121 ‑ Preaching ‑ hec notes from physical files Updated July 24, 2013, over 1,200 pages


Partly to have fun. Joy is a big component of Scripture. The



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Partly to have fun. Joy is a big component of Scripture. The

experience of church and of being present for the preaching of God's

Word ought to be a joyful experience. Not in every moment, but that

ought to be a part of it.


Joy also has the capacity to create a sense of community. When you're

in a room with a bunch of other people and you share moments of joy,

there's a connection that often happens.
I'd also say that humor is a part of the language of our culture.

Especially for unchurched folks it can help them feel like This is a

place where I can see myself involved and connected. They speak my

language here.


How can the preacher use humor effectively without losing the

seriousness of the Word of God?


The need for discernment is huge. That comes through experience, but

also by soliciting honest feedback from people whose wisdom you trust.

Humor, if it's going to be used, has to be the servant of the message.

That means any time it's not going to serve the purpose of forming

Christ in the people listening, then I have to get rid of it. One

thing I'll do is try to be sensitive to the moment. There may be times

when there's a tender spirit in the room, and there is a story or a


line that I know could get a laugh, but it might disrupt what's going

on in that moment. I need to say, No, I'm not going to use it. I'm

going to pull back in this moment because there's something else going

on that's more important than the humor.


Have there been times you fought that feeling and went ahead anyway?
Absolutely. I lean on the humor side. Everybody has their own style,

and there are some people who are tremendously effective communicators

who use very little humor. And then there are people like Ken Davis

who can't get up and recite his phone number without being funny. I

lean more towards the humor side. I have learned from painful

experience that sometimes I will try to be funny, and it will end up

not having served the message, and it would have been better for me

not to do it.


What you're saying makes me wonder if your approach to humor and how

you view its importance has changed through the years.


It definitely has changed over the years. It's always been something I

have enjoyed doing. I have gotten more selective with it. I have gone

through some eras as a preacher where I've said, I'm too dependent on

humor. For instance, there was one point when almost every talk I did

I would start with something humorous, because when people laugh I get

this kind of internal relaxation. But any time you get into

predictable patterns, that can damage the effectiveness of a sermon. I

had to work to say sometimes I want to start the sermon with different

tones. I might start right off with a challenge or with information

that I want to walk people through, or with something that's going to

touch people's hearts but not in a humorous way.
I've also had eras where again I felt I was getting too dependent on

humor, so I did several messages in a row with little humor, almost as

a discipline to liberate myself from the need for it. There would be

moments where humor came naturally, but I deliberately tried to avoid

it.
How did that go over?
I don't know that those are the best messages I ever did, but they

were helpful in my own development. We have to ask not only the

questions of How can I be helpful to my congregation? but What are the

things that I need to be experiencing to develop as a teacher? How do



I need to stretch myself? I naturally tend to have real sensitive

antenna with regard to, Are people engaged? When I feel people are

starting to disengage, that's painful for me. It's challenging for me

sometimes to allow people to get a little disengaged and to stretch

them so I can help them on the learning side.

\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/laonpup1.html


Pt 2
When humor helps a message.

An interview with John Ortberg

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

This is part two of a two‑part series.


Would you say that if someone is not naturally humorous they should

attempt it anyway?


That can be dangerous. Yes, I think everybody needs to be able to

incorporate it in a way that fits their personality and style. But

worse than having no humor at all is forcing humor that isn't funny.
There are certain things we always need to watch for. Obviously

anything that's offensive. It never ceases to amaze me, even at large

churches some speakers will make humor about folks who have weight

issues. There's no place for that. That's going to hurt people's

feelings. Inappropriate ethnic humor. Inappropriate jokes at sacred

moments. There are certain moments that are holy, and if you try to

make it a light moment, there's going to be a jarring factor.
Another caution is about telling jokes. The best kind of humor is

observational humor, humor that flows out of life, the incongruities

of life, the way life works. The hardest humor to pull off effectively

is a canned joke with a punch line. That's risky. If there's not a big

laugh, there's that awkward moment where we say, That story died. Many

of us have experienced that kind of death, and it ain't fun. Everybody

in the room senses it, and it breaks the momentum of the talk.
On the other hand, I might tell a story about some interaction with my


wife or one of my kids, and there is humor in it, but it's not

dependent on a punch line at the end. That kind of humor generally

works a lot better and is much safer.
How do you cultivate that kind of humor? A part of my brain is always

looking for slices of life, conversations, observations that can help

me teach something, and do it in a fun way. I watch people who do this

kind of humor well. Tony Campolo is a remarkable communicator with

tons of energy who tells stories in engaging ways. Ken Davis is

another. I read certain people. Garrison Keillor is a writer who has

an enormous gift for observational humor. I read his stuff and think,

How does he unpack a story or develop a character in a way that finds

this kind of humor? I look for people who do it well and try to learn

from them.


I have a friend who made an observation from his visits to churches as

a consultant. He said the sense of people connecting with the speaker

came at the first moment of laughter in a message. It's a diagnostic

indicatorCnot the only one, not the most important oneCbut a

diagnostic indicator of how strong the connection is between speaker

and listener. Humor can be a barometer.


Another important issue is the relationship between humor and tension.

Humor is a great tension reliever. I remember a remarkable story Ken

Davis told. He talked about how for many years his daughter never said

"I love you" to him. That story produced a lot of tension because this

speaker is talking about his daughter, and everybody felt a poignant

connection with him, but also a tension: Is this going to get

resolved?
Then he told about speaking in the chapel service of the college she

attended. The students all filled out response cards, and afterward

the chaplain handed him a card that read, "I love my dad," and it was

signed by his daughter. Davis took quite a while before he got to that

line. There was a lot of tension. Then he told how he got up from his

seat in the restaurant, went into the bathroom, and said, "She loves

me. She loves me. I can't believe she loves me." The he said, "I

didn't know there was somebody in the stall right next to me." The

laugh that followed broke an enormous moment of tension.
One question you have to ask is, Do I want to relieve the tension with

laughter yet? Or is the tension producing change in people, so I need

to allow the tension to go on? Great communicators are masters of the


art of tension management. Speakers gifted at motivating or at

convicting folks are able to discern how much tension they can

tolerate. They're careful about using humor to relieve tension

prematurely.


Do you think that happens often?
I do. Many go into pastoring with unresolved issues of needing to

please people, needing people to like them and tell them they're doing

a good job. Because of that we often underestimate how much tension

people are able to tolerate, and we underestimate the use of tension

in producing change. We get anxious: People might not be liking me,

or, They might not be liking this part of the message, so we move to

try to relieve tension prematurely.
Another observation: There is a relationship between how effective

humor is and how full the room is. The more full a room, the more

humor will elicit laughs. If the room holds 100 people and has 120

people jammed in it, the anticipation level, the focus, the energy is

high. So when the speaker says something funny, people tend to laugh a

lot. If the room holds 300 folks, and there's that same 120 people,

there's going to be much less laughter. I have to speak differently

when I'm talking to a room that's packed than when I'm talking to a

room that's half full. When a room is full, I can tell stories with a

timing that expects a big laugh to come at certain points. When the

room is less full, the talk has to have more of a continual flow. If

there are moments when people laugh, we can enjoy that, but it's going

to have a different rhythm to it than a room that's packed.
Earlier you talked about turning from what is humorous to a serious

point. How do you make that transition?


Sometimes the transition has to be gradual. Often you can turn on a

dime from something light to something dark. For instance, I've told a

story of mine I call "Who put the stain on the sofa?" It's a fun

story, and it ends up that the joke is on me. Then I say, "Here's the

truth about us. We've all stained the sofa." And I pause because

everybody is engaged by the humor. After the pause, I say, "I lie. I

deceive. I use people. I ignore people. I promote my own agenda." All

of a sudden it's gone from light, fun stuff, to a much deeper level

where I can talk about sin, darkness, guilt, a holy and just God, and

people's hearts are opened. In that case, turning from light to dark

is helpful. You can feel it in the room. It's almost like a surfer


riding on a wave; they're up high and all of a sudden there's that

drop. You can do that.


Much less often can you go from something very serious, dark, somber

to a light moment. That usually takes a much longer process. You have

to walk one step at a time to a place where things feel lighter. When

I'm making a point about sin, guilt, hell, if I try to turn quickly to

something light, I'm going to trivialize everything I've been saying.

The moves are very different in going from light to dark than they are

from dark to light.
Just because something is funny, even hilariously funny, don't use it

if it doesn't fit. The three laws of humor are the same as the three

laws of real estateClocation, location, location. When something fits,

it's going to accomplish much more good, if I can discipline myself to

wait and save it.
You hear messages that come nowhere near the potential they could have

reached because the speaker thought, I heard this story recently. It

got a laugh. I'm going to wedge it into this message even though it

doesn't fit. That's why you can hear one person tell a story and then

somebody else tell itCand may even tell it pretty wellCbut because it

doesn't fit, it doesn't elicit anywhere near the same response. It

wasn't the right move at that moment. It has to fit, and it has to

serve the ultimate goal of preachingCwhich is to have Christ formed in

people.
\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/laonpup2.html

Humor ‑ Understanding Humor

- 9/2011.101
Understanding Humor
Three things that make us laugh.

A Workshop by Ken Davis


You can buy books that have all the variations of humor, but there are

three broad categories that make something funny.


It's just plain true

When somebody identifies a pain, a struggle, that is just plain true;

and we recognize how true it is and how oblivious we have been to

bringing it to our consciousness; we laugh. I wrote a book called How

to Live with Your Parents Without Losing Your Mind. Parents began

writing, "Write one for us. How come you won't write a book for us?"

So I wrote another book entitled, How to Live with Your Kids When

You've Already Lost Your Mind. Every time I said the title people

would laugh.


We go around pretending everything's okay. Someone has defined humor

this way: "Humor is a gentle way to acknowledge human frailty."


That's the way we ought to use it. That's when humor is done properly.

It can also be a way to try and destroy people, but then it ceases to

be humor. I rephrase that definition: "Humor is a way of saying I'm

not okay, and you are not okay, but that's okay." Believers can add,

"Because he loves us anyway."
Show me a person who takes themselves too seriously, and I'll show you

a person who doesn't have a sense of humorCevery single timeCbecause

they're trying to perpetuate the perception of perfection. Nothing

destroys families, corporate teamwork, or creativity more than trying

to pretend you are perfect. You will never take risks, everCyou might

fail. We are not perfect. That's why the people who look at my book

title laugh. Parents know they're not perfect. They say things that

not even insane people say. "Hey, if you cut your legs off in that

lawn mower, don't you come running to me!" That's not something a sane

person says.


We say things that have no foundation: "I am sick and tired. I am sick

and tired of it. I have had it with you clear up to here." How many of

you have used that? Or heard it? Where did this come from?
I asked my grandfather when I was writing the book, "Have you ever

heard this?"


He said, "Yes. My grandfather used that."
Where did this begin? Did cave people start this? Some cave guy

grabbed his son by the hair, "I am so sick and tiredY" Is that why,

when they find the skeletons, they're all swollen right there?
Why do you laugh? You laugh partly because I'm somewhat of an idiot,


but you also laugh because you have said it. It's true.
My sweet wifeCwe came home from a vacation; we'd been gone for two

weeksCshe opened the refrigerator. The most horribleCI mean, we have

two dogs; one of them fell over, his little back leg kicking outCshe

had forgotten a carton of milk. There is no smell worse than that.

None. There was moss growing around the lip of the carton, it had been

in there so long. This educated, beautiful woman said, "Ken, come

here. Hurry. Smell this." She said, "I think it's spoiled."
I said, "Sweetheart, the dog is dead."
She wakes me in the middle of the night. "Listen!" (How many of you

are married? Does this sound familiar?) "Listen."


Now, I'm in a sound sleep. You could light a match on me. I said,

"What?"
She said, "Shhh, shhh. There it is again."


Now, my body is not touching the bed any more; only the hairs on my

body are touching the bed. I'm waiting for the axe to fall. I'm

waiting for a bullet to come. I know someone's going to kill us right

now.
She says, "It's in the garage. Oh, no, what if he's escaped fromY?

What if he has a chainsaw?" Then she grabs me and says, "Go see."
If there's a guy in my garage that has escaped from somewhere with a

chainsaw, I am not going to confront him in a pair of Fruit of the

Looms, excuse me. Although my wife said, "I've seen your shorts. It

will probably scare him away."


The simple truth. How many of you have heard Bill Cosby tell a joke?

Let me see your hands. You're all wrong. He's the wealthiest

entertainer on the face of the earth, but I've never heard him tell a

joke. He talks about truth. To My Brother Russell, with Whom I

Slept‑Cit's one of the most hilarious albums on the face of the earth.

It is about two little kids sharing a bed, drawing a line, and saying,

"You stay over there." It is about Dad coming to the door. They can't

see him, but they can see his shadow. Hilarious stuff about being at

the dentist and trying to talk to the dentist, because he sees smoke

coming up out of his mouth. This is the least risky kind of humor.



I come in the house. My daughter has a fishing line tied around her

tooth. The other end is tied to a doorknob. She is four years old.

She's violently trying to slam the door. Her little head is jerking,

spit is flying out. Boing, boing, the fishing line is singing. I'm

horrified. I said, "What are you doing?"
She said, "I'm pulling my toof."
I said, "Let me feel it."
She said, "I can't. I'm tied to the door."
So I went over to where she was, and I felt her tooth. I said, "It's

not loose."


She said, "It will be." Boing.
I said, "Quit it."
She said, "Leave me alone. I need money."
It contains an element of surprise

Years ago there was a movie, Bambi Meets Godzilla. It was black and

white. The credits roll, and a little deer is there eatingCa cute,

tiny, little deer. When the opening credits finish running, a huge

dinosaur foot comes and goes, "Poom!" and all you see is four little

hooves. That's the end of the film.


Why? Surprise. It goes in a different direction than you thought it

would go. Almost all jokes depend on surprise for their humor. One of

the best books on comedy and humor that I have ever seen is called

Comedy Writing Secrets (by Melvin Helitzer, Writer's Digest Books,

1992). It was not written by Christians, so don't expect to read

through it without seeing a bad word or two. I want to read something

it said about comedy:
Comedy is mentally pulling the rug out from each person in your

audience. [Listen to this, Jean Perret wrote this:] But first, you

have to get them to stand on it. You have to fool them, because if

they see you preparing to tug on the rug, they'll move.


A guy walked into a pet shop, and he said, "I'd like a Christian

parakeet."



The other guy said, "What do you mean, you'd like a Christian

parakeet?"


"Well, the last parakeet I had cussed and swore, and I had to kill

it."
The guy says, "Well, we don't have a Christian parakeet, but we have

one that's never said a word. Would you be interested in that one?"
The guy says, "Yeah, but if it swears, I'll pull all his feathers

off."
They guy says, "Well, he doesn't speak."


He brought the parakeet home. The parakeet was with him for two years

and didn't say anything. Then one day he was feeding the parakeet and

accidentally dumped water all over it. His parakeet let flow a line of

blue, horrible languageCquestioning the heritage of this man's

background, talking about his mother, terrible things this parakeet

said.
The guy reached in the cage and grabbed it by the neck. It was all

wet, the little parakeet. He opened the freezer and said, "Now, you

will not speak like that in this house, and you're staying in here

until you can decide you won't." He threw him into the freezer, and he

shut the door.


An hour later he came back and opened the door. There were little

icicles hanging off the parakeet. He was still sitting on the shelf

where he had landed, shivering imperceptibly. The guy said, "I am sick

of cursing. It will not happen in my house. You will not say bad words

of any kind. Do you promise?"
The parakeet said, "I promise."
He said, "I'm not going to let you out. I'll let you freeze to death

unless you promise never to say another bad word."


The parakeet said, "I promise. But could you please tell me one

thing?"
The guy said, "What? What do you want to know?"




The parakeet looked down and said, "What did that turkey say?"
It's the element of surprise that causes you to laugh.
It uses exaggeration

None of these elements stands alone. Humor usually involves a variety

of these things. One of my favorite comedians is Steven Wright, who

has the driest delivery I've ever seen. I watched him live one night,

and I couldn't even stand up afterwards.
He said, "I used to make birds levitate." He said, "Nobody cared." He

said, "I had to take my dog to the mental hospital. Something happened

to him. We named him Stay. >Come, Stay. Stay, come.'" He said, "I

spilled spot remover on my dog. He's gone." He said, "I bought a

humidifier and a dehumidifier, put them in a room, let them fight it

out." He says, "I heard that if you drop a cat, no matter where you

drop them, they'll always land on their feet. And I heard that if you

drop a piece of buttered bread, it will always land buttered side

down. So I tied a piece of buttered bread to my cat's back."
Steven Wright's humor is intelligent humor. It's not slapstick. It's

not at anyone's expense except his own.


Someone said, "The kind of joke I love the best is the one that makes

me laugh for five minutes and then think for five days." If you know

that surprise, if you know that exaggeration, if you know that truth

makes something funny, then you can make anything funny.


"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'm here today because God has

laid a message on my heart that I have to give. >Mary Had a Little

Lamb.' That's the title of my sermon. >Mary HAD a Little Lamb.' Not

could have had or might have had or would have had but past tense, had

a little lamb. Notice the word little. We're not talking about some

humungous ball of wool coming down the mountainside. This is a little

lamb, a small lamb, a tiny lamb. "Lamb" comes from the Greek word

Woolite."


We had 15 Southern Baptist preachers rolling on the floor, partly

because they recognized that little element of truth, partly because

they were laughing at the exaggeration, and partly because they were

surprised.


What you look for is the surprise, the little turn that takes people

in a direction they weren't expecting to go, and the element of truth

that's common to all of us.


Principles for effective use of humor

Let me show you how to do that without totally destroying your

confidence.
Know your style and ability. I love making people laugh until they

hurt. There is nothing I enjoy more than to watch people hold their

sides. Even in my most serious presentations, I love to bring people

back and forth, weaving the truth with the humor, so that one minute

they're laughing and one minute they're crying. I love that.
I had a guy have a heart attack in one of our shows. We refunded 4,000

tickets. I was picking on him. He was laughing so hard he fell out in

the aisle. Everybody roared when he fell over, and then we realized he

was in trouble. Paramedics came in. It took them 20 minutes to

stabilize him. You don't continue a comedy concert after that. I found

out who he was and wrote to him and said, "I'm so sorry."


He wrote back and said, "Don't be sorry. I'm ready to meet the Lord

any time he's ready to meet me. Anyway, I've had four heart attacks. I

want to thank you for the best heart attack I ever had."
But not everybody is wired that way. We live in a society in which

when people hear the word humor they automatically think stand‑up

comedy. Not so. Mark Twain had the kind of humor that cut right to the

soul.
Know your style and ability. If you're not the kind of person who

easily makes people laugh, or you're not the life of the party, you

will probably develop for your ministry a more subtle humor. On the

other hand, don't be afraid to risk. Just choose the places that you

risk. Risk with people who will love you anyway. Risk with people who

will be honest with you. Risk with other creative people who will say,

"If you just turn that phrase a little bit, you can make it much more

funny."
Be aware of the double edge of humor. Occasionally Christian folks

come up to me and say, "I don't think that humor has any place in

Christianity." That's because they don't have a sense of humor.

They're looking for that perception of perfection. The other reason is

they have astutely recognized that almost all humor points out


frailty.
That is a double‑edged sword. I can use the kind of humor that will

make you identify with me because both of us can laugh about what we

know to be true. That's why we parents laugh together. But, by

changing the tone of my voice, the look in my eye, or perhaps even

with the wrong audience, I can use the exact same humor and appear to

lord it over the people in the audience, as though I am putting them

down. Those of you who work with kids, watch junior high kids do this.
I was at a camp one time. A kid came walking around the corner. His

friend said, "Hey, Four Eyes, come on. Let's go play baseball." "Four

Eyes" had glasses thicker than the bottom of Coke bottles. I wanted to

strangle the kid, except I watched what happened. Four eyes came over.

They ran off together. I don't know what Four Eyes called his friend,

but there was some name.


Do you notice your kids have these names? You say, "How cruel."
No, the way they use it is to say, "So you have thick glasses." "So

you're tall." "So you're short." Friends will use that with each

other.
Different ethnic groups have the most hilarious humor within their

groups, white folks included. Sometimes when people from different

ethnic groups get to know each other well enough, they will share that

humor with each other. It is almost never appropriate from the stage

to do it, to demean, or to be misunderstood to demean, another group.
Be aware of double‑edged humor, and never swing that sword when you

think the edge that could destroy might be misunderstood.


Don't commit comedic suicide. Here is comedic suicide: "I've got to

tell you a story. You're going to love this." You're dead. Why? You

told the people, "You are standing on a rug, and I'm going to jerk it

out." If you say, "I'm going to tell you a story, and you're going to

love this," they had better love it.
Do you know what comedians call it among each other when they fail?

They say, "I died." That's because the pain is unbelievably

incredible. Don't commit comedic suicide.
Start with low‑risk humor. Low‑risk humor is telling what your


daughter did last night. Low‑risk humor is telling about the little

boy I saw in the foyer of our church. His mom took him back there. He

was just a little child, could barely talk. He had messed his

britches. Everybody in the room knew he had messed his britches. But

when she unpinned him and pulled down his little britches, the little

boy looked down and said, "Oh, who did that?"


Now, you know what? If you were to use that in an appropriate

situation to point out that we live in a nation of victims, that we

are never willing to take responsibility for our messesCif people

don't laugh, have you died? No. It still works as an illustration, the

truthful kind of illustration. Work with that.
When you tell a story that's going to be risky, don't tell it to a

brand new group that just invited you. Tell it to a small group in

your church or to a bunch of your friends, and let them tweak it.

Don't go out there and allow your head to be lopped off, because the

pain is incredible, and you'll probably never try it again. But keep

at it. If you fail the first time, try again.


Watch other people. When somebody succeeds at humor, ask, "What was

funny about that? What did they do that made that so funny?"


Few people who use humor effectively get totally involved with using

their bodies. But be aware: if you're going to use exaggerated,

way‑out‑there humor, I have a little saying that might help you. "If

you're going to make a scene, be seen." If you're going to make half

gestures or be in the least bit timid, you are going to fail. So don't

be timid. And practice it over and over again. And watch other people.

See what makes them successful.
Practice, practice, practice. I tried this story the other day, and it

didn't work. I tried it again, and it didn't work. I tried it again

and again.
I backed out of my own garage, realized I had forgotten my Daytimer. I

can't exist without my Daytimer. I was frantic. I thought, Perhaps it

was in the back seat. I leaned over the back seat and began to dig for

it. Unbeknownst to me, my car was moving forward at about five, ten

miles an hour. (I'm not sure, because I wasn't looking at the

speedometer at the time.) I found my Daytimer. I was delighted. But

out of the corner of my eye I saw things moving past. I'm an educated

person. I deduced that my car was moving. I dropped my Daytimer,



turned to step on the brake, and didn't get there in time. My car hit

a light pole near our home. The mark is still there.


Have you ever had your airbag go off? This is not a pleasant

experience. I had been fooled by TV. It's nothing like on TV, and on

TV they show it in slow motion. The airbag comes out in a big

marshmallowCembracing, gentle, "Come to me, I will save you." It's not

like that. It's just boom! You don't know what's happened, because it

happens fast. All you know is that your nose hurts worse than it's

ever hurt before. I couldn't open my eyes for five minutes, because my

glasses were embedded in my head. When I finally did open them, the

airbag was gone. You still don't know what happened. You wonder who

hung the hankie from your steering wheel. I'm going to be honest with

you, a bad word formed in the back of my head. I wanted to curse,

because, boy, when you get right there, it's bad. I started laughing

instead.
I started thinking goofy thoughts. I thought, Who would have known

about an airbag 15 years ago? When I was born, I didn't even know

about seatbelts. There was no such thing. My mother was the safety

device in our car. Do you remember that? You could stand on the front

seat. If there were an accident or trouble, she'd save you. Do you

remember? Eeeeerrr! Flboom! You say, "Mom, why did you hit me?"


"I did that to keep you from going through the windshield."
"Could I go through the windshield next time?"
That's why I loved riding with my grandmother, because she had that

cushion‑y thing there. It was the forerunner to the airbag.


That story started with a tiny experience. That story is exaggerated.

By the way, when I found out how much it cost to replace an airbag,

the bad word came back.
KEN DAVIS, humorist and speaker, is president of Dynamic

Communications, a communications training organization. He is author

of several books, including The Dynamic Communicators Workbook

(Zondervan, 2001).


\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/unhu.html



Why Serious Preachers Use Humor
Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101

/t

/fN



Why Serious Preachers Use Humor (Part 1)
Discernment for light moments with a weighty purpose.

An article by John Henry Beukema

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

This is part one in a four‑part series.
I once introduced a sermon story by saying, "I don't like this story."

Here is approximately what followed:

Fred Craddock tells of a young pastor visiting an elderly woman in the

hospital. The pastor finds the woman to be quite ill, gasping for

breath, and obviously nearing the end of her life. In the midst of

tubes, bags, and beeping medical machines, the pastor reads Scripture

and offers spiritual comfort.
He asks, "Would you like to have prayer before I go?" and the lady

whispers a yes.


The pastor says, "What would you like me to pray for today?"
The patient responds, "That I would be healed."
The pastor gulps. He thinks, The poor lady can't accept the

inevitable. This is like asking God to vaporize the calories from a

dozen Krispy Kremes. She isn't facing reality.The young minister keeps

this to himself and begins to intercede, sort of.


"Lord, we pray for your sustaining presence with this sick sister, and

if it be your will, we pray she will be restored to health and

service. But if it's not your will, we certainly hope she will adjust

to her circumstances."


Have you prayed prayers like that? They're safe prayers. They give God

a way out, an excuse, just in case the request is not in his will, and

he doesn't come through.


Immediately after the pastor puts an amen on this safe prayer, the

woman opens her eyes and sits up in bed. Then she throws her feet over

the side and stands up.
"I think I'm healed!" she cries.
Before the pastor can react, the woman walks over to the door, pulls

it open, and strides down the hospital corridor. The last thing the

pastor hears before she disappears are the words "Look at me, look at

me. I'm healed."


The pastor pushes his mouth closed, gets up, and slowly walks down the

stairs and out to the parking lot. There is no sign of the former

patient. He opens his car door and stops. Looking up to the heavens,

the pastor says, "Please don't ever do that to me again."


I don't like that story. I don't like itbecause I can identify with

him.


This anecdote is not hilarious. However the story is humorously

effective. It has the key characteristics of what makes something

funny.
Three characteristics of humor
Christian author, speaker, and comedian Ken Davis, president of

Dynamic Communications, identifies three elements that make something

funny: truth, exaggeration, and surprise.
Truth The story above contains an element of reality that hearers

recognize as true. It is an admission of human frailty. People

identify with, in this case, praying for things they don't really

expect God to supply.


Exaggeration The whole story is exaggerated, from the overabundance of

life‑support technology, to the ambiguity of the pastor's prayer, to

the immediacy of the woman's recovery. In real life the woman would

still be downstairs paying her bill.


Surprise This is the strong point of the story. As it unfolds, you

can't help but wonder what's going to happen. The pastor's reaction is

completely unexpected. The final twist is my explanation of why I

don't like the story.




Nothing is funny that doesn't have at least one of these

characteristics. How painful it is to be under the impression that we

are saying something comical when it is not. If your stories fall

flat, begin by evaluating them in light of these three categories.


Of course, these are not the only considerations in using humor well,

but before exploring further, it is necessary to ask if humor has any

place at all in the pulpit.
Is there a place for humor in preaching?
Haddon Robinson, preaching professor at Gordon‑Conwell Theological

Seminary, says, "Since preaching deals with life, it has to have some

element of humor. We have to look at life as it's lived and see at

times how absurd it is."


Consider some of the metaphors and statements of Jesus, and it soon

becomes obvious that Jesus was not above introducing a comic element

to make a point. Ken Davis gives the example of Jesus' words recorded

by Matthew, Mark, and Luke that "It is easier for a camel to go

through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom

of God." Davis pokes fun at attempts to explain the "eye of a needle"

as a city gate, where a camel would have to take off all encumbrances

and kneel down to enter; or the explanation that the word for camel

actually meant "big rope." Such interpretations militate against the

point Jesus makes. Jesus presented a picture so outrageous it was

funny, and yet the subject of salvation could not have been more

serious.
Jesus employed exaggeration. Elton Trueblood was inspired to write the

book The Humour of Christ, when he read Jesus' words about specks and

logs in people's eyes, and the description made his four‑year‑old

laugh. Jesus told stories that provoked surprise. When a Samaritan

stopped to help the half‑dead man, after two religious types passed

the victim by, it was a shocker. A little research into

Samaritan‑Jewish relations at the time shows how laughably implausible

this must have seemed to the hearers. Jesus spoke truth couched in a

smile. Jesus' description of those who "strain out a gnat but swallow

a camel," ( - Matthew 23:24 - Matthew 23:24}) is as amusing as

it is pointed.


John Stott writes, "It seems to be generally agreed that humour was

one of the weapons in the armoury of the Master Teacher." (Between Two



Worlds, 287) If that is accepted, then the question of whether we

should use humor is settled. Perhaps a better question to ask is, What

types of humor do not belong in preaching?
Unfit Humor
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was renowned both for the power of his sermons

and for his wit. Once Spurgeon answered a knock at the door of his

home and was confronted by a man holding a big stick.
The man sprang into the hall and announced that he had come to kill

Spurgeon.


"You must mean my brother," the preacher said, trying to calm the

fellow. "His name is Spurgeon."


But the man would not be dissuaded. "It is the man that makes the

jokes I mean to kill." (Warren Wiersbe, Walking with the Giants, p.

195)
Spurgeon the preacher was no joke teller, but he "had a gift of humor,

and at times it came into play as he preached." (Arnold Dalimore, C.

H. Spurgeon, p. 76) The criticism Spurgeon received prompted him to

defend the use of humor in preaching and to clarify which aspects did

not belong in the pulpit.
Levity is unsuitable Spurgeon emphasizes that humor and levity are not

synonymous. "Cheerfulness is one thing, and frivolity is another; he

is a wise man who by a serious happiness of conversation steers

between the dark rocks of moroseness, and the quicksands of levity."

(Lectures to My Students, p. 151) "We must conquer our tendency to

levity. A great distinction exists between holy cheerfulness, which is

a virtue, and general levity, which is a vice. There is a levity which

has not enough heart to laugh, but trifles with everything; it is

flippant, hollow, unreal. A hearty laugh is no more levity than a

hearty cry." (Lectures to My Students, p. 212)


Spurgeon's differentiations are helpful. Levity is lighthearted to the

point of being inappropriate. Flippancy communicates casual

indifference or disrespect. Frivolous comments are not suitable in

sermons and detract from the grand purpose of preaching. Haddon

Robinson feels that "humor is more often misused in preaching than it

is well‑usedbecause the joke is told for its own sake."



John Piper, author and pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in

Minneapolis, says, "Earnestness is the demeanor that corresponds to

the weight of the subject matter of preaching. The opposite of earnest

is not joyful, but trivial, flippant, frivolous, chipper. It is

possible to be earnest and have elements of humor, though not levity."

("Thoughts on Earnestness in Preaching," an unpublished lecture at The

Bethlehem Institute, Minneapolis, 1999)
Of course the line is not always easily drawn, and one person's witty

insight might be considered glib or juvenile by another. But levity is

the enemy of what Spurgeon and Piper refer to as earnestness.

Earnestness gives preaching energy, fervency, sincerity, and

excellence. Levity tarnishes these qualities, while humor polishes

them.
Excessive humor is counterproductive In an often repeated but

unverified story, Spurgeon responds to a woman expressing her

displeasure over his frequent use of humor by saying, "If you knew how

much I held back, you would give me credit." While self‑discipline is

necessary in all aspects of the sermon, it is most required with

humor. John Piper warns, "There is a place for humor in our lives, but

there is something deeply wrong that we feel compelled to use so much

of it in teaching and preaching and even worshiping." (from the sermon

"Revival and Fasting," preached at Bethlehem Baptist Church on June 6,

1986)
John Ortberg, author and teaching pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian

Church in Menlo Park, California, went through a period when he felt

humor had become too important to him. Telling a funny story became a

predictable part of every message. He used it to relax when speaking

and to determine that people were with him. Even though the humor was

appropriate and purposeful, Ortberg sensed he was becoming dependent

upon it. To combat that, he disciplined himself to preach several

times in a row using little humor.


Haddon Robinson suggests if we realize we are using humor that doesn't

serve the truth, we need to forgo it for a time. "If I'm addicted to

it, that means I'm going to tell it for its own sake, or my sake, or

the audience's sake, but not for the sake of the truth." "Humour is

legitimate," says John Stott. "Nevertheless, we have to be sparing in

our use of it and judicious in the topics we select for laughter."

(Between Two Worlds, p. 288)


Inappropriate humor has no place Certain subjects must never be

approached in a joking manner. Stories that make fun of a person's

weight, ethnicity, age, political views, or physical limitations are

off limits. Sexual innuendos, foolishness, what - Ephesians

5:4 - Ephesians 5:4} calls "coarse jesting," are unacceptable.
Sacred things cannot be mentioned in any humorous context without

great care. The rite of baptism and the celebration of the Lord's

Table should almost always be avoided as topics of humor. Haddon

Robinson notes "the most humorous things happen when we are trying to

be the most serious." Before mentioning any of those things from the

pulpit, you must be sure you aren't "making light of something God

takes seriously."
I heard a preacher tell about visiting a woman in her mobile home in

an attempt to share the good news. In a single story, he managed to

demean baptism, poverty, evangelism, and obesity.
It is unlikely that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit should ever be

invoked in a comedic context. We should not use humor that confirms

stereotypes about God, treats him casually, or otherwise portrays him

inaccurately.


Some humor that references God can be acceptable. For example, Ken

Davis tells about a burglar who breaks into a home only to hear a

voice in the darkness saying, "I see you, and Jesus sees you too."

After discovering the voice belongs to a parrot, the robber goes to

silence the bird, then spots a huge, snarling Doberman next to the

cage. At that point the parrot says, "Sic him, Jesus." Davis walks a

fine line here, but uses the story effectively by pointing out that

this is how many people view God, as ferocious and ready to attack at

the first wrong step.
Beware of putting the "ick" in comical. Author and speaker Fred Smith

uses as a guideline the old saying "While the audience laughed, the

angels cried." Smith says one test of appropriate humor is "Do the

angels laugh too?"


Guided by these cautions, the preacher can be confident that humor can

have an important place in the sermon. Phillips Brooks in his Lectures

on Preaching called humor "one of the most helpful qualities that the

preacher can possess"; and John Stott said, "We should press it

[humor] gladly into service in the cause of the gospel." (Between Two


Worlds, 292) What the preacher must strive for is humor that is

appropriate in topic, timing, and purpose.

\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/whyseprusehu.html

Pt 2
Discernment for light moments with a weighty purpose.

An article by John Henry Beukema

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‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

This is part two in a four‑part series.


Phillips Brooks in his Lectures on Preaching called humor "one of the

most helpful qualities that the preacher can possess"; and John Stott

said, "We should press it [humor] gladly into service in the cause of

the gospel." (Between Two Worlds, 292) Let's look at nine benefits

that lead serious preachers like these to use humor.
Humor overcomes defenses
John Ortberg says he uses humor for the same reason a surgeon uses

anesthesia: not to put people to sleep, but to prepare and enable them

to receive painful truth they need. Hearers try to defend themselves

against hard truth, and humor can smuggle that truth past their

resistance and automatic defenses. "No other means can so quickly

break the ice, relax inhibitions, and create an attitude of

expectancy." (James Cox, Preaching, 186)
Ortberg says a fast turn from humor to seriousness "catches people off

guard, and all of a sudden you're in much deeper than what they were

expecting." He gives this example:

Many years ago, early on in our marriage, my wife and I sold our

Volkswagen Beetle to buy our first really nice piece of furniture. It

was a sofa. It was a pink sofa, but for that kind of money, it was



called a mauve sofa. The man at the sofa store told us all about how

to take care of it, and we took it home.


We had very small children in those days, and does anybody want to

guess what was the Number One Rule in our house from that day on?

"Don't sit on the mauve sofa! Don't play near the mauve sofa! Don't

eat around the mauve sofa! Don't touch the mauve sofa! Don't breathe

on the mauve sofa! Don't think about the mauve sofa! On every other

chair in the house, you may freely sit, but on this sofaCthe mauve

sofaCyou may not sit, for on the day you sit thereon, you will surely

die!"
And then one day came the "Fall." There appeared on the mauve sofa a

stain...a red stain...a red jelly stain. My wife called the man at the

sofa factory, and he told her how bad that was. So she assembled our

three children to look at the stain on the sofa. Laura, who then was

about 4, and Mallory, who was about 2Â2, and Johnny, who was maybe 6

months. She said, "Children, do you see that? That's a stain. That's a

red stain. That's a red jelly stain. And the man at the sofa store

says it's not coming out, not for all eternity. Do you know how long

eternity is, children? Eternity is how long we're all going to sit

here until one of you tells me which one of you put the red jelly

stain on the mauve sofa."


For a long time they all just sat there until finally Mallory cracked.

I knew she would. She said, "Laura did it." Laura said, "No I didn't."

Then it was dead silence for the longest time. And I knew that none of

them would confess putting the stain on the sofa, because they had

never seen their mom that mad in their lives. I knew none of them was

going to confess putting the stain on the sofa, because they knew if

they did, they would spend all of eternity in the "Time Out Chair." I

knew that none of them would confess putting the stain on the sofa,

because in fact, I was the one who put the stain on the sofa, and I

wasn't sayin' nuthin'! Not a word!

Ortberg turns from that to say, "Here's the truth about us. We've all

stained the sofa." The humor opened people's hearts, enabling Ortberg

to talk about the serious subjects of sin, guilt, and a holy God.
Fred Smith calls this aspect of humor "lubricating the needle."
Humor relieves tension
John Ortberg talks about the art of tension management. Communicators


gifted at motivation or conviction are able to discern how much

tension the audience can tolerate. Too much tension, and hearers start

to pull away emotionally. So humor can be a pressure release that

keeps people engaged. But we must fight the urge to use humor to

relieve the tension prematurely. Ortberg says, "We often underestimate

how much tension people are able to tolerate, and we underestimate the

use of tension in producing change."
Humor heightens interest
Gaining the attention of a congregation and then holding their

interest is probably the most common reason speakers use humor. John

Ortberg feels that the engagement of the audience can be discerned by

the sounds in the roomCfoot shuffling, coughing, and rustling. When

the noise level gets too high, spontaneous humor can often regain the

attention of those whose minds have wandered. Ortberg also

intentionally injects humor when a section of a sermon has a high

information quotient.


Humor shows our humanity
Ken Davis likes the definition of humor as "a gentle way to

acknowledge human frailty." Preachers must communicate as real people

and not "wholly other" creatures. Humor conveys that perhaps better

than anything else. Phillips Brooks declared, "There is no

extravagance which deforms the pulpit which would not be modified and

repressed, often entirely obliterated, if the minister had a true

sense of humor." (Lectures on Preaching, p. 57)
If preaching is "a man uttering truth through his own personality," as

Brooks described it, then for many the absence of humor would be a

denial of who they are. It would be as unnatural to remove all humor

from their speech as it would be to eliminate voice inflection. Says

author Warren Wiersbe, "The whole man must be in the pulpit, and if

this includes a sense of humor, then so be it." (Walking with the

Giants, p. 197, emphasis original)
Humor expresses the joy of the Lord
John Ortberg sees joy as a large component of Scripture, the church,

and the experience of being present for the preaching of God's Word.

One way we express that joy is in laughter. The willingness of a

preacher and congregation to laugh together is a healthy sign of



spiritual vitality. Thomas Long implies that laughter indicates good

theology. "Because God in Christ has broken the power of sin and

death, Christian congregations and their preachers are free to laugh

at themselves." (The Witness of Preaching, p. 16)


Humor establishes a connection between the speaker and the audience
A friend of John Ortberg's visits different churches in his capacity

as a church consultant. After listening to many different sermons, the

consultant observed that a sense of connection between a preacher and

the congregation most often came at the first moment of laughter in a

message. Ortberg himself feels humor is a part of who he is, so using

it makes him comfortable and helps establish a relationship with

listeners.
Humor encourages a sense of community
John Ortberg believes that outward expressions of joy and humor have

"the capacity to create a sense of community." Beyond the relationship

that humor establishes between speaker and listener, it also sparks

something among the people themselves. There is a shared experience

that engenders warm feelings. Humor is one way to help break people

out of the isolation that comes from sitting in a congregation of

strangers, enabling them to feel part of something bigger than

themselves.


Humor draws attention to the truth
Spurgeon advised his preaching students to "be so thoroughly solemn

that all your faculties are aroused and consecrated, and then a dash

of humour will only add intenser gravity to the discourse, even as a

flash of lightning makes midnight darkness all the more impressive."

(Lectures to My Students, p. 189) It is in the flash of humor that

truth can sometimes be most clearly seen.


That was my purpose in using this Paul Harvey story.
The Butterball company set up a Thanksgiving hotline to answer

questions about cooking turkeys. One woman asked if she could use a

turkey that had been in the bottom of her freezer for23 years. You

heard me, 23 years. The Butterball expertChow's that for a job

titleCtold her it would probably be safe if the freezer had been below

zero the entire time. The expert then warned her that even if the



turkey was safe to eat, the flavor would likely have deteriorated and

wouldn't be worth eating. The woman said, "That's what I thought.

We'll give the turkey to our church."
After the laughter subsided, I said, "Sin first shows itself in what

you give God."


Ken Davis says, "Laughter helps people see the darkness of their

hearts."
Humor is one language of our culture


Our society craves humor. People love to laugh, and they spend

incalculable amounts of money seeking to be entertained. As

missionaries to this culture, humor aids in presenting the message in

a way people understand. A church or sermon devoid of laughter may not

be seen as real.
John Ortberg feels that laughter communicates to those outside the

church that this is a place where "they speak my language," a place

that has a connection point with today's world.

\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/whyseprusehu1.html

Humor ‑ Why Serious Preacher2
Why Serious Preachers Use Humor (Part 1)
Discernment for light moments with a weighty purpose.

An article by John Henry Beukema

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

This is part one in a four‑part series.
I once introduced a sermon story by saying, "I don't like this story."

Here is approximately what followed:

Fred Craddock tells of a young pastor visiting an elderly woman in the

hospital. The pastor finds the woman to be quite ill, gasping for



breath, and obviously nearing the end of her life. In the midst of

tubes, bags, and beeping medical machines, the pastor reads Scripture

and offers spiritual comfort.
He asks, "Would you like to have prayer before I go?" and the lady

whispers a yes.


The pastor says, "What would you like me to pray for today?"
The patient responds, "That I would be healed."
The pastor gulps. He thinks, The poor lady can't accept the

inevitable. This is like asking God to vaporize the calories from a

dozen Krispy Kremes. She isn't facing reality.The young minister keeps

this to himself and begins to intercede, sort of.


"Lord, we pray for your sustaining presence with this sick sister, and

if it be your will, we pray she will be restored to health and

service. But if it's not your will, we certainly hope she will adjust

to her circumstances."


Have you prayed prayers like that? They're safe prayers. They give God

a way out, an excuse, just in case the request is not in his will, and

he doesn't come through.
Immediately after the pastor puts an amen on this safe prayer, the

woman opens her eyes and sits up in bed. Then she throws her feet over

the side and stands up.
"I think I'm healed!" she cries.
Before the pastor can react, the woman walks over to the door, pulls

it open, and strides down the hospital corridor. The last thing the

pastor hears before she disappears are the words "Look at me, look at

me. I'm healed."


The pastor pushes his mouth closed, gets up, and slowly walks down the

stairs and out to the parking lot. There is no sign of the former

patient. He opens his car door and stops. Looking up to the heavens,

the pastor says, "Please don't ever do that to me again."


I don't like that story. I don't like itbecause I can identify with

him.


This anecdote is not hilarious. However the story is humorously

effective. It has the key characteristics of what makes something

funny.
Three characteristics of humor
Christian author, speaker, and comedian Ken Davis, president of

Dynamic Communications, identifies three elements that make something

funny: truth, exaggeration, and surprise.
Truth The story above contains an element of reality that hearers

recognize as true. It is an admission of human frailty. People

identify with, in this case, praying for things they don't really

expect God to supply.


Exaggeration The whole story is exaggerated, from the overabundance of

life‑support technology, to the ambiguity of the pastor's prayer, to

the immediacy of the woman's recovery. In real life the woman would

still be downstairs paying her bill.


Surprise This is the strong point of the story. As it unfolds, you

can't help but wonder what's going to happen. The pastor's reaction is

completely unexpected. The final twist is my explanation of why I

don't like the story.


Nothing is funny that doesn't have at least one of these

characteristics. How painful it is to be under the impression that we

are saying something comical when it is not. If your stories fall

flat, begin by evaluating them in light of these three categories.


Of course, these are not the only considerations in using humor well,

but before exploring further, it is necessary to ask if humor has any

place at all in the pulpit.
Is there a place for humor in preaching?
Haddon Robinson, preaching professor at Gordon‑Conwell Theological

Seminary, says, "Since preaching deals with life, it has to have some

element of humor. We have to look at life as it's lived and see at

times how absurd it is."


Consider some of the metaphors and statements of Jesus, and it soon

becomes obvious that Jesus was not above introducing a comic element



to make a point. Ken Davis gives the example of Jesus' words recorded

by Matthew, Mark, and Luke that "It is easier for a camel to go

through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom

of God." Davis pokes fun at attempts to explain the "eye of a needle"

as a city gate, where a camel would have to take off all encumbrances

and kneel down to enter; or the explanation that the word for camel

actually meant "big rope." Such interpretations militate against the

point Jesus makes. Jesus presented a picture so outrageous it was

funny, and yet the subject of salvation could not have been more

serious.
Jesus employed exaggeration. Elton Trueblood was inspired to write the

book The Humour of Christ, when he read Jesus' words about specks and

logs in people's eyes, and the description made his four‑year‑old

laugh. Jesus told stories that provoked surprise. When a Samaritan

stopped to help the half‑dead man, after two religious types passed

the victim by, it was a shocker. A little research into

Samaritan‑Jewish relations at the time shows how laughably implausible

this must have seemed to the hearers. Jesus spoke truth couched in a

smile. Jesus' description of those who "strain out a gnat but swallow

a camel," ( - Matthew 23:24 - Matthew 23:24}) is as amusing as

it is pointed.


John Stott writes, "It seems to be generally agreed that humour was

one of the weapons in the armoury of the Master Teacher." (Between Two

Worlds, 287) If that is accepted, then the question of whether we

should use humor is settled. Perhaps a better question to ask is, What

types of humor do not belong in preaching?
Unfit Humor
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was renowned both for the power of his sermons

and for his wit. Once Spurgeon answered a knock at the door of his

home and was confronted by a man holding a big stick.
The man sprang into the hall and announced that he had come to kill

Spurgeon.


"You must mean my brother," the preacher said, trying to calm the

fellow. "His name is Spurgeon."


But the man would not be dissuaded. "It is the man that makes the

jokes I mean to kill." (Warren Wiersbe, Walking with the Giants, p.



195)
Spurgeon the preacher was no joke teller, but he "had a gift of humor,

and at times it came into play as he preached." (Arnold Dalimore, C.

H. Spurgeon, p. 76) The criticism Spurgeon received prompted him to

defend the use of humor in preaching and to clarify which aspects did

not belong in the pulpit.
Levity is unsuitable Spurgeon emphasizes that humor and levity are not

synonymous. "Cheerfulness is one thing, and frivolity is another; he

is a wise man who by a serious happiness of conversation steers

between the dark rocks of moroseness, and the quicksands of levity."

(Lectures to My Students, p. 151) "We must conquer our tendency to

levity. A great distinction exists between holy cheerfulness, which is

a virtue, and general levity, which is a vice. There is a levity which

has not enough heart to laugh, but trifles with everything; it is

flippant, hollow, unreal. A hearty laugh is no more levity than a

hearty cry." (Lectures to My Students, p. 212)


Spurgeon's differentiations are helpful. Levity is lighthearted to the

point of being inappropriate. Flippancy communicates casual

indifference or disrespect. Frivolous comments are not suitable in

sermons and detract from the grand purpose of preaching. Haddon

Robinson feels that "humor is more often misused in preaching than it

is well‑usedbecause the joke is told for its own sake."


John Piper, author and pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in

Minneapolis, says, "Earnestness is the demeanor that corresponds to

the weight of the subject matter of preaching. The opposite of earnest

is not joyful, but trivial, flippant, frivolous, chipper. It is

possible to be earnest and have elements of humor, though not levity."

("Thoughts on Earnestness in Preaching," an unpublished lecture at The

Bethlehem Institute, Minneapolis, 1999)
Of course the line is not always easily drawn, and one person's witty

insight might be considered glib or juvenile by another. But levity is

the enemy of what Spurgeon and Piper refer to as earnestness.

Earnestness gives preaching energy, fervency, sincerity, and

excellence. Levity tarnishes these qualities, while humor polishes

them.
Excessive humor is counterproductive In an often repeated but

unverified story, Spurgeon responds to a woman expressing her


displeasure over his frequent use of humor by saying, "If you knew how

much I held back, you would give me credit." While self‑discipline is

necessary in all aspects of the sermon, it is most required with

humor. John Piper warns, "There is a place for humor in our lives, but

there is something deeply wrong that we feel compelled to use so much

of it in teaching and preaching and even worshiping." (from the sermon

"Revival and Fasting," preached at Bethlehem Baptist Church on June 6,

1986)
John Ortberg, author and teaching pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian

Church in Menlo Park, California, went through a period when he felt

humor had become too important to him. Telling a funny story became a

predictable part of every message. He used it to relax when speaking

and to determine that people were with him. Even though the humor was

appropriate and purposeful, Ortberg sensed he was becoming dependent

upon it. To combat that, he disciplined himself to preach several

times in a row using little humor.
Haddon Robinson suggests if we realize we are using humor that doesn't

serve the truth, we need to forgo it for a time. "If I'm addicted to

it, that means I'm going to tell it for its own sake, or my sake, or

the audience's sake, but not for the sake of the truth." "Humour is

legitimate," says John Stott. "Nevertheless, we have to be sparing in

our use of it and judicious in the topics we select for laughter."

(Between Two Worlds, p. 288)
Inappropriate humor has no place Certain subjects must never be

approached in a joking manner. Stories that make fun of a person's

weight, ethnicity, age, political views, or physical limitations are

off limits. Sexual innuendos, foolishness, what - Ephesians

5:4 - Ephesians 5:4} calls "coarse jesting," are unacceptable.
Sacred things cannot be mentioned in any humorous context without

great care. The rite of baptism and the celebration of the Lord's

Table should almost always be avoided as topics of humor. Haddon

Robinson notes "the most humorous things happen when we are trying to

be the most serious." Before mentioning any of those things from the

pulpit, you must be sure you aren't "making light of something God

takes seriously."
I heard a preacher tell about visiting a woman in her mobile home in

an attempt to share the good news. In a single story, he managed to

demean baptism, poverty, evangelism, and obesity.


It is unlikely that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit should ever be

invoked in a comedic context. We should not use humor that confirms

stereotypes about God, treats him casually, or otherwise portrays him

inaccurately.


Some humor that references God can be acceptable. For example, Ken

Davis tells about a burglar who breaks into a home only to hear a

voice in the darkness saying, "I see you, and Jesus sees you too."

After discovering the voice belongs to a parrot, the robber goes to

silence the bird, then spots a huge, snarling Doberman next to the

cage. At that point the parrot says, "Sic him, Jesus." Davis walks a

fine line here, but uses the story effectively by pointing out that

this is how many people view God, as ferocious and ready to attack at

the first wrong step.
Beware of putting the "ick" in comical. Author and speaker Fred Smith

uses as a guideline the old saying "While the audience laughed, the

angels cried." Smith says one test of appropriate humor is "Do the

angels laugh too?"


Guided by these cautions, the preacher can be confident that humor can

have an important place in the sermon. Phillips Brooks in his Lectures

on Preaching called humor "one of the most helpful qualities that the

preacher can possess"; and John Stott said, "We should press it

[humor] gladly into service in the cause of the gospel." (Between Two

Worlds, 292) What the preacher must strive for is humor that is

appropriate in topic, timing, and purpose.

\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/whyseprusehu.html

Pt 2
Discernment for light moments with a weighty purpose.

An article by John Henry Beukema

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‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

This is part two in a four‑part series.


Phillips Brooks in his Lectures on Preaching called humor "one of the

most helpful qualities that the preacher can possess"; and John Stott

said, "We should press it [humor] gladly into service in the cause of

the gospel." (Between Two Worlds, 292) Let's look at nine benefits

that lead serious preachers like these to use humor.
Humor overcomes defenses
John Ortberg says he uses humor for the same reason a surgeon uses

anesthesia: not to put people to sleep, but to prepare and enable them

to receive painful truth they need. Hearers try to defend themselves

against hard truth, and humor can smuggle that truth past their

resistance and automatic defenses. "No other means can so quickly

break the ice, relax inhibitions, and create an attitude of

expectancy." (James Cox, Preaching, 186)
Ortberg says a fast turn from humor to seriousness "catches people off

guard, and all of a sudden you're in much deeper than what they were

expecting." He gives this example:

Many years ago, early on in our marriage, my wife and I sold our

Volkswagen Beetle to buy our first really nice piece of furniture. It

was a sofa. It was a pink sofa, but for that kind of money, it was

called a mauve sofa. The man at the sofa store told us all about how

to take care of it, and we took it home.


We had very small children in those days, and does anybody want to

guess what was the Number One Rule in our house from that day on?

"Don't sit on the mauve sofa! Don't play near the mauve sofa! Don't

eat around the mauve sofa! Don't touch the mauve sofa! Don't breathe

on the mauve sofa! Don't think about the mauve sofa! On every other

chair in the house, you may freely sit, but on this sofaCthe mauve

sofaCyou may not sit, for on the day you sit thereon, you will surely

die!"
And then one day came the "Fall." There appeared on the mauve sofa a

stain...a red stain...a red jelly stain. My wife called the man at the

sofa factory, and he told her how bad that was. So she assembled our

three children to look at the stain on the sofa. Laura, who then was

about 4, and Mallory, who was about 2Â2, and Johnny, who was maybe 6

months. She said, "Children, do you see that? That's a stain. That's a

red stain. That's a red jelly stain. And the man at the sofa store



says it's not coming out, not for all eternity. Do you know how long

eternity is, children? Eternity is how long we're all going to sit

here until one of you tells me which one of you put the red jelly

stain on the mauve sofa."


For a long time they all just sat there until finally Mallory cracked.

I knew she would. She said, "Laura did it." Laura said, "No I didn't."

Then it was dead silence for the longest time. And I knew that none of

them would confess putting the stain on the sofa, because they had

never seen their mom that mad in their lives. I knew none of them was

going to confess putting the stain on the sofa, because they knew if

they did, they would spend all of eternity in the "Time Out Chair." I

knew that none of them would confess putting the stain on the sofa,

because in fact, I was the one who put the stain on the sofa, and I

wasn't sayin' nuthin'! Not a word!

Ortberg turns from that to say, "Here's the truth about us. We've all

stained the sofa." The humor opened people's hearts, enabling Ortberg

to talk about the serious subjects of sin, guilt, and a holy God.
Fred Smith calls this aspect of humor "lubricating the needle."
Humor relieves tension
John Ortberg talks about the art of tension management. Communicators

gifted at motivation or conviction are able to discern how much

tension the audience can tolerate. Too much tension, and hearers start

to pull away emotionally. So humor can be a pressure release that

keeps people engaged. But we must fight the urge to use humor to

relieve the tension prematurely. Ortberg says, "We often underestimate

how much tension people are able to tolerate, and we underestimate the

use of tension in producing change."


Humor heightens interest
Gaining the attention of a congregation and then holding their

interest is probably the most common reason speakers use humor. John

Ortberg feels that the engagement of the audience can be discerned by

the sounds in the roomCfoot shuffling, coughing, and rustling. When

the noise level gets too high, spontaneous humor can often regain the

attention of those whose minds have wandered. Ortberg also

intentionally injects humor when a section of a sermon has a high

information quotient.




Humor shows our humanity
Ken Davis likes the definition of humor as "a gentle way to

acknowledge human frailty." Preachers must communicate as real people

and not "wholly other" creatures. Humor conveys that perhaps better

than anything else. Phillips Brooks declared, "There is no

extravagance which deforms the pulpit which would not be modified and

repressed, often entirely obliterated, if the minister had a true

sense of humor." (Lectures on Preaching, p. 57)
If preaching is "a man uttering truth through his own personality," as

Brooks described it, then for many the absence of humor would be a

denial of who they are. It would be as unnatural to remove all humor

from their speech as it would be to eliminate voice inflection. Says

author Warren Wiersbe, "The whole man must be in the pulpit, and if

this includes a sense of humor, then so be it." (Walking with the

Giants, p. 197, emphasis original)
Humor expresses the joy of the Lord
John Ortberg sees joy as a large component of Scripture, the church,

and the experience of being present for the preaching of God's Word.

One way we express that joy is in laughter. The willingness of a

preacher and congregation to laugh together is a healthy sign of

spiritual vitality. Thomas Long implies that laughter indicates good

theology. "Because God in Christ has broken the power of sin and

death, Christian congregations and their preachers are free to laugh

at themselves." (The Witness of Preaching, p. 16)


Humor establishes a connection between the speaker and the audience
A friend of John Ortberg's visits different churches in his capacity

as a church consultant. After listening to many different sermons, the

consultant observed that a sense of connection between a preacher and

the congregation most often came at the first moment of laughter in a

message. Ortberg himself feels humor is a part of who he is, so using

it makes him comfortable and helps establish a relationship with

listeners.
Humor encourages a sense of community
John Ortberg believes that outward expressions of joy and humor have

"the capacity to create a sense of community." Beyond the relationship



that humor establishes between speaker and listener, it also sparks

something among the people themselves. There is a shared experience

that engenders warm feelings. Humor is one way to help break people

out of the isolation that comes from sitting in a congregation of

strangers, enabling them to feel part of something bigger than

themselves.


Humor draws attention to the truth
Spurgeon advised his preaching students to "be so thoroughly solemn

that all your faculties are aroused and consecrated, and then a dash

of humour will only add intenser gravity to the discourse, even as a

flash of lightning makes midnight darkness all the more impressive."

(Lectures to My Students, p. 189) It is in the flash of humor that

truth can sometimes be most clearly seen.


That was my purpose in using this Paul Harvey story.
The Butterball company set up a Thanksgiving hotline to answer

questions about cooking turkeys. One woman asked if she could use a

turkey that had been in the bottom of her freezer for23 years. You

heard me, 23 years. The Butterball expertChow's that for a job

titleCtold her it would probably be safe if the freezer had been below

zero the entire time. The expert then warned her that even if the

turkey was safe to eat, the flavor would likely have deteriorated and

wouldn't be worth eating. The woman said, "That's what I thought.

We'll give the turkey to our church."
After the laughter subsided, I said, "Sin first shows itself in what

you give God."


Ken Davis says, "Laughter helps people see the darkness of their

hearts."
Humor is one language of our culture


Our society craves humor. People love to laugh, and they spend

incalculable amounts of money seeking to be entertained. As

missionaries to this culture, humor aids in presenting the message in

a way people understand. A church or sermon devoid of laughter may not

be seen as real.
John Ortberg feels that laughter communicates to those outside the


church that this is a place where "they speak my language," a place

that has a connection point with today's world.


\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/whyseprusehu1.html


Humor ‑ Why Serious Preacher3

Why Serious Preachers Use Humor
Pt3
Discernment for light moments with a weighty purpose.

An article by John Henry Beukema

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‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

This is part three in a four‑part series.
Phillips Brooks in his Lectures on Preaching called humor "one of the

most helpful qualities that the preacher can possess"; and John Stott

said, "We should press [humor] gladly into service in the cause of the

gospel." Let's look at six characteristics of effective humor.


Have a purpose
John Ortberg believes that since "the ultimate goal of preaching is to

have Christ formed in people," humor must always be the servant of the

message. If humor does nothing to forward that purpose, then the

preacher must be willing to jettison it from the sermon. Haddon

Robinson says the "cardinal rule of humor is it must serve the truth."

One indication of this is when your audience thinks of the story they

think of the truth that lies behind it.
Of the many benefits of humor listed above, some advantages may not be

sufficient justification for its inclusion. Humor must serve the

greater purpose. We should ask questions such as, In what way does

this contribute to the point being made? How will this enable people



to hear the truth? Why does this story deserve time in this message?

Ken Davis says, "The purpose should be that this humor illustrates a

point, clarifies a point, draws people's attention to a point that is

going to take them one step closer to the cross."


Effective humor will be entertaining, and there is nothing wrong with

that. Entertainment is wrong when it becomes the objective or becomes

an end in itself. We can cross the line into that simply by our

timing. John Ortberg suggests that when we rush to relieve tension

through humor, it indicates a self‑esteem issue. Our inability to wait

for tension to have its greatest spiritual effect may be because we

are too anxious for people to like us. When the preacher is concerned

with keeping people happy, truth‑telling has been compromised.


Be neither offensive nor innocuous
Preaching will always offend someone. The solution is not bland

speech. Instead, we must strictly monitor those things we intend to be

funny. Ask yourself who might consider this offensive and know that

your own sensitivities are not always trustworthy.


One high profile speaker told a news story that involved the attempted

electrocution of a pig. The speaker told this with glee, even the part

where two farmers ended up dead, one was critically injured, and the

pig was unharmed. I've learned the hard way that any story involving

the endangerment of an animal should only be used with extreme

caution. The problem with this story was not that it didn't serve the

messageCbelieve it or not, it did. But the real loss of human life

should not be a source of casual mirth. The contribution the story

made to the point was overshadowed by its insensitivity.
Humor used in the pulpit should not make someone cringe. Hurtful humor

can be damaging even if it does not offend the "victim." Ken Davis

warns that the preacher may good‑naturedly rib a friend, but others

don't know this comes out of friendship and take offense for that

other person.
Be selective
John Ortberg says the laws of humor are the same as the laws of real

estateClocation, location, location. The right story must come at the

right time in the message. Fred Smith believes in using it like good

spice, "permeating the whole," but there are moments when humor should



be avoided. Ortberg speaks of times when there was a tender spirit in

the room, and he realized something humorous he intended to say might

disrupt that spirit. Discipline is needed "because there's something

else going on that's more important than humor."


Fred Smith writes, "Humor should be used to sharpen the truth, not

dull it." This is a determining factor in the placement of humor. It

must not only be in the right place in the message but in the right

message. In the rush to use something good, we must resist the urge to

wedge it in where it does not belong. Ortberg says, "When it really

fits, it's going to accomplish much more good. I have to discipline

myself, wait, and save it for that time."
Be self‑deprecating without becoming self‑centered
Humor can be an expression of humility if the speaker is secure enough

to poke fun at himself. Haddon Robinson writes, "We like people who

laugh at themselves, because they are saying, 'What I'm talking about

is very serious, but I don't take myself too seriously.'" (Mastering

Contemporary Preaching, p. 134) When the speaker is the butt of the

joke, this lowers the defenses of listeners even further to the

scalpel of truth.
In a sermon from , I challenged the congregation to pray impossible

prayers. I said I myself was trying to grow in that area. I told of

four impossible prayers I had once prayed for daily. Eventually I

concluded the answer to the first two prayers was "No," the answer to

number three was "Not yet," and prayer number four I gave up on

entirely. I said:

I quit my impossible prayer. What a great prayer warrior I am. But in

these last few weeks my wife has had four amazing answers to prayer,

at least two of which were impossible. One was the exact request I'd

given up on. She can pray, she can preachCI think you've got the wrong

one of us as pastor.

People appreciated that little insight more than I could have

imagined. My wife thought highly of the story also.
The caution is we should watch that we don't talk about ourselves too

much. Ken Davis says to take care "that the word self doesn't become a

huge part of our messages."


Practice but be open to spontaneity
John Ortberg warns, "Worse than having no humor at all is forcing

humor that isn't funny."


To avoid that, Ken Davis says humor is a tool we must practice with to

learn to operate well. He believes with a little work, just about

anything can be funny. Preachers need to look at something that made

them chuckle and figure out why it struck them as funny. When that

lesson is understood, we can learn to present stories in a way that

will produce the same response from our audience.


Practice ways not to introduce stories with "A funny thing happened to

me the other day." Practice the flow of stories on one or two people

until the timing and wording is honed. Humor comes less from what you

say than from how you say it.


Practice should not preclude spontaneous humor, which can sometimes be

the most effective.


A family in our church was moving. The husband told me he was only

known in the church as "Kim's husband" because she was so involved and

he traveled so much. She would be greatly missed, but he doubted we

would know he was gone. With his permission I told that story during a

sermon from about significance. I repeated our conversation and began

to emphasize his great worth to his family and church. It started to

get emotional. Suddenly a thought hit me and I said, "Now if somebody

could point this guy out to me" The room went nuts.


Take care, though; these unplanned additions are also the most

dangerous because you have only moments to filter and evaluate what

you are going to say.
Observe daily life
Humor flowing from life experiences always trumps jokes with punch

lines. Jokes are what Ken Davis calls high‑risk humor. If a joke dies,

everyone knows it, and the point may die with it. When a personal

story doesn't elicit the laugh you thought it would, it still

maintains the power to illustrate the point. That's why Davis calls

this low risk humor and suggests this is where someone trying to learn

to be more humorous should begin. So avoid joke books and pay more

attention to what is going on around you.



