Archive | December, 2014

Christmas: The Struggle is Real

During this time of year we are led to believe that everything is fine with people.  Our social media walls are filled with pictures posted by others who are smiling and dressed in their best.

Pain during Christmas

At our churches there seems to be an atmosphere of excitement. People seem happy.

As a result, it is easy for us, as pastors and preachers, to assume that everyone is enjoying this great and glamorous time of the year.  But for many, that’s not the case.  Yes, Jesus was born and they are grateful for this but in some people’s lives, this time of year, there’s lots of sorrow and pain.

Why?

It’s because a few years back, they Continue Reading…

A Quick and Simple Sermon Outline Template That Works

There are many ways to outline a passage.  Perhaps that is one of the most challenging tasks for anyone preparing a sermon. Can you relate?

Sermon Outline Template

I know that for me, exegeting the text and acquiring background information is the easy part.  After all, that’s what seminaries teach us.

However, coming up with an outline and figuring out the flow of my sermon can be quite challenging at times. I often get stuck here.

I’d like to share a template for your preacher’s toolbox, a possible way that I found to be a lifesaver in moments when I get stuck.  You may even find yourself using this in your next sermon outline. Continue Reading…

3 Things to Re-Think About After Your Sermon Prep

When prepping for a sermon, your personal study for the content of the message can be quite time-consuming. Content is not the only thing to consider when constructing your message.

Re-Think Sermon Prep

As much as I enjoy spending time pulling from commentaries and concordances, I also recognize that there are other things that play in making my message effective.

The truth is, content is only a part of prepping for a great message. There have been many times after spending so much time taking in everything I’ve read that I would hit a wall. There’s so much information that I consume that it is hard to know just what to do with it. It’s in these moments that I know it’s time to step away and begin to think. Continue Reading…

7 Habits of Highly Effective Preachers

Most people want to excel in whatever they do. In every discipline, there are strategies and habits that help a person do what they do better. Preaching is no exception.

Habits Effective Preachers

To speak of improving your preaching is to speak of methods. If you have improved as a preacher, it is because, consciously or subconsciously, you have learned new methods and made modifications to your preaching.

I personally don’t like doing things merely by accident; rather, I prefer a conscious, intentional approach to my growth and improvement.

Here are seven habits that pastors and preachers possess to ensure effective preaching. Continue Reading…

10 Ideas for Dynamic Sermon Application That You Can Start This Week

Now that we have understood Paul’s message, let’s talk about application. How can this passage make a difference in our lives this week?

These are some of the most important words in your sermon.

Sermon Application

But what comes next?

Do you know how to craft a compelling push to apply God’s Word, or do you stay in safe, generic waters?

“Pray more.”

“Trust God.”

“Read the Bible.”

While these are certainly important – just as the biblical author had a specific agenda for his ancient audience, so we must apply the text to the specific men, women and children before us each Sunday.

The problem is that many of us have not been given the tools to think more creatively about application. Here are some tips I have picked up over the years. I pray you will find them useful – even for your sermon this Sunday! Continue Reading…

Six Avoidable Mistakes All Preachers Make. Number Three Is The Easiest To Correct.

If you are anything like me, then you are always striving to improve your communication skills. I want to do whatever I can to present the truth in a more accurate, convicting and convincing way.

Mistakes Preachers Make

Communication is a craft that is developed over time and these are six avoidable mistakes that every preacher makes. If you have made any of these mistakes, then you are in good company because I have certainly been guilty of this entire list.

Continue Reading…

The Two Sole Responsibilities of a Preacher

Every job comes with responsibilities. A position without responsibilities cannot exist. As ministers, one of our responsibilities is preaching. Within the role of preaching, there are two sole responsibilities.

Responsibilities Preacher

1. Convince people they are sick.

Unlike patients who go to a doctor because they know that they are sick, our congregation often comes to church only out of a sense of tradition or habit, and not necessarily because they recognize their individual sicknesses. Continue Reading…