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Links of the Week
I’m often asked by other pastors or church planters about how I prep a sermon. While these aren’t so much things you should do, these are things that are principles for me and shape how a sermon goes from nothing to something.
The shooting deaths—and subsequent reactions—of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are a reflection of how deeply broken our nation really is.
Following those shootings, many of us woke up to the news of five police officers being gunned down—and several others injured—after a protest in Dallas had ended.
This morning, I write as a grieving father…
In no particular order, here are some reflections, musings, and bits of advice on the noble task of preaching the Word of God.
When it comes to church growth, some barriers or size plateaus prove to be difficult to overcome, churches feel stuck at a certain size. Many thinkers and strategists have written about these attendance barriers that burden today’s church.
You see, there are as many arguments for using notes, as there are against. So with or without notes, you
can’tcan livespeak. Let’s look at both sides and I’ll also explain why I always use a full transcript when I speak.
All generalizations are false. Including this one.
Every rule has its exceptions. Including this one.
Even so, I’m going to make some general statements about seniors. Readers will think of exceptions. But by and large, these statements have been found to be solid and trustworthy throughout long years of ministry.
I am an imperfect pastor. I make mistakes. I hurt people with my words and actions. And my parents, pastors, and mentors taught me that if you hurt someone or offend someone, you say: “I’m sorry” and ask the person to forgive you. The other morning I was impressed with the thought of how I have hurt and offended my Heavenly Father, and how I need to tell him, “I’m sorry.”
There are many ways to prepare a sermon. When preparing a sermon on a passage of Scripture, though, I’ve found that there are ten questions that every preacher must answer. Not every answer will show up in the sermon, but every answer is important to the shape that the sermon takes.
Approximately four out of five American churches are plateaued or declining in weekly attendance. This has been a trend for so long it is no longer debatable. What is a debatable is what pastors and church leaders can do to reverse this negative momentum.
Games. I’m tired of them. Publicists, politicians, spokesmen, spokeswomen, and leaders of many industries are busy playing them. What games are they playing? The game of talking points. The game of saying some things, but not saying anything at all. The game of regurgitating what was given to them by spin doctors and speechwriters.