John Ortberg says, "The best kind of humor is observational humor,

humor that flows out of the incongruities of life and the way life

works." Haddon Robinson talks about the power of humor that is "an

observation about life that causes me to laugh and at the same time

gives me insight."
There is no lack of material. "Life's experiences bring more humor

than you could ever use in a million years," says Ken Davis. Preachers

need to be aware of how everyday things can be funnyCeven those things

that were not funny at the time. Davis tells a story about a minor car

accident that set off the air bag. He says TV doesn't tell you the

truth when they picture the air bag coming out like a salvation

marshmallow. In his experience the impact painfully bloodied his nose.

Davis turns the painful incident into a riotously funny story.


\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/whyseprusehu2.html


Pt 4
Discernment for light moments with a weighty purpose.

An article by John Henry Beukema

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‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

This is part four in a four‑part series.


This week we look at seven more characteristics of effective humor.
Focus on a common truth
Talk about experiences others identify with. Ken Davis ties into a

common feeling among men with this observation:





There's proof in the Mall of America that men weren't supposed to

shop. The proof is the 180 miles of benches, and there are no women on

those benches, only men. I saw an 80‑or 90‑year‑old guy with cobwebs

hanging from his head. The sad part was that he wasn't 90 when he went

into the mall.

Humor based on truth, then in this case exaggerated, gets people

nodding and laughing in agreement. It may be something overlooked by

the average person until you focus on it.


Be yourself
While Ortberg and Davis agree that we must work at humor, especially

those of us who are not naturally funny, nevertheless we shouldn't try

to become someone we are not. Humor must fit our personality and

style. Haddon Robinson says, "If you don't do it within conversation,

you are wise to avoid it in public."
While Ortberg and Davis agree that we must work at humor, especially

those of us who are not naturally funny, nevertheless we shouldn't try

to become someone we are not. Humor must fit our personality and

style. Haddon Robinson says, "If you don't do it within conversation,

you are wise to avoid it in public."
While Ortberg and Davis agree that we must work at humor, especially

those of us who are not naturally funny, nevertheless we shouldn't try

to become someone we are not. Humor must fit our personality and

style. Haddon Robinson says, "If you don't do it within conversation,

you are wise to avoid it in public."
Ken Davis says, "It's important to know your own style and ability. My

tendency is to be way out there." But Davis admires comedian Steven

Wright, who speaks slowly and unemotionally. He simply puts together

truths that are rarely observed. For example, Wright points out that

if you drop a buttered piece of toast, it will always fall butter side

down. And if you drop a cat, he will always land on his feet. "So the

other day I tied a piece of buttered toast to my cat's back."
If Steven Wright tried to act like Robin Williams, it wouldn't work.

But he delivers lines in a way that fits his personality, and it's

hilarious. Davis says, "Humor isn't necessarily that 'lay on the floor

and laugh till you're sick' kind of thing. Sometimes it's just a

comment that makes people smile and think, Man, that is so true.

That's humor."



Be gracious
Poking fun at someone other than yourself is a minefield. Sometimes

speakers feel that an infamous celebrity is fair game. That

celebrity's lifestyle is so out of line with biblical morality that

the speaker thinks little of holding that person up for ridicule.

Haddon Robinson uses this guideline, "If that person was sitting in

the front row when I made the remark, would they feel it was a cheap

shot?"
Humor that is suitable for preaching tears down no one, no matter how

justifiable it feels. If a celebrity or anyone the hearer appreciates

is mocked, the point being made is lost. "Let your conversation be

always full of grace, seasoned with salt," ( - Colossians

4:6 - Colossians 4:6}).
Be honest about exaggeration
Exaggeration is legitimate in humor, and using hyperbole does not

cause hearers to stop taking us seriously if we signal to hearers that

we are using humor. Ken Davis says, "It's important to maintain

integrity." He says at some point there needs to be something like a

wink to the audience. Davis says that with his gestures and tone he

becomes bigger than life. This clues in the audience that he's telling

the story bigger than it actually happened. He suggests there may be a

need to say, "You know it didn't happen quite that way," or to roll

your eyes.
Preachers get themselves into trouble when they insist that a story is

true when it exceeds the bounds of reality. To qualify with the words,

"I don't know if this story is true," doesn't take away anything from

it and gives the audience permission to have fun rather trying to

determine the veracity of the speaker.
Keep the surprise
Introducing something funny by calling it funny is disastrous. It's

harder to surprise people. For some people an automatic resistance

kicks in. They cross their arms and think, I'll be the judge of that.

The story had better be funny, or the speaker is climbing out of a

deep hole for the rest of the talk.
Credit sources


Nothing dampens the effectiveness of humor more surely or our

credibility more quickly than presenting someone else's humor as our

own or someone else's experience as our own.
Giving proper credit does not take away from the enjoyment of the

story. I once told a Ken Davis story in a sermon. I acknowledged him

at the beginning, and everyone still laughed hard. Afterward a number

of people mentioned to me they had heard the story before. Had I

failed to give credit, I would have paid for it.
Transition carefully between what is serious and what is light
John Ortberg believes it is much easier to transition from light, fun

material to serious issues like guilt and sin than it is to move in

the other direction.
Ken Davis gives this example of a sudden shift from light to serious:

I read the response of children to what they thought love was. One

little child thought love was when "a boy puts on cologne and a girl

puts on perfume, and then they go on a date and smell each other." One

little girl said, "I think love is when my grandma can't move anymore;

she's in a wheelchair, and my grandpa clips her toenails even when he

has arthritis, and he can't move his hands."

When going from seriousness to humor, in general we should do so

gradually, in a step‑by‑step process. Otherwise, Ortberg says, "I'm

going to trivialize everything I've been saying." A sacred moment will

be intruded upon and lost.
An unexpected benefit of a humorous story
In a sermon on the supremacy of Christ, I used my personal feelings

humorously to make a serious point. I said weddings are my least

favorite pastoral duty. There was nervous laughter. I said I felt that

way because so much could go wrong. I feared two outcomes: the mother

of the bride would hate me, or I would end up on America's Funniest

Home Videos.


I went on. As a pastor in training I'd been warned about

photographers. They were the enemy, seeking to disrupt every ceremony.

It didn't take long for me to see this was no idle threat.

Photographers ran up and down center aisles, blinded us with flashes,



and whispered stage directions during the vows. The worst was the guy

who got on his hands and knees and crawled behind the choir rail. I

heard him scurrying along behind me, and then every few feet he would

pop his head over the rail and snap a few pictures.


I acted all this out. It was a riot. I concluded with these words.

The way I see it, weddings are the legal, spiritual, public joining

together of two lives. They are not primarily a photo opportunity.

Someday I'm going to grab one of those photographers by the throat and

scream, "It's not about you." You came here today with something on

your mind. Maybe you were consumed with your plans, struggling with

loneliness, anxious about your marriage, or worried about money. These

concerns are all secondary. The gospel shouts, "It's all about Jesus."

This proved to be a powerful story. "It's all about Jesus" is a

popular theme in our church. And I'm asked to do fewer weddings.

\webpage{http://pttranscripts.stores.yahoo.net/whyseprusehu3.html

<><
Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know

- 9/2011.101


Sermon‑Blessings & Honor
Blessed 2 B A Blessing

- Genesis 12:2 (NIV) - Genesis 12:2 NIV} "I will make you

into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Mighty (Power) Words



Mandate of Blessing and Honor

Methods of Blessings and Honor (Elements of a Blessing)


1. 1. Mighty (Power) Words

* God said Y and created. - Genesis 1:3 - Genesis 1:3},

- 6 - Genesis 1:6}, - 9 - Genesis 1:9},

- 11 - Genesis 1:11}, - 14 - Genesis 1:14},

- 20 - Genesis 1:20}, - 24 - Genesis 1:24},

- 26 - Genesis 1:26}. Built Up.

God calledYand it was good ‑ - Genesis 1:10 - Genesis 1:10

Identified.

God blessed ‑ - Genesis 1:22 - Genesis 1:22},

- 28 - Genesis 1:28} Multiplied.

* Jesus ‑ - John 1:1 NIV - John 1:1 NIV

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the

Word was God ( - John 1:1 NIV) - John 1:1 NIV

- Luke 7:2 - Luke 7:2} centurion 7 say in a word...my servant

shall be healed

Doctor B Fear or Freedom

Umpire ‑ Win or Lose

Judge ‑ Free or Imprisoned

* God's Word ‑ - Jeremiah 23:29 - Jeremiah 23:29

Build up, tear down, burn or warm?

* Words In The Home

Finish this... "Sticks and stones may break my bones but...."

Finish this song...

Oh, Give Me a Home

Where the Buffalo Roam

And the Deer

and the Antelope Play

Where Seldom Is HeardY

Today? An EncouragingY
* Magnetism B Words Attract or Repel?

- Colossians 4:6 (KJV) - Colossians 4:6 KJV} Let your speech



be alway with grace, seasoned with salt...

Salt Creates Thirst Do We Make People Thirsty for Jesus?

- Matthew 5:6 (KJV) - Matthew 5:6 KJV} Blessed are they

which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be

filled.

* People Could Be Won by Your Words (Lifestyle)

- 1 Peter 3:1 (KJV) - 1 Peter 3:1 KJV} Likewise, ye wives,

be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word,

they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the

wives;


* Death and Life ‑ - Proverbs 18:21 - Proverbs 18:21 -

- Proverbs 10:11 - Proverbs 10:11

Death and life are in the power of the tongueY.

( - Proverbs 18:21 - Proverbs 18:21}).

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of lifeY

( - Proverbs 10:11 NIV) - Proverbs 10:11 NIV}.

* Negative Words ‑ - Ps. 57:4 - Psalms 57:4 -

- 64:3 - Psalms 64:3 - - Ps. 140:3 - Psalms 140:3 -

- Jer. 9:3 - Jeremiah 9:3 - - Jer. 9:8 - Jeremiah

9:8 - - Hos. 7:16 - Hosea 7:16

cut like a sword ( - Ps. 57:4 - Psalms 57:4 -

- 64:3 - Psalms 64:3})

be as dangerous and poisonous as a snake ( - Ps.

140:3 - Psalms 140:3})

convey lies with the impact of a bow ( - Jer. 9:3 - Jeremiah

9:3})


strike down other people like an arrow ( - Jer. 9:8 - Jeremiah

9:8})


leaders could fall because of the tongue ( - Hos. 7:16 - Hosea

7:16})


Big trees fall, destroys MANY small trees.

Discuss #1: What "Words" have changed/shaped your life? What words

have been shared (older to younger ‑ ALL), that have stayed with you

all your life?

Example: HEC ‑ Mom said, "One day, you are going to be a doctor." (As

I reflect, I believe she meant at the time a doctor of medicine, many

years later, I became of doctor of ministry.)

5 Minutes




2. Mandate of Blessing and Honor

* Bless, Not Curse ‑ - 1 Peter 3:9 - 1 Peter 3:9

We Are Called to Bless and Not Curse

- 1 Peter 3:9 (NIV) - 1 Peter 3:9 NIV} Do not repay evil

with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this

you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

* Blessing ‑ (G2129 eulogia, yoo‑log‑ee'‑ah) is where we get our word

"eulogy" ‑ to speak well of.

* Bless, Not Curse ‑ - James 3:9‑10 - James 3:9‑10

- James 3:9 (NIV) - James 3:9 NIV} With the tongue we praise

our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in

God's likeness.

10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this

should not be.


We Are to Bless and Honor...

* Marked by God ‑ Reflect Christian Character Traits (What gets

praise, acknowledged, gets done.) Not what the world honors ‑

beauty, brains, brawns & bucks


adventurous, affectionate, attentive, calm, careful, cheerful,

confident, considerate, courageous, daring, dependable, determined,

easygoing, efficient, encouraging, fair, faithful, fearless, fierce,

friendly, gentle, giving, good, graceful, grateful, happy, helpful,

honest, hopeful, humorous, imaginative, industrious, innocent, kind,

loving, loyal, mature, nice, obedient, patient, peaceful, pleasant,

polite, positive, quick, quiet, rational, reliable, respectful,

responsible, satisfied, sharp, skillful, stubborn (in a good way),

sweet, talented, thankful, thoughtful, tolerant, trusting,

trustworthy, useful, warm (PICK 1 B 2, Note)

* Mature ‑ Seniors

- Leviticus 19:32 (KJV) - Leviticus 19:32 KJV} Thou shalt

rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and

fear thy God: I am the LORD. (NIV) "'Rise in the presence of the

aged, show respect for the elderly... (NASB) 'You shall rise up

before the grayheaded, and honor the aged...

Do we do this today? Yes!

When the judge enters the courtroom B We stand. The President. People

of honor.


* Magnifiers ‑ Those That Honor God ‑ - 1 Samuel 2:30 - 1

Samuel 2:30

- 1 Samuel 2:30 (NIV) - 1 Samuel 2:30 NIV} ...the LORD ...

Declares ... Those who honor me I will honor...


* Ministers ‑ Leaders ‑ - 1 Thes 5:12‑13 - 1 Thessalonians

5:12‑13}.

- 1 Thes 5:12 - 1 Thessalonians 5:12} Yknow them which labour

among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 (NIV)

Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work....

Those who are ‑ Marvelous, Mastery, Matchless, Memorable, Mighty,

Monumental ‑ We bless them by expressing gratitude for them

( - Rom. 1:8 - Romans 1:8 - - 1 Cor. 1:4 - 1

Corinthians 1:4 - - 2 Cor. 1:11 - 2 Corinthians 1:11 -

- Phil. 1:3‑5 - Philippians 1:3‑5 - - Col.

1:3‑6 - Colossians 1:3‑6 - - 2 Thess. 1:3 - 2 Thessalonians

1:3}).


Remember ‑ Respond B Respect. Discover, Develop, Deploy (gifts).

See bobbyclinton.com.

* Motivate to Receive the Gospel

Before you give the Gospel

Jesus' ODD Style of Ministry ‑ Think 5, 7, 9

- Luke 10:5 - Luke 10:5} Bless

And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this

house.


- Luke 10:7 - Luke 10:7} Fellowship

And in the same house remain, eating and drinking Y.

- Luke 10:9 - Luke 10:9} Meet Their Needs ‑ Allow the Divine

to Work. (Opens their heart.)

And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them,

The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.


* Mistake ‑ Do Not Honor Self

Let another praise thee.

- Proverbs 27:2 (NIV) - Proverbs 27:2 NIV} Let another

praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own

lips.

You can't be the hero of every story you tell.



- 2 Corinthians 4:5 (KJV) - 2 Corinthians 4:5 KJV} For we

preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your

servants for Jesus' sake.


Who is the hero? Jesus!

Frog, 2 Birds, backpack

Discuss #2: Of the Many Mandates, What Speaks to You and Why? Can

You Think of Other Biblical Mandates That Would Motivate Someone to

Bless and Honor More? What Christian Characteristic Could You

Example: Cheerful ‑ Joy of the Lord.‑ Kindness ‑ Fruit of the Spirit

in Your Life.
3. 3. Methods of Blessings and Honor (Elements of a Blessing)

* Management ‑ Spirit Led ‑ the Test ‑ Does it Edify? Exhort? Comfort?

- 1 Corinthians 14:3 (KJV) - 1 Corinthians 14:3 KJV} But he

that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation,

and comfort.

No Prophets of Doom. The Gospel ‑ Good News!

* Moms & Dads ‑ Naturally Bless Their Children

10,000 Teachers, few Fathers & Mothers

- 1 Corinthians 4:15 (KJV) - 1 Corinthians 4:15 KJV} For

though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not

many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the

gospel.


Who spoke to their children ‑ BEFORE giving birth?!? (What did you

say?) (Me/Banjo.)

- 1 Corinthians 15:49 - 1 Corinthians 15:49 -

- Phil 4:9 - Philippians 4:9 - - 1 Cor4:16 - 1

Corinthians 4:16 - - 1 Cor 11:1 - 1 Corinthians 11:1 -

- Phil 3:17 - Philippians 3:17 - - 1 Thes 1:6 - 1

Thessalonians 1:6}.

- 1 Corinthians 15:49 - 1 Corinthians 15:49} And as we have

borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the

heavenly.

WE MUST CHANGE ‑

Malleable ‑ Be Shaped in His Image

- 1 Cor 15:31 - 1 Corinthians 15:31} die daily

- Jn 3:30 - John 3:30} He increase I decrease

- Eph 4:13 - Ephesians 4:13} perfect man ‑ measure ‑

stature Christ

- Phil 4:9 - Philippians 4:9} Those thingsYseen in me, do:

and the God of peace shall be with you.

- 1 Cor4:16 NIV - 1 Corinthians 4:16 NIV}Yimitate me.

- 1 Cor 11:1 - 1 Corinthians 11:1} Be ye followers of me,

even as I also am of Christ.

- Phil 3:17 NIV - Philippians 3:17 NIV}Join with others in

following my exampleYlive according to the pattern we gave you.


- 1 Thes 1:6 NIV - 1 Thessalonians 1:6 NIV}You became

imitators of us and of the LordY


Mask‑less ‑ Not Wearing a Mask (Moses) - 2 Cor 3:7 - 2

Corinthians 3:7}. - 2 Timothy 1:5 - 2 Timothy 1:5} unfeigned

faith

Paul & Timothy ‑ Son in the Lord ‑ - 1 Timothy 1:2 - 1



Timothy 1:2}, - 2 Timothy 1:2 - 2 Timothy 1:2}. Paul &

- Titus ‑ Titus 1:4 - Titus 1:1‑4}. - 2 Timothy

2:2 - 2 Timothy 2:2}, - Joel 1:3 - Joel 1:3}.

- 1 Timothy 1:2 - 1 Timothy 1:2} ... Timothy, my own son in

the faith...

- 2 Timothy 1:2 - 2 Timothy 1:2} ... Timothy, my dearly

beloved son...

Paul & - Titus ‑ Titus 1:4 (NIV) - Titus 1:1‑4 NIV} To

Titus, my true son in our common faithY

- 2 Timothy 2:2 - 2 Timothy 2:2} Paul, Timothy, faithful men,

others Y

- Joel 1:3 - Joel 1:3} Tell Ychildren, Ychildren tell it to

their children, and their children to the next generation.
* Mantles ‑ Elijah to Elisha ‑ - 1 Kings 19:19 - 1 Kings

19:19}.


What Are You Passionate About?

What Are You Passing On?

Who Are You Passing it on To?

Bill Walsh‑NFL

* Move To Touch ‑ - Matthew 19:15 - Matthew 19:15},

- Matthew 8:3 - Matthew 8:3}, - Romans 16:16 - Romans

16:16 -

The people brought the children to Jesus "to touch them"

( - Matthew 19:15 - Matthew 19:15}).

Jesus touched lepers ( - Matthew 8:3 - Matthew 8:3}).

The "holy kiss" was mentioned four times ( - Romans

16:16 - Romans 16:16 - - 1 Corinthians 16:20 - 1 Corinthians

16:20 - - 2 Corinthians 13:12 - 2 Corinthians 13:12 -

- 1 Thessalonians 5:26 - 1 Thessalonians 5:26}).

This was acceptance, a sign of mutual affection and fellowship. We

use the handshake of western society.

* Money, Time, Resources ‑

- 1 Timothy 5:17 (KJV) - 1 Timothy 5:17 KJV} Let the elders

that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who

labour in the word and doctrine.



Honor B (G5092, time, tee‑may) money, pay, valuables.

Same word ‑ - 1 Peter 3:7 - 1 Peter 3:7} Likewise, ye

husbands... giving honour unto the wife...

Remember B We are Rivers ‑ Not Reservoirs

Blessings & Honor

Mighty (Power) Words (God, Jesus, Word, Home, Magnetism ‑ Attract or

Repel, Death and Life)

Mandate (Bless not curse, Marked by God‑Christian Character Traits,

Mature B Seniors, Magnifiers‑Those That Honor God, Motivate to Receive

the Gospel)

Methods ‑ Elements of a Blessing (Management ‑ Spirit Led, Moms &

Dads, Mantles, Move To Touch, Money, Time, Resources)


<><
Listen to Paul's Blessing... (As He Writes His Letters)

Beloved of God, God Loves You So Much. You Are His Chosen People

- Romans 1:7 (KJV) - Romans 1:7 KJV} To all that be in Rome,

beloved of God, (NLT loved by God ) (HEC ‑ God loves you SO much)

called to be saints: (NLT ‑ called to be his own holy people) (HEC ‑

He's counting on you to be His holy people.)

I Thank God for You, for Your Faith. I Pray for You Always. I So Want

to See You. I Want to Give to You.

( - Romans 1:8 - Romans 1:8} First, I thank my God through

Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the

whole world. (NASB) because your faith is being proclaimed throughout

the whole world. - Romans 1:9 - Romans 1:9} Yw ithout ceasing

I make mention of you always in my prayers; - Romans 1:11

(KJV) - Romans 1:11 KJV} For I long to see you, that I may impart

unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established)
Discuss #3: In Prayer tonight, what "Blessing" would you like for

someone to pray with you? What do you want to pass on? What CAN NOT

die with you? What blessing have you received B now you want to pass

it on?
Dr. H. E. Cardin

TCCOGOP@aol.com

www.TomlinsonCenter.Com

September 17, 2011, Phoenix, AZ, Generations Conference, Grace

Community Church



/mPastors

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The Pastor's Job DescriptionCElder, Shepherd & Bishop
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a

witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory

that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you,

taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not

for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over

God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief

Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth

not away"


(1 Peter 5:1B4 KJV).
Here is the pastor's job description:
Introduction:
KEY‑ Session I: elder, shepherd, bishop, maturity, ministry,

management, genuine experience, glowing enthusiasm, godly example,

fade away, strive for.
You are an _______________, a ____________________ and a

_______________. ( Elder, Shepherd, Bishop )


The word Elder speaks of _______________. ( maturity)
The word Shepherd speaks of _______________. ( ministry)
The word Bishop speaks of ____________________. ( management ‑

overseer)

(Not a noun but the verb ‑ to overseer

The pastor's is the greatest calling and the worst profession. Don't

do it for money.
Introduction
I. The pastor's solemn requirements


1. The pastor is to be a man of _______________

____________________. ( genuine experience)

Elder, witness, partaker of the glory.
2. The pastor is to be a man of _______________

_____________________. ( glowing enthusiasm) v2, willingly, not for

lucre ‑ ready mind

Strike oil or stop Boring

Abe Lincoln ‑ bees

3. The pastor is to be a man of _______________

_____________________. ( godly example ) v3, not lords but examples.

You may not be sin‑less but blame‑less

WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 8
II. The pastor's sure reward

"And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of

glory that fadeth not awayY" ( - 1 Peter 5:4 KJV) - 1 Peter 5:4

KJV}.
1. Your reward will be a crown that does not __________

_____________. ( ) (Fade away)

Pastor ‑ Flood, praying, God said ‑ I was going to burn it anyway.
2. The honors and laurels of this world are temporal. Be careful what

you ____________

_________. ( ) (strive for)
Introduction

Page 9


session ICNotes & thoughts:
The Pastor As Elder

Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 12
The Pastor As Elder

Session II


02. The Pastor's Personal Integrity
KEY ‑ Session II: blameless, character, undivided, hide, fear,

Emotional, heart, Intellectual, mind, Volitional, will, negative,

self‑willed, uncontrolled temper, uncontrolled appetites, violent,

greedy, positive, Hospitable, good, Self‑controlled, Upright, Holy,

Disciplined.

Session III: choice, right choices, wrong thing, Praying, Preaching,

evaluate, eliminate, delegate, family, Faithfulness, Love.

Session IV B Part One: at home, equality, faith, roles, privilege,

responsibility, equals, covenant, contentment, little, bitterness,

hellish, human, heavenly, communication, disintegrate, skills,

self‑centered, Bitterness, Distractions, Fear, insecurity, roof,

walls, Busyness, sensitive, self‑centeredness, put right, fun, plans,

four dates, God, kids, yourself, mate, romance, courtship.

Session IV B Part Two: leadership, example, firm, fun, fair, family

worship, house of God, prayer.

Session V: avoid sexual sin, Spirit, own marriage, priority, flesh,

unexpected, undetected, unprotected, wife, other women, consequences.
"An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose

children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and

disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must

be blamelessCnot overbearing, not quicktempered, not given to

drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain" (Titus 1:6B7

NIV).
An elder must be ___________________. (Blameless)


Leadership and ___________________ (Character) are inextricably

interwoven.


I. The definition of integrity: A person with an

___________________ (Undivided) life.


"A person with integrity has nothing to _____________, ( hide ) and

nothing to_____________." ( fear )


Single Eye

II. The dimensions of integrity


1. ____________________ ( emotional ) IntegrityCA single

______________.( Heart )



The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

(Love not the world.)

(Blameless, not sinless.)

(If oil light comes on, just take a hammer and brake the light. That's

what people are doing when the red light "sin" is lit.)
Page 13

2. ____________________ (intellectual ) IntegrityCA single

_____________.( Mind )

( - James 1 - James 1}.8)

3. ____________________ ( volitional ) IntegrityCA single

_____________.( Will ) (9:21)

(Single eye)
III. The dynamics of integrity

Paul speaks of five _____________ (negative ) characteristics that

should not be found in the man of God.

"Ynot overbearing, not quicktempered, not given to drunkenness, not

violent, not pursuing dishonest gain" ( - Titus 1:7

NIV) - Titus 1:7 NIV}.


1. He should not be ___________‑_____________. (self‑willed)

(You teach a man his rights


2. He should not have an ____________________ __________________.

(Be a time‑bomb)

"The only way to be angry and sin not is to be angry at sin."
(Do not lose your temper. You can know a man by what makes him:

Laugh, weep, angry.)

3. He should not have ____________________ ____________________.

(Uncontrolled appetites)

(We live off 2 of what we eat and the doctor lives off the other

half. )


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK
Page 14

4. He should not be ____________. ( violent )

5. He should not be _______________. ( greedy )


(lk 16.10‑11, never preach for money as the motivation)
There are also some ________________ characteristics of the elder.

(Positive )

"Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is

self‑controlled, upright, holy and disciplined" ( - Titus 1:8

NIV) - Titus 1:8 NIV}.
1. ____________________ ( Hospitable )

2. Loves what is _____________( good )

3. ___________ ‑ ____________________ ( Self‑controlled)

4. _____________ ( Upright)

5. _____________ ( Holy)

6. ____________________ ( Disciplined)


The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 15


session iiCNotes & thoughts:
Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know

/mPastors

/sThe pastor's Spiritual Priori

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The pastor's Spiritual Priority

"For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order

the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had

appointed thee" ( - Titus 1:5 - Titus 1:5}).


(I know God put me here, but I wonder if He remembers where He put

me?)


(Rejoice is a Choice)

To rejoice is a _____________. (Choice)

Spiritual success is a series of _____________ _____________. (right

choices)


Failure is succeeding at the _____________ _____________. (Wrong

Thing)


I. _______________ (Praying) is more important than preaching.

(We think that we don't need to pray. Prayerlessness is a sin but

pride is a greater sin.)
II. _______________ ( Preaching ) is more important than

administration.


3 Keys to Effective Administration: ________________,

________________, _______________ ( evaluate, eliminate and delegate ***)

The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock
Page 17
III. The _________________ ( family ) is more important than the

congregation.

(You can get another pastor, I can't have another wife.)
IV. _______________________ ( faithfulness ) is more important than

success. (16:40)


(We are in a pilgrimage, not in a race.)
V. ________________ ( Love ) is more important than ability.

(Discover, develop, deploy our gifts)

( - 1 Cor 13 - 1 Corinthians 13})

(Steven Covey ‑ Big rocks go in first.)


session iiiCNotes & thoughts:
Page 18

The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 19
04 The Pastor As Elder
Session IVCpart one
Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know

/mPastors

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The Pastor's Marital Fidelity

"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful

children not accused of riot or

unruly" ( - Titus 1:6 KJV) - Titus 1:6 KJV}.

Be a one woman man.
"The ministry that does not begin _____ ____________ ( at home ) does

not begin."


Learn the principle of spiritual _______________. ( Equality )
- Gal 3 - Galatians 3}.28 ‑ male nor female ‑ equality
There are seven secrets to have lasting love and a happy home:
I. Fortify ____________. ( Faith)
II. Remember __________. ( Roles ) Equal with different roles.

1 pe 3.7 Wives/Husbands

Submission is not inferiority

No head = dead. 2 heads = monster


"Headship does not mean ______________; it means

____________________." ( privilege but responsibility )


"Marriage is two __________ who come together with different roles in

a ________________." ( ) equals, covenant,


Two equals in a covenant

15:43
III. Cultivate ___________________. ( contentment )

"To whom ______________ is not enough, nothing is enough." ( little

)
‑ Married til DEBT do us part




WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 20
IV. Banish ________________. ( bitterness )

There are three levels of life:

A. Evil for good B ________________ ( hellish )

B. Evil for evil B ________________ ( human )

C. Good for evil B ________________ ( heavenly )


V. Continue ________________. ( communication )
"Communicate or ____________________" ( disintegrate )
‑ She wants intimacy ‑ you want approval

A. There are some strong hindrances to good communication:

1. Lack of basic ________________ ( skills ) v7 knowledge

2. We are __________‑________________. ( self centered )

3. ____________________ ( bitterness )

4. ____________________ ( Distractions )


‑ It was football season so the husband says to the wife, anything to

say before... Football season?

‑ you love FB more than me. Well I love you more than basketball.
The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 21
5. ___________ and ____________________ ( Fear, insecurity)

‑ Missing quality prayer time with wife

Man ‑ keep & protect

Women ‑ nurture
"It's easy to get the ___________ off; but real intimacy is getting

the _____________ down." ( roof, walls )


6. ____________________ ( Busyness )
B. What can we do to improve communication?


1. Husbands need to learn to be more ________________. ( sensitive )
2. Deal with your __________‑____________________. (

self‑centeredness )

‑ do you want to be right? Relationship?
3. Make certain there is nothing you have done wrong that you have not

______ __________. ( put right )


4. Put _______ back into your marriage. ( fun )

5. Make ___________ to communicate. ( plans )

Make conversations a priority.

WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 22

Everyone needs to make _________ __________: ( four dates )

A date with ________________ ( God )

A date with your ___________ ( kids )

A date with ________________ ( yourself )

A date with your ___________ ( mate )


VI. Refresh ________________. ( romance )
VII. Continue ________________. ( courtship )
The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 23


session iv part one

Notes & thoughts:


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 24


The Pastor As Elder

Session IVCpart two


Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know

/mMarriage

/sThe Pastor's Marital Fidelity

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The Pastor's Marital Fidelity

"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful



children not accused of riot or

unruly" ( - Titus 1:6 KJV) - Titus 1:6 KJV}.

Be a one woman man.
"The ministry that does not begin _____ ____________ ( at home ) does

not begin."


Learn the principle of spiritual _______________. ( Equality )
- Gal 3 - Galatians 3}.28 ‑ male nor female ‑ equality
There are seven secrets to have lasting love and a happy home:
I. Fortify ____________. ( Faith)
II. Remember __________. ( Roles ) Equal with different roles.

1 pe 3.7 Wives/Husbands

Submission is not inferiority

No head = dead. 2 heads = monster


"Headship does not mean ______________; it means

____________________." ( privilege but responsibility )


"Marriage is two __________ who come together with different roles in

a ________________." ( ) equals, covenant,


Two equals in a covenant

15:43
III. Cultivate ___________________. ( contentment )

"To whom ______________ is not enough, nothing is enough." ( little

)
‑ Married til DEBT do us part

WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 20
IV. Banish ________________. ( bitterness )

There are three levels of life:

A. Evil for good B ________________ ( hellish )

B. Evil for evil B ________________ ( human )

C. Good for evil B ________________ ( heavenly )


V. Continue ________________. ( communication )
"Communicate or ____________________" ( disintegrate )
‑ She wants intimacy ‑ you want approval

A. There are some strong hindrances to good communication:

1. Lack of basic ________________ ( skills ) v7 knowledge

2. We are __________‑________________. ( self centered )

3. ____________________ ( bitterness )

4. ____________________ ( Distractions )


‑ It was football season so the husband says to the wife, anything to

say before... Football season?

‑ you love FB more than me. Well I love you more than basketball.
The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 21
5. ___________ and ____________________ ( Fear, insecurity)

‑ Missing quality prayer time with wife

Man ‑ keep & protect

Women ‑ nurture
"It's easy to get the ___________ off; but real intimacy is getting

the _____________ down." ( roof, walls )


6. ____________________ ( Busyness )
B. What can we do to improve communication?
1. Husbands need to learn to be more ________________. ( sensitive )
2. Deal with your __________‑____________________. (

self‑centeredness )

‑ do you want to be right? Relationship?


3. Make certain there is nothing you have done wrong that you have not

______ __________. ( put right )


4. Put _______ back into your marriage. ( fun )

5. Make ___________ to communicate. ( plans )

Make conversations a priority.

WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 22

Everyone needs to make _________ __________: ( four dates )

A date with ________________ ( God )

A date with your ___________ ( kids )

A date with ________________ ( yourself )

A date with your ___________ ( mate )


VI. Refresh ________________. ( romance )
VII. Continue ________________. ( courtship )
The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 23


session iv part one

Notes & thoughts:


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 24


The Pastor As Elder

Session IVCpart two


Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know
/mPastors

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/fN


The Pastor's Parental Responsibility
What do your kids need? They need _____________________. (

leadership )


1. Be an _______________. ( example )

Be _______________ ( firm )



Be _______________ ( fun )

‑ never flirt w/ another woman & never stop FLIRTING w/ your wife


Be _______________ ( fair )
2. Have _______________ _______________. (family worship)

3. Make certain that your children are in the _______________ ___

__________. (house of God)

4. Lash them to the throne of God in _______________. (prayer)


The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 25


session iv part two

Notes & thoughts:


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 26


The Pastor As Elder

Session V


Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know

/mParents

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/t

/fN


The Pastor's Parental Responsibility
What do your kids need? They need _____________________. (

leadership )


1. Be an _______________. ( example )

Be _______________ ( firm )

Be _______________ ( fun )

‑ never flirt w/ another woman & never stop FLIRTING w/ your wife


Be _______________ ( fair )
2. Have _______________ _______________. (family worship)

3. Make certain that your children are in the _______________ ___

__________. (house of God)

4. Lash them to the throne of God in _______________. (prayer)



The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 25


session iv part two

Notes & thoughts:


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 26


The Pastor As Elder

Session V


Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know
/mSex

/sThe Pastor's Sexual Purity

/i

Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101



/t

/fn


The Pastor's Sexual Purity
"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even

as himselfY"

( - Ephesians 5:33 KJV) - Ephesians 5:33 KJV}.

Here are six ways to _______________ _______________ ___________:

(avoid sexual sin)
I. Walk in the _______________. (Spirit)
II. Cultivate your _______ ____________________. (own marriage)
III. Make your marriage a _______________. (priority)

You can get another pastor but I can't have another wife.


IV. Make no provision for the _______________. (flesh)

‑legitimate desire in an illegitimate way

‑ Big at church/job small at home ‑ immature ‑ Some are big in other

places, but not at home.

‑ Flee lust ‑ don't fight it

- 2 Timothy 2:22 (KJV) - 2 Timothy 2:22 KJV} Flee also

youthful lusts: but follow righteousness...

Flee ‑ G5343, pheugo, fyoo'‑go, to run away. RUN!

Follow ‑ G1377 ‑ dioko, dee‑o'‑ko, (like to flee but), to pursue,

follow after, be given to, press toward.



‑ Porn ‑ not victimless sin ‑ yes ‑ you ‑ some fathers daughter
Temptation is often:

$ An ____________________ opportunity (unexpected)

$ An ____________________ weakness (undetected)

$ An ____________________ life (unprotected) (17 mins)


The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 27


V. Pray intimately with your __________, and not with __________

_______________.

(wife, other women)

‑ Joseph ‑ fled ‑ not fought the feeling

‑ Emotional adultery (prayer partner) 25min (Enmeshment.)
VI. Consider the ____________________ of moral failure. (consequences)

07 Q&A


‑ - Proverbs 6:33 (KJV) A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
*** ‑ Can the sin be forgiven? Yes! But the marks may follow you ALL your life.

Benedict Arnold was a ... (Traitor)

Rahab was a ... (Harlot)

Which disciple forsook they Lord? (Peter)

- Mark 14:50 (KJV) - And they all forsook him, and fled.
‑ When a big tree falls ‑ it crushes MANY small trees.

*** ‑ When can a restored minister be used again?

A‑ when his repentance is as (notorious) well known as his sin.

(Charles Spurgeon)

He may not have the same job.

*** Forgiveness is given. Trust is EARNED.

Story, man who received a note with ALL of his sins listed. He stood

and read this saying, "I'm ashamed of my sin but not my savior." (HEC

‑ Put it in the light.)

Leaders not only lead but exceeds.

When you serve a church, you need to be willing... to stay the rest

of your life or leave in the next 15 minutes.

Get your heart clean, your motives are clear, then pray ‑ with the

mind of Christ.

Wisdom is sanctified common sense.


What about those who criticize you?

- Matthew 5:11 (KJV) - Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

‑ evil against you falsely ‑ Is it false? If it's true, repent.

- Matthew 5:12 (KJV) - Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.


Why are you where you are?

Paul ‑ Titus

- Titus 1:5 (KJV) - Titus 1:5 KJV} For this cause left I

thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are

wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Why? - Titus 1:12 (KJV) - Titus 1:12 KJV} One of themselves,

even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil

beasts, slow bellies.

You are there because of the problems. They NEED you there.
Your assignmentCmake a list of the consequences to your ministry if

you committed immorality.

Start with these:

My fellowship with God$

Unanswered prayer$

My relationship with my wife$

The respect of my children$

My status as a pastor$

My influence on others$

Loss of self‑respect$

The chastisement of God$

Public scandal$

The ruin of my marriage$

The sin against my body$

Leading another into sin$

The sin against her loved ones$

Forfeiting my reward$
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

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session vCNotes & thoughts:
Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know
\

/mTemptation



/sThe Pastor's Sexual Purity

/i

Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101



/t

/fn


The Pastor's Sexual Purity
"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even

as himselfY"

( - Ephesians 5:33 KJV) - Ephesians 5:33 KJV}.

Here are six ways to _______________ _______________ ___________:

(avoid sexual sin)
I. Walk in the _______________. (Spirit)
II. Cultivate your _______ ____________________. (own marriage)
III. Make your marriage a _______________. (priority)

You can get another pastor but I can't have another wife.


IV. Make no provision for the _______________. (flesh)

‑legitimate desire in an illegitimate way

‑ Big at church/job small at home ‑ immature ‑ Some are big in other

places, but not at home.

‑ Flee lust ‑ don't fight it

- 2 Timothy 2:22 (KJV) - 2 Timothy 2:22 KJV} Flee also

youthful lusts: but follow righteousness...

Flee ‑ G5343, pheugo, fyoo'‑go, to run away. RUN!

Follow ‑ G1377 ‑ dioko, dee‑o'‑ko, (like to flee but), to pursue,

follow after, be given to, press toward.

‑ Porn ‑ not victimless sin ‑ yes ‑ you ‑ some fathers daughter
Temptation is often:

$ An ____________________ opportunity (unexpected)

$ An ____________________ weakness (undetected)

$ An ____________________ life (unprotected) (17 mins)


The Pastor as Elder | Maturity That Exceeds the Flock

Page 27


V. Pray intimately with your __________, and not with __________

_______________.

(wife, other women)

‑ Joseph ‑ fled ‑ not fought the feeling



‑ Emotional adultery (prayer partner) 25min (Enmeshment.)
VI. Consider the ____________________ of moral failure. (consequences)

07 Q&A


‑ - Proverbs 6:33 (KJV) - Proverbs 6:33 KJV} A wound and

dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

*** ‑ Can the sin be forgiven? Yes! But the marks may follow you ALL your life.

Benedict Arnold was a ... (Traitor)

Rahab was a ... (Harlot)

Which disciple forsook they Lord? (Peter)

- Mark 14:50 (KJV) - Mark 14:50 KJV} And they all forsook

him, and fled.


‑ When a big tree falls ‑ it crushes MANY small trees.

*** ‑ When can a restored minister be used again?

A‑ when his repentance is as (notorious) well known as his sin.

(Charles Spurgeon)

He may not have the same job.

*** Forgiveness is given. Trust is EARNED.

Story, man who received a note with ALL of his sins listed. He stood

and read this saying, "I'm ashamed of my sin but not my savior." (HEC

‑ Put it in the light.)

Leaders not only lead but exceeds.

When you serve a church, you need to be willing... to stay the rest

of your life or leave in the next 15 minutes.

Get your heart clean, your motives are clear, then pray ‑ with the

mind of Christ.

Wisdom is sanctified common sense.

What about those who criticize you?

- Matthew 5:11 (KJV) - Matthew 5:11 KJV} Blessed are ye,

when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner

of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

‑ evil against you falsely ‑ Is it false? If it's true, repent.

- Matthew 5:12 (KJV) - Matthew 5:12 KJV} Rejoice, and be

exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted

they the prophets which were before you.
Why are you where you are?

Paul ‑ Titus

- Titus 1:5 (KJV) - Titus 1:5 KJV} For this cause left I

thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are



wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Why? - Titus 1:12 (KJV) - Titus 1:12 KJV} One of themselves,

even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil

beasts, slow bellies.

You are there because of the problems. They NEED you there.
Your assignmentCmake a list of the consequences to your ministry if

you committed immorality.

Start with these:

My fellowship with God$

Unanswered prayer$

My relationship with my wife$

The respect of my children$

My status as a pastor$

My influence on others$

Loss of self‑respect$

The chastisement of God$

Public scandal$

The ruin of my marriage$

The sin against my body$

Leading another into sin$

The sin against her loved ones$

Forfeiting my reward$
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 28


session vCNotes & thoughts:
Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know
/mSermons

/sThe Sermon's Exposition

/i

Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101



/t

/fN


The Sermon's Exposition
KEY ‑ The Pastor As Shepherd:
Session VI: guards, guides, grows, pulpit, convicts, corrects,

constructs, confidence, consistency, courage, content.




Session VII: Topical, Textual, Expository, introduction, exposition,

conclusion, proposition, sermon, text, Word, experience, passage,

theme, pertinent, value, fear, life, positive, receives, practical,

needs, pointed, inform, transform, knowledge, lives, provocative,

plain, simple, persuasive, material, lesson, commandment, sin,

blessing, truth, topics, texts, quotations, illustrations, outline,

conclusion, application, introduce, notes, manuscript
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight

thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but

of a ready mind;" ( - 1 Peter 5:2 KJV) - 1 Peter 5:2 KJV}.

The shepherd __________ the flock. (guards)

The shepherd __________ the flock. (guides)

The shepherd __________ the flock. (grows)

"It is not your job to fill the pew; it is your job to fill the

______________." (pulpit)

‑ If sheep are hungry, they will "BITE" each other.

- Acts 6:3 (KJV) - Acts 6:3 KJV} Wherefore, brethren, look

ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost

and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

This business ‑ feeding widows.

Deacons are the "The Business" managers.

- Acts 6:4 (KJV) - Acts 6:4 KJV} But we will give ourselves

continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

We ‑ shepherds.
Expository preaching is MORE than just explaining.
*** Exposition is explanation, argumentation, illustration, application and motivation. AR/vol8
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine" 2 Timothy 4:2 KJV.
1. The Word __________. "Reproves." (convicts)

‑ The more exposition ‑ The less counseling.


2. The Word __________. "Rebukes." (corrects)
‑ Preach plain. Stand behind the Word of God. (Billy Graham ‑ Donald

Whitley)


‑ Instant in season out of season

Take opportunities & MAKE opportunities

*** in season ‑ scheduled ministry opportunities.


*** out of season ‑ UNSCHEDULED ‑ open doors/ windows

‑ If someone drops a handkerchief & says preach ‑ you should be on

the second point before it hits the ground. :)
3. The Word ____________________. "Exhort with all longsuffering and

doctrine." (constructs)


The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 31
I. Expository preaching gives ____________________ to the preacher.

(confidence)
II. Expository preaching gives ____________________ to the preacher.

(consistency)


‑ No rut preaching. Preach the WHOLE counsel of God.

‑ An 85yr old pastor said, "I have only pastured three churches and I

stayed with them all until they died. :)

‑ Don't Have a Missionary Sermon ‑ That's when it departs & 1goes

EVERYWHERE :)
III. Expository preaching gives ____________________ to the preacher.

(courage)


‑ A friend asked, "Where you preaching to me?" I responded, "I was

shooting down in a hole ‑ if you were in it ‑ then that's why you were

hit."
IV. Expository preaching gives ____________________ to the preacher.

(content)

‑ You don't have wonder what you will preach.
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 32


session viCNotes & thoughts:
The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 33


The pastor as Shepherd
Session VII


07. The Sermon's Preparation
Vol8. ‑

‑ Verse by verse is dull & deadly. It turns the pulpit into a

classroom. Expository is finding a truth. The Bible means what it

means. No hunting. One meaning with 10,000 applications. Find a theme

‑ preaching is not filling a bucket. But lighting a torch.

‑ In my humble but ACCURATE opinion . :)

‑ When do you go too long? Preaching John for seven years is too

long. You will lose your people. You can drown a cat in cream.

‑ Gospel John ‑ how to be saved

‑ 1 John ‑ how you know you are saved

‑ What's over your head is under Jesus' feet. :)

End of 09


Vol10
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not

to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" ( - 2 Tim.

2:15 KJV) - 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV}.
There are three major classifications of sermons:

1. _________________ (Topical)

‑ During President Clinton's service, I preached, Does Character

Count?
2. _________________ (Textual)


3 _________________ (Expository)

‑ A paragraph or more. Chapter/book

Every sermon should have the following parts.

1. The ________________________ $ Tell them what you're going to tell

them. (introduction)

2. The _________________ (or explanation) $ Tell them. (exposition)

3. The _________________ $ Tell them you told them. (conclusion)

‑ Tell them what you are going to say . Say it . Tell them what you

said.

WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK



Page 34

Every sermon should have a _________________. (proposition)
If you don't have a proposition, you do not have a _________________!

(sermon)


‑ A sermon in a sentence

‑ This is where I'm aiming


This is what I use:

‑ Hey You ‑ Look ‑ Do

Hey You ‑ Introduction

Look ‑ Exposition

Do ‑ Action

The Principles of Sermon Preparation:


I. Choose the ____________. (text)

A good expositor should be aware of two books:

Number one is the book of God's ________ (Word), and the other is the

book of human

_______________________. (experience)
15min

‑ A teacher complained to a coach, we have a student that made 4‑Fs &

a D. The Coach said, "It sounds like he's giving too much attention to

one subject."


‑ Be balanced
II. Analyze the _________________. (passage)
‑ There are seams in coconuts. If you know about them, you can open a

coconut easily. The Bible has seams.


Use your tools:

Word studies

‑ Greek 21mins ... Dumb preacher ‑ repent ‑ move back in the

penthouse.


Commentaries

... John Phillips ‑ great





Sermons (Transcripts of sermons of many preachers, including Adrian

Rogers, can be found at www.sermonsearch.com)


... Stand under whales with pales.

... If I want to learn baseball ‑ study baseball players. Don't

steroids ‑ some preachers need steroids.

Bible Atlas

Concordance
III. Prayerfully select a _________________ from the passage. (theme)
... 7 points of a sermons don't say 7 things ‑ it says 1 thing 7

ways.


... 27min
1. Be _________________. (pertinent)

What? So What? Now What?


The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 35
How to get attention. Preach about:

$ Things you __________________ (value)

$ Things you __________________ (fear)

$ Things that affect your __________________ (life)
2. Be _________________. (positive)

"Man is not saved by what he gives up, but by what he

__________________." (receives)
3. Be _________________. (practical)

"Preach to meet __________________." (needs)


4. Be _________________. (pointed)
"Good preaching is not just to __________________, it is to

______________________." (inform, transform)


"The Bible was not given to increase our __________________, but to

change our ________." ‑ D. L. Moody (knowledge, lives)




5. Be ______________________. (provocative)

6. Be _____________. (plain)

- 1 Corinthians 13:1 - 1 Corinthians 13:1} (REWORKED) 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.

:)

"You really don't understand something unless you can communicate it



in

a ________________ way." ‑ Albert Einstein (simple)


7. Be ______________________. ( persuasive)
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK
Page 36
IV. Gather your ______________________. (material)
Ask The Discovery Questions:

Who


When

What


Why

Wherefore

Is there....

a ____________ to learn? (lesson)

a ______________ to obey? (commandment)

a _______ to avoid? (sin)

a _____________ to enjoy? (blessing)

a new __________ to carry with me? (truth)


File things by ______________, by ______________, by ______________,

and by ______________.

(topics, texts, quotations, illustrations)
If quote

‑Quote source

‑ Old man who went to church, he was well read. The preacher was also

well read and would like to use quotes but never gave the source. As



the preacher would preach, the old man would shout: Swindoll.

Spurgeon. The Preacher shouted, "Shut up fool." Old man said,

That was his own." :)

V. Rework your ______________ and polish it. (outline)

Put verbs in your outline.
The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 37
VI. Write your ____________________ and ____________________ in that

order. (conclusion, application)
‑ What do you want them to do? Know? etc.

‑ Start the sermon with a question:

What is greater than God... more evil than the devil... the poor

have it... the rich need it... and if you eat it you will die?

Answer: NOTHING

\webpage{http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_greater_than_God..._more_evi

l_than_the_devil..._the_poor_have_it..._the_rich_need_it..._and_if_you_

eat_it_you_will_die#ixzz1XztlSsT7


What's more powerful than God? More evil than devil? If you eat it ‑

you'll die?
VII. You are ready to ___________________ your sermon. (introduce)

There are three kinds of sermons:

1. Those you can listen to.

2. Those you can't listen to.

3. Those you must listen to.

Make yours a "must listen to" sermon.


VIII. Make full ___________ or a full _____________________. (notes,

manuscript)


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 38



Prodigal Son ‑ bad alliteration Fodder fragments frustrated fled

fathers feet


Melody in F

(The Prodigal Son)

(author unknown)
Feeling footloose and frisky,

a featherbrained fellow

Forced his fond father to fork

over the farthings.

And flew far to foreign fields

And frittered his fortune

feasting

Fabulously with faithless

friends.
Fleeced by his fellows in

folly, and facing

Famine, he found himself a

feed‑flinger in a

Filthy farm yard.

Fairly famished, he fain

would have filled

His frame with foraged food

from fodder

Fragments.


"Fooey, my father's flunkies fare far finer,"

The frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled,

frankly

Facing facts. Frustrated by failure, and filled

with foreboding,

He fled forthwith to his family.


Falling at his father's feet, he forlornly

fumbled,


"Father, I've flunked, and fruitlessly forfeited

Family fellowship & favor."

The far‑sighted father, forestalling

Further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies to

Fetch a fatling from the flock

and fix a feast.



The fugitive's fault‑finding

brother frowned on fickle

forgiveness of former

folderol.


But the faithful father figured,

"Filial fidelity is fine, but the

fugitive is found! What

forbids fervent festivity? Let flags be unfurled!

Let fanfares flare!"
Father's forgiveness formed

the foundation for the

former fugitive's future

fortitude!

\webpage{http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository‑luke‑15‑11‑32.htm

\webpage{http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/PityParty.html

‑ Weakest ink better than strongest memory.

Session VIICNotes & thoughts:


Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor 2

The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 39

The pastor as Shepherd

Session VIII
Sample Sermons
Discipleship

‑ worship at any cost ‑ hate father/mother

‑ work at any cost ‑

‑ war at any cost ‑ not cowards ‑ compromise

‑ witness at any cost ‑

Vol/11/10




‑ Using Notes ‑ Preacher was preaching, a page fell out of his Bible

and he repeated a few times, "Adam said to Eve.... (page missing)

there's a leaf missing." :)
‑ Do the Introduction ‑ one of the last things you do.
Vol 12/4mins

*** ‑ Salvation Is Free ‑ Discipleship Costs


08. The Sermon's Illustration
KEY ‑ Session VIII: house, windows, known, unknown, literally

illustrate, punctuate, motivate, skyscraper, mindbender, sleep

inducer, Plan, alive, alert, Read, enlightenment, enjoyment,

enrichment, devotional, doctrinal, practical, enablement, ears, eyes,

cathedrals, leadership, creative, logical, heat, light, different,

ideas, imagination, solutions, creative, your own ideas, unusual,

words, write, people, authors

"The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of

fools" ( - Proverbs 26:7 KJV) - Proverbs 26:7 KJV}.
The sermon is the___ (house), and the illustrations are the __

(windows) that let the light in.


Jesus, the master teacher, moved his audience from the ____________ to

the ______________. (known, unknown)


1:30
‑ Jesus found MANY illustrations in the world around Him. Farmer,

seeds, ground, fisherman, net, sea.

‑ Jesus took what they "knew" ‑ fisherman ‑ and then brought them to

the "unknown" ‑ net/everything

‑ Paul used illustrations about boxing, running a race. He was a

sportsman.

I. There are various kinds of illustrations:
1. Illustrations that _____________ _______________. (literally

illustrate)



‑ sower & sees

‑ Lester Rolloff tells the story of Dr Law & Dr Grace

Eyes ‑ looking at bad things

Hands ‑ do evil

Feet ‑ go bad places

Dr law says you need a new heart.

Dr Grace put a new heart in me. Now eyes, feet & hand now do

different.


2. Illustrations that _______________. (punctuate)

‑ humor (8min)

‑ you are not a comedian. It becomes a distraction.

‑ Humor, let's them up for air.

‑ let it ‑ Relax, Renew, Refresh ***

‑ Spurgen was criticized for using humor.

He said, "If you knew how much I held back ‑ you'd be proud of me."

See ‑


\webpage{http://www.preachingtodaysermons.com/whyseprusehu.html

‑ tickle oyster ‑ open shell ‑ apply the knife

3. Illustrations that _______________. (motivate)

‑ picture woman ear against mans chest

She is listening to her son's heart... in another man's chest. *** (After a heart transplant.)
II. There are some sermonic dangers that relate to illustrations:

1. The __ (skyscraper) sermonCOne story upon another.

2. The _________ ‑ ____________ sermonCIt has all walls and no

windows. (mind‑bender)

3. The __________ ______________ sermonCIt has walls but they are dull

gray and the windows are dirty. (sleep inducer)

‑ Are you going to church?

Yes ‑ I need the sleep. :)

III. The source and the secret of good illustrations:

1. __ ahead. (Plan)

2. Be ____________ and ____________. (alive, alert

3. ____________ constantly. (Read)

A. Read for ______________________. (enlightenment)

B. Read for ____________________. (enjoyment)



14min

‑ Leaders/readers

‑ In a running stream, if wire is stretched across ‑ it will catch

grass.

WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 40
C. Read for __________________. (enrichment)

‑ Warren Wierbe ‑ read 30 mins a day on one subject = PhD in 10 yrs

16min


‑ Education is expensive ‑ ignorance will cost more.
$ Read ___________________ books for the heart. (devotional)

$ Read ___________________ books for the mind. (doctrinal)

$ Read ___________________ books for the will. (practical)
D. Read for _______________________. (enablement)

17mins


‑ we must upgrade our ministry.

‑ Don't be a book recluse ‑ There are ditches on both sides of the

road.
IV. Develop your creativity.
A. What is creativity?
$ Turning eyes into __________, and ears into ___________. (ears,

eyes)
$ Information and communication are not always the same. This is the

danger of computer knowledge. 19:30min

$ God is the God of creation, and He is an artist. "Good architecture

is not an arrangement of beautiful materials, but a beautiful

arrangement of materials."


$ Learn to turn rock piles into __________________. (cathedrals)
24mins

$ Use creativity in your preaching, and in your __________________.

(leadership)


B. There is the "right brainCleft brain" phenomenon.

$ The right brain is the _________________ part (musicians, poets,

etc). (creative)

$ The left brain is ________________ (lawyers, architects, etc).

(logical)
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??? heat, light, ???


C. Here are the ten steps to creativity:

1. Dare to be __________________. (different)

2. Play with ______________. (ideas)

3. Use __________________. (imagination)

4 Look for needs that need __________________. (solutions)

5. Keep company with __________________ people. (creative)


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 42
6. Believe in _____________ _________ ______________. (your own ideas)

7. Be on the lookout for the __________________. (unusual)

8. Learn to love _______________. (words)

9. Think and _______________. (write)

10. Get acquainted with creative _______________ and creative

_________________. (people, authors)
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session VIIICNotes & thoughts:


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

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The pastor as Shepherd

Session IX


Vol14


09. The Sermon's Presentation
KEY ‑ Session IX: faultless, dirty, full, touch, task, preach, hear,

fit, fashionable, forceful, fresh, fitting.


"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who

shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke,

exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Tim. 4:1B2 KJV).


I. Be morally __________________. (faultless) (Not so much sinless but

blameless.)

‑ Jesus needed anointed HS

‑ Special touch ‑ for special task

"God will not use a ____________ vessel." (dirty)
II. Be spiritually _____________. (full)

‑ We need anointing above all.

‑ Sermons must bounce off of heaven first.

‑ Please God ‑ not to please man. If you are trying to please man, you

will not please God.

‑ I have preached the last sermon people have heard (Columbus, GA and

more.)

‑ Remember the well, you had to prime it, then pump. A man say someone



from a distance, he was pumping like crazy! The water was flowing

freely! When he was close enough to see ‑ it wasn't a man but a wooden

image of a man ‑ the pump was moving him. It was an artesian well. The

Spirit moves us. We do not direct the Spirit.

*** "The anointing is a special ______________ for a specific ______________." (touch, task)
"You ought to preach as if it were the last sermon you would ever

_____________, or the last

sermon they would ever _____________." (preach, hear)

III. Be physically ______. (fit)


Learn to eat right and to exercise. People do not tend to follow

flabby preachers.



Get a good night's rest before you preach.
‑ Nap If You Are a Night Time Preacher

Be always freshly bathed and shaved. 14:30min


IV. Be modestly ____________________. (fashionable)
If you are a leader, look and dress like it.

Invest in clothes.

Don't set styles, but dress in style.
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Page 45
V. Be visibly __________________. (forceful)


Whenever you are on the platform, stand up straight, be alert, be

alive and walk tall.


Whenever seated on the platform, sit up straight with both feet on the

floor.
Use your whole body to preach.


Learn to use your eyes.
Use your face.
Avoid distracting habits.
VI. Be verbally _______________. (fresh)
Learn to use your voice.
Work on your vocabulary and choose your words carefully. Avoid

clichés.
Have someone to help you with grammar and pronunciation.


Make it clear.


32mins

‑ it's kiss‑tomary to cuss the bride :)

VII. Be socially _________________. (fitting)
Don't use jokes that fail to edify.
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

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session IXCNotes & thoughts:
The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

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The pastor as Shepherd

Session X


10. The Sermon's Invitation
KEY ‑ Session X: courageously, clearly, concisely, convincingly,

cooperatively, consistently, creatively, compassionately,

convictionally, celebratively.
"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess

also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me

before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven"

(Matthew 10:32B33 KJV).


The Bible is full of examples of the public invitation.
1. Pentecost
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you

in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall

receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and

to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the

Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and

exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (Acts

2:38B40 KJV).
2. Garden of Eden

"And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art

thou?" ( - Genesis 3:9 KJV) - Genesis 3:9 KJV}.


3. Joshua

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day

whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that

were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in

whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the

LORD" ( - Joshua 24:15 KJV) - Joshua 24:15 KJV}.


4. Elijah on Mt. Carmel

"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye

between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal,

then follow him. And the people answered him not a word" ( - 1

Kings 18:21 KJV) - 1 Kings 18:21 KJV}.
The Bible closes with an invitation.
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say,

Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him

take the water of life freely" ( - Rev. 22:17 KJV) - Revelation

22:17 KJV}.


All preaching should have some kind of invitation or it is not

preaching at all.


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‑ Now it's the call for... Know ‑ Do ‑ Believe
I. Give the invitation ___. (courageously)

‑ - 2 Corinthians 5:11 (KJV) - 2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV}

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men...

‑ Believe in what you are saying

- Romans 14:5 - Romans 14:5} ...Let every man be fully

persuaded in his own mind.

‑ Believe they will come. (As you come, not if you come...)

II. Give the invitation ___. (clearly)

‑ Not sure ‑ sinners? Saints?

‑ no cliche'


9.31min

III. Give the invitation ___. (concisely)

‑ Do not go on and on.
IV. Give the invitation ___. (convincingly)
V. Give the invitation __. (cooperatively)

‑ involve the church ‑ encourage them to stay. Thank you for staying.

‑ Call altar workers ministers, not counselors.

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Page 49
VI. Give the invitation ________________________. (consistently)

‑ Always give some way for them to respond.


VII. Give the invitation ________________________. (creatively)

‑ Not in a runt

‑ Bow your eyes, close your heads ‑ :)
VIII. Give the invitation __. (compassionately)

IX. Give the invitation______. (convictionally)

X. Give the invitation ________________________. (celebratively)
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

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session XCNotes & thoughts:
Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know

/mSermons

/sThe Sermon's Exposition

/i

Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101



/t

/fN


The Sermon's Exposition
KEY ‑ The Pastor As Shepherd:
Session VI: guards, guides, grows, pulpit, convicts, corrects,

constructs, confidence, consistency, courage, content.
Session VII: Topical, Textual, Expository, introduction, exposition,

conclusion, proposition, sermon, text, Word, experience, passage,

theme, pertinent, value, fear, life, positive, receives, practical,

needs, pointed, inform, transform, knowledge, lives, provocative,

plain, simple, persuasive, material, lesson, commandment, sin,

blessing, truth, topics, texts, quotations, illustrations, outline,

conclusion, application, introduce, notes, manuscript
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight

thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but

of a ready mind;" ( - 1 Peter 5:2 KJV) - 1 Peter 5:2 KJV}.

The shepherd __________ the flock. (guards)

The shepherd __________ the flock. (guides)

The shepherd __________ the flock. (grows)

"It is not your job to fill the pew; it is your job to fill the

______________." (pulpit)

‑ If sheep are hungry, they will "BITE" each other.

- Acts 6:3 (KJV) - Acts 6:3 KJV} Wherefore, brethren, look

ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost

and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

This business ‑ feeding widows.

Deacons are the "The Business" managers.

- Acts 6:4 (KJV) - Acts 6:4 KJV} But we will give ourselves

continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

We ‑ shepherds.
Expository preaching is MORE than just explaining.
*** Exposition is explanation, argumentation, illustration, application and motivation. AR/vol8
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove,

rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine" ( - 2

Tim. 4:2 KJV) - 2 Timothy 4:2 KJV}.
1. The Word __________. "Reproves." (convicts)

‑ The more exposition ‑ The less counseling.


2. The Word __________. "Rebukes." (corrects)
‑ Preach plain. Stand behind the Word of God. (Billy Graham ‑ Donald

Whitley)


‑ Instant in season out of season

Take opportunities & MAKE opportunities

*** in season ‑ scheduled ministry opportunities.

*** out of season ‑ UNSCHEDULED ‑ open doors/ windows

‑ If someone drops a handkerchief & says preach ‑ you should be on

the second point before it hits the ground. :)


3. The Word ____________________. "Exhort with all longsuffering and

doctrine." (constructs)


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Page 31
I. Expository preaching gives ____________________ to the preacher.

(confidence)
II. Expository preaching gives ____________________ to the preacher.

(consistency)


‑ No rut preaching. Preach the WHOLE counsel of God.

‑ An 85yr old pastor said, "I have only pastured three churches and I

stayed with them all until they died. :)

‑ Don't Have a Missionary Sermon ‑ That's when it departs & 1goes

EVERYWHERE :)
III. Expository preaching gives ____________________ to the preacher.

(courage)


‑ A friend asked, "Where you preaching to me?" I responded, "I was

shooting down in a hole ‑ if you were in it ‑ then that's why you were

hit."
IV. Expository preaching gives ____________________ to the preacher.

(content)

‑ You don't have wonder what you will preach.
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

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session viCNotes & thoughts:
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The pastor as Shepherd

Session VII
07. The Sermon's Preparation
Vol8. ‑

‑ Verse by verse is dull & deadly. It turns the pulpit into a

classroom. Expository is finding a truth. The Bible means what it

means. No hunting. One meaning with 10,000 applications. Find a theme

‑ preaching is not filling a bucket. But lighting a torch.

‑ In my humble but ACCURATE opinion . :)

‑ When do you go too long? Preaching John for seven years is too

long. You will lose your people. You can drown a cat in cream.

‑ Gospel John ‑ how to be saved

‑ 1 John ‑ how you know you are saved

‑ What's over your head is under Jesus' feet. :)

End of 09


Vol10
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not

to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" ( - 2 Tim.

2:15 KJV) - 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV}.
There are three major classifications of sermons:

1. _________________ (Topical)

‑ During President Clinton's service, I preached, Does Character

Count?
2. _________________ (Textual)


3 _________________ (Expository)

‑ A paragraph or more. Chapter/book

Every sermon should have the following parts.

1. The ________________________ $ Tell them what you're going to tell

them. (introduction)

2. The _________________ (or explanation) $ Tell them. (exposition)

3. The _________________ $ Tell them you told them. (conclusion)

‑ Tell them what you are going to say . Say it . Tell them what you

said.



WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

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Every sermon should have a _________________. (proposition)
If you don't have a proposition, you do not have a _________________!

(sermon)


‑ A sermon in a sentence

‑ This is where I'm aiming


This is what I use:

‑ Hey You ‑ Look ‑ Do

Hey You ‑ Introduction

Look ‑ Exposition

Do ‑ Action

The Principles of Sermon Preparation:


I. Choose the ____________. (text)

A good expositor should be aware of two books:

Number one is the book of God's ________ (Word), and the other is the

book of human

_______________________. (experience)
15min

‑ A teacher complained to a coach, we have a student that made 4‑Fs &

a D. The Coach said, "It sounds like he's giving too much attention to

one subject."


‑ Be balanced
II. Analyze the _________________. (passage)
‑ There are seams in coconuts. If you know about them, you can open a

coconut easily. The Bible has seams.


Use your tools:

Word studies

‑ Greek 21mins ... Dumb preacher ‑ repent ‑ move back in the

penthouse.


Commentaries

... John Phillips ‑ great


Sermons (Transcripts of sermons of many preachers, including Adrian

Rogers, can be found at www.sermonsearch.com)
... Stand under whales with pales.

... If I want to learn baseball ‑ study baseball players. Don't

steroids ‑ some preachers need steroids.

Bible Atlas

Concordance
III. Prayerfully select a _________________ from the passage. (theme)
... 7 points of a sermons don't say 7 things ‑ it says 1 thing 7

ways.


... 27min
1. Be _________________. (pertinent)

What? So What? Now What?


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Page 35
How to get attention. Preach about:

$ Things you __________________ (value)

$ Things you __________________ (fear)

$ Things that affect your __________________ (life)
2. Be _________________. (positive)

"Man is not saved by what he gives up, but by what he

__________________." (receives)
3. Be _________________. (practical)

"Preach to meet __________________." (needs)


4. Be _________________. (pointed)
"Good preaching is not just to __________________, it is to

______________________." (inform, transform)


"The Bible was not given to increase our __________________, but to

change our ________." ‑ D. L. Moody (knowledge, lives)



5. Be ______________________. (provocative)

6. Be _____________. (plain)

- 1 Corinthians 13:1 - 1 Corinthians 13:1} (REWORKED) 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.

:)

"You really don't understand something unless you can communicate it



in

a ________________ way." ‑ Albert Einstein (simple)


7. Be ______________________. ( persuasive)
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK
Page 36
IV. Gather your ______________________. (material)
Ask The Discovery Questions:

Who


When

What


Why

Wherefore

Is there....

a ____________ to learn? (lesson)

a ______________ to obey? (commandment)

a _______ to avoid? (sin)

a _____________ to enjoy? (blessing)

a new __________ to carry with me? (truth)


File things by ______________, by ______________, by ______________,

and by ______________.

(topics, texts, quotations, illustrations)
If quote

‑Quote source

‑ Old man who went to church, he was well read. The preacher was also

well read and would like to use quotes but never gave the source. As



the preacher would preach, the old man would shout: Swindoll.

Spurgeon. The Preacher shouted, "Shut up fool." Old man said,

That was his own." :)

V. Rework your ______________ and polish it. (outline)

Put verbs in your outline.
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Page 37
VI. Write your ____________________ and ____________________ in that

order. (conclusion, application)
‑ What do you want them to do? Know? etc.

‑ Start the sermon with a question:

What is greater than God... more evil than the devil... the poor

have it... the rich need it... and if you eat it you will die?

Answer: NOTHING

\webpage{http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_greater_than_God..._more_evi

l_than_the_devil..._the_poor_have_it..._the_rich_need_it..._and_if_you_

eat_it_you_will_die#ixzz1XztlSsT7


What's more powerful than God? More evil than devil? If you eat it ‑

you'll die?
VII. You are ready to ___________________ your sermon. (introduce)

There are three kinds of sermons:

1. Those you can listen to.

2. Those you can't listen to.

3. Those you must listen to.

Make yours a "must listen to" sermon.


VIII. Make full ___________ or a full _____________________. (notes,

manuscript)


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 38



Prodigal Son ‑ bad alliteration Fodder fragments frustrated fled

fathers feet


Melody in F

(The Prodigal Son)

(author unknown)
Feeling footloose and frisky,

a featherbrained fellow

Forced his fond father to fork

over the farthings.

And flew far to foreign fields

And frittered his fortune

feasting

Fabulously with faithless

friends.
Fleeced by his fellows in

folly, and facing

Famine, he found himself a

feed‑flinger in a

Filthy farm yard.

Fairly famished, he fain

would have filled

His frame with foraged food

from fodder

Fragments.


"Fooey, my father's flunkies fare far finer,"

The frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled,

frankly

Facing facts. Frustrated by failure, and filled

with foreboding,

He fled forthwith to his family.


Falling at his father's feet, he forlornly

fumbled,


"Father, I've flunked, and fruitlessly forfeited

Family fellowship & favor."

The far‑sighted father, forestalling

Further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies to

Fetch a fatling from the flock

and fix a feast.



The fugitive's fault‑finding

brother frowned on fickle

forgiveness of former

folderol.


But the faithful father figured,

"Filial fidelity is fine, but the

fugitive is found! What

forbids fervent festivity? Let flags be unfurled!

Let fanfares flare!"
Father's forgiveness formed

the foundation for the

former fugitive's future

fortitude!

\webpage{http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository‑luke‑15‑11‑32.htm

\webpage{http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/PityParty.html

‑ Weakest ink better than strongest memory.

Session VIICNotes & thoughts:


Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor 2

The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 39

The pastor as Shepherd

Session VIII
Sample Sermons
Discipleship

‑ worship at any cost ‑ hate father/mother

‑ work at any cost ‑

‑ war at any cost ‑ not cowards ‑ compromise

‑ witness at any cost ‑

Vol/11/10




‑ Using Notes ‑ Preacher was preaching, a page fell out of his Bible

and he repeated a few times, "Adam said to Eve.... (page missing)

there's a leaf missing." :)
‑ Do the Introduction ‑ one of the last things you do.
Vol 12/4mins

*** ‑ Salvation is free ‑ discipleship costs


08. The Sermon's Illustration
KEY ‑ Session VIII: house, windows, known, unknown, literally

illustrate, punctuate, motivate, skyscraper, mindbender, sleep

inducer, Plan, alive, alert, Read, enlightenment, enjoyment,

enrichment, devotional, doctrinal, practical, enablement, ears, eyes,

cathedrals, leadership, creative, logical, heat, light, different,

ideas, imagination, solutions, creative, your own ideas, unusual,

words, write, people, authors

"The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of

fools" ( - Proverbs 26:7 KJV) - Proverbs 26:7 KJV}.
The sermon is the___ (house), and the illustrations are the __

(windows) that let the light in.


Jesus, the master teacher, moved his audience from the ____________ to

the ______________. (known, unknown)


1:30
‑ Jesus found MANY illustrations in the world around Him. Farmer,

seeds, ground, fisherman, net, sea.

‑ Jesus took what they "knew" ‑ fisherman ‑ and then brought them to

the "unknown" ‑ net/everything

‑ Paul used illustrations about boxing, running a race. He was a

sportsman.

I. There are various kinds of illustrations:
1. Illustrations that _____________ _______________. (literally

illustrate)



‑ sower & sees

‑ Lester Rolloff tells the story of Dr Law & Dr Grace

Eyes ‑ looking at bad things

Hands ‑ do evil

Feet ‑ go bad places

Dr law says you need a new heart.

Dr Grace put a new heart in me. Now eyes, feet & hand now do

different.


2. Illustrations that _______________. (punctuate)

‑ humor (8min)

‑ you are not a comedian. It becomes a distraction.

‑ Humor, let's them up for air.

‑ let it ‑ Relax, Renew, Refresh ***

‑ Spurgen was criticized for using humor.

He said, "If you knew how much I held back ‑ you'd be proud of me."

See ‑


\webpage{http://www.preachingtodaysermons.com/whyseprusehu.html

‑ tickle oyster ‑ open shell ‑ apply the knife

3. Illustrations that _______________. (motivate)

‑ picture woman ear against mans chest

She is listening to her son's heart... in another man's chest. ***
II. There are some sermonic dangers that relate to illustrations:

1. The __ (skyscraper) sermonCOne story upon another.

2. The _________ ‑ ____________ sermonCIt has all walls and no

windows. (mind‑bender)

3. The __________ ______________ sermonCIt has walls but they are dull

gray and the windows are dirty. (sleep inducer)

‑ Are you going to church?

Yes ‑ I need the sleep. :)

III. The source and the secret of good illustrations:

1. __ ahead. (Plan)

2. Be ____________ and ____________. (alive, alert

3. ____________ constantly. (Read)

A. Read for ______________________. (enlightenment)

B. Read for ____________________. (enjoyment)



14min

‑ Leaders/readers

‑ In a running stream, if wire is stretched across ‑ it will catch

grass.

WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 40
C. Read for __________________. (enrichment)

‑ Warren Wierbe ‑ read 30 mins a day on one subject = PhD in 10 yrs

16min


‑ Education is expensive ‑ ignorance will cost more.
$ Read ___________________ books for the heart. (devotional)

$ Read ___________________ books for the mind. (doctrinal)

$ Read ___________________ books for the will. (practical)
D. Read for _______________________. (enablement)

17mins


‑ we must upgrade our ministry.

‑ Don't be a book recluse ‑ There are ditches on both sides of the

road.
IV. Develop your creativity.
A. What is creativity?
$ Turning eyes into __________, and ears into ___________. (ears,

eyes)
$ Information and communication are not always the same. This is the

danger of computer knowledge. 19:30min

$ God is the God of creation, and He is an artist. "Good architecture

is not an arrangement of beautiful materials, but a beautiful

arrangement of materials."


$ Learn to turn rock piles into __________________. (cathedrals)
24mins

$ Use creativity in your preaching, and in your __________________.

(leadership)


B. There is the "right brainCleft brain" phenomenon.

$ The right brain is the _________________ part (musicians, poets,

etc). (creative)

$ The left brain is ________________ (lawyers, architects, etc).

(logical)
The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 41
??? heat, light, ???


C. Here are the ten steps to creativity:

1. Dare to be __________________. (different)

2. Play with ______________. (ideas)

3. Use __________________. (imagination)

4 Look for needs that need __________________. (solutions)

5. Keep company with __________________ people. (creative)


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 42
6. Believe in _____________ _________ ______________. (your own ideas)

7. Be on the lookout for the __________________. (unusual)

8. Learn to love _______________. (words)

9. Think and _______________. (write)

10. Get acquainted with creative _______________ and creative

_________________. (people, authors)
The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 43
session VIIICNotes & thoughts:


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 44


The pastor as Shepherd

Session IX


Vol14


09. The Sermon's Presentation
KEY ‑ Session IX: faultless, dirty, full, touch, task, preach, hear,

fit, fashionable, forceful, fresh, fitting.


"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who

shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke,

exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Tim. 4:1B2 KJV).


I. Be morally __________________. (faultless) (Not so much sinless but

blameless.)

‑ Jesus needed anointed HS

‑ Special touch ‑ for special task

"God will not use a ____________ vessel." (dirty)
II. Be spiritually _____________. (full)

‑ We need anointing above all.

‑ Sermons must bounce off of heaven first.

‑ Please God ‑ not to please man. If you are trying to please man, you

will not please God.

‑ I have preached the last sermon people have heard (Columbus, GA and

more.)

‑ Remember the well, you had to prime it, then pump. A man say someone



from a distance, he was pumping like crazy! The water was flowing

freely! When he was close enough to see ‑ it wasn't a man but a wooden

image of a man ‑ the pump was moving him. It was an artesian well. The

Spirit moves us. We do not direct the Spirit.

*** "The anointing is a special ______________ for a specific ______________." (touch, task)
"You ought to preach as if it were the last sermon you would ever

_____________, or the last

sermon they would ever _____________." (preach, hear)

III. Be physically ______. (fit)


Learn to eat right and to exercise. People do not tend to follow

flabby preachers.



Get a good night's rest before you preach.
‑ Nap If You Are a Night Time Preacher

Be always freshly bathed and shaved. 14:30min


IV. Be modestly ____________________. (fashionable)
If you are a leader, look and dress like it.

Invest in clothes.

Don't set styles, but dress in style.
The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 45
V. Be visibly __________________. (forceful)


Whenever you are on the platform, stand up straight, be alert, be

alive and walk tall.


Whenever seated on the platform, sit up straight with both feet on the

floor.
Use your whole body to preach.


Learn to use your eyes.
Use your face.
Avoid distracting habits.
VI. Be verbally _______________. (fresh)
Learn to use your voice.
Work on your vocabulary and choose your words carefully. Avoid

clichés.
Have someone to help you with grammar and pronunciation.


Make it clear.


32mins

‑ it's kiss‑tomary to cuss the bride :)

VII. Be socially _________________. (fitting)
Don't use jokes that fail to edify.
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 46


session IXCNotes & thoughts:
The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 47


The pastor as Shepherd

Session X


10. The Sermon's Invitation
KEY ‑ Session X: courageously, clearly, concisely, convincingly,

cooperatively, consistently, creatively, compassionately,

convictionally, celebratively.
"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess

also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me

before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven"

(Matthew 10:32B33 KJV).


The Bible is full of examples of the public invitation.
1. Pentecost
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you

in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall

receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and

to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the

Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and

exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (Acts

2:38B40 KJV).
2. Garden of Eden

"And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art

thou?" ( - Genesis 3:9 KJV) - Genesis 3:9 KJV}.


3. Joshua

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day

whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that

were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in

whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the

LORD" ( - Joshua 24:15 KJV) - Joshua 24:15 KJV}.


4. Elijah on Mt. Carmel

"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye

between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal,

then follow him. And the people answered him not a word" ( - 1

Kings 18:21 KJV) - 1 Kings 18:21 KJV}.
The Bible closes with an invitation.
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say,

Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him

take the water of life freely" ( - Rev. 22:17 KJV) - Revelation

22:17 KJV}.


All preaching should have some kind of invitation or it is not

preaching at all.


WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 48


‑ Now it's the call for... Know ‑ Do ‑ Believe
I. Give the invitation ___. (courageously)

‑ - 2 Corinthians 5:11 (KJV) - 2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV}

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men...

‑ Believe in what you are saying

- Romans 14:5 - Romans 14:5} ...Let every man be fully

persuaded in his own mind.

‑ Believe they will come. (As you come, not if you come...)

II. Give the invitation ___. (clearly)

‑ Not sure ‑ sinners? Saints?

‑ no cliche'


9.31min

III. Give the invitation ___. (concisely)

‑ Do not go on and on.
IV. Give the invitation ___. (convincingly)
V. Give the invitation __. (cooperatively)

‑ involve the church ‑ encourage them to stay. Thank you for staying.

‑ Call altar workers ministers, not counselors.

The Pastor As Shepherd | Ministry That Feeds the Flock

Page 49
VI. Give the invitation ________________________. (consistently)

‑ Always give some way for them to respond.


VII. Give the invitation ________________________. (creatively)

‑ Not in a runt

‑ Bow your eyes, close your heads ‑ :)
VIII. Give the invitation __. (compassionately)

IX. Give the invitation______. (convictionally)

X. Give the invitation ________________________. (celebratively)
WHAT EVERY PASTOR OUGHT TO KNOW WORKBOOK

Page 50


session XCNotes & thoughts:
Adrian Rogers ‑ What Every Pastor Should Know

/mHoly Spirit

/sSermon Outpouring of the Holy

/i

Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101



/t

/fN


Outpouring of the Holy Spirit ‑ Adrian Rogers
- Ephesians 5:17 (KJV) - Ephesians 5:17 KJV} Wherefore be ye

not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.



18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with

the Spirit;


1. Obedience

v 18 ...but be filled with the Spirit;

Be Filled (Be Being Filled) 4.28mins

2. Obligations

- Ephesians 5:19 (KJV) - Ephesians 5:19 KJV} Speaking to

yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making

melody in your heart to the Lord;

Making melody

Prison Singer ‑ Behind a Few Bars & Don't Have the Right Key

‑ Worship

‑ Wedded ‑ Wives Obey

Husband Head ‑ 2 Heads Freak ‑ No Head Dead

‑ Work ‑ Singleness of Heart

‑ War ‑ Drop H‑bomb Holy Spirit
3. Opportunity

Redeeming the time

- Eph 5 - Ephesians 5}.18

Sadness is a churches filled but the people are empty

‑ Spirit ‑ Tools Not Toys. For your employment, not enjoy men.

:) ‑ Woman said I'm so glad I took 1st Aid ‑ There was a Crash in

front of my house. Blood ‑ terrible. Had I not had first aid, and knew

to put my Head Between Knees ‑ Keep from Passing out :)

* Complete Commitment



Be Filled with Not by Spirit

HS ‑ Glorified Jesus

* Continual Control

3 ‑ Be Filled ‑ Quench Not ‑ Grieve Not

‑ Greater Sin Not Filled W/ HS ‑ than Getting Drunk

‑ Imagine Preaching Drunk

‑ Imagine Preaching W/O HS

Prob ‑ Not Responsible for What Is Said

* Continuos Claiming

‑ Anointing ‑ Special Touch for Specific Task

ILL ‑ Coat ‑ Raise Arms ‑ Lift Bible ‑ I must Fill it to Work!!!!

RESULTS


Look at the Particles. ‑ words ending in "ING"

Speaking Singing Making Melody

V20 Giving Thanks

‑ HS

V21 Submitting ‑ Submission


/mDevotion

/sAdrian Rogers Private Prayer

/i

Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101



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/fN


Adrian Rogers Bonus Sermons
HEC ‑ Phoenix AZ September 19, 2011
My private prayer time
Ill ‑ wood pecker in S. GA ‑ LIGHTENING split tree ‑ called others "

look what I've done"


‑ I'd Rather Be a Preacher than Have a Paying Job! :)
* Integrity

‑ Nothing to Fear & Nothing to Hide

‑‑ Moral Integrity

‑ When younger ‑ If You Become What You Think ‑ I Was Afraid I Was

Going to Become a Woman

‑ Don't Flirt with Women ‑ Never Stop Flirting with Wife 23mins

DO NOT

‑ Preach Don't Practice



‑ Don't Pray What Do Not Mean

‑ Pretend What I Do Not Do ***


‑‑ Doctrinal Integrity

- Galatians 1:10 (KJV) - Galatians 1:10 KJV} For do I now

persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased

men, I should not be the servant of Christ.


- Gal 1 - Galatians 1}.10 Please God

I Tell Jesus What I'm Preaching ‑ If it Doesn't Please Jesus ‑ Not

Worth Preaching

‑ It's like being 1st Class on the Titanic. People going to hell but

feeling better about themselves.


‑‑ You Can't Make the Gospel Pleasing to the Flesh ‑ We Don't Make it Enticing We Make it Available ***
‑ PACE your devotion

Praise


Accept ‑ for Me ‑ to Me Use me God

Control ‑ Hands up ‑ Give up

Expectation ‑ Great Day
‑ Walk 3 Miles

Pray Children Each Day ‑ Then 1 Day Each Week

MX

SA

Africa



Europe

Far East


Usa
(Do 7 Presbyters)

/mLeaders

/sAdrian Rogers ‑ LEADERSHIP

/i

Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101



/t

/fN


Adrian Rogers ‑ LEADERSHIP

Adrian Rogers Bonus Sermons


HEC ‑ Phoenix AZ ‑ September 19, 2011
LEADERSHIP ‑ Chief Shepherd

Elder ‑ maturity

Shepherd ‑ ministry ‑ Feed

Oversight ‑ management


Maturity

Ministry


Management


I Maturity

Haddon Robinson ‑

The modern preacher ‑ superman house calls shake hand lesson

psychologist president banker diplomat umpire NAACP ‑ KKK

‑ Bull Train

Each day, train go by, blow horn, disturb bulls rest. Had enough.

Broke through fence ‑ head on with train ‑ and the conductor was

cleaning what was left of the bull our the cow catcher, he said, "I

admire your courage but your judgement was mighty poor."

Mature


‑ experience ‑ witness suffering ‑ glimpse glory

Don't preach beyond your experience

Preaching my sermons ‑ Use my bullets ‑ but use your powder

Glowing enthusiasm‑ not filthy lucre

Dirty bills ‑ no germs could live on my salary

Double honor ‑ honorarium

‑ willing mind. 19mins

‑ preaching is not making a living ‑ it's how we live our life for Him

in HIS SERVICE. (Preachers should be paid and paid well but that's not

why we do it.)


Godly Example

- 1 Peter 5:3 (KJV) - 1 Peter 5:3 KJV} Neither as being

lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

(NIV) ...being examples to the flock.

I subscribe to pastoral superiority but the congregation cancelled my

subscription.

Job Description
I Ministry

II Ministry

- 1 Peter 5:2 (KJV) - 1 Peter 5:2 KJV} Feed the flock of God

which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint,

but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Feed ‑ G4165, poimaino, poy‑mah'ee‑no, to tend as a shepherd, feed.

1. Guard the flock

- Acts 20:29 (KJV) - Acts 20:29 KJV} For I know this, that

after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not

sparing the flock.

Congregation ‑ Follow & Swallow

Pastor ‑ Leads & Feeds



Guard, Guide & Grow

Sheep produce sheep


III Management

Bishop ‑ overseer

Ministry ‑ Management

- Acts 20:28 (KJV) - Acts 20:28 KJV} Take heed therefore

unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost

hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath

purchased with his own blood.

Humble but accurate opion


Pastor Led

Deacon Served

Doesn't run the church

Committee Operated

Commitment

Congregation Approved

I serve at the pleasure of our people (like the president)

***


Pastors
Adrian Rogers ‑ LEADERSHIP

Date Originally Filed - 9/2011.101


Adrian Rogers ‑ LEADERSHIP

Adrian Rogers Bonus Sermons


HEC ‑ Phoenix AZ ‑ September 19, 2011
LEADERSHIP ‑ Chief Shepherd

Elder ‑ maturity

Shepherd ‑ ministry ‑ Feed

Oversight ‑ management




Maturity

Ministry


Management
I Maturity

Haddon Robinson ‑

The modern preacher ‑ superman house calls shake hand lesson

psychologist president banker diplomat umpire NAACP ‑ KKK

‑ Bull Train

Each day, train go by, blow horn, disturb bulls rest. Had enough.

Broke through fence ‑ head on with train ‑ and the conductor was

cleaning what was left of the bull our the cow catcher, he said, "I

admire your courage but your judgement was mighty poor."

Mature


‑ experience ‑ witness suffering ‑ glimpse glory

Don't preach beyond your experience

Preaching my sermons ‑ Use my bullets ‑ but use your powder

Glowing enthusiasm‑ not filthy lucre

Dirty bills ‑ no germs could live on my salary

Double honor ‑ honorarium

‑ willing mind. 19mins

‑ preaching is not making a living ‑ it's how we live our life for Him

in HIS SERVICE. (Preachers should be paid and paid well but that's not

why we do it.)


Godly Example

- 1 Peter 5:3 (KJV) - 1 Peter 5:3 KJV} Neither as being

lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

(NIV) ...being examples to the flock.

I subscribe to pastoral superiority but the congregation cancelled my

subscription.

Job Description
I Ministry

II Ministry

- 1 Peter 5:2 (KJV) - 1 Peter 5:2 KJV} Feed the flock of God

which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint,

but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Feed ‑ G4165, poimaino, poy‑mah'ee‑no, to tend as a shepherd, feed.

1. Guard the flock

- Acts 20:29 (KJV) - Acts 20:29 KJV} For I know this, that



after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not

sparing the flock.

Congregation ‑ Follow & Swallow

Pastor ‑ Leads & Feeds


Guard, Guide & Grow

Sheep produce sheep


III Management

Bishop ‑ overseer

Ministry ‑ Management

- Acts 20:28 (KJV) - Acts 20:28 KJV} Take heed therefore

unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost

hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath

purchased with his own blood.

Humble but accurate opion


Pastor Led

Deacon Served

Doesn't run the church

Committee Operated

Commitment

Congregation Approved

I serve at the pleasure of our people (like the president)

***



<><

Making the Move to Noteless Preaching - Peter Mead

- 9/2011.101
Making the Move to Noteless Preaching

Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.net Cor Deo
Remember, the goal of sermon preparation is an oral message, not a

polished manuscript for publication.Email this articlePrint

FriendlyHow is it possible to move from manuscript to notes or even no


notes? A few thoughts:
1. Manuscripting is a great approach to sermon preparation that I

affirm. The issue is not writing a manuscript, but relying on it or

reading it in the pulpit. Work put in on wording and phrasing in

preparation will yield fruit in preaching, so it is worth continuing

to manuscript, in my opinion.
2. Moving to notes means formulating a distillation on paper. That

is, putting in something similar to headings and sub‑headings in your

manuscript, then removing the text to leave these Aheadings@ and

highlights of content. I don=t like to use the term headings because

actually a sermon outline is not built with headings, it is made up of

ideas. The problem with headings is that they tend to be incomplete

sentences, and therefore, incomplete thoughts. If we take the heading

approach we will be tempted into clever little pithy alliterations and

summary headings that actually don=t reflect the content of the

message. Much better to summarize the movement of the message and

preach with those Aideas@ rather than alliterated bullet points.

(That is not to say that you might not be able to use trigger terms to

jog your memory of the ideas that constitute the points or movements

of the message, but these are triggers for you, not your listeners.)


3. Moving to no notes means a bit more of a step. With notes you can

still have a complex message that bounces around the canon like a hard

rubber ball in a concrete box. When you go no notes, you need to

simplify the message and tie it in more closely to the text you are

preaching. Effectively the text becomes your notes, so you look at

the text and see the shape of thought that provides the skeleton for

the message. No notes preaching doesn=t require superior memory

skills, it requires only greater familiarization with the text and a

more accessible / clear / logical / simple message. If a message is

so complex that you need notes to help you navigate it, then what hope

do your listeners have? You=ve spent hours on it; they only get one

shot!
4. Moving to notes or no notes requires practice. I don=t mean just

trying and failing in the pulpit (in reality you won=t Afail@ as

easily as you expect). What I mean is running through the message

without the manuscript. Prayerfully practicing before you preach is

not at all unspiritual. I would encourage preachers to preach...often

a message makes sense on paper, but simply won=t flow from your

mouth. Better to find that out before you preach it on Sunday!



Remember, the goal of sermon preparation is an oral communication

event, not a polished manuscript for publication.


Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.netCor Deo

Peter Mead is involved in church leadership at an independent Bible

church in the UK. He serves as director of Cor DeoCan innovative

mentored ministry training programCand has a wider ministry preaching

and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/peter‑

mead‑making‑the‑move‑to‑noteless‑preaching‑1021.asp?utm_source=newslett

er&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate

<><
10 Tips for Better Preaching - Jim Martin

- 9/2011.101


10 Tips for Better Preaching Pt.1

Jim Martin

Godhungry.org
In this two‑part series on better preaching, Jim Martin offers ten

tips for more effective preaching every Sunday. Email this

articlePrint FriendlyThe following are ten suggestions that can make a

significant difference in preaching. As I write these, I have in mind

in particular those preachers/teachers who address the same

congregation of people every week.


1. Communicate to the people in your church that you love them.

You do this through your words, manner, and tone of voice. After all,

these people are not a platform to be used to launch you toward

something bigger and better. They are a precious local expression of

the body of Christ. If they think you really don't love them, what you

say in a sermon will be greatly discounted.


2. Seek clarity not obscurity in preaching.

No, not all of the fruit must be low hanging. People need to hear a

word from God. Many people come to church after a week of just trying

to survive. Some preachers might be stunned if they were to see a

composite list of all the difficulty and turmoil these people

experienced that week.



3. Resist the temptation to trot out every new thought in this

Sunday's sermon.

Some ideas and thoughts need to spend time slowly cooking in the

crockpot rather than being prematurely presented on a Sunday morning.


4. Be careful about regularly communicating that you are different

from the rest of the people in the congregation.

For example, a preacher needs to be careful about belittling a local

favorite, such as a favorite food. This preacher may do this in an

attempt at humor. Such an attempt can easily backfire and can

communicate that you really don't value what they value. A similar

mistake is to regularly talk about how much better things are "back

home" instead of here. Sure it is fine to have your own opinions.

However, one may unnecessarily use up some goodwill with such remarks.
5. Passion alone does not make a sermon.

However, when a preacher rarely preaches with passion, one wonders how

important the message is to that preacher. Passion is not turning red

in the face or yelling at the congregation. Passion is what emerges

from a preacher when there is a strong sense of importance to this

message. When one preaches with passion, one senses the earnestness

and the listener senses that this message is very important. Where

does passion come from? Prayer. Thought. Reflection on God's word.

One's own relationship with God. Passion begins to emerge as you

realize what is at stake in this message.


Jim Martin

Godhungry.orgJim Martin is the lead pastor of Crestview Church of

Christ in Waco, Texas. He's married to Charlotte and has two

daughters. He enjoys coffee, biking, and grilling most anything. Read

more on his blog: Godhungry.org.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/jim‑ma

rtin‑10‑tips‑for‑better‑preaching‑pt1‑1029.asp

10 Tips for Better Preaching Pt. 2

Jim Martin

Godhungry.org


In this two‑part series on better preaching, Jim Martin offers ten

tips for more effective preaching every Sunday.Email this articlePrint



FriendlyThis is Part 2 of "10 Tips for Better Preaching." Read Part 1

here.
6. Talk to people as if they are intelligent (they are) but resist the

urge to prepare a sermon for a seminary professor.

You are now before the people of the congregation. You are not trying

to impress your professor. You are trying to connect with a group of

people who have a variety of problems and who are engaged in a number

of professions. This doesn't mean that you must "dumb down" your

preaching. It does mean that you need to work hard for clarity.


When I was almost finished with my DMin degree, I received a call one

day from one of my professors. He said he and his wife were going to

be in our assembly the following Sunday. He wanted to hear me preach.

After hearing that he was going to visit, I panicked. I wondered if I

should not toss my sermon into the trash and start over.
Fortunately, I caught myself and realized I was preparing to preach to

one person instead of preaching to the people who would be gathered in

our assembly.
7. Note the importance of ethos.

Your genuiness and goodness are incredibly important. No longer will

people listen simply because you are the preacher and you have been to

seminary. For many people today, your credibility will first come from

your life and godliness.
8. Present the opposing view as if very intelligent, good people

believe this.

In other words, don't make fun of the opposing view or talk as if

those who hold such a view are obviously not intelligent, thoughtful,

or spiritual. When presenting an opposing view, present the strongest

argument for that view, not the weakest. In other words, you may not

agree with the view but you can respect those who happen to hold that

view.
9. If you want people to take you seriously, then do nothing that

might give them reason not to.

Remember that preaching is a matter of trust and credibility.

Preaching that deals with Jesus, sin, suffering, doubt, faith is

deeply personal. Very often your hearers will listen not only with

their ears but in some of the most tender places in their hearts. They

are allowing you, as you handle the Word of God, to speak to their



hearts. They are trusting you to walk gently and to handle the Word of

God as a skillful surgeon. They trust your integrity and authenticity.


(This is one reason why it is devastating for a member of the

congregation to learn that their preacher is committing adultery. They

have given that preacher much trust and it turns out this person has

not been living a trustworthy life.)


10. Take your preaching seriously and yourself less seriously.

Remember that most any preacher can be heard through podcasts or some

sort of digital recording. Don't panic when the congregation starts

quoting a nationally known preacher after listening to his latest

podcast. Be glad they are learning and growing.
When you make mistakes, laugh at yourself. Your laughter will put them

at ease and they will more readily connect with you. Admitting your

mistakes and laughing at yourself will actually help you bond with the

church.
Jim Martin

Godhungry.orgJim Martin is the lead pastor of Crestview Church of

Christ in Waco, Texas. He's married to Charlotte and has two

daughters. He enjoys coffee, biking, and grilling most anything. Read

more on his blog: Godhungry.org.


\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/jim‑ma

rtin‑10‑tips‑for‑better‑preaching‑pt‑2‑1030.asp?utm_source=newsletter&u

tm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate

/mChurch Planting

/s12 Qs Before Planting a Churc

/i

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12 Qs Before Planting a Church?


Should You Plant a Church? 12 Questions to Confirm Your Calling

Mark Driscoll



Acts 29 Network
Mark Driscoll offers a bold and helpful list of questions to help

leaders confirm their call to plant.Email this articlePrint Friendly1.

Is the Holy Spirit out ahead of you planting the church? You don't

plant a church for God; you plant a church with God. If money, people,

and a place start showing up as you're preparing to plant, that is

potential evidence that the Holy Spirit is out ahead of you

( - Acts 1 - Acts 1}).
2. Is your church planting call obvious to other godly leaders?
3. Has God confirmed your church plant by showing up in miraculous

(big, supernatural, no‑other‑way‑to‑explain‑it) ways? In

- Acts 3 - Acts 3} and - 4 - Acts 4}, Peter heals a

man, preaches, and then thousands of people get saved.


4. Are you reaching lost people? The goal of church plants is the

salvation of lost people. If you're not doing this, don't plant a

church. If you want to be a shepherd, there are plenty of existing

flocks in need. (Acts 8:5B9)


5. Has Jesus shown up and told you to plant? ( - Acts 9 - Acts

9})
6. Has God told you to plant through a vision? In - Acts

10 - Acts 10} and - 11 - Acts 11}, Cornelius and Peter both

have a vision: Peter is called and Cornelius welcomes him.


7. Has God providentially relocated you to plant? In Acts 11:19B21,

believers scatter due to persecution and plant a church where they

resettle.
8. Is God calling you to plant because you're not totally necessary at

your current church? If you're in a church with good leaders that will

be fine without you on their team, God may be calling you to relocate

to a place where you can use your gifts and resources to their full

capacity. ( - Acts 13 - Acts 13})
9. Is God calling you to plant because you're currently wasting your

time in a toxic place? ( - Acts 14 - Acts 14})


10. Are you called to be a catalytic church planter or to plant a

church‑planting center? In - Acts 14 - Acts 14}, Paul goes

from one city to the next planting churches and then sends in other

men to establish elders, whereas James (Jesus' brother) plants a

church in Jerusalem and stays there, sending other men out.


11. Has God called you to plant by giving you a deep burden for a city

or people? ( - Acts 17:16 - Acts 17:16})


12. Has God called you to plant by giving you a core group?

( - Acts 18:7‑8 - Acts 18:7‑8})


Mark Driscoll

Acts 29 NetworkPastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking

pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world's most

downloaded and quoted pastors. His audienceCfans and critics

alikeCspans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his

updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/mark‑d

riscoll‑should‑you‑plant‑a‑church‑12‑questions‑to‑confirm‑your‑calling‑

1026.asp
<><


Dealing with the Preacher‑Eaters - Joe McKeever

- 6/2011.101


Dealing with the Preacher‑Eaters - Joe McKeever

JoeMcKeever.com


Joe McKeever shares practical advice for dealing with the

self‑appointed church rulers who try to dominate your preaching and

your ministry. Email this articlePrint FriendlyRecently, I cautioned

young assistant pastors on a snare lying in their path (i.e., certain

church members puffing them up into believing that they are superior

to the pastor and ought to have his job). In telling my own story from

several decades back, I expressed gratitude that I had not become the

senior pastor for several reasons. Chief among them was the extremely

strong laymen who exercised great influence in that church who would

have "chewed me up and spat me out."


A young pastor wrote asking me to elaborate on that. Who are those

men? How do they operate? What is a pastor to do when he finds himself

serving a church with such leadership in place?


Nothing that follows is meant to imply that I have all wisdom on this

subject. Far from it. I carry scars from encounters with some of those

menCnot men from that church in my previous article, but from their

clones with whom I did battle in two subsequent churches.


The Apostle John wrote to a friend whom he called "beloved Gaius" in

the little epistle we call III John. The key issue is a church boss

who was exercising tyrannical control over the congregation. John

says, "I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the

preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I

will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with

malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not

receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out

of the church" (III - John 9‑10 - John 9‑10}).
They've always been with us, these self‑important self‑appointed

church rulers who reign as big frogs in small ponds and get their

thrills from dominating God‑sent ministers.
Who are they?
They are almost always men. I've never seen a woman try to control the

church and the preachers the way some men do. Perhaps you have. Human

nature being what it is, doubtless there are female Diotrephes out

there. Thankfully, they are rare.


Where do they come from?
Ah, there is the rub.
Some of these menClet's call them Sons of DiotrephesCare serious

disciples of Jesus Christ who rose to leadership positions in the

church on their merit. They stepped in at difficult times for the

church and provided the wisdom, the direction, and the leadership that

saved the day. The congregation is grateful and now naturally looks to

them for direction long after the crisis is over.


When a new pastor arrives at a church, he will want to identify the

influence‑makers. Whether they hold elective offices or not, these are

the men and women to whom the congregation naturally (and first!)


looks when critical decisions must be made. If they oppose a program

the new preacher is presenting, he's in trouble from the start. He

does well to get to know these people and to keep them on his side.
Some Sons‑of‑Diotrephes are not serious disciples of Jesus but simply

stepped in and filled a leadership vacuum at a crisis period in the

church's life and now refuse to vacate it. They enjoy being

power‑brokers. Such people are the bane of every pastor and the death

knell for every church unless the congregation acts to break their

stranglehold.


Sometimes carnal men are assigned church leadership roles by merit of

their wealth or position in the community. In a small to medium‑size

church made up of typical Americans, the owner of a factory or large

business will always stand out. The deference which he commands during

the week will be shown him on Sunday. If he is regular in attendance

and generous with his money, he's almost automatically going to be

elected to key positions. Whether he is godly and humbleCSpirit‑filled

and mission‑minded, with a servant spirit and a heart for GodCor not,

rarely comes into play in the typical church.
How sad is that?
Pity the new pastor who walks into a church unprepared to deal with

carnal leaders who enjoy their power positions and cannot wait to let

the new minister know who's in charge.
Dealing with the Sons of Diotrephes
In the church where I served as a staff member (referred to in the

previous article), the strongest lay leaders, the ones who ruled and

insisted that the pastor deal with them, were a handful of business

leaders in the city. Some were related to one another. To me

personally, they were sweet and friendly and a pleasure to fellowship

with. However, I was a lowly staffer and hardly a blip on their radar.

It was the pastor who was in their cross‑hairs.
Quick story. A new pastor arrived and quickly ran into the reality of

this small cadre of Diotrephes‑clones (the SODs). After a few

difficult years, the weary pastor bailed out and relocated to another

state. Some years later, when the pastor who succeeded him got into

moral trouble and had to resign abruptly, the pastor search committee

wanted the former pastor to return. They were surprised by his



response.
"Before I agree to talk with your committee," he said, "I want Mr.

Diotrephes (he named him, of course) to fly out here and ask me

personally to become the pastor. If he doesn't, I'm not interested."

When Diotrephes showed up at the pastor's office, hat in hand, asking

him to return, the pastor let him know that if he came back to that

church, things would be different. Otherwise, no soap. He returned and

led that congregation through many years of ministry and growth. To my

knowledge, his influence and leadership and authority as pastor were

never seriously threatened thereafter.
I've never forgotten that lesson. Unfortunately, his was an unusual

situation, not easily duplicated by other pastors.


Question: How would a pastor deal with the Sons of Diotrephes in the

new church where he has gone to serve? Very carefully. Extremely

prayerfully.
A wise pastor will find out before he goes to a church how decisions

are made there and whether unelected, self‑appointed laypeople call

the shots. A little investigating (such as talking with the previous

pastors or the local denominational leadership) will tell him whether

he wants to proceed further with the pastor search committee.
The former pastor made no bones about it with me. "Joe," the older

gentleman said, as he put his long arms around my shoulder, "twenty of

the most miserable years of my life were spent in that church."
That is exactly what he said.
"A little group was organized against me. They fought me on every

decision. Whenever they got word that we were going to be presenting

anything for a church vote, they burned up the phone lines organizing

their people to oppose it."


And yet, I still went to that church. I went in knowing that I could

expect opposition from a small, powerful group of members. Sure

enough, they were on the job. As we've written elsewhere, I found out

later that some decided I was too conservative for their liking and

decided before the moving van was unloaded that I would have to go.

Instead of staying 20 years as I intended, I stayed three.




In our case, we called in a church consultant. He spent many weeks

studying our situation and faulted the church for having no

constitution and bylaws which left a leadership vacuum to be filled by

strong‑willed laypeople. He found that while I was not responsible for

the church's division, I had become its focus and recommended that I

move to another church so the congregation could create a constitution

and start fresh with a new pastor.
It hurt to walk away. But I realized later that doing so probably

saved my life. The stress of that pastorate was slowly killing me.


Something inside us probably would like God to deal with the SODs the

way he protected Moses against them. From - Numbers

16 - Numbers 16}....
Now, Korah the son of Izhar (and a number of his buddies) rose up

before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and

fifty leaders of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered

together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You take too much

upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them,

and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the

assembly of the Lord?"
When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, and he spoke to Korah and

all his company, saying, "Tomorrow morning, the Lord will show who is

His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him.... You

take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!"


Moses said to them, "You and all your company are gathered together

against the Lord." ( - Numbers 16:11 - Numbers 16:11})


The next day, the ground split apart under (these men). The earth

opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all

the men with Korah, with all their goods.... The earth closed over

them, and they perished from among the assembly.


Wasn't this a little harsh? Well, God did it, not Moses. And God being

God, He can do as He pleases ( - Psalm 115:3 - Psalms 115:3}).


By the way, one day one of the SODs came to me at church and said,

"Joe, does it not matter to you the caliber of the people who are

opposed to you?" At the time, all I muttered was, "It does." Only

later did the Lord call - Numbers 16 - Numbers 16} to my mind



where the "men of renown" opposed Moses.
In Moses' case and in my case, God dealt with those men. Dramatically

in Moses' case, not so much in mine. As far as I can tell. And that's

an important point.
I stood in front of a church I had been serving for seven years and

told the congregation how a small group of SODs were making life

miserable for me. They did not represent the larger membership, I said

and was glad to know, but they were a constant drag on my ministry and

a thorn in my flesh. From the pulpit I addressed that group: I need

you to know two important things: One, God is using your opposition to

purify me and make me stronger. So I am grateful for you. Second, you

will stand before the Lord one day and give account for what you are

doing to His church and the man He has sent as your pastor. And

friend, I wouldn't be in your shoes for anything in the world. I

thought of the line, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of

the living God ( - Hebrews 10:31 - Hebrews 10:31}).


Toward the end of that sermon that day, I told the Diotrephes clan,

"From now on, I'm serving you notice. We will love you, we will listen

to you, and then we're going to ignore you. But we are going forward."

The congregation burst into applause. Some asked later why it had

taken me so long to kill that snake.
The answer was that I was still in recovery from the turmoil in the

previous church (the one referred to above where the older pastor had

spent 20 miserable years, to which I devoted only three years).

Furthermore, it took seven years in this church to gain the confidence

that the congregation looked to me as pastor and would support me in a

stand against the SODs.


Here are my suggestions to the pastor who finds himself in this snake

pit:
1. Spend a great deal of time on your knees.


2. Protect your wife from much of the stress. If she can continue

loving the SODs and their families without reservation, all the

better. She will need to know some, but not everything.
3. Remember the Lord's instructions of - Luke 6:27 - Luke

6:27}ff. In loving your enemies‑‑those who hate you or curse you or



threaten you‑‑you are to do good deeds for them, bless them, pray for

them, and give to them. Among other benefits, you will make sure that

ill will and resentment will not linger in your heart.
4. Minister to the SODs faithfully as though they are your biggest

supporters. Otherwise, you are giving them material to use against

you.
5. As you gain the trust of the rest of the congregation, in God's

timing, you will be able to withstand the SODs more aggressively and

with greater success.
6. Remember that a short‑term pastorate plays right into their hands.

If you leave after only a few years, they are vindicated that their

leadership is needed to save the church during the interim, and they

will be lying in wait for the next pastor. You will have done him no

favors.
7. Vengeance is not yours. (See - Romans 12:9‑21 - Romans

12:9‑21} for a manual on dealing with everyone in the church,

including the Sons of Diotrephes.) Your job is to preach the Word and

love the sheep and stay close to the Lord.


There is one more method, a quick one, that ends the

Sons‑of‑Diotrephes' hold on the church. Other laymen inside the

congregation can rise up against the SODs and put them out of business

anytime they please.


The SODs have the pastor in a hammerlock. This is his job and he needs

an income to feed his family. If he gets run off from this church and

finds himself unemployed, he will find it difficult to get another

church. Pastor search committees are understandably wary of flockless

shepherds. "If you're so hot, why aren't you leading a church?"
However, the SODs have no such control over the other laypeople.

That's why they try to work behind the scenes with the other men and

women in the congregation. They use friendship, gifts, thoughtfulness,

appointments, and honors to curry favor with the deacons and teachers

and officers of the church. The laypeople are so trusting of these

(ahem) wonderful people, they "just know" they couldn't possibly be

doing all those terrible things to the pastor. And so, like sheep,

they go on their way, allowing the wolves to harass the shepherd.




The remedy: in a church business meeting, stand up and ask important

questions. "Who decided this?" "Pastor, was this what you wanted?"

"Who is on that committee?" Two things the SODs cannot stand are

exposure (everyone finding out what they've been doing behind the

scenes) and accountability (insisting that decision‑makers report to

the congregation on what they did and why).


Sons of Diotrephes have contempt for the laity in their congregation.

They know the great mass of the members want to be left alone and

protected from the inner workings of their church. This provides them

with a field on which to do their work. Hold them accountable. Ask

questions of them in public. Turn on the lights. Let fresh air into

the inner workings of what used to be known as smoked‑filled rooms.

You might end up saving your church and rescuing an embattled pastor.
There is no one‑size‑fits‑all plan for dealing with self‑appointed

church bosses. But I hope my analysis provides some assistance to

God's pastors. Don't forget, friend, to mobilize your prayer support

team. In good times and bad, you'll need a cadre of intercessors

regularly entering the Throne Room on your behalf.

Joe McKeever

JoeMcKeever.comDr. Joe McKeever is a preacher, cartoonist and the

retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater

New Orleans. Currently he loves to serve as a speaker/pulpit fill for

revivals, prayer conferences, deacon trainings, leadership banquets

and other church events. Visit him and enjoy his insights on nearly 50

years of ministry at JoeMcKeever.com.

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Each Sermon Should Include

- 7/2011.101


Each Sermon Should Include


Each sermon should include: (bullet point the main items and expound

each point).


The classical way to form a sermon is to use an orderly and logical

outline. Even though each sermon should have logic, it should not

always need to be predictable. In order to remain logical and the help

the hearers to keep pace with the sermon the following components

should be included:
The Title. The main function of the title is to serve as an advanced

introduction to the sermon. When the title is read people will begin

to guess what the sermon is about as well as it gives an implied

promise that will be fulfilled during the sermon. The title should not

detract from the sermon but be a quick reference to the content of the

sermon. It is not always necessary to have a title, or at least as

the hearers is concerned, but it aids in proper filing and quick

reference at a later time. I have had instances when I named a sermon

and when I pulled the sermon to preach at another date/place the

emphasis was on a different part of the sermon causing the title to

change and some restructuring of some of the content.
The Introduction. The special responsibilities of the introduction

are:


A sermon introduction should make a promise to the hearer and it

should give hints as what to expect in the heart of the sermon.

It should make a promise that the hearers are likely to want to

keep. It should maintain the hearer's interest and bear meaning to

their lives.

It should remain on the same communicational level as the rest of the

sermon.

It should anticipate the whole sermon, but also unify with the next

step of the sermon.
The Proposition. The proposition is the thesis or the subject of the

sermon." This is the reason the sermon is preached or needed and is to

develop one main truth.
The Divisions. I find and our studies show that having an outline or

divisions will help to know where I have been in the sermon and where

I will need to go. This helps the hearer to keep up with the

progression of the sermon and to have a better understanding of what

comes next. Sometimes these divisions can be formulated into an

acronym which will help the hearer to remember the sermon, such as the



well known FROG‑Fully, Rely, On, God.
The Discussion. The discussion is the body of the sermon that

properly unfolds the ideas contained in the division. The discussion

should contain:
Unity B The mixture of thoughts should all come together in the sermon

and not branch off into what some people call "rabbit trails".


Proportion B It is best to keep the divisions within proportion with

each other. Expounding on one point more than the others may detract

from the full purpose of the sermon.
Progression B There must be a build up or progression of the sermon.

1. Consisting of a foundation or introduction. 2. Frame work or

outline of the sermon. 3. Internal working which consists of word

studies, in depth study of the content of the scripture.


The Illustrations. Although not always necessary illustrations can

bring about great clarity to the sermon. Jesus utilized stories (or

parables) to get his point across to the hearers. Illustrations make

the sermon more interesting and provide a vivid witness and emphasis

to the truth. But it is necessary to use illustrations that are clear

as well as credible. Don't deter from the facts so that the

information that you are sharing is believable. Keeping the

illustration brief will help keep it from overpowering the sermon and

thus taking away from the purpose of the sermon. You do not want

people to only remember the illustration; it should point to the

point/purpose of the message.
The Application. The application is one of the most important

elements of the sermon and should bring into focus the next step or

direction the hearer should continue in their journey with Christ.
The Conclusion. The purpose of the conclusion is reaffirming what the

sermon should have already stated. It should not include points or

ideas that were not part of the body of the sermon. There are several

forms of conclusion such as recapitulation that steps the hearer back

through a brief review of the main points of the sermon. The second

is the illustration that brings together the content into a format

that the hearer can better understand. The third is the appeal or

application that gets the hearer ready to do something or commit to

following through with putting action to Word that has been presented.




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10 Last Minute Preaching Tips by Toni Ridgaway

- 8/2011.101


10 Last Minute Preaching Tips by Toni Ridgaway
ChurchLeaders.com
Read these top ten preaching tips for inspiration and vision before

you preach this Sunday! Email this articlePrint Friendly


As pastors, we must first preach the gospel to ourselves before we

proclaim to the world the necessity of a Savior. How damnable it

would be to die of malnutrition while we busily prepare food for

others.
CScott Thomas


The best advice we ever give is that of a poor sinner to another poor

sinner. As one who looks to herself, lest she also be tempted. As one

who knows he needs to be encouraged as well. As one who doesn=t

assume to know another=s heart and pain.


CMark Altrogge
If one wanted to find the biggest problem in Christianity then listen

to the preachers. Whatever most preachers are avoiding in their

sermons. Whatever most preachers are not addressing. Those things are

probably going to be the things that are most needed today.


CSherman Haywood Cox II
Sermons are not made for paper; they are made for people. They are to

be listened to. Just like Ford test‑drives any prototype before they

produce the vehicle, you should test drive your sermon by listening to

it before you preach it.


CMark Mohler
We all know that it is important to know what you are teaching, but it

is becoming even more important to know how they are learning.
CWayne Cordeiro
To help people change, you=ve got to help them see the lie they=re

basing their behavior on. That=s why when you know the truth, it sets

you free.
CRick Warren
What the world is looking for is an authoritative Gospel spoken

through a humble personality.


CP.T. Forsythe
People don=t transform because of a good message. They transform

because of a great Jesus.


CPete Wilson
Lectures are a fine way to impart raw information. But it's not enough

to make disciples who make other disciples. Information transfer isn't

enough, we need life transfer. Don't tell me, show me.
CJon Reid
When preachers hold a Bible in their hands, they hold nothing more

than pages of inkYPreaching brings the ink of the text aliveCmakes it

real. The goal of preaching is to hand on an experience of God.
CTom Rogers

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10 Preaching Questions with Tim Keller by Colin Adams


Colin Adams interviews Tim Keller about the greatest perils in

preaching, sermon prep, and balancing the demands of leadership.


In great faith, I have written to a number of better‑known preachers on both sides of the Atlantic. Each of them

has been sent ten questions on the subject of preaching. The following

is Tim Keller=s response. For those of you who don=t know, ATimothy J.

Keller is an author, a speaker, and the founding pastor of Redeemer

Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City, New York.@ Find here a

more complete biography.


1. Where do you place the importance of preaching in the grand scheme

of church life?

It is central, but not alone at the center. Pastoral ministry is as

important as preaching ministry, and lay "every‑member" ministry is as

crucial as ordained ministry. I wouldn=t make a hierarchy out of these

thingsCthey are interdependent. But pastoral ministry and lay ministry

are not substitutes for strong preaching.
2. In a paragraph, how did you discover your gifts in preaching?

I preached about 200 different expositions a year for the first nine

years of my ministry (when I was age 24 through 33). During that time

I was considered interesting and good but I never got a lot of

feedback that I was anything special. I=ve grown a lot through lots of

practice.


3. How long (on average) does it take you to prepare a sermon?

I pastor a large church and have a large staff, and so I give special

prominence to preparing the sermon. I give it 15B20 hours a week. I

would not advise younger ministers to spend so much time, however. The

main way to become a good preacher is to preach a lot, and to spend

tons of time in people workCthat is how you grow from becoming not

just a Bible commentator but a flesh and blood preacher. When I was a

pastor without a large staff, I put in six to eight hours on a sermon.


4. Is it important to you that a sermon contain one major theme or

idea? If so, how do you crystallize it?

I don=t know that I=d be so rigid as to say there has to be just one

Big Idea every time. That is a good discipline for preachers in

general, because it helps with clarity. Most texts have too much in

them for the preacher to cover in one address. You must be selective.

But sometimes a preaching‑size text simply has two or three major

ideas that are too good to pass up.



5. What is the most important aspect of a preacher=s style and what

should he avoid?

He should combine warmth and authority/force. That is hard to do,

since temperamentally we incline one way or the other. (And many, many

of us show neither warmth nor force in preaching.)
6. What notes, if any, do you use?

I use a very detailed outline, with many key phrases in each sub‑point

written out word for word.
7. What are the greatest perils that a preacher must avoid?

This seems to me too big a question to tackle here. Virtually

everything a preacher ought to do has a corresponding peril‑to‑avoid.

For examples, preaching should be Biblical, clear (for the mind),

practical (for the will), vivid (for the heart,) warm, forceful, and

Christo‑centric. You should avoid the opposites of all these things.


8. How do you fight to balance preparation for preaching with other

important responsibilities (e.g., pastoral care, leadership

responsibilities)?

See my remarks on #3 above. It is a very great mistake to pit pastoral

care and leadership against preaching preparation. It is only through

doing people‑work that you become the preacher you need to beCsomeone

who knows sin, how the heart works, what people=s struggles are, and

so on. Pastoral care and leadership are to some degree sermon prep.

More accurately, it is preparing the preacher, not just the sermon.

Prayer also prepares the preacher, not just the sermon.


9. What books on preaching, or exemplars of it, have you found most

influential in your own preaching?

British preachers have had a much greater impact on me than American

preachers. And the American preachers who have been most influential

(e.g., Jonathan Edwards) were essentially British anyway.
10. What steps do you take to nurture or encourage developing or

future preachers?

I haven=t done much on that front at all, and I=m not happy about

that. Currently I meet with two other younger preachers on my staff

who also preach regularly. We talk specifically about their preaching

and sermon prep.




Colin Adams

Unashamedworkman.wordpress.comColin Adams is the pastor of Ballymoney

Baptist Church, Northern Ireland. For six years Colin had the

privilege of serving as an Associate Pastor with Charlotte Baptist

Chapel in Edinburgh. Before coming to Edinburgh he studied theology

for four years at International Christian College in Glasgow.


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The Danger of the Front Row by Steven Furtick

- 8/2011.101


Danger of the Front Row

The Danger of the Front Row by Steven Furtick


If you want your church or organization to reach its full potential,

you have to get the people with back‑row complacency to have front‑row

enthusiasm and motivation.Email this articlePrint FriendlyAt

Elevation, the people who sit on the front row are hardcore. During

worship and the sermon, they go nuts. They=re raising their hands,

singing to the top of their lungs, saying amen, nodding their heads,

and scribbling notes furiously.
Because of the way the auditorium is lit, all I can see are the people

on the front row. And if you only judged the atmosphere of the room by

the front row, you=d get the impression that everyone=s into this and

that everyone=s getting it.


But if you look through to the back of the room, it=s not the same.

You notice more people disengaged. Their arms are crossed. They=re

mouthing the words to songs, if they=re singing at all. When you=re

preaching, it=s as if their face has forgotten that their soul got

saved.


As leaders, it=s easy to find ourselves only paying attention to the

people on the front row. And I=m not just talking about the front row

in the context of worship. We spend most of our time focused on those

who are super‑committed and involved, and understandably so. They=re

where we want everyone to be. They=re encouraging and life‑affirming.

They make us feel like we=re moving forward and not wasting our time.


But the dangerous thing about the front row is that it can skew your

assessment of the room and make you think your church or organization

is in a better place than it is. You have to be aware of the whole

room, not just the front row. You know, the 70B80% of the room that is

more complacent, not just the hardcore 20B30%.
There are so many people in the rest of the room that aren=t into what

you=re doing yet. They haven=t gotten it. They haven=t bought in. They

may need to be brought along a little differently than your crew in

the front row. You may need to alter your approach to reach them and

get them onboard.
I=m not saying you should ignore your fan base. They=re your most

important asset. I fully believe you should preach to the most

passionate people in the room. Some bottom‑feeders are always going to

do what they do, so we shouldn=t settle for the lowest common

denominator of commitment and enthusiasm. That will get you nowhere.
But we also can=t afford to forever function on the passion and

commitment of the front row. If you want your church or organization

to reach its full potential, you have to get the people with back‑row

complacency to have front‑row enthusiasm and motivation. And in order

to do that, you first have to be able to correctly gauge the entire

atmosphere.


Assess the whole room. Work your fan base. Preach to the most

passionate people in the room. Just don=t leave the 70B80% on the back

rows behind.

Steven Furtick

StevenFurtick.comSteven Furtick is the Lead Pastor of Elevation

Church, an incredible move of God in Charlotte, NC with more than

9,000 in attendance each week among (soon‑to‑be) six locations. He is

the author of the book, Sun Stand Still. He lives in Charlotte with



his wife Holly and their three children, Elijah, Graham and Abbey.
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Shotgun or Sniper - What's Your Preaching Strategy: Shotgun or Sniper? by Peter Mead

- 8/2011.101


Shotgun or Sniper
What's Your Preaching Strategy: Shotgun or Sniper? by Peter Mead
BiblicalPreaching.net
It is too easy to drift into another passage (or ten) and dissipate

the impact of the passage we said we would preach. Email this

articlePrint FriendlyGenerally speaking, I urge preachers to stay in

their preaching text as they prepare and as they preach. It is too

easy to drift into another passage (or ten) and dissipate the impact

of the passage we said we would preach. However, one of the

exceptions that I do tend to mention is when the passage you are

preaching quotes or alludes to or relies in some way on another Bible

passage. What then?
Actually, the more we know our Bibles, the more we see by way of

allusion as we look at the text. I did an exercise with a group of

pastors where we worked through - Ephesians 2 - Ephesians 2

and thought about Old Testament passages that might have been in Paul=

s thinking as he wrote, or even specific wording that he used. We

were coming up with Old Testament passages for almost every verse in

the chapter! What to do?
1. In preparation, go to OT passages that may be helpful, but don=t

lose your focus on your preaching text. It can be a rich exercise to

go back and see the text and context of the fall in - Genesis

3 - Genesis 3}, the possible wording from - Genesis 6 - Genesis

6}, the session of Christ in - Psalm 110 - Psalms 110}, the


far‑and‑near reference in - Isaiah 57 - Isaiah 57}, the

background of circumcision language in - Genesis 17 - Genesis

17} and elsewhere, etc. But remember that you need to be able to

preach - Ephesians 2 - Ephesians 2}! It may feel like a

sawn‑off shotgun has scattered marks all over the canon, but that is

my blessing, not my listener=s burden!


2. In preaching, only go to one or two OT passages if they are

genuinely helpful, but don=t lose your focus on your preaching text.

Listeners simply cannot handle masses of other references. It turns a

sharp and pointed message into an annoying multi‑point prodding. If

one or maybe two references are particularly helpful, then use them

carefully. In Ephesians 2:1B10, for instance, I=d be inclined to go

to - Genesis 3 - Genesis 3} in the early verses, but I wouldn=

t chase multiple other references. Perhaps - Psalm

110:1 - Psalms 110:1} in reference to being seated with Christ.

Probably no more. Better to hit home specifically than to scatter

shot everywhere.
My personal goal includes getting to know the Word of God as much as

possible (not as an end in itself, but since through the Word I can

know God). My goal in preaching is not to show that off, but to help

people be impacted by this particular text.


Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.netCor Deo

Peter Mead is involved in church leadership at an independent Bible

church in the UK. He serves as director of Cor DeoCan innovative

mentored ministry training programCand has a wider ministry preaching

and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net.

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Check Your Church's Outreach Heartbeat by Kevin Harney
Church's Outreach Heartbeat

- 8/2011.101



Church's Outreach Heartbeat
Check Your Church's Outreach Heartbeat by Kevin Harney

OrganicOutreach.org SeismicShifts.com


If your church is struggling to invest in reaching your community and

the world, ask yourself this question: Are we a church that is on fire

with a passion for God?Email this articlePrint FriendlyWhen God looks

at his bride, the church, he longs for her to have a healthy

heartbeat. He wants our hearts to beat with his love for the lost, and

he longs for evangelistic passion to flow through our veins. The Maker

of heaven and earth wants to see each and every church alive with love

for the lost and engaged in reaching out with the message and grace of

Jesus in natural, organic ways.
God wants to draw people into our fellowship with the assurance that

they will be embraced by grace and introduced to the Savior, Jesus.

But this can happen only when the people in our church are deeply in

love with God.


When we are, our heartbeat is strong. When we do not love God, it is

difficult for us to love others. As God looks at the spiritual monitor

that registers the evangelistic heartbeat of a church, he sees one of

several different patterns. What do you think God sees when he looks

at your church?
FLATLINE

Some churches have a loud, high drone and a flatline on their heart

monitor. There is no love for God, nor is there a relentless love for

the lost. These churches are closed off to visitors, their community,

and the world. They don=t reach out or train their members to share

Jesus= love.


Prayer for their community is nonexistent. There was a heartbeat at

some time in the distant past, but today the church is flatlining.


If this describes your church, don=t lose hope! We believe in a God

who can raise the dead. Heaven is watching your church=s heart

monitor, and the Spirit of God is always ready to send a pulse of

heavenly energy into your congregation=s heart to bring it back to

life. God is ready to return your church to her first love, Jesus

Christ. And the Holy Spirit is ready to move your church from apathy

to passion.


WEAK PULSE

Sometimes when a doctor checks for a pulse, he=ll say, AI have a

pulse, but it=s weak.@ There is still life in the body, but action

needs to be taken quickly to sustain it.


Many churches have a pulse and there is life, but it=s faint. There is

love for God and for people, but it is waning.


If this is a picture of your church, be honest and admit it. You might

have a map on a wall somewhere with several pins showing where you

send money to support missionaries. You might do an event or two each

year that Aspiritual seekers@ are welcome to attend. You might even

try to be friendly if a guest or visitor happens to wander into your

church on a Sunday morning.


But honestly, your passion for outreach is gone.
Your church lacks a desperate love for God that will drive you into

the world with his good news. You are nice to people who visit your

church, but you don=t go out of your way to reach those who are far

from God. You send money overseas, but you don=t engage the mission

field right next door.
If this describes your congregation, you too need to fall in love with

GodCFather, Son, and Holy SpiritCall over again. Yes, you still care.

You love God, and you love people. But it is time to rehabilitate your

congregation=s heart.


You might need to do some spiritual exercise and fortify your heart to

make it beat strongly again. The heart is a muscle, and if you use it,

it becomes stronger.
RAPID HEARTBEAT

Sometimes a heart races wildly. This can be very dangerous, because if

a person=s heart pumps too fast for too long, it can lead to cardiac

arrest and eventually death.


Some churches= monitor shows that their heart is beating two or three

times faster than a healthy heart. Because these churches love God and

want to be faithful to his love for lost people, they launch outreach

program after outreach program and initiative after initiative. Church

members grow tired and exhausted as the congregation jumps into the

latest evangelistic fads.



Outreach is not organic in a church like this. Instead, it feels

fabricated and inauthentic. While the motives are right, the practice

of outreach is so forced that it fails to bear much fruit. Churches

like this often experience frustration when they try lots of programs

but never find something that works. They invest lots of money and

time, and they genuinely love God, but lost people rarely come to know

and embrace Jesus.
These churches need to love God enough to slow down. If they want to

establish an organic culture of outreach, they need to do less to

accomplish more. Better yet, they need to channel their energy, time,

and resources into a sustainable approach to church‑wide evangelism.

Whatever the condition of your church=s heart, know that God is ready

to increase your love quotient. Evangelism is not a sprint; it=s a

marathon. It=s not a fad; it=s the fabric of a healthy church. It's

not a system or a program; it=s the natural fruit of a church that

loves God.
GETTING BACK TO YOUR FIRST LOVE

The first and most critical step a church needs to take to move toward

healthy outreach is to develop a growing love for God. In the book of

Revelation, Jesus says to the church of Ephesus, AYet I hold this

against you: You have forsaken your first love.@ Whenever our love for

God ceases to be first place in our hearts, our vision for reaching

out wanes.
Jesus made this clear when he taught his disciples that the first and

most important of all the commandments is to Alove the Lord your God

with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and

with all your strength.@ This is not just our calling as individual

followers of Christ; it is also our calling as a church. If we forget

our first love, our collective heart will grow cold, and nothing that

we do will have the impact we desire.
Loving God does not begin with our own efforts. It is based on the

awareness that God was passionately seeking us long before we ever

sought him. In the letter of First John, we find a powerful tutorial

on the love of God. We learn, first and foremost, that God is love.

