebrews 4:12}). The

Bible is not simply a tool for scriptural footnoting or common‑sense

wisdom.


One of the cultural shifts that we are experiencing is the shift from

the secular to the spiritual. This shift lends itself to biblical

preaching and teaching. People are looking for a higher power, a sense

of mystery, revelation, and spiritual authority for their lives.

Scripture was given to reveal Jesus; therefore, all of our preaching

should be Christ‑centered. With this in mind, we must ask, AHow do we

communicate the good news of the gospel in a way that the story of

redemption is heard and experienced?@


In our highly spiritual world, we must look for cultural bridges that

we can cross in order to carry the good news to a spiritually hungry

people. Don Richardson gives us great insight regarding this in his

books Peace Child and Eternity in Their Hearts. Using the concept of

redemptive analogy, he describes the importance of finding a common

cultural understanding as a tool for sharing the gospel with the Sawi

or other groups. In an interview with Dick Staub, Don gives the

following account of this concept:

"When Caroline and I lived among the Sawi and learned their language,

we found that they honored treachery as a virtue. This came to light

when I told them the story of Judas betraying Jesus to death after

three years of friendship. They acclaimed Judas as the hero of the

story. It seemed as if it would not be easy for such people to

understand God=s redemption in Jesus. But lo and behold, their way of

making peace required a father in one of two warring villages to make

an incredible sacrifice. He had to be willing to give one of his

children as a peace child to his enemies. Caroline and I saw this

happen, and we saw the peace that resulted from a man=s sorrowful

sacrifice of his own son. That enabled me to proclaim Jesus as the

greatest peace child given by the greatest father."

In Lords of the Earth, the Yali tribe had places of refuge. That was

their special redemptive analogy. In other words, there=s something

that serves as a cultural compass to point men and women toward Jesus,

something that is in their own background, part of their own culture.


We must look for those cultural bridges to every people group,

population segment, and cultural environment. Obviously, this may look

very different from one group to another.

Redemptive analogies are 21st‑century parables. They are like the

stories Jesus told. They are examples and stories that bring truth

about the kingdom of God to life in the common language, stories, and

symbols of the day. They are like the trilogy that Jesus spoke of in

- Luke 15 - Luke 15}, where he talked about Alostness@ by

using the example of a lost coin, a lost sheep, and a lost son. All

three of these analogies related to the culture of his day, and the

common person could place himself into the reality of any of these

stories. The stories illustrate the demonstrable love the Father has

for us.

Summary

In our current environment, contextualized preaching has its origin in

God=s heart, but it is first expressed when we connect with hearers.

He already had given us the message and the Scripture. It is relevant

in this and every culture.


Too often we say, AI want to make the Bible relevant.@ No need. It

already is. Our job is to present it in ways that help the hearer see

that it is relevantCin this and in every culture. We do so by

starting at their understanding and taking them to Scripture for the

whole answer.


Simply put:


It is easy to preach in culturally relevant ways.

It is easy to preach solid biblical texts.

It is hard to do both in the same message.

But, if we are to preach like Jesus and Paul, we must learn to do so.

Just as Jesus did, we must preach in a way so that people can best

understand and respond to the gospel message.


Ed Stetzer is discussing this article at www.edstetzer.com.

Ed Stetzer (Ph.D.) is author of Breaking the Missional Code, Comeback

Churches and Planting Missional Churches. He currently serves as the

Director of LifeWay Research. This article is adapted from the book,

ABreaking the Missional Code@ by Ed Stetzer and David Putnam. You can

interact concerning this article at www.edstetzer.com.
\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/article.asp?article=a‑Ed_Stetzer_

08_20_07&ac=true



<><
Bible Studies ‑ Hermeneutics - Pastor John Paul Miller

- 9/2007.101


HERMENEUTICS

Pastor John Paul Miller


Taught by Pastor John Paul Miller

INTRODUCTION TO HERMENEUTICS II Tim 2:15


I. WHY IS BIBLE INTERPRETATION IMPORTANT?




1. It is essential for understanding and teaching the Bible properly.
2. Bible interpretation is essential as a step beyond observation.
3. Bible interpretation is essential for applying the Bible properly.

II. THE CHALLENGE OF BIBLE INTERPRETATION


III. PROBLEMS IN BIBLE INTERPRETATION


1. A time gap (chronological)


2. A space gap (geographical)
3. A customs gap (cultural)
4. A language gap (linguistic)
5. A writing gap (literary)
6. A spiritual gap (supernatural)

IV. DEFINITIONS IN HERMENEUTICS


Quote by Bernard Ramm: The word hermeneutics is ultimately derived

from Hermes the Greek god who brought the messages of the gods to the

mortals, and the god of science, invention, eloquence, speech,

writing, and art.

Hermeneutics is the science and art of Biblical interpretation. It is

a science because it is guided by rules within a system; and it is an


art because the application of the rules is by skill. And not by

mechanical imitation.


Hermeneutics is the science and art of interpreting the Bible. Another

way to define hermeneutics is this: It is the science (principles) and

art (task) by which the meaning of the biblical text is determined.


DEFINITIONS OF HERMENEUTICS AND RELATED TERMS


HERMENEUTICS: The science (principles) and art (task) by which the

meaning of the biblical text is determined.

EXEGESIS: The determination of the meaning of the biblical Text in its

historical and literary contexts

EXPOSITION: The communication of the meaning of the text along with

its relevance to present‑day hearers.

HOMILETICS: The science (principles) and art (task) by which the

meaning and relevance of the biblical text are communicated in a

preaching situation.


V. DIVISIONS OF HERMENEUTICS


The rules of interpretation are divided into four categories: General,

Grammatical, Historical, and Theological.

1. General Principles of Interpretation are principles that deal with

the overall subject of interpretation. They are universal in nature

rather than being limited to special considerations, which are listed

in the other three sections.

2. Grammatical Principles of Interpretation are principles that deal

with the text itself. They lay down the ground rules for understanding

the words and sentences in the passage under study.


3. Historical Principles of Interpretation are principles that deal

with the background or context in which the books of the Bible were

written. Political, economic, and cultural situations are important in

considering the historical aspect of your study of the Word of God.

4. Theological Principles of Interpretation are principles that deal

with the formation of Christian doctrine. They are, of necessity,

Abroad@ rules, for doctrine must take into consideration all that the

Bible says about a given subject.

VI. QUALIFICATIONS FOR INTERPRETATING THE BIBLE


1. No one can fully comprehend the meaning of the Bible unless he/she

is regenerated (Born Again). The unsaved person is spiritually blind

( - 2 Cor. 4:4 - 2 Corinthians 4:4}) and dead ( - Eph

2:2 - Ephesians 2:2}). ( - 1 Cor 2:14 - 1 Corinthians 2:14})

2. More than regeneration is necessary. Also reverence for and

interest in God and His Word are essential to interpreting the Bible

properly.



3. Other spiritual qualifications are a prayerful attitude and

humility.

4. The Scriptures should also be approached with a willingness to obey

them, a willingness to put into practice what has been learned in the

Word.

5. The interpreter must also depend upon the Holy Spirit.

a. His role does not mean that one=s interpretations are infallible.

Inerrancy and infallibility are characteristics of the Bible=s

original manuscripts, but not of the Bible=s interpreters.


b. The work of the Holy Spirit in interpretation does not mean that He

gives some interpreters a Ahidden@ meaning divergent from the norm,

literal meaning of the passage.


c. As already suggested, a Christian who is living in sin is

susceptible to making inaccurate Bible interpretations because his

heart and mind are not in harmony with the Holy Spirit.


d. The Holy Spirit guides into all truth ( - John 16:13 - John

16:13}). The word Aguide@ means Ato lead the way or guide along the

way or road.@


e. The place of the Holy Spirit in interpreting the Bible means that

He does not normally give sudden intuitive flashes of insight into the

meaning of scripture. Many passages are readily understood, but the



meaning of others may come to light only gradually as the result of

careful study.


f. The Spirit=s role in interpretation means that the Bible was given

to be understood by all believers. Its interpretation is not in the

hands of an elite few scholars.


GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION


RULE ONE: Work from the assumption that the Bible is authoritative.


Attitudes Towards the Bible

1. Rationalism: (a) Extreme form denies the possibility of any

supernatural revelation. (b) Moderate form admit possibility of divine

revelation, but human mind is final judge of revelation.


2. Romanism: The Bible is the product of the church, therefore the

Bible is not the sole or final authority.

3. Mysticism: Experience is authoritative along with the Bible.


4. Neo‑orthodoxy: The Bible is a fallible witness to the revelation of

God.

5. Cults: The Bible and the writings of the particular cult leaders

are equally authoritative.


6. Orthodoxy: The Bible alone is the ground of authority.


Different views of inspiration.


1. Natural; no supernatural element, the bible was written by men of

great genius. 2. Mechanical.
3. Fallible Inspiration; the bible is inspired but not without error.
4. Conceptual; the concepts but not the words are inspired. 5.

Inerrant, verbal, plenary inspiration.


RULE TWO: The Bible interprets itself; Scripture best explains

Scripture.

1. Let the Bible be its own commentary.


2. The Bible=s obscure passages are to be interpreted in light of

clear passages.

RULE THREE: Saving faith and the Holy Spirit are necessary for us to

understand and properly interpret the Scriptures.

RULE FOUR: Interpret personal experience in light of Scripture and not

Scripture in light of personal experience.



RULE FIVE: Biblical examples are authoritative only when supported by

a command.


RULE SIX: The primary purpose of the Bible is to change our lives, not

increase our knowledge.

RULE SEVEN: Each Christian has the right and responsibility to

investigate and interpret the Word of God for himself.

RULE EIGHT: Church history is important but not decisive in the

interpretation of Scripture.

GRAMMATICAL PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION


RULE ONE: Scripture has only one meaning and should be taken

literally.

RULE TWO: Interpret words in harmony with their meaning in the times

of the author.

RULE THREE: Interpret a word in relation to its sentence and context.


RULE FOUR: Interpret a passage in harmony with its context.


RULE FIVE: When an inanimate object is used to describe a living



being, the statement may be considered figurative.

RULE SIX: When an expression is out of character with the thing

described, the statement may be considered figurative.

RULE SEVEN: The principle parts and figures of a parable represent

certain realities.

Consider only these principal parts and figures when drawing

conclusions. I. - Mark 4:1‑2 - Mark 4:1‑2
Dodd's definition is that a parable "at its simplest. . . is a

metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common life, arresting the

hearer by its vividness or strangeness, and leaving the mind in

sufficient doubt about its precise application to rouse it into active

thought.

II. Rules for Interpretation of Parables


1. Determine the purpose of the parable.


2. Make sure you explain the different parts of the parable in

accordance with the main design.


3. Don't try to make the parable 'walk on all fours'.
4. The parables were given to illustrate doctrine not to declare it.
5. Validate the main truth of the parable with direct teaching of

Scripture.

RULE EIGHT: Interpret the words of the prophets in their usual,

literal and historical sense, unless the context or manner in which

they are fulfilled clearly indicates they have a symbolic meaning.

Their fulfillment may be in installments, each fulfillment being a

pledge of that which is to follow.


HISTORICAL PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION


The historical principles deal with the historical setting of the

text. To whom and by whom was the book written? Why was it written and

what role did the historical setting play in shaping the message of

the book? What are the customs and surroundings of the people? These

are the kinds of questions you try to answer when considering the

historical aspect of your study.

