2016 has been a great year at RookiePreacher.com. This year, we’ve published a total of 138 new pieces of content geared to helping you preach and lead better. 2016 was also a year of growth where we got to serve 75,000 + pastors who visited the site from 165 different countries. We are honored to be able to serve each one of you.
2016 is an exciting year, also, because next week on Tuesday, December 27th, our first book, Preaching Sticky Sermons will be available for purchase. This is a project we’ve worked extremely hard on and are really excited to be able to share this valuable resource with you as we all strive to preach better in 2017.
But now, without further ado, let’s see the top 10 preaching and leadership posts of 2016!
Top 10 Preaching and Leadership Posts of 2016
Do you feel the urgency to preach the gospel? We all should feel the weight of the fact that many people at churches all across this world are not saved by God’s grace, for they have not surrendered their lives to Him. They may be doing all the right things. They may be saying what is expected of them. But they have not been justified by the blood of Christ. Why? For one, they have not been confronted with the gospel enough.
We have friends in North Carolina and every year we make the 804 mile/1293 kilometer journey from Brooklin, Ontario (near Toronto) to Charlotte to see them. We usually go in the summer but this past year we decided to go down for American Thanksgiving. Our vehicle is a senior citizen and I thought we were better off to rent because the the idea of breaking down on some U.S. highway was not appealing to me. The car we rented came with satellite radio and ‘low and behold’ as I was going through the channels I came across Joel Osteen Radio; Joel all day, everyday, 24 hours a day.
I’m a big believer in providing action steps. When you end your sermon with one, specific call to action, you are tapping into what marketers already know. Now, we’re not marketers. We’re pastors. But we can learn from marketers. They know, for example, in order to increase the odds that someone will take action on a web page (buy something, subscribe to something, click something, etc…), they need to limit the clickable options to one thing – the most important thing.
I’m sure you’ve heard the startling news that Thom Rainer, President and CEO of Lifeway has said, “eight out of ten of the approximately 400,000 churches in the United States are declining or have plateaued.” Depending on the year, the pace of dying churches has been a little more or about the same as the pace of new church plants. And while many of these new churches are seeing growth in reaching people who were unchurched, ground is still being lost. If reality is even remotely close to what Lifeway has claimed, what can be done?
A growing church is a byproduct of courageous leadership that prays boldly and takes bold action that honors God. But too many churches are led by passive leaders who pray passively and take passive action. For an abundance of reasons, they have decided that what is is too costly to risk in order to see what might be. They have traded in vision for the status quo. They have opted for comfort in doing what we’ve always done rather than stepping out into the unknown of change.
Why do some churches grow and others decline or close their doors? Is it their location? Is it their resources; is it their denomination or affiliation? Is it the preaching style or style of worship? Is it their children and student ministry? Is it the staff? After all, they all started out wanting to live out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. They all had great intentions, so what happened? I believe the answer is found in leadership. Good leadership either happened or it didn’t!
Bible study software abounds these days. Certainly, they are useful and very handy to have. But what if you don’t have thousands of dollars to get the latest version of Logos, Accordance, or one of the others? I have a solution! These online sermon preparation resources, when combined, can give you enough study material, illustration material, and heart-wrenching story material to produce highly effective sermon after highly effective sermon!
This year’s Global Leadership Summit has been insightful and filled with leadership nuggets for leaders no matter the industry. As a pastor, you’ll benefit from each of the speakers below. I hope you’ll find a thing or two to take action on soon.
Everyone is a disciple of something, of someone. Many of the people your church wants to reach are deep disciples of the ways of this world. But that’s not the problem your church faces. The problem you face is what happens when that person visits your church for the first time. What kind of welcome do they receive? What do they experience? Do they walk away thinking they witnessed an act or something genuine? Let me explain…
Do you go about evaluating your last sermon? Sports players watch film. Musicians listen to their performance. Business people evaluate what happened in meetings. Other public speakers evaluate their talks. So, do you go about evaluating your last sermon? I hope you do.
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