Because of his love for us, we can become children of God. The depth

of the Father=s love was revealed when he sent his only Son to this

earth to die in our place, on the cross, for our sins. As we are

grounded in God=s love for us and as we learn to walk in this love, we

will continue to grow in our love for people and for God.


If your church is struggling to invest in reaching your community and

the world, ask yourself this question: are we a church that is on fire

with a passion for God? If reaching out to others has been pushed to

the back burner (or off the stove entirely), it probably won=t help to

add some spice to the meal. You need to start by turning up the heat.
Maybe your church has lost its first love.
Remember, God so loved the world that he gave.
Love gives. And when a congregation=s heart pounds hard for God, we

give of ourselvesCour time, our resources, our livesCto love others.


This article adapted from Organic Outreach for Churches.

Kevin Harney

OrganicOutreach.orgSeismicShifts.com

Kevin Harney is the Lead Pastor of Shoreline Community Church in

Monterey, CA. He is the author of many books on outreach and church

health including: Organic Outreach for Ordinary People, The U‑Turn

Church, and Organic Outreach for Churches. He has also launched a

yearly outreach training event called The Organic Outreach Conference

along with the web site OrganicOutreach.org with free outreach

resources


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The New Normal of Preaching by Wayne Cordeiro

- 8/2011.101


New Normal of Preaching


The New Normal of Preaching by Wayne Cordeiro
It's no longer Awhat@ I want to teach; it's Ahow@ they best

learn.Email this articlePrint FriendlyAlthough I plan my messages out

in advance, there is more that leaders must consider when teaching. We

all know that it is important to know what you are teaching, but it is

becoming even more important to know how they are learning! Each

generation has their own modality by which they best absorb new

information.
I have three children. One of them likes phone calls. The other likes

e‑mail, and the youngest demands that I text her. I called her one

day, thinking how nice a dad I was for thinking of her. She answered

in exasperated tones: ADad, DON=T call me! What if I were in a movie?

Text me, Dad. Text me!@
We need to start at a new starting point. It is no longer Awhat@ I

want to teach. It is Ahow@ they best learn! Here are a few tips:


1. Use more word pictures.
Young people have grown up with computers, television, computer games,

and other illustrated ways in which they interact. Word pictures help

your listeners mentally track with you.
2. Let them interact with you.
Interaction is important to the new learners. Your listeners want to

Atalk back@ to the communicator. Laughter is one way. Another is

reading aloud. One thing I do is to let them finish a sentence for me.

AGod is not against us! He is reallyY@ (The answer, if you can=t

figure it out, is Afor us!@)
3. Use personal illustrations to underscore a truth.
Listeners want to know if you have experienced what you are talking

about. They want to know if you have felt the pain or the struggle.

They want transparency and authenticity. New teachers teach not only

out of their knowledge but also out of their scars.


4. Simplify without becoming remedial.
One person said that communicators take complicated subjects and make

them simple. Teachers, on the other hand, take simple subjects and

make them complicated. The world needs communicators who will help

them understand the simplicity of God=s love and ways.
5. Take the time to explain things theologically.
People will no longer settle for pat answers. Loyalty to a

denomination or to a body of pre‑approved knowledge no longer exists.

They are curious and want to know why. Why is homosexuality something

that is unacceptable in the Bible? Why is living together frowned

upon? What is wrong with drinking alcohol? How can Christian leaders

be so hypocritical and not think anything about it?


Alvin Toffler said: AThose who are the literate of the future will not

be those who can read and write. It will be those who can learn,

un‑learn, and re‑learn.@
There are many habits we must un‑learn, and then re‑learn new ways of

delivering the timeless message of Jesus Christ. It=s not about

technology. It=s about gearing our delivery to the ways they learn

best. I remember an adage from my old Youth for Christ days: AAnchored

to the Rock; geared to the times.@
It still rings true today.
Wayne Cordeiro

MentoringLeaders.comWayne Cordeiro is the founding pastor of New Hope

Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii with over 14,500 in weekend

attendance. New Hope is also listed as one of the top ten most

innovative churches in America with Outreach magazine, listing them as

one of the Atop five churches to learn from.@ New Hope is known for

redeeming the arts and technology. Over 3000 attend services each

week via the Internet, and New Hope has seen over 73,000 first‑time

decisions in Hawaii since its inception 26 years ago.
He has authored ten books, including such classics as Doing Church as

a Team, Dream Releasers, Seven Rules of Success, Attitudes That

Attract Success, Divine Mentor, Leading on Empty and The Encore

Church. Wayne is also the author of the Life Journal, which is being

used by thousands of churches worldwide, is bringing people back to

the Word of God.


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Ed Stetzer: Avoid Any Hint

- 8/2011.101


Ed Stetzer: Avoid Any Hint

Ed Stetzer

EdStetzer.com
Too many pastors have lost credibility because of the appearance of

immorality. Don't be one of them.Email this articlePrint FriendlyI had

an awkward situation recently. My doctor prescribed a sleep study

(part of some health tests I am doing in preparation for my

forthcoming new health regimen).
The tech called me to arrange the details. She did not seem to have

many details about the clinic, so I asked some questions. One of which

was the settingCin this case, it was an office building with several

faux bedrooms where they would wire me up and measure me sleeping.


I asked about the staff, and she was "it."
Then came that awkward moment. I knew she would not understand it, but

I explained, "I can't come if it is just you and me in the building."

It was awkward, and I am guessing few ever said such a thing. So I

skipped out on my study (and will probably have to pay the no‑show

charge).
It might seem silly to you, but let me encourage you not to see it as

such. Many of you who read this are young pastors. I know too many

pastors who have lost great credibility because of an accusation (let

alone an indiscretion).


I am not irresistible. I have a great face for radio. I do not think

that anyone will swoon over me. But I do not know the stability,

morality, and disposition of people that I meet.
When I told my wife, I thought she might slap me. She has been excited


about my recent health plans. However, she was the opposite. She felt

protected and affirmed. She knew I would not put our family in

jeopardy.
I remember Danny Akin once saying that he would not pick up a woman on

the side of the road in the rain if her car broke down. He would never

be alone with a woman not his wife. It seemed a bit selfish until he

told the rest of the story. He would pull over and give her the keys

and let her drive where she needed to be.
Guarding yourself takes work, can be awkward, and is often

inconvenient. But one problem averted makes it a good stewardship of

your life, ministry, and family.
At the churches I planted, we always used something like Saddleback's

Ten Commandments:

Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex.

Thou shalt not have the opposite sex pick you up or drive you places

when it is just the two of you.
Thou shalt not kiss any attendee of the opposite sex or show affection

that could be questioned.


Thou shalt not visit the opposite sex alone at home.
Thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex alone at the office, and thou

shalt not counsel the opposite sex more than once without that

person's mate. Refer them.
Thou shalt not discuss detailed sexual problems with the opposite sex

in counseling. Refer them.


Thou shalt not discuss your marriage problems with an attendee of the

opposite sex.


Thou shalt be careful in answering e‑mails, instant messages, chat

rooms, cards, or letters from the opposite sex.


Thou shalt make your co‑worker your protective ally.
Thou shalt pray for the integrity of other staff members.

(The first four do not apply to unmarried staff.)
I hope you have a list like this for your own life and ministry.
"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality..."

( - Ephesians 5:3 - Ephesians 5:3})


Ed Stetzer

EdStetzer.comEd Stetzer is President of LifeWay Research and LifeWay=s

Missiologist in Residence. He has trained pastors and church planters

on five continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and

has written dozens of articles and books. Ed is a contributing editor

for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine and Catalyst

Monthly, serves on the advisory council of Sermon Central and

Christianity Today's Building Church Leaders, and is frequently cited

or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN.
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7 Biblical Principles for Preaching on Divorce and Remarriage by Kevin DeYoung

- 8/2011.101


7 Principles Divorce and Remarriage
7 Biblical Principles for Preaching on Divorce and Remarriage by Kevin

DeYoung
Kevin De Young: "The hard thing is to take a few biblical principles

about marriage, divorce, and remarriage and then try to apply them

prayerfully and wisely to a thousand different situations."Email this

articlePrint FriendlyI preached this sermon, entitled AWhat Did Jesus

Think of Divorce and Remarriage,@ at URC on October 24, 2010. The bulk

of the sermon moves through seven principles of divorce and

remarriage.


1. Marriage is the sacred union between one man and one woman and God=

s intention is for marriage to last a lifetime.



2. Divorce is not always sinful.
3. Divorce is permitted, but not required, on the ground of sexual

immorality.


4. Divorce is permitted, but not required, on the ground of desertion

by an unbelieving spouse.


5. When the divorce was not permissible, any subsequent remarriage (to

someone other than the original spouse) results in adultery.


6. In situations where the divorce was permissible, remarriage is also

permissible.


7. Improperly divorced and remarried Christians should stay as they

are, but repent and be forgiven of their past sins and make whatever

amends are necessary.
Since the topic is so difficult, nuanced, and emotional, I wrote out a

manuscriptBjust to be extra careful. The whole sermon, with a few

minor tweaks, is reprinted below.
There are a couple challenges that make preaching on divorce and

remarriage especially difficult. One challenge is that there are so

many legitimate approaches I could take with this sermon.
I could make the sermon a warning: AMarriage is sacred. Remember your

vows. Jesus never encouraged divorce. So don=t do it.@ I could

legitimately preach this way because the weight of the New Testament

falls on the side of warning against divorce.


But I could also use the sermon to talk about God=s compassion for

those who have been hurt in marriage, or those left behind in

marriage, or those sinned against in marriage.
I could take the sermon in a different direction encourage those who

have sinned in divorce or sinned in remarriage to repent and receive

God=s merciful forgiveness. I could also take more of a theological

approach and try to explain the acceptable grounds for divorce and

remarriage, asking questions like: Are there any justifiable reasons

for divorce? If so, what are they? And if you may get divorced under

certain circumstances, what about remarriage?


I wish I had time to go deep pastorally and theologically in all these

way, but I just can=t in one sermon. That=s the first challenge.


The other challenge in preaching on this topic is that there are so

many unique scenarios that don=t lend themselves to easy answers. Many

of you will listen to this sermon not simply for theological

information, but you=ll be listening to hear if I think God thinks

your divorce was acceptable, or whether your parents= remarriage was

appropriate, or whether you are free to remarry now that you are

divorced. There are so many intricate, specific situations that I can=

t possibly speak to all of them. These situations require tremendous

wisdom because it=s not always clear what is the correct counsel.
For example:
$ A wife commits adultery. She is repentant and wants to save the

marriage. The husband knows he must forgive, but he wants to file for

divorce? Would you grant him that right? Does it make any difference

if the wife was frequently unfaithful?


$ A wife gets a divorce because of marital unfaithfulness? You=ve

determined she has legitimate grounds for that divorce. Is she then

free to remarry? What if the husband repents, is he? Or only to his

ex‑wife? And what if she gets remarried, does that change his

obligation?
$ A non‑Christian couple gets a divorce. Later the man becomes a

Christian and realizes the divorce was wrong. Is he obligated to try

to win back his non‑Christian ex‑wife? What if he tries to be

reconciled and his ex‑wife has no interest, is he free to remarry in

the Lord?
$ A remarried couple comes to realize their divorce and remarriage

was sinful. Are they committing adultery by staying married? If they

stay married, what should they do to make things right? Can they be

members in the church? What about leaders?


$ Both husband and wife commit adultery. They both have grounds for

divorce and they are both the Aguilty@ party. Would you allow a

divorce? Two years later they are both sincerely repentant. Should

they remarry each other? Could they remarry someone else?


There are as many scenarios as there are couples in the world. How do

we know what=s right in each situation, especially when so many of the

scenarios have no parallel in Scripture? The simple thing is to turn a

blind eye to divorce in the church. Just pretend it doesn=t happen.

Don=t ask people about it. Don=t bring it up. Don=t say anything

during a membership interview. The hard thing is to take a few

biblical principles about marriage, divorce, and remarriage and then

try to apply them prayerfully and wisely to a thousand different

situations.


Seven Principles
Let me give you seven biblical principles on divorce and remarriage.
1. Marriage is the sacred union between one man and one woman and God=

s intention is for marriage to last a lifetime.


Look at - Mark 10:1‑12 - Mark 10:1‑12}:
And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the

Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his

custom, he taught them. And Pharisees came up and in order to test him

asked, AIs it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?@ He answered them,

AWhat did Moses command you?@ They said, AMoses allowed a man to write

a certificate of divorce and to send her away.@ And Jesus said to

them, ABecause of your hardness of heart he wrote you this

commandment. But from the beginning of creation, >God made them male

and female.= >Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and

hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.= So they

are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined

together, let not man separate.@ And in the house the disciples asked

him again about this matter. And he said to them, AWhoever divorces

his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she

divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.@
This was a trap. The Pharisees were not genuinely inquiring of Jesus=

position. They wanted to test him and make him look bad. Everyone in

Judaism agreed that divorce was permissible. You can read all the same

scholarly stuff I=ve been reading and the same Jewish documents and

see that people on all sides of the divorce issue agree first century

Judaism allowed for divorce, even required it in some situations. The

Pharisees certainly allowed for divorce, and as we=ll see in a moment,

probably for a lot of reasons. But they have a suspicion that Jesus

will be stricter. Maybe they heard his teaching in the Sermon on the


Mount. Maybe they just assume he will be strict. Maybe they want to

get him in trouble with Herod who already killed John the Baptist for

objecting to his divorce. Whatever the reason, they are setting a

trap.
Like a good teacher, Jesus answers their question with a question.

AWhat did Moses say?@ AWell,@ they answer, AMoses allowed a man to

divorce his wife.@ They=re think of - Deuteronomy

24 - Deuteronomy 24} which we=ll come back to in a minute. Jesus doesn=

t reject Moses= teaching, but he recasts it. AYes, Moses allowed for

divorce. But this was a concession to human sin. Certainly not a

requirement. The law was making the best of a bad situation.@ Then

Jesus takes them back to the very beginning. ADeuteronomy gives Moses

a concession, but Genesis gives God=s intention. Marriage is one man

and one woman. The two become one flesh. They leave their family

behind and this new family takes priority over all other allegiances

except to God. Marriage is a sacred union. God himself joins the

couple together. And what God puts together, no one should separate.@


The main thing Jesus wants to say about divorce is this: don=t do it.

It=s not God=s intention for marriage. It=s not what you promised

before God and a room full of witnesses. In fact, Jesus says pretty

flatly in verses 11‑12, anyone who divorces husband or wife and

remarries someone else commits adultery. Why? Because the divorce

shouldn=t have happened in the first place. There=s no reason this man

and woman shouldn=t still be married. So for them to be married to

someone else, presumably having sex with someone else, is like

committing adultery. You may be sleeping with someone who is your

husband or wife, but you aren=t sleeping with the person who still

should be your husband or wife.
Before we see anything else about divorce and remarriage we have to

feel the weight of what Jesus is saying. The Pharisees want to talk

about acceptable reasons for a divorce. Jesus wants to talk about the

sanctity of marriage. They want to talk about when a marriage can be

broken. He wants to talk about why marriages shouldn=t be broken. If

all you hear are the reasons a marriage covenant might be broken, it=s

like learning to fly by practicing your crash landings or training for

battle by practicing your retreats. Whatever exceptions there might

be, the main thing is that marriage is supposed to be permanent.
2. Divorce is not always sinful.


Is every divorce the product of sin? Yes. Is every divorce therefore

sinful? No. That=s why it=s not always a fair comparison to say

ALook, you Christians are so worked up about homosexuality, but you

don=t do anything about divorce.@ Certainly, Christians have too often

turned a blind eye to divorce, but the situations are different

because divorce, unlike homosexuality, is not always wrong.


Think of the Christmas story. When Joseph, who was engaged to Mary,

found that she was with child, the text says that ABecause Joseph was

a righteous man he had in mind to divorce her quietly.@ The first

thing we notice is that Joseph had to divorce Mary even though they

were only engaged. Jewish betrothals were legally binding in the

first century. Leaving that aside, we also see that Joseph was

considered righteous for divorcing her quietly. He is commended for

the quietness mostly, but the divorce didn=t seem to reflect badly on

Joseph. Mary, it was thought, had committed sexual immorality, and so

Joseph was considered righteous for divorcing her quietly.


We also see in some Old Testament texts that the Lord divorced his

people. For example, - Jeremiah 3:8 - Jeremiah 3:8} says AI

gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away

because of all her adulteries.@ God=s people were spiritual adulterers

and so the Lord after putting up with them for generations, finally

said, AEnough, you=ve broken the covenant for the last time. Here=s

your certificate of divorce. Be gone.@ Now, the love story is that

God still woos his wayward bride back to himself, and welcomes her

home when she turns and repents. But if the Lord can divorce his

adulterous spouse, then divorce must not always be wrong.


One other thing to note is that marriage is not indissoluble. This

means marriage really can end. Now, usually they shouldn=t. But they

can. The covenant can be severed. When Jesus says AWhat God has joined

together, let no man separate@ he implies that the couple can be

separated. I mention this because sometimes people will argue against

remarriage saying AShe=s still married in God=s eyes.@ I don=t think

that=s the right way to talk about the situation. Divorced couples are

divorced. They are not married in God=s eyes. The question is whether

they should still be married and hence, they ought not to be with

another man or woman.


3. Divorce is permitted, but not required, on the ground of sexual

immorality.




We need to look at a few different passages, starting with

- Deuteronomy 24:1‑4 - Deuteronomy 24:1‑4}.


When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in

his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her

a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of

his house, and she departs out of his house, 2 and if she goes and

becomes another man=s wife, 3 and the latter man hates her and writes

her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out

of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife,

4 then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again

to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination

before the LORD. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the

LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.
The key phrase is in verse 1: Asomething indecent@ (erwath dabar). It=

s a very ambiguous phrase, and the Jews argued about it constantly.

The phrase is actually used a chapter earlier in

- Deuteronomy 23:12‑14 - Deuteronomy 23:12‑14}.


You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it.

And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down

outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your

excrement. Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp,

to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your

camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you

and turn away from you.
You can see that erwath dabar means in general something repulsive,

something indecent. It=s not a precise phrase. Because of this

ambiguity, two different rabbinical schools emerged. On one side was

the more conservative Shammai school, and on the other, the more

liberal Hillel school, both well known around the time of Jesus. The

Mishna records:


The School of Shammai say: A man may not divorce his wife unless he

has found unchastity in her, for it is written, Because he hath found

in her indecency in anything. And the School of Hillel say: [He may

divorce her] even if she spoiled a dish for him, for it is written,

Because he hath found in her indecency in anything.
They referred to the same verse, but Shammai emphasized Aindecency@

and Hillel emphasized Aanything.@ Jesus is going to side squarely



with the more conservative school. Turn to - Matthew

19 - Matthew 19}. This is the same incident we read about earlier in

Mark. The Pharisees have come to test Jesus. They specifically ask him

about the grounds for divorce and what Moses commanded in

- Deuteronomy 24 - Deuteronomy 24}. But notice Jesus= words

here are a bit different. They include an exception in

- verse 9 - Deuteronomy 24:9}: AI tell you that anyone who

divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness [porneia], and

marries another woman commits adultery [moichaomai].@ Divorce is not

allowed for any reason whatsoever (like Hillel said), only for martial

unfaithfulness (like Shammai said). Sexual sin breaks the marriage

covenant because sex is the oath signing of the covenant. Having

sexual experiences with someone other than your spouse is like trying

to sign on someone else=s dotted line. That breaks the covenant and

is a ground for divorce. Divorce is still not required, but it is

allowed.
Of course, all this raises the question: why does Matthew include the

exception clause when Mark doesn=t? Some people have argued that

Matthew=s gospel isn=t talking about sex during marriage, but sex

before marriage. In first century Judaism a betrothal was legally

binding. That=s why Joseph was going to divorce Mary after he found

out she was with child. They were only engaged at the time, but even

breaking off an engagement required a divorce. So the theory is

Matthew records these words so his readers will be clear that Joseph

wasn=t doing anything wrong when he planned to divorce Mary for what

seemed to be fornication.
Some Christians I really respect hold to this view, but I don=t think

it will work. For starters, the question from the Pharisees revolves

around - Deuteronomy 24 - Deuteronomy 24} which was not about

betrothal. Second, the word porneia is a broad word that includes all

kinds of sexual sin, not just sex before marriage while engaged. And

besides, - Matthew 1 - Matthew 1} never uses the word porneia

to describe Mary=s supposed sin and nothing in - Matthew

19 - Matthew 19} explicitly ties the situation back to Mary and Joseph.


So how do we understand thisBMatthew includes the exception, while

Mark and Luke don=t? Remember these are parallel accounts. They are

describing the same event. You could say the Matthew added something

to Jesus= words, but isn=t is easier to assume Mark and Luke left

something out? And why would they leave the exception out? Because

they wanted the saying more memorable? Perhaps. But I think the basic



reason they left out the exception is because it was already a given.

No one in Judaism disagreed that divorce was acceptable on grounds of

sexual immorality. Mark and Luke didn=t have to include Jesus=

exception because they figured it was a given. It=s like when Jesus

said AIf your brother has something against you, leave your gift at

the altar and go be reconciled first@ ( - Matt.

5:23‑24 - Matthew 5:23‑24}). We naturally assume Jesus means AIf your

brother has something legitimate against you,@ because Jesus didn=t go

tracking down everyone who was upset with him. In the same way, when

Mark records AWhoever divorces his wife and marries another commits

adultery against her@ the implied assumption is AWhoever divorces his

wife without causeY@ I believe Jesus spoke the exception clause.

Matthew included it to be clear, while Mark and Luke left it out

because they thought it was already a given.


4. Divorce is permitted, but not required, on the ground of desertion

by an unbelieving spouse.


Turn to - 1 Corinthians 7 - 1 Corinthians 7}. Let=s pick

things up at - verse 8 - 1 Corinthians 7:8}.


To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to

remain single as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self‑control,

they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with

passion.
Paul would like everyone to stay as they are (cf. 17, 20), but if they

have to marry, then go ahead and marry. That=s what he says to the

singles and widows. This is what he says to the married.


10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife

should not separate from her husband.


Paul is saying, AThis is not my own rule. I got this from Jesus.@
(but if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to

her husband) and the husband should not divorce his wife.


So if someone does get wrongly divorce, they should try to be

reconciled with their spouse or stay single. They should not remarry

after an illegitimate divorce.
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord):


He means, AThis command is not from the lips of Jesus himself, but it=

s still a command you need to follow.@


that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents

to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a

husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she

should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy

because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of

her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is,

they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be

so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has

called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will

save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save

your wife.
Here=s the second ground for a divorce: desertion by an unbelieving

spouse. Now, we should try to live at peace with an unbelieving

spouse. After all, God may save your spouse through you.

Reconciliation is still the ideal. But if the unbeliever refuses to

live with you and leaves, let him do so. You are not bound to be

married when your unbelieving spouse deserts you.


The traditional Protestant positionBthe position written down in the

Westminster Confession and held by most evangelicalsBis that divorce

is permissible on two grounds: sexual immorality and desertion. In

both case the marriage covenant is severed. In one case, because

sexual intimacy has taken place with another. And in the second case,

because the spouse just plain isn=t there.


Let me just add that I am sympathetic to and yet extremely cautious

about finding other grounds for divorce. On the one hand, I think it=s

possible that God did not mean to give us every possible grounds for

divorce in the New Testament. Jesus gave one and Paul (admittedly,

under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit), mentioned another one

relevant to the Corinthian situation. So might there be one or two

other grounds for divorce? Perhaps. And yet, if you say that you open

up a Pandora=s box of trouble. People will argue that psychological

abuse is a ground and emotional neglect is a ground and maybe terrible

unhappiness is a ground for divorce. I think it is safer biblically to

maintain that there are two acceptable grounds for divorce. But having

said that, I could envision in extreme situations the elders might

conclude: AThis man (or woman) has not completely disappeared but his

life is tantamount to desertion.@ If a guy is strung out on drugs,



gambling all their worldly possessions, and has repeatedly beaten his

wife, might that count as desertion at some point?


This is why each case needs to be dealt with individually. It=s also

why we need biblical principles, so we have something to apply in

these gut‑wrenching, difficult sinful scenarios.
5. When the divorce was not permissible, any subsequent remarriage (to

someone other than the original spouse) results in adultery.


We=ve already seen Jesus make this point in - Mark 10 - Mark

10}. If you are illegitimately divorced, then the remarriage is also

illegitimate. This doesn=t mean you aren=t really divorce and you aren=

t really remarried. It means you shouldn=t have been divorced. The

covenant hadn=t been broken and shouldn=t have been severed.

Consequently, you shouldn=t be married to someone other than your

original spouse. And that means if you are remarried that new sexual

relationship is sinful. So what do you do if you are already in a

sinful second marriage? I=ll come back to that in the last point.
6. In situations where the divorce was permissible, remarriage is also

permissible.


Now what about remarriage? Remarriage is clearly allowed after a

spouse dies ( - Romans 7:3 - Romans 7:3}). But what about

after a biblically sanctioned divorce? Let me give you a few reasons

why I think remarriage is permissible.


First, I think grammatically it is more likely that the exception

clause in - Matthew 19 - Matthew 19} modified both verbs. In

other words, when Jesus says Aexcept for marital unfaithfulness@ that

covers Awhoever divorces@ and Amarries another.@


Second, all scholars on every side of this divorce and remarriage

debate agree that it was a given for first century Jews that

remarriage was a valid option after a valid divorce. To be granted a

legal separation meant de facto that you were no longer bound to

anyone and thus free to remarry. No one in Jesus audience was thinking

that remarriage wouldn=t be an option. If Jesus wanted to teach that

remarriage after every divorce was unacceptable, he would have made

that new teaching much clearer.


Third, the phrase Ais not enslaved@ in - 1 Corinthians

7:15 - 1 Corinthians 7:15} probably implies that the spouse who has

been deserted is free to marry. This would have been the default

Jewish position and it seems to be the same idea found clearly in

- v. 39 - 1 Corinthians 7:39} (Ashe is free to be married to

whom she wishes@). The Greek word is different in - verse

15 - 1 Corinthians 7:15}, but they are related words that convey the

same idea.
Of course, just because a divorced person may be free to remarry does

not mean it is necessarily a good or wise idea. A lot of other

considerations come into play. But the general principles is, after a

legitimate divorce, there is freedom to remarry.


7. Improperly divorced and remarried Christians should stay as they

are, but repent and be forgiven of their past sins and make whatever

amends are necessary.
This is where things get really messy. What if you are in a second or

third marriage that you now realize is sinful? Should you get a

divorce? I don=t think so. The principle in - 1 Corinthians

7 - 1 Corinthians 7}, repeated in - verse 17 - 1 Corinthians

7:17}, - 20 - 1 Corinthians 7:20}, and - 24 - 1

Corinthians 7:24}, is Aremain as you are.@ God does not want you to

add to the sin of a remarriage the sin of another divorce.
Does this mean those Christians have gotten away with sin? Not at all.

We are never better off for having sinned. There are consequences in

our relationships. There may be consequences in your spiritual life.

And if you look back at your sinful divorce and remarriage and think

AWow, I=m glad I didn=t know all this ten years ago@ that is a

dreadful sign that something is very wrong in your heart. If the

Spirit is at work you will not think APhew, I really got away with one

here.@ Instead you will think, AO Lord, I am so sorry. I was ignorant

of the Scriptures. I was blind to my own sin. I have broken your law

and sullied the name of Christ. Please forgive me. Have mercy on us

Lord.@ And you=ll not only ask for the Lord=s forgiveness, you=ll make

things right with your ex‑spouse, with your kids, your parents, your

in‑lawsByou=ll make amends and ask for forgiveness with anyone else

you hurt by breaking your marriage vows.


Let me just finish by very briefly addressing three groups of people.
To the married: Stay married. Guard your marriage. Don=t think you are

above falling. Don=t think you are above temptation. Pray together.

Take walks together. Get away from the kids to be together. There are

few things more precious in life than your marriage. Do not take it

for granted. And if you are contemplating divorce, please talk to

someone. Please don=t give up. If you have biblical grounds for

divorce, consider what glory it might be to God to patiently work

toward reconciliation. And if you don=t have biblical grounds,

consider what offense it will be to God to break the promises you made

in his name. Consider the harm to your kids. Stay married.
To the divorced and single: If you had grounds for a divorce, the

leaders want to do everything we can to make sure no one looks down on

you. If you have been sinned against, we do not want to treat you as

the sinner. We do not want you to run from the church, but find grace

and fellowship here.
If you are divorced but shouldn=t be, can you find hope in your heart

that God might be able to reconcile you and your spouse? It would be a

great trophy of his grace to bring you two back together. If that

doesn=t happen, don=t get remarried. Don=t think you can always repent

later. You never know: the next time you blatantly sin may be the time

the Lord gives you over to the hardness of your heart and puts you

beyond the pale.
To those who have sinfully divorced, to those whose sin caused the

divorce, to those who are now remarried when you shouldn=t be: run to

the cross. It is not light thing to tear asunder what God joined

together. It is no small mistake to pursue an adulterous second

marriage. But God=s grace is not light and it is not small. Divorce is

not the unpardonable sin. There is mercy yet for you. But the

contrition must be real, the admission of guilt must be honest, the

repentance must be earnest. A broken heart and a contrite spirit the

Lord will never deny. Run to God. Plead with God. Know his adopting

love. Experience again his justifying free grace. There is a fountain

filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel=s veins. And sinners plunged

beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.


Kevin DeYoung

TheGospelCoalition/BlogsKevin DeYoung is the Senior Pastor at

University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, right

across the street from Michigan State University. He has been the


pastor there since 2004.
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2 Rules for Transparency in the Pulpit by Brady Boyd

Transparency in the Pulpit

- 8/2011.101


Transparency in the Pulpit
2 Rules for Transparency in the Pulpit by Brady Boyd
Newlifeblogs.com/BradyBoyd

"I think it is great when pastors are candid about their own

struggles. But there are times when the pastor can share way too much

information and actually cause people to stumble."Email this

articlePrint FriendlyI think it is great when pastors are candid about

their own struggles. Authenticity builds trust and allows for others

in the fellowship to speak honestly about their own issues. Church

masks are removed, and people are able to get the help they need.


But there are times when the pastor can share way too much information

and actually cause people to stumble. This past Sunday, I shared a

really vulnerable story about my personal struggle with depression

last year. I hope it was helpful, but I was mindful of a couple of

questions we should all consider before we share personal issues.
1. Has the issue been resolved? I am not sure pastors should confess

their struggles publicly until they have at least started the process

of getting some help privately. The Sunday morning stage should not

the be the first time we confess our weaknesses. We need to have a

trusted circle of mature friends who can hear it first, and then we

can talk about it publicly when it is appropriate. Don=t be vulnerable

just to be cool. I know many young believers who have given up even

trying to live Godly lives because they believe there is no use trying

if their leaders cannot be victorious. Confess, but then tell them the

path you found toward healing and wholeness. This is encouraging and



will actually build hope in people.
2. Am I about to share something that will embarrass someone? In the

first talk on Sunday when I was telling my story of near depression, I

made it seem that Pam and I were struggling in our marriage, although

the struggle was not with her but with my role as senior pastor. I

made that clearer in the 11:00 AM service, but it reminded me to be

very careful not to reveal something about someone just to tell a cool

story about my messiness. Protect people and their reputations at all

costs, even at the cost of a good sermon illustration.


I hope every leader feels the freedom to be transparent, honest, and

vulnerable. It=s refreshing and healing to those who hear, and it

helps all of us take off those silly church masks and live honest

lives filled with hope and freedom.


Brady Boyd

Newlifeblogs.com/BradyBoyd/Brady is the Lead Pastor of New Life Church

in Colorado Springs, CO. He is married to his college sweetheart, Pam

and is the dad to great kids named Abram and Callie. He just wrote a

book called "Fear No Evil" and he's really serious about caring for

the people of Colorado Springs by opening numerous Dream Centers.


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Idea for Your Next Sermon Series - Perry Noble

- 8/2011.101


Idea for Next Sermon Series
Perry Noble: An Amazing Idea for Your Next Sermon Series
Perry Noble

PerryNoble.com


"I honestly believe I=ve got the best idea ever for a sermon series in

your churchYone that will lead to breakthroughs, one that will be

talked about until Jesus comes back."Email this articlePrint FriendlyI

honestly believe I=ve got the best idea EVER for a sermon series in



your churchYone that will lead to breakthroughs, one that will be

talked about until Jesus comes back and one that God will use in ways

that will absolutely blow your mind.
Here it is B get alone with God, open your Bible, read it until he

sets your heart on fireYand then go unleash that fire through

preaching to the people He has called you to preach to!
In other wordsYget Aa word@ from AThe Word!@
Don=t get me wrongYI LOVE creative sermon/series planning. I LOVE

trying to figure out how we can communicate timeless principles in the

context of the society that we are in. I LOVE doing WHATEVER it takes

short of sin to get as many people outside the doors of the church to

come inside!
However, the trap that I am seeing so many pastors fall into is they

fall in love with the process of creativity and allow it to bypass the

love they once had for their Creator!
Leadership AND preaching really is as easy as listening to God and

then doing what HE says!


AndYlet me be straight, I really do believe that God gives us really

creative ideasYand that refusing to use them is simply bad

stewardship.
BUTYI also believe that trying to make sure every series that we do

has a certain pop and sizzle is an insane trap that can cause us to

lose focus on what HE has called us to doYPREACH HIS WORD! If we are

not careful we can get so creative in our church services that there

really isn=t any need for the presence of GodYand THAT is the most

ungodly place we could ever lead our people to!


God=s Word WILL produce a harvest (see - Isaiah

55:8‑13 - Isaiah 55:8‑13}, this is a PROMISE)Yand the BEST way to see a

harvest in the people we preach to is to preach out of the personal

harvest that God is bringing forth in us.


And so when this means going all out and having the most creative set

design, song selection and video that it can haveYpraise God, I am all

for thatYusing WHATEVER we can to communicate His Word.


But then I believe there will be times that we do catch a Acreative

cramp,@ and when we do it is probably just God trying to get our

attention and bring us back to rely on HIS SPIRIT rather than our

strategy.


Yes, we are called to be creative (God is NOT boring), but our call to

be that way comes after our call to be obedient.


If God is setting your heart on fireYunleash that fire on Sunday!

PREACH!

Perry Noble

PerryNoble.comPerry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of

NewSpring Church in Anderson, Greenville, Columbia, and Florence,

South Carolina. At just nine years old, the church averages over

10,000 people during weekend services. Perry is convicted about

speaking the truth as plainly as possible. A prolific blogger, he's

often a featured speaker at church leadership conferences.

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10 Last Minute Preaching Tips by Toni Ridgaway2

- 8/2011.101
10 Preaching Tips
10 Last Minute Preaching Tips by Toni Ridgaway
ChurchLeaders.com
Read these top ten preaching tips for inspiration and vision before

you preach this Sunday!



As pastors, we must first preach the gospel to ourselves before we

proclaim to the world the necessity of a Savior. How damnable it

would be to die of malnutrition while we busily prepare food for

others.


CScott Thomas
The best advice we ever give is that of a poor sinner to another poor

sinner. As one who looks to herself, lest she also be tempted. As one

who knows he needs to be encouraged as well. As one who doesn=t

assume to know another=s heart and pain.

CMark Altrogge
If one wanted to find the biggest problem in Christianity then listen

to the preachers. Whatever most preachers are avoiding in their

sermons. Whatever most preachers are not addressing. Those things are

probably going to be the things that are most needed today.

CSherman Haywood Cox II
Sermons are not made for paper; they are made for people. They are to

be listened to. Just like Ford test‑drives any prototype before they

produce the vehicle, you should test drive your sermon by listening to

it before you preach it.

CMark Mohler
We all know that it is important to know what you are teaching, but it

is becoming even more important to know how they are learning.

CWayne Cordeiro
To help people change, you=ve got to help them see the lie they=re

basing their behavior on. That=s why when you know the truth, it sets

you free.

CRick Warren


What the world is looking for is an authoritative Gospel spoken

through a humble personality.

CP.T. Forsythe
People don=t transform because of a good message. They transform

because of a great Jesus.

CPete Wilson
Lectures are a fine way to impart raw information. But it's not enough

to make disciples who make other disciples. Information transfer isn't



enough, we need life transfer. Don't tell me, show me.

CJon Reid


When preachers hold a Bible in their hands, they hold nothing more

than pages of inkYPreaching brings the ink of the text aliveCmakes it

real. The goal of preaching is to hand on an experience of God.

CTom Rogers


Toni Ridgaway

ChurchLeaders.comToni Ridgaway serves as Content Editor for

SermonCentral.com and its sister site, ChurchLeaders.com.
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10 Creative Ways to Use the Bible in Counseling by Elias Moitinho

- 8/2011.101


10 Ways to Use the Bible in Counseling
10 Creative Ways to Use the Bible in Counseling by Elias Moitinho
LifeWay.com
Even though counseling is neither preaching nor teaching, it does have

elements of both. Here are 10 helpful tips for engaging Scripture in

your counseling sessions.
In - Hebrews 4:12 - Hebrews 4:12}, we read: "For the word of

God is living and effective" (HCSB), and in - Isaiah

55:11 - Isaiah 55:11}, God says: "My word that comes from My mouth will

not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and will

prosper in what I send it [to do]" (HCSB). Therefore, pastors can seek

in the Bible confidently divine principles that deal with the problems

their counselees face.
Where should you start?


You will need to study the Bible passage carefully to discover

biblical principles applicable to the counseling situation at hand.

Even though counseling is neither preaching nor teaching, it does have

elements of both, such as the proclamation of God's truth and the

explanation of God's principles. Consequently, you will need to be

creative in how to use the Bible in each counseling session.


Many methods of using the Bible in counseling exist. You should

determine, with the discernment of the Holy Spirit, which methods to

use in each situation. However, in order to be most effective, you

will need to conduct a thorough spiritual assessment of your

counselee.
Spiritual assessment
Spiritual assessment is an essential part of the evaluation of any

counselee's issues. Therefore, in addition to examining a counselee's

psychological, emotional, and social areas and inquiring about his

physical health, you must conduct a thorough spiritual assessment.


1. Assess your counselee's spiritual condition.

$Is your counselee a born‑again Christian?

$If not, what is his religious background?

2. Assess your counselee's spiritual maturity.

$What kind of Christian is your counselee?

?New believer?

?Immature or infant (Hebrews 5:11B6:3; - 1 Corinthians 3:1 - 1

Corinthians 3:1 - - Ephesians 4:14 - Ephesians 4:14})?

?Worldly or "of the flesh" ( - 1 Cor. 3:1 - 1 Corinthians 3:1

HCSB)?


?Mature or spiritual ( - 1 Cor. 3:1 - 1 Corinthians 3:1})?

$Does he practice spiritual disciplines consistently?

$Is he actively involved in a local church?

$How much Bible knowledge does he have?

3. Assess your counselee's Bible knowledge and ability to use and

apply Scriptures in his life.

$What methodology does he use to study the Bible?

$How does he interpret Scriptures and apply them to his life?

$Does he have a tendency to misinterpret Scriptures?

$What assumptions does he bring to the biblical text?

4. Assess your counselee's openness to spiritual/Biblical


interventions.

$Is your counselee receptive to your Biblically‑based counseling?

$Is your counselee willing to apply Biblically‑based principles

(interventions and homework assignments) to his life?

5. Choose a Bible passage to address your counselee's issues and study

it in depth.

$Use principles of Biblical hermeneutics.

$Discover Biblical principles that address his issues.

Here are some creative ways to use the Bible in your counseling

ministry.


10 creative ways to use the Bible in counseling:
1. Read the passage to your counselee and explain it to him.

$Describe biblical principles.

$Explain how they relate to your counselee's issues.
2. Read the passage to your counselee and ask questions.

$Have questions prepared in advance.

$Allow time for your counselee to think and respond.
3. Read the passage with your counselee and discuss it together.

$Give him time to think. This allows for your counselee's own

insights.

$Let your counselee ask questions.


4. Summarize Bible stories to illustrate biblical principles.

$Highlight examples in the life of a particular Bible character (e.g.,

you may use the life of Joseph in Egypt to illustrate God's

sovereignty, God's providence, forgiveness, etc.).

$Engage your counselee as you share the Bible story.
5. Give your counselee a list of Bible verses that speak to the issue

and then discuss them with him.

$Prepare a list of verses that address the issue your counselee

struggles with.

$Ask your counselee to read them during the week and discuss his

understanding of those verses in future meetings.

$Ask you counselee to identify which verses speak more directly to him

and this issue.


6. Articulate and explain the Biblical teaching/worldview on a

particular issue.



$Share the basic Biblical understanding of the issue your counselee is

facing.


$Let your counselee respond to the Biblical view.
7. Give activities (homework assignments) that involve Scriptures.

$Have your counselee memorize specific Bible verses.

$Have your counselee carry cards with specific Bible passages.

$Have your counselee study a specific Bible passage and bring his

findings to the next session.

$Assist your counselee in coming up with a specific way to apply the

Biblical principle to his life.
8. Engage your counselee in spiritual discussions.

$You may ask the counselee to share how he became a Christian.

$You may ask the counselee to share about his daily devotions.

$Your may ask the counselee to share a passage of Scripture that has

been meaningful and helpful to him.
9. Use Bibliotherapy, Internet articles and devotionals.

$Use biblically‑based and theologically‑sound Christian books,

Internet articles and devotional resources to help your counselee

strengthen his faith and develop insights into how to face his issues

from a biblical perspective.

$Read the resources before recommending them.


10. Use Christian videos or DVDs.

$Recommend biblically‑based and theologically‑sound VHSs, DVDs, and

Internet videos to your counselee to watch and discuss with you in

sessions.

$Watch the resources before recommending them.
Elias Moitinho

LifeWay.comElias Moitinho, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychology

& Counseling at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort

Worth, Texas.


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5 Facts about First‑Time Guests by Rick Ezell
Five Significant Facts about First‑Time Guests by Rick Ezell

RickEzell.net

- 8/2011.101
Preaching
5 Facts about First‑Time Guests
Five Significant Facts about First‑Time Guests by Rick Ezell

RickEzell.net


You may be the most skilled preacher and your church may have

excellent small groups or the best children=s ministry in the city,

but your first‑time guests will never know unless they make a second

or third visit.


Healthy and growing churches pay close attention to the people they

count as members, as well as those people who are not yet a part of

the flock. These churches know that new people are the lifeblood of a

growing church. Like a spigot, they want to keep the valve open for

the flow of new people, and most importantly, they want to ensure that

nothing impairs or cuts off the flow of new people to the church.


With that in mind, pastors need to be aware of five significant facts

about first‑time guests looking for a church home.


1. Visitors make up their minds regarding a new church in the first

ten minutes of their visit.


Often, before a first‑time guest has sung an inspiring song or watched

a compelling drama or viewed a well‑produced video vignette or heard a

well‑crafted sermon, they have made up their mind whether or not to

return. In fact, if you ask most church leaders, far more time and

energy are spent on the plan and execution of the worship service,

with only minimal time spent on preparing for the greeting and

welcoming of the first‑time guest, which is equally if not more

important. Most pastors would rather not hear this: The church=s



ability to connect with first‑time guests is not dependent on you, but

on those first lines of people who represent your church.


$Are parking attendants in place?

$Is there appropriate signage?

$Are your ushers and greeters performing the Aright@ job?

$Is the environment you take for granted user‑friendly and accepting

to guests?
2. Most church members aren=t friendly.
Churches claim to be friendly. In fact, many churches put that

expression in their logo or tag line. But my experience in visiting

churches as a first‑time guest proves otherwise. The truth is that

most church members are friendly to the people they already know, but

not to guests.
$Observe to see if your members greet guests with the same intensity

and concern before and after the worship service as they do during a

formal time of greeting in the worship service. A lack of friendliness

before and after the service sends a mixed, if not hypocritical,

message to new people.

$The six most important minutes of a church service, in a visitor=s

eyes, are the three minutes before the service and the three minutes

after the service, when church members introduce themselves, seeking

genuinely to get to know the visitors (not just obtain personal

information like the market research data collectors at the mall),

offer to answer any questions, introduce them to others who may have a

connection (perhaps they live in the same neighborhood, are from the

same hometown or state, or their children attend the same school), or

any number of ways to demonstrate to the visitors that they as a

church member care.

$A church would be wise to discover their most gregarious and

welcoming members and deploy them as unofficial greeters before and

after each service, in addition to designated parking‑lot greeters,

door greeters, ushers, and informational booth personnel.

$Don=t make promises the church can=t keep. My wife attended a church

recently that calls itself AThe Friendly _______ Baptist Church,@ but

no one spoke to her before the service and when she sought information

from the guest information booth she was treated by the attendant as a

bother. Mixed messages and unfulfilled promises do great harm in a

church=s effectiveness in welcoming new people.


3. Church guests are highly consumer‑oriented.
AIf Target doesn=t have what I need, I just head to K‑Mart.@ AIf the

Delta airfare is too high, American might have a sale.@ Capitalism has

taught us that if we don=t find what we want, someone else down the

street or at another web site will have it. If your church building is

too hard for newcomers to navigate, if they have to park in the Aback

40,@ if your people are unaccepting and unfriendly, another church

down the street may have what they=re looking for. Or worse yet, they

may decide getting into a church is not worth the effort and give up

their search altogether.
$Pastors and church leaders need to look at their churches through the

eyes of a first‑time guest. Rick Warren says that the longer a pastor

has been a pastor, the less he thinks like a non‑pastor. That same

thought would apply to thinking like a guest.

$The use of objective, yet trained, anonymous guests to give an honest

appraisal is very important. Many retail outlets utilize the service

of one or more Amystery guests@ to provide helpful analysis of

welcoming and responding to the consumer. Churches would be well

served to utilize a similar service.
4. The church is in the hospitality business.
Though our ultimate purpose is spiritual, one of our first steps in

the Kingdom business is attention to hospitality. Imagine the service

that would be given to you in a first‑class hotel or a five‑star

restaurant. Should the church offer anything less to those who have

made the great effort to be our guests?
$Hospitality is almost a forgotten virtue in our society. When was the

last time someone invited you to their home for a meal? But it needs

to be reawakened.

$Church members can extend hospitality to guests by offering to sit

with them during the church service, giving them a tour of the church

facilities, inviting them to lunch after service, or connecting with

them later in the week.
5. You only have one chance to make a good first impression.
More than a truism, first impressions are lasting ones. Little hope of

correcting a bad first impression is possible. Your first‑time guests

have some simple desires and basic needs. They decide very quickly if


you can meet those criteria. The decision to return for a second visit

is often made before guests reach your front door.


$Are you creating the entire experience, beginning with your parking

lot?


$Are you consciously working to remove barriers that make it difficult

for guests to find their way around and to feel at home with your

people?

$Do newcomers have all the information they need without having to ask

any embarrassing questions?

$Are your greeters and ushers on the job, attending to details and

anticipating needs before they are expressed?

$Does anything about your guests= first experience make them say,

AWow!@ and want to return?

You may be the most skilled preacher and your church may have

excellent small groups or the best children=s ministry in the city.

Your first‑time guests will never know unless they make a second or

third visit. Will they come back? It all depends on the impression you=

re making. Make it the right one the first time.


Copyright 2006, Rick Ezell.
Rick Ezell

RickEzell.netRick Ezell is the pastor at First Baptist Church in

Greer, South Carolina. Rick is a consultant, conference leader,

communicator, and coach. He is the author of six books, including

Strengthening the Pastor's Soul.
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1,000 Sermons Will Change Your Life - Trevin Wax ‑ TrevinWax.com

- 8/2011.101


1,000 Sermons Will Change Your Life

Trevin Wax ‑ TrevinWax.com


Pastors, don=t underestimate the cumulative effect of your preaching.

You are not dumping information into brains. You are forming the



habits of your people, teaching them how to read and understand and

apply the Bible for themselves.Email this articlePrint FriendlyAMaking

a hospital visit to a suffering family makes more of an impact than

the three points you made in your message on Sunday.@


Occasionally, I hear statements like this at pastors= conferences and

preaching seminars. The idea? Pastoral presence is more important than

a pastor=s preaching. The implication? It=s better to spend less time

worrying about your preaching and more time engaging people at a

personal level.
Sounds good. But it=s shortsighted. And ultimately unhelpful.
Sure, there are pastors who spend all day in the study and never among

the people. Those kinds of pastors need to be prodded out the door so

they can better serve the flock. (Not to mention that being with the

flock greatly enhances your preaching!)


It=s also true that most of your congregation already forgot the main

points from your sermon last week. And yes, church members will long

remember your presence during their time of crisis. But the point of

your preaching isn=t that everyone will remember all the information

you present anyway. Neither should preaching preparation be forgotten

in the attempt to increase one=s pastoral presence.


No, instead we need to consider the relationship between preaching and

presence in a way that measures impact beyond what is immediate,

powerful, and memorable. That=s why I say: Do not downplay the

long‑term, cumulative effect of your preaching.


Preaching is formative in ways that go beyond mere information

retention. Every time a pastor opens up the Word and preaches the

gospel, he is showing his church how to approach the Bible. Pastors

who elevate the Scriptures week after week, sermon after sermon, lead

their people to approach the Bible in the same way.
A Personal Example
From the time I was nine years old until I left for Romania at the age

of 19, I belonged to a church where the pastor (Ken Polk) preached

expository sermons every week. I remember the first (and second) time

he took us through the Gospel of John. I still remember his 1

Corinthians series, or his sermons from Judges.


Of course, this pastor was also by our side when we had our first

child. He has comforted us amidst trial and loss. He is a pastor,

after all, not just a preacher. But, I dare say, his Word‑centeredness

as a preacher is what made his pastoral presence so powerful during

our time of trial. His presence was enhanced by his preaching.
I cannot calculate the formative influence that this pastor=s

preaching has had on my life. For ten years, I listened to Bro. Ken

preach. 10 years. 50 weeks a year. 2 times a week. That=s 1,000

sermons.
No, I don=t remember the information contained in the vast majority of

those sermons. I don=t remember all the titles or the points. But I

have no doubt that his preaching has greatly impacted my life.


$I approach the text the way he does, looking to discover what=s

there, not invent what=s not.

$I see Christ in the Scriptures because he saw Christ there.

$I respect the Bible because of the way he always made the purpose of

the text more prominent than the personality of the messenger.

$We are on the same page theologically because he consistently

preached a theology that came from the page.

An Exhortation to Pastors


Pastors, don=t underestimate the cumulative effect of your preaching.

You are not dumping information into brains. You are forming the

habits of your people, teaching them how to read and understand and

apply the Bible for themselves. How you preach week after week matters

just as much as what you preach.
Weekly confrontation with the Word of God slowly changes how we look

at the world. We see God more clearly, our human state, and the future

of the world within the Bible=s framework, even if we don=t remember

all the information in an individual message. Sermons gradually change

the way we think and feel and believe and hope.
Yes, your presence at the funeral home and the hospital bed is vital.

It matters greatly. But there=s a reason why your presence during

suffering is so powerful: The Word. A pastor=s visit is unique because

the pastor is the one who speaks authoritatively from God=s Word week

in and week out. That=s why Christians want their pastor to be by

their side, and not just a fellow church member.




So let=s not pit pastoral presence against sermon preparation. Your

preaching influences your presence, and vice versa. May the Lord open

our eyes to see the quiet, subtle influence that 1000 sermons have on

the people God has entrusted to our care.


Trevin Wax

TrevinWax.comTrevin Wax is first and foremost a follower of Jesus

Christ. His wife is Corina, and they have two children: Timothy (7)

and Julia (3). He is an editor at LifeWay Christian Resources of a

resource titled TGMCTheology, Gospel, Mission, a gospel‑centered small

group curriculum focused on the grand narrative of Scripture. He has

been blogging regularly at Kingdom People since October 2006. He

frequently contributes articles to other publications, such as

Christianity Today. He received his bachelor=s degree in Pastoral

Theology from Emanuel University of Oradea in the country of Romania,

where he was involved in mission work in several village churches from

2000B05. He received a Masters of Divinity at Southern Seminary in

Louisville, KY. He spent several years serving the wonderful people of

First Baptist Church in Shelbyville, TN as Associate Pastor. His new

book, Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of

False Hope, was released in April.


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Preaching Tip to Encourage Your Audience Peter Mead

- 8/2011.101

Encourage Your Audience


Preaching Tip: Encourage Your Audience

Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.net
Everyone needs encouragement. And yet, strangely, it's often absent

from a significant amount of preaching. Email this articlePrint



FriendlyEveryone needs encouragement. We need it as preachers. So we

shouldn=t be surprised if our listeners do, too! And yet, strangely,

something that everyone needs, and everyone acknowledges is needed,

seems to be strangely absent in a significant amount of preaching.

Let me encourage you to encourage people as you preach.
Don=t think exhortation is encouragement.
There is a need for exhortation, but people need to be encouraged,

too. Exhorting involves persuasion and a hint of rebuke, but

encouragement injects hope, confidence and life.
Don=t think guilt is encouragement.

To put it simply, it is not. Guilting people into conformity is a

shortcut that may yield results, but it will be short‑lived and

counter‑productive. Allow guilt to come by the conviction of the

Spirit, but don=t add guilt where guilt is not the issueCthat is a

form of legalism.


Don=t think that enthusiasm is encouragement.

Your enthusiasm may be contagious, but people may sit impressed by

your passion, yet not feel encouraged in their own. Think through how

to invest rather than simply demonstrate enthusiasm in your preaching.


There are other things we may offer and think we are being

encouraging. But consider both your passage and your listeners: how

can this be preached in a way that will encourage them? Robinson

talks about the need for ten encouraging messages for every one

rebuke. It is so counterproductive when we get that ratio reversed.

Be encouraged as you read the Word, and look to share that

encouragement as encouragement!

Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.netCor Deo

Peter Mead is involved in church leadership at an independent Bible

church in the UK. He serves as director of Cor DeoCan innovative

mentored ministry training programCand has a wider ministry preaching

and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net.
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Has Mission Become Our Idol? Skye Jethani

- 8/2011.101


Has Mission Become Our Idol?

Skye Jethani

SkyeJethani.com
Skye Jethani: "While a vision for serving God is needed, and the

desperate condition of our world cannot be ignored, there is a higher

calling that is going unanswered in many Christian communities." Email

this articlePrint FriendlyAThere is a first‑rate commitment to a

second‑rate mission.@ That is what Roger, a leader in global church

planting, said as he looked at the rock climbers ascending a cliff in

the Alps. Many of us called into ministry feel the same way. Rather

than giving our lives to climbing a rock, building a business, or

amassing a fortune, we are committed to what really matters; a

first‑rate mission‑‑advancing the Gospel and the Church of Jesus

Christ.
But what if we=re wrong?
Roger spent decades serving Christ and planting churches on four

continents. But after reflecting on his labor for the kingdom of God,

his confession surprised many of us. AI=ve given most of my energy to

a second‑rate mission as well,@ he said. ADon=t get me wrong. Church

planting is great. But someday that mission will end. My first calling

is to live with God. That must be my first commitment.@


What Roger articulated was a temptation that many in ministry face.

To put it simply, many church leaders unknowingly replace the

transcendent vitality of a life with God for the ego satisfaction they

derive from a life for God. Before exploring how this shift occurs in

church leaders, let me take a step or two backwards and explain how I

have seen it within the Christian college students I=ve worked with in

recent years.
Is impact everything?


The students I meet with often worry about what awaits them after

graduation. This is a reasonable concern for any young adult, but for

many of them the worry extends far beyond finding a job with benefits.

They fixate, and some obsess, about Amaking a difference in the

world.@ They fear living lives of insignificance. They worry about not

achieving the right things, or not enough of the right things. Behind

all of this is the belief that their value is determined by what they

achieve. I=ve learned that when a student asks me, AWhat should I do

with my life?@ what he or she really wants to know is, AHow can I

prove that I am valuable?@


When we come to believe that our faith is primarily about what we can

do for God in the world, it is like throwing gasoline on our fear of

insignificance. The resulting fire may be presented to others as a

godly ambition, a holy desire to see God=s mission advance‑‑the kind

of drive evident in the Apostle Paul=s life. But when these flames are

fueled by fear they reveal none of the peace, joy, or love displayed

by Paul. Instead the relentless drive to prove our worth can quickly

become destructive.


Sometimes the people who fear insignificance the most are driven to

accomplish the greatest things. As a result they are highly praised

within Christian communities for their good works which temporarily

soothes their fear until the next goal can be achieved. But there is a

dark side to this drivenness. Gordon MacDonald calls it

Amissionalism.@ It is Athe belief that the worth of one=s life is

determined by the achievement of a grand objective.@ He continues:
Missionalism starts slowly and gains a foothold in the leader's

attitude. Before long the mission controls almost everything: time,

relationships, health, spiritual depth, ethics, and convictions. In

advanced stages, missionalism means doing whatever it takes to solve

the problem. In its worst iteration, the end always justifies the

means. The family goes; health is sacrificed; integrity is

jeopardized; God‑connection is limited.[1]
What I have witnessed in the lives of many college students is the

early symptoms of missionalism. The virus had been introduced to them

in childhood and incubated by well‑intentioned churches, ministries,

schools, and the wider evangelical subculture. And with graduation

looming the students were feeling the pressure. It was, after all,

their first opportunity to actually prove their worth through

achievement.


When meeting with or counseling a struggling church leader, one of the

questions I=ll ask to diagnose whether missionalism is present is:

AAssuming you=re not engaged in some kind of disqualifying sin, why

not?@ The answer I often hear, the answer most posters have been

conditioned to say, is: AI wouldn=t want to do anything to jeopardize

my ministry.@ That response often reveals where a leader=s true

devotion is. Sadly I rarely hear a pastor say, AI wouldn=t want

anything to disrupt my communion with God.@ So few of us have been

given a vision of a life with Christ, and instead we seek to fill the

void with a vision for ministry‑‑a vision of a life for Christ.


Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, was raised in a Alife for

God@ environment. His experience reveals how the fear of being

insignificant is implanted into young people. He said the heroes his

community celebrated were Athe Rockefellers of the Christian world;@

those who were enterprising, effective, and who made a huge impact for

God. They launched massive ministries or transformed whole nations.

This led Vischer to conclude that impact was everything. AGod would

never call us from greater impact to lesser impact!,@ he wrote. AHow

many kids did you invite to Sunday? How many souls have you won? How

big is your church? How many people will be in heaven because of your

efforts? Impact, man!@[2]
But after losing his company in 2003, Vischer began to question the

validity of the Alife for God@ values he had inherited and which had

driven his early career.
AThe more I dove into Scripture, the more I realized I had been

deluded. I had grown up drinking a dangerous cocktailCa mix of the

gospel, the Protestant work ethic, and the American dreamY. The Savior

I was following seemed, in hindsight, equal parts Jesus, Ben Franklin,

and Henry Ford. My eternal value was rooted in what I could accomplish@

[3]
A professional crisis made Vischer pause and reexamine his posture

with God, but for others the nagging discontent of a life lived for

God manifests much more slowly. Consider what one pastor in his late

30s wrote: "The church is growing, and there's excitement everywhere.

But personally I feel less and less good about what I'm doing. I'm

restless and tired. I ask myself how long I can keep this all up. Why

is my touch with God so limited? Why am I feeling guilty about where

my marriage is? When did this stop being fun?"[4] This leader is not

alone. Studies show that approximately 1,500 pastors leave the



ministry every month due to conflict, burnout, or moral failure.[5]

Others have shown how ministry rooted relentless achievement for God

actually contributes to addictive behaviors. When the accolades that

give pastors a sense of significance cease or never come at all, some

begin to nurse secret pleasures on the side to numb their pain.
When church leaders function from this understanding of the Christian

life, they invariably transfer their burden and fears to those in the

pews. If a pastor=s sense of worth is linked to the impact of his or

her ministry, guess what believers under that pastor=s care are told

is most important? And so a new generation of people who believe their

value is linked to their accomplishments is birthed. If the cycle

continues long enough an institutional memory is created in which the

value of achievement for God is no longer questioned. Leaders may be

burning out at a rate of 1,500 per month, young people may be riddled

with anxiety, and divorce rates in the church may be rising and

families falling apart, but no one stops. No one asks whether this is

really what God intended the Christian life to be. No one asks, at

least out loud, because that might slow things down. Remember, the

work must go on. Impact, man!


Mission is good, not ultimate.
You may be thinking, ABut we are called to do things for God. And what=

s the alternative‑‑continuing to allow the people in our churches to

be self‑consumed Christians seeking only their own comfort?@ That is a

very fair concern. And I completely concur with the consumer posture

that is choking much of the modern church both in North American and

increasingly around the globe.


But the prescribed solution I hear in many ministry settings is to

transform people from consumer Christians into activist Christians.

The exact direction of the activism may depend on one=s theological

and ecclesiological orientation. For traditional evangelicals it=s all

about evangelism‑‑getting believers to share their faith, give to

overseas missions, and grow the church. For many younger evangelicals

it may focus compassion and justice‑‑digging wells and eradicating

poverty. But what the traditional and younger evangelicals agree upon

is that we are to live our lives for God by accomplishing his mission

however we may define it.


The Alife for God@ view makes mission the irreducible center of the

Christian life. And everything and everyone gets defined by some great



goal understood to be initiated by God and carried forward by us. An

individual is either on the mission, the object of the mission, an

obstacle to the mission, an aid to the mission, or a fat Christian who

should be on the mission.


Please don=t think I am trying to dismiss the importance of the missio

dei or the church=s part within it. Like other church leaders, I

greatly desire to see more Christians hear God=s call and engage in

the good and life‑saving work he has given us. And I am incredibly

grateful for my friends in ministry who have awakened the church to

the theological and practical necessity of mission in our age. But as

Tim Keller has deftly observed, AAn idol is a good thing made into an

ultimate thing.@ The temptation within activist streams of

Christianity is to put the good mission of God into the place God

alone should occupy. The irony is that in our desire to draw people

away from the selfishness of consumer Christianity, we may simply be

replacing one idol with another. This is the great danger of endlessly

extolling the importance of living for God‑‑it put can place God=s

mission ahead of God himself. Paul, the most celebrated missionary in

history, did not make this mistake. He understood that his calling, to

be a messenger to the gentiles, was not the same as his treasure, to

be united with Christ. His communion with Christ rooted and preceded

his work for him.


Few passages of Scripture illustrate our present dilemma better than

the Parable of the Prodigal Son in - Luke 15 - Luke 15}. If

you recall, the young son did not value a relationship with his father

but only his father=s wealth‑‑a poignant example of the consumer

Christian. He took what his father gave him, left home, and wasted the

gifts on fast living. Eventually he was penniless and desperate. But

when the son returned home to seek his father=s mercy and a job as a

servant, he was astonished to find his father overjoyed‑‑running to

embrace him with open arms.
But that=s only half of the story. The father also had an older son

who was very different than his swinging sibling. He was reliable,

obedient, and lived to do his father=s bidding. But when the older son

heard that his wayward brother had returned, and that his father had

welcomed him and was throwing a party, he became incensed. In fact,

when he heard the music and dancing in the house he refused to join

the celebration. Instead he held his own pity party out in the field.
True to his character, when the father discovered that his eldest son


was not home he went out to find him. There the father begged the

older son to come to the party. But the son was furious. ALook, all

these years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet

you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my

friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your

property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!@

( - Luke 15:29‑30 - Luke 15:29‑30}).
Notice where the older son roots his significance: AAll these years I

have served you, and I never disobeyed your command.@ The older son

lived for his father. And for his service he expected a reward. In

this way he really is not that different from the younger son. Neither

boy was particularly interested in a relationship with the father,

instead both were focused on what they might get from him. The younger

son simply took what he desired while the older son, being a more

patient and self‑disciplined person, worked for it. Their methods were

night and day, but both sons desired the same thing and in neither

case was it the father. In other words, both sons sought to use their

father. Both were jerks, one just happened to be of a more

socially‑acceptable variety.


Jesus told this parable at a gathering with Pharisees and

scribes‑‑very devoted religious leaders; men who drew a great deal of

significance from their service for God. Was Jesus trying to say to

them that there is something wrong with serving God or faithful

obedience? Of course not. The problem comes when we find our

significance and worth in it. Jesus is not diminishing the older son=s

obedience, just as he is not endorsing the younger son=s immorality.

Rather he is showing that both a Alife from God@ (the younger son) and

a Alife for God@ (the older son) fail to capture what God truly

desires for his people. Pouring our lives into a mission that we

believe pleases God is not the center of the Christian life. It is not

what is going to remove our fears or unbind our captivity to sin. In

order to discover what God cares about most, we must look more closely

at the father=s response to the older son in Jesus= story.


ASon, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was

fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this brother of yours was dead,

and is alive; he was lost, and is found@ ( - Luke

15:31‑32 - Luke 15:31‑32}).


What brought the father joy was not the older son=s service, but

simply his presence‑‑having his son with him. This is what the father



cares about most, not his property or which son receives more of it.

While the sons are fixated on the father=s wealth, the father is

fixated on his sons. This is what they both failed to understand, and

it is what both Christian consumerism and Christian activism fail to

grasp. God=s gifts are a blessing and his work is important, but

neither can or should replace God himself as our focus.