As you begin your study of a passage, imagine yourself to be a

reporter searching for all the facts. Bombard the text with questions

such as:

* To whom was the letter (book) written?
* What was the background of the writer?
* What was the experience or occasion that gave rise to the message?
* Who are the main characters in the book?

RULE ONE: Since Scripture originated in a historical context, it can

be understood only in the light of biblical history.


RULE TWO: Though God=s revelation in the Scriptures is progressive,

both Old and New Testaments are essential parts of this revelation and

form a unit.


RULE THREE: Historical facts or events become types of spiritual

truths only if the Scriptures so designate them.

I. Is Typology Justified? Yes, Why?


1. The strong prophetic element in the Old Testament in its

relationship with the New Testament.
2. Jesus' use of the Old Testament.
3. The New Testament references.

II. Must Types Be Designated As Such In The New Testament?


III. What Steps Should Be Followed in Interpreting Types?


1. Determine the literal sense of the type.


2. Note the specific point or points of correspondence or resemblance

between the type and its antitype.


3. Note the specific areas of contrast or dissimilarity in order to

avoid making those elements aspects of the type.


4. Note the direct assertions in the New Testament that verify the

typological correspondence.
5. Do not prove doctrine from types unless there is clear New

Testament authority.


IV. Which Types Are Valid?


To determine which types are valid in Scripture, we must ask the

following questions:

1. Is there a definite correspondence or resemblance between the type

and the antitype? Does the type exhibit the same truths, principles,

and relationships as the corresponding New Testament reality?


2. Is the antitype in harmony with the historical setting of the type?
3. Is the type a prefiguring or foreshadowing of the antitype, or is

it merely an example or illustration? Is there a forward focus in the

type which looks ahead to something in the future?
4. Does the antitype heighten or "fulfill" the type, with the antitype

being superior to the type?


5. Can divine design be observed in the relationship of the type and

the antitype?


6. Does the New Testament in some way designate the type and the

antitype?


Given these six criteria, which Old Testament persons, events, or

things are types? I would suggest the following

17: TYPE SCRIPTURE ANTITYPE



Persons

1. Melchizedek - Heb 7:3 - Hebrews 7:3},

- 15‑17 - Hebrews 7:15‑17} Christ's perpetual priesthood


2. Aaron - Heb. 5:4‑5 - Hebrews 5:4‑5} Christ's priestly

ministry

Events

3. Passover feast - 1 Cor. 5:7 - 1 Corinthians 5:7} Christ our

sacrifice
4. Feast of Un‑ leavened Bread - 1 Cor. 5:7‑8 - 1 Corinthians

5:7‑8} Believer's holy walk


5. Feast of First fruits - 1 Cor. 15:20‑23 - 1 Corinthians

15:20‑23} Christ's resurrection a pledge of the believers resurrection


6. Feast of Pentecost - Joel 2:28 - Joel 2:28 - The coming of

the Holy Spirit - Acts 2:1‑47 - Acts 2


7. Feast of Trumpets - Matt. 24:21‑23 - Matthew 24:21‑23

Israel's re‑gathering
8. Day of Atonement - Zech 12:10 - Zechariah 12:10 - Israel's

national - Rom. 11:2‑27 - Romans 11:2‑27 - conversion by the

blood of - Heb. 9:19‑28 - Hebrews 9:19‑28} Christ
9. Feast of Tabernacles - John 7:2 - John 7:2},

- 37‑39 - John 7:37‑39} God's provision for



man's need (with Israel in the kingdom)
10. Sabbath Things - Col. 2:17 - Colossians 2:17 - The

Christian's spiritual - Heb 4:3 - Hebrews 4:3},

- 9 - Hebrews 4:9}, - 11 - Hebrews 4:11} rest
Things
11. Tabernacle - Heb 8:5 - Hebrews 8:5},

- 9:23‑24 - Hebrews 9:23‑24} Christ, the believer's


access to God and basis of fellowship with God
12. Tabernacle curtain - Heb 10:20 - Hebrews 10:20} Christ,

the believer's access to God


13. Burnt offering - Lev. 1 - Leviticus 1 - - Heb

10:5‑7 - Hebrews 10:5‑7} Christ's offering - Eph

5:2 - Ephesians 5:2} of Himself as the
perfect sacrifice
14. Grain offering - Lev 2 - Leviticus 2 - - Heb

10:8 - Hebrews 10:8} Christ's offering of Himself as the perfect

sacrifice of the highest quality
15. Fellowship offering - Lev 3 - Leviticus 3 - - Eph

2:14 - Ephesians 2:14} Christ's offering of - Col

1:20 - Colossians 1:20} Himself as the basis for fellowship with God
16. Sin offering - Lev. 4:1‑5:13 - Leviticus 4:1‑5:13 -

Christ's death for the - Heb. 13:11‑12 - Hebrews 13:11‑12

sinner in relation to the guilt of sin
17. Guilt offering - Lev. 5:14‑6:7 - Leviticus 5:14‑6:7 -

- Heb. 10:12 - Hebrews 10:12} Christ's death as an atonement

for the injury of sin

THEOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION INTRODUCTION:



Theology is the study of God and His relation to the world. The source

book for this study is the Bible. Theology seeks to draw conclusions

on various broad and important topics in the Bible. What is God like?

What is the nature of man? What is a proper doctrine of salvation?

These are the kinds of subjects with which theology deals. Theological

principles are those broad rules that deal with the formation of

doctrine. For example, how can we tell if a doctrine is truly

biblical?

RULE ONE: You must understand the Bible grammatically before you can

understand it theologically.

RULE TWO: A doctrine cannot be considered biblical unless it sums up

and includes all that the Scriptures say about it.

RULE THREE: When two doctrines taught in the Bible appear to be

contradictory, accept both as scriptural in the confident belief that

they resolve themselves into a higher unity.


A number of seeming contradictions or paradoxes exist in the

Scriptures. "Seeming" because they really are not. They appear

contradictory because the finite mind of man cannot comprehend the

infinite mind of God.

Some familiar paradoxes to the human mind are:


1. The Trinity.


2. The dual nature of Christ.

3. The origin and existence of evil.
4. The sovereign election of God and responsibility of man.
5. The main burden of doctrinal teaching must rest on the literal

interpretation of the Bible.


6. The main burden of our theology should rest on the teaching of the

New Testament.


7. Exegesis is prior to any system of theology.
8. Don't extend our doctrines beyond the Scriptural evidence.
9. No doctrine should be constructed from an uncertain textual

reading.

RULE FOUR: A teaching merely implied in Scripture may be considered

biblical when a comparison of related passages supports it.


Copyright 8 Calvary Chapel San Bernardino
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<><
Preaching and Yelling ‑ The Difference - Steven Smith
The Difference Between Preaching and Yelling

Steven Smith

- 9/2007.101
Preaching and Yelling ‑ The Difference


The Difference Between Preaching and Yelling

Steven Smith

The Difference Between Preaching and Yelling
By Steven Smith
AOh, everyone preaches at our house sir.@

From SilasPartners.com ‑


The year was 1935. On a large farm in Oklahoma, a young boy named

Dalton Jennings felt the responsibility and freedom that came from

farming life. He was up early, tended to all his chores, and enjoyed

a somewhat quiet early childhood. Yet, it was at the age of nine when

things began to change.
A farming accident left his father with a head injury causing severe

hearing loss and occasional headaches. Like all in the farming

community, he simply got by in life and did the best he could with the

limited help of rural medicine. He got along, that is, with one

hitch. In order to communicate with his father, Dalton and the entire

family had to yell. And yell they did. In the morning and evening

the pleasant home was filled with continual yelling. No emotions

involved Y just loud voices bellowing in natural compensation for Dad=

s hearing loss.
When Dalton was fourteen, the local preacher was making conversation

with his family after church and kindly said, ASon, maybe you will

make a preacher one day.@
AOh, everyone preaches at our house sir.@ Dalton quipped. It seems

that preaching and yelling were the same for this quiet, precocious

child. The pastor was so amused at this young man, he asked him to

return that evening and read Scripture and have prayer before

AChristian Training Union@ time.
Young Dalton unpretentiously approached the front of the church that

afternoon, arousing only mild expectation from his listeners. He

turned to - Matthew 5 - Matthew 5} to read the beatitudes and,


knowing his dad was in the audience, proceeded to belt the words of

Christ in a thunderous voice. Neither the congregation, nor Dalton,

realized the gift he had honed for years in the daily conversation of

his home. The stunned crowd sat in silence at the quiet boy with the

massive voice. When the pastor affirmed him after the service, Dalton

simply replied, AI told you, everyone preaches at our house.@


Dalton would soon win the hearts of his surprised family and friends

in the small farming community. They loved him for his passion and

his quiet demeanor that morphed into a thunderous voice when before a

crowd.
Inevitably, Dalton would leave the farm to pursue training for

Christian ministry. He returned a year later to preach both Sunday

services at his home church. Dalton did not let on that he was

disappointed with only little success in his training, and preaching

abroad.
However. that afternoon he shared his frustration with his uneducated

father who had sensed something was wrong with the morning sermon.

His father had always been silent on such matters, but a flood of

bottled up wisdom poured out when he gave Dalton the secret that would

change his life forever.


ASon you can=t preach because you have not listened. It=s not that

people don=t listen to you, its that you don=t listen to God.@


ABut, Dad, I have the best voice of anyone my age!@
ADalton, preaching is not people hearing you, it's you hearing from

God.@ Dalton was bewildered at his father=s presumption that he could

tell him about ministry, and he turned to walk away.
Countering his son=s frustration, he said in his loud voice, ASon, don=

t you know how hard it is for me to hear?@ His father continued to

yell. AEvery day that I wake up I strain to hear the smallest sound!

But I don=t care, because you learned your voice through my pain. I

think I=m deaf so others won=t have to be."
He continued, ANow you have to go before God everyday and strain to

hear the voice of God. Listen hard to hear every little sound. And

if you don=t plan on hearing from God, my pain and your preaching will

both be lost; so do us both a favor and farm. Or, you to go in the



house and don=t come out till you=ve heard from God."
After a short pause, the father added, "My deafness gave you a voice,

Y your deafness will take it away.@ The stinging reality of those

words compelled Dalton to go the house and bury himself in a backroom.
When he entered the pulpit that night he preached with the passion of

a man who had heard from God. In that moment, Dalton realized that he

stood on the shoulder of his father=s pain every time he preached.

And, that if he did not strain to hear from the Father who saved him,

he would waste the sacrifice and pain of his father who raised him.

And when the hour comes that he must speak, he ought,

before he opens his mouth, to lift up a thirsty soul to God, to drink

in what he is about to pour forth, and to be himself filled with

what he is about to distribute.
Augustine

8 2000 Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a pastor and conference speaker who sees threads

of theology and philosophy woven through the stories of our lives.

Courtesy of

The Center for the Study of Faith and Culture

College of Communication and the Arts

Regent University


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<><
Preaching, What Is the Objective?
- 9/2007.101

EMOTIONS BELIEFS BEHAVIOR


Confirm 1 2 3

Challenge 4 5 6

Change 7 8 9


<><
Sermons - Attitude Concerning Evaluation

- 9/2007.101


1. I Will Not Be Offended by My Evaluator.
2. If My Evaluator Did Not Understand Some Part of My Message, the

Fault Is Probably Mine.


