Wealth is increasingly and unfairly concentrated among a privileged few. Jesus said: “Watch out! Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions”.
I think it would be wise to schedule a break here and there.
True biblical preaching should always be potentially life-changing, and not at just the superficial level of traditional “to-do list” applications.
Listeners are impacted when the unique message of a passage is planted in their hearts.
Knowing yourself and knowing your preaching will increasingly help you to anticipate where a sermon may start to drag.
There is no one-size fits all introduction.
I keep hearing messages that start with an engaging or humorous story (great! Attention grabbed!) and then an awkward transition to the message.
The real first Christmas is not a fairytale or a myth, it is the remarkable launch of a rescue mission that changes human history.
Every passage of the Bible is saying something about something in a unique way.
Spend fifteen or twenty minutes chatting with the guy on the sound desk as you collect your microphone, and a handful of other people you can strike up a conversation with, and you tend to learn a lot about a church.
We have to go above and beyond a casual reading of Scripture in order to speak it out to others.
Humility is not just something God prefers. Humility is not an arbitrary demand we can hope to bypass. Nor is humility a contrast to God’s supposed demand for the spotlight.
When we are expressing our dependence on and need of God, then it is our prayer that makes us most human!
The real challenge is not filling time, but knowing what to cut out to fit the time you have.
Whichever way you plan your church Christmas schedule, you do need to pray for sensitivity to a set of potential people present.
The church slowly but surely tends to move away from the gospel just as our bodies slowly but surely move away from health.
What may stir pride in the preacher? When might we be vulnerable to this great enemy?
Children have vivid imaginations. When you read them a story, they can see it happening.
We run the risk of making the humour a feature of the message, and sail very close to being an entertainer, which is a far lesser calling than being an engaging authentic proclaimer of God’s Word.
Once you have prayed, wrestled, tried, failed, corrected and tried again, you may eventually arrive at a golden destination: an understanding of the text’s details in context.
Our understanding of anointed ministry should be rooted in a thoroughly biblical understanding of the work and person of the Holy Spirit.
When an epistle does its work, it can really work in the heart and mind of a listener.
A good preacher of poetry does for listeners what a gallery guide might do for me: lead me beyond first impressions, cause me to slow down and start to feel with the artist.
When a narrative does its work, it can really work in the heart and mind of a listener.
Preach to the people in front of you, but prayerfully ponder how the Sunday sermon can shape more than just that moment.
We not only come to faith at the foot of the cross, but we also become mature in its shadow.