Like the younger son, believers in our churches often build their

identity around what they receive from God. Or like the older son we

find our value in how we serve God. And a great deal of effort is

expended in faith communities trying to transform people from younger

sons into older sons. But this is a fool=s errand. Because what

mattered most to the father was neither the younger son=s disobedience

nor the older son=s obedience, but having his sons with him. And so it

is with our Heavenly Father. Reversing the rebellion of Eden and

restoring what was lost can only be accomplished when we learn that at

the center of God=s heart is having his children with him.


While a vision for serving God is needed, and the desperate condition

of our world cannot be ignored, there is a higher calling that is

going unanswered in many Christian communities. As shepherds of God=s

people, we must not allow our fears of insignificance to drive us into

an unrelenting pursuit of church growth, cultural impact, or missional

activism. Instead, we must model for our people a first‑class

commitment to a first‑class purpose‑‑living in perpetual communion

with God himself. As we embrace the call to live with God, only then

will we be capable of illuminating such a life for our people.

Skye Jethani

SkyeJethani.comSkye Jethani is the senior editor of Leadership Journal

and the author of With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God.


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Preaching on the Edge of Laughter - Wayne Cordeiro

- 8/2011.101




Preaching and Laughter
Wayne Cordeiro: Preaching on the Edge of Laughter
Wayne Cordeiro
MentoringLeaders.com
"Congregations that never laugh find that forgiveness comes hard. In a

church that laughs easily, forgiveness also comes easily. Allow your

spirit to be lifted by laughter. It will do more than just improve

your communication, it will change your church."Email this

articlePrint FriendlyEnvision that life is like a large, flat plain.

At its edge is laughter, where life giggles and belly laughs without

much effort. This is called the AEdge of Laughter.@
A lot of people build their lives too far from the Edge of Laughter.

So it takes someone to do the best comedy act in Vegas to get them to

crack a smile.
Live on the Edge of Laughter. Congregations that never laugh find that

forgiveness comes hard. In a church that laughs easily, forgiveness

also comes easily. Allow your spirit to be lifted by laughter. It will

do more than just improve your communication, it will change your

church.
Humor of Jesus
Jesus laughed. Where you might ask? Plenty of places in the Gospels if

you have any kind of funny bone left in your body. Listen to these

words of Jesus:
AIt=s easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than rich

man to get into heaven@ ( - Matthew 19:24 - Matthew 19:24}).


How do you get a camel through the eye of a needle? Do you start with

the tail and start pulling him through? Of course people laughed.

Jesus wanted them to, so they would not take themselves too seriously.

As ambassadors of the King, you and I must also utilize humor to

awaken people=s minds and hearts.
When people laugh, it reboots their computer and gets them thinking

again. Have you ever experienced a computer crash? You wiggle the



mouse, tap at the keys, maybe even kick it, but it doesn=t react.

Well, that can happen during speeches too! You must jiggle your

audience awake with joy.
When people laugh it opens their receptivity. As their mouths hang

open, the preacher can drop in truth for them to chew on. What a

preacher says immediately after the laughter is the most important

message he can speak. Laughter makes hearts vulnerable and the words

he will speak will sink deeply and be reflected upon.
How can a preacher develop his humor?
1. Watch Life
Watch life for unique experiences. Develop eyes to see humor every

day. How much life goes by and we are oblivious to it. I went to a

collegiate game where the University of Oregon played UCLA. The people

were wonderfully alive and sparkling with joy. They had painted their

faces and their bodies! They wore clown wigs and just went nuts. It

was such a joy to watch them!


2. Watch Comedy
One of the best tactics for developing humor is from some of the most

funny people in the world, stage comedians. A comedian will plan his

routine, crafting his lines and adjusting his timing. These are the

professionals of laughter. If their humor is clean, watch it and take

notes! Watch every gesture, tone and technique they use to draw

laughter out of people around them.


3. Practice Laughing
Right where you are, wherever you are, laugh! That=s right, laugh. Yes

I do mean you! Don=t hide behind your screen. Just laugh.


You may need some practice. We need to practice joy so that it becomes

a natural reflex in life, not just in the pulpit but every day we

live.
If we don=t laugh we=ll be more painful to live with. Those who don=t

laugh are often the first critics. If you don=t laugh very much, it

does not mean that you are holier than others. It might make you a

Pharisee but it will not make you holier. Somewhere along the line,



church people began to look like they had been baptized in lemon

juice. We have become known for our deep‑furrowed frowns. Holiness is

not best advertised with seriousness but with joy.
One of the first Sundays after we planted New Hope a somber man

sporting a scowl and crossed arms glared through me during the

service. So I went over to him and gave him a big hug and said, AGood

morning!@ He was as rigid as a phone pole. He scalded me with a look

that could blister skin. In a low growl he said, AIf you would stop

being such a funny guy, and just preach the Word, then maybe I=d come

more often!@ He left that Sunday and we haven=t seen him since.
In those early days we only had a handful of people attending. But

since then 34,000 people have made first‑time decisions for Christ

through New Hope . We=re going to keep laughing! As Nehemiah said,

AThe joy of the Lord is your strength@ ( - Neh. 8:10 - Nehemiah

8:10}). A church that understands the joy of the Lord is a strong

church.

Wayne Cordeiro

MentoringLeaders.comWayne Cordeiro is the founding pastor of New Hope

Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii with over 14,500 in weekend

attendance. New Hope is also listed as one of the top ten most

innovative churches in America with Outreach magazine, listing them as

one of the Atop five churches to learn from.@ New Hope is known for

redeeming the arts and technology. Over 3000 attend services each

week via the Internet, and New Hope has seen over 73,000 first‑time

decisions in Hawaii since its inception 26 years ago.
He has authored ten books, including such classics as Doing Church as

a Team, Dream Releasers, Seven Rules of Success, Attitudes That

Attract Success, Divine Mentor, Leading on Empty and The Encore

Church. Wayne is also the author of the Life Journal, which is being

used by thousands of churches worldwide, is bringing people back to

the Word of God.


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Preaching on Life: An Interview with Max Lucado - Michael Duduit

- 8/2011.101


Preaching magazine
"I really believe the purpose of Scripture is to give us this

authoritative handbook. We have a place where we can take people when

they come to us with questions so we're not just speaking out of our

own opinion." Email this articlePrint FriendlyMax Lucado is one of

America's best‑known preachers. He is the minister of preaching at Oak

Hills Church in San Antonio. His books have sold more than 80 million

copies, and his latest volume is Max On Life: Answers and Insights to

Your Most Important Questions. He recently visited with Preaching

Executive Editor Michael Duduit.
Preaching: Your newest book, Max on Life, is a series of questions and

answers dealing with different themes. Tell me what led you to use

this approach?
Lucado: I think you could say every pastor is writing this book; for

many it just never gets published. All I did was collect a few of the

questions I've been asked through the years, write up a brief response

and put them in this publication. As a pastor, you get asked questions

and receive emails. Many of them I had answered, but just in

conversation. So we kind of re‑crafted the question and answered it.

It turned out to be an interesting exercise. I hope it's encouraging

for people.


I've never really prided myself as being quick on my feet. Maybe

you've had the experience where somebody's asked you a question and

you give an answer, then later in the day you think, "Oh, I wish I'd

said that!" I tend to journal these things and put the answers in

sermons. It was a matter of going back through a lot of sermons and

remembering the questions and conversations, where these ideas came

from. So the book is really kind of a second chance to answer these

questions.


Preaching: What was the hardest question?


Lucado: I think the hardest one had to do with suffering. It had to do

with all of our church members and friends passing through difficult

times. Sometimes it's the global climate: tsunamis, earthquakes,

radiation. I think these kinds of questions are absolutely the most

difficult, yet we need to be ready to respond to them because we have

to be able as pastors to walk people through these valleys, these

tough times in their lives.
Preaching: Do you have a favorite question in the book?
Lucado: No one has asked me that. I never thought whether there's a

favorite one. I think there is, not in the sense that I enjoy it, but

that it's an important question. It's the question, "Does the presence

of pain mean God doesn't care? Does God not love me anymore?" I think

that's a very common connection we tend to make. I see that a lot in

my own life and in the lives of others.Does the presence of pain mean

the absence of God? I try to help people see that God uses pain, that

pain is one of the ways God shapes us into the kind of beings He wants

us to be for eternity. I don't know how to answer the problem of deep

pain without a deep hope in eternity. If the purpose of life is just

to live this life and then die, it's hard to answer the purpose of

pain question; but if we can help people see from an eternal

perspectiveCthat all of this is working together to prepare us for

something higher than we've ever imagined, more noble than we've ever

dreamedCthen we discover some hope that we can hold on to.
Preaching: This book is divided into seven topical sections: hope,

hurt, help, him or her, home, haves, have‑nots and hereafter. That's a

pretty good list for a balanced preaching ministry. Those are issues

Scripture deals with and issues that are on the minds of people today.


Lucado: If you could have seen me last summer putting this together

with stacks of questions! I spent the better part of a week trying to

figure out how to organize these stacks of 30 years of conversations

and dialogues. I finally began clustering them in these different

categories, and I ended up with the ones you listed.It's interesting

to me the kinds of questions I haven't been called to wrestle with.

For example, I don't know what this says, but I'm not asked a lot of

political questions. I don't get asked a lot of questions about

science and the Bible, for example. Probably people just know I'm not

very smart and I don't have an answer to those anyway. I don't get

asked a lot of questions about who is the best political candidate or

what my position is on what the Senate is about to do. From my



perspective, most of my life has been dealing with the day‑to‑day,

kitchen‑to‑bedroom‑to‑living‑room‑to‑garage life with people. Most

people are just trying to figure out how to love the people in their

world, to love their God and to deal with some of these questions

about God.
Preaching: As we preach, we seek to take Scripture and apply it to the

real life needs of people. Sermon application seems to be one of the

areas in which many pastors struggle the most. How do you approach

application as you prepare to preach?


Lucado: I really believe the purpose of Scripture is to give us this

authoritative handbook. We have a place where we can take people when

they come to us with questions so we're not just speaking out of our

own opinion. We're really speaking to them out of an authoritative

place, not because of what we discovered, but because of what God

says. You know, it's one thing for me to tell people not to worry.

It's another thing entirely to quote - Matthew 6 - Matthew 6},

where Jesus says, "Why do you worry? The birds of the air, the flowers

of the fieldY" He says, "I tell you, do not worry." So, when we speak

from that perspective, the comfort carries with it a higher level, a

deeper sense of magnitude.The second part of this is the Holy Spirit

uses the Scripture as a sword. The Word is the sword of the Spirit. So

the Holy Spirit uses Scripture, uses the Bible to penetrate people's

hearts. So, every time we equip the church with a verse, chapter or a

story from the Bible, we're really placing another weapon in the hands

of the Holy Spirit that He uses to challenge and strengthen the

church. I think that's very important.The temptation is for us to

share our own opinions, our own thoughts and to speak from the whole

realm of possibility. We can't do that as pastors. We need to have a

strong voice of conviction, and the way we can do that is through

Scripture.
Preaching: As you go through the process of preparing a message, at

what point does application begin to come into that mix?


Lucado: In the first paragraph. To me it does. I'm thinking, "What

difference will this sermon make in their lives tomorrow? What am I

trying to give them that will make a difference?"The sermon I preached

this past weekend, for example, had to do with the theme that Jesus

will not let go of you. He will not let go of you. He's holding onto

you. I talked to them about the disciples and Peter on the night

before the crucifixion of ChristChow Jesus said that all of you are


going to turn away, but He would be waiting for them in Galilee. I try

to help people see they're going to have these times in which they

turn away, in which they deny Christ and their faith grows cold, their

convictions weakened; but Jesus is waiting. It's not our hold on Him,

but His hold on us.
So immediately I'm trying to think: What are some of these times when

we feel we're losing our hold on Christ, and what's the fear we're

trying to address? I try to get into that quickly. I don't have a lot

of time in the sermon anyway. The sermon is only 25 minutes, which to

me is frighteningly short. So I feel as if I need to get into that

pretty quickly and make it as practical and accessible as possible.


Preaching: You've been writing for 25 years and preaching longer than

that. Have you found that your approach to application has changed

through the years?
Lucado: I don't think so. I think I could do better in my approach to

application. I think I could do better in preaching practical sermons.

Most of my sermons are inspirational, and I believe people need that

encouragement. I have some friends whose sermons are extremely

practicalCso practical that I can put them right to use. I'm trying to

learn how to do that better; but I don't think my approach or style

really has changed in these 30 years. Whether that's good or bad I

don't know, but I don't think it has.


Preaching: How do you decide what you are going to be preaching? I

know you preach in series. How far out are you planning those?


Lucado: I'm trying to decide right now. In March 2011 I'm trying to

decide on a sermon series that I will preach in January 2012. So, I'm

about six months out. I'm right now wrapping up the sermon series on

grace. I'd like to figure out what this next series will be in

January. To do that, I'm going to come up with four or five really

good ideasCat least that I think are really good ideasCand if I don't

sense God really highlighting one of those, I will go to the elders of

our church and my co‑pastors. I'll give them a nugget of each of

theseCa brief description of each of the sermon series. I'll say, "Do

you sense one of these over the other?" and see what they tell me.

Usually between my thoughts and theirs, an idea surfaces that I really

feel good about.


Preaching: So you're planning a good many months out. When you

actually start the process of writing the message for a particular

Sunday, how far out do you start?


Lucado: About three weeks out, I try to map the whole series. Right

now I'm doing a series called, "What Happens When Grace Happens?" It's

a 13‑week series. Last summer, I went away for a couple of weeks and

pretty well mapped out the big points of each message. Then I put it

on the shelf, and about a month out I started preparing the messages.

Usually I'm able to prepare a message about two to three weeks in

advance.I know some preachers don't like that. They want to be

finishing it on Friday before they preach it on Sunday, but our

worship team really likes me to get it done way in advance. So does

our graphics team. We're also a multi‑site church, so we have other

pastors on other campuses who want to read the message before the

video plays on the weekend services. So it just works better for me.


I co‑pastor now, so I preach six months, then another guy preaches six

months. So that's really why I'm preparing for January, because I'll

finish in June; then I'll be writing and doing other projects for the

rest of the year. That started about three years ago. So it's not like

I'm that far in advance; it's just that it's my next time up. It used

to be that I would be planning the September sermon series.


Preaching: As you were planning your current series on grace, did you

start with themes or topics first? Do you begin with some biblical

texts on grace? What's your approach to developing a series like that?
Lucado: What I try to do is narrow the sermon series down to one big

question. In this case the question is: What happens when grace

happens? I knew I wanted to preach about grace. I just felt as if it

was time for our church to be refreshed and see the beauty of God's

graceCthe uniqueness of the Christian grace as compared to the

teachings of other world religions on forgiveness. I think we have

such a crown jewel in the forgiveness of God, and it changes people's

lives.I wanted to talk about how grace in and of itself changes us. It

changes the way we treat other people, the way we view our lives, the

way we treat our purpose and our eternal identity. It took me a long

time to narrow it down to that one question, but I felt very good

about that question: What happens when grace happens? So for the past

10 or 11 weeks, each week I've unpacked that.I'm just like other

pastors. I want a real take‑home quality to the sermon, so I built the

whole sermon series around the word grace, those five letters. We have

up on our platform big cubes that spell G‑R‑A‑C‑E. Five cubesCkind of



like dice that come up to my waist. So I'll stand behind the G and

remind people first that grace is a gift. Then I move to the R and

talk about how grace is redemption; to the A, how grace is acceptance;

to the C, how grace turns us into Christians, how Christ lives in us.

Yesterday's message was established. We're established in grace.
Some people find those a little hokey, but I find them very practical

little memory tools to give the church. I think it connects with

people. Then it gives me a big skeleton outline in which I can work in

terms of planning the sermon series.


Preaching: As you and your co‑pastor look at the year in terms of what

is going to be preached, do you have any particular model or formula

concerning what topics you'll deal with this year? Do you do that kind

of planning together?


Lucado: My co‑pastor is Randy Frazee. Randy is the brightest bulb in

this box. He really has a feeling for what a church needs in terms of

maturity, so I listen to him. We've been working together for three

years. His first idea was: Let's take the whole church through the

Bible in a chronological fashion. We used a Bible called The Story. We

took the whole church through The Story. He did the Old Testament, and

I did the New Testament. That took us about a year.
Then he wanted to really zero in on the Book of Romans in his teaching

season. As he was teaching Romans, I was praying about what I needed

to teach. I felt it wasn't time to move out of the theme of Romans,

which is salvation by grace through faith. So I said I just want to

camp on this one more time, and he felt very good about that.He feels

that once I finish this grace series, the church is ready for some

practical steps toward spiritual maturity in terms of how the Bible is

understand, how it's applied, how we treat our neighbors and so forth.

So, he's planning a series this fall; I don't know the title yet, but

I think it will be more of a "roll up your sleeves and put your faith

to work" kind of a series.
Preaching: If you knew you had only one series left in you, what would

it be?
Lucado: It would be the seven sayings of Christ on the cross. I just

love those: "Father forgive them, they know not what they do. I

thirst. It is finished. Into Your hands I commit My spirit. Today you

will be with Me in paradise." That was really the heart of the second


book I wrote called No Wonder They Call Him Savior. Someday I want to

go back and maybe write another book on those seven sayings. I just

think they are kind of like a table of contents to the Christian hope.

They invite us to go into all the aspects of the heart of Jesus.

Everything about them from the drama, the setting, the passion around

themCI think the seven sayings of the cross are powerful.


Preaching: When you finish a series such as the one you are in right

now, What Happens When Grace Happens, will that become a book?


Lucado: Yes. All of my sermons become books. I've been accused of

having no unpublished thought. I encourage pastors to do that. I think

there are so many great sermons that never really get circulation.

They go into a file drawer, but they're only really a generation or

two from being turned into a great book. I think what happens is that

we're so busy as pastors that we never get around to trying to turn

that material into a book. It's a shame because there is so much good

material out there that needs to be published.


Michael Duduit

Preaching magazineDr. Michael Duduit is executive and founding editor

of Preaching magazine and the founding dean of the Graduate School of

Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. He holds

an M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from

Florida State University.
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8 Ways to Make Your Church More Accessible by Rod Arnold

8 Ways to Make Your Church Mo

- 8/2011.101
8 Ways to Make Your Church More Accessible by Rod Arnold
BrandSmartChurch.com


Here are some smart, practical things you can do to connect with more

people in your community and give them a chance to get to know your

church.Email this articlePrint FriendlyHere are some smart, practical

things you can do to connect with more people in your community and

give them a chance to get to know you.
#1: Narrow Your Focus
The first question to ask yourself is, AWho do we want to reach?@ Now,

I know the temptation here is to say, AEveryone! We want to reach

everyone!@ And I agree B your heart=s desire should be to reach

everyone. But, generally speaking, one church cannot serve everyone.

Even though you=ll welcome anyone who walks through your doors with

open arms, in order to remain strategic it is important to identify

the specific people you are most capable of reaching, or those you

feel called to reach.


Who is your primary target? You may say Aunchurched people.@ That=s

great, but who specifically are they? Are they young, blue‑collar

families who live close to your church building? Are they older

retirees? Are they immigrants living in an adjacent neighborhood? Are

they college students from the nearby university? Take some time and

think about the people you want to reach, and prioritize the groups on

which you want to focus.
#2: Know Your Audience
How well do you know the people you want to reach? Get inside their

heads, walk in their shoes, and think about things from their

perspective. What is life like for them? What do they worry about

every day? What struggles do they face? What is their

religious/spiritual background? What are their goals and aspirations?

Where do they go for help?


Seven weeks ago, City Community Church launched as a church plant in

downtown Indianapolis. They knew who they wanted to target:

18‑35‑year‑old urbanites living and working downtown, a group that is

off of most churches= radar. They spent months prior to the launch

getting to know this group of people, learning to speak their language

and connecting with them online using Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

The result was an overwhelmingly successful launch of 300+ people,

with consistent attendance and growth since then.




#3: Know Yourself
What is the unique promise that your church offers people? This is the

million‑dollar question. If you can answer this clearly and concisely,

and in a way that is meaningful to the people in your community, you

are ahead of 95% of churches. What I=m really talking about here is

identifying the Aspecial sauce@ that your makes your church compelling

to people.


Discovering and articulating this for your church takes some work.

Start by identifying the features of your church B objective things

like size, location, types of programs offered, worship style, service

length, types of topics covered, strengths (what do you do really

well?) and typical member characteristics. Next, identify which of

these features are unique to your church. Narrow your list down to the

top three or four unique features that you think make your church

distinct and compelling to people.


Now translate those unique features into benefits. Benefits are

similar to features, but the difference is that they speak directly to

how people=s needs are met. For example, if one of the needs you

identified in your community was that Aparents are worried that their

teenagers will get involved in the wrong crowd,@ and one of your

church=s unique features was Aa strong, active youth ministry,@ a

benefit might be that your church Asupports parents by offering their

teens a fun, worry‑free environment and opportunities for positive

friendships.@ You should come up with three or four unique benefits of

your church B each an authentic representation of your church=s DNA,

and each meeting a real felt‑need of the people you want to reach.
Once you do this, simplify these primary benefits into a single

concept B the unique promise your church offers. When you boil it all

down, what makes your church distinct and compelling? What is the

singular idea that makes your church meaningful to people? This is

what we call your Abrand promise@ B a clear, concise concept that

makes you distinct from any other church or institution in your city.

It must be authentic to your true character and values. And it must be

meaningful to the people you want to reach. You should simplify this

promise to a short phrase that you and your team can remember.
This is what International Family Church has done. Located just

outside of Boston, IFC is composed of people from over 40 different

countries. They identified themselves as a multi‑cultural,


multi‑generational church that enables people to impact the world.

Reinforcing this concept through various media and communications has

resulted in a big boost in their people=s personal ownership in the

church vision and an enhanced sense of community.


#4: Get Real
There are two ideals I continually emphasize with churches I work

with B authenticity and consistency:


$Authenticity B What you communicate to people about your church must

authentically represent who you are and what you=re about. If you

promise or imply that your church is one thing, but the actual

experience is something different, you will actually antagonize

people B and they will gladly tell their friends and family that you=

re not who you say you are.

$Consistency B Once you have clarified who you are as a church, you

need to take a closer look at all your Atouchpoints@ and see how you=

re doing. How well do your logo, tagline, images, designs and messages

communicate your brand promise? And how consistently do you

communicate at every point people touch your church? This includes

your website, advertisements, signage, parking lot attendants,

greeters, lobby design, children=s classrooms, bulletins, video

projection B the list goes on an on. And of course, what is

communicated from the platform is critical too!

#5: Get Some Ink


One of the best ways to let people know what your church is all about

is for them to see stories about you in the local news media. Develop

relationships with local newspaper, magazine, TV and radio people, and

give them what they are looking for B great stories. Look for stories

about people in your congregation, things that are happening at the

church, special events and anything else you can think of. Keep a

steady stream of press releases coming across their desks, each of

which should reinforce the unique benefits your church offers.


This strategy has paid off for Harvest Church in Byram, Mississippi.

The state=s largest newspaper recently featured the church because of

a sermon series they were doing called AHow To Be Rich.@ They

developed a good relationship with the reporter, who just contacted

them again last week for an interview about how churches are using

social media. This kind of publicity is much more effective than

advertising B and it=s free!


#6: Cut Up Your Content
If you=re like most churches these days, you are probably streaming

podcasts of your sermons. That=s great, but who is really listening to

them? Most likely it is people who are already in your congregation,

and they listen because they missed church last week. A podcast is not

the most effective tool for helping people get to know your church,

simply because a 45‑minute sermon is just too much for them to fit in

to their busy day.
One of the best ways to make your website content more effective is to

chop it up into bite‑sized pieces. If you create a special two‑minute

video for the service, post the video on your website also. If someone

tells a compelling story on Sunday morning, capture it on video and

post it on your website. If something funny happens, capture it on

video and post in on your website. You get the picture. People are

much more likely to watch these short snippets than they are to listen

to or watch an entire service. And these can be great tools for people

to quickly get to know your church better.
Tony Morgan, a pastor at multi‑site NewSpring Church in South

Carolina, does this with great effectiveness. By posting short videos

and his favorite quotes from senior pastor Perry Noble (which he calls

APerryisms@), readers of his blog get a real taste of the church=s

culture and personality. Take, for example, last week=s video of the

worship band, where the church daringly uses opening Easter service

with their rendition of ACDate Originally Filed - C=s Highway to Hell. Definitely a great

way for people to experience the unique style of NewSpring!


#7: Empower Your People
In point #4 above, I listed a multitude of different touchpoints of

which you should take account, but I didn=t mention the most important

one B your people! Those same people who sit in the padded chairs

every Sunday are the most prolific representation of your church to

your community and the world. Not only are they physically in contact

with their family, neighbors, co‑workers and others all week long, but

most people now reach hundreds or thousands more virtually B through

their blog, discussion boards and activity on social media sites like

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, StumbleUpon and others. People=s circles

of influence are now exponentially greater than they were just a few

years ago. So the big question is: How are they representing your

church?


Obviously you can=t control what your people say and do, but you can

influence it. Start by giving them the words to say. When the subject

of church comes up while having coffee with friends, hopefully your

members are able to clearly and concisely articulate what makes your

church unique and compelling. If you are consistently expressing your

brand promise from the platform and all your other communications, the

odds of them getting it right improve dramatically.
Also, the snippets of content you post on your website are great tools

to turn your people into activists for your church. Let them know a

video of that moving story from Sunday morning is posted online. Many

people will tell their universe of Twitter followers and Facebook

friends all about it and send them a link to check it out. If the

content is compelling enough, you could easily see hundreds or

thousands of new people introduced to your church and beginning a

potentially fruitful relationship.


#8: Join The Movement
If you haven=t already joined the hundreds of millions of people who

are expressing themselves online, it=s never been easier. A few months

ago, Pastor Rick White of The People=s Church in Franklin, Tennessee

got a standing ovation from the entire youth group, who always sit

together in the front of the church, when he announced he was starting

a blog. People are hungry to hear from their leaders. But if a blog

seems like too much work, start with a tool like Twitter, a micro‑blog

tool that limits you to only 140 characters per post.


You Can Do This
Remember, people need to trust you before they join you. And they need

to know you before they trust you. And you won=t get far at all if

they don=t like you to begin with. Follow these steps, be authentic

and be consistent, and make your church worthy of a second date!


Rod Arnold

BrandSmartChurch.comRod Arnold is passionate about empowering leaders

and organizations to think smarter about strategy, branding and

marketing. For more than 15 years, Rod has worked with businesses,

non‑profit organizations, and churches as a branding and marketing

leader and strategist. He's the founder of BrandSmart Marketing and


has been responsible for marketing and building such brands as

Hillsong United, Integrity Live, Acquire the Fire, BattleCry,

Dare2Share, Group and others. He also wrote What Smart Churches Know:

How Branding and Marketing Know‑How Can Revolutionize Your Church.You

can learn more from Rod at his blog at www.BrandSmartChurch.com.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/rod‑ar

nold‑8‑ways‑to‑make‑your‑church‑more‑accessible‑981.asp?utm_source=news

letter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate




<><
Megaphones and Soapboxes - Is Street Preaching Worth It? By Greg Stier

- 8/2011.101


Street Preaching
Megaphones and Soapboxes: Is Street Preaching Worth It? BY Greg Stier
Dare 2 Share Ministries
Greg Stier offers insight into the effectiveness of hard‑core street

witnessing.Email this articlePrint FriendlyLooking for a semester of

Across‑cultural@ experience, non‑Christian college student Kevin Roose

transferred to Liberty University. As an undercover unbeliever, Roose=

s goal was to understand how Christians think and get a sense of the

evangelical culture from a firsthand Ainsider@ perspective.


As part of his cultural experiment, Kevin decided to go on a weeklong

outreach adventure over Spring Break with a group of 13 other Liberty

students. Their mission? To bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the

beer‑guzzling, body‑baring, sand‑loving sinners on Daytona Beach. The

team was trained to share the gospel and then unleashed to comb the

beach on a spiritual search and rescue mission.


After a solid week of almost constant rejections, the group consoled

themselves that they had planted spiritual seeds that would sprout

later. Roose concluded that these well‑intentioned street evangelists

had really not made any converts. Even the few who had ostensibly said

Ayes@ to Jesus were not followed up on or plugged into local churches.


In his words,
AThe issue of post‑salvation behavior is an interesting one. I

thought, when Scott was teaching us to evangelize, that we=d be told

to do some sort of follow‑up with successful converts, if we had

anyCguide them to a local church, maybe, or at least take their

contact information. But there=s no such procedure. If Jason had

decided to get saved (he didn=t), Martina would have led him through

the Sinner=s Prayer (AJesus, I am a sinner, come into my heart and be

my Lord and Savior@ or some variant thereof), she would have let him

know he was saved, perhaps given him some Bible verses to read, and

they never would have seen each other again. Cold‑turkey evangelism

provides the shortest, most non‑committal conversion offer of any

Western religionCwhich, I suspect, is part of the appeal.@ (Source:

salon.com).
Interesting.
Clearly he didn=t write his article out of vindictiveness or venom. He

seemed to actually like these evangelicals and was exploring why they

were willing to go through all the pain and strain of being persecuted

without seeing tangible results. His conclusion was that the prospect

of saving someone from hell was enough witnessing fuel to keep them

going in the face of mockery and disdain.


Before I give my perspective on all this, let me explain that I was

born and bred on street evangelism. I did my first cold‑turkey

evangelism when I was 11 years old. I was terrified and trembling as I

shared the gospel. But I was hooked. This was the closest thing I had

experienced to extreme sports and I loved it.
The church that reached my entire beer‑drinking, body‑building,

tobacco‑chewing family (and that=s just the women!) was a street

evangelist training ground. My tough, ripped Uncle Jack was led to

Christ when the preacher at this church went to his house, knocked on

his door, and started sharing the good news of salvation. That began a

domino effect of salvation in my large extended family.


As a result, I was immersed into this pre‑evangelical world of

fundamentalist Christianity and loved it. Why? Because, now I not only

had a real Heavenly Father (I was the product of a one‑night stand and

never knew my biological father), but I had a purpose: the salvation

of souls from hell.


From that first witnessing experience as a fifth grader to my freshman

year at Liberty University, hardly a Friday night went by without me

and my Christian compadres going Asoulwinning@ at local malls across

Denver.
We would gather together, train the newcomers, and head out to do

cold‑turkey evangelism. While sharing my faith, I have been hit, spit

at, picked up by the throat, pushed down, laughed at, and mocked

relentlessly. But these became battle scars for my adolescent soul. I

could talk about them and show them off later to my fundie friends.

After all, every rejection was worth it if just one person put their

faith and trust in Jesus. And unlike Kevin Roose, we were trained to

try and get the people we led to Christ plugged into our church, where

they too could be trained as street evangelists.


I estimate conservatively that I personally witnessed to 5,000 people

from the time I was 11 until I left for college. I was an expert at

serving cold‑turkey evangelism sandwiches. But to be honest, out of

all of the street evangelism I have done, I am only aware of a handful

of stories when someone who got saved actually got plugged into a

faith community.


So do I think street evangelism works? Yes and no. Yes in the sense

that I have seen countless people look me in the eye and say Ayes@ to

Jesus. In my heart of hearts, I know that many of them were sincere.

As - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:13} reminds us, AEveryone who

calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.@ It makes no

preconditions about location or depth of the relationship. If they

genuinely believe in Christ, then they truly receive the gift of

eternal life. So, yes, I believe street evangelism works when it comes

to making converts. But I don=t believe it works well when it comes to

making disciples.


Does that mean that I think we shouldn=t do street/mall/park

evangelism? No. I just think we should try to do it differently.


To be honest, God has been taking me on a journey of reflection over

the last several months and I am trying to figure out where He is

leading. You see, my goal is to make as many disciples, not as many

converts, as I can before I die. Making converts is merely additional

(souls added to the kingdom). But making disciples is exponential

(souls multiplied through disciples who make disciples who make more

disciples.) And the street and the shopping mall are not the best


places for making disciples. Again, we may have opportunities with

various strangers and we should make the most of them to wisely and

gracefully share the good news. God may be using you to plant a seed,

water the seed or reap the harvest with those strangers He brings

across your path. But I am more and more convinced that sharing Christ

with strangers must be done in a very specific way.


Greg Stier

Dare 2 Share MinistriesGreg Stier is the founder and president of Dare

2 Share Ministries. His website offers hundreds of resources (many of

them free) for evangelism and youth ministry, including a field guide

called Dare 2 Share. This practical book will give Christians the

tools they need to share their faith with anyone, anywhere and anytime

in a compelling and Biblical way.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/greg‑s

tier‑megaphones‑and‑soapboxes‑is‑street‑preaching‑worth‑it‑978.asp?utm_

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<><
Dealing with the Preacher‑Eaters - Joe McKeever

- 8/2011.101


Dealing with the Preacher‑Eaters

Joe McKeever

JoeMcKeever.com
Joe McKeever shares practical advice for dealing with the

self‑appointed church rulers who try to dominate your preaching and

your ministry. Email this articlePrint FriendlyRecently, I cautioned

young assistant pastors on a snare lying in their path (i.e., certain

church members puffing them up into believing that they are superior

to the pastor and ought to have his job). In telling my own story from

several decades back, I expressed gratitude that I had not become the

senior pastor for several reasons. Chief among them was the extremely

strong laymen who exercised great influence in that church who would


have "chewed me up and spat me out."
A young pastor wrote asking me to elaborate on that. Who are those

men? How do they operate? What is a pastor to do when he finds himself

serving a church with such leadership in place?
Nothing that follows is meant to imply that I have all wisdom on this

subject. Far from it. I carry scars from encounters with some of those

menCnot men from that church in my previous article, but from their

clones with whom I did battle in two subsequent churches.


The Apostle John wrote to a friend whom he called "beloved Gaius" in

the little epistle we call III John. The key issue is a church boss

who was exercising tyrannical control over the congregation. John

says, "I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the

preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I

will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with

malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not

receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out

of the church" (III - John 9‑10 - John 9‑10}).
They've always been with us, these self‑important self‑appointed

church rulers who reign as big frogs in small ponds and get their

thrills from dominating God‑sent ministers.
Who are they?
They are almost always men. I've never seen a woman try to control the

church and the preachers the way some men do. Perhaps you have. Human

nature being what it is, doubtless there are female Diotrephes out

there. Thankfully, they are rare.


Where do they come from?
Ah, there is the rub.
Some of these menClet's call them Sons of DiotrephesCare serious

disciples of Jesus Christ who rose to leadership positions in the

church on their merit. They stepped in at difficult times for the

church and provided the wisdom, the direction, and the leadership that

saved the day. The congregation is grateful and now naturally looks to

them for direction long after the crisis is over.




When a new pastor arrives at a church, he will want to identify the

influence‑makers. Whether they hold elective offices or not, these are

the men and women to whom the congregation naturally (and first!)

looks when critical decisions must be made. If they oppose a program

the new preacher is presenting, he's in trouble from the start. He

does well to get to know these people and to keep them on his side.


Some Sons‑of‑Diotrephes are not serious disciples of Jesus but simply

stepped in and filled a leadership vacuum at a crisis period in the

church's life and now refuse to vacate it. They enjoy being

power‑brokers. Such people are the bane of every pastor and the death

knell for every church unless the congregation acts to break their

stranglehold.


Sometimes carnal men are assigned church leadership roles by merit of

their wealth or position in the community. In a small to medium‑size

church made up of typical Americans, the owner of a factory or large

business will always stand out. The deference which he commands during

the week will be shown him on Sunday. If he is regular in attendance

and generous with his money, he's almost automatically going to be

elected to key positions. Whether he is godly and humbleCSpirit‑filled

and mission‑minded, with a servant spirit and a heart for GodCor not,

rarely comes into play in the typical church.
How sad is that?
Pity the new pastor who walks into a church unprepared to deal with

carnal leaders who enjoy their power positions and cannot wait to let

the new minister know who's in charge.
Dealing with the Sons of Diotrephes
In the church where I served as a staff member (referred to in the

previous article), the strongest lay leaders, the ones who ruled and

insisted that the pastor deal with them, were a handful of business

leaders in the city. Some were related to one another. To me

personally, they were sweet and friendly and a pleasure to fellowship

with. However, I was a lowly staffer and hardly a blip on their radar.

It was the pastor who was in their cross‑hairs.
Quick story. A new pastor arrived and quickly ran into the reality of

this small cadre of Diotrephes‑clones (the SODs). After a few

difficult years, the weary pastor bailed out and relocated to another


state. Some years later, when the pastor who succeeded him got into

moral trouble and had to resign abruptly, the pastor search committee

wanted the former pastor to return. They were surprised by his

response.


"Before I agree to talk with your committee," he said, "I want Mr.

Diotrephes (he named him, of course) to fly out here and ask me

personally to become the pastor. If he doesn't, I'm not interested."

When Diotrephes showed up at the pastor's office, hat in hand, asking

him to return, the pastor let him know that if he came back to that

church, things would be different. Otherwise, no soap. He returned and

led that congregation through many years of ministry and growth. To my

knowledge, his influence and leadership and authority as pastor were

never seriously threatened thereafter.
I've never forgotten that lesson. Unfortunately, his was an unusual

situation, not easily duplicated by other pastors.


Question: How would a pastor deal with the Sons of Diotrephes in the

new church where he has gone to serve? Very carefully. Extremely

prayerfully.
A wise pastor will find out before he goes to a church how decisions

are made there and whether unelected, self‑appointed laypeople call

the shots. A little investigating (such as talking with the previous

pastors or the local denominational leadership) will tell him whether

he wants to proceed further with the pastor search committee.
The former pastor made no bones about it with me. "Joe," the older

gentleman said, as he put his long arms around my shoulder, "twenty of

the most miserable years of my life were spent in that church."
That is exactly what he said.
"A little group was organized against me. They fought me on every

decision. Whenever they got word that we were going to be presenting

anything for a church vote, they burned up the phone lines organizing

their people to oppose it."


And yet, I still went to that church. I went in knowing that I could

expect opposition from a small, powerful group of members. Sure

enough, they were on the job. As we've written elsewhere, I found out

later that some decided I was too conservative for their liking and



decided before the moving van was unloaded that I would have to go.

Instead of staying 20 years as I intended, I stayed three.


In our case, we called in a church consultant. He spent many weeks

studying our situation and faulted the church for having no

constitution and bylaws which left a leadership vacuum to be filled by

strong‑willed laypeople. He found that while I was not responsible for

the church's division, I had become its focus and recommended that I

move to another church so the congregation could create a constitution

and start fresh with a new pastor.
It hurt to walk away. But I realized later that doing so probably

saved my life. The stress of that pastorate was slowly killing me.


Something inside us probably would like God to deal with the SODs the

way he protected Moses against them. From - Numbers

16 - Numbers 16}....
Now, Korah the son of Izhar (and a number of his buddies) rose up

before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and

fifty leaders of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered

together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You take too much

upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them,

and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the

assembly of the Lord?"
When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, and he spoke to Korah and

all his company, saying, "Tomorrow morning, the Lord will show who is

His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him.... You

take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!"


Moses said to them, "You and all your company are gathered together

against the Lord." ( - Numbers 16:11 - Numbers 16:11})


The next day, the ground split apart under (these men). The earth

opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all

the men with Korah, with all their goods.... The earth closed over

them, and they perished from among the assembly.


Wasn't this a little harsh? Well, God did it, not Moses. And God being

God, He can do as He pleases ( - Psalm 115:3 - Psalms 115:3}).


By the way, one day one of the SODs came to me at church and said,

"Joe, does it not matter to you the caliber of the people who are

opposed to you?" At the time, all I muttered was, "It does." Only

later did the Lord call - Numbers 16 - Numbers 16} to my mind

where the "men of renown" opposed Moses.


In Moses' case and in my case, God dealt with those men. Dramatically

in Moses' case, not so much in mine. As far as I can tell. And that's

an important point.
I stood in front of a church I had been serving for seven years and

told the congregation how a small group of SODs were making life

miserable for me. They did not represent the larger membership, I said

and was glad to know, but they were a constant drag on my ministry and

a thorn in my flesh. From the pulpit I addressed that group: I need

you to know two important things: One, God is using your opposition to

purify me and make me stronger. So I am grateful for you. Second, you

will stand before the Lord one day and give account for what you are

doing to His church and the man He has sent as your pastor. And

friend, I wouldn't be in your shoes for anything in the world. I

thought of the line, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of

the living God ( - Hebrews 10:31 - Hebrews 10:31}).


Toward the end of that sermon that day, I told the Diotrephes clan,

"From now on, I'm serving you notice. We will love you, we will listen

to you, and then we're going to ignore you. But we are going forward."

The congregation burst into applause. Some asked later why it had

taken me so long to kill that snake.
The answer was that I was still in recovery from the turmoil in the

previous church (the one referred to above where the older pastor had

spent 20 miserable years, to which I devoted only three years).

Furthermore, it took seven years in this church to gain the confidence

that the congregation looked to me as pastor and would support me in a

stand against the SODs.


Here are my suggestions to the pastor who finds himself in this snake

pit:
1. Spend a great deal of time on your knees.


2. Protect your wife from much of the stress. If she can continue

loving the SODs and their families without reservation, all the

better. She will need to know some, but not everything.


3. Remember the Lord's instructions of - Luke 6:27 - Luke

6:27}ff. In loving your enemies‑‑those who hate you or curse you or

threaten you‑‑you are to do good deeds for them, bless them, pray for

them, and give to them. Among other benefits, you will make sure that

ill will and resentment will not linger in your heart.
4. Minister to the SODs faithfully as though they are your biggest

supporters. Otherwise, you are giving them material to use against

you.
5. As you gain the trust of the rest of the congregation, in God's

timing, you will be able to withstand the SODs more aggressively and

with greater success.
6. Remember that a short‑term pastorate plays right into their hands.

If you leave after only a few years, they are vindicated that their

leadership is needed to save the church during the interim, and they

will be lying in wait for the next pastor. You will have done him no

favors.
7. Vengeance is not yours. (See - Romans 12:9‑21 - Romans

12:9‑21} for a manual on dealing with everyone in the church,

including the Sons of Diotrephes.) Your job is to preach the Word and

love the sheep and stay close to the Lord.


There is one more method, a quick one, that ends the

Sons‑of‑Diotrephes' hold on the church. Other laymen inside the

congregation can rise up against the SODs and put them out of business

anytime they please.


The SODs have the pastor in a hammerlock. This is his job and he needs

an income to feed his family. If he gets run off from this church and

finds himself unemployed, he will find it difficult to get another

church. Pastor search committees are understandably wary of flockless

shepherds. "If you're so hot, why aren't you leading a church?"
However, the SODs have no such control over the other laypeople.

That's why they try to work behind the scenes with the other men and

women in the congregation. They use friendship, gifts, thoughtfulness,

appointments, and honors to curry favor with the deacons and teachers

and officers of the church. The laypeople are so trusting of these

(ahem) wonderful people, they "just know" they couldn't possibly be

doing all those terrible things to the pastor. And so, like sheep,


they go on their way, allowing the wolves to harass the shepherd.
The remedy: in a church business meeting, stand up and ask important

questions. "Who decided this?" "Pastor, was this what you wanted?"

"Who is on that committee?" Two things the SODs cannot stand are

exposure (everyone finding out what they've been doing behind the

scenes) and accountability (insisting that decision‑makers report to

the congregation on what they did and why).


Sons of Diotrephes have contempt for the laity in their congregation.

They know the great mass of the members want to be left alone and

protected from the inner workings of their church. This provides them

with a field on which to do their work. Hold them accountable. Ask

questions of them in public. Turn on the lights. Let fresh air into

the inner workings of what used to be known as smoked‑filled rooms.

You might end up saving your church and rescuing an embattled pastor.
There is no one‑size‑fits‑all plan for dealing with self‑appointed

church bosses. But I hope my analysis provides some assistance to

God's pastors. Don't forget, friend, to mobilize your prayer support

team. In good times and bad, you'll need a cadre of intercessors

regularly entering the Throne Room on your behalf.

Joe McKeever

JoeMcKeever.comDr. Joe McKeever is a preacher, cartoonist and the

retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater

New Orleans. Currently he loves to serve as a speaker/pulpit fill for

revivals, prayer conferences, deacon trainings, leadership banquets

and other church events. Visit him and enjoy his insights on nearly 50

years of ministry at JoeMcKeever.com.


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You Can't Please Everyone with Your Preaching - Peter Mead

- 8/2011.101


You Can't Please Everyone with Your Preaching

Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.net Cor Deo


The challenge with criticism is to sort it through and preach for our

audience of One, yet with a loving sensitivity to the many who sit and

listen.Email this articlePrint Friendly
The goal in preaching is not to please all of your listeners. We know

that. But in our vulnerability, it can be very uncomfortable to hear

that some are not happy with our preaching. The challenge is to try

to figure out why and then know whether to adjust or not. Here are

some possible reasons and possible responses.
Over Their HeadsCPerhaps your preaching is simply not pitched

effectively. You use terminology that is unnecessarily lofty or

academic and people simply struggle to understand you. There is no

virtue in this and you need to hear the feedback. If you can=t make

it understandable, it is your problem rather than theirs. The flesh

has a tendency to show‑off, but there is no excuse for fleshly

preaching. Hear the feedback graciously and seek to change.
Overly Grating Their ToleranceCPerhaps your personality is simply

grating and they struggle with you. This is a hard one to quantify or

change. I suppose in an ideal world your increasing fruit of the

Spirit as you mature should alleviate this problem over time (but what

if they=re not growing?) Sometimes two personalities will clash and

it will always be a struggle. Sometimes people hide behind the clash

of personalities when there is an underlying sin issue that should be

addressed (jealousy, bitterness, contempt, etc.). This is a harder

problem to address, but loving them is not a bad path to take.
Overly Burdening Their LivesCPerhaps your preaching is simply weighing

them down with duty and burden. This may be a misunderstanding of

both the Bible and the preacher=s task on your part, or a

misunderstanding of Christianity on theirs. I would suspect the

former. Too many think that the preacher needs to Aspiritually beat

and berate@ listeners in order to be truly preaching. Too many have a

sort of Aflagellation by sermon@ approach to spirituality. Some

listeners feel somehow better when they can walk out of church and

say, AMmm, I needed that!@ But this approach to Christianity will

tend to break bruised reeds and snuff out smoldering wicks.


Overly Touching Their HeartsCPerhaps your preaching is simply touching

too close to home. If you are preaching in such a way as to target

the hearts of your listeners, then many will resonate deeply with what

you=re doing. But in any church there will be some who are

essentially hard‑hearted, who want the preaching to meet certain

criteria and stroke the egos of the religious and pious. Some find it

deeply convicting to Afeel@ as if they don=t really have a loving

personal relationship with God. They revolt at the notion that those

who do not love Christ are actually Aaccursed.@ It=s painful, but if

this is the issue, then the fact that a small minority are unhappy may

be a strong affirmation of your preaching. Would we prefer to have

everyone be pleasantly untouched?
There are other reasons, and often a blend of more than one. The

challenge is to sort it through and preach for our audience of One,

yet with a loving sensitivity to the many who sit and listen. It is

wrong to refuse to hear feedback, and it is wrong to try to please

everyone. Love Him, love them and respond to the feedback where

appropriate.


Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.netCor Deo

Peter Mead is involved in church leadership at an independent Bible

church in the UK. He serves as director of Cor DeoCan innovative

mentored ministry training programCand has a wider ministry preaching

and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/peter‑

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Memorable Sermon Opener - Start with a Bang! Crafting a Memorable Sermon Opener - Tyler Scarlett

- 8/2011.101




Memorable Sermon Opener
Start with a Bang! Crafting a Memorable Sermon Opener

Tyler Scarlett

Preaching.com
If you lose your congregation at the beginning, you will have to work

twice as hard to get them back by the end. Why not give your message

the best possible chance to connect with people at the outset? Email

this articlePrint FriendlyGreat books often begin with great opening

lines. Who doesn't remember the beginning of Charles Dickens' A Tale

of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of timesY"?

What about the curiously blunt start to Moby Dick, "Call me Ishmael"?

Authors know that if you waste a person's time at the beginning,

chances are they won't stick around to the end. What's true with books

is also true with sermons.


A preacher's worst fear is that the congregation will stop listening.

What is far more dreadful than this is if the people never were

listening in the first place. When one takes too much time verbally

meandering into the sermon, the temptation to tune out the preacher

becomes all too real. If your words wander, minds will, too.
Preachers often make the naïve assumption that the congregation

arrives to church brimming with enthusiasm to hear the message. Who

hasn't imagined members going to bed early on Saturday night, eating a

hearty breakfast in the morning, spending an hour in prayer, and

calmly driving to church with a Bible, pen and notebook in handCbeing

sure to arrive 30 minutes early? Seasoned preachers know this is

rarely, if ever, the case.
By the time attendees find a seat in church, chances are many people

already have had an argument, made plans for the rest of the day or

(most likely) had an argument about their plans for the rest of the

day. As Wayne McDill has noted, when most people arrive, they "are

preoccupied with their own personal concerns, tired, bored, and

suspicious that the preacher is about to make it worse."


People may be in front of us, but that does not mean they are

necessarily with us. Ears are like tractor‑trailer weigh stations.

Just because you see them doesn't mean they're open. Given this

challenge, the preacher's task of gaining a hearing is critical to

effective communication.


Sermon introductions are a lot like chess. Mess up the beginning, and

you may have messed up the whole thing. Ramesh Richards has gone so

far as to say, "If you do not have your audience yearning (within the

first few minutes) for the rest of the sermon, [it] might as well go

home." However, if you begin the sermon with a clear, confident,

intriguing opener, it can draw people in instantly. It will assure

them you are going somewhere worthwhile. It will pique their curiosity

and compel them to follow along closely.


Granted, the opening sentence is not the most important part of the

sermon. If the choice is between a good sermon opener and a clear,

accurate exposition of the text, by all means jettison the opener.

Nevertheless, if you lose your congregation at the beginning, you will

have to work twice as hard to get them back by the end. Why not give

your message the best possible chance to connect with people at the

outset? Plan to start the sermon strong.
Whether it's "mama" or "dada," a baby's first words get a lot of

attention. The preacher's first words should, too. Here's how to craft

a memorable sermon opener that will give people a reason to sit up and

listen from the very start.


1. Craft the opening sentence to be simple.
There is hardly anything more laborious and attention‑squelching than

a long, never‑ending sentence that seems to drag on and on with

exceedingly too many adjectives, as well as verbal tangents that go

nowhere and continue along with virtually no conceivable end in sight.

(Get my drift?)
Less is often more. This is particularly true with the sermon's first

sentence. Bryan Chapell's advice about sermon introductions is wise:

"Be direct. Be focused. Be specific." Likewise, Haddon Robinson

suggests, "The minister should make the most of his first 25 words to

seize attention." From the moment you begin to speak, keep it simple.
There is an old saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first

impression." What's true in life is also true in preaching. Bloviate

at the beginning, and you likely will not draw in listeners. The start

of the sermon also is not the time for stumbling around with "ums" and

"uhs." Verbal speed bumps such as these tend to distract even the most

sincere listener. To ensure the kind of clarity and brevity needed, it

may be helpful to flesh out the sermon's first sentence or two on


paper. Write it. Edit it. Rewrite it as needed. Make it say exactly

what you want.


For instance, a message about the biblical foundation of marriage

could begin, "Marriage is not just a good idea; it is a God‑idea."

That is not only true, but also very memorable. It is the kind of

statement a person will scribble in the margin of his or her Bible and

relate to friends.
"God cannot do everything." Such a statement certainly will attract

the attention of skeptics and seekers. However, it also can serve as a

powerful introduction to a message on - Titus 2:2 - Titus

2:2}, "God, who cannot lie, promised long agoY"


A train conductor does not waste his voice by announcing, "Everyone

needs to get on the train so we can commence our departure as soon as

possible." No. All he needs to shout is, "All aboard!" and people

listen. Just a few choice words confidently spoken can say it all.

Make your opening sentence brief. The pithier the better.
2. Craft the opening sentence to be iconic.
If possible in the opener, give people a preview of where the sermon

is going. Provide them with an appetizer that will whet their mental

appetites for the main course. As the Roman orator Quintilian once

said, "A flawed introduction is like a scarred face." It makes you

want to run away. Be sure from the start to give the audience

something appealing to attract them.

Hollywood not only spends big bucks on producing high‑quality

blockbuster films but also puts a lot of time and money into movie

trailers. Previews tease the audience by showing a glimpse of what can

be seen in the feature presentation. It's the producer's way of

saying, "You don't want to miss this!" A good opening sentence

likewise can be a sermon trailer or preview of what's ahead.


God certainly began the Book of Genesis in this kind of iconic way.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Not only do

those words introduce the creation account, they also implant a sense

of wonder about who this God is and what He is going to do with His

new creation.
I recently was preaching from - Matthew 3 - Matthew 3} about

the message of John the Baptist. I opened by sharing a story from my



childhood about my dad's poor driving. In an unfamiliar city, my

father unknowingly began driving the wrong way down a one‑way street.

I began the sermon/story with these words, "The man repeatedly was

shouting, >Turn around right now!'" It not only introduced a man in my

story, but it also introduced John the Baptist. The phrase, "Turn

around right now!" became a refrain that I repeated throughout the

entire message. A sermon opener that echoes the central idea of the

text is a helpful touch.


George Orwell's book 1984 begins with the memorable line, "It was a

bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

There's something relatable, even familiar, when he mentions a cold

day in April. Yet there's something puzzlingly unfamiliar about the

clocks striking "thirteen." It is as though Orwell is telling the

reader up front, "You are about to journey into a new and fascinating

world." He gives a tiny preview of what lies ahead. Doing the same

with your sermon opener will benefit your listeners.


3. Craft the opening sentence to be intriguing.
"Peaches can kill you!" Those were the unexpected first words out of

my mouth from a series on temptation. I went on to explain that inside

a peach pit is a mineral known as amygdalin. Under certain

circumstances, that mineral can produce a new compound, commonly known

as cyanide. I told my congregation that temptation often looks

delicious, but hidden inside is something dangerous and destructive. A

few days later, I someone told me, "Pastor, since that sermon I've

never looked at a peach the same way. It always reminds me of how

dangerous temptation can be." Such a shocking first sentence may help

the sermon stick in people's minds.


Kent Edwards advises, "Effective first sentences could be paradoxical

statements, twists on familiar quotations, or even rhetorical

questions." A sermon dealing with God's omniscience may begin by

asking, "Has it ever dawned on you that nothing ever dawns on God?"

Raising a thought‑provoking question will inspire a search for the

right answer.


Graham Johnston writes, "The opening line establishes a tension with

the emotional ingredients to draw in the listener." Your first words

should force the audience to ask, "I wonder what's next?" Solomon

began the Book of Ecclesiastes this way: "Vanity of vanities! All is

vanity!" ( - Ecc. 1:1 - Ecclesiastes 1:1}) What a fitting way


to introduce the reader to the king's angst about living a life

without God.


When the apostle Paul addressed the men at Mars Hill, he gained an

instant audience with his complimentary opener, "Men of Athens, I

observe that you are very religious in all respects" ( - Acts

17:22 - Acts 17:22}). In just a few words, Paul commended his audience,

raised curiosity and set the stage for his powerful apologetic.
In the same temptation series that I mentioned earlier, another sermon

began with me announcing, "I want you to be a destructive alcoholic!"

The room fell silent. I clearly had everyone's attention. The

congregation was dying to know why I began with such a controversial

statement. I followed it by calmly asking them to consider, "Wouldn't

it be nice if temptation was this honest about its endgame?" Such

unexpected sermon openers will arrest people's attention and give them

a reason upfront to keep listening.


A Russian proverb sums it up well: "It is the same with men as with

donkeys: Whoever would hold them fast must get a very good grip on

their ears!" From the moment you step into the pulpit, listeners

instinctively are wondering, "Why should I listen today?" Your opening

sentence should leave no doubt. Every preacher must earn the right to

be heard. Start with a bang, and you will do just that.


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10 Tiny Tweaks to Liven Up Sunday Mornings - Diana Davis

- 8/2011.101


10 Tweaks for Sunday AM
10 Tiny Tweaks to Liven Up Sunday Mornings

Diana Davis

LifeWay.com


Need a few fresh ideas to keep your Sunday service from predictable

sameness?Email this articlePrint FriendlyIf someone snuck into your

church and replaced Sunday=s bulletins with last year=s bulletins,

would anyone notice? Need a few fresh ideas to keep your Sunday

service from predictable sameness?
1. Fill prime seating.

Challenge your church=s most vibrant age group to help lead worship by

filling the front and center seats weekly.
2. Set the mood.

Set a relaxed, worshipful pre‑service tone with live or recorded

music, along with pre‑service audiovisuals of announcements and

Scriptures.


3. Light matters.

Use quality lighting during the pastor=s sermon. To add variety, dim

light for the Lord=s Supper, backlight a musician, uplight a theme

banner, shine colored lights on a focal wall, or spotlight a dramatic

scene in the center aisle.
4. Theme enthusiasm.

Plan ahead to visually reinforce a sermon series. Make banners for the

worship center or exterior. Plan a serial skit or unique handout.

Create a distinctive display for the foyer or stage.


5. Ushers can rope rear seating to help seat worshippers toward the

front.


They should graciously seat latecomers at an appropriate time and take

care of interruptions and needs during worship.


6. Quality music with variety.

Try adding a different instrument such as bagpipe, zither, violin, or

a person whistling. Try an echo duet from the balcony or worshipful

solo from the audience.


7. Smooth transition.

Intentional silence can be worshipful; Adead spots@ are not. Does it

take ninety seconds to arrange the children=s choir or wait for

someone to stroll to the mike? Plan carefully to use every scheduled

moment wisely.
8. Intentional interaction.


Invite worshippers to reverently stand for Scripture reading. Offer a

fill‑in‑the‑blank sermon outline listening sheet (ideas at The Sermon

Handout: Uses, Abuses, Ideas, and Samples). Quote 1 Chronicles 29:13B

14 in unison before offertory.


9. See with fresh eyes.

Ask an interior designer or interior decorator to assess your church

platform area. Inexpensive changes may make a huge impactCplants,

rugs, paint colors, polished pulpit, rearranged seating, reupholstered

furniture.
10. Small adjustments create interest.

Rearrange choir seating or praise team placement. Vary the Scripture

reader. Add seasonal flowers or banners. Slightly tweak the order of

worshipCbaptism at the beginning, offertory last, or sing after the

sermon.
As you plan worship for our great God, create anticipation with a

fresh, updated plan every Sunday. Oh, and there might be an additional

benefit: less snoring in church.

Diana Davis

LifeWay.comDiana Davis lives in Indianapolis, where her husband Steve

serves as the Executive Director for the State Convention of Baptists

in Indiana. A popular women=s conference speaker, Diana has ministered

to women=s groups internationally. She especially loves encouraging

pastors' wives and deacons= wives at her blog, KeepOnShining.com.

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/mChurch Attendance

/s7 Ways to Close the Back Door

/i

Date Originally Filed - 8/2011.101



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7 Ways to Close the Back Door

Top 7 Ways to Close the Back Door of Your Church

Rob Overton

ChurchLead.com


"It is incredibly easy for a growing church to appear healthy while

leaving bruised and battered people in its wake."Email this

articlePrint FriendlyI am very concerned about this issue because we

have far too many churches who are just churning people. It is

incredibly easy for a growing church to appear healthy while leaving

bruised and battered people in its wake. This is because, if you

subtract a 20% back‑door rate from a 40% visitor connection rate, you

are left with a 20% growth rate, which appears healthy! I think it's

tragic. Just so I won't be picking on the growing churches, I have

seen just as many churches who have had the same attendance for years,

but the faces are constantly changing. Where did they all go? I

would like to think that just found another church that "met their

needs." Unfortunately, I am afraid to ponder how many have not just

left a church, but have left Christianity altogether.


As a point of clarification, when I refer to the back door, I am

talking about people who made an initial connection, assimilated into

one of main areas of emphasis of the church, and made church a part of

their normal routine. I am not talking about people who have never

connected into the life of the church. If a person never successfully

connects, then they just turn around and go out the same way they came

in, through the front door. Initial visitor connection requires its

own proactive process and has a different set of dynamics. I'll deal

with visitor connection and initial assimilation in a separate

article.
People stop coming to a church for many reasons, but the biggest

factors are the lack of close relationships and the lack of meaningful

service. This situation opens the door to a perception among

unconnected people that the leaders are apathetic towards their

situation. Identifying the factors is the easy part. Doing something

about it is a bit harder. In this post, I would like to share what I

believe to be the top seven ways to close the back door of the

church. I want this list to be practical, so in order to set the

stage, I want to talk a little bit about attendance. Every church I

have worked with of substantial size has lamented the inability to

capture worship attendance. They are right. It is virtually

impossible to get accurate individual attendance of worship services.


We're not talking head counts, but attendance that shows who was or

was not present. That does not stop churches from trying! I just

don't see inaccurate attendance as good stewardship. If you can't

trust your attendance numbers so that you can confidently follow up

with absentees, then it is a waste of time.
1.Measure what is measurable. While worship attendance is hard to

capture, adult small groups classes are relatively simple. Children's

activities are the simplest of all since security issues require us to

keep accurate records anyway. So, measure what you can measure. Yes,

you will get push‑back from some of your established groups, but if

you give them some context you will get their support. By context, I

mean that they have to understand that the issue is bigger than their

group. If you show them that you are trying to be good stewards of

these people who are your responsibility, they will usually get on

board. Ask them to help you be faithful with your responsibility.

2.Catch people on their way out of the back door. One of the

fundamental mistakes that I see churches make is to focus on what has

happened in the past. It is not that looking back has no value, it

just won't help you get anyone back! Gone is gone! Think of it this

way. If someone gets upset and you recognize that they are about to

leave, you can intervene and smooth the situation. But if that person

leaves, gets home and settles into their favorite chair in front of

the TV, what are the odds of getting them to come back? Not very good

are they? It takes a person about four weeks to move from "I don't

think the church cares about me" to "I know the church does not care

about me". Catch them on the way out and this can be prevented.

3.Know who you expect to attend. In order to know who was not in

attendance, you have to know who was supposed to be in attendance.

This sounds simple but it is often counter to the way that churches

have kept their records for years. This means that you are going to

have to do some work to keep class rosters clean enough to know the

difference. For example, a list of 100 kids who missed the past three

classes is too large for you to effectively contact. In reality,

there might only be five kids in that list of 100 who have been

attending in the past few months. These five kids represent the five

families that are on their way out the back door! This is the

information that you desperately need to know, and it is so often

buried in the attendance reports of the church.

4.Use the right people to reach out to them. In a group setting,

sometimes the problem is a disconnect between the group itself and the

person who is leaving. In this situation, the group leader is not in

a position to help the situation. This is where the church staff can


be very effective by helping people find a place where they fit better

or acting as an intermediary to rectify a dispute. Be sure to offer a

graceful way back in. I think that people don't want to hurt anyone's

feelings and think that the easiest way to solve a problem is to just

leave. If they are assured that it is OK to try a new group or a new

volunteer position, that might make all the difference.

5.Focus on families. For the most part, children do not attend church

on their own. So, if little Johnny has not been to his four‑year‑old

Sunday school class in three weeks, it is a very safe assumption that

Mom and Dad have not been there, either. Since it is much easier to

track children and students, use that information to prompt your

efforts toward the families of those kids. This is particularly true

of a family where the parents are not active in any other area than

worship. Let the ministry area try to reconnect the individual, but

treat a 3rd or 4th time absentee as an opportunity to connect a

family.


6.Build retention mechanisms and processes. Mechanisms are just ways

to find out who is leaving. This can be in the form of reports from

your attendance records. It can also be from feedback from people in

the church. You have to establish some policies on what kind of

attendance pattern will trigger your retention processes. In some

churches, this might be three absences in a row, while others might

use four or five. Just be sure to stick to what is happening rather

than what happened! Your processes are the methods you put in place

to make sure that those who are identified are contacted and

assisted. This might include phone calls, e‑mails, letters, texts,

Facebook notes or any other method of communication that would be

effective. These contacts have to be personal. No matter the form of

communication used, sincerity and authenticity will be of the utmost

importance. If people in the church trust that you have good

processes to follow up with people, I have found that they are much

more willing to share information with church leaders. They will not

share information with you if they don't think it will make any

difference.

7.Build processes for the major emphasis areas of the church. The

difference between good intentions and success is often determined by

the presence of a logical process. Constructed correctly, no one

should ever slip through the cracks once they are identified. This is

the same thing that must be done in an assimilation process for a

newcomer to the church. The only difference is that it has to be

handled a bit differently. The processes you build will be logical

steps that will lead to participation in that particular area of your

church. This might be connection groups, serving opportunities,


leadership roles, spiritual formation steps or any other activity that

you consider to be part of your "church core."

I have spent thousands of hours helping churches build connection,

assimilation, and retention processes. As every church is unique, the

processes are always slightly different. The most important element

is an acknowledgment that it is critically important to guard the back

door of the church. Church management systems (ChMS) today offer many

ways to facilitate these processes, but they still require careful

configuration and a very intentional approach to be effective. I have

a good deal of experience in these systems, and it is important to

choose one that fits your needs and is flexible enough to work the way

that you need it to work.