Did I make myself clear. Was it organization? Was it the vocabulary?

Was it a lack of adequate illustration? Whatever the problem, it is my

fault. Lack of clarity is a major public speaking flaw and must be

corrected before worrying


3. The Evaluator Is Probably Intelligent, Perceptive and Candid.
4. I Will Seriously Consider Every Suggestion or Criticism.

<><
Not Enough Preaching on Sex

9/2007.101


Not Enough Sex
A SURVEY BY CHRISTIANITY TODAY International found that 44 percent of

churchgoers want to hear more sermons addressing sex. When asked to

identify sexually damaging issues that most affect them personally,

churchgoers chose as follows.


36% Pornography Addiction

34% Sexually Active Teenagers



33% Sex Outside Marriage

27% Abortion for Unwed Mothers

22% Homosexual Behavior

17% Sexual abuse


The 53‑page report, which shows significant differences in answers

from pastots versus answers from churchgoers, can be downloaded for a

fee at www.bdstore.com/ (search for the "Christians and Sex" Research

Report).
Leadership, Winter 2005


...

Click on the order button below to download this Church Research

Report as a PDF file.
Purpose of Study

To understand and compare the sexual and marital issues affecting

today's pastors and church laity.

A few highlights from this 53‑page report


$ Nearly 9 in 10 pastors are counseling a parishioner on sexual issues

once a year or more.


$ 71% of pastors and 49% of laity are "very satisfied" with their

marriage.


$ 55% of pastors and 64% of laity would like their sexual intimacy to

be more frequent.


$ 5% of pastors and 14% of laity have committed adultery. The primary

reason was marital dissatisfaction.


$ Laity respondents are more likely than pastors to confess adultery

to their spouses (45% to 20%).


$ Very few churches have established policies to protect pastors from

sexual temptation. The most frequent policy is to have a window in the

pastor's office door (27%).


Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Background
The Church and Sexual Issues

$ Pastors Addressing Sexual Issues

$ Sexual Issues Present in Congregations

$ Counseling for Sexual Issues

$ Sexual Issues

$ Frequency of Sexual Counseling

$ Pastors' Observations on Congregants' Sexual Purity/Fidelity

Marital Relationship

$ Marital Satisfaction

$ Talking About Sex and Sexual Temptations

$ Children and Marital Satisfaction of Laity

$ Sex Life and Marital Satisfaction

$ How Often Laity Couples Talk About Sex

$ Laity's Satisfaction with Sex Life

$ Presence of Children and Laity Satisfaction with Sex Life

$ Pastors' Satisfaction with Sex Life

$ Frequency of Sexual Intimacy

$ Change in Sexual Frequency

$ Sexual Practices Among Laity

$ Feelings of Guilt Among Laity

$ Sexual Problems Among Laity

$ Laity Who Are Divorced or Remarried

Sexual Temptations

$ Pastors' Vulnerability to Sexual Temptation

$ Committing Adultery

$ Consequences of Adultery

$ Temptations Toward Another Person


$ Temptations as Respondents Get Older

$ Pastors' Sexual Temptations

$ Laity's Sexual Temptations

$ Avoiding Temptations

$ Policies to Protect from Sexual Temptations

$ Friends of the Opposite Sex

$ Emotional Infidelity

$ Sexual Infidelity

$ Experiences with Someone Other than Spouse

$ Spouses' Sexual Involvement with Someone Else

Resources and Support

$ Support from Friends and Family

$ Professional Counseling

$ Accountability Groups

Respondent Profile
Study Details
The Research Department of Christianity Today International mailed

print surveys to subscribers of Christianity Today, Marriage

Partnership, and Today's Christian Woman and pastors who subscribe to

Leadership and Christianity Today in May 2003. A shorter online

version of the survey was also given to subscribers of Leadership,

Connection, Women, and Marriage email newsletters. Combined data for

both online and print respondents are presented whenever applicable.
Responses from print version included 323 completed questionnaires

from pastors and 325 completed questionnaires among church laity. For

results based on this size, one can say with 95% confidence that the

margin of sampling error is +/‑5.4 percentage for each group. In

addition we received 357 responses from pastors and 1,647 responses

from laity through the Internet. Sampling error for combined (print

and online) data is 3.8% for pastors and 2.2% for laity, both at 95%

confidence.


You have permission to make up to 1,000 copies for use in your local

church.


Research Report CR10$14.95
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<><
What Is Your Speaking Style?

- 9/2007.101


What Is Your Speaking Style?
THE LECTURER
Probably the most common public speaking style, "the lecturer" is the

easiest model to use, but it's also the most easily abused. The

lecturer's purpose is to provide information to educate. The audience

is composed of people who want to hear the information. Emotion

doesn't enter into this speech C in fact, It gets in the way. Word

choice isn't quite as critical as In other styles, although

mispronounced and misused words will grate on the audience and destroy

the speaker's credibility. Diction, however, is Important. So is

credibility. The audience must have confidence In the speaker and feel

that the speaker's Information is valid.


The best lecturers have a good vocal range and adopt a friendly

speaking style. They seem to care deeply about their message, and that

they want their audience to be equally interested In the subject. This

is conveyed by a word flow that is a little slower than ordinary

conversation. The good lecturer wants her material to be understood

and is prepared to deal with any audience questions on the topic.


Body language is usually restricted, because gestures can be

distracting in this speaking style. The good lecturer's arm movements

are generally informational C their purpose is to direct the viewer's

eyes to a chart or a picture rather than to enhance words or emotion.


The real trick to making this style effective is to avoid a monotone.

While the voice volume does not vary much, the tone of words must vary

to make the lecture style effective. For a good example of how this is

used, listen to newscasters and reporters on national radio and

television stations. They all use the lecturer style of speaking,

though some are far more effective and believable than others.



Listening to the ones you find most interesting will teach you tactics

to Incorporate In your next informational speech.


THE PREACHER

The second style, "the preacher," is another specialized speaking

style often used by lawyers and those who must make an emotional

appeal to a broad group of people. They are selling an idea to people

who may be uninformed about the issue or outright hostile to the

speaker and/or the information. Those using the preacher style convey

that they hold a truth that is important to the audience; a truth the

speaker believes in passionately. It is this belief and passion that

gives this speaking style its appeal. Since the preacher style is

geared toward unsympathetic audiences, these speakers make use of body

language that includes "grouping gestures" (wider gestures, hands held

with palms upward, or hand gestures that physically "pull" the

audience into the speaker's heart or metaphorically pull the audience

together in a single, unified group) and "parental‑teaching gestures"

(finger‑pointing gestures or "hammering" gestures where the hand is

fisted and pounding the air to emphasize the point C much as a parent

does in lecturing a child) The speaker's whole body is involved in

these gestures. Physical motions become more extreme as the speaker

emphasizes the main points. As the audience becomes caught up in the

message, these speakers may C without losing their credibility C use

motions such as running, jumping, kneeling or crouching on the stage.
Although the main focus in an emotional style is on strong vocal tone

and dramatic gestures, the preacher style also relies on well‑defined

word choices. Those who use this style most effectively use short

sentences, repeat ideas and phrases, and use a medley of metaphors and

similes to make their meaning clear. The speech should focus on one

strong (and narrowly defined) point; a point that can be summarized in

a single catchy phrase. The words should be sonorous with strong

vowels, giving an almost song‑like quality to the speech. These

speakers use a reservoir of emotionally charged keywords with a

slightly archaic sound to them, such as "abide," "share with you," and

"unto."
One of the most cherished American speakers using this style was Dr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Listening to his speeches will give you a feel

for the roll and thunder that is typical of this speaking form. On a

lighter note, the movie Leap of Faith with Steve Martin shows another

version of the preacher speaking style.


THE STORYTELLER
The third easily defined style is that of "the storyteller." This one

can be a challenge, as the speaker needs to become "a voice actor" and

employ great vocal variety. In the introduction, the speaker's voice

is warm and Intimate, giving the audience the impression that the

speaker is telling a story just to them. It's the sort of feeling

conveyed when a parent reads a bedtime story to a child.


The emphasis in this style is on drama. The storyteller is an actor,

presenting a piece that asks us to suspend reality and enter into an

imaginary world. The story usually is about more than one person, so

the storyteller must develop distinct voices for each character.


Vocal volume is not as important in this speaking style, and if there

is a framing narrative, it must be smooth and evenly paced to provide

contrast with the dialogue.
One flaw that can ruin an other‑ wise superb story is the use of

clichés and stock phrases. Word choice is important, and the story‑

teller should craft a set of unique and fresh metaphors for each tale.
Nothing captures the ear and the attention like an interesting turn of

phrase or analogy. Body language is not as critical in this style,

though it can certainly enhance the speech or anecdote if the speaker

"acts out" the points, as long as the body motions are not too

extreme.
This type of speech must have a climax that can be presented

succinctly in few words, and it must have a moral. Structurally, it is

like a one‑hump roller coaster with a long buildup to a high peak and

a sudden drop at the end. The speech presents a slow buildup of the

facts, then peaks in a quick conclusion. A moral is offered and the

presentation is ovef.


Radio commentator Paul Harvey is a good example of this speaking

style. His tone is warm and friendly and he uses pauses effectively to

highlight points and to add impact to the climax of each story he

tells, Storytellers on Mel Gibson's Rabbit Ears Radio Program provide

good examples of how dialogue and vocal variety enhance a speech or a

story.
As you become more familiar with these three styles, you'll notice



that they sometimes can be mixed effectively. The storyteller can use

any style within the context of the story, but it's hard to make the

preacher style and the lecturer style mesh in a single speech.
Of the many other vocal styles we use in communicating, these are the

three easiest to identify and emulate. So try on some new "vocal hats"

for your various speeches and be ready to take in the applause.
Tostmaster June 1999, pp25‑26

<><
10 Tips for Public Speaking

- 9/2007.101


10 Tips for Public Speaking

Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and even

beneficial, but too much nervousness can be detrimental.
Here are some proven tips on how to control your butterflies and give

better presentations:


1 Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more

about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories

and conversational language B that way you won't easily forget what to

say.


2 Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment

you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words;

Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for

the unexpected.

3 Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they

arrive. It's easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.

4 Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and

practice using the microphone and any visual aids.

5 Relax. Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms

your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything.

("One one‑thousand, two one‑thousand, three one‑thousand. Pause.

Begin.) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.

6 Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking,

your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience



clapping B it will boost your confidence.

7 Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be

interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They're

rooting for you.

8 Don't apologize for any nervousness or problem B the audience

probably never noticed it.

9 Concentrate on the message B not the medium. Focus your attention

away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your

audience.

10 Gain experience. Mainly, your speech should represent you C as an

authority and as a person. Experience builds confidence, which is the

key to effective speaking. A Toastmasters club can provide the

experience you need in a safe and friendly environment.
\webpage{http://www.toastmasters.org/MainMenuCategories/FreeResources/N

eedHelpGivingaSpeech/TipsTechniques/10TipsforPublicSpeaking.aspx




<><
Preaching to youth

- 10/2007.101


Preaching to youth

Teens whose pastors' sermons are relevant to everyday life are more

likely to keep attending as young adults.
09.26.07 Church Leaders Intelligence Report

ChurchLeaders@nc.churchleaders.com


<><
5 Ways to Keep Preaching from Becoming Boring - Dr. Larry Moyer

5 Ways to Keep Preaching from


- 11/2007.101

Five Ways to Keep Your Preaching from Becoming Boring



Dr. Larry Moyer

President/CEO

EvanTell, Inc.
A church wanted to increase its Sunday morning attendance. They

decided to try a new marketing idea. The sign on the front lawn read,

AHave trouble sleeping? We have sermons B come hear one.@
No preacher would want that said of his sermons B here is one to sleep

by. I know of no preacher who steps into the pulpit and says, AI

think I=ll be boring.@ The unfortunate truth, though, is that many

are. So how do we keep our preaching from becoming boring?


