Archive for the ‘Preaching’ Category

Quote

“But even in the course of a flawed sermon, there is still the Word of God and the work of the Spirit to contend with. The Holy Spirit will see to it that the truly hungry are fed, not because of the sermon but because of the Word and because it is God’s will that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled. Every preaching pastor should take comfort in this, especially in a culture in which learning about God is taken to be another form of entertainment.”

Harold Best, Unceasing Worship, 104-5.

Quote

“The gospel is what we must believe in order to be saved. To believe the gospel is to put one’s trust and confidence in the person and work of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. To preach the gospel is faithfully to proclaim that historical event, along with the God-given interpretation of that event. It cannot be stressed too much that to confuse the gospel with certain important things that go hand in hand with it is to invite theological, hermeneutical and spiritual confusion…. Thus Christians cannot ‘live the gospel’, as they are often exhorted to do. They can only believe it, proclaim it and seek to live consistently with it. Only Jesus lived (and died) the gospel. It is a once-for-all finished and perfect event done for us by another.”

Graeme Goldsworthy in Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, 19.

Preaching Christ

Quote from Goldsworthy:

Any sermon, then, that aims to apply the biblical text to the congregation and does so without making it crystal clear that it is in Christ alone and through Christ alone that the application is realized, is not a Christian sermon. It is at best an exercise in wishful and pietistic thinking. It is at worst demonic in its Christ-denying legalism.

Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, 124.

The Word of God

The gospel proclamation falls into the category of true or false, not opinion and interpretation. Our preaching of it is faithful and accurate or faithless and inaccurate. Effectiveness is not the only criterion of judgment — false prophets can be effective. Truthfulness is more important than effectiveness.

by Phillip Jensen, “Preaching the Word Today” Preach the Word, 159.

On Preaching

I like this quote on long sermons: “It is better to leave the people longing than loathing.”

HT: Illumination (Midwest Center for Theological Studies)

Am I Called to Preach?

HT: Christianity Today Blog

The Right Kind of Change

Which minister among us would not want to see spiritual growth in our congregation. Yet what kind of change are we really trying to bring out in the lives of God’s people. In an article by Brad Waggoner, “Shifting Sand,” there is an interesting trend of growth being seen:

“We also found that a number of churchgoers are not operating with a biblical understanding of spiritual growth, but are defining spiritual growth by personal improvement. When asked to describe or illustrate evidence of their spiritual growth, we received comments like these:

— “I’m much calmer.”

— “I’m a better friend.”

— “I’m a better person and more caring.”

— “My marriage is better.”

— “I am better at running my household to care for my family; I made some changes to facilitate hospitality in our home.”

“I am more tolerant of people.”

— “There aren’t many outward ‘signs.’ The growth I experienced is manifested more on a personal level.”

Some of these are good things, but our hope was that they would not just grow better, they would grow deeper. And, it seems that more church attendees see spiritual growth as becoming a “better you,” not growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Are You Called to the Preaching Ministry?

Dr. Steven Lawson talks about recognizing a call and acting on the call to a preaching ministry:

1. There must be a deep conviction in the truth of God’s Word.

2. There must be a holy compulsion in his heart to preach the Word.

3. There must be a supernatural capacity that is given by God to preach the Word.

4. There must be a collective confirmation from others, who observe that person’s life and ministry.

HT: Encouraging Expository Excellence

Do you love the Word of God? Do you delight in the Word and excited to preach it?

The Reason for God mp3

These are sermons related to the book by Tim Keller. Very good resources.

Titles in the series include the following:

“Exclusivity: How can there be just one true religion?”

“Suffering: if God is good, why is there so much evil in the world?”

“Absolutism: Don’t we all have to find truth for ourselves?” and many more!

HT: Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Tips for Preachers

Interview of Tim Keller (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NY City):

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 heirarchy out of these things–they are interdependent. But pastoral ministry and lay ministry is no substitute for strong preaching.

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 15-20 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 work–that 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 6-8 hours on a sermon.

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.

HT: Unashamed Workman