I encourage you to step back and critically look at the situation at

your church. If possible, bring in an objective third party to help

you see what you can't see because of your proximity. As I have

worked with churches across the country, I have found that I can see

both problems and possibilities in a situation just because I am a

little removed from the day to day ministry of that particular

church. I have been told many times by Pastors that their stress

level was lowered considerably when they established good processes of

connection, care, and retention. This is not one of those problems

for which there is no answer. I believe that any church can guard

their back door if they are serious about it.

Rob Overton

ChurchLead.comRob Overton has a passion to see churches become all

that God has called them to be. He has over 25 years of management and

leadership experience in both the corporate and church environments.

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Preach a Crisp, Clear Gospel Message - Larry Moyer

- 8/2011.101




Preach a Crisp, Clear Gospel Message

Larry Moyer

EvanTell, Inc.
Larry Moyer: "For me, it all starts by communicating ten words:

'Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.'" Email this

articlePrint FriendlyFor me, it all starts by communicating ten words,

AChrist died for our sins and rose from the dead.@ This is the crisp

and effective message that transforms lives and secures our eternal

destiny. There is a power in this Gospel that is awesome. It is

imperative that you are confident in the message you are communicating

and that you communicate it as clearly and simply as possible. As I

often explain, AThe Bible is 66 books, but the Gospel is ten

wordsCChrist died for our sins and rose from the dead.@ It is the

preaching of the Gospel that makes evangelistic preaching effective.

In order to preach the Gospel, it is crucial that we have a clear

understanding ourselves.
We also need to have a heart to communicate the Agood news@ of Christ

to a lost and dying world. You don=t just want to preach to your

audience. You want to communicate with them.
It=s been said that too many speakers are like Christopher Columbus.

When he started out, he didn=t know where he was going. When he got

there, he didn=t know where he was. When he got back, he did not know

where he had been. If you understand what you are about to present,

that will not be the situation. What is clear in your mind will become

clear in theirs. To communicate and not just speak, you must

understand that every Gospel message must tell your audience three

things:
1. You are a sinner

2. Christ died for your sins and rose again

3. You have to trust Christ


This way, they know their condition, God=s remedy, and their needCto

trust Christ. When those three truths are objectively explained, you

have communicatedCnot just spoken.
I find that expository evangelistic preaching is very effective in

presenting a crisp, clear Gospel message. Presenting your message in

this fashion allows them to hear what God said first. That way, they

leave knowing that if they have a struggle with what you said, their



struggle is ultimately with God, not you. God=s Word is alive. That=s

why to take a particular text and explain it to lost people in a way

that is powerful and relevant lends force to your message. However, if

you are preaching to reach the lost, don=t assume they have a Bible

with them or know where to find the text you are preaching on.

Carefully direct them to the text. Also remember they probably aren=t

familiar with many stories from the Bible or may not even understand

common Christian terminology, so speak their language.


By the way, that does not mean that every expository message that you

give has to be directed to lost people. But appealing to lost people

through an expositional message directed to believers will be the

subject of a future article. The point I=m making is whenever

possible, when you speak to lost people, do it through an expository

message prepared just for them.


Unfortunately, evangelistic speakers too often have a reputation for

being condescending. While we have to explain to people that they are

sinners, we don=t have to say it in a way that is pompous. Remember

that we are to preach a Gospel of grace, not guilt. The audience needs

to recognize they are sinners, but also hear that there is hope for

our sinful condition.


When preaching the Gospel message, it is imperative to use repetition.

With the fast‑paced lives we lead, many of us have lost the art of

listening. Repeat whatever is necessary in light of your text, your

situation, and their need. The main thing you repeat is the Abig idea@

in your message. Watch your audience; if they looked confused, restate

things in a different light or use an additional illustration.


As you preach crisp and effective Gospel messages, your enthusiasm for

the Savior must be displayed. Enthusiasm is contagious. Get excited

about the message God has given you to preach and what Christ did on

the cross. If you are not enthusiastic about your Savior, they won=t

be interested in knowing Him.
Do the above items guarantee that people will come to Christ? No! But

that=s not your responsibility. Your job is to bring Christ to people

through crisp, clear, evangelistic messages. God=s job is to bring

people to Christ. You do your part, and God will do His.




Larry Moyer

EvanTell, Inc.Dr. R. Larry Moyer is a veteran evangelist and a

frequent speaker in evangelistic outreaches, training seminars,

churches and universities around the world. Born with an inherited

speech defect, Larry vowed to God as a teenager that if He would allow

him to gain control of his speech he would always use his voice to

declare the gospel. In 1973, Larry founded EvanTell, where he now

serves as President and CEO. He has written several books on

evangelism and frequently contributes articles to ministry

publications.


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Preaching for Life‑Change - Rick Long

- 10/2011.101


Preaching for Life‑Change

Rick Long

Grace‑Alone.org
Does preaching for life‑change always produce a watered down

message?Email this articlePrint FriendlyJohn MacArthur once addressed

the issue of "Biblically‑Anemic Preaching." Dr. MacArthur boldly

confronted pulpits across America that have abandoned the teaching of

God's Word in exchange for self‑help guides, philosophical remedies

and popular anecdotes that can be as easily discovered by watching any

episode of Dr. Phil or Oprah. I absolutely agree with him when it

comes to his concern about "churches" who have reduced the teaching of

God's Word to nothing more than a highlight during the weekend

services; but I disagree with the degree to which Dr. MacArthur

restricts methodology for preaching the Word of God. Respectfully, I

would like to submit an alternate point of view.


I believe that there is liberty within the body of Christ for a

variety of approaches to teaching the Word of God. After all, the



purpose of the Scriptures is clearly defined in - 2 Timothy

3:16‑17 (NIV) - 2 Timothy 3:16‑17 NIV}. "All Scripture is God‑breathed

and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in

righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for

every good work." As you can see from a close look at the Greek word

"pros," which is translated "for," Scripture is helpful for doctrine,

rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, but these are not

the end‑all purposes. The purpose of Scripture is "so that the man of

God may be mature." The purpose of our preaching and teaching is not

to wow the crowds with our amazing wit or knowledge of Scripture, but

to preach messages that change lives. In - Romans

8:29 - Romans 8:29} we find that the primary purpose for God's Word and

work in our lives is to make us like God's Son, Jesus. What concerns

me about those who believe the only way to teach is verse by verse and

chapter by chapter is that they label preachers as topical, exegetical

or some other label. Let me point out that these labels themselves are

extra‑biblical. When the original letters were written, they had no

chapters and verses; they were sent to be read, understood and

applied. Again, the ultimate purpose for the Word of God is that our

minds be changed so that our obedience is a by‑product of what we have

learned. The goal, and I think Dr. MacArthur would agree with this

point, is not merely head knowledge, but life transformation.


The majority of American Christians know far more Scripture than they

are living out! (This is not to say that the Church is permeated with

biblical literacy. But it is to say that biblical literacy isn=t the

sole crisis we faceCbut rather biblical application of what we do know

is also of great concern.) The bottom line is this: our preaching must

lead to Christ‑like convictions that produce Christ‑like character

which must produce Christ‑like conduct. We are called to be doers of

the Word and not hearers only.


In a recent article, Dr. MacArthur stated:
AYtoday=s sermons tend to be short, shallow, topical homilies that

massage people's egos and focus on fairly insipid subjects like human

relationships, "successful" living, emotional issues, and other

practical but worldlyCand not definitively biblicalCthemes.@


I don=t wish to spend energy defending those who do massage people's

egos, but I can in no way concede the issue of human relationships as

an Ainsipid subject.@ Human relationships are at the heart of

biblical teaching, regardless of our preaching style.



Let me break it down. Though I preach for nearly 50 minutes every

week, I do believe that the amount of time spent is not nearly as

important as the content of what is said. We see this borne out in

Jesus= teaching discourses, the brief parable of the sower as a clear

example of power not being sacrificed for brevity. I have heard some

of the most life‑changing messages that were no longer than ten

minutes.
So I don=t find the length of a sermon being proscribed in the Bible.

All Bible‑loving preachers will agree with the dangers of massaging

egos. But I believe I=m on solid ground when I defend the value of

preaching biblically on topics that encourage and give hope. (Perhaps

Dr. MacArthur would also affirm this.)
The Bible is filled with hundreds of examples of human relationships

that demonstrate the type of husband, son, employee, friend, relative,

brother, boss and so on that I am called to be, and the passages that

teach me how to live out these responsibilities are just as numerous.

Teaching soundly about these matters is critical. And while I may not

teach in what appears to me as a narrowly‑defined style of preaching,

I believe I=m on track in imitating Christ in both my purpose and

manner of preaching.


God help me as I articulate what God has done at our church of 2,300

in Colorado. It is a place where 67 percent of all the members came to

know Christ in and through this church. In 19 years we have grown from

23 curious onlookers to 2,300 (mostly!) active believers. We are

living the purposes of God and reaching out to the community through

52 unique ministries in our church. We have trained 300 churches how

to be active in their community and have become a church to which the

local rescue mission sends their recovering addicts. We are made up of

doctors, lawyers, orthodontists, as well as prostitutes, drug addicts

and criminalsCpeople who have gloriously come to know Jesus and are

learning to surrender to his Lordship in every area of their lives.

Last year 750 adults came to Christ in our services, yet we do not

take on the label "seeker" church, because I believe God does the

seeking, we're just chucking the seeds. He gets all the glory and he

deserves all the praise. But I share what God has done in our midst to

illustrate that he is active in our church, which operates under a

style some would reject as Aunbiblical.@ I just won=t concede that!

The truth is, we would never have seen such impact had we regarded

issues of human relationships as being insipid.


In my finite and limited years of experience, I have come to believe

that a "deep" study of the Word of God means that we are called to

live what we read. I have a conviction that preachers must not lose

touch with the culture around us, the very culture with which we have

been called to share the message of Christ. I have no apologies for a

pursuit of relevance.


There are only two types of people who will ever walk through your

doors: your family or your mission field. Each person deserves the

most powerful and persuasive presentation of God's Word we can

provide. If I am teaching on the subject of love, why would I limit

myself to a narrow study of - 1 Corinthians 13:4‑8 - 1

Corinthians 13:4‑8}, when the subject is addressed in 1200 passages in

Scripture? I want the full counsel of God so I may bring light to the

subject, but I compel the hearer to action with a well‑thought‑out

approach and a variety of tools to bring the sermon to life. In a

culture of multimedia as well as church resources around every corner,

it is not just my prerogative to use these toolsCbut my duty to use

them. My God deserves the best I can give him, and that is exactly

what we strive for at Grace Church of Arvada.
We see in Scripture an emphasis on application. Romans is 50 percent

application. Ephesians is 50 percent application, Philippians is 100

percent application, and James is over 80 percent application. We are

not just to inform our people, but to preach for transformationCand

that is done by application teaching. We use videos and testimonies

almost every week. We utilize examples from pop culture and often deal

with the headlines of the day. People, Christians and non‑Christians

alike, are searching for answers to life's most difficult questions,

and we have the answerCit is the Word of God.
My production team, made up of qualified staff members and pastors,

discusses every sermon and every Scripture. We plan every detail of

the weekend and make sure that God's Word is handled correctly and

remains the focus of all we do. We are planned ahead, and I preach

sermons, complete with all the "bells and whistles," to the production

team two‑and‑a‑half weeks before the actual weekend it will be

delivered. This is how careful we are with the Word of GodCbut my

approach certainly differs from that of Dr. MacArthur. I consider

myself on his same teamCand would value being validated in my approach

rather than being viewed as having somehow compromised God's

WordCthough God is certainly the final judge over all of our

preaching. I believe that there are a variety of approaches or methods



to delivering the message. And as long as God's Word is handled

accurately and with reverence, and as long as lives are being

transformed by the clear Gospel of grace, then God is pleased. I

preach for life change and nothing else. If my people leave on the

weekend and say, "Wow, my pastor is so smart, did you hear the words

he used?", I have failed. But if their week is impacted by changed

behavior as they live for Christ, then I have succeeded.
My fellow pastors, my word to you is this: I pray for you and can

understand the burden you bear every day. God has placed you in the

position you=re in and he wants you to preach exactly the way he

created you. Don't try to be someone you=re not. Preach the way God

has gifted you. Stay true to your studies and to the Word and lead

your people in its light. I am praying for all of you.


In closing, I want to say that friendly tension is what sharpens our

faith. Dr. MacArthur challenged me in many areas, and I hope I have

done the same for you.

Rick Long

Grace‑Alone.orgRick is the Executive Director, Grace Church of Arvada,

Arvada, CO; Speaker and Workshop Teacher. He founded Grace Church in

1989 and since then he has seen God grow the church exponentially. The

ministry has over 2000 members and is a Purpose Driven Church

committed to the Global glory of God. Rick has been instrumental in

laying the groundwork for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Colorado.


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2 Simple Tips for New Believer Follow‑Up - Steven Furtick

- 10/2011.101
2 Simple Tips for New Believer Follow‑Up


Steven Furtick

StevenFurtick.com


Steven Furtick shares practical insights for making the most out of

your new believer follow‑up.Email this articlePrint FriendlyI get

asked all the time how we do discipleship at Elevation. Related to

this question, I also get asked how we follow up with new believers.


Do we relentlessly call people until they're in a small group?
Do we offer 57 Bible studies for people to grow in their faith?
Do we provide a yearlong systematic theology course for new believers?
We do have specific and practical things that we do. But when it comes

down to it, our philosophy is pretty straightforward and simple:


1) We point the way and 2) we clear the path.
1) We point the way.

There's ultimately nothing we can do to force people to grow in

Christ. Nothing. So whether we offer a 26‑option discipleship program

or a 4‑option one really doesn't matter. If someone really doesn't

want to grow, they're either going to say no 4 times or 26.
For that reason, we keep it pretty simple.
We give new believers material to help them grow in the initial stages

of their faith, and we call and encourage them to get plugged in. We

constantly stress the importance of small groups. We faithfully

proclaim the Word and encourage people to read it for themselves. In

short, we point the way to what it looks like to have a relationship

with Jesus for themselves.


If they decide not to walk that way, that's their decision. And we've

made the decision that we're not going to chase all of them down if

they do.
Some people might say to this: Is that what Jesus would do?
I don't have to wrestle with that question because it's exactly what

Jesus did. Jesus didn't hook His finger in people's noses to make sure

they were following Him. When you read through the gospels, Jesus


always cast His net extremely wide. Everyone was invited to follow.

But He didn't chase people down if they weren't committed (as in the

case of the rich young ruler).
The call was to follow Him. Not be dragged kicking and screaming

behind Him.


All He did was point the way. To Himself.
2) We clear the path.

This is where our greatest responsibility comes into play. If we've

pointed the way clearly and people are responding, it's our job to

make sure the path is clear for them when they decide to walk on it.

There's no room to drop the ball when it comes to people's spiritual

development. If they're taking a step toward Christ, we've got to make

sure that step lands unobstructed.
In other words, we've got to make sure our systems and processes are

running at full speed. And running efficiently. If someone wants to

get in a small group, we've got to follow up with them quickly. If

someone needs counseling, we need to get them into it right away and

into the best counseling available.
Whatever approach your church uses to pull the maximum God‑given

potential out of people, it really doesn't matter. Whether you take

people through a five‑year development plan or you just put them into

small groups and let the growth happen more organically, your

responsibility is ultimately the same either way:
1) Point the way to Jesus clearly.

2) Clear the path to Him effectively.


Let's commit to doing both with excellence so we can see our people

become all that God has dreamed for them.


Steven Furtick

StevenFurtick.comSteven Furtick is the Lead Pastor of Elevation

Church, an incredible move of God in Charlotte, NC with more than

9,000 in attendance each week among (soon‑to‑be) six locations. He is

the author of the book, Sun Stand Still. He lives in Charlotte with

his wife Holly and their three children, Elijah, Graham and Abbey.


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2 Styles of Preaching - The Strengths and Weaknesses of Two Popular Preaching Styles - Brady Boyd

- 10/2011.101


2 Styles of Preaching

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Two Popular Preaching Styles

Brady Boyd

Newlifeblogs.com/BradyBoyd

Brady Boyd: "I think both approaches have merit for the local church

and it's the job of the pastor to listen to what God is saying and

obey." Email this articlePrint FriendlyPastors tend to spend a lot of

time obsessing about preaching and teaching, while the rest of society

thinks about it, like never. But it's Monday, and I spoke at New Life

yesterday and still wonder if I'm any good (this is the part that is

supposed to motivate you to give me a lot of compliments), but Pam and

the kids thought it was great and that's most important.


Anyway, about a year ago, I underwent a philosophical shift in the way

I preach each week. For years, I was a part of a world that primarily

taught sermon series on various topics for four to six weeks, each

series complete with a cool logo, title and sermon bumper (that is the

trendy video that plays right before the pastor magically appears on

stage).
Strengths of the sermon series approach to preaching:


1. You can tackle topics that are important to the congregation in a

timely way. For example, if marriages seem to be struggling, you can

talk about marriage, etc.
2. You can go deeper on topics that need extra time to teach, like

eschatology (that's a fancy preacher word that means the end times).


Weaknesses:
1. You can skip over the hard topics and just talk about the happy

ones. In other words, we can talk about the blessings without talking

about suffering or sacrifice.


2. You can drain the life out of your creative team trying to be

better or more clever than the last series. Cool one‑word titles can

slide down the cheese hill very quickly. Our title for the teachings

from Luke is Y Luke.


My approach for the past year has been to walk through books of the

Bible story by story, capturing all the big ideas of the book. I have

preached through Ephesians, 1 Peter, and for the past 30 weeks,

through Luke. I plan to tackle Acts for the first part of 2012.


Strengths of the book approach:
1. You cannot skip over the hard topics. The past two weeks I have

taught out of - Luke 16 - Luke 16}, which focuses on two

difficult topics for most pastorsChell and money.
2. Hermeneutics (another fancy word for studying the Bible) is

embraced more completely. Who wrote the passage? To whom was he

talking? Why did he use specific language? What was going on in the

culture at the time?


3. You have to teach on all of the topics and ideas that Jesus and the

apostle's taught their churches and followers. It builds a more

complete disciple in the long run (just my opinion, but it is my

blog).
Weaknesses:


1. Missed opportunities to preach about topics that are trending

socially. For example, on the 10‑year anniversary of 9/11, we were in

- Luke 14 - Luke 14}, which did not contain a ready‑made

memorial message.


2. Missed opportunities to camp out for several weeks on topics that

need deeper explanation.


For the record, I think both approaches have merit for the local

church, and it's the job of the pastor to listen to what God is saying

and to obey. Don't get stuck in a sermon rut. It is possible, and even

probable, that some fresh new ideas may be exactly what all of us



need.

Brady Boyd

Newlifeblogs.com/BradyBoyd/Brady is the lead pastor of New Life Church

in Colorado Springs, CO. He is married to his college sweetheart Pam

and is the dad to two great kids, Abram and Callie. He has just

written a book called Fear No Evil and he's really serious about

caring for the people of Colorado Springs by opening numerous Dream

Centers.


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Preacher to Preacher: Why Do We Do It? Leslie Holmes

- 10/2011.101


Preacher to Preacher: Why Do We Do It?

Leslie Holmes

Preaching.com
Whether we preach from a manuscript, a 3x5 card, an iPad, or without

notes, preaching is still the primary means through which God hooks a

human soul for salvation.Email this articlePrint FriendlyIf you have

been to seminary, you've most likely gone through a three‑year,

graduate‑level course of studies with at least two unfamiliar

languages, history, philosophy, hermeneutics, homiletics, counseling,

and much more. Have you ever thought you could have given the same

period of time and almost certainly multiplied your earnings, had more

control over your personal life, taken less abuse and probably had

more professional respect as a lawyer, physical therapist, dentist, or

as another type of professional?
In fact, in almost any other course of study, after three years on top

of four years of college, you would have come out with the title

Doctor rather than a master's degree in a field the value of which is

not widely recognized or appreciated beyond the church world. Have

you, as have many others, ever stopped to ask yourself, "Why did I do


that?" If red blood flows through your veins, you know you have! I am

persuaded that all of us have at some point asked ourselves if it is

all worthwhile. After all, they beat up the best preacher who ever

lived and killed Him on a cross.


If you are like me, you have ended up concluding that while there may

be many other things you could have done, you give your life to

preaching the gospel because for you it is a thing called "God's call

on my life," which, let's face it, a whole lot of people don't

understand. Sure, we all could make more money and have more control

of the daily events of our lives, but there is an impelling force

inside us that simply will not let go.
The mighty Paul, no slouch when it comes to scholarship, phrased it

this way: "Necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the

gospel!" ( - 1 Cor. 9:16 - 1 Corinthians 9:16}).As I write

these words, the nightly news about a capsized fishing boat and

resultant loss of life off the coast of Mexico brings back memories of

a motion picture I saw recently. The inherent dangers of the fishing

industry, as seen through a crew's eyes, are described in detail in

that movie, The Perfect Storm. Out of their need to bring home the

best possible catch, the captain and crew of the Andrea Gail determine

to risk everything and travel to a remote but fertile fishing ground

called the Flemish Cap. On their way back to port in Gloucester,

Mass., they encounter the perfect storm. Set in 1991, while many

improvements in shipbuilding, navigational instruments, and rescue

support have improved the lot of boating for most people in this age,

the lives of people who make their living fishing are still at risk.

In fact, more fishing crew members lose their lives per capita than in

any other occupation in America.Some things are better than they used

to be, but for the crew of far off‑shore fishing vessels, going to sea

for extended periods of time is not much safer than it was a century

ago. Out there (and I have been on a vessel out there) you are on your

own. Most days, there is nobody else near enough to help. Lack of fear

and an abundance of courage are two lines near the top of a fishing

boat crew member's unwritten job description.
The same is true for those of us who have felt Paul's necessity of

fishing for souls. Technology has improved, electronics have lightened

our load; but the fact is that neither our call has changed nor has

our message. Some of my students come to class with all their books

downloaded on their iPads! I have more than 5,000 books in my library.

These books have become my masters. If I stop preaching, what will I



do with them? Just think, if my seminary students quit, they will not

have to stress about what to do with their library as it all will be

on one device about the size of a single book! Many years ago, William

Sangster, at the time among Britain's leading preachers, confessed

before a preaching conference gathered in his church, "I long to go

into every manse and vicarage in the land and confront the men who

live there with this question: Do you truly believe in preaching as

the primary means by which God brings men to salvation, and therefore

as your primary task, to the accomplishment of which you will devote

your best hours and greatest energies?"


Fifty years after his death, William Sangster's question still has

validity, and every assertion he made is even more urgent in our iPad

world. Whether we preach from a manuscript, a 3x5 card, an iPad, or

without notes, preaching is still the primary means through which God

hooks a human soul for salvation. It is always our primary task, and

we still need to devote to it our best hours and greatest energies. We

never can forget God had but one true Son, and He sent Him to Earth to

be a preacher. He was unwelcome in many places, given a hard time and

beaten. Yet, "for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the

cross, despising its shame, and is seated at the right hand of the

throne of God" ( - Heb. 12:2 - Hebrews 12:2}). If we would sit

there among those who are seated beside Him, so must we. That is why

we do it! Isn't that why you do it?

Leslie Holmes

Preaching.comThe Rev. Dr. Leslie Holmes is professor of ministry and

preaching at Erskine Theological Seminary in Columbia and Due West,

SC. A Presbyterian minister, he was most recently senior pastor of

Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church in Augusta, GA.

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Biblical Preaching Is About Life ChangeCNot Sermon Form - John Ortberg

- 10/2011.101
Biblical Preaching Is About Life ChangeCNot Sermon Form


John Ortberg

The Art & Craft of Biblical Preaching


The core value of preaching that changes lives is that it=s biblical.

You and I don=t change lives. God changes lives. For two thousand

years, he has used the power of this Word to convict stubborn hearts

of sin, to move cold spirits to repentance, and to lift faltering

lives to hope.
The question that causes a fair amount of controversy is: What makes

preaching biblical?


It=s Not About Form
Often people think what makes preaching biblical is a particular style

or structure. Where I grew up, people talked about three categories

for preaching: topical, often regarded as not very biblical; textual,

where the main point comes from a Scripture verse, which was

considered more biblical; and expository, which is difficult to get a

clear definition of. Expository is a word that gets thrown around a

lot. Some people think of it as verse‑by‑verse preaching, or where

points and subpoints are from one text in Scripture.


There are a number of problems with thinking one particular style or

structure of preaching is the only kind that=s biblical. One problem

is Jesus didn=t do that kind of expository preaching. Mostly he told

stories and the implications for listeners= lives. The apostles didn=t

do that kind of expository preaching. In the New Testament you don=t

see any sermon that goes verse by verse through an Old Testament text.

I=m not saying that kind of preaching is a bad thing. It=s important

that people become biblically literate. But what makes preaching

biblical is not its structure. To be biblical does not mean the

preacher follows a particular form that, after all, human beings

created.
It=s About Relevance, Application, and Enablement
William D. Thompson, author of Preaching Biblically, writes, ABiblical

preaching is when listeners are enabled to see how their world, like

the biblical world, is addressed by the Word of God.@ It is important

not to be superficial when it comes to what makes preaching biblical.

How many Bible verses a sermon has does not determine whether or not

it=s biblical. You can have a hundred verses in a sermon and



misinterpret every one of them. It is not the structure. Biblical

preaching occurs when people listen, are able to hear that God is

addressing them as God addressed the world of the Scriptures, and are

enabled to respond.


Far too many sermons have lots of information about the Bible but are

not really biblical preaching because they do not call and enable

people to respond to the Word. There is lots of information about the

BibleCexegetical, historical, or theologicalCwith maybe a few

applications tacked on the end.
It=s About Working the Soap of the Word Deeply Through the Stained

Fibers of Hearers' Hearts


What happens when the Word addresses people? In Ephesians 5:25B26,

Paul has a wonderful metaphor. He says, AHusbands, love your wives

just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her in order

to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the

Word.@ The church is to be made holy by being cleansed with the

washing of the Word. Why do you wash something? Because it=s dirty.

What happens when you wash something? Soap and water move through the

fibers and lift out impurities from the fabric.


When we and our congregations come before God, our hearts are like

that. They are cluttered with false beliefs and attitudes, misguided

intentions, and wrong perceptions.
I could tell you what a few of mine are. I=m walking down the street.

Somebody wants money. I find myself looking away from him because I

don=t even want to be reminded of that need, and I don=t want to feel

guilty by not giving him something. Or I=m at a convenience store in a

line of people, and the person behind the counter doesn=t speak

English well, and my reflexive thoughts are, I=m in a hurry. Why can=t

they get somebody who speaks English well around here? Or another time

I=m in church standing next to somebody who=s important and the

thoughts that run through my mind are, This is an important person. I

wonder what I might be able to say to make a connection because he or

she is important.
Those are just a few thoughts in my mind that are dirty. They equip me

for bad works. They make bad feelings and behaviors almost inevitable.

Imagine having a mind cleansed of all that. Imagine when you=re with

somebody, your first thought is to pray for them and bless them.



Imagine that if you=re challenged, your first thought is to look to

God for strength.


That=s what it would be like to have a mind washed by the Word, and

that=s your goal for the people to whom you speak. That=s the goal of

biblical preaching. The goal is not to get vast amounts of exegetical

information into people. My goal is not to get people all the way

through the Bible. My goal is to get the Bible all the way through

people.
Biblical preaching answers three questions: What must hearers know,

feel, and do? To do that I ask three questions. What do I want people

to know? What do I want people to feel? What do I want people to do? I

think about these questions for every message I preach because if I

don=t address the mind and heart and willCif I can=t answer those

questionsCthen I need not deliver this message because it=s not going

to wash their minds in the Word.


Your goal is to wash the minds of your people in the Word so that

Christ is formed in them. That=s biblical preaching.

Taken from Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching, The by CRAIG BRIAN

LARSON; HADDON ROBINSON. Copyright 8 2005 by Christianity Today

International. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com

John Ortberg

The Art & Craft of Biblical PreachingJohn Ortberg is teaching pastor

of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California and

author of several books, including The Life You've Always Wanted and

The Me I Want to Be.


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Preaching Class By Dr. Bryan Chapell


- 11/2011.101
Preaching Class ‑ Dr. Bryan Chapell
Preaching

Speaker: Dr. Bryan Chapell


Description

Dr. Bryan Chapell explores the unifying principle of grace that binds

all Scripture together. He outlines and demonstrates the principles

and practice of sermon‑crafting and delivery to illuminate the message

of grace in each passage, and to submit it to God's Spirit for the

transformation of lives through preaching.


Dr.Chapell is helped in this course by Zachary W. Eswine, Assistant

Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

(BSW, Ball State University; MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary; PhD,

Regent University). Dr. Eswine served as senior pastor of Grace Church

of the Western Reserve in Hudson, Ohio, for six years before joining

Covenant Seminary's faculty in 2001. He has served as a campus

minister with the Navigators, as a church youth director, and as a

chaplain‑evangelist in retirement facilities. Since arriving at the

Seminary, Dr. Eswine has also served as interim pastor for Tates Creek

Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, as advisory pastor for the

Chinese Gospel Church of St. Louis, and as interim pastor for

Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in St. Louis. He has taught New

Testament in Ukraine and served as a short‑term missionary in the

Caribbean. Dr. Eswine is a gifted preacher and has authored the book

Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C. H. Spurgeon Can Help Your

Preaching and numerous articles on homiletics. In addition, as an

accomplished musician and songwriter, he has recorded three

collections of original songs.


Philosophy and Goals of the Course

1. "Prep and Del" is an introduction to the basics of sermon

construction and delivery. This is not primarily a course on the

theology of preaching, but rather is a practical introduction to the

tools, structures, and concepts that help preachers learn to put a

sermon together. Wives are always welcome to attend Prep and Del to

help husbands now and in the future.
2. Because this course is introductory, certain standards of sermon

construction are taught that I hope you will consider "foundational"



rather than universal. There is not only one "right way" to preach.

However, mastering the methods of this course will help you develop

the tools needed for many kinds of future sermons. Students from many

backgrounds and preaching traditions have found these tools helpful

even as they prepare for other styles in the future. Other methods and

styles will be taught and encouraged in future semesters.


3. You will be asked to present some short oral assignments to the

class in order to: a) begin integrating the information presented in

lectures; b) begin honing your preaching skills; c) and, remove some

of the intimidation of your first preaching experience next semester.


Recommended reading:

Christ‑centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, 2nd ed.

(Baker, 2005), Bryan Chapell
Holiness by Grace (Crossway, 2001), Bryan Chapell
Between Two Worlds (Eerdmans, 1982), John Stott
Preaching & Biblical Theology (Eerdmans, 1961; rpt. Presbyterian &

Reformed, n.d.), Edmund Clowney


Putting the Truth to Work (Presbyterian & Reformed, 2001), Daniel M.

Doriani
Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Literature (Eerdmans, 2000),

Graeme Goldsworthy
A Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons (4th ed), John

A. Brodas


Outlines and transcripts may be found at

\webpage{http://www.worldwide‑classroom.com/courses/info/cm099

Curriculum:

CM099_SG_Intro.pdf

View the class forum.
Class Outline

Basic issues

Word & Witness The power of God is inherent in the Word. The power of


the Word is manifested in Christ and applied in expository preaching.
(1 hr. 15 min. 15 sec.)

What's the Big Idea? In expository preaching, unity is accomplished

when the elements of a passage are legitimately shown to support a

single major idea that is the theme of a sermon.


(1 hr. 06 min. 49 sec.)

Getting started

Text Selection & Interpretation Tools and rules for selecting and

interpreting texts.


(1 hr. 22 min. 02 sec.)

The Road from Text to Sermon The process of constructing a sermon

that communicates the meaning of the text as well as its application.
(1 hr. 08 min. 45 sec.)

Outlining & Arrangement Outlining provides structure for the truth to

be related.
(1 hr. 17 min. 38 sec.)

Propositions & Main Points A proposition is a theme statement

covering the content of all the main points and including the

introduction as well as an indication of what the rest of the message

will be about.
(57 min. 36 sec.)

Workshop on Homiletical Outlines Harmonizing the propositions and

main points helps the listener follow the development of the ideas in

your sermon.


(58 min. 20 sec.)

Parts of the sermon

Introductions The first five minutes of your sermon are important for

getting people interested enough to listen to the rest.


(1 hr. 14 min. 44 sec.)

Exposition Exposition is shedding some ordinary light on the path

that leads to truth in God's Word.
(1 hr. 17 min. 52 sec.)

Workshop on Sermon Introductions (57 min. 42 sec.)

Sermon Divisions & Development In order to understand the basic


subdivisions of your sermon in expository development, it is important

to it is helpful to see what the specific members of your sermon's

body looks like in standard development.
(1 hr. 16 min. 08 sec.)

Conclusions The conclusion is the high point of the message and

requires careful craftsmanship.
(45 min. 22 sec.)

Classification of Messages

Classification of Messages The three types of sermons are topical,

textual, and expositional.


(22 min. 26 sec.)

Explanation

Explanation "Explanation" is a central component in an exposition

sermon. The purpose of "explanation" is to answer the question, "What

does this text mean?"
(1 hr. 09 min. 03 sec.)

Illustrations

Why to Illustrate Using illustrations can make sermons more effective

because they help people remember the main points and are effective

motivating people.
(48 min. 19 sec.)

How to Illustrate How to create and use illustrations in expository

preaching.
(27 min. 59 sec.)

How to Illustrate (continued) How to create and use illustrations in

expository preaching.
(1 hr. 11 min. 58 sec.)

Application

Application Without application, meaning is hidden. Application is

essential to full exposition.


(1 hr. 03 min. 10 sec.)

Application (continued) Without application, meaning is hidden.

Application is essential to full exposition.
(1 hr. 12 min. 25 sec.)


Other issues

Transitions and Dialogical Method It is helpful to understand how

sermon components and listener involvement can be knit together

through the use of effective transitions and "pulpit dialogue."


(55 min. 11 sec.)

Methods of Sermon Presentation Materials you can take into the pulpit

when you preach can include notes, outlines and manuscripts.
(24 min. 56 sec.)

Voice and Gesture Using your voice and gestures to communicate energy

and enthusiasm with sincerity makes your communication powerful.
(56 min. 25 sec.)

Dress and Style You can deliver your message more effectively by

considering how you dress in a way that identifies with your

congregation.


(20 min. 56 sec.)

Old Friends in New Clothes Changing formally worded outlines to

fundamentally reduced outlines can help you make your main points

concise and memorable.


(49 min. 13 sec.)

Word & Spirit Reading the Bible meaningfully and referring to the

text often while you are preaching helps you demonstrate that the Word

takes priority in your preaching. Preaching is a redemptive and a

supernatural event that depends on the conviction and illumination of

the Holy Spirit.


(1 hr. 02 min. 43 sec.)

Redemptive preaching

A Redemptive Approach to Preaching We are fallen creatures in a

fallen condition and God's redemptive work is making us whole in ways

we cannot by ourselves. Just as every scripture echoes our

incompleteness, it also in some manner signals the Savior's work which

makes us whole.
(1 hr. 09 min. 12 sec.)

Developing Redemptive Messages Using "redemptive lenses" to preach

the whole Bible emphasizes the person and work of Christ as revealed

in all Scripture. This is different than teaching that our

relationship with God is based on our own efforts to be "good."


(1 hr. 14 min. 57 sec.)

Hearing the Application of Redemptive Principles The ultimate goal of

a sermon is not simply proclaiming more duty or doctrine, but

promoting a more dear relationship with God (i.e., love).


(1 hr. 13 min. 49 sec.)

Redemptive Interpretation and Biblical Genre One way to learn how to

apply redemptive principles to a sermon is by listening to a master

preacher do so and then evaluate his message.


(1 hr. 06 min. 57 sec.)

\webpage{http://www.biblicaltraining.org/preaching/bryan‑chapell


\webpage{http://www.worldwide‑classroom.com/courses/info/cm099



<><
10 Preaching Mistakes Everyone Can Avoid - Jared Moore

- 1/2012.101


10 Preaching Mistakes Everyone Can Avoid

Jared Moore


If you want to help your hearers focus on God and think on God when

they leave your sermon, here are 10 things that you CANNOT doY


10. Abuse repetition.

There is repetition for emphasis, and then there is repetition for

annoyance. Discern between the two by listening to other preachers.

Perhaps you should ask your wife if you over‑repeat yourself. Wives

are great assets to pastors because they will often tell you the

truth. Church members are often overly kind except for the few

Apreaching experts@ in every congregation.
9. Form your own sermon points first, and then find a text to fit your

points.


Rarely will you find a text to fit your points; instead, in order to

make the text fit, you will pluck the text out of context. The text

should form your points, instead of you forcing your points onto a

text. If you force your points on a text, it is impossible for the

Christians in the pew to submit to your teaching and enjoy the Lord

through the specific text you are preaching from. (Granted, you are

probably still preaching truth that is found elsewhere in the Bible;

at least, I hope!)


8. Be overly animated.

Everyone will either enjoy you or be terribly annoyed. If they leave

the service thinking about you, regardless if it=s positive or

negative, your sermon failed. Remember that the goal of preaching is

to excellently allow the Word of God to stand on its own. So don=t be

a distraction.


7. Bore your audience.

Do not talk in a monotone voice. The goal is to allow the Word to

stand on its own, not to make the most wonderful book ever written the

most boring book ever written. You may be so concerned with detracting

from the Word that you just want to stand up and read in a monotone

voice. Don=t do it because there is no proof in the Scriptures that

any of the prophets, Christ, or apostles did such things when they

spoke. In other words, when you overly bore so you won=t detract from

the Word, you actually detract from the Word, just on the opposite end

of the spectrum. If you are a master of the English language like

Jonathan Edwards, then you may be able to get away with this. If

Edwards had preached like Whitefield, he may not have lead anyone to

the Lord, for souls would have been too mesmerized by him to get to

Christ.
6. Try too hard to be the funny guy.

The goal is to get your hearers to enjoy the Word of God, not to enjoy

you. If they leave thinking Awhat a funny preacher,@ then you preached

a terrible sermon. The Word of God must be on their heart and mind

when they leave; and if God is not on their mind when they leave, then

they shouldn=t be able to lay this at your feet.
5. Preach your opinion or hobbyhorses instead of the text.

How can you excellently allow the Word of God to stand on its own when

you ignore how God the Holy Spirit originally inspired the literary

makeup of the text in its specific historical context? If the Word of

God needs your innovation, then it is no longer the Word of God. The


most powerful interpretation is the interpretation that the text

demands, not what we can speculate, dream up, or spiritualize. If the

text demands spiritualizing, then spiritualize; however, if there is

no warrant from the text, then you do not have authority to

spiritualize. If you spiritualize without textual warrant, then you

are detracting from the text. If your hearers listen and try to enjoy

the Lord through your spiritualizing, and you have gone beyond the

text, then it is impossible for them enjoy the Lord through the text

you are preaching.
4. Use Greek and Hebrew to impress.

Do you know Greek and Hebrew? Do your people know Greek and Hebrew?

If not, then why in the world would you use Greek and Hebrew in your

sermons? Do the exegetical work during your study time; only use Greek

and Hebrew in your sermon whenever it is absolutely necessary in order

to communicate the text. This rule is true: Most pastors whom I hear

using Greek and Hebrew in their sermons do not know Greek and Hebrew,

and most Greek and Hebrew scholars who are pastors do not use Greek

and Hebrew in their sermons. I recommend not using Greek and Hebrew,

because if you do not know Greek and Hebrew, then you will probably

misuse it. Here is a good rule of thumb: prepare and preach your

sermon as if the original author of the Scripture is in your audience.

If he and God the Holy Spirit can say Aamen@ to your sermon you have

succeeded, but remember that both of them know what they intended, and

they are fluent in the biblical languages!
3. Ignore the audience.

I preach in a rural church in Kentucky, and if you preach in a church

in a large city, the language that both of us are allowed to use will

be very different. Big theological words are intimidating in my area.

Bywords cannot be said from the pulpit unless you want your people

leaving thinking about the dirty words that you used. If it is

possible that it will offend, then don=t use the language! You will

not know this though if you do not consider your audience.

Furthermore, your illustrations should be understandable to your

audience. If you are preaching to the elderly, they will not

understand a reference to the Twilight Saga, Tupac, 50 Cent, etc., but

you can probably reference Johnny Cash. If you are preaching in a

city, farming references may not be easily understood. Consider these

realities when preparing your sermon.


2. Neglect teaching your people to enjoy the Word of God.

Teaching children that the value of the Bible is bound up in its



literary makeup, cool battle stories, or miraculous elements will not

help your audience to truly enjoy the Bible; it will merely help them

to enjoy the genres or stories of Scripture. Any atheist can enjoy

these elements; however, Christians should ultimately enjoy the Word

of God because it is the Word of God.
1. Tell a joke or story that has nothing to do with the text.

Why would you use a joke or story that has nothing to do with the

text? You want your hearers to think on the text, not on something

else. Whenever you detract from the text, you are only doing the Devil=

s and their flesh=s work for them, because they don=t want your

hearers to focus on the text either.


What are your thoughts? What mistakes would you add to the list?

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/Articles/Article_PrintFriendly.as

p?ArticleID=1153

<><
10 Checkpoints by Terry Linhart
Crafting a Strong Sermon: 10 Checkpoints by Terry Linhart

TerryLinhart.com

- 3/2012.101
Crafting a Strong Sermon: 10 Checkpoints by Terry Linhart

TerryLinhart.com


It's not "10 easy steps" to preaching, but practical help to make sure

your work is sound and true.


I remember the first time I ever preached a sermon in a church. I kid

you not, as I walked up the steps of the platform a series of hidden

emotions surprised me. Scenes like memories from church history

flooded my mind as I neared the podium. I thought of

- Matthew 16 - Matthew 16} when Jesus declared to Peter and

the others the authoritative and missional role his Church would have

in the world. I thought of John Wesley and the circuit riders who


worked so diligently and faithfully to plant churches throughout my

country. And I thought of my dad, a pastor whom I watched minister

faithfully and effectively for years in his local communities. I knew

that I was participating in a rich tradition Y and taking on a great

responsibility. And I wanted to do my best with that opportunity.
Our society doesn=t view being a pastor with the same respect it once

did. This has probably developed due to a variety of reasons, from a

suspicion of authority, inappropriate behavior by pastors, overbearing

leadership style, lack of professionalism, and so forth. But the

pastor is the only person who can show up at any occasion and be

welcomedCa wedding, a funeral, a celebration, a lament, a city crisis,

and the like. So I am intrigued by the pastors on Twitter and Facebook

who work to not use the word Apastor@, but who prefer monikers like

Aentrepreneurial thinker,@ Athought leader,@ or Alead teacher@ and

want to focus on words that suggest a detachment from others versus

Christ=s model of a nurturing shepherd. A pastor. (See Scot McKnight=

s post of Brittany Smith=s article regarding podcast sermons and

pastors.)
Of course there are many good books on speaking and preaching out

there. But as I recently prepared to speak on a Sunday morning, I

thought of some sermon checkpoints I use to buff a nice luster on what

I doY. and to make sure I=m responsible and faithful in the process.


1. Pray first and don=t quit praying
This actually is independent of what we do; we ought to be about this

all of the time. But purposeful prayer for the sermon process keeps me

mindful that it=s not about my ability, but about what the Holy Spirit

does.
2. Do your diligent study


I review background materials, read a reliable commentary, use my

Logos software to study the biblical text, and look for common popular

references to the Scripture and topic at hand.
3. Compose a clear teaching aim
After the study, I try to write about a clear aim for the message:

ABy listening to this sermon, people will (here I pick a word that is

thinking, action, or feeling oriented) ... (and then the content/


result).@
4. Organize your outline
This avoids rambling and crafts a clear progression, argument, or

series of thoughts that you can then develop and strengthen. This

provides a necessary framework that serves as a guide to know where

you=re going and how you=re doing getting there.


5. Create a strong beginning and ending
Like a novelist, a speaker takes listeners on a journey and we speak

to each other in "movies" oftenYso create a strong "hook" and make

sure people are with you, that they want to hear what you have to say

next. And can=t wait! But perhaps the weakest element of most

sermons I hear is the ending, the Aso what?@ element. Most sermons

are content‑heavy, so the speaker feels that the dispensing of

information is sufficient. Wrong. What is is that you=re asking them

to do? How do they do that? (This is a very important question to

ask.) AndYdoes your ending help you accomplish your teaching aim?
6. Bring life through illustrations
This helps with the novel element of the previous point. So for each

main statement, how can you bring "life" to it, showing people how

your point connects to real life? Not just stories from your past,

not movie clips, but illustrative elements. In fact, you ought to be

changing what you do every seven minutes. I don=t always accomplish

this, but I try to make sure every seven minutes I change in some way

by inserting a story, showing media, or drawing an illustration.
7. After letting it sit a day, go through it again
I believe you have to sleep on it for a night and edit it again. This

means you need to be done with your preparations two days in advance!


8. Practice it out loud
Never, never, never skip this step. Always make your ears hear what

your mind tells your mouth to say. Your ears are the best editors you

have. In fact, I tell my students to read their papers out loud

before they hand them in. My dad used to go Apreach to the pews@ (or

to the garden in summers) every Saturday night, and that is a


non‑negotiable for me now. I even did it for youth talks on Wednesday

nights. If you=re a "professional" and speaking is one of your main

functions, why would you want your "rehearsal" to be your first

service? Never, never, never skip this step.


9. Revise
As your ears tell you where you=re weak (i.e., opening, ending,

transitions, too much information packed in), edit, edit, edit. You

may need to practice it again out loud to make sure you=ve got it

right.
10. Keep praying


Even though we are doing all of the preparations, the final element of

ministry is that we are truly God‑bearers and participating in a

ministry of the Holy SpiritCand God grants the "victory"

( - Proverbs 21:31 - Proverbs 21:31}).


Well, those are mine. What did I miss? What process do you employ for

preparing for a good sermon/talk?


Terry Linhart

TerryLinhart.com

Husband & father, educator (Bethel College ‑ Indiana), youth ministry

leader, listener, author, and YSASN coordinator for Youth Specialties.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/terry‑

linhart‑crafting‑a‑strong‑sermon‑10‑checkpoints‑1198.asp




<><

Rediscovering Expository Preaching.pdf

Richard L. Mayhue

http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj1e.pdf


109


REDISCOVERING EXPOSITORY PREACHING

Richard L. Mayhue

Vice President and Dean

Professor of Pastoral Ministries

The Master's Seminary

Biblical preaching's authenticity is significantly tarnished by

contemporary communicators' being more concerned with personal relevance

than God's revelation. Scripture unmistakably requires a proclamation

focused on God's will and mankind's obligation to obey. With men wholly

committed to God's Word, the expository method commends itself as

preaching that is true to the Bible. The method presupposes an exegetical

process to extract the God‑intended meaning of Scripture and an explanation

of that meaning in a contemporary understandable way. The biblical essence

and apostolic spirit of expository preaching needs to be recaptured in the

training of men newly committed to "preaching the Word."

* * * * *

The Master's Seminary joins with others1 in accepting the

urgent responsibility for transmitting the Pauline legacy to "preach the

Word" (2 Tim 4:2). The current series of articles in The Master's

Seminary Journal signal an effort to instill in twenty‑first century

preachers a pattern of biblical preaching inherited from their

predecessors.2

Every generation shares the kind of dire circumstances that

Amos prophesied for Israel: "`Behold, days are coming,' declares the

1E.g. Haddon W. Robinson, Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980); Walter

C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward an Exegetical Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981); John Stott,

Between Two Worlds (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982); Samuel T. Logan (ed.), The

Preacher and Preaching (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1986); Al Fasol,

Essentials for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989).

2See the initial articles by John F. MacArthur, Jr., "The Mandate of Biblical

Inerrancy: Expository Preaching," The Master's Seminary Journal 1/1 (Spring 1990) 3‑

15 and Robert L. Thomas, "Bible Translations: The Link Between Inerrancy and

Expository Preaching," The Master's Seminary Journal 1/1 (Spring 1990) 53‑73.

Subsequent issues of the Journal will carry additional essays.

110

Lord GOD, `When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for



bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the

LORD'" (Amos 8:11). The last several centuries have proven this need

again.

REVIEWING RECENT TRENDS



In an explanation of Heb 8:10, the Puritan commentator

William Gouge (1575‑1653) remarked,

Ministers are herein to imitate God, and, to their best endeavour, to instruct


people in the mysteries of godliness, and to teach them what to believe and

practice, and then to stir them up in act and deed, to do what they are instructed

to do. Their labor otherwise is likely to be in vain. Neglect of this course is a

main cause that men fall into as many errors as they do in these days.3

To this editorial by Gouge, Charles Spurgeon (1834‑1892) adds a word

about nineteenth‑century England:

I may add that this last remark has gained more force in our times; it is among

uninstructed flocks that the wolves of popery make havoc; sound teaching is the

best protection from the heresies which ravage right and left among us.4

John Broadus (1827‑1895) decried the death of good preaching

in America, too.5 G. Campbell Morgan (1863‑1945) noted,

The supreme work of the Christian minister is the work of preaching. This is a

day in which one of our great perils is that of doing a thousand little things to

the neglect of the one thing, which is preaching.6

The following typical laments evidence that little improvement had been

made by the mid‑twentieth century:

Except for the growing worldliness of its members, the pulpit is the church's

3William Gouge, Commentary on Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1980 rpt.) 577‑78.

4C. H. Spurgeon, "Sermons`Their Matter," Lectures to My Students (Lecture 5, Book

1; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977 rpt.) 72.

5John A. Broadus, On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons (Grand Rapids:

AP&A, n.d.) x.

6G. Campbell Morgan, Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1974 rpt.) 11.

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 111

weak spot.7

But the glory of the Christian pulpit is a borrowed glow. . . . To an alarming

extent the glory is departing from the pulpit of the twentieth century. . . . The

Word of God has been denied the throne and given a subordinate place.8

Yet it remains true that "whatever be the marks of the contemporary pulpit, the

centrality of Biblical preaching is not one of them."9

In a tradition that focuses on the centrality of the written Word few subjects are

more important than the interpretation and proclamation of that Word.

Everyone stresses the necessity of a solid exegesis of the text, but few are adept

at providing such an exegesis and preaching effectively from it.10

By the mid‑1980's a national Congress on Biblical Exposition

(COBE) convened to urge a return to true biblical exposition.11 COBE's

recurring theme demanded that the American church must return to

true biblical preaching or else the western world would continue its

descent toward a valueless culture. Commenting on the uniqueness of

America in contemporary culture, Os Guiness noted with concern that

". . . in all my studies I have yet to see a Western society where the

church pews are so full and the sermons so empty."12

John MacArthur's review of preaching patterns in the late 80's


led him to observe,

Specifically, evangelical preaching ought to reflect our conviction that God's

Word is infallible and inerrant. Too often it does not. In fact, there is a

7Jeff D. Ray, Expository Preaching (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1940) 14.

8Merrill F. Unger, Principles of Expository Preaching (Grand Rapids: Zondervan,

1955) 11‑15.

9Nolan Howington, "Expository Preaching," Review and Expositor 56 (Jan 1959) 56.

10Klyne R. Snodgrass, "Exegesis and Preaching: The Principles and Practice of

Exegesis," Covenant Quarterly 34 (Aug 1976) 3. For other comments on the decline of

expository preaching in America, see Lloyd M. Perry Biblical Preaching for Today's

World (Chicago: Moody, 1973) 9‑12.

11Brian Bird, "Biblical Exposition: Becoming a Lost Art?" Christianity Today 30/7

(Apr 18, 1986) 34.

12Ibid.


112 The Master's Seminary Journal

discernible trend in contemporary evangelicalism away from biblical preaching

and a drift toward an experience‑centered, pragma‑tic, topical approach in the

pulpit.13

As the 90's dawn, an irresistible urge for a focus in the pulpit on

the relevant seemingly exists, with a resultant inattention to God's

revelation. Siegfried Meuer alerted the 1960's to the same

"contemporary danger."14 He likened the direction of his day to the

earlier trends of Harry Emerson Fosdick who wrote in the 20's, "The

sermon is uninteresting because it has no connection with the real

interests of the people. . . . The sermon must tackle a real problem."15

Meuer noted that Fosdick opened the floodgate for philosophy and

psychology to inundate the modern pulpit with unbelief.

Fosdick's philosophy sounds alarmingly similar to the advice

given in a recent publication on relevant contemporary preaching:

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 or

not?" If they aren't, it doesn't matter how effective our delivery is; their minds

will check out.16

The implied conclusion is that pastors must preach what people

want to hear rather than what God wants proclaimed. Such counsel

sounds the alarm of 2 Tim 4:3: "For the time will come when they will

not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they

will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own

desires."

13MacArthur, "The Mandate" 4.

14Siegfried Meuer, "What Is Biblical Preaching?" Encounter 24 (Spring 1963) 182.

15Harry Emerson Fosdick, "What Is the Matter with Preaching?" Harper's Magazine

47 (July 1928) 133‑41.


16Bill Hybels, et al., Mastering Contemporary Preaching (Portland: Multnomah, 1989)

27. A similar comment is, "The wise interpreter begins with a human need today,

and chooses a passage that will enable him to meet this need" (Andrew W.

Blackwood, Expository Preaching for Today [New York: Abingdon‑Cokesbury, 1953]

13).

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 113



What is the necessary response? We assert that it is to rediscover

and reaffirm expository preaching for the coming generation of

preachers facing all the spiritual opportunities and Satanic obstacles of

a new millennium. We agree with Walter Kaiser's appraisal:

Regardless of what new directives and emphases are periodically offered, that

which is needed above everything else to make the Church more viable,

authentic, and effective, is a new declaration of the Scriptures with a new

purpose, passion, and power.17

REVISITING SCRIPTURE

When warnings about a drift away from biblical preaching

sound, the only reasonable response is a return to the scriptural roots

of preaching to reaffirm its essential nature. In a reexamination of the

heritage of biblical proclamation, two elements emerge: the mandates

to preach and the manner of preaching.

Mandates to Preach

The gospels, Acts, the epistles, and Revelation provide many

examples and exhortations to preach the truth in fulfillment of God's

will. As a reminder of the apostolic legacy and a reaffirmation of the

scriptural authority for Bible‑based preaching, five significant

mandates are representative of the larger number of passages.

Matt 28:19‑20 ` "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them

in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to

observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end

of the age."

1 Tim 4:13 ` "Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to

exhortation and teaching."

2 Tim 2:2 ` "And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of

17Kaiser, Exegetical Theology 242.

114 The Master's Seminary Journal

many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others

also."

2 Tim 4:2 ` "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove,



rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction."

Tit 2:1 ` "But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine."

Manner of Preaching

In his discussion of khrssv (kryss, "I preach," "I proclaim")

Friedrich notes at least thirty‑three different verbs employed by NT


writers to portray the richness of biblical preaching.18 In the following

discussion, the four most prominent of these are examined briefly.

Kryss sees general use throughout the gospels, Acts, and the

epistles. John the Baptist (Matt 3:1), Jesus (Matt 4:17), and Paul (Acts

28:31) all engaged in the action of preaching as indicated by this verb.

To Timothy, Paul commended this same activity, telling him to preach

the Word (2 Tim 4:2).

Eaggelzv (Euaggeliz, "I preach the gospel") is practically

interchangeable with kryss (Luke 8:1; Acts 8:4‑5). Paul and Barnabas

preached the good news of the Word of the Lord (Acts 15:35).

Martyrv (Martyre, "I testify," "I bear witness") is a legal term

picturing the communication of truth from one who has a first‑hand

knowledge. John the Baptist bore witness to the light (John 1:7‑8) and

John the Apostle testified to the Word of God (Rev 1:2).19

Didskv (didask, "I teach") focuses on the purpose and content of

the message transmitted, without excluding elements of the three

previous verbs. As part of the Great Commission, Jesus commanded

His disciples to teach (Matt 28:20). Paul recommended teaching to

Timothy (1 Tim 6:2; 2 Tim 2:2). Teaching is sometimes associated with

18Gerhard Friedrich, "khrssein, et al.," Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966) 3:703.

19See Klaas Runia, "What Is Preaching According to the New Testament," TynBul

29 (1978) 3‑48, for further information on khrssv, eaggelzv, and martyrv.

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 115

kryss (Matt 11:1) and euaggeliz (Acts 5:42). The content of what is

taught focuses on the way of God (Matt 22:16) and the Word of God

(Acts 18:11).20

In addition to these four prominent words, there are many

others that significantly enhance the biblical manner of communicating

God's Word. For example, the Ethiopian eunuch invited Philip to

"guide" (or "lead" (dhgv [hodge]) him through Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:31). Paul

"explained" (or "laid out") (ktuhmi [ektithmi]) the kingdom of God (Acts

28:23; cf. 18:26). Paul told Timothy that he was to "entrust" (or

"commit") (paratuhmi [paratithmi]) what he had heard from Paul to

faithful men that they might teach others also (2 Tim 2:2).

Jesus's interaction with the two disciples on the road to

Emmaus adds further dimensions to biblical preaching. He

"explained" (or "interpreted") (diermhnev [diermneu]) the things about

Himself in the OT, from Moses to the prophets (Luke 24:27). They in

turn marveled at the way He had "opened" (or "explained") (dianogv

[dianoig]) the Scriptures (Luke 24:32; cf. 24:45).

A study of additional words such as naggllv (anaggell, "I

announce, declare") (Acts 20:27), naginskv (anaginsk, "I read") (1 Tim


4:13), parakalv (parakale, "I exhort, comfort") (1 Tim 4:13), jhgomai

(exgeomai, "I declare") (Acts 15:12), lalv (lale, "I speak") (John 3:34),

dialgomai (dialegomai, "I discuss, argue") (Acts 17:17), and fuggomai

(phtheggomai, "I utter") would be profitable. Yet this brief survey is

enough to conclude that the one common link in all the biblical terms

in their contexts is a focus on the things of God and Scripture as

exclusively central in the preacher's message. Without question, this

feature alone marks the uniqueness of scriptural preaching. A biblical

and theological content is the sine qua non of NT proclamation.

With this biblical foundation, an identification of the contemporary

mode of NT preaching is possible.

20For an expanded discussion of didskv, see Homer A. Kent, Jr., "A Time to Teach,"

GTJ 1/1 (Spring 1980) 7‑17.

116 The Master's Seminary Journal

DEFINING EXPOSITORY PREACHING

Discussions about preaching divide it into three types: topical,

textual, and expositional. Topical messages usually combine a series

of Bible verses that loosely connect with a theme. Textual preaching

uses a short text or passage that generally serves as a gateway into

whatever subject the preacher chooses to address. Neither the topical

nor the textual method represents a serious effort to interpret,

understand, explain, or apply God's truth in the context of the

Scripture(s) used.

By contrast, expositional preaching focuses predominantly on

the text(s) under consideration along with its(their) context(s).21

Exposition normally concentrates on a single text of Scripture, but it is

sometimes possible for a thematic/theological message or a

historical/biographical discourse to be expositional in nature. An

exposition may treat any length of passage.

One way to clarify expository preaching is to identify what it is

not:22

1. It is not a commentary running from word to word and verse to



verse without unity, outline, and pervasive drive.

2. It is not rambling comments and offhand remarks about a passage

without a background of thorough exegesis and logical order.

3. It is not a mass of disconnected suggestions and inferences based

on the surface meaning of a passage, but not sustained by a depthand‑

breadth study of the text.

4. It is not pure exegesis, no matter how scholarly, if it lacks a theme,

thesis, outline and development.

5. It is not a mere structural outline of a passage with a few

supporting comments, but without other rhetorical and sermonic

21Horton Davies, "Expository Preaching: Charles Hadden Spurgeon," Founda‑tions


66 (Jan 1963) 14, calls exposition "contextual preaching" to distinguish it from the

textual and topical types.

22These ten suggestions are derived from Faris D. Whitesell, Power in Expository

Preaching (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1963) vii‑viii.

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 117

elements.

6. It is not a topical homily using scattered parts of the passage, but

omitting discussion of other equally important parts.

7. It is not a chopped‑up collection of grammatical findings and

quotations from commentaries without a fusing of the same into a

smooth, flowing, interesting, and compelling message.

8. It is not a Sunday School‑lesson type of discussion that has an

outline of the contents, informality, and fervency, but lacks

sermonic structure and rhetorical ingredients.

9. It is not a Bible reading that links a number of scattered passages

treating a common theme, but fails to handle any of them in a

thorough, grammatical, and contextual manner.

10. It is not the ordinary devotional or prayer meeting talk that

combines running commentary, rambling remarks, disconnected

suggestions, and personal reactions into a semi‑inspirational

discussion, but lacks the benefit of the basic exegetical‑contextual

study and persuasive elements.

Before proceeding further, consider the English word group

"expose, exposition, expositor, expository." According to Webster, an

exposition is a discourse to convey information or explain what is

difficult to understand.23 Application of this to preaching requires that

an expositor be one who explains Scripture by laying open the text to

public view in order to set forth its meaning, explain what is difficult

to understand, and make appropriate application.

John Calvin's centuries‑old understanding of exposition is very

similar:

First of all, Calvin understood preaching to be the explication of Scripture.

The words of Scripture are the source and content of preaching. As an

expositor, Calvin brought to the task of preaching all the skills of a humanist

scholar. As an interpreter, Calvin explicated the text, seeking its natural, its

true, its scriptural meaning. . . . Preaching is not only the explication of

23Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam‑Webster,

1988) 438.

118 The Master's Seminary Journal

Scripture, it is also the application of Scripture. Just as Calvin explicated

Scripture word by word, so he applied the Scripture sentence by sentence to the

life and experience of his congregation.24

Exposition is not so much defined by the form of the message as


it is by the source and process through which the message was formed.

Unger poignantly captures this sense:

No matter what the length of the portion explained may be, if it is handled in

such a way that its real and essential meaning as it existed in the mind of the

particular Biblical writer and as it exists in the light of the over‑all context of

Scripture is made plain and applied to the present‑day needs of the hearers, it

may properly be said to be expository preaching. . . . It is emphatically not

preaching about the Bible, but preaching the Bible. "What saith the Lord" is the

alpha and the omega of expository preaching. It begins in the Bible and ends in

the Bible and all that intervenes springs from the Bible. In other words,

expository preaching is Bible‑centered preaching.25

Two other definitions of exposition help clarify what it is:

In preaching, exposition is the detailed interpretation, logical amplification, and

practical application of a passage of Scripture.26

At its best, expository preaching is "the presentation of biblical truth, derived

from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, Spirit‑guided study of a

passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit applies first to the life of the

preacher and then through him to his congrega‑tion."27

24John H. Leith, "Calvin's Doctrine of the Proclamation of the Word and Its

Significance for Today in the Light of Recent Research," RevExp 86 (1989) 32, 34.

25Merrill F. Unger, Principles 33. See also William G. Houser, "Puritan Homiletics:

A Caveat," CTQ 53/4 (Oct 1989) 255‑70. Houser proposes that the power of the

Puritan pulpit diminished as the mechanical form of the message took precedence

over the process of forming the message. Coupled with boring deliveries and

exceedingly long messages, Puritan preaching influence quickly declined when these

factors became dominant.

26Ray, Expository 71.

27Hadden W. Robinson, "What is Expository Preaching?" BibSac 131 (Jan‑Mar 1974)

57. For other definitions, see Broadus, On the Preparation 119‑20 and J. Ellwood

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 119

In summary, the following minimal elements identify

expository preaching:

1. The message finds its sole source in Scripture.28

2. The message is extracted from Scripture through careful exegesis.

3. The message preparation correctly interprets Scripture in its

normal sense and its context.

4. The message clearly explains the original God‑intended meaning

of Scripture.

5. The message applies the Scriptural meaning for today.

The spirit of expository preaching is exemplified in two biblical

texts:

And they read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense



so that they understood the reading (Neh 8:8).

Therefore I testify to you this day, that I am innocent of the blood of all men.

For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God (Acts

20:26‑27).

A particular example is Jesus' expounding of Isa 61:1‑2 in the

synagogue (Luke 4:16‑22). He later gave a thematic exposition of

Himself to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27, 32, 44‑47).

Philip in Acts 8:27‑35 expounded Isa 53:7‑8 for the Ethiopian eunuch.

Stephen preached a historical/biographical expository sermon to the

Jews before they stoned him (Acts 7:2‑53).

Greer Boyce has aptly summarized this definition of expository

Evans, "Expository Preaching," BibSac 111 (Jan‑Mar 1954) 59.

28R. B. Kuiper, "Scriptural Preaching," The Infallible Word (3rd rev. ed., ed. by Paul

Wooley; Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1967) 253, asserts strongly,

Exposition of Scripture, exposition worthy of its name, is of the very essence

of preaching. It follows that it is a serious error to recommend expository

preaching as one of several legitimate methods. Nor is it at all satisfactory,

after the manner of many conservatives, to extol the expository method as

the best. All preaching must be expository. Only expository preaching can

be Scriptural.

120 The Master's Seminary Journal

preaching:

In short, expository preaching demands that, by careful analysis of each text

within its immediate context and the setting of the book to which it belongs, the

full power of modern exegetical and theological scholarship be brought to bear

upon our treatment of the Bible. The objective is not that the preacher may

parade all this scholarship in the pulpit. Rather, it is that the preacher may

speak faithfully out of solid knowledge of his text, and mount the pulpit steps

as, at least, "a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the

word of truth."