Let=s look at five ideas. These won=t solve everything, but they will

be a strong start in the right direction; plus, they are all

interrelated.
1. \bold{Communicate, don=t just speak

Speaking is when the words of my mouth enter the openings of your

ears. Communication is when what is understood in my mind is

understood in yours. Communicators are not boring. Only speakers are

boring. I=ve never heard one person say, AHe is such a boring

communicator.@ That means everything we say has to be so

understandable, so relevant, so applicable to life where our listeners

are living that they are watching us instead of their watches.


That, in my opinion, is why preachers need to be expositors. Our

words may not be correct, meaningful, or penetrating; His Word

promises to be so. - Hebrews 4:12 - Hebrews 4:12} says, AFor

the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two‑edged

sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints

and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the

heart.@
Your exposition of Scripture needs to be clear. The passage you

studied and tore apart, needs to be put back together before you enter

the pulpit. The pulpit is not the place to do your exegesis. Our

audiences are not impressed with how much Greek or Hebrew we know.

What they really want to know is how the passage we=ve studied relates

to their lives.




That=s one reason I am personally committed to speaking in such a way

that the audience could take the passage I=ve spoken from plus my

entire message and reduce it to one sentence. I want them to be

thinking about that single truth as they leave the church, enter the

workplace the next day, drive home and converse with their family.

Among other things, that will assure they come back to hear what I

have to say again. Relevant truth powerfully and clearly delivered is

never boring.


If you want to keep from being boring, don=t make it your goal to

speak. Make it your goal to communicate. Now, here is what that

demands.

2. \bold{Study! Study! Study! Work! Work! Work!

It takes study and work, both of which can be tiring, to put together

a good message. I became distressed years ago when I came across a

survey that revealed the average preacher spends 15 minutes of

preparation per message.


My mentor and good friend, Haddon Robinson, has said it well,

AThinking is hard work; thinking about thinking is even harder work.@

As a preacher, you have to think: What is the passage of Scripture

saying? What exactly does it mean? How can I explain it in a way my

audience will understand? How can I get them to think about their

lives, their behavior, their needs, etc? That=s hard work.


Speaking takes 15 minutes of preparation. Communication involves hours

of preparation that can leave one spiritually energized and physically

weary from the work. I personally figure on at least 20 hours per

message. A good work ethic is a must in preventing you from becoming

a boring speaker.
That=s why, to keep from being a boring speaker (particularly if one

has a sizable church), he has to be a good delegator. He delegates

things to other people so he can give adequate time to study and

preparation for speaking. Remember the principle in - Acts

6 - Acts 6}. Others were given responsibilities so those teaching the

Word could give themselves to Aprayer and to the ministry of the

Word.@ ( - vs. 4 - Acts 6:4})


Study and work will help you in a third area.

3. \bold{Use Great Illustrations

We are not talking to a reading generation; we are talking to a

watching one. It=s been said, APeople think with pictures in their

head.@ That means to be an interesting speaker you have to use

effective illustrations, a few of which are even spiced with humor.

One way speaking has changed from 30 years ago is that the number of

illustrations needed per message has increased.


Jesus Christ was a master communicator. He communicated, not merely

spoke. How often is it said of him in the New Testament, AAnd he

spoke to them a parable@? He used stories to communicate divine

truth. Aggressively build an illustration file so that when it=s time

to speak, you have a whole file to draw from. Trying to find the

illustration you need without a file to choose from is difficult and

often impossible. The internet will Abail you out@ but it will not

replace your own illustration file. If I=m speaking from a passage

about discipleship, I want 20 to choose from, not two. That way, from

my vast reservoir that approaches discipleship from different angles,

I can choose the Aringer@, the one that fits just right.

Illustrations enliven the audience and keep you from being boring.


Understand though, it=s not just content that keeps you from becoming

a boring speaker. It=s also how that content is delivered. Two more

ideas must be stressed.

4. \bold{Use Variety in Voice Tone and Speed

Variety in voice tone and speed is what helps to keep a message

interesting. Avoid developing a rhythm in your speaking. Use pauses

for effectiveness. At times, raise your voice for emphasis, at other

times lower it. Speak faster in one sentence and slower in another.

This allows the audience to enjoy an effective communicator; the

audience doesn=t feel like they=re listening to a lecture. They are

apt to say to you, AI benefit from what you say, and I also enjoy your


delivery.@

5. \bold{Be Enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is engaging and contagious. If you=re not excited about the

content of your message, the audience is not likely to be either. You

are not a huckster who says, ATake this or leave it.@ Excitement

communicates, AThis is something that could change your life. Here=s

how and why.@ If you=re not excited about the content of your

message, the audience is not likely to be either!


Sustained enthusiasm demands physical fitness. Coach Vince Lombardi

was once asked why he drove his players so hard toward physical

fitness. He answered, ABecause fatigue makes cowards out of all of

us.@ Fatigue also produces a poor speaker. He may start out strong

in his introduction, but his lack of physical fitness produces a lack

of sustained enthusiasm. If you want to keep your speaking from

becoming boring, the discipline of a regular vigorous exercise routine

is essential.

\bold{Conclusion

These five ideas will go a long way in preventing you from becoming a

boring speaker. I personally do not know of any preacher

characterized by these five ideas that I would call boring. May God

help us to so communicate that people ignore their watches ‑ and even

forget they have one. Your people will probably want to put a sign on

the front lawn of the church that reads, AWarning B our pastor=s

sermons are so interesting, they won=t allow you to sleep@!


Dr. Moyer is President and CEO of Evantell, Inc. You are invited to

peruse a breadth of free or affordable materials on the resources

section of the Evantell website.
\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/article.asp?article=a‑Larry_Moyer

_11_05_07&ac=true




<><
Humor - Blind Pilot ‑ Humor

- 11/2007.101


A WOMAN was flying from Seattle to San Francisco . Unexpectedly, the

plane was diverted to Sacramento along the way. The flight attendant

explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to

get off the aircraft the plane would re‑board in 50 minutes.


Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind. The man had

noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because

her Seeing Eye dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her

throughout the entire flight.


He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the

pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, 'Kathy, we are in

Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch

your legs?' The blind lady replied, 'No thanks, but maybe my dog would

like to stretch his legs.'
Picture this:
All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when

they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Seeing Eye

dog!
The pilot was even wearing sunglasses. People scattered. They not only

tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!


True story....

<><
Using Math to Preach - Ron Forseth
- 1/2008.101


Using Math to Preach
Ron Forseth

General Editor


SermonCentral.com


Here are a few Bible‑related questions to ponder:


What is significant about the year Methuselah died? (And why does it

matter?)


What was the wine worth that Jesus miraculously created at Cana?

Just how much energy was in the storm Jesus stilled on Galilee?

How hard would it be to get a camel through the eye of a needle?

What is the surface area of the Earth and how does it relate to the

Book of Revelation?

Answers to all of these questions can be capturedCand preachedCwith

the help of math. (I'll attempt to answer them in this article.)
Why Use Math in Preaching?
Math opens a window into God's Word and offers a great vehicle for

bringing some passages to light. I often like to use math when I

preach and teach for several reasons. Mathematical illustrations:
Engage Listeners

They draw not only those who will hear the sermon into the Word but

also myself as I study a passage. Math also fosters critical

thinkingCso do some of your own critical thinking before you venture

out!
Enhance Comprehension and Communicate Visually

Mathematical pictures enhance comprehension as they give the mind of

the listener a visual handle to grasp onto when thinking about a

passage. Even if the picture is not represented by a diagram,

listeners can better "see" the illustration or passage in their mind.
Energize a Sermon

They can energize a sermon, engaging and expanding the imagination of



the listener as their own minds must consider the concepts and

calculations.


Drive Home a Point

After engaging the mind, a Scripture‑related math example can

articulate a truth and land on practical application.
Glorify God

God, the architect of a mathematical world, is lifted up when his math

is used to communicate. Math points to him as the source of order and

glory in the world. Sometimes, it blows the mind!


Here are some Scripture passages accompanied by math‑related

illustrations to bring them to life:
1. The Genealogical Timeline of the Patriarchs in - Genesis

5 - Genesis 5} and - 6 - Genesis 6} (This is the one about when

Methuselah died.)
Using math and rather specific data provided by God in

- Genesis 5 - Genesis 5} and - 6 - Genesis 6}, we can

learn some interesting insights. Let's assume that the year God

created Adam and Eve is "Absolute Year Zero." In that case, we can

carefully derive the following dates and time spans:

* Calculated by adding the age of the patriarch at death to the

"Absolute Year" that the patriarch was born.
* So that we don't get drawn into the assumption that all the dates

are blurry and that the Flood didn't actually happen, God gives the

exact day the Flood began. The floodwaters opened on Noah's 600th on

the 17th day of the 2nd month ( - Genesis 7:11 - Genesis

7:11}). Noah lived 350 years beyond the Flood. Interestingly,

Abraham was born right about the time of Noah's death, 2,000 years

after Creation and 2,000 years before Christ. Don't you find that

interesting?


* I once read a book by Watchman Nee that demonstrated that the years between Creation and the birth of Christ could be traced and accounted for through the chapters of the Old Testament. The calculations above were from "original" research I've done over the years.

Three important observations from our math in Genesis:


The Flood of Noah occurred in "Absolute Year" 1,656.

The oldest patriarch, Methuselah, lived 969 years. (Noah was second

at 950 years.)

Methuselah died in "Absolute Year" 1656Cthe exact year of the Flood!

If Methuselah had died in the year 1666 at the age of 979Cten years

after the FloodCthat would mean that he lived through the Flood though

he wasn't on the Ark. In that case, we'd have a significant problem

related to the dependability of the Bible. But as can be carefully

calculated from the data provided in Genesis, Methuselah died in the

exact year of the Flood. (Perhaps he died and God sent the FloodCor

perhaps he had left the righteous path and perished in the Flood. Who

knows? Without the flood, he may have lived more than 1,000 years!)


Preaching Point: The Bible is an amazing book!
Evangelistic Point: If Noah's Flood were to happen today, would you

find yourself covered with water or safe in the Ark?


2. The Sabbath Rest of - Genesis 2 - Genesis 2} and

- Exodus 20 - Exodus 20


God wisely and compassionately prescribes that we are to rest a day a

week. If we were to take a day a week and live for 70 years, we would

accumulate 3,640 days of rest for a total of 120 months. Which of us

would not like to have 10 years of vacation in a lifetime? God's made

provision for just that!


Preaching Point: Even as he expects our worship, God is looking out

for our interest!


Evangelistic Point: Have you entered the "rest of God" which doesn't

just offer 120 months of rest, but far more than 120 million joyous

years of rest?
3. The New Jerusalem Described in - Revelation

21 - Revelation 21



We are told in Revelation that the New Jerusalem will come down out of

heaven. It will be quite a sight. John describes the city dimensions

as 1,400 miles wide, 1,400 miles long, and 1,400 miles high. That is,

the base of the New Jerusalem will be 1,960,000 square miles. This is

almost exactly 1% of the Earth's surface*. At its base, the New

Jerusalem will be more than half the size of the United States (55%,

actually).*


If each "story" in this gigantic structure is a mile in height, the

accumulated surface area of the New Jerusalem will be 2,744,000,000

square miles (more than 15 times the surface area of the Earth!) **
Of course we don't know how many people will be in the New Jerusalem,

but let's say God brings one billion people into the city (obviously

not a universalist positionCsee - Matthew 7:13‑14 - Matthew

7:13‑14}). In the case of a billion, every person could be allocated

2.7 square miles a piece. That's 1,756 acres each!
Venturing further into "sanctified imagination," I like to think of

the Tree of Life being the full 1,400 mile height of the structure and

spreading its glorious fruit to every corner of the city.
Preaching Point: There will be plenty of room in the New Jerusalem

for as many as believe! The vision of the city is an immeasurable

encouragement for believers as they anticipate glory. (See also

- Ephesians 3:20‑21 - Ephesians 3:20‑21 - - 1

Corinthians 2:9‑10 - 1 Corinthians 2:9‑10}.)
Evangelistic Point: The glory of the heavenly city is for those who

trust Christ. Leave your sins behind and receive the incredible grace

of God!
Notes on Math Example #3:

*I'm told that Randy Alcorn has done some similar calculations in his

book Heaven. If you want to explore this more, it's supposed to be

the comprehensive work on the subject. The surface area of the Earth

is 196,939,900 square miles. I've got a suspicion that when we

understand the unit of measure John uses in Revelation it actually

will be 1%. We'll just have to see when we get there.

**If the stories were a standard 10 feet in height, the surface area

of the New Jerusalem would be far more than half the surface area of


the Sun or 7,357 times the land area of the United States. (The

surface area of the United States is 3,548,974 square miles and the

surface area of the Sun is 2,355,223,167,106.) The accumulated

surface area of all the stories in the New Jerusalem would be

1,448,832,000,000 square miles (over a trillion square miles). I

doubt God will pack us in so tightly. So, the "mile‑high stories" is

a more likely scenario. I also doubt the city will be so mundane as

to have stories all the same height.


4. The Widow's Mite in - Luke 21 - Luke 21


If the widow gave two cents (two copper coins) and let's say the

wealthy hypocrites each gave $50 into the plateCthat would be 5,000

pennies. Add all the pennies in $50 and divide by two. The

hypocrites gave gifts of 2,500 times the amount of the widow. Yet,

Jesus preferred her gift to theirs. Why?


Preaching Point: God is more interested in the depth of our

commitment than the breadth of our gifts.


Evangelistic Point: You can't buy your way into heaven.
5. Jesus Turns the Water into Fine Wine in - John 2 - John 2

The six stone jars equaled approximately 25 gallons each or 150

gallons total. This is the equivalent of 427 bottles of wine. The

passage is clear that it was top quality wine. At the great price of

ten dollars a bottle, this would be a $4,270 gift to the wedding

party.
Preaching Point: Jesus is both powerful and generous! (And wine

itself can be a blessing.)
Evangelistic Point: When was the last time you met someone who could

change water to wine? Jesus is the one to believe in!


6. The Gates of Pearl in the New Jerusalem in - Revelation

21:21 - Revelation 21:21

John reveals that there will be 12 gates into the heavenly city, each

made of a single, large pearl. With a billion people going in and out

of the gates, the gate will need to be rather sizeable. But let's be

conservative and say that the gates (and pearls) are only 30 feet

wide. If using a pound for pound comparison to the value of the

world's largest pearl (10 inches across*), one of the gates carved

from a pearl would be valued in 2007 U.S. dollars would be $2.8

trillion. Multiplied by 12 gates, this value would calculate to $34

trillion. So, how much value is that? More than the annual

productivity of all the people in every country in the entire world!
Preaching Point: Heaven will be exquisite, beyond imagination. If

Jesus took six days to create the world ( - John 1:3 - John

1:3}) but has potentially spent 2,000 years ( - John

14:2‑3 - John 14:2‑3}) building the New Jerusalem, you'll want a

glimpse of what he's built!
Evangelistic Point: Do what you can to get into heaven!
*Note: Never mind that the quality of the world's largest pearl is

rather poor but still valued at approximately $60 million.


7. Jesus Calms the Storm in - Mark 4 - Mark 4

The disciples were facing a storm in a boat about to capsize. They

feared they would perish. Jesus stands up and commands the storm to

be still?! How much power is that? Again, let's be conservative.

The Sea of Galilee is 13 miles long and 8 miles wide. The passage

indicates that the storm was rather fierce. Let's assume that it was

blowing at a force of 20 pounds per square foot. If the face of the

storm blowing across the Sea of Galilee was only the width of the sea

and just 100 feet tall, then the force of the wind would equal

4,224,000 pounds.


Preaching Point: Jesus is God! Rejoice he's on your side!
Evangelistic Point: Jesus is God! Be sure to get right with him!

Other Example Passages
A few other passages you might explore, making your own estimations

and calculations and preaching points. (Hint: Many desktop

calculators don't have enough digits for big numbers. The calculator

installed as a standard accessory program on most PCs has far more

capacity):
The Great Commission: If there was only one Christian in the world,

and that person led two people to Christ in a year and those two each

led two to Christ in a year, and so on, how many years would it take

to reach all six billion people on earth?

Feeding of the 5,000: If there were 5,000 men each with three family

members at Jesus' feeding of the crowd and each person in the crowd

got the equivalent of three $1 items off the McDonald's value menu,

what would the bill have been for feeding that many people?

Space on Noah's Ark: Given that the ark was approximately 450 feet

long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high, how many cubic feet were within

the ark? If the average size animal on the ark (ranging from a

mosquito to an elephant) was the size of a typical sheep and each pair

of animals was given the average space of 5 feet wide by 6 feet long

by 3 feet high for living and storing food), how many different pairs

of animals could fit on the ark? (Don't worry about bumble bees and

killer bees, Great Danes and Chihuahuas, quarter horses and

thoroughbreds. One type of each animal will do as the derivative

breeds will naturally develop over timeY)

The Heavens Declare the Gory of God in - Psalm 19 - Psalms

19}: The expanse of our own solar system is enough to shout his

glory, besides the amazing distances between stars and galaxies. As

light travels 186,000 miles a second and earth is 93 million miles

from the Sun, how long will it take for a ray of light to cross the

distance between the Earth and the Sun? What if it was an airplane

flying at 600 miles an hour? Pluto is 3.7 billion miles from the

Sun. How long would it take for that plane to travel from the Sun to

Pluto? What if a person walked that distance at the brisk pace of

three miles an hour?

The Value of Reaching One Soul in - Luke 15 - Luke 15}:

Assume that each person averages a lifespan of 100 years and that 100

billion people have lived on earth. It could be more but probably far

less. If we strung together all the total years of all the people

whoever lived, how long would the string be in accumulated years? The

new rendition of Amazing Grace states "When we've been there 10

trillion years, bright shining as the sunY" What's greater, all the


years of all the people from all of historyCor a single soul living

the first 10 trillion years in eternity? How serious should we be

about steering people from their course away from God back to an

eternity with him?

A Camel through a Needle's Eye in - Matthew 19 - Matthew 19}:

If you were to flatten a 7‑foot‑high, 950‑pound camel displacing 54

cubic feet down to a thread of 1/16th of an inch in diameter, how long

would that thread be. Hint: This is a more challenging math problem

and the answer is the thread would be very, very long! Question:

Does it makes sense to squeeze a camel through the eye of a needle or

find a different way to get to your destination?

Tips for Using Math to Preach


A few additional thoughts for using math effectively in preaching:
You won't use math in every sermon you preach, but keep an eye out for

opportunities to bring a passage to light using math and creativity.

It's important at the start to make clear any underlying assumptions.

For example, use the phrase, "Let's sayY" For instance, "Let's say

that each >story' in the New Jerusalem is a mile high. Or "Let's say

that each the value of a pound of a pearl isY"

The use of math is not always an exact science. Often it's a tool for

giving a context for a passage or story.

Do your research. Scripture, a good calculator, Google.com,

Wikipedia.com, Encarta.com and other sites are of great help.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself. You're not a scientist and

your hearers will understand that. The use of calculus is not

necessary!

When precise figures are not available, it is useful to estimate in a

way that is consistent with reality. When estimating, always be

conservative.

It's important to guard against exaggeration unless it's obvious that

you're exaggerating with hyperbole.

Be sure to bring home the point with a practical application. You

don't want your listeners to be left asking the question, "So what?"

When pertinent, enjoy the process of using math in your preaching!

Ron Forseth is the General Editor of SermonCentral.com. He studied



for two years with Wycliffe Bible Translators' Summer Institute of

Linguistics and has a Master's degree in English from Colorado State

University. Ron has a passion for sharing Christ and to see all people

groups of the world reached with the Gospel. He served for several

years as a college pastor in Colorado and in Christian service for

most of the 1990s in China and Mongolia. He is also Vice President of

Outreach, Inc., an organization dedicated to inviting and connecting

every person in America to a Bible‑believing church so that they might

have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He lives with his

wife and two teenage children in Vista, California.


\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/article.asp?article=a‑Ron_Forseth

_01_14_08&ac=true




<><
Deciding What to Preach - Is There a Formula for Deciding What to Preach? By Andrew Davis

1/2008.101


Is there a formula for deciding what to preach?

By Andrew Davis

Dr. Andrew Davis is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Durham in Durham,

N.C. Andy is a graduate of Duke, Gordon‑Conwell, and The Southern

Baptist Theological Seminary.

There is no Aformula@ for deciding what to preach and when to preach

it, but such a decision should be guided in both the long and

short‑term by God=s openly stated goals in this world: to glorify

Himself, and to do so by growing the church of Jesus Christ both in

number and in spiritual maturity. Since it is God alone who can

accomplish this two‑fold growth, and since He has already declared

that He will use the God‑breathed Scripture ( - 2 Timothy

3:16 - 2 Timothy 3:16}) both to Amake you wise for salvation through

faith in Christ Jesus,@ ( - 2 Timothy 3:15 - 2 Timothy 3:15})



and to Athoroughly equip the man of God for every good work@

( - 2 Timothy 3 - 2 Timothy 3}: 17), the preacher=s main job is

to open that Scripture up to his people clearly and effectively week

by week. Since AALL Scripture is useful@ for these two forms of

growth, and especially for glorifying the God who alone makes things

grow ( - 1 Corinthians 3:7 - 1 Corinthians 3:7}), it doesn=t

matter as much what you preach as HOW you preach. Preach always in

such a way that God is glorified as a majestic, powerful, sovereign

Emperor who is the Ashield and the very great reward@ of His people

( - Genesis 15:1 - Genesis 15:1}Y the very chapter in which

Abram is justified by faith!). Preach always in such a way that God=s

words are made clear and God=s message comes straight from the text.