The preacher's final step is the most crucial and most perilous of all. It is to

relate the biblical message both faithfully and relevantly to modern life. At this

point all his skill as a craftsman must come into play. We must be warned that

faithful exposition of a text does not of itself produce an effective sermon. We

need also to be warned, however, that faithfulness to the text is not to be

sacrificed for the sake of what we presume to be relevancy. This sacrifice too

many modern preachers seem willing to make, producing, as a result, sermons

that are a compound of moralistic advice, their own unau‑thoritative and

sometimes unwise opinions, and the latest psychology. Expository preaching,

by insisting that the message of the sermon coincide with the theme of the text,

calls the preacher back to his true task: the proclamation of the Word of God in

and through the Bible.29

UNDERSTANDING THE EXPOSITORY PROCESS

Discussing the biblical foundations and the definition of expository


preaching, while essential, is relatively easy. The real challenge

comes when one has to move from the classroom to the weekly pulpit.

Unless the preacher understands clearly the expository process, he

will never achieve his potential in the craft of expository preaching.

As a frame of reference for discussion, we propose that the

expository process include four standard elements: preparing the

expositor, processing and principlizing the biblical text(s), pulling the

expository message together, and preaching the exposition. The four

29Greer W. Boyce, "A Plea for Expository Preaching," CJT 8 (Jan 1962) 18‑19.

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 121

phases need equal emphasis if the exposition is to be fully effective in

the sight of both God and the congregation.

Preparing the Expositor30

Since God should be the source of expository messages, one

who delivers such a message should enjoy intimate communion with

God. This is the only way the message can be given with greatest

accuracy, clarity, and passion.

Seven areas of preparation qualify a man to stand in the pulpit

and declare, "Thus saith the Lord!":

1. The preacher must be a truly regenerated believer in Jesus Christ.

He must be a part of God's redeemed family (John 1:12‑13). If a

man is to deliver a personal message from the Heavenly Father

effectively, he must be a legitimate spiritual son, or the message

will inevitably be distorted.

2. The preacher must be appointed and gifted by God to the

teaching/preaching ministry (Eph 4:11‑16; 1 Tim 3:2). Unless a

man is divinely enabled to proclaim, he will be inadequate,

possessing only human ability.31

3. The preacher must be inclined and trained to be a student of God's

Word. Otherwise, he cannot carry out the mandate of 2 Tim 2:15

to "cut straight" the Word of God's truth.

4. The preacher must be a mature believer who demonstrates a

consistent godly character (1 Tim 3:2‑3).32

5. The preacher must be dependent upon God the Holy Spirit for

divine insight and understanding of God's Word (1 Cor 2:12‑13).

30D. Martyn Lloyd‑Jones devotes a whole chapter to this subject (Preaching and

Preachers [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972] 100‑20).

31James Stalker, The Preacher and His Models (New York: Hodder and Stoughton,

1891) 95‑99; cf. also John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching (Grand Rapids:

Baker, 1990) 37‑46.

32Louis Goldberg, "Preaching with Power the Word `Correctly Handled' to

Transform Man and His World," JETS 27/1 (Mar 1984) 4‑5.

122 The Master's Seminary Journal


Without the Spirit's illumination and power, the message will be

relatively impotent.33

6. The preacher must be in constant prayerful communion with God

to receive the full impact of the Word (Ps 119:18). The obvious one

to consult for clarification is the original author.34

7. The preacher must first let the developing message sift through his

own thinking and life before he can preach it. Ezra provides the

perfect model: "For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the

LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances

in Israel" (Ezra 7:10).

Processing and Principlizing the Biblical Text

A man in tune with God's Spirit and Word is ready to begin a

process to discover not only what God originally meant by what He

said, but also appropriate principles and applications for today.35

1. Processing the biblical text36 ` A man cannot hope to preach effectively

without first having worked diligently and thoroughly

through the biblical text. This is the only way the expositor can

acquire God's message. Two preachers from different eras

comment on this essential feature:

A man cannot hope to preach the Word of God accurately until he has first

engaged in a careful, exhaustive exegesis of his text. Herein lies the problem,

33Kaiser, Exegetical Theology 236.

34Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, "If you do not understand a book by a departed

writer you are unable to ask him his meaning, but the Spirit, who inspired Holy

Scripture, lives forever, and He delights to open the Word to those who seek His

instruction" (Commenting and Commentaries [New York: Sheldon and Company, 1876]

58‑59).

35Nicholas Kurtaneck, "Are Seminaries Preparing Prospective Pastors to Preach the

Word of God?" GTJ 6/2 (Fall 1985) 361‑71.

36Specifics of the exegetical process will be outlined in a forthcoming essay in The

Master's Seminary Journal. See Snodgrass, "Exegesis" 5‑19 for a basic nine‑step

approach.

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 123

for competent exegesis requires time, brain power, "blood, sweat, and tears," all

saturated with enormous doses of prayer.37

You will soon reveal your ignorance as an expositor if you do not study;

therefore diligent reading will be forced upon you. Anything which compels the

preacher to search the grand old Book is of immense service to him. If any are

jealous lest the labor should injure their constitutions, let them remember that

mental work up to a certain point is most refreshing, and where the Bible is the

theme toil is delight. It is only when mental labor passes beyond the bounds of

common sense that the mind becomes enfeebled by it, and this is not usually

reached except by injudicious persons, or men engaged on topics which are


unrefreshing and disagreeable; but our subject is a recreative one, and to young

men like ourselves the vigorous use of our faculties is a most healthy exercise.38

2. Principlizing the biblical text ` Preaching does not stop with

under‑standing ancient languages, history, culture, and customs.

Unless the centuries can be bridged with contemporary relevance

in the message, then the preaching experience differs little from a

classroom encounter. One must first process the text for original

meaning and then principlize the text for current applicability.39

One's study falls short of the goal if this step is omitted or slighted.

Pulling the Expository Message Together

At the third stage the expositor has finished his deep study and

asks himself, "How can I blend my findings in such a way that my

flock will understand the Bible and its requirements for their lives

today?" In a sense, the art of exposition commences here.40

37John A. Sproule, "Biblical Exegesis and Expository Preaching" (unpublished

lecture at Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Ind., 1978) 1.

38Spurgeon, Commenting 47.

39H. Cunliffe‑Jones wrote, "We must be able to say not only `This is what this

passage originally meant,' but also `This passage is true in this particular way for us

in the twentieth century.'" ("The Problems of Biblical Exposition," ExpTim 65 [Oct

1953] 5).

40It is helpful to distinguish between a sermon, a homily, and an exposition.

124 The Master's Seminary Journal

Nolan Howington uses a graphic description to relate exegesis

and exposition: "Thus an exegete is like a diver bringing up pearls

from the ocean bed; an expositor is like the jeweler who arrays them in

orderly fashion and in proper relation to each other."41

Titles, outlines, introductions, illustrations, and conclusions

enter the process at this stage. The message moves from the raw

materials mined by exegesis to the finished product of exposition,

which the hearers hopefully will find interesting, convicting, and

compelling. The key to this step is remembering what distinguishes

exposition: explain‑ing the text, especially parts that are hard to

understand or apply. It is equally important to remember not only the

text, but the audience as well.

F. B. Meyer offers this advice when thinking of the listeners and

what sermonic form the message will take:

There are five considerations that must be met in every successful sermon.

There should be an appeal to the Reason, to the Conscience, to the Imagination,

to the Emotions, and to the Will; and for each of these there is no method so

serviceable as systematic exposition.42

Preaching the Exposition

The final decision to be made by the expositor relates to his


preaching mode, whether from memory or from notes. This step is

perhaps the most neglected in preparation by those committed to true

exposition. Too often expositors assume that proper work done in the

study will ensure that the pulpit will care for itself. It is true that there

"Homily" comes from the Greek mola which, like the Latin sermo, means

"conversation" or "talk." The Latin word is the basis of the English "sermon," so in a

general sense, all three are the same. For the purpose of this article, however, we

choose to use the phrase "expository message" or "exposition" so that its source,

process, and purpose are unmistakably distinguishable from the other two terms.

41Howington, "Expository" 62.

42F. B. Meyer, Expository Preaching Plans and Methods (New York: George H. Duran

Company, 1912) 100.

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 125

is no substitute for hard work in the study, but equally hard work in

the pulpit will reward both the preacher and the flock to a much

greater degree. James Stalker effectively draws attention to this

challenge:

Ministers do not get enough of result in the attention, satisfaction and delight of

their hearers for the work they do; and the failure is in the vehicle of

communication between the study and the congrega‑tion`that is to say, in the

delivery of the sermon. What I am pleading for is, that there should be more

work to show for the coal consumed.43

At the point of delivery, it is essential for the expositor to be

clear in his purpose. Otherwise, the message preached may be far

afield from the message studied and the message of Scripture. J. I.

Packer makes this point by contrasting what preaching is not with

what it is:

The purpose of preaching is not to stir people to action while bypassing their

minds, so that they never see what reason God gives them for doing what the

preacher requires of them (that is manipula‑tion); nor is the purpose to stock

people's minds with truth, no matter how vital and clear, which then lies fallow

and does not become the seed‑bed and source of changed lives (that is

academicism). . . . The purpose of preaching is to inform, persuade, and call

forth an appropriate response to the God whose message and instruction are

being delivered.44

Also of importance is the language used in communicating the

message. It should be clear, understandable, picturesque, and most of

all, biblical. The following strong warning issued over twenty years

ago is still applicable:

I urge adherence to Biblical terminology. Much modern preaching has taken a

psychological and sociological turn. It is mysterious and mystical. It sets forth

43Stalker, The Preacher 121.

44J. I. Packer, "Why Preach?" The Preacher and Preaching (Samuel T. Logan, ed.;


Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1986) 9.

126 The Master's Seminary Journal

psychiatric ideas, often using the terms of the psychiatrist rather than those of

the Christian evangelist. It speaks of repression, fixations, traumas, neuroses,

and syndromes, world without end. I claim that in the main these are not terms

that the Holy Spirit can use effectively.45

Another crucial matter is the dynamics of speech, i.e. audience

relationship and communicative effectiveness. Vines and Allen outline

three basic principles for every expositor:

In short, effective communication from the pulpit must be informed by

Aristotle's rhetorical triad of logos, ethos, and pathos. This involves a thorough

knowledge of the subject matter and here is where there is no substitute for

thorough exegesis. It involves a thorough knowledge of the speaker‑audience

dynamic such that the preacher must speak from integrity and his audience must

know of his sincerity and genuineness. Finally, it involves a knowledge of

people and how they respond to the spoken word.46

Above all, the expositor must expound the Word like Paul did

in Corinth (1 Cor 2:1‑5). He did not come as a clever orator or

scholarly genius; he did not arrive with his own message; he did not

preach with personal confidence in his own strength. Rather, Paul

preached the testimony of God and Christ's death, and this, with wellplaced

confidence in God's power to make the message life‑changing.

Unless this kind of wholesale dependence on God marks the modern

expositor's preaching, his exposition will lack the divine dimension

that only God can provide.

In summary, of the four steps of the complete expository

experience`preparing the expositor, processing and principlizing the

biblical text, pulling the expository message together, and preaching

the exposition`no phase can be omitted without seriously jeopardizing

the truthfulness or usefulness of God's Word mediated through the

expositor.

45William W. Ayer, "The Art of Effective Preaching," BibSac 124 (Jan‑Mar 1967) 41.

46Jerry Vines and David Allen, "Hermeneutics, Exegesis, and Proclamation,"

Criswell Theological Review 1/2 (Spring 1987) 333‑34.

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 127

CONSIDERING EXPOSITIONAL ADVANTAGES47

Expository preaching best emulates biblical preaching both in

content and style. This is the chief benefit. Besides this, other

advantages listed in random order include the following:

1. Expositional preaching best achieves the biblical intent of

preaching: delivering God's message.

2. Expositional preaching promotes scripturally authoritative

preaching.


3. Expositional preaching magnifies God's Word.

4. Expositional preaching provides a storehouse of preaching

material.

5. Expositional preaching develops the pastor as a man of God's

Word.

6. Expositional preaching ensures the highest level of Bible



knowledge for the flock.

7. Expositional preaching promotes thinking and living biblically.

8. Expositional preaching encourages both depth and

comprehensive‑ness.

9. Expositional preaching forces the treatment of hard‑to‑interpret

texts.


10. Expositional preaching allows for handling broad theological

themes.


11. Expositional preaching keeps preachers away from ruts and

hobby horses.

12. Expositional preaching prevents the insertion of human ideas.

13. Expositional preaching guards against misinterpretation of the

biblical text.

14. Expositional preaching imitates the preaching of Christ and the

apostles.

15. Expositional preaching brings out the best in the expositor.

47James W. Alexander, Thoughts on Preaching (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust,

1988 rpt.) 228‑53, develops some of these advantages in more detail.

128 The Master's Seminary Journal

RECLAIMING EXPOSITORY PREACHING

As the twentieth century sets and a new millennium dawns, we

must reclaim the method and art of expository preaching for the

coming generation. No one said it would be easy. It is quite the

opposite. No other method of preaching requires so much work. At

the same time, no other method rewards so richly.

If the suggestions which have been offered are well founded, it will be obvious

that expository preaching is a difficult task. It requires much close study of

Scripture in general, and much special study of the particular passage to be

treated. To make a discourse which shall be explanatory and yet truly

oratorical, bearing a rich mass of details but not burdened with them, full of

Scripture and abounding in practical applications, to bring even dull,

uninformed, and unspiritual minds into interested and profitable contact with an

extended portion of the Bible`of course, this must be difficult.48

While the growing trend among today's preachers is toward

consumer satisfaction and contemporary relevancy, we reaffirm that

biblical preaching must be first directed toward divine satisfaction and

kingdom relevance. Reflect carefully on Mark Steege's clarion call to


expositional preaching and its note of biblical authority:

Through our preaching the Lord seeks to change men's lives. We are to be

evangelists, to awaken men to their high calling in Christ. We are to be heralds,

proclaiming the messages of God to men. We are to be ambassadors, calling

men to be reconciled to God. We are to be shepherds, nourishing and caring for

men day by day. We are to be stewards of the mysteries of God, giving men the

proper Word for their every need. We are to be witnesses, telling men of all

that God has done for them. We are to be overseers, urging men to live their

lives to God. We are to be ministers, preparing men to minister with us to

others. As we reflect on each of these phases of our work, what emphasis each

gives to the importance of preaching! What a task the Lord has given us!49

48Broadus, On the Preparation 124.

49Mark J. Steege, "Can Expository Preaching Still Be Relevant in These Days?" The

Rediscovering Expository Preaching 129

Although R. L. Dabney wrote over a century ago, we join him

today in urging,

. . . that the expository method (understood as that which explains extended

passages of Scripture in course) be restored to that equal place which it held in

the primitive and Reformed Churches; for, first, this is obviously the only

natural and efficient way to do that which is the sole legitimate end of

preaching, convey the whole message of God to the people.50

Springfielder 34 (Mar 1971) 261.

50Robert L. Dabney, Sacred Rhetoric (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1979 rpt.)

78‑79.
http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj1e.pdf


<><
How to Plan a Preaching Calendar - Josh Reich

- 8/2011.101


How to Plan a Preaching Calendar

Josh Reich

MissionalThoughts.wordpress.com
Josh Reich: "How we plan our preaching calendar at Revolution is one

of the most common questions I get from other pastors."Email this

articlePrint FriendlyHow we plan our preaching calendar at Revolution

is one of the most common questions I get from other pastors.


Plan ahead


I am stunned by how little planning goes into some churches. You would

think that pastors don=t care what is happening in their churches. I

am a planner, so this is easier for me and actually more comforting

when it is done. For example, the other day, I talked to a pastor who

said, AIt=s Thursday, and all I have is a title.@ That=s like saying,

AAll I need is a chip and a chair.@ We need better odds than that when

it comes to preaching. Now before you get on my case, God does speak

at the end of the week, God does change what we are to say while we

are walking up to the stage. It has happened to me, and it is exciting

and scary all at the same time, but this cannot be our normal

practice.
At Revolution, we have decided that the best way for us to reach our

mission and target is to preach through books of the Bible. This does

not mean we are against topical preaching; we just like doing it this

way.
We split series up into two categories: attractional and missional.

Attractional will feel more topical, felt needs but are based on a

book of the Bible. Some examples are the Song of Solomon and the

Sermon on the World. The other category is missional, which tends to

be more formation, doctrine, theology. Some examples are Jonah and

Hebrews.
We also try to alternate between Old and New Testament books of the

Bible. What we are trying to do is to make sure we are giving our

church a healthy balance not only of books of the Bible but also

styles and feel. One other thing that we preach on every year is

marriage, dating, and relationships. For our target and culture, we

feel this makes sense.


What about length?
We haven=t bought into doing a 3B6 week series only. Hebrews took 18

weeks, and Nehemiah will take 22 weeks. For the Sermon on the Mount,

we decided to break it up into four smaller series to create more

on‑ramps for our church and guests this fall. The length of the series

is not that big of a deal as long as the speaker is up for it. Long

series are draining. We try to stay away from doing long series back

to back as that is draining on me, our team, and our church. After the

serious feel of Hebrews, we did a video teaching series with Dave

Ramsey, which felt completely different.


How far out do we plan?
We look about 12 months ahead when it comes to thinking through

topics. This is where so many pastors do themselves a disservice. The

other day, I was reading a leadership book, and the author was quoting

and pointing to the book of Nehemiah all over the place. Without

knowing that I wanted to preach through this book, I would have missed

a ton of great information. Could I have remembered it and gone back

to it? Sure, but that is risky.
My point: plan ahead in some way. By planning ahead, we are able to do

a lot more creatively as opposed to going week to week.


Are we flexible?
Yes. Just because we are planning something does not mean it is

written in stone and unchangeable. Over the summer, we were actually

planning to preach through Habakkuk but decided about four weeks out

to do the life of Elijah instead, which proved to be the right move.

Before making the change though, our creative team let me know we had

not gone far enough into the creative process for that series. It is

important to not waste your team=s time.
For our creative process, we look 6B8 weeks out as we think through

atmosphere, visuals, video clips, dramas, cover songs. As we get

closer, Paul takes us through a process of honing in on what we will

use and how it will flow.


How long would this take? Not very long. In fact, if you sat down

right now and made a list of topics you would like to teach on in the

next 6B12 months, you would be well on your way.
When I started preaching through books of the Bible, I picked James to

start out with because it was my favorite book of the Bible. Not very

spiritual, I know, but it worked, and I started to get used to it.
The point is, plan ahead. Way too much is at stake to go week to week.
Now I=ve told you how we do it, how do you plan your series? How do

you decide what to preach on?




Josh Reich

MissionalThoughts.wordpress.comJosh Reich is the lead pastor of

Revolution Church in Tucson, AZ, which is trying to live out the

rhythms of Jesus. The church's dream is to "help people find their way

back to God."

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/josh‑r

eich‑how‑to‑plan‑a‑preaching‑calendar‑957.asp?utm_source=newsletter&utm

_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate



<><

How to Teach Old Testament Characters - J.D. Greear


- 8/2011.101
How to Teach Old Testament Characters

J.D. Greear

JDGreear.com
"I believe most contemporary teaching on Old Testament stories is

hopelessly moralistic, giving us merely examples to emulate rather

than a Savior to adore and hope in." Email this articlePrint

FriendlyRecently I taught through the life of David in a series called

AThe Search for a King,@ and I thought I=d use that to offer some

reflection here on how I have learned (and am learning) to teach

through Old Testament characters in Gospel‑faithful ways.
We discover that the life of David occurs in the midst of a quest

Israel was on to find a king. Israel yearned for a king who could give

them stability, guarantee their prosperity, and ensure their security.
Saul seemed like the perfect choice for Israel. He was a good leader,

charismatic and promised to provide Israel with everything they

desired. In the end, of course, he bitterly disappointed them.
The next king God gave to them was of a fundamentally different type.

He was, literally, the last guy in a room of seven brothers whom you=d

choose to be king. He was small. Unimpressive. He smelled like sheep.

But he had a mighty trust in God. Because of that, he would point



Israel consistently to hope in God as their true King. David was God=s

choice to be Israel=s king, because God was David=s choice to be King.


Even David, however, would disappoint Israel, and bitterly. David=s

life ends as a string of tragic failuresCan adulterous, murderous

relationship with Bathsheba, severe parental failure with Absalom, and

the blasphemous sin of counting of the people in opposition to God=s

instructions. In one of Israel=s most crucial hours, David failed them

as a husband, father, and leader. David=s life ends with 70,000

Israelites dying for his sin, with David wishing he could die in their

place but unable to.


David=s life, however, points us forward to another King who was

comingCthe MessiahCwho was in some ways like David, but in many more

ways unlike him. Unlike David, who sent innocent Uriah to die to cover

up David=s own sin, Jesus, the truly innocent one, would die for ours.

Unlike David, who neglected Absalom his son when Absalom needed him

most, Jesus would pursue us, His children, even when it cost Him His

life. And unlike David, whose people had to die for his sin, Jesus

would die for ours.


Jesus was the Atruer and better David,@ the real Hope of Israel.
The truth is that all of us, like Israel, are searching for some type

of King. We long for something to give us prosperity, stability, a

sense of meaning, and security. David=s life shows us that all kings

but Jesus will disappoint. Jesus is the King they were searching for,

and the one we are searching for as well.
The main purpose of David=s story, or that of any Old Testament hero,

is not to give us an example to emulate, but to point us forward to

the Messiah who is coming. Old Testament characters often gave signs

and pictures of what the Messiah was like, but just as often showed us

what He would be like in how they failed. He would do what they, being

mere men and women, were never able to do.


Most approaches to David=s life tell you, ADo you want to be a man

after God=s own heart? Then be humble like David. Be courageous

against your giants like David was against Goliath. Forgive your

enemies like David forgave Saul. If you do these things, God will feel

about you like He did about David.@
David certainly is, in some ways, worthy of our emulation


( - 1 Cor 10:6 - 1 Corinthians 10:6}). Yet he failed in some of

the most important ways. Jesus, the Messiah, is the hero in David=s

story. He succeeded where David failed. And He gave His perfect life

for us so that when we fail we could be forgiven and accepted. God=s

favor is a gift that is given to us because of what Christ did for us,

not what we are to do for God. That knowledge is what gives us real

courage, real humility, and real generosity. Jesus was the real Man

after God=s own heart, and He gave us His position before the Father

as a gift.
Interestingly, almost all of the Old Testament stories end like David=

s didCwith a befuddling sense of disappointment. Moses, the Lawgiver,

is not allowed to go into the Promised Land because he broke the laws

of God. The Temple that Ezra builds is so second rate that people who

remembered the first one wept when they saw it. David, Israel=s

greatest king, turns out to be a desperate sinner who can=t even save

himself, his family, or his people. At the end of his life he repeats

all of Israel=s sins and laments his inability to save them.


The whole message of the Old Testament is that we need a Lawgiver who

not only keeps the laws Himself but can redeem us when we break them;

we need someone to build a glorious, eternal kingdom that not even our

sin can tarnish; we need a Shepherd who will not abuse his sheep but

die for them; we need a Father who will not neglect his children but

will lay down his life for them; we need a King who will not use His

people but serve them. That role can=t be filled by Moses or Nehemiah

or David; it=s only filled by Jesus Christ, God=s Son and God=s

appointed King.
He is the King we are searching for. And that is good news for many of

us who have lost our way and made a mess of our lives, because that

means we can hope in His work on our behalf. He can rebuild our lives

where we have destroyed them. He can give hope where we feel hopeless.


God is not looking for our perfect record; He is looking for us to

receive the gift of salvation He provides. And that means that the

same God that saved and used David is the God who can save and use us.
I believe most contemporary teaching on Old Testament stories is

hopelessly moralistic, giving us merely examples to emulate rather

than a Savior to adore and hope in.



J.D. Greear

JDGreear.comJ.D. Greear, Ph.D. is Lead Pastor at the Summit Church in

North Carolina. He did his degree work in Christian and Islamic

theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest,

NC. The Summit=s vision is plant 1,000 churches in the next 40 years.

Currently, they have planted 11 and have several church planting teams

stationed around the world.
\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/jd‑gre

ear‑how‑to‑teach‑old‑testament‑characters‑956.asp?utm_source=newsletter

&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate

<><

/mOld Testament

/sHow to Teach Old Testament Ch

/i

Date Originally Filed - 8/2011.101



/t

/fN
How to Teach Old Testament Characters

J.D. Greear

JDGreear.com


"I believe most contemporary teaching on Old Testament stories is

hopelessly moralistic, giving us merely examples to emulate rather

than a Savior to adore and hope in." Email this articlePrint

FriendlyRecently I taught through the life of David in a series called

AThe Search for a King,@ and I thought I=d use that to offer some

reflection here on how I have learned (and am learning) to teach

through Old Testament characters in Gospel‑faithful ways.
We discover that the life of David occurs in the midst of a quest

Israel was on to find a king. Israel yearned for a king who could give



them stability, guarantee their prosperity, and ensure their security.
Saul seemed like the perfect choice for Israel. He was a good leader,

charismatic and promised to provide Israel with everything they

desired. In the end, of course, he bitterly disappointed them.
The next king God gave to them was of a fundamentally different type.

He was, literally, the last guy in a room of seven brothers whom you=d

choose to be king. He was small. Unimpressive. He smelled like sheep.

But he had a mighty trust in God. Because of that, he would point

Israel consistently to hope in God as their true King. David was God=s

choice to be Israel=s king, because God was David=s choice to be King.


Even David, however, would disappoint Israel, and bitterly. David=s

life ends as a string of tragic failuresCan adulterous, murderous

relationship with Bathsheba, severe parental failure with Absalom, and

the blasphemous sin of counting of the people in opposition to God=s

instructions. In one of Israel=s most crucial hours, David failed them

as a husband, father, and leader. David=s life ends with 70,000

Israelites dying for his sin, with David wishing he could die in their

place but unable to.


David=s life, however, points us forward to another King who was

comingCthe MessiahCwho was in some ways like David, but in many more

ways unlike him. Unlike David, who sent innocent Uriah to die to cover

up David=s own sin, Jesus, the truly innocent one, would die for ours.

Unlike David, who neglected Absalom his son when Absalom needed him

most, Jesus would pursue us, His children, even when it cost Him His

life. And unlike David, whose people had to die for his sin, Jesus

would die for ours.


Jesus was the Atruer and better David,@ the real Hope of Israel.
The truth is that all of us, like Israel, are searching for some type

of King. We long for something to give us prosperity, stability, a

sense of meaning, and security. David=s life shows us that all kings

but Jesus will disappoint. Jesus is the King they were searching for,

and the one we are searching for as well.
The main purpose of David=s story, or that of any Old Testament hero,

is not to give us an example to emulate, but to point us forward to

the Messiah who is coming. Old Testament characters often gave signs

and pictures of what the Messiah was like, but just as often showed us



what He would be like in how they failed. He would do what they, being

mere men and women, were never able to do.


Most approaches to David=s life tell you, ADo you want to be a man

after God=s own heart? Then be humble like David. Be courageous

against your giants like David was against Goliath. Forgive your

enemies like David forgave Saul. If you do these things, God will feel

about you like He did about David.@
David certainly is, in some ways, worthy of our emulation

( - 1 Cor 10:6 - 1 Corinthians 10:6}). Yet he failed in some of

the most important ways. Jesus, the Messiah, is the hero in David=s

story. He succeeded where David failed. And He gave His perfect life

for us so that when we fail we could be forgiven and accepted. God=s

favor is a gift that is given to us because of what Christ did for us,

not what we are to do for God. That knowledge is what gives us real

courage, real humility, and real generosity. Jesus was the real Man

after God=s own heart, and He gave us His position before the Father

as a gift.


Interestingly, almost all of the Old Testament stories end like David=

s didCwith a befuddling sense of disappointment. Moses, the Lawgiver,

is not allowed to go into the Promised Land because he broke the laws

of God. The Temple that Ezra builds is so second rate that people who

remembered the first one wept when they saw it. David, Israel=s

greatest king, turns out to be a desperate sinner who can=t even save

himself, his family, or his people. At the end of his life he repeats

all of Israel=s sins and laments his inability to save them.


The whole message of the Old Testament is that we need a Lawgiver who

not only keeps the laws Himself but can redeem us when we break them;

we need someone to build a glorious, eternal kingdom that not even our

sin can tarnish; we need a Shepherd who will not abuse his sheep but

die for them; we need a Father who will not neglect his children but

will lay down his life for them; we need a King who will not use His

people but serve them. That role can=t be filled by Moses or Nehemiah

or David; it=s only filled by Jesus Christ, God=s Son and God=s

appointed King.
He is the King we are searching for. And that is good news for many of

us who have lost our way and made a mess of our lives, because that

means we can hope in His work on our behalf. He can rebuild our lives

where we have destroyed them. He can give hope where we feel hopeless.



God is not looking for our perfect record; He is looking for us to

receive the gift of salvation He provides. And that means that the

same God that saved and used David is the God who can save and use us.
I believe most contemporary teaching on Old Testament stories is

hopelessly moralistic, giving us merely examples to emulate rather

than a Savior to adore and hope in.

J.D. Greear

JDGreear.comJ.D. Greear, Ph.D. is Lead Pastor at the Summit Church in

North Carolina. He did his degree work in Christian and Islamic

theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest,

NC. The Summit=s vision is plant 1,000 churches in the next 40 years.

Currently, they have planted 11 and have several church planting teams

stationed around the world.


\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/jd‑gre

ear‑how‑to‑teach‑old‑testament‑characters‑956.asp?utm_source=newsletter

&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate


<><
Best Tone for Preaching - What's the Best Tone for Your Preaching? John Piper

- 8/2011.101


Best Tone for Preaching
What's the Best Tone for Your Preaching?

John Piper

Desiring God
"The question I have for preachers is: What tone should you aim at in

preaching? This is an urgent question because, if you don't answer it,

your listeners will answer it for you."Email this articlePrint

FriendlyPhillips Brooks, who died in 1893Cand who, along with Jesus,

Paul, John Stott, Dick Lucas, and other preachers, never marriedCmost

famously said that preaching is Atruth through personality.@



This personality factor raises the question of preaching tone. What

should a preacher aim at in the tone of his preaching?


By Atone,@ I mean the feel that it has. The spirit it emits. The

emotional quality. The affectional tenor. The mood.


Personalities Are Like Faces

Every personality has a more or less characteristic tone. That is part

of what personality is. Some personalities play a small repertoire of

emotional instruments, while others play a larger repertoire.

Nevertheless, whether a personality plays a two‑piece band or a

symphony of emotional tones, there is a typical tone. A kind of

default tone for each personality.
This has a huge effect on peaching. And there is no escaping it.

Preachers have personalities, like they have faces. They can smile,

and they can frown. But they have one face. It was given to them.
The question I have for preachers is: What tone should you aim at in

preaching? This is an urgent question because, if you don=t answer it,

your listeners will answer it for you.
The Tone of the Text

Over my 31 years in the pulpit, I have received a fairly steady stream

of affirmation and criticism related to the tone of my preaching. The

very same sermon can elicit opposite pleas. AMore of that, pastor!@

ANo, we already get too much of that.@
This is totally understandable. Listeners have personalities, too.

Which means they have default tonal desires. They have preferences.

They know what makes them feel loved. Or encouraged. Or hopeful. Or

challenged. And some people feel challenged by the very tone that

makes another feel angered or discouraged.
So I ask again: What tone should you aim at in preaching?
My answer is: Pursue the tone of the text. But let it be informed, not

muted, by the tonal balance of Jesus and the apostles and by the

gospel of grace.
Ten explanatory comments:

1.Texts have meaning, and texts have tone. Consider the tonal

difference between ACome to me all you who labor and are heavy laden .


. .@ and AWoe to you, blind guides . . .You blind fools!@ The preacher

should embody, not mute, these tones.


2.Nevertheless, just as the meanings of texts are enlarged and

completed and given a new twist by larger biblical themes, and by the

gospel of grace, so also the tones of texts are enlarged and completed

and given a new twist by these realities. A totally dark jigsaw puzzle

piece may, in the big picture, be a part of the pupil of a bright and

shining eye.


3.The grace of God in the gospel turns everything into hope for those

who believe. AWhatever was written in former days was written for our

instruction, that . . . we might have hope@ ( - Romans

15:4 - Romans 15:4}). AHe who did not spare his own Son but gave him up

for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all

things@ ( - Romans 8:32 - Romans 8:32}). Therefore, all the

various tones of texts (let them resound!) resolve into the infinitely

varied tones of hope, for those who believe in Jesus.


4.If there is a danger of not hearing the tone of gospel hope,

emerging from the thunder and lightning of Scripture, there is also a

danger of being so fixed on what we think hope sounds like that we

mute the emotional symphony of a thousand texts. Don=t do it. Let the

tone grip you. Let it carry you. Embody the tone of the text and the

gospel dénouement.


5.But it=s not just the gospel of grace that should inform how we

embody the tone of texts. We are all prone to insert our own

personalities at this point and assume that our hopeful tone is the

hopeful tone. We think our tender is the tender. Our warmth is the

warmth.

This is why I said our capturing of the tone of the text should be

informed by the tonal balance of Jesus and the apostles. We may simply

be wrong about the way we think tenderness and hope and warmth and

courage and firmness sound. We do well to marinate our tone‑producing

hearts in the overall tonal balance of Jesus and the apostles.


6.Tonal variation is determined in part by the nature and needs of the

audience. We may well shout at the drowning man that there is a life

preserver behind him. But we would not shout at a man on the edge of a

precipice, lest we startle him into losing his balance. Jesus= tone

was different toward the proud Pharisee and the broken sinner.


7.But audiences are usually mixed, with one person susceptible to one

tone and one susceptible to another. This is one reason why being in

the pulpit week in and week out for years is a good thing. The

biblical symphony of tones can be played more fully over time. The

tone one week may hurt. The next it may help.
8.There is a call on preachers to think of cultural impact and not

just personal impact. In some ways our culture may be losing the

ability to feel some biblical tones that are crucial in feeling the

greatness of God and the glory of the gospel. The gospel brings

together transcendent, terrible, horrific, ghastly, tender, sweet,

quiet, intimate, personal realities that for many may seem utterly

inimical. Our calling is to seek ways of saying and embodying these

clashing tones in a way that they sound like the compelling music.


9.In the end, when a preacher expresses a fitting tone, it is the work

of God; and when a listener receives his tone as proper and

compelling, it is another work of God.
10. So we pray. O Lord, come and shape our hearts and minds with the

truth and the tone of every text. Let every text have its true tone in

preaching. Shape the tone by the gospel climax. Shape it by the tonal

balance of Jesus and the apostles. But don=t let it be muted. Let the

symphony of your fullness be felt.

John Piper

Desiring GodJohn Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem

Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Greenville,

South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, where he first sensed

God's call to enter the ministry. He went on to earn degrees from

Fuller Theological Seminary and the University of Munich. For six

years he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul,

Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at

Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 30 books, and more than 25

years of his preaching and teaching is available free at

desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one

daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.
\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/john‑p

iper‑whats‑the‑best‑tone‑for‑your‑preaching‑954.asp?utm_source=newslett

er&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate




<><
What to Preach to Yourself Every Day - Tullian Tchividjian
Preach to Yourself Every Day

- 8/2011.101

Preach to Yourself Every Day
What to Preach to Yourself Every Day

Tullian Tchividjian

TheGospelCoalition

"The hard work of Christian growth, therefore, is to think less of me

and my performance and more of Jesus and his performance for me."

Email this articlePrint FriendlyBecause we are so naturally prone to

look at ourselves and our performance more than we do to Christ and

his performance, we need constant reminders of the gospel.


If we=re supposed to preach the gospel to ourselves every dayCwhat=s

the actual content of that message? What is it exactly that I need to

keep reminding myself of?
If God has saved youCif he=s given you the faith to believe, and you=

re now a Christian; if you=ve transferred trust from your own

accomplishments and abilities to Christ=saccomplishment on behalf of

sinnersCthen here=s the good news. In the phraseology of

- Colossians 1 - Colossians 1}, it=s simply this: You=ve

already been qualified, you=ve already been delivered, you=ve already

been transferred, you=ve already been redeemed, you=vealready been

forgiven.


It=s been widely accepted that in the original language of Greek,

Ephesians 1:3B14 is one long sentence. Paul becomes so overwhelmed by

the sheer greatness and immensity and size and sweetness of God=s

amazing grace that he doesn=t even take a breath. He writes in a state

of controlled ecstasy. And at the heart of his elation is the idea of

Aunion with Christ.@ We have been blessed, he writes, Ain Christ with

every spiritual blessing@ (1:3): we=ve been chosen (v. 4), graced (v.


6), redeemed (v. 7), reconciled (v. 10), destined (v. 11), and sealed

forever (v. 13). Everything we need and long for, Paul says, we

already possess if we are in Christ. He has already sweepingly secured

all that our hearts deeply crave.


We no longer need to rely, therefore, on the position, the prosperity,

the promotions, the preeminence, the power, the praise, the passing

pleasures, or the popularity that we=ve so desperately pursued for so

long.
Day by day, what we must do can only be practically experienced as we

come to a deeper understanding of what we are positionallyCa deeper

understanding of what=s already ours in Christ.


I used to think that growing as a Christian meant I had to somehow go

out and obtain the qualities and attitudes I was lacking. To really

mature, I needed to find a way to get more joy, more patience, more

faithfulness, and so on.


Then I came to the shattering realization that this isn=t what the

Bible teaches, and it isn=t the gospel. What the Bible teaches is that

we mature as we come to a greater realization of what we already have

in Christ. The gospel, in fact, transforms us precisely because it=s

not itself a message about our internal transformation, but Christ=s

external substitution. We desperately need an Advocate, Mediator, and

Friend. But what we need most is a Substitute. Someone who has done

for us and secured for us what we could never do and secure for

ourselves.
The hard work of Christian growth, therefore, is to think less of me

and my performance and more of Jesus and his performance for me.

Ironically, when we focus mostly on our need to get better we actually

get worse. We become neurotic and self‑absorbed. Preoccupation with my

effort over God=s effort for me makes me increasingly self‑centered

and morbidly introspective.


You could state it this way: Sanctification is the daily hard work of

going back to the reality of our justificationCreceiving Christ=s

words, AIt is finished@ into new and deeper parts of our being every

day, into our rebellious regions of unbelief. It=s going back to the

certainty of our objectively secured pardon in Christ and hitting the

refresh button a thousand times a day. Or, as Martin Luther so aptly

put it in his Lectures on Romans, ATo progress is always to begin


again.@ Real spiritual progress, in other words, requires a daily

going backward.


In her book Because He Loves Me, Elyse Fitzpatrick writes about how

important remembrance is in Christian growth:


One reason we don=t grow in ordinary, grateful obedience as we should

is that we=ve got amnesia; we=ve forgotten that we are cleansed from

our sins. In other words, ongoing failure in sanctification (the slow

process of change into Christlikeness) is the direct result of failing

to remember God=s love for us in the gospel. If we lack the comfort

and assurance that his love and cleansing are meant to supply, our

failures will handcuff us to yesterday=s sins, and we won=t have faith

or courage to fight against them, or the love for God that=s meant to

empower this war. If we fail to remember our justification,

redemption, and reconciliation, we=ll struggle in our sanctification.


Christian growth, in other words, does not happen first by behaving

better, but believing betterCbelieving in bigger, deeper, brighter

ways what Christ has already secured for sinners.
Preach that to yourself every day, and you=ll increasingly experience

the scandalous freedom that Jesus paid so dearly to secure for you.


Tullian Tchividjian

TheGospelCoalitionTullian Tchividjian is the Senior Pastor of Coral

Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A Florida

native, he is a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological

Seminary and a grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham.

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ewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate


<><
Keep the Momentum in Your Preaching - Peter Mead

- 8/2011.101



Keep the Momentum in Your Preaching

Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.net Cor Deo
Does your sermon keep building momentum as you progress or does it

stall out in the middle or end? Peter Mead offers encouragement for

preachers to avoid the common pitfalls to message momentum. Email this

articlePrint FriendlyWhen you are preaching, your listeners are

looking for unity (a single focus to your preaching), order (a clarity

of structured presentation), and progress (a sense that you are moving

forward and getting closer to the end). It is this progress that can

be easily lost causing the message to feel like it gets stuck in the

mud.
What causes momentum to be lost? Could be one of several things:
Is momentum about content of the message? Yes, it can be. Is one

part of the message too dense or extended in terms of explanation? Is

there too much repetition that might give the sense that you are

losing your way or going round in circles? Content issues can cause a

loss of momentum.
Is momentum about structure of the message? Yes, it can be. If you

haven=t previewed the structure, or don=t give effective and

deliberate transitions, then it can all meld into one and feel dense

or still instead of progressing. If you structure your message so

that you keep jumping around the text, listeners can lose the sense of

progress that comes from a sequential following of the passage. (It

can be appropriate to use this approach in a text, but make structure

and transitions extra clear.)


Is momentum about delivery of the message? Yes, it can be. If you

lose energy, or become monotonous in voice or visual presentation,

then momentum can seep away. If you lose your initial enthusiasm (or

if your enthusiasm is at a constant high pitch without releasing that

tension), then momentum can be lost.
Momentum can be hard to get hold of, but for preaching to engage

listeners, we have to consider not only unity and order, but also

progress. Don=t take this the wrong way, but they like to know you=re

getting closer to being done!





Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.netCor Deo

Peter Mead is involved in church leadership at an independent Bible

church in the UK. He serves as director of Cor DeoCan innovative

mentored ministry training programCand has a wider ministry preaching

and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net.


\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/peter‑

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utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate



<><
10 Preaching Questions with Ray Ortlund Jr. - Colin Adams

- 8/2011.101


10 Preaching Qs
10 Preaching Questions with Ray Ortlund Jr.

Colin Adams

Unashamedworkman.wordpress.com
"Early in my ministry, I needed twenty‑plus hours to prepare. By now,

the disciplines are more streamlined. I average perhaps ten hours or

so," says Ortlund.Email this articlePrint FriendlyColin Adams asks Ray

Ortlund, author and pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, about his

thoughts on preaching and how he prepares his sermons.
1. Where do you place the importance of preaching in the grand scheme

of church life?


Preaching is central in the life of a church, because Jesus himself

speaks savingly through the preached Word. The Second Helvetic

Confession of 1566 was bold enough to say, AWhen this Word of God is

now preached in the church by preachers lawfully called, we believe

that the very Word of God is preached and received by the faithful.@

- Romans 10:14 - Romans 10:14} (ESV margin: A. . . believe him

whom they have never heard@) validates that conviction.
Another verse that means a lot to me is - 1 Corinthians


14:8 - 1 Corinthians 14:8}, AIf the bugle gives an indistinct sound,

who will get ready for battle?@ I have never seen a church rise in

spiritual power where the preaching was unclear, indistinct, overly

cautious, timid. Every church I know of that is making a gospel impact

has an unmistakably clear and winsomely courageous preaching ministry.
2. In a paragraph, how did you discover your gifts in preaching?
How does one discover gifts in any area? It just appears, as

experience allows and in the fullness of God=s time. My own preaching

started with complete ineptitude, graduated over time to struggle, and

by now has advanced to varying degrees of effectiveness and

ineffectiveness. My progress seems directly related to growing

theological discovery of God=s glory in the gospel, through

dissatisfaction with myself as a preacher, through the joy of seeing

God use me, and through the assurance that at any time God can rend

the heavens and come down in revival power.
3. How long (on average) does it take you to prepare a sermon?
Early in my ministry, I needed twenty‑plus hours to prepare. By now,

the disciplines are more streamlined. I average perhaps ten hours or

so.
4. Is it important to you that a sermon contain one major theme or

idea? If so, how do you crystallize it?


I often fall in love with every detail in my text, so that I tend

toward excess at that level in my preaching. But I try to ask, AWhat

is the precise pastoral burden of this unique passage?@ Every detail,

however fascinating, is there in the text to help construct that one

overall message. So, after I have written my sermon draft, I go back

and interrogate every sentence, ADo you really need to be here?@ If

not, it disappears.
5. What is the most important aspect of a preacher=s style and what

should he avoid?


The most important aspect, in my view, is believability C the

believability of the message and of the preacher himself. The first is

a matter of clarity (exposition), defense (apologetics) and force

(power in application). I want so to persuade the people that they are

left thinking, AWell, of course. How could it be otherwise? I receive


this as truth, I love this as beauty, I want this to change me.@ I try

to avoid everything about myself that may distract from that outcome.


6. What notes, if any, do you use?
I use a full manuscript. But I try to be in sufficient control of the

flow of thought and certain key phrases that it doesn=t get in my way.

I want to enjoy the sermon and the people in the moment.
7. What are the greatest perils that preacher must avoid?
The greatest peril is forgetting what preaching is there for in the

first place. It is not there as a platform for pet theories,

inner‑church politics, the culture wars, developing a personal

following for myself or for proving how cool I can be. The preaching

ministry is there for the display of Jesus Christ, according to the

gospel. It is for him alone, as he wants to speak to the people, love

them, help them, save them. Preaching is a sacred experience and must

not be profaned by misplaced enthusiasms.


8. How do you fight to balance preparation for preaching with other

important responsibilities (eg. pastoral care, leadership

responsibilities)
I wish I had a good answer here. It is a constant struggle. The only

chance I have for success is setting aside protected blocks of time

when I am quiet and alone with God and my books. That usually means I

get away from my office. There is a difference between an office and a

study. Right now all I have is an office. So I have to get out of here

to do serious study.


9. What books on preaching, or exemplars of it, have you found most

influential in your own preaching?


My favorite is Lloyd‑Jones= Preaching and Preachers, especially the

final chapter, ADemonstration of the Spirit and of the Power.@ I am

stirred even now just to think about it. Oh, that I might preach just

one apostolic, anointed sermon before I die!


10. What steps do you take to nurture or encourage developing or

future preachers?


I want to do more in this way. I did teach at Trinity Evangelical

Divinity School for nine years. And now, indirectly, my participation

in The Gospel Coalition serves to lift up the next generation of

preachers. I also desire to be encouraging to other preachers in the

Acts 29 Network. And I hope that in five or six years my successor at

Immanuel Church will be here, established in ministry, so that he can

grow in authority as I fade away.


Colin Adams

Unashamedworkman.wordpress.comColin Adams is the pastor of Ballymoney

Baptist Church, Northern Ireland. For six years Colin had the

privilege of serving as an Associate Pastor with Charlotte Baptist

Chapel in Edinburgh. Before coming to Edinburgh he studied theology

for four years at International Christian College in Glasgow.
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25 Preaching Books ‑ Last 25 Years

- 8/2011.101


25 Preaching Books ‑ Last 25 Years

The 25 Most Influential Preaching Books of the Last 25 Years

Michael Duduit

Preaching magazine


Preaching magazine editor Michael Duduit offers a helpful list of the

top preaching books over the last quarter‑century. Email this

articlePrint FriendlyDuring the 25 years of Preaching magazine's

publication history, books have played a major role in the

publication. No wonderCbooks are the lifeblood of the preacher's work.

Because books play such a vital role in the life of the preacher, this

publication has offered a key resource to help preachers know which

volumes promise to help us be more effective in the task of

proclaiming the Word.
Each year, Preaching offers an extensive survey of the best books for


preachers published in the past year; since the beginning, that survey

has been written by R. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern

Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Until moving to

the seminary presidency in 1993, Mohler served as associate editor of

Preaching, and wrote all the book reviews, as well as conducting a

number of interviews. Upon assuming the presidency, Mohler stepped

back from writing "The Preacher's Bookshelf," which appears in most

issues, but still writes the annual survey, as well as compiling his

annual list: "The 10 Books Every Preacher Should Read This Year."

Since 1993, editor Michael Duduit has written the "Bookshelf" column,

as well as the annual survey of the best homiletical books of the year

(including the Preaching Book of the Year), which accompanies Mohler's

survey. One of the distinctive elements of Preaching's focus on books

has been to identify the best publications in the area of homiletics.

Such books make up the bulk of book reviews in each issue and

typically are the source of those titles recognized as Book of the

Year, with just a few exceptions. During the past 25 years, what have

been the most influential books on preachingCthose volumes that have

made the greatest impact on American preaching?In recent weeks we've

surveyed readers, preaching professors and influencers to compile what

we believe to be those books which more than any others have shaped

the thinking and teaching about preaching in the past quarter century.


1. Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson (Baker Books)
This book stands apart from all the others in terms of recognition by

those who study preachingCby far it received the most nominations from

pastors and professors. The book was originally published in 1980, 30

years ago, but has dominated the classrooms of evangelical colleges

and seminaries in the past 25 years. A revised second edition was

published in 2001, guaranteeing that succeeding generations of young

preachers would benefit from this outstanding introduction to the task

of preparing and presenting biblical sermons. Robinson's emphasis on

"Big Idea" preaching has shaped the thinking of thousands of

expository preachers and been the major influence on many of those who

teach preaching in today's classrooms. More than any other book of the

past quarter century, Biblical Preaching has profoundly influenced a

generation of evangelical preachers.
2. Homiletic: Moves and Structures by David Buttrick (Fortress Press)
The second Book of the Year recognized by Preaching also was one of

the minority of such titles not written by an evangelical author.



Nevertheless, Buttrick's book, published in 1986, has influenced the

thinking of mainline and evangelical preachers and teachers with its

insights about the sermon as a series of "moves" rather than simply

propositional points. A densely written tome, it caused a generation

of teachers and students of preaching to think beyond the traditional

categories which normally were found in homiletical literature.


3. Between Two Worlds by John R.W. Stott (Eerdmans)
First published in 1982, Stott popularized the dominant metaphor used

to describe the work of the preacher in today's world, the messenger

of God with one foot planted in the biblical world and the other in

the contemporary setting. Few books in the past quarter century have

more profoundly influenced how preachers think of their own task.
4. Preaching by Fred Craddock (Abingdon)
The very first Preaching Book of the Year, Craddock's book (like the

author himself) has influenced a generation of young preachers to

discover the power of inductive approaches and the use of story in

preaching. Apart from Robinson's book, this probably has been the most

widely used preaching text in seminary classrooms in the past 25

years.
5. The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text by Sidney Greidanus

(Eerdmans)
Greidanus' text helped influence countless preachers and teachers in

understanding and emphasizing the critical nature of biblical genre in

shaping the sermon. The book was Preaching's Book of the Year in 1990.
6. Christ‑Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell (Baker)

7. The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon As Narrative Art Form by Eugene L.

Lowry (Westminster John Knox)

8. The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper (Baker)

9. The Witness of Preaching by Thomas G. Long (Westminster John Knox)


10. Rediscovering Expository Preaching by John MacArthur & The

Master's Seminary faculty (Word)

11. Handbook of Contemporary Preaching, edited by Michael Duduit

(Broadman)

12. Preaching & Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd‑Jones (Zondervan)

13. Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley (Multnomah)

14. The Preaching Life by Barbara Brown Taylor (Cowley Publications)

15. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by Graeme

Goldsworthy (Eerdmans)

16. The Burdensome Joy of Preaching by James Earl Massey (Abingdon)

17. The Company of the Preachers by David L. Larsen (Kregel)

18. 360‑Degree Preaching by Michael Quicke (Baker)

19. Preaching and Teaching with Imagination by Warren W. Wiersbe

(Victor)


20. Scripture Sculpture by Ramesh Richard (Baker Academic)

21. The Art & Craft of Biblical Preaching, edited by Haddon Robinson

and Craig Brian Larson (Zondervan)

22. Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition by Calvin Miller

(Baker)

23. The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative by Steven Matthewson

(Baker Academic)

24. Doctrine that Dances by Robert Smith (B&H)

25. Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching, edited by William H. Willimon

and Richard Lischer (Westminster/John Knox Press)


Michael Duduit

Preaching magazineDr. Michael Duduit is executive and founding editor

of Preaching magazine and the founding dean of the Graduate School of

Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. He holds

an M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from

Florida State University.

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What Preachers Won't Preach About - Toni Ridgaway

- 8/2011.101


What Preachers Won't Preach About

Study: What Preachers Won't Preach About

Toni Ridgaway

ChurchLeaders.com


Fifty‑five percent of pastors can identify one or more topics on which

they would not preach at all or only sparingly.





As reported in an article in Your Church magazine, 55 percent of

pastors can identify one or more topics on which they would not preach

at all or only sparingly, because the sermon could negatively affect

their hearers' willingness to attend church in the future.


Among them are:
Politics ‑ 38 percent
Homosexuality ‑ 23 percent
Abortion ‑ 18 percent
Same‑sex marriage ‑ 17 percent
War ‑ 17 percent
Women's role in church and home ‑ 13 percent
The doctrine of election ‑ 13 percent
Hell ‑ 7 percent
Money ‑ 3 percent
Editor's note: What's your reaction to this report? Should pastors

avoid hot‑button issues like politics in preaching? Are there specific

topics you avoid in the pulpit? Share your comments with the

SermonCentral community below.

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The New Normal of Preaching - Wayne Cordeiro

- 8/2011.101




The New Normal of Preaching

Wayne Cordeiro

MentoringLeaders.com
It's no longer Awhat@ I want to teach; it's Ahow@ they best learn.
Although I plan my messages out in advance, there is more that leaders

must consider when teaching. We all know that it is important to know

what you are teaching, but it is becoming even more important to know

how they are learning! Each generation has their own modality by which

they best absorb new information.
I have three children. One of them likes phone calls. The other likes

e‑mail, and the youngest demands that I text her. I called her one

day, thinking how nice a dad I was for thinking of her. She answered

in exasperated tones: ADad, DON=T call me! What if I were in a movie?

Text me, Dad. Text me!@
We need to start at a new starting point. It is no longer Awhat@ I

want to teach. It is Ahow@ they best learn! Here are a few tips:


1. Use more word pictures.
Young people have grown up with computers, television, computer games,

and other illustrated ways in which they interact. Word pictures help

your listeners mentally track with you.
2. Let them interact with you.
Interaction is important to the new learners. Your listeners want to

Atalk back@ to the communicator. Laughter is one way. Another is

reading aloud. One thing I do is to let them finish a sentence for me.

AGod is not against us! He is reallyY@ (The answer, if you can=t

figure it out, is Afor us!@)
3. Use personal illustrations to underscore a truth.
Listeners want to know if you have experienced what you are talking

about. They want to know if you have felt the pain or the struggle.

They want transparency and authenticity. New teachers teach not only

out of their knowledge but also out of their scars.


4. Simplify without becoming remedial.

One person said that communicators take complicated subjects and make

them simple. Teachers, on the other hand, take simple subjects and

make them complicated. The world needs communicators who will help

them understand the simplicity of God=s love and ways.


5. Take the time to explain things theologically.
People will no longer settle for pat answers. Loyalty to a

denomination or to a body of pre‑approved knowledge no longer exists.

They are curious and want to know why. Why is homosexuality something

that is unacceptable in the Bible? Why is living together frowned

upon? What is wrong with drinking alcohol? How can Christian leaders

be so hypocritical and not think anything about it?


Alvin Toffler said: AThose who are the literate of the future will not

be those who can read and write. It will be those who can learn,

un‑learn, and re‑learn.@
There are many habits we must un‑learn, and then re‑learn new ways of

delivering the timeless message of Jesus Christ. It=s not about

technology. It=s about gearing our delivery to the ways they learn

best. I remember an adage from my old Youth for Christ days: AAnchored

to the Rock; geared to the times.@
It still rings true today.

Wayne Cordeiro

MentoringLeaders.comWayne Cordeiro is the founding pastor of New Hope

Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii with over 14,500 in weekend

attendance. New Hope is also listed as one of the top ten most

innovative churches in America with Outreach magazine, listing them as

one of the Atop five churches to learn from.@ New Hope is known for

redeeming the arts and technology. Over 3000 attend services each

week via the Internet, and New Hope has seen over 73,000 first‑time

decisions in Hawaii since its inception 26 years ago.


He has authored ten books, including such classics as Doing Church as

a Team, Dream Releasers, Seven Rules of Success, Attitudes That

Attract Success, Divine Mentor, Leading on Empty and The Encore

Church. Wayne is also the author of the Life Journal, which is being

used by thousands of churches worldwide, is bringing people back to


the Word of God.

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Preaching When Times Are Tight - David Stokes

- 8/2011.101
Preaching When Times Are Tight

David Stokes

Preaching.com
The fact is, when current reality begins to let us down, when times

turn tough, even tight, this is a moment for us to shift the focus

away from this to that, from now to then, from here to there. Email

this articlePrint FriendlyDuring the waning days of The Great War

(1914‑1918), David Lloyd George remarked, Awhen the chariot of

humanity gets stuck, nothing will lift it out of the mud better than

great preaching that goes to the heart.@ As a young boy in Wales, he

had grown up in a family that included several preachers; so the ways

of the pulpit certainly informed and influenced the only Welshman to

ever serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He was a man known

for his eloquent oratory and inherited from his father the idea of

preaching as Athoughts that breathe and words that burn.@Much has been

written over the years about how preaching can aid, inform, inspire

and comfort the multitudes when times are tough. When war clouds loom

on the horizon, or when hurricane Katrina‑like natural disasters
strike a community or nation, the person in the pulpit generally gets

the chance to speak to larger, and more attentive, crowds.


Being entrusted with sacred truth, having a burning desire to speak

about matters of great spiritual value and persuading people to focus

on such transcendent themes becomes a particular challenge when people

are hurting financially. But before we quietly complain that people

tend to overlook great moral issues when faced with economic

challenges, maybe we had better step back and consider how tight times

can become a critical moment for the preacher.It is simply a fact that

Americans will generally see economic issues as more important that

just about everything else. In 1992, when then‑Governor Bill Clinton

was running for the presidency, the campaign war‑room in Little Rock,

Ark., had a mantra on the wall: AIt=s the economy, stupid.@ This was

designed to be a reminder that they needed to keep pocketbook issues

on the front burner during their run for the White House. And it

worked. It usually does. The leader who promises a rosier economic

future, or who is perceived to have a better plan to fix things,

always wins over someone who minimizes money matters to talk about

other issues. Consider Prohibition in the 1920s. For decades, a great

moral crusade led to the unprecedented step of amending the

Constitution to reflect a particular position on a behavioral issue

after it was trumpeted from pulpits across the land. I am not arguing

here the merits or demerits of Prohibition as public policy or the

issue of abstinence from alcohol (or not) as a standard. I am simply

using it as an example of how a moral/values issue promoted by

preachers (and a cast of others) can ultimately unravel because of a

tanking economy. Prohibition was the law of the land while the =20s

roared. Prosperity didn=t have to be around the corner because it was

in most living rooms. But when the crash came in 1929, and as the

nation and the world descended into the abyss of depression and

deprivation, it wasn=t long before the noble experiment ceased to

arouse much interest. The failed economy beat Prohibition becauseClike

it or notCin America money stuff trumps just about everything.


So what is a preacher to do? Well, in a sense, if you can=t beat them,

join them. This is not an argument for watering down value‑driven

preaching, but rather it is simply a reminder that even preachers can=

t ignore an elephant in the roomCespecially if the big beast is

plastered with dollar signs.
What Happens When All the Wells Seem to Be Running Dry?
Certainly, when times are tight, and when people are looking for

answers, preachers must first avoid a powerful pitfall. We must be

careful to avoid the arrogance and excess of demagoguery. We must not

play the blame game and look for scapegoats. Our message is not about



a particular theory of economics from Adam Smith, to Karl Marx, to

Milton Friedman; rather it is about truth that transcends systems and

systemic failure.
Do you know the name of the most popular preacher during the dark days

of the Great Depression? He was a man listened to by millions every

week. He became for a brief time so powerful that even the president

of the United States feared him. He was so popular on the radio that

it was said that if you walked down the street on a summer day, you

could hear his complete broadcast through every opened window without

missing barely a word.
His name was Charles Edward Coughlin; and he was a Catholic priest,

overseeing a local parish in Royal Oak, Michigan. He was a

hard‑working and fiercely ambitious clergyman, who guided the growth

of his church, the Shrine of the Little Flower, during the late 1920s,

while experimenting with the then‑new medium of radio.
By the 1930s, and as the Great Depression was strangling the life out

of the nation itself, he had transformed himself into the voice of the

disaffected. During a decade when cultural circumstances were ripe for

exploitation by charismatic leaders who offered simplistic answers,

Father Coughlin became an incendiary force in the nation. And he did

so by becoming a notorious, though highly effective, demagogueCsomeone

who exploited the fears that Franklin Roosevelt himself had been

trying to calm since uttering the phrase Athe only thing we have to

fear is fear itself.@
The priest was a poisonous preacher. Father Coughlin used his pulpit,

both in his church and via the radio, to foster a spirit of anger,

hatred and divisiveness. He was very effective, but it was clearly a

monumental abuse of preaching itself. The messenger became the

message. That is a grave sin in light of what Paul said about not

preaching Aourselves.@


So powerful did the pugnacious priest become that Roosevelt spent a

great deal of time trying to neutralize him as a political force.

Fearing that Coughlin was going to join causes with Huey Long, the

would‑be‑American‑dictator from Louisiana, Roosevelt had another

Catholic supporter, Joseph P. Kennedy, arrange for the priest to meet

with the president at his Hyde Park, N.Y., home in September of 1935.

And in an interesting twist of fate, their meeting took place in the

hours just after Senator Long had been shot in Baton Rouge. FDR and



the priest were together when news came through about the Kingfish=s

death.
But that didn=t slow the radio priest down. He soon picked up Long=s

fallen mantle and formed a coalition of the discontented to challenge

FDR in 1936. It all eventually fizzled into a footnote, but his story

demonstrates the potential power a preacher can wield during difficult

times if a clergyman is inclined to exploit a crisis to feather his or

her own nest.
When times are tight, great care must be taken not to feed the fears

of people. Rather, preachers should be agents of hope.


Though Coughlin=s story is probably the best‑known preacher story of

the Great Depression, it is by no means the only story, nor is it at

all representative of much of what happened across America. Evidence

abounds highlighting great spiritual movements in communities. New

churches were established; others saw growth that had not been seen in

years. Giving trends in churches were actually up in the 1930s over

the previous decade.
And preachers rediscovered some vital themes that are very relevant to

us today. They have always been part of our homiletic arsenal, but

when times are tight, they should be revisited with abounding joy.
Good News for Tight Times
Tight times cry out for good news. And as the proverb says, such news

from a distant but precious place is like Acold water to a thirsty

soul.@ I am talking about a renewed emphasis on Heaven and things to

come. This doesn=t necessarily mean detailed discussions about the

views and theories of eschatology (though this may very well be

appropriate in many cases), but rather a clear and bold declamation

about the ultimate outcome of the life of faith.
Jesus understood this very well. When circumstances began to distract

the attention of His faithful followers, especially as they began to

perceive that something bad was on the horizon, He admonished them,

ALet not your heart be troubled.@


But our Lord didn=t merely offer a kind and generic Athere, there@

with a perfunctory pat on their backs. No, He proceeded to tell them

about a placeCa compelling and very real placeCthat He was going to


prepare for them.
The fact is, when current reality begins to let us downCwhen times

turn tough, even tightCthis is a moment for us to shift the focus away

from this to that, from now to then, from here to there. Our ancient

spiritual ancestors, the patriarchs, understood this. They didn=t get

to experience the abundant earthly blessings that had been promised,

so they looked Aafar off@ and for Aa city whose builder and maker is

God.@

If emotional maturity is, according to M. Scott Peck, demonstrated



largely by a capacity for deferred gratification, then spiritual

maturity must involve a measure of expectant hope orCbetterCdeferred

glorification.
Whatever the immediate future holds for Americans, it is clear that we

have experienced an unprecedented and unsurpassed period where our

standard of living has gotten better and better. This, in fact, may

now be changing. No one knows for sure. But times of prosperity and

plenty tend to have a dulling effect on spiritual senses and values.
In a sense, for much of our nation the idea of a better place and

future glory has failed to capture the imagination, even the

attention, of so many in recent years because, well, it has been

pretty good down here. But as the years of plenty possibly give way to

leaner times, preachers should take the cue and dig out the old

classics about Heaven and its glory.


As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s and 1970s in this country, a

generationCthe Baby BoomersCquestioned authority and challenged

assumptions. They saw their parents, who had endured the Great

Depression and a global war, as obsolete. Many dismissed traditional

values and theological concepts like Heaven. It was commonplace to

hear talk of a celestial home mocked as the myth of Apie in the sky by

and by.@ This was a generation who had never really suffered or seen

suffering.


It is a sobering truth that we tend to only learn to appreciate Heaven

and its glory when we are faced with suffering or some present

distress. We can then identify with Paul in - Romans

8 - Romans 8} when he spoke about the unworthiness of comparisons

between future glory and present difficulty.


So as the nation slides into a possible period of suffering, preachers

should be voices crying in the wilderness about a better place. Some

may object that to be too heavenly minded is to be little earthly

good, but authentic believers understand what those in generations

past graspedCwhen we set our hopes on things Aabove,@ we can manage

things here below so much better.


The writer of the Book of Hebrews talks, in - chapter

12 - Hebrews 12}, about a contrast between things that can be Ashaken@

(read: this world, human life, created things) and Aa kingdom that

cannot be shaken.@ In a sense, this is exactly the fault‑line our

nation finds itself on at this critical moment in our history.
Politicians and social leaders will promote and apply their remedies

for the nation=s illsCsome things will work; others will not. But the

preacher must never become distracted by any of it. When the

foundations are shaken, we must speak boldly about the security and

serenity of Heaven and all that it means.
When times are tight, when abundance gives way to want and prosperity

is left behind, preachers of righteousness have something to say.

There is a place, a better place, a glorious place, a place prepared

by God Himself.