Charles Spurgeon had inscribed on his pulpit so only he could see it,

AStep aside, Sir, that they may see Jesus.@ To that marvelous concept

I would add, AStep aside, Sir, that they may understand God=s word.@
Having given that general exhortation, however, there are some

guidelines for long‑range planning of preaching which depend upon the

maturity of your congregation. If your congregation is new to faithful

expository preaching, try to give them a balanced diet of various

genres of Scripture over your first two years or so: some Old

Testament history, some Gospel, some New Testament epistle, some

prophetic books, some Hebrew poetry. Do this by expositing specific

books for a few months and moving on. Get this book (or section of a

book) right, then go to the next book (or section). This avoids the

danger of topical preaching in which you are merely opening your mind

on prayer, evangelism, stewardship, family issues, etc. Topical

preaching is the opposite of expository preaching, for you are making

the Scriptures say what you think they say, rather than letting them

simply speak for themselves. Amazingly, if you simply move passage by

passage through various books of the Bible, in two years= time, you

will hit almost every key topic they need to hear, and many of them

several times. As your congregation gets more acclimated to careful

expository preaching, you may want to settle in to a more detailed and

lengthy handling of a particular book of the Bible. Even there,

however, it=s probably best not to get too bogged down. It=s easy to

begin preaching careful verse‑by‑verse exposition, but end up being

topical because each verse opens up its own topic. This is to be

avoided. Also, try to give the people a sense of the majestic grandeur

of God=s whole revelation to humanity: how this passage fits into the

whole revelation of God.
One final word concerns Aemergency@ situations. There may well be some


immensely pressing event that comes into the life of your congregation

which forces you to leave your sermon series for a time to address

that situation. Perhaps a flood has left half of them homeless;

perhaps a war has broken out which is claiming the lives of their

children; perhaps they are farmers and a blight has destroyed their

livelihood. This is not some Acurrent event@ which people are talking

about, but something which affects their very lives. Then it may be

wise to address it from God=s word. But this is the exception rather

than the rule. For the most part, settle in and preach passage after

passage faithfully as the Holy Spirit leads you from book to book for

however many weeks He leads you to stay there. Pray and ask for the

specific books and the number of weeks. His guidance and your faithful

exposition of the series of texts to which He guides you will feed

Christ=s lambs the nourishment they need.


Some recommended books on this:

John R.W. Stott, The Preacher=s Portrait, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans,

1979);

D. Martyn Lloyd‑Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids,



Zondervan, 1972);

John MacArthur, APreaching@ in his Rediscovering Pastoral Minisry:

Shaping Contemporary Ministry with Biblical Mandates (Dallas, Word,

1995), pp. 250‑261.

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How To Make Every Sermon Count - Preparing Your Heart And Mind To Hear God's Word by Donald S. Whitney

Issue #106 July/August 1998

- 1/2008.101


How To Make Every Sermon Count

Preparing Your Heart And Mind To Hear God's Word.

by Donald S. Whitney Issue #106 July/August 1998

It's Sunday morning. Your pastor strides to the pulpit. During the

sermon, you'll invest 25 to 45 minutes of your time listening to what


he has to say. How can you benefit most from this important

investment? What can you do to get the most out of the sermon?


James 1:21B22 teaches us what to do before, during, and after hearing

God's Word: "Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that

remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which

is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word,

and not merely hearers who delude themselves" (NASB).
Heart Preparation
We need to prepare our hearts before we can hear God speak through a

sermon. James' phrase "filthiness and all that remains of wickedness"

refers generally to any type of sin. When James writes of "putting

[it] aside," he uses a term that describes taking off an old, dirty

coat and laying it aside. In other words, he counsels, the best way to

prepare to hear from a holy God is to put away anything in your life

that is unholy.
The Greek word translated in verse 21 as "wickedness" is used outside

the New Testament for the wax that forms in the ear. Sin is like that.

It can block our spiritual ears so that we cannot hear what God is

saying to us. The Lord may be speaking clearly through the sermon, and

yet we may not hear Him.
Putting aside sin requires us to examine our hearts, looking for

anything in our lives that would hamper our spiritual hearing. Before

you go to church, carve out a few minutes to pray for your ability to

receive what you hear. Ask God to search your heart. He may place His

finger on a particular sin. If so, confess it, and ask the Lord not to

let it impede your intake of truth. Pray that God would help you

overcome common Sunday morning problems that interfere with listening

to the sermon, such as anger toward a family member who made you late.

Any sin that comes to mind should prompt confession and repentance in

order to better hear God's pure and holy Word.


Listening with Humility
The second half of verse 21 describes our responsibility during a

sermon: "in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save

your souls." James is writing to those in whom the Word of God has

already been implanted by God (see v. 18), that is, to believers in

Christ. So when he speaks of the "saving of the soul," James is


referring to the ongoing process of sanctificationCbecoming more like

ChristCin each believer's life.


What does it mean to receive the Word in humility? To listen with

humility, we must remember that we are coming to hear the Word of God,

not just a pastor's sermon. Often, we may get hung up on superficial

things that distract us. Perhaps we don't like a certain pastor's

preaching style or some annoying mannerism. We must not let such

personal issues derail our attention to the preaching of God's Word.

When we listen with humility, we're more alert for the message of God

than for flaws in the messenger or his delivery. Not every word the

preacher speaks will be divinely inspired by God. But if your pastor's

sermons are based on the Bible, then you are hearing the Word of God.

God is speaking, and He is speaking to you.
To receive the Word of God in humility also means to think about how

it applies to us individually. With some issues, we may be tempted to

think that the sermon doesn't have much to do with us. We may even

pridefully think, "This sermon is for ________, not me." But we need

to humbly acknowledge that every sermon is for each of us. This is

even true for topics and passages we've heard preached many times and

assume that we know well. Instead of thinking, I know this already, we

need to ask the Lord to give us deeper insight and fresh ideas about

how to apply familiar truths to our lives. Because every verse used in

the sermon was inspired by God (see - 2 Tim. 3:16 - 2 Timothy

3:16}), we should assume that there is some way to apply it to our

lives.
The Apostle Paul was exhilarated by how the people of Thessalonica

responded to his preaching. "And we also thank God continually

because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us,

you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the

word of God, which is at work in you who believe" ( - 1 Thess.

2:13 - 1 Thessalonians 2:13}). These people heard what Paul preached

and said to themselves, God is speaking to me.


The gospel is described as a seed that grows when it's in a receptive

environment. Listening with humility means allowing God's Word to take

root in your soul and life. Jesus used this analogy in the parable of

the soils (see Lk. 8:4B15). The Word of God that is sown during a

sermon will only flourish in a heart with receptive soil.

Unfortunately, the hearts of many who hear the Word are hard packed,

and the Word finds no receptivity. With others, the thorns of earthly


concerns will choke out the fruitfulness of the Word. But some, those

described as "good soil," will receive the Word, and an abundant

harvest of fruit will result. The way we receive the Word of God as it

is preached indicates the kind of soil we are.


Applying what you hear
James then exhorts his readers to respond obediently to the Word

they've humbly received. "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and

not merely hearers who delude themselves" ( - Jas. 1:22,

NASB) - James 1:22 NASB}. Our responsibility after the sermon is to

intentionally apply God's Word. While a good preacher demonstrates the

application of his sermon text to various kinds of hearers, it is

impossible for him to personalize the application for everyone.

Ultimately, we must take the initiative to apply what we hear and thus

"prove [ourselves] doers of the word, and not merely hearers."
Make it your goal to determine at least one response to every

scripturally sound sermon you hear. The most appropriate response to

many sermons may be confession, praise, or thanksgiving. Maybe a

sermon has challenged what you believe about a particular verse or

doctrine, and you need to think about and study the issue further on

your own. Perhaps you were convicted to reconcile a relationship,

confront someone who's wronged you, or confess a sin against an

individual. Perhaps there is a habit to break or to start. If no

application of the message seems obvious, think about how the sermon

might apply in different areas of your life, such as home, work,

church, school, finances, etc.
Ezekiel spoke about the importance of intentionally applying the Word.

God warned Ezekiel that some who claim to be His people and want to

hear His Word would respond to the prophet's message by saying to each

other,
"Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord." My people

come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your

words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they

express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed,

to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a

beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words

but do not put them into practice.


Ezk. 33:30B33

God was displeased with these people because, despite hearing the

words of His spokesman, they didn't "put them into practice." They did

not consider God's words any more important than an entertainer's

("one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an

instrument well"). Hearing God's Word without doing it is dangerous.

According to - Jas. 1:22 - James 1:22}, it is a delusion to

think that mere exposure to the truth, and perhaps admiration of it,

is sufficient. In - verse 25 - James 1:25}, James emphasizes

that it is not the man who forgets what he has heard, but he who does

it that will be blessed.


Do you have ears to hear?
If you had a weekly meeting with your boss and coworkers to discuss

priorities for the coming week, you would do your part to get ready

for the meeting. During the meeting, you would pay attention to what

your boss had to say. When the meeting was finished, you would go back

over your notes and action items and get to work on your assignments.
Or imagine that you have a weekly appointment with a golf or tennis

pro, or maybe a music lesson. During the week, you would practice

diligently to master the skills your instructor taught you in your

last session. During your half hour with the instructor, you would

soak in everything your teacher told you. From then on, you would try

to apply all you had heard.


Do you take the preaching of the WordCthe Word of God Almighty, the

One who created us and who determines our eternal destinyCas seriously

as a weekly appointment with a boss, a coach, a counselor, or a

customer? We should prepare for these kinds of meetings, but we also

need to prepare to meet with God. As Jesus said, "He who has ears to

hear, let him hear" ( - Mt. 11:15, RSV) - Matthew 11:15 RSV}.

We must remember the critical responsibility each of us has to humbly

receive the Word as it is preached and respond in obedience to it.


‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

About the author:

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑




Donald S. Whitney is the assistant professor of spiritual formation at

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. He is the

author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (NavPress) and

Spiritual Disciplines With the Church (Moody).


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Good Sermon or Great One - Kenton C. Anderson

Good Sermon 2 a Great One

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Good Sermon 2 a Great One
How to Craft a Good Sermon Y or a Great One
Kenton C. Anderson
Trinity Western University

Most people can recognize a good sermon when they hear one, though

they might have difficulty articulating why. For those of us who try

to preach those "good sermons," it is useful to understand what it

takes to get those positive responses from our listeners.
Of course, listeners vary and have different things that they are

looking for in a preacher. A listener's theology will determine his or

her sense of the sermon. Those who are committed to a high view of

Scripture might expect something different than one committed to a

more active view of the work of the Holy Spirit. Learning style is a

factor in considering the effectiveness of a sermon. Some listeners

learn best through reflection; others prefer a more active and

participatory approach. Culture will affect one's evaluation of a

sermon. Where we come from, what generation we belong to, our


denomination, our economic situation and our gender all play a part in

determining the kind of preacher we best respond to.


Still, if preaching is preaching, there are certain things that can be

said across the board. If the following things are in place, we can be

fairly confident that our sermons will be well‑appreciated and lead to

the kinds of responses we expect. These, then, are the factors that

result in "good" and maybe even "great" preaching.

A good sermon is rooted in the Bible. A sermon ought to find its

footing in the Word of God. Many fine things could be said by a

preacher, but if the listener doesn't feel that the sermon has been

helpful in engaging the Bible, it falls short as a sermon. This means

that the Bible will be used as more than window dressing or as a

jumping‑off point. The Bible will govern the sermon and be the source

of its big idea if the sermon is any good. Good preachers understand

that God still speaks through his Word. The Bible is the one

instrument that God has promised to bless. When it comes to good

preaching, the Bible is where the power is.
A good sermon helps people hear from God. This is as helpful a

definition of preaching as I know. Preachers work to connect people

with the voice of God. If a listener does not sense that she or he has

been in the presence of God and heard something meaningful from him,

then the sermon could not have been that good. As such, the sermon

does not have to fit any particular pre‑fab form. The sermon as a

medium can flex to respond to the interests and concerns of any

culture and situation. If it helps people hear what God is saying, it

is a good sermon, regardless of the preacher's style. This underlines,

of course, a dependence on the Scriptures.


A good sermon will be easily understood. Some preachers seem to

confuse complexity with depth. In my experience, it is the simple

truths that are the most profound. Listeners can understand good

preaching. Good preachers work to understand the language, the

culture, and the interests of those to whom they preach. They work

hard to clarify and unify the presentation so that there will be no

confusion about what they are trying to say. In most cases, good

sermons offer one idea B an idea big enough yet simple enough for

listeners to appreciate and apply to their lives.


A good sermon exalts the person of Jesus Christ. We are Christian

preachers, which means that every sermon we preach will exalt the

person of Jesus Christ. While not every text is directly

Christological, I believe that every sermon ought to be. What are we

saying that a Jewish priest couldn't say? What are we offering that

goes beyond what people hear on Oprah? At the end of the day,

Christian preachers offer Jesus Christ as the hope of mankind. A good

sermon will be sure to make that clear.


These four principles apply to any good sermon I have ever heard. A

good sermon will integrate the person and presence of God with the

person and presence of the preacher. The divine and the human

collaborate in the mystery that is good preaching.


In terms of the content of good preaching, I would suggest four

elements that ought to be present in one form or another whenever we

preach. While people are individual and unique, the basic needs of

human beings are universal. Preachers can help their people if they

pay attention to a few basic elementsY
Tell a Story: Every text in Scripture has a story because it is always

written in the context of real people and real situations. Preachers

need to help their listeners connect with the humanity in the Bible in

order to see the relevance of what God wants to say. Good preaching,

then, places the sermon in the context of real human experience. It

tells the stories of actual people in real time so that contemporary

listeners can locate their own life in the context of the sermon.
Make an Argument: The Bible is also about ideas. Good preachers will

teach the listener the truths that can help them live in accordance

with God's will. God challenges people with an alternative approach to

understanding and living life. People will grow in their faith if they

are led to understand the propositions of God's word. Preachers need

to work to help listeners appreciate the reasons for their faith.


Solve a Mystery: Preaching needs to respond to the deep‑seated

questions people have for God. We can't accept that just because

listeners understand what we are saying that they are prepared to give

their lives. While we might not always like the things we hear,

preachers need to help their listeners struggle with the mysteries.
Paint a Picture: Sermons ought to offer listeners a compelling vision

of the future. Preachers need to show listeners how their encounter



with God's word can change their lives forever. What will it actually

look like in our lives because we have heard from God and responded to

him in faith? Can we motivate listeners to respond faithfully to the

things we have heard from God?


Preaching that integrates these four features will offer the authority

of God's word while respecting the dignity of the human listener. It

will nourish the listener's mind, while at the same time, speak to the

listener's heart. People of all cultures and levels of experience can

be encouraged to hear from God and grow in their faith as a result.
Of course it could be said that aspiring to "good" preaching doesn't

take us far enough. We ought to be pursuing preaching that is "great."

No doubt the move from good to great would be preferred. It may even

be possible if we are willing to make the effort and if God has given

us the necessary gifting. For now, however, I would be satisfied to

hear a lot more of what is good than the "fair‑to‑middling" preaching

I hear so often.
My sense is that listeners tend to be gracious people. If we can

faithfully help them into the presence of God each week, our listeners

will be grateful. Here's to all the good preachers who do just that,

faithfully serving to help people hear from God.

You are invited to read more from Dr. Anderson in his article, An

Integrative Model for Preaching.


Kent Anderson, PhD, is dean of Northwest Baptist Seminary, and

associate professor of homiletics at the Associated Canadian

Theological Schools (ACTS) of Trinity Western University in British

Columbia. He is the author of numerous books on preaching as well as

past president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society. Dr. Anderson is

also a former pastor and current manager of Preaching.org.

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Preaching - Stedman - Expository Preaching Resources
- 2/2008.101
Expository Preaching Resources

1. Powerful Expository Preaching Series, by Ray Stedman

Part 1: The Glory of Preaching

Part 2: Preparation of Expository Sermons

Part 3: The Accountability of the Preacher
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1. Powerful Expository Preaching, Part 1

The Glory of Preaching

By Ray Stedman, Peninsula Bible Church, Palo Alto, CA. Delivered at

the first Congress on the Bible, San Diego, 1982
I want you this morning to zero in on the power and the glory of

preaching. And this will be more or less a lecture presentation this

morning. The size of this group precludes any reaction from you,

though I never like to exclude that and I always welcome any questions

that you might want to ask. So if you have something you would like to

present in the line as we go on in this, feel perfectly free to raise

your hand. I will recognize it, and we'll see if we can't deal at

least briefly with that. But do understand a group of this size makes

that difficult. But at tomorrow's session like this I want to take you

into what would be a kind of a practical workshop on preparing to

preach, expositorily. That is, how to do exposition. What happens in

the study. How long it takes, and what steps you go through. And I

want to make this as practical as I can. And of course you understand

that I must of necessity share a good deal of my own practice in this

regard, because that is where I am most aware. In the third session, I

would like to address to the accountability of a preacher. This

morning the responsibility, the next hour the methods, and then

finally the accountability of preachers. And I would like to do this

primarily working out of a passage that has been a great help to me in

my own ministry.




I now ‑‑ as you were just reminded ‑‑ have been 32 years in the church

that I have been serving in the San Francisco Bay area, Peninsula

Bible Church. And I came fresh out of Dallas Seminary to that

congregation, it wasn't even a congregation when I came. It was just a

Sunday evening fellowship time. But it rapidly grew into a church, and

through the course of the years I have been trying to learn how to

preach. And all I want to try to do with you is share some of the

things I did learn and some of the things I've picked up from others,

and some of the deep convictions of my heart that have come about in

the process. Having come to a congregation without any previous

experience myself as a pastor I have had to try to learn the business

of preaching from observation of other men, from reading their

ministry and learning from that, and from the study of the Scriptures

themselves about the themes of preaching. And it is that that I would

like to share with you as much as possible today.
One of the passages that has meant very much to me as a guideline

along this line is found in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, 1st

Corinthians chapter 2 and then chapter 4. I would like to begin with

chapter 4, where the apostle is summing up his own ministry as a

preacher. As you know ‑‑ I'm sure many of you are familiar with these

letters ‑‑ they are very relevant to our own time. I just not long ago

finished preaching through the two Corinthian letters, and I have

frequently referred to them in my own congregation as first and second

Californians, because I believe that we live in Corinthian conditions

here in California. Corinth was not quite as degraded as California

is, but almost. And what they had to face we have to face. And

therefore these are most up to date and relevant passages. And I found

therefore the words of the apostle to the Corinthians were most

helpful in dealing with the conditions that we have to face today.


Now in these first three chapters the apostle is dealing with the

divisions in the church at Corinth, and with their view of Christian

ministers. And as you know they were divided up as many people are

today following after certain pet preachers. Some liked Paul ‑‑ he was

the founder of the church, and they held to him, and were loyal to him

as a preacher of the truth; some liked Peter, who had evidently come

through, and a certain segment found him to be tremendously

significant in their lives, probably because he was one of the

original twelve apostles whom the Lord himself had chosen. Paul could

not claim to have associated with the Lord in the days of his flesh,

so Peter in their eyes had a bit of an edge over Paul. And then there

were those who loved the eloquence of Apollos, and they gathered about



him, appreciating the rhetoric with which he spoke, the ease and the

oratory that he exhibited. So there were stylists in that day, and

there were loyalists, and there were purists; there was the group that

said, "We like Christ! A plague on all these others! We go back to the

Lord himself, and we only take his words!" And so the church was

divided over this.


You find the same kind of divisions today. In almost every

congregation there are those who have their pets; they only listen to

certain men, their tapes, their books are what they read. And you can

hear people talk like they did in Corinth in almost every church

today. Now Paul says this is all wrong. This is evidence of carnality,

of immaturity, and he sets in contrast to it his own view of the

ministry. That is why this passage has been very meaningful to me.
In chapter 4 he begins with these words: "This is how one should

regard us: as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of

God. Moreover," he says, "it is required of stewards that they be

found faithful." Now I have been greatly strengthened in that,

especially in taking the two words the apostle uses of Christian

ministers, and trying to understand fully what he means by the words.

The word "servant" is an unusual word, it is not the ordinary word

doulos or douloi that is frequently employed. It is a word rather

infrequently employed, it is huperetes, the under rower. They are the

servants of Christ. And then the word for "stewards" is an interesting

word; oikonomos, the "housekeepers," the ones in charge of a

household.


Now I think in these two terms the apostle has gathered up the word

that describes, first, the accountability of a pastor or a preacher.

He is a servant, an underrower of Christ; I want to look at that fully

on Friday morning. And then the second word which I would like to zero

in on today is the word "steward:" a steward of the mysteries of God.

I find that to be one of the most challenging statements in the New

Testament. And it is a theme that is developed more fully in many of

the other books of the New Testament. Our Lord spoke of it; "A good

steward," he said, "is one who takes things out of his treasury, both

new and old." And the apostle speaks of this very frequently. A

steward, of course, is one who has been entrusted with certain

commodities which he is responsible to dispense to others. When I flew

down here yesterday on the plane (as I am sure many of you experienced

as well) there were stewardesses ‑‑ or as in the case of many airlines

today since men are demanding equal rights with women, there were


stewards on many airplanes. Now an airline steward is almost exactly

fulfilling the role that is expressed here in this word from the New

Testament. An airline steward is responsible to dispense both

information and certain commodities to the passengers: They tell you

where to sit, how to buckle your belt, where the restrooms are, where

to smoke, where not to smoke, and so on, they give you arrival

information and so forth; and furthermore they have trays of food and

of beverages which they dispense to those who are passengers on the

plane.
Now that is exactly the idea that is here. A minister of Christ, a

preacher of the word, is a steward, he has been entrusted with

something. You remember how the apostle in writing to Timothy speaks

in several of his letters, he says, "Guard the deposit that has been

entrusted to you." And he speaks in other places of the necessity to

preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, the treasure that is given

into our care. Peter speaks about the exceeding great and precious

promises which have been entrusted to us ‑‑ not for our own enjoyment,

but to give out to others. And all through the New Testament this

theme is enlarged upon. Peter calls it the "oracles of God." And you

remember in that amazing 13th chapter of Matthew, our Lord spoke to

the disciples in rather startling terms, and said that they were

chosen of God to be made stewards (he doesn't use this term there, but

the idea is there), stewards of the things which have been kept secret

since the foundation of the world.
Now I think all these phrases should challenge us to view our ministry

as preachers of the word of God at a very high level indeed. And it is

one that I have taken very seriously in my own ministry. I find

nothing is more challenging to me than the thought of dispensing these

amazing concepts from Scripture to my congregation. I count it the

highest honor of my life that I was ever privileged to be put by God

into such a ministry. And rather than reflecting many of the ideas

that are around today about the irrelevance of the church, and the

uselessness of the church, I find that these concepts and these

phrases highlight for me the extreme relevance of the church.