Or, put another way: I am putting a sign on the wall in my study this

year, and it says: AIt=s about Heaven, stupid!@


David Stokes

Preaching.com David is the pastor of Fair Oaks Church in Fairfax,

Virginia, a writer, commentator, and broadcaster. His recent book, The

Shooting Salvationist, was published in 2011.

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The Post‑Sermon Bible Test - Peter Mead

- 8/2011.101


The Post‑Sermon Bible Test

Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.net
We preach hoping and praying for the message to mark and transform

lives as it is preached. But what about after the sermon is over?

Email this articlePrint FriendlyWe preach hoping and praying for the

message to mark and transform lives as it is preached. But what about

after? I want to preach in such a way that the following things are

true:
1. The listener will continue to be transformed by the text in the

coming days. If the text were merely a source for data and sermonic

stuff, then chances are the listeners will lose track of where the

message came from. For the text to linger in their hearts and minds,

the preacher needs to shine light on the text and shine the message of

the text on the screen of their hearts. If they have only heard about

it, there is less chance they will remember it than if they have

Aseen@ the text painted vividly during the sermon.
2. The listener will be able to go back to the text later and

understand it. If the listener were to look up the text later, then I

want them to be able to understand it. That means that they have had

it clearly and effectively explained. Not only what does it mean, but

why does it mean that? Knowing that I take it a certain way is

nowhere near as good as them seeing that that is what it is saying.


3. The listener will want to go back to the text later to read it.

This is a biggie. If we assume that listeners go home and re‑read the

preaching text and carefully work through the notes they took, then we

are naive to say the least. The preacher has to stir motivation for

them to want to go back to the text. That motivation will come from

an effective message, including instilling a confidence in them that

they can see the why behind the what of the text. Why does it mean

what the sermon said it means? They also have to be convinced of the

relevance of the text to their lives. Irrelevant or inaccessible

texts are least likely to be return destinations in the days after a

sermon.


4. The listener will know how to make sense of it when they go there.

This is like number 2, but slightly more than that. - Number

2 - Numbers 2} was about them being able to understand the text

itself. This one is about them being equipped to handle the text.

That comes down to the instruction given in the sermon (and many

sermons over time).


Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.netCor Deo

Peter Mead is involved in church leadership at an independent Bible

church in the UK. He serves as director of Cor DeoCan innovative

mentored ministry training programCand has a wider ministry preaching

and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net.
\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/peter‑

mead‑the‑post‑sermon‑bible‑test‑1014.asp?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medi

um=email&utm_campaign=BetterPreachingUpdate


<><

7 Tips for Bi‑Vocational Pastors by Todd Hiestand


Preaching on the Run: 7 Tips for Bi‑Vocational Pastors by Todd Hiestand ‑ ToddHiestand.com

- 3/2012.101


Preaching for Bi‑Vocational Pastors
Preaching on the Run: 7 Tips for Bi‑Vocational Pastors by Todd

Hiestand ‑ ToddHiestand.com


"My sermon prep is no longer about how many hours I 'spend studying.'

With this approach, I genuinely believe that every hour of the week is

sermon prep."
I was told in seminary that I should spend one hour of sermon prep for

every minute I will be preaching. For many of us, that means we

should spend 20‑30 hours preparing sermons. This approach poses some

serious problems for me. First of all, I have other pastoral

responsibilities. Second, I am bi‑vocational so I barely even have

that much time to give to everything I do. For those two reasons



alone, there is just no chance I am spending 30 hours a week prepping

for a sermon on Sunday.


The challenge isn=t finding more hours to prepare sermons; the

challenge is finding some kind of rhythm that allows me to spend less

time studying in the classic sense while still engaging the text in a

way that allows me to lead my community well in the study of the

Biblical text.
My sermon prep is no longer about how many hours I Aspend studying.@

With this approach, I genuinely believe that every hour of the week is

sermon prep. My pastoral care, my Web design work, my parenting, my

friendship, my going to the store, my arguments, my anger, my

frustrations, my celebrations: these are all sermon prep.
Here is my week:
Monday: Ingest the Text (30 minutes)
On Monday, we sit with the text and let it seep into our lives. If it=

s short enough, try to memorize it. If it=s longer, get familiar with

the contours of it, the themes, tone, etc. Our goal here is to allow

the text to live with us all week as we work, play, do pastoral care,

etc. Throughout the week, I try to answer the following questions:

$ How does this text preach the gospel to the people I interact with

everyday?

$ How does this text encourage the people I interact with everyday?

$ How does this text equip us for witness in the world?

$ How does this text critique my basic assumptions about how the world

works?

$ How does this text call me, critique me, challenge me, encourage me?


The main question I am asking all week: what is the one thing that God

wants to say to our community through this text?


Tuesday: Sit w/the Text, Find Context (1 hour)
Tuesdays, I continue to sit with the text. Pray through it. I tend

to read the text a few times throughout the day and continue to become

familiar with it and let it seep into my heart, soul, and mind. I

also begin looking at the context surrounding the text and seek to

understand what=s going on around it.


Wednesday: Ask Questions, Make Observations, Context (1 hour)
This is when I ask questions about the text and make general

observations about things that stick out. I ask the general Awho,

what, where, when, why, how@ questions. I look up words I don=t know

and even do a word study or two on words that seem to have

significance elsewhere in Scripture. I do the same thing with the

context. Here I look deeper into the context to get a good sense of

how it fits into the story of the book as well as the overarching

narrative of Scripture.


Thursday: Research and Study (2‑3 hours)
I do not do theology, biblical interpretation in a vacuum. I greatly

value the diversity of the witness of church history. Today is the

day where I seek the wisdom of fellow Christians and especially church

history. I spend a few hours with books, commentaries, etc. trying to

see how Christians over the centuries have interpreted the text. I

also have a few Apeople commentaries.@ Meaning: people who are like

live, walking commentaries to whom I go for their impressions,

thoughts, and interpretations on this text.


Friday: Write/Outline (1‑3 hours)
Today is the day when I sit down and start writing. This often looks

different depending on the week I=ve had and the text itself.

Sometimes, I just start writing, and the outline develops as I write.

Other times, I write an outline first and then write. I used to

manuscript my sermons, but I have done less and less of that. But

generally, what I try to do on Friday is take my week of living the

text and get it out on a page to try to get my thoughts together

somehow.
Saturday Night: Finalize Things (1 hour)


The better I do during the week in sitting with the text, studying it,

and living with it, the less I have to do on Saturday nights after the

kids and my wife go to bed. In fact, in a perfect world, I=ll have

nothing to do on Saturday nights other than look over things quickly

and head to bed. But generally on Saturday nights, I=m just making

sure it all makes senseCat least in my own head.


Sunday Morning: Pray Through the Outline/Notes

Sunday mornings I get to the building early, or go to Starbucks so I=m

not distracted, and pray through my notes and make any changes that

come up. Then, I preach. Tim Keel gave me great advice one time (I

don=t remember if it was in a book or in a conversation with him): He

said to Apreach from your gut.@ I love this advice because you just

can=t do this unless you=ve spent the entire week digesting, chewing,

and living the text you are preaching from. Also, I can=t do this

unless I have preached it to myself and let the text transform and

shape me before I seek to proclaim it to my community.
That's my personal approach to finding a way to faithfully prepare to

preach while holding down a few jobs, raising four kids, and taking

care of the rest of what it means to lead and be part of a church

community. Of course, this isn=t how it is going to work for

everyone, but I hope that it helps some of you figure out what works

best for you.


Todd Hiestand

ToddHiestand.com

Todd is the lead pastor at The Well in Bucks County, PA. He also runs

a webdesign company called 343design, and is a partner at MyOhai, a

consulting firm that works with companies and non‑profits to define

their mark, orient their culture and activate their mission to their

world.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/todd‑h



iestand‑preaching‑on‑the‑run‑7‑tips‑for‑bi‑vocational‑pastors‑1093.asp


<><
7 Ways to Preach a Lousy Sermon by Ken Collins ‑ KenCollins.com

- 3/2012.101


7 Ways to Preach a Lousy Sermon by Ken Collins ‑ KenCollins.com
Here are a few tips for making your sermons truly lousy, eminently

forgettable, and completely ineffective. Of course, you could choose

to do the opposite.
Here are a few tips for making your sermons truly lousy, eminently

forgettable, and completely ineffective.




1. Quote too many scriptures or scholars
Everyone already knows that you are an expert; that=s why they are

listening attentively. There is no need for you to prove yourself. A

whirlwind tour through scriptures and scholars, quoting them seemingly

at random and for diverse or trivial purposes is necessarily

superficial, since time prevents you from examining them properly.

Scriptural gymnastics confuse younger Christians since they are not

equipped to follow, and it feeds the pride of older Christians, which

causes them to sin. The purpose of the sermon is to edify the

congregation in their faith, not to convince them that you swallowed a

chain reference Bible or a seminary rolodex.


Scriptures and scholars are different. If you quote a lot of

scriptures that are thematically related and you use them to

corroborate your argumentation, you can use as many as you like. In

fact, it is a big plus. If you quote too many scholars, however, it

will backfire on you, no matter how adroitly you use them. People will

think you don=t have any personal convictions or that you are

insecure, because they instinctively know that whoever invokes

authority generally has none of their own.


This mistake is most often made by new ministers who are fresh from

the seminary. It takes them a while to adjust to the fact that they

are preaching to a congregation, not to a professor. You are preaching

to edify the congregation=s faith, not to enhance your reputation.


2. Use illustrations that only part of your congregation can

understand


The purpose of the sermon is to include all listeners into the gospel.

Most sermons are delivered to mixed audiences. In his letters, Paul

balanced every Jewish illustration with a Greek equivalent. He knew

that an illustration that only a portion of the congregation (however

large) can appreciate would exclude, lose, or alienate the rest.
For example, suppose the preacher is a new father and he innocently

tries to draw a lesson from his toddler=s antics. Teenagers cannot

relate; they tune out the whole sermon. Older parents chuckle at Papa=

s inexperience, missing his point. Oldsters wax wistful, and their

minds wander non‑constructively. The infertile wish they had stayed

home. Only a select few get the point.




If you have an illustration that only appeals to one part of your

congregation, try to think of parallel illustrations that cover the

other parts of your congregation, then use them together.
3. Use irrelevant illustrations
Sometimes, preachers get nervous in the pulpit because they have

forgotten their material, lost their chain of thought, their audience,

or their confidence, or they feel the Spirit has temporarily forsaken

them. So they tell an irrelevant joke whose real purpose is to ask the

congregation for approval. This happens to all preachers at one time

or another. If it happens to you, don=t panic, but you should pray

about it afterwards. The problem may have been poor sermon planning,

or perhaps you were forgivably distracted by some unexpected event. It

may also be the Holy Spirit demonstrating His powerful, essential, and

inspiring presence in your ministry by withholding it temporarily. Do

not fail the test and lose heart!
4. Go for the laughs
Humor is good, necessary, and appropriate for sermons. After all, many

incidents in scripture are funny, such as the story of the woman at

the well, who rather dimwittedly saw Jesus= living water as a way to

get out of work, hilariously missing his point! You should not

hesitate to use topical humor.
However, resist the temptation to become a stand‑up comic. The purpose

of pulpit humor is to relieve the dramatic tension, to hold the

congregation=s attention, or to drive a point home. The purpose of

irrelevant jokes is to seek approval from the congregation. You are to

seek the approval of God. If you find yourself on a roll, and it isn=t

announcement time, watch out! It has a quick reward, but from the

wrong party.
5. Deliver an academic lecture
A sermon is an exposition of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a general

audience. It is Good News, because that is what Jesus commissioned. It

should draw people inexorably to His love and forgiveness through a

recounting of His life and deeds and inestimable love. Sermons appeal

to the heart and soul and draw all, so that anyone can be saved

through it.




Lectures appeal to the intellect and thus (but not improperly) exclude

some people. Not everyone in the congregation is equipped to follow a

seminary‑level sermon. Classroom‑style lectures are a valid format

that you should neither neglect nor confuse with sermons. There is a

time and a place for all things.
Preaching and teaching are two separate gifts: Teaching helps people

believe what they can understand, while preaching helps people trust

what is beyond their understanding.
6. Ramble aimlessly
Your sermon, whether it is prewritten or extemporaneous, should be

well organized. Don=t make your sermons into longhorn steersCa point

here and a point there, and you know what=s in the middle. To the

congregation, a five‑minute ramble is subjectively twice as long as a

fifteen‑minute, well‑organized sermon.
7. Preach too long
I=m not going to tell you how long a sermon should be in minutes. Some

sermons are too long before they even start. Others are so engrossing

and so inspired, you regret when they end. Sometimes, a sermon has to

be short, because the service that day is long and involved. You don=t

need to put your watch on the pulpit to see if your sermon is too

longCjust watch the congregation. How many people are looking at their

watches? How many are staring out the window? How many are passing

notes? How many are fidgeting and restless? If you=ve lost your

audience, you might as well cut your losses, close up shop, and try

again next week. You won=t recover by talking more.


Copyright 81995‑2011 by the Rev. Kenneth W. Collins. Reprinted with

permission.


Ken Collins

KenCollins.com

Ken Collins is an ordained minister in the Christian Church, which is

a member denomination of the Churches Uniting in Christ and Christian

Churches Together in the USA. He's the pastor of Garfield Memorial

Christian Church in McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC.

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<><
10 Mistakes To Avoid 0 Finish Your Sermon Strong: 10 Mistakes To Avoid by Peter Mead
- 3/2012.101
Ending ‑ 10 Mistakes To Avoid

Finish Your Sermon Strong: 10 Mistakes To Avoid by Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.net
Finishing a sermon is neither easy nor natural. Peter Mead offers some

observances of poor sermon endings and some hints on how to finish

strong.
Finishing a sermon is neither easy nor natural. There are plenty of

ways to crash a good sermon; I=d like to offer a few I=ve observed in

myself and others.
1. The ASearching for a Runway@ Conclusion C This is a common one that

we fall into when we fail to plan our conclusion before starting to

preach. As the sermon wears on, we become aware of the need to land

the plane but have to search for a decent runway on which to land it.

Consequently, as we=re coming in to land, we remember that we haven=t

reinforced a certain element of the message, so we pull out of the

descent and circle around for another attempt. Next time in, we think

of half of a conclusion that might work better and so pull out again,

circle around, and turn in to another possible landing strip. Needless

to say, passengers don=t find this pursuit of a better runway to be

particularly comfortable or helpful. When the message drags on a

couple of minutes (or ten) longer than it feels like it should, any

good done in the sermon tends to be undone rather quickly!
2. The AJust Stop@ Conclusion C There are some preachers who don=t

seem to be aware of the possibility of a strong finish and so don=t

bother to land the plane. It simply drops out of the sky at a certain

point. Once all has been said, without any particular effort to

conclude the message, it's suddenly over. This is a particular danger

for those who go on to announce a closing hymn, I find.


3. The AOverly Climactic@ Conclusion C At the other extreme are those

who know the potential of a good finale and so overly ramp up the

climactic crescendo in the closing stages. After preaching a ho‑hum


message, they suddenly try to close it off with a fireworks display

that will leave everyone stunned and standing open‑mouthed with barely

an Aooo‑aaah@ on their lips. Truth is that if the message hasn=t laid

the foundation for such an ending, then people will be left stunned

and unsure of what to say: AUuuugh?@
4. The AUncomfortable Fade@ Conclusion C Perhaps the domain of new,

inexperienced, and untrained preachers, this follows the general

comfort rule of preaching: If you are not comfortable in your

preaching, your listeners won=t be either. So the message comes to

what might be a decent ending, then the speaker, well, sort of, just

adds something like, AThat=s all I wanted to say, I think, yeah, soY@

(like this paragraph, 20 words too long!)
5. The ADiscouraging Finale@ Conclusion C Another tendency among some

is to preach what might be a generally encouraging message but then

undo that encouragement with a final discouraging comment. People need

to be left encouraged to respond to the Word and to apply the Word,

but some have a peculiar knack for finishing with a motivational

fizzle comment.


6. The AMachine Gun@ Finish C Wildly fire off a hundred different

applications in the final minute in the hope of hitting somethingCno

depth, very shallow, badly aimed, rarely hits the target, and often

has nothing to do with the passage.


7. The ASalvation by Works@ Finish C After preaching the wonders of

God=s grace in Jesus Christ, undermine that grace by throwing doubt on

their own salvation because of their sin or not doing the application

you suggest.


8. The ALeft Field@ Finish C Where the conclusion and/or application

has very little to do with the passage, your sermon, or anything else.


9. The ANot Again@ Finish C Where (for some funny reason) the

conclusion is the same as every other conclusion you=ve given for the

last three years. It also happens to be your hobby horse and is often

one of Apray more, give more, evangelize more, read the Bible more,

and come to church more.@
10. The AGospel out of Nowhere@ Finish C Where the preacher feels the

absence of the gospel in the message and so levers it in at the

conclusion without any sense of connection to what has gone before.


(To a thinking listener, this may feel a little forced and

intellectually inconsistent.)


And while I'm at it, here's a bonus:
11. The ATearjerker@ Finish C Where the speaker seeks to cement

emotional response by throwing in a random and largely disconnected

tearjerker of a story (perhaps involving a child, an animal, a death,

or whatever). Strapped to this emotional bomb, the preacher hopes the

truth of the message will strike home (even though in reality, the

truth will probably be smothered in the disconnected emotion of the

anecdote).
Landing the Plane
Since I=ve now offered examples of how to finish weakly as your sermon

finishes weekly, let=s now ponder what makes a conclusion strong:


As someone who has flown once or twice, let me continue with the

airplane analogy since there are several thoughts that can be shared

here. Passengers who have had a great journey with a bad landing will

leave with their focus entirely on the bad landing. Passengers want

the pilot to know where he is going and to take them straight there.

They don=t particularly want the pilot to finish a normal journey with

a historic televised adrenaline landing. Passengers like a smooth

landing, but they=ll generally take a slight bump over repeated

attempts to find the perfect one. Once landed, extended taxi‑ing is

not appreciated. A good landing that takes you by surprise always

seems to have a pleasant effect.
The conclusion is a great opportunity to encourage response to and

application of the message. Sometimes it is helpful to review the

message flow, the main idea, and intended applications. But remember,

the conclusion has to include, at some point, the phenomenon known as

stopping. Review, encourage, stop.
Standard teaching it may be, but worth mentioning nonetheless:

Generally it is not helpful to introduce new information during the

conclusion. A concluding story? Maybe that=s OK. But don=t suddenly

throw in a new piece of exegetical insight into the preaching passage

or rush off to another passage for one last bit of sight‑seeing.
Haddon=s RunwayCOne approach that I particularly appreciate and find


hard to emulate is Haddon Robinson=s oft‑used approach. It is evident

after most Haddon sermons that he carefully planned his final

sentence. He flies the plane until he gets there, and then quite

naturally the plane lands on that landing strip of just ten to fifteen

words and the journey is overCsmooth, apparently effortless, immensely

effective. As he teaches in class, it=s much better to finish two

sentences before listeners think you should than two sentences after!
Post‑Landing
Now a few thoughts relating to the post‑landing phase of the journey.

Sometimes it is helpful to have a closing song, sometimes it is

helpful to have a whole set of responsive songs, and sometimes it is

better not to allow the singing of a song to help people switch back

into their Areal world@ and leave the sermon behind. Sometimes it=s

helpful to leave space for silent response; sometimes that is just

plain uncomfortable and overkill. Sometimes quiet music played after

can help the contemplative mood; sometimes music blasting out after

the meeting can switch people into a frenzied chaos of raised voice

fellowship (and the journey is forgotten, I fear!).


After the sermon is over, but still within the confines of the

service, sometimes it is helpful to have another person wrap things

upCthen again, sometimes it can be disastrous. (I can=t help but think

of the Ahelpful@ MC who undoes the impact of a global missions thrust

with the typical and deeply annoying Aand we can all be missionaries

right where we are!@ . . . thankfully no one added that to the end of

Matthew=s gospel or we=d never have read the New Testament!)
Whether the analogy continues to work or not is somewhat unimportant,

but these thoughts are worth pondering in our churches:


Some passengers want to get out of the plane and airport at breakneck

speed. Like it or not, some people just want or need to flee from the

church once things are over. It doesn=t help them to make that

difficult. At the same time, no airline I=ve been on will let you

leave without a friendly goodbye. Some churches put a lot of energy

into greeting/welcoming teams (a very good idea) but let people slip

away without human interaction after the service. On the other hand,

some churches seem to put barriers to people leaving, or create an

environment where people are rushed out before they need to be (the

preacher at the door shaking hands with everyone can sometimes create

an urgency to vacate the building).


Some passengers need to sit down and let it all sink in. This may be a

slight stretch, but some airports (I=m thinking more of the U.S. ones)

have seats at the gate so passengers can sit down if they need to. In

churches sometimes, there is nowhere for someone to sit and soak for a

while. I mentioned the music signal in some places that blasts out an

indication that it=s all over now and it=s time to interact (at high

volume if you want to be heard). This creates an environment very

non‑conducive to post‑service reflection.


Some passengers need to access further information. I suppose it=s a

bit like finding out about connecting flights, but how do people in

church know who to go to in order to find out more? Is the preacher

accessible, or is he stuck at the door shaking hand after hand and

smiling at polite feedback? Is there a way to get someone to pray

with? What about finding out about other aspects of church life that

could be the next step after this service?
Most passengers will want to talk with someone about their journey. In

the travel world, it seems like everyone is ready to say something

about what they=ve just experienced (or endured) when they meet a

human who actually knows them. In the church world, it often seems

like everyone is ready to talk about anything but what they=ve just

experienced. But actually, people need to reflect and reinforce and

respond in community rather than in isolation. Does your church

encourage that kind of interaction?


Today we=ve pondered the art of sermon‑stopping. We have thought about

weak finishes, and then about the elements in finishing strong. We=ve

also considered the elements included in the service after the sermon

is over. It certainly is not easy to get the plane down comfortably

and effectively. I pray I have offered some constructive alternatives.
Peter Mead

BiblicalPreaching.net

Peter Mead is involved in church leadership at an independent Bible

church in the UK. He serves as director of Cor DeoCan innovative

mentored ministry training programCand has a wider ministry preaching

and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/peter‑

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<><
Preaching - On Giving - Secrets to Sermons on Giving by Bob Russell
- 3/2012.101
Secrets to Sermons on Giving by Bob Russell

Bob Russell Ministries


Bob Russell encourages pastors and preachers who tiptoe around the

topic of giving.


For years I boasted to our congregation that I only preached on

stewardship once annually. When that dreaded sermon came, I apologized

at the beginning: AIf you=re visiting with us today, please understand

that we only preach on giving once a year.@ In essence I said, AI=m

sorry you=ve chosen to come todayCI know this subject is a downer.

Please come back anyway, and I promise you=ll not hear another sermon

on money for fifty‑one weeks!@
It=s easy to understand why we tiptoe around the subject of

stewardship. Money is still a god to many church members, and many

visitors are skeptical of the church=s motives. Certain spiritual con

men have fleeced their congregations and given preachers a bad name,

and we don=t want to be identified with them.
Even though preaching on money turns some people off, some are turned

off when we preach on adultery or forgiveness, too. But we don=t

apologize: AIf you=re having an affair, please understand we seldom

talk about sexual purity. Come back next week and you=ll be more

comfortable.@ We don=t print a disclaimer in the bulletin: AThe

preacher will be talking about releasing resentment today. Please

understand this sermon is for our members only. If you=re visiting

today, you aren=t expected to forgive. If you=re currently harboring a

grudge, earplugs are provided.@
About a decade ago, I changed my philosophy from apologizing for

teaching on a touchy subject to making it an essential part of my

preaching calendar. Now nearly every January, I preach a series of

three or four sermons on stewardship.


The results have surprised meCattendance has been good, the number of

people coming to Christ has actually increased during the stewardship



month, and offerings have improved as much as 15 percent annually! My

transition taught me several lessons about preaching on stewardship

without alienating the audience.
The $6,000 Sermon
Many immature believers and visitors are alienated when we preach on

stewardship because many preachers speak almost entirely about the

need to give to the church. Our sermons are erroneously viewed as

self‑servingCa necessary evil to generate church incomeCbut not

spiritual or helpful.
But when the preacher encourages families to get out of debt, to

refrain from extravagant luxuries, to avoid wasting money on credit

card interest rates, to be generous with their children, or to learn

contentment with less, the congregation regards the message as

helpful. It=s not viewed as a fundraiser but as a relevant, biblical,

and much‑needed challenge. A discussion of giving against the backdrop

of total stewardship of resources is much more effective than

preaching on giving alone.


Once, in a sermon on hoarding, I pointed out the foolishness of

waiting until we die to give our children their inheritance. I

explained, AWhen we die, our children will most likely be in their

fifties or sixties. They likely won=t need our money then! And so,

until our deaths, we hoard it from our grandchildren.
AThe time to help our children is when they=re young and need the

money. Our children will actually benefit from it, and we can hear

them thank us instead of wondering if they quietly hope we croak

early! And since we can transfer as much as $10,000 per child annually

without the recipients paying taxes on the gift, it=s wise to transfer

resources while we=re living.@


Several weeks after the sermon, I received a thank‑you letter from a

young couple whose parents happened to be visiting that weekend. The

wife explained that, after hearing the sermon, her parents sent her

and her brother checks for $6,000. Nothing even close to that had ever

happened before! The young woman wrote, AMy brother and I call that

the $6,000 sermon! Please preach more sermons on

stewardshipCespecially when my parents are in town!@
The Best Time to Teach


The timing of a stewardship sermon dramatically affects how it is

received. If people are reconsidering their spending priorities, they=

re more likely to welcome biblical teaching on money. But if they=re

overwhelmed with charities, events, and school expenses, for example,

they=ll likely resent a church asking for more money, too.
For forty years, our church=s fiscal year ran from July 1 to June 30.

We voted on the proposed budget and made pledges the third Sunday in

May. That was when I preached the dreaded sermon on stewardship.
But few people were interested in reviewing their financial

commitments in May. We competed with the Kentucky Derby (which is huge

in Louisville), Mother=s Day, and Memorial Day weekend. Other things

demanded our people=s time, thoughts, and commitment.


January proved a much better month for us to consider stewardship.

During January, people make New Year=s resolutions, they=re chastened

by Christmas bills to be wiser money managers, and they feel little

pressure from other church and community activities.


And even though we moved our fiscal calendar to begin in January, we

stopped asking for pledges toward the budget. We don=t want people to

regard the sermons as fundraisers. We want them to consider their

attitude toward possessions as a personal and spiritual matter, vital

to their relationship with God. For us, the beginning of the year is

the best time for that.


People Want to Give
When I stopped asking for pledges, it signaled a change in how I

preach on money. Most people aren=t motivated to give their best so

that they can meet a church budget. Instead of saying, AWe need every

member to step up their giving so we can meet our budget,@ I now say,

AWhen you give, your money will be used to take the gospel to

unreached people in Third World countries; it will buy food and

clothing for the poor in our inner city; it will enable our children

to learn about Jesus at Christian camp.@ I remind people repeatedly

that they are giving to the ministry of Christ, not just to meet a

budget.
The examples I use are more often about the poor who have sacrificed,

not the rich who have given huge amounts. Even the wealthy are moved

more by genuine sacrifice than by big gifts from the well‑to‑do.



Jackie Nelson gave a moving testimony years ago that I=ve often

repeated. Jackie said, AI am a single mother of three teenagers. My

ex‑husband does not help. I barely get by. We really want to do our

part in this three‑year campaign so our new building can be built. But

when we discussed it as a family, we realized that we can=t give any

more than a tithe. So we decided that our gift would be to pray every

day for the success of this program.
ABut in the middle of our discussion, my oldest son said, >Mom, we=ve

got cable television. We don=t have to have that.= So we=ve decided to

give up our cable TV for three years so we can do our part.@
The congregation realized, AIf she can make that kind of sacrifice to

give a little, we who are so blessed can do even more.@ Like the five

loaves and two fish that Jesus used to feed a multitude, God took

Jackie=s small gift and multiplied it many times over.


I also seek examples that teach through conviction rather than guilt

and obligation. For example, I=ve preached:

When my first son was born, we were blessed to have an excellent

babysitter who lived next door. Patty not only babysat, she washed

dishes, folded clothes, and looked for ways to help around the house.

She was dependable, and my son loved her.


When she first started babysitting, I asked Patty how much she

charged, and she said, AFifty cents an hour.@ (Obviously this was a

long time ago!) I gladly paid that amount.
A few years later, our second son arrived, and I said, APatty, your

responsibilities have increased significantly now. What do you charge

for taking care of two children?@
By this time, we had a good relationship, and she said, AOh, Mr.

Russell, just give me what you want to give.@


Do you think I gave more or less than fifty cents an hour?
In the Old Testament, God commanded his people to titheC10 percent of

their crops and flocks were returned to God. In our era, he has given

us Jesus Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit, the fellowship of the

church, the privilege of living in the most affluent nation in the



world, plus so many personal blessings. Yet when we ask how much we

should give, he just says, AGive as you have been prospered. You

decide whether that should be more or less than a tithe.@
Most people want to be generous. So I don=t hesitate to use that as a

motivation for wise stewardship. When I say, AWhen you are a wise

steward, it honors God, relieves tension, gives you self‑confidence,

eliminates guilt, enhances your witness, and enables you to give more

generously,@ people are not offended. They understand I=m not talking

about fundraising but about a better stewardship of life.


When They Still Complain
No matter how hard you try to make the subject of stewardship helpful

and palatable, some people will still object. Many just love money too

much, and when you touch a nerve, you elicit strong emotions. But I

often remember an old proverb, AIf you throw a rock into a pack of

dogs, the one that yelps is usually the one who got hit.@
Criticisms need to be evaluated as objectively as possible, but they

should not discourage us from preaching the truth. On the contrary,

criticism often illustrates the need for preaching on stewardship more

often.
Jesus talked a lot about money, but not everyone responded favorably.

When the rich ruler asked, AWhat must I do to inherit eternal life?@

Jesus didn=t try to develop a long‑term relationship with him before

discussing the subject of generosity. He said up front, AGo, sell

everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure

in heaven@ ( - Mark 10:21 - Mark 10:21}). That wasn=t very

seeker‑friendly, and the rich young ruler turned and walked away

because he had great possessions. But the problem was with the young

man=s greed, not Jesus= message.


Jesus made it clear there=s a close tie between people=s pocketbooks

and their hearts. He didn=t say, AIf a person=s heart is right, they

will give.@ He said, AWhen you invest your money in something, your

heart will follow.@ When we motivate people to give, we=re helping

them to put their heart in the right place.
Despite the occasional criticism, some of the most gratifying

experiences I=ve had in ministry have occurred during times of

stewardship emphasis. Jerry Nichter, for example, who now serves as


chairman of our elders, points to a sacrificial commitment he and his

wife made as the turning point in his walk with Christ. AThat was the

single most deepening spiritual experience of my life,@ he admits.

Many others echo his testimony.


After making a sacrificial commitment to a major capital campaign,

Bill Beauchamp, another elder, wiped tears from his eyes and said, AI

just gave away money I don=t have, for people I=ve never met, for a

God I love very much.@


Get Ready: I=m Preaching on Money
Here are five ways to prepare your people for a stewardship sermon:
Don=t apologize. A preacher who subscribed to our tape ministry was

disgruntled that I had preached four straight sermons on sacrificial

giving. AIf you don=t= stop preaching about money, there won=t be any

people left to fill up the new building you=re trying to finance,@ he

wrote.
My wife replied to him, ADear sir, during the month Bob preached on

giving, enthusiasm was high, and twice as many accepted Christ as do

in a regular month. Over half of Jesus= parables concern use of

material possessions. Maybe if you preached more often about money,

your church would do better. In Jesus= love, Judy Russell.@
We are ambassadors of Christ, not negotiators. Have confidence that

preaching about money is God=s will and that it will strengthen people=

s relationship with Christ.
Gain the support of the church leadership prior to the series. An

endorsement from church leadership gives you confidence, support, and

credibility with the congregation. It also includes and silences some

of your most potentially hurtful criticsCthe leaders themselves.


Include stewardship examples in non‑stewardship sermons. A line or two

in a sermon unrelated to stewardship reminds the congregation that

faithful living always involves giving.
Last Easter, in a sermon on heaven, I talked about our rewards there:

AThe young Christian woman who remains pure will receive a greater

reward than the young woman who yields to temptation. The husband who

cares for his sickly wife receives a greater reward than the husband



who takes his healthy wife for granted. And the couple who tithes

every paycheck from the beginning of marriage will have more treasure

in heaven than the couple who gives God the leftovers.@
No one could say the Easter sermon was about giving. But stewardship

is such a vital part of life that it should be naturally included on a

regular basis.
Emphasize that church funds are administered with integrity. AWe want

to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For

we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the

Lord but also in the eyes of men@ (2 Cor. 8:20B21). During every

stewardship series, I explain how donations are administered.
The offering is deposited in a safe. The next morning, it is counted

and recorded by a volunteer committee. Then it is taken to the bank by

the treasurer, who is accompanied by a policeman. Two people must sign

all checks, and the preacher is not one of them. The minister has to

go through the same red tape of budget requests, purchase orders, and

receipts as others do. Our church is a member of the Evangelical

Council on Financial Accountability, and there is an annual,

independent audit of our books. The church staff is reminded to spend

church funds more frugally than if they were their own.
People are motivated to give when they are confident they are giving

directly to legitimate needs.


Title sermons to communicate they=re about more than giving. Message

titles that reflect an emphasis on helping people understand money,

instead of giving more of it, takes the dread out of money messages. A

sermon series on AMoney Matters@ could include: AHow Can You Make the

Most of What You Have?@ AWhen is Enough Enough?@
Taken from The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching by CRAIG BRIAN

LARSON; HADDON ROBINSON. Copyright 8 2005 by Christianity Today

International. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com
Bob Russell

Bob Russell Ministries

Bob Russell retired as Senior Minister of Southeast Christian Church

in June 2006. During his tenure, the church grew from a few hundred

members to a megachurch with an average weekend attendance of over

18,000, becoming one of the largest in America. He now serves as



Chairman of the Board of Londen Institute, an organization that

enables men and women to pursue a second career in the ministry. Bob

also conducts monthly mentoring retreats for active ministers, seeking

to encourage them and pass on some of his lessons learned.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/bob‑ru

ssell‑secrets‑to‑sermons‑on‑giving‑750.asp



<><
Repreaching a Sermon - Daring to Preach the Same Message Twice by Joe McKeever
- 3/2012.101
Repreaching a Sermon

Daring to Preach the Same Message Twice by Joe McKeever

JoeMcKeever.com
Joe McKeever dares you to consider re‑preaching a topic‑‑or even a

sermon‑‑to your congregation.


As a young pastor, I couldn't repeat a sermon any more than I could

eat yesterday's breakfast again. Each sermon was a one‑time thing.

When it was over, it was gone forever.
But then, invitations began to come in to preach in churches pastored

by friends who thought I had something worth sharing with their

people. That's when I had to get serious about repeating a sermon.

After all, my friends' members hadn't heard my stories or sermons.

Anything I did would be new to them.
Those early attempts to preach repeats in my late 20s and early 30s

were fairly pathetic, I think. Since my sermon notes were always one

thing and the actual sermon something else entirely, nothing in

writing told me what I had preached the first time, so I couldn't

reproduce it verbatim. I had to go from memory, or better, get with

the Lord anew on that sermon.


These daysCI'm now 70 and retiredCalmost every sermon I preach is on a

topic I've preached before (with the occasional exception; hey, I'm

not living on reruns here!). As a result, I have more or less figured

this thing out, at least to my satisfaction. Maybe pastors will find

something of benefit here.


Don't expect it to be an exact copy of the first time.
The absolute worst thing you could do in repreaching a sermon would be

to take the earlier manuscript and deliver it verbatim. After all, a

lot has changed since you preached it:

$The world has changed. Circumstances change, cultures evolve,

technology advances. Illustrations get outdated, and language changes.

$You are at a different place in life. You've grown. You know more

about the Lord and His Word than you did even a year or two ago.

$You are preaching to a different congregation. As any preacher will

tell you, the hearers of a message have a lot to do with how it is

preached, and your congregation has changed (physically and

spiritually) since you last preached the message.
I think of the pastor who preached in the afternoon to a different

congregation the same message he delivered to his own people that

morning. Asked why it had been so powerful in the morning and had

bombed four hours later, he said, "Poor preaching is God's judgment on

a prayerless congregation." Every congregation is different.

Therefore, sermons will not be the same everywhere or work in the same

way in every setting.
Go to the Lord to see what He wants updated.
The fact that the Holy Spirit led the preacher the first time does not

automatically mean He has said all He has to say on that subject or

has nothing to new to add. In fact, on the second time around, the

pastor is ready to receive more from the Spirit than he was when he

first produced the sermon. He now has a grasp of the basic text and a

good understanding of the thrust of the message. So, as he prays over

it and rethinks the material, he is able to do something pastors

rarely get a chance to do: improve on a sermon he has already

preached. This is one of the most exciting aspects of repreaching an

old sermon. You get to make it better. As a result, you become a

better preacher yourself.
Ask any schoolteacher. The first year a teacher covers a subject, he

or she labors every night trying to assemble the material for the next

day's class. It's an ordeal. The second year improves, since the

teacher has been through the jungle before. He has carved out a path

and knows he can get to the destination. Fortified by the experience

of the first year, she looks around to see if there is a better way to

teach this difficult event or explain that hard‑to‑grasp concept. The


second year is typically more fun, more effective, and more productive

than the first. At this point, the teacher faces a crucial decision:

He can reteach the first year's material again and again, or he can

keep learning on the subject and trying to perfect his methods.


Pastors sometimes have the experience of a church member hearing him

preach a repeat in another church and observing, "That was great,

pastor. You ought to preach that for us sometime." He thinks he did,

but he didn't. He preached an earlier incarnation of that sermon. A

slimmer version. The embryonic form.
Pastors who simply regurgitate previously delivered sermons without

restudying them, praying them through anew, and looking for better

ways and sharper insights, are failing their people. I expect we all

have known pastors who went from one short‑term pastorate to another

doing thisCand they wonder why the people in the pews never grew. The

number one reason people in the pews are not growing is that the man

in the pulpit has long since ceased to grow.
Always be working to improve your best sermons.
A good preacher reads something and realizes it fits with the sermon

on grace. He finds a great illustration that works for the sermon on

stewardship. He stumbles across an insight from Scripture that is

ideal for the message on God's Word. How he incorporates these into

his files so it will be there waiting the next time he preaches that

sermon is up to him. If, like I tend to be, he is a totally

right‑brained preacher (that is, spontaneous in his impulsiveness,

disorderly in his scheduling, and haphazard in his filing system), he

will drop the note into a drawer or file it in the pages of his Bible

and may or may not find it when he needs it. The stories I could tell

about searches for those gems I had hoped to use the next time I

preached a certain sermon!


Experience the sermon anew with the congregation.
This little insight came straight from the lips of Professor James

Taylor, teacher of preaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological

Seminary in the mid‑1960s. This is also how Christian entertainers

like Dennis Swanberg and Andy Andrews do it. They relive whatever

they're sharing along with their audiences. Look at their faces, and

you know in a heartbeat that even though they have their material down

pat and know exactly what comes next, they are experiencing it afresh


along with you. It's a neat trick (or, if you prefer, a masterful art)

that comes from loving people and devoting oneself to one's craft.


Revisit the material you couldn't use the first time.
You can't preach every insight you have found, can't use every good

story you have uncovered on a subject, and can't bring in every text

that pertains to the message. You will have to pick and choose. This

is great, because it means you can give your very best stuff to your

congregation. They get to hear the choicest offering you can give.
Young pastors have to learn the hard way not to toss in every insight,

every story, or every text that fits a sermon. Audiences do not have

an infinite capacity to take in and retain all the preacher throws at

them. He needs to respect their limitations and keep the sermon at a

reasonable length by laying aside all but the most important elements.

After all, the pastor's goal is not to convince his audience he knows

all there is to know of a subject; he's trying to convey the Lord's

message on that subject.


Don't hesitate to preach repeats to your own people.
Most pastors I know tell the congregation when they are preaching a

repeat. They might dress several up as "summer reruns" or "back by

popular demand." I know at least two pastors who, each year on the

anniversary of their arrival at that church, will deliver the same

message year after year. I have no idea how well they do it, and I

sometimes wonder why they do it.


However, if the sermon was preached more than a couple of years

earlier, calling attention to its being a rerun is completely

unnecessary. After all, as we've seen, the sermon will not be the same

as it was before (or, it shouldn't be!).


Invariably, some church member will seek out the preacher following

the sermon with her finger pointing to a verse in her open Bible.

"Pastor, you preached this same sermon three years ago." Count on it

happening. But don't let it bother you. The proper answer to that is:

"I preached the same text. But it's a different sermon. And by the

way, don't be surprised if I preach on this again. It's a great

Scripture, isn't it?"
Have fun preaching those repeats, pastor. At least this is one time


you do not have to reinvent the wheel or discover fire all over again.

What a privilege to be a co‑laborer with the Lord in preaching this

Word!
Joe McKeever

JoeMcKeever.com

Dr. Joe McKeever is a preacher, cartoonist and the retired Director of

Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. Currently

he loves to serve as a speaker/pulpit fill for revivals, prayer

conferences, deacon trainings, leadership banquets and other church

events. Visit him and enjoy his insights on nearly 50 years of

ministry at JoeMcKeever.com.

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keever‑daring‑to‑preach‑the‑same‑message‑twice‑779.asp



<><
7 Ways Twitter Will Improve Your Preaching - Brandon Cox
Twitter

- 3/2012.101


Preaching and Twitter
7 Ways Twitter Will Improve Your Preaching

Brandon Cox

BrandonaCox.com

Brandon Cox shares how utilizing the power of Twitter can extend your

teaching platforms to an entirely new audience.
John Calvin published 22 volumes of commentaries on the Bible and

Martin Lloyd‑Jones published 9 volumes on Romans alone. What if you

could remove all of the non‑essential language, antiquated stories,

and strip all of that knowledge down to some bite‑sized, transportable

truths? There is certainly room for argument against such condensation

of historic works, but we have to realize that we live in a society

inundated with more information in a day than Calvin consumed in a

year.
In other words, the ability to be succinct and concise is worth gold



when communicating truth in today=s culture. And Twitter helps. The

ability to write volumes of words is impressive, but possibly not as

impressive as the ability to take a deep and complex theological truth

or spiritual application and package it in 140 characters or less.


So Twitter might be looked down upon by plenty of the academic leaders

of our age, but men who spent long ours preaching, like John Piper and

Rick Warren have utilized the power of Twitter to extend their teach

platforms to an entirely new audience in the techno‑centric space of

Twitter.
Though I=m sure this idea will stir plenty of debate, I want to argue

that Twitter can be a powerful tool for improving your preaching,

teaching, and public speaking. Why?
Twitter Forces Us to Concentrate Our Message
If you take all the water out of fresh‑squeezed orange juice, you wind

up with concentrate, a far more potent solution. Twitter causes us to

remove unnecessary words and reduce a message to its bare minimum.

Obviously this can create the problem of lacking context and

sub‑structure, but it also forces us to consider the reader. In fact,

if we don=t consider the reader, we can get in serious trouble. So we

have to ask such question asY

$How will this be understood with no surrounding context?

$ How will this reflect on my own values and beliefs?

$ How could these words be mis‑applied by a simple misunderstanding?

$ Is this valuable enough to be shared in the first place?
Twitter Is a Powerful Collaboration Tool
Can=t find the answer to a question? Ask it on Twitter and you=ll

often wind up with a variety of opinions and perspectives. You can use

Twitter to crowdsource the refining of ideas. Obviously you shouldn=t

rely on the crowd to prepare messages for you, but by all means, allow

the crowd to help you brainstorm, refine, and pare down your message

to its essential core.


Twitter Allows for Immediate Feedback
How will this idea sound on Sunday? How will people react? Throw it

out to the Twittersphere and you=ll see whether it sticks or bounces

back to hurt you. The feedback can be painful, but helpful.


Twitter Is a Tremendous Real Time Research Tool
I doubt you=ll ever use Twitter for exegetical work, but if you=re

attempting to gauge culture=s understanding of a concept, measure a

trend, or find a relevant application, Twitter can prove to be a

powerful culture‑search mechanism.


Twitter Introduces Us to Better Communicators Than Ourselves
Twitter is not about how you had your eggs prepared this morning. It=s

about content, and it provides a lifeline back to sources of learning

and inspiration. I=ve discovered numerous great communicators and have

allowed them to passively mentor me all by hopping from one Twitter

relationship to another.
Twitter Expands Our Influence
That is to say, our audience grows as we forge new relationships

across social platforms. If you don=t see the potential of Twitter for

connectivity, you haven=t hung around long enough to test it out. You=

ll ultimately discover new listeners and readers as you build bridges

with people you never would have known otherwise.
Twitter Extends the Life of Your Message
We often feel, at the end of a message, that we spent many hours

preparing for a few moments of communication only to see the remains

of that message tossed onto the scrap heep or filed away for posterity=

s sake alone. But with Twitter, you have a great platform to scatter

the soundbites from a message for a long time to come.
You can write Twitter off and you will probably survive. I would not

argue that it=s an essential tool for preaching, teaching, and

speaking. I would urge you, however, not to write off its potential as

a research, collaboration, publicity, and even skill‑honing tool.


Brandon Cox

BrandonaCox.com

Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant

in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community

Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was

formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In

his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about


communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie,

live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/brando

n‑cox‑7‑ways‑twitter‑will‑improve‑your‑preaching‑1117.asp


<><
4 Popular Preaching Myths - Brian Orme

- 3/2012.101


4 Popular Preaching Myths

Brian Orme

BrianOrme.com
What you think about your preaching while preparing your message might

be just as important as the words you say when you deliver it.


Your preaching preparation might be influenced by many things:

criticism, praise, the current needs or trials of your people, the

depth of the textCbut there=s one thing that shouldn't influence us:

myths.
We=re all prone to wrong thinking at one time or another. Wrong

thought patterns creep in from our insecurities, our environment, or

even our adversary. That=s why it is so important to continually renew

our minds on the truth of the Scripture.
These four myths, if believed, can change the direction of your

preaching and impact your effectiveness for the kingdom. Don=t fall

for these dangerous beliefsCstay alert, guard your mind. and preach in

the freedom and grace God has already given you.


1. More study time equals better sermon delivery.
This myth seems like a logical truth: spend more time studying

commentaries, reading sermons and notes from the greats, and churn out

a better, more compelling message in proportion to the time spent.

There=s only one problemCit=s not true. More prep time can be a

factor, for sure, but it=s not a universal truth. In fact, the law of

diminishing returns often kicks in at some point in our prep, and more

study time can actually hurt your message. The best sermon prep is

still wrapped up in experiencing the presence of GodCnot books and

more study time.


- Ecclesiastes 12:12 - Ecclesiastes 12:12}: But beyond this,

my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive

devotion to books is wearying to the body.
2. One bad sermon equals less attendance next week.
I think this is the fear of many preachersCthat one monumental,

incredibly poor, disastrous sermon will lead to the church=s demise.

This is a false assumption based more on fear than on fact. People are

generally forgiving of a bad sermon. The likelihood of your attendance

dropping by 10B25% because you preached a wonky sermon is minimal at

best. A well‑meaning preacher who loves Jesus and works hard to

prepare his sermon, but still bombs, is just not that big of a deal.

Drops in attendance happen over time typically due to many factors,

not just a bad sermon. Of course, if you preach something opposed to

the gospel or sound doctrineCnow, that might equal a dropCbut one

sermon that didn=t connect to your audience is not a felony offense.

It=s better to focus on what God thinks about your sermon, anyway.


I Corinthians 3:6‑7: I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God

has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one

who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
3. Open feedback will hurt your preaching.
Many preachers refuse to receive feedback or criticism because they

think it will hurt their preaching or because they feel like they

might be scratching Aitching ears.@ Open feedback can be tough, but

some of the best preachers have learned to listen, receive, filter,

and grow from it. If you don=t have anyone who's willing to give you

honest feedback on your sermons, then your preaching is likely not as

good as it could be. Don=t get me wrong, feedback and criticism are

not fun, but neither is growth until you see the fruits on the other

end. The secret to making feedback work is finding wise counsel (other

than your spouse) for regular, constructive input.


- Proverbs 15:22 - Proverbs 15:22}: Plans fail for lack of

counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.


4. Deeper teaching equals an academic or heady theological message.
There=s a lot of buzz about Adeeper teaching@ in the church today.

The fact is, the definitions that church members and church leaders



use to explain deeper teaching are typically not the same. Church

leaders often equate deeper teaching with theological depth and

academic delivery, while many church members define deeper teaching in

terms of how the sermon impacts or convicts them personally. So, who=s

right? On this one, it=s the audience. The depth of your sermon is not

dependent on your academic sources but on your ability to penetrate,

convict, and point out truth in clear and simple terms. We could

argue about the simplicity of the preaching of Jesus vs. the

complexities of Paul=s epistles, but the bottom line is that Adeeper@

teaching should move us to Adeeper@ obedience. Academic sermons aren=t

badCthey=re just not always deep. Deep sermons require an uncanny

precision for building a clear biblical context while moving the

listener to a provocative response. Paul summed up his preaching into

two powerful points that change everything: Christ crucified.


I Corinthians 2:2: For I resolved to know nothing while I was with

you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.


These are the top four preaching myths I=ve discovered both in my own

sermon prep and in my conversations with other church leaders. I=d

love to hear your feedbackCwhat myths would you add to the list?
Brian Orme

BrianOrme.com

Brian Orme is the General Editor of SermonCentral.com and

ChurchLeaders.com. He works with creative and innovative pastors to

discover the best resources, trends and practices to equip the church

to lead better every day. He lives in Ohio with his wife, Jenna, and

four boys. You can read more from Brian at brianorme.com.

\webpage{http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors‑preaching‑articles/brian‑

orme‑4‑popular‑preaching‑myths‑1107.asp


<><
How I Write a Sermon - Bruce Frank

- 3/2012.101


How I Write a Sermon

Bruce Frank

BruceFrank.org


It is not uncommon for pastors to be asked about their sermon

preparation habits. AHow long does it take?@ AWhat sources do you

use?@ AWhat day do you study?@ There are plenty of other ways used

by great preachers, but here is what mine basically looks like most

weeks:
Monday: No message preparation
Tuesday: After prayer, I start to exegete ("draw out of") the Biblical

text that I will be teaching that weekend. This means I study the

historical, grammatical, and contextual details of the text and the

individual words. I feel this is a non‑negotiable for the pastor.

The first rule of Bible teaching is to be faithful to what the

original writer meant to the original hearers of the text. Paul told

Timothy, ABe diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman

who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of

truth@ ( - 2 Timothy 2:15 - 2 Timothy 2:15}). I use some

software called Logos 4 for much of this. This is usually done for

about five hours in the afternoon. A rough outline and the flow of

the text usually begins to emerge.


Wednesday: On Wednesday morning, I look at/listen to all the resources

I can get my hands on concerning the subject. This includes other

pastors, commentaries, books, and Internet research on a particular

subject, etc. This is usually about four hours on Wednesday morning.

I will also begin to write down some specific applicationCI want my

hearers to know how to apply the truths in God=s Word specifically.


Thursday: Thursday is the day when I actually write the message down.

I am not as tied into Apoints@ as I was several years ago, but I still

need structure to it. This includes the necessary time on the

introduction, illustrations, and application points. I do not use a

manuscript but a fairly detailed outline. This also includes anything

that will show on the screens during the message. Writing this down

is usually a process of about six hours, most all day Thursday.
Friday: No preparation
Saturday: I will usually go into my study at home around 7:00 p.m. and

begin to go over the message. This includes editing it down a little,

going over the outline a few times, adding a few things, etc. While I

don=t technically Amemorize@ the message, I do want it to feel that

way. When somebody is really tied to his notes, it can come across as


insincere. I will then pray through the message from about 10:00 p.m.

to 11:00 p.m. and then go to bedCthere's a long day ahead!


Hope this helps, and God bless your ministry!
Share your process for sermon prep in the comment section below.
Bruce Frank

BruceFrank.org

Bruce Frank is the Lead Pastor of Biltmore Baptist Church, one of the

top 50 fastest growing churches in America. He lives in Asheville,

North Carolina, with his wife Lori and their two sons, Tyler and

Conner.


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5 Reasons to Use MORE Video in Your Church Services - Barry Whitlow

- 3/2012.101


Preaching & Video

Top 5 Reasons to Use MORE Video in Your Church Services

Barry Whitlow

BarryWhitlow.com


1. Video is the #1 information delivery tool in the world today.
With over three billion videos viewed on YouTube every day and 80

million hours of videos being watched daily, the impact of video on

the mission of the church is immense. Video is no longer just about

entertaining; it=s a proven information delivery tool.


2. Video holds attention better.
Video is visually interactive; this helps hold the attention of the

viewer, resulting in greater retention and application of what is

being communicated.
3. Video helps your church stay relevant.
What will people in your audience be thinking about this coming


weekend? Would you like to illustrate a point using a football video

clip? Want to inspire people to invest their life in something that

will outlive them by using a clip about Steve Jobs? Video helps you

intersect with where your people already are emotionally, in order to

speak life‑changing truth into their lives.
4. Video content is plentiful and inexpensive.
Engaging your audience with a video that relates to your topic has

never been easier, and YouTube has proven time and time again that

video content does not have to be Hollywood quality to communicate

effectively and impact the human heart. Instead of thinking about

which verbal illustration you can use, think about which video

illustration would be appropriate.


5. Video shapes your demographic.
Like worship song choices, the regular use of video over time helps to

shape your audience and attract a younger demographic, especially

young families in the 30‑something and under demographic.
Barry Whitlow

BarryWhitlow.com

Barry Whitlow is a Church Growth Consultant and pastor specializing in

visitor attraction & retention; how to cast vision to keep giving

momentum high; church growth through guest services; and capital

campaign fundraising.

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9 Preaching Tips That Will Change Lives - Rick Warren

- 3/2012.101


Preaching For change

9 Preaching Tips That Will Change Lives

Rick Warren

Radicalis Conference


I'll say it over and over: The purpose of preaching is obedience. That

is why you should always preach for response, aiming for people to act

on what is said.


I=ll say it over and over: The purpose of preaching is obedience.

Every preacher in the New TestamentCincluding JesusCemphasized

conduct, behavioral change, and obedience. You only really believe the

parts of the Bible that you obey. People say, AI believe in tithing.@

But do they tithe? No? Then they don=t believe in it.
That is why you should always preach for response, aiming for people

to act on what is said. John did this: AThe world and its desires pass

away but the man who does the will of God lives forever.@

( - 1 John 2:17, NIV) - 1 John 2:17 NIV} And in - 1

John 2:3 (NIV) - 1 John 2:3 NIV}, AWe know that we have come to know

him if we obey his commands.@


After about 30 years of preaching, here are nine things I=ve learned

about preaching for life change:


1. All behavior is based on a belief.
If you get divorced, it=s because you believe that disobeying God will

cause you less pain than staying in your marriage. It=s a lie, but you

believe it. When somebody comes to you and says, AI=m leaving my

husband, and I=m going to marry this other man because I believe God

wants me to be happy.@ They just told you the belief behind their

behavior. It=s wrong, but they believe it.


2. Behind every sin is a lie I believe.
At the moment you sin, you=re doing what you think is the best thing

for you. You say, AI know God says to do that, but I=m going to do

this.@ What are you doing? You believe a lie. Behind every sin is a

lie. Start looking for the lies behind why people in your church act

the way they do. When you start dealing with those, you=ll start

seeing change.


- Titus 3:3 (NIV) - Titus 3:3 NIV} declares, AAt one time we

too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of

passions and pleasures.@ When you live in sin, you=re living in

deception and believing a lie.


When you look at your congregation, you don=t see the lies they

believe, but you do see their behavior. You know they=re unfaithful;

you know they=re uncommitted; you know all these things. The tough

part is figuring out the lie behind the behavior. The wiser you get in

ministry, the quicker you=ll start seeing the lies. You=ll grow and

mature in ministry and become more discerning, because you=ll start

seeing patterns over and over.


3. Change always starts in the mind.
You=ve got to start with the beliefCthe lieCbehind the behavior.

- Romans 12:2 (NIV) - Romans 12:2 NIV} commands, ABe

transformed by the renewing of your mind.@ The way you think

determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way

you act. If you want to change the way you act, you must determine the

way you think. You can=t start with the action. You=ve got to start

with the thought.
4. To help people change, we must change their beliefs first.
Jesus said, AYou will know the truth and it will set you free.@

( - John 8:32 NIV) - John 8:32 NIV} Why? Because to help people

change, you=ve got to help them see the lie they=re basing their

behavior on. That=s why when you know the truth, it sets you free.


5. Trying to change people=s behavior without changing their belief is

a waste of time.


If you ask a person to change before his mind is renewed, it won=t

work. He=s got to internalize God=s Word first.


For example: Your belief patterns are in your mind. Every time you

think about a belief, it creates an electrical impulse across your

brain. Every time you have that thought again, it creates a deeper

rut.
If you want to see change in your church, you must help people get out

of their ruts and change their autopilot. For instance: Let=s say I go

out and buy a speedboat with an autopilot feature on it. I set the

speedboat to go north on autopilot, so the boat goes north

automatically. I don=t even have my hands on the wheel. If I want to

turn the boat around, I could manually grab the steering wheel and by

sheer willpower and force, turn it around. I can force it to go south,

but the whole time I=m under tension because I=m going against the


natural inclination of the boat. Pretty soon I get tired and let go of

the steering wheel, and it automatically turns around and goes back to

the way it=s programmed.
This is true in life. When people have learned something over and

over, being taught by the world=s way of thinking, they=re programmed

to go that way. What if a man is programmed to pick up a cigarette

every time he=s under tension? But one day he thinks, AThis is killing

me! I=m going to get cancer.@ So he grabs the steering wheel and turns

it around forcibly, throws the pack away and says, AI am going to

quit!@
He makes it a week without a cigarette, a week and a half, two weeks Y

but the whole time he=s under tension because he hasn=t changed the

programming in his mind. Eventually, he=s going to let go and pick up

a cigarette again.


If you want to change people radically and permanently, you have to do

it the New Testament way. You have to be transformed by the renewing

of your mind. Just telling people, AYou need to stop smoking Y You

need to stop doing this Y You need to stop doing that Y@ isn=t going

to work. You=ve got to help them change their belief pattern.
6. The biblical term for Achanging your mind@ is Arepentance.@
What do most people think of when I say the word Arepent@? They think

of a guy on the street corner with a sandwich sign saying, ATurn or

burn. You=re going to die and fry while we go to the sky.@ They think

of some kook.


But the word Arepentance@ is a wonderful wordCmetanoiaCwhich means in

Greek Ato change your mind.@ Repentance is just changing the way we

think about something by accepting the way God thinks about it. That=s

all repentance is. The new words for repentance are Aparadigm shift.@


Pastors, we are in the paradigm‑shifting business. We are in the

repentance business. We are about changing peoples= minds at the

deepest levelCthe level of belief and values. But let me clarify this

with the next point.


7. You don=t change people=s minds, the applied Word of God does.
- 1 Corinthians 2:13 - 1 Corinthians 2:13} (NLT) helps us keep

this in focus: AWe speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the

Spirit=s words to explain spiritual truths.@ In real preaching, God is

at work in the speaker.
- 2 Samuel 23:2 (NIV) - 2 Samuel 23:2 NIV} says, AThe Spirit

of the Lord spoke through me. His word was on my tongue.@


- Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) - Zechariah 4:6 NIV} says, A>Not by

might nor by power but by My Spirit,= says the Lord Almighty.@


So keep in mind: You don=t change people=s minds, the applied Word of

God does.


8. Changing the way I act is the fruit of repentance.
Technically, repentance is not behavioral change. Behavior change is

the result of repentance. Repentance does not mean forsaking your sin.

Repentance simply means to change your mind. John the Baptist said in

- Matthew 3:8 (NIV) - Matthew 3:8 NIV}, AProduce fruit in

keeping with repentance.@ In other words, AOK, you=ve changed your

mind about God, about life, about sin, about yourselfCnow let=s see

some fruit as a result of it.@
9. The deepest kind of preaching is preaching for repentance.
Because life change happens only after you change somebody=s thinking,

then preaching for repentance is preaching for life change. It is the

deepest kind of preaching you can preach.
Every week I try to communicate God=s Word in such a way that it

changes the way people think. The word Arepentance@ has taken on such

a negative image that I rarely use the word. But I preach it every

single week.


Repentance is the central message of the New Testament. What did the

New Testament preachers preach on?

$ John the Baptist: ARepent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.@

( - Matt. 3:2 NIV) - Matthew 3:2 NIV

$ Jesus: ARepent and believe in the Gospel.@( - Mark 1:15

NIV) - Mark 1:15 NIV




$ What did Jesus tell his disciples to preach? ASo they went off and

preached repentance.@ ( - Mark 6:12 NAB) - Mark 6:12 NAB

$ What did Peter preach at Pentecost? ARepent and be baptized every

one of you.@( - Acts 2:38 NAB) - Acts 2:38 NAB

$ What did John preach in Revelation? Repent.
I believe that one of the great weaknesses of preaching today is that

there are a lot of folks who are afraid to stand on the Word of God

and humbly but forcefully challenge the will of people. It takes

courage to do that, because they may reject you. They may reject your

message; they may get mad at you and talk about you behind your back.
And because so many pastors have been unwilling to challenge people

and cause a change in belief resulting in behavior change, our nation

is falling apart. - Proverbs 29:18 (NCV) - Proverbs 29:18 NCV

warns, AWhere there is no word from God, people are uncontrolled.@


P.T. Forsythe says, AWhat the world is looking for is an authoritative

Gospel spoken through a humble personality.@ An authoritative Gospel

spoken not as a hammer, but with humility.
So now, I have a personal challenge for youClife application. Are you

going to use the Bible the way it was intended or not? Will you repent

of preaching in ways that were not focused on application that could

change people=s character and conduct?


Rick Warren

Radicalis Conference

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake

Forest, Calif., one of America=s largest and best‑known churches. In

addition, Rick is author of The New York Times best‑seller The Purpose

Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the

100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. Learn more from

Rick at the Radicalis Conference at Saddleback Church.


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7 Benefits of Hosting a High‑Profile Guest Speaker - Hal Seed

- 3/2012.101


Preaching ‑ Guest Speaker

7 Benefits of Hosting a High‑Profile Guest Speaker

Hal Seed

PastorMentor.com


Are high profile guest speakers worth the time and money? "Only if you

value lost people," says Hal Seed.


Last weekend, New Song hosted Scott Rigsby for what we call a AWow

Weekend.@ Scott is a paraplegic triathlete B the only double amputee

to complete the Hawaiian Iron Man competition. Scott did some things

for us that we couldn=t have done for ourselves. His unique story of

perseverance in the midst of pain gripped our members. And his coming

attracted 300 guests, many of whom wouldn=t have otherwise darkened

the doors of a church.
Are high profile guests worth the time and money?
Only if you value lost people. (Or rejuvenating lapsed members. Or

motivating your people to become inviters.)


Craig Groeshel has taught us that to reach people no one else is

reaching, you have to do things no one else is doing. Scott helped us

do that, and more.
The Benefits of a High‑Profile Guest:
1. A high‑profile guest can create a heightened incentive for your

members to invite friends.


A week before Scott=s visit, many New Songers passed out invitations

to their co‑workers. Crossing that work‑religion barrier can be

awkward. The heightened incentive of hearing an athletes= tale can

help overcome the barrier. A lady who works at a gym invited her

entire staff. A cross country coach invited his whole team. A swimmer

emailed every swim coach in the area.



I invited my barber. I=d invited her a dozen times before, but she

always said her schedule wouldn=t allow it. Two weeks ago she

mentioned she was thinking about training for a triathlon. As soon as

my haircut was finished, I went out to my car and brought her an

invitation. She not only came, she brought her mother with her. They

both told me they=d be back next week!


During our Saturday night service, I sat next to a family of five who

had been invited by one of our vocalists. During our prayer time, the

mother went forward and wept openly in the arms of our prayer partner.

Afterwards she told me she was born and raised in Ireland, and had

never experienced a church service like this. Her three teenagers all

met our Youth Pastor. The whole family promised to return next

weekend.
2. A high‑profile guest can create a specific time to invite.
Every core member of my church would love to have a guest with them

every weekend. But it=s easy to think, AThis isn=t the right time, I=

ll invite them next week ‑ or the week after that, or the week after

that.@ With a guest speaker, they=re only with you one time. If you

miss the opportunity, it=ll never return. Your church members know

that. A special guest provides the AThis is the day!@ motivation to

make the invitation your people intend to make every week.
3. A high‑profile guest can create a focused time to invite.
During some stages of life, peer pressure can be a terrible thing. But

when it comes to motivating us to do the right thing, peer pressure

can be used by God. A nudge from the Holy Spirit, coupled with some

positive peer pressure is what convinced the children of Israel to

cross the Jordan. That same combination can spur a church to great

things.
During the weeks leading up to our Wow Weekend, a common question was,

AWho are you invited to hear Scott Rigsby?@ God was at work, and so

were his people. A side benefit was that several New Songers who had

never before invited a friend to church invited someone to this event.

Hopefully they=ll continue to the habit.


4. A high‑profile guest can create an excuse to upgrade your systems.
One of the best ways to get your house cleaned is to decide to host a
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