It would be interesting if we had time this morning to know what

flashes into your mind when you hear the term, "a minister," or

perhaps more purposefully what flashes into the minds of the people in

your congregation when they hear the word, "a minister;" or even more

to the point, what crosses the minds of the people out here in the

streets of San Diego when they hear the term, "a minister of Christ."



I was talking with Os Guinness not long ago. I was in England and

visited with him at Oxford University where he is doing some doctoral

work right now (this week he is up in our area, in the Bay Area, doing

some ministry) ‑‑ but I was asking Os what is the attitude of the

students there at Oxford about Christian things. "Well it is

interesting, you know" he said. "I asked one of my professors the

other day who is not a Christian. I asked him, >What do thinking

non‑Christians think about Christian thinking?' And his answer was, >

Not very much.'" And I think that is the standard approach of many

today with regard to the church; it is not regarded as an influential

body at all in our country any more; its opinions are not asked for,

its declarations are not listened to; when it raises its voice it is

either ridiculed or ignored.
I read a recent contemporary description of the church put in rhyme by

a contemporary secular writer, who put it this way:


Outwardly splendid as of old,
Inwardly sparkless, void, and cold;
Her force and fire all spent and gone
Like the dead moon she still shines on.
Well, that is the way a lot of people are thinking about the church.

And the reason is because they really haven't heard Christian

thinking, even in church. What they often get, as Jim Boice said so

well this morning, is a kind of a watered down, bland, pabulum. A

glazed‑over Christian philosophy and words of secular thought, rather

than the word of the living God. Now it has challenged me in my own

ministry to understand what this tremendous deposit is that I am

responsible to dispense to others.


And if you turn to the 2nd chapter of 1 Corinthians, you will find

that the apostle Paul has put this in very striking terms. Here he is

defining again his own experience when he came to Corinth in the

opening words: "When I came to you, brethren, I did not come

proclaiming to you the testimony of God," or as some versions have it

the "mystery of God." Marturion is "testimony," musterion is

"mystery," They are very close together and some texts have one, and

some the other. And if it is "the mystery of God" which he originally

wrote, then it is right in line with what we have just seen in the


fourth chapter. He says, "This is how I want you to think of me: I am

a steward of the mysteries of God." Then he describes how he felt when

he came to Corinth. He wasn't full of a sense of power. He felt weak

and trembling, and his speech and his message were not in high flown

rhetoric or beautiful phrasing, but they were in the demonstration of

the Spirit and of power. Then beginning in verse 6 ‑‑ if any of you

have a New Testament, I would invite you to turn with me to this ‑‑ he

begins to describe what is the content and nature of this amazing

stewardship with which we have been entrusted. Yet among the mature,

he says, we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age,

or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. You know

throughout this first chapter the apostle has been contrasting what he

calls the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God. The world by

wisdom ‑‑ that is its own wisdom ‑‑ does not know God. And he sets

these in sharp contrast.
I think it is very important for us as ministers and teachers of the

word of truth, to understand that the Bible nowhere ever puts down

human knowledge. We are not against the accumulation of knowledge. I

preach under the shadow of one of the great universities of our day,

Stanford University. And as I go over there I am impressed by the

tremendous knowledge that has been gathered together in that great

university ‑‑ tremendous libraries, great research laboratories, the

largest atom smasher in the world, two miles long, the linear

accelerator, running back into the hills back of Stanford, a great law

school, business school, and so on ‑‑ a vast accumulation of human

knowledge. It is always wrong for Christians to put down that in its

importance, or in its contribution to human life. It is wrong to do

so. The Bible everywhere encourages us to search out the mysteries of

God around us in the universe, to explore the design of God, and to

seek to find the answers ‑‑ and that's all that human knowledge does.
But what the Bible stands against is human wisdom. Now wisdom is the

use of knowledge. Now see that's where the secular world goes astray.

It takes all the wonderful knowledge that has been accumulated in most

impressive array and doesn't know what to do with it ‑‑ uses it in

abysmally wrong ways, and creates more problems than it cures. I have

here in my hand ‑‑ I don't have time to read it ‑‑ a listing I took

out of a secular magazine not long ago, in which the writer is

pointing out nine inventions and discoveries of men, which when they

were first introduced into human life were received with great

enthusiasm and acclaim as solving many of the problems of our day, and

making life much easier, modern achievements of technology and so on.


Then in a parallel column he lists all the results of the use of these

in human society and documents down the list how these have in turn

become the basis for dehumanization, the creation of widespread

despair among peoples, separating and polarizing groups from one

another, giving rise to disproportionate distribution of the economic

goods of earth, and creating far more problems than they ever solved.

That which was hailed as wonderful achievements of technology have now

been seen to be the cause of many of our problems.


Take the automobile, for instance. I can remember as a boy some of the

early automobiles ‑ I remember riding around in a Model T Ford ‑‑

that's the way I first went to high school. And it was regarded as a

tremendous achievement. Now the automobile gluts our streets, pollutes

our air, disturbs our calm. Every time we go out I'm convinced now

that God has designed the automobile as a test of an individual's

spirituality. And how many of us flunk it when we get behind the

wheel? And it has created tremendous problems in our day. Now that is

the wisdom of man versus the wisdom of God.
Now here is what the apostle says about that. He says first, the

wisdom of this age is doomed to pass away. In other words, it is only

temporary. It is impressive only for a while, and then it disappears..

While the wisdom which we're going to talk about ‑‑ which he goes on

to describe in very impressive terms ‑‑ which has been given to us to

dispense to others, is the wisdom that never passes away. Here he is

emphasizing the relevance of the word of God for our times. I hardly

have to detail for you what he means by the fact that human wisdom

passes away. I think the example I've just employed sets that out in a

most remarkable way. But listen to what he calls the wisdom of God. He

calls in verse 7 a secret and hidden wisdom. In verse 10 he calls it

the depths of God, the deep things of God. In verse 11 he calls it the

thoughts of God. A little red book that contains not the thoughts of

Mao, but the thoughts of God. In verse 12 it is the gifts bestowed on

us by God. In verse 13 it is spiritual truth. And in verse 16 a

startling word: it is the very mind of Christ.

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Now that is what we are called to dispense to our congregations. Not

our own opinions, but to reveal these hidden secrets which will never

be irrelevant. There are 3 good reasons for that. First, because God

always remains the same. The 139th Psalm is a wonderful exposition to

establish that for us. God never changes, he never varies in any way,

from age to age he remains the same. Second, man never changes. This

is one of the most remarkable things that we need to recall today ‑‑

that all of our technology has made no difference in the men and women

who employ them. They are still the same people they were hundreds of

years ago, thousands of years ago. And you can read literature to see

that people in the days of ancient Greece three or four hundred years

before Christ were struggling with the same basic problems we face

today: excessive taxation, the intrusion of government into the

affairs of the individual, international warfare and conflict,

widespread famines because of poor distribution of goods, racial

tensions rising on every hand: same problems. Where is the progress

that we want so? You see, man never changes ‑‑ that's why the gospel

is always relevant. And third, the word of God never changes. Not only

God himself but the revelation he gives of himself never changes.

That's why a congress such as this is of such great importance.


I had this highlighted for me by a story someone told me about going

to see an old friend of his who was a retired music teacher. And when

he knocked on the door, he greeted this friend with a rather flippant,

modern saying: he said, "Well, what's the good news today?" The old

man didn't say a word. He just walked across the room, picked up a

rubber hammer, and struck a gong there. And the note A sounded out

through the room. The old man said, "That is A. That was A a thousand

years ago. It will be A a thousand years from now. The tenor across

the hall flats on his high notes. The lady who plays the piano next

door strikes disharmonies. And the man who lives downstairs tries to

sing in the bathroom and can't carry a tune. But" ‑‑ and he hit the

gong again ‑‑ "that is A, and that is the good news for today."


Now that is what the New Testament is saying. God never changes. We

are declaring something that is always up to date, because it is

dealing with humanity as it always is ‑‑ and we ought to understand

that. Second, says the apostle, the nature and purpose, in what I

regard as one of the most amazing verses in all the New Testament, is

right here. "But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which

God decreed before the ages" ‑‑ now listen to this ‑‑ "for our

glorification." I grew up in the Presbyterian church and on the

Westminster Covenant. I was taught very early the aim of man, the


reason for man's existence, is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever.

The purpose of man is to live for the glory of God. But this passage

declares that God lives for the glory of man. Isn't that amazing? "For

our glorification." Now eventually of course that is what glorifies

God.

And here we have to think very briefly about what glory is. I've



discovered that glory, true glory as the New Testament uses it, is a

manifestation outwardly of the inward possibilities of a thing or

person. The hidden virtues brought out into openness. We look at the

sun and say that it is a glorious body: why? Because it's taking that

with which it is made and manifesting it in brilliant light. That

makes for glory. And when a person does that, when that which is

hidden inside, all his abilities and possibilities become demonstrated

in activity, we say he has done something glorious, he has achieved a

glory. Now this is what God has in mind. And what this is saying,

brothers and sisters, is that the message that we are to declare from

our pulpits is designed to complete our humanity, to bring it to

wholeness. I love that word ‑‑ it's a much better word than the word

translated in our New Testament "holiness" ‑‑ they come from the same

root. Holiness, Wholeness. And what God is after is a whole person:

balanced, capable, able to cope with life, well‑adjusted, not subject

to panic. That is what he is talking about. And the business of

preaching is to produce that kind of people in a congregation. And it

has the possibility of doing that very thing. Here we have this

stressed so strongly.

Now what I am seeking to convey to you is what I regard as the supreme

and paramount value of preaching. There is nothing like it. The

preacher or teacher has no rivals, either in the scientific

laboratory, on the psychiatrist's couch, or in the philosopher's

study. That's why Paul goes on to say in an expression of the

uniqueness of this, none of the rulers of this age understood this. If

they had they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. That is

amazing. When he says "the rulers of this age" he means more than just

Pilate, and Caesar, the governmental leaders. He means the leaders of

thought, the mindbenders, the shapers of public opinion, the

philosophers, the teachers of any generation. You won't find this kind

of truth, he says, in any secular body of knowledge. And that is a

great encouragement to me as a preacher.




I know that when I stand up on a Sunday morning in Palo Alto under the

shadow of Stanford University, and I open the book of God, and speak

to my congregation, in which are found not only a whole lot of what

many would call plain vanilla Christians ‑‑ I don't think there are

any such things ‑‑ but there are also many that the world highly

regards: physicists, scientists, philosophers, psychiatrists, doctors

and lawyers, and captains of industry and so on; and I know that when

I open the book of God and preach to them, I am giving them essential

knowledge that they do not have from any secular source or any secular

writer. I am giving them basic facts about life and about human nature

which they never learned in their secular college or graduate school.

I am giving to them understanding about themselves which is not

available from any other source ‑‑ so that they can fulfill their

humanity and be whole persons in a broken, fallen world. Now that's

the glory of preaching. And it is something we ought never to forget.

It is the business of the preacher to change the total viewpoint about

life of every member of his congregation, and to challenge the secular

illusions of our day, and strip them of their deceitfulness, and show

people how human wisdom fails, though human knowledge is quite

acceptable, and point out to them what that failure is doing to them

if they follow it. The instrument is the