What do you want from your sermon at the end of the day? Vertical Church preaching is all about the expectation that God blesses the unapologetic, Spirit-dependent heralding of His Word—but is there more a preacher can do to be effective? Beyond the requisite faithfulness to Christ and His Word, can a preacher do more to amplify the …
“Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.” Martin Lloyd Jones once said that, and it’s a favorite quote of mine. If a man can speak dispassionately about the Word of God, he has no right to be in a pulpit. But you can have right theology and authentic passion, yet not …
It’s a famous story in our church’s Elder history. A group of Elders and their wives were enjoying a beautiful meal together and wonderfully edifying conversation around the table, just as desert was served. My first bite of apple pie seemed unusually cold and clammy, but I didn’t want to cut into the discussion, so I …
Amen? That’s it? You’re going to close your prayer with an abrupt “AMEN”? What about the Savior?
As a recovering addict of overstatement, I want to be careful in the words I choose to warn fellow ministers about the danger of reductionism in our preaching and teaching. Dictionary.com defines reductionism as: “The practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, especially to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting …
Dear Pastors and Ministry Leaders: Thank you for checking in regularly. I hope this blog is a source of strengthening for your resolve to serve Jesus with abandon, no matter the cost. And I pray this blog resources your fruitfulness in our common mission to plant and pastor disciple-making churches.
In John 9, the disciples wanted to debate with Jesus about the source of a man’s blindness—when Jesus saw him much differently. Not as an issue to discuss, but as a person to help. Why do some Christians see everything so differently? Possibly they have become consumers of spiritual content vs. disciples who are not …
Pastors! Are you practicing your preaching and knowing the peace of mind that comes from personal purity? Are you living inside the boundaries God has established? Hebrews 13:4 – “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.“
After another exhausting week, in a string of weeks so far back I can’t see the start, I have yet another day of high-pressure message preparation. No matter what has happened this week or this month, everything is about to fade into a blur over the next 24 hours until just this single responsibility weighs …
“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:22 “And they were all amazed…saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority!
One of my greatest joys these days is working with young preachers, trying to ‘fast track’ them through some of the lessons I have learned through almost three decades of preaching. I was blessed to attend some great schools, but truthfully most of the bit I have learned about preaching came from painful Sunday afternoons …
One of the things I longed for as a young preacher—and found very tough to find—was practical help with how to actually communicate. I was deeply persuaded about the importance of exposition and the need for application and all the main things, and there was a ton of info on how to interpret and outline …
Contrary to popular opinion, God has done more than give us good news He wants to get out. He has given us a manner that must accompany every method and a rationale for that manner.
The single term that best describes the way God wants his gospel given is boldness. And because it’s translated various ways, even faithful students of Scripture might overlook its frequency.
Looking back, we can see that much of what went wrong with preaching at the end of the last century flowed from men determined to connect with their listeners. At the time, many preachers were understandably fed up with profitless Bible babbling that inflicts boredom on
The New Testament knows nothing of an unbaptized convert. Jesus asked us to do two specific things—to remember His sacrifice with the bread and the cup, and to be baptized. I’ve been preaching verse-by-verse through the book of John in a study called Authentic Jesus. A few weeks ago the entire message was dedicated to …
It was a real honor for me to preach for the third time at the Southern Baptist Convention last night in New Orleans. I felt very small, sandwiched between Dr. Jack Graham
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word!
This weekend I preached from John 2:13-22, on Christ’s response to the consumer mindset that had taken over the temple. And nothing is more of an axe to the tree of vertical church—of God church, of glory church—than “consumer church.”
Nothing is more essential to success in the Christian life than perseverance. It’s the ingredient you have to have. Faith gets you started; perseverance keeps you going. Jesus said, “He who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13). That ought to cause us some concern. He who endures to the end will …
I wish I could tell you that most pastors are preaching the Word. I can’t—some are not. Here are five things we may choose to do instead of preaching the Word.
One more video from the Q and A sessions at the Preach the Word Conference. I trust that you’ll find this content as helpful and hilarious as I did. And I hope you make it a priority to be in a church where
I think about the next sermon that’s ahead of me a lot—and I’m often asked about how I prepare a message. That’s why I want you to see this Q & A clip from a Preach the Word Conference held at Greg Laurie’s church. In it, I am with Greg (one of my best …
The Hebrew shalom is a universal greeting; it means “peace, a complete state of well being.” But the New Testament significantly expands the concept of peace.
Again, consider this amazing verse of Scripture that tells of Jesus Christ and what He came to accomplish. Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder:
I love my children, and they love me. I love my father, and I have always known his love. But hear this: No human can fill the Father hole in the human heart. A good father helps, but
Consider again Isaiah 9:6, overflowing with a richness of depth and dimension about our Savior Jesus Christ: “Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be
You know you’re talking to a wonderful counselor when they open the Scriptures and speak the Word of Christ into your life. Find people who will go against the grain of what you want (counseling to your flesh) and speak the Word into your life that you need.
Names are very, very important. When you call someone out by their name, it’s kind of a big deal. Calling someone by their name indicates that you know them—that you know who they are. There’s a connection that happens when you know someone by their name…and Jesus’ names are the most important of all. …
Hey: Just a quick post for Pastors, and others that teach the Word, to advance our discussion of how to do it well. I wrote this “fix it before you preach” post some time ago, but I have been seeking to live it this week.
I have had to apologize a lot through the years—for things I did, for things I should have done, or should have done better. I have been back at it in recent days, and a couple of weeks ago I shared with the church family what I have learned in Apology School.
Sometimes I get weary of people arguing for one side as though the other does not exist, when in reality it often does. Some arguments involve absolute truth and have only one side. But most division (outside what the Scriptures prescribe specifically) involves matters of
Pastors, here is a foundational principle of preaching: Preach the authority of God’s Word without apology.
I’m frequently asked about my preaching notes. In the video below, I explain the logic behind how I structure my notes. I know such things aren’t one size fits all, but hopefully there’s something helpful in there for you.
Thoughts on preaching, continued… 3: You must be in God’s Word for yourself, every day. Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became for me a joy
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season
God’s Word has a lot to say about the reality of hell—regardless of popular opinion or current trends. Here’s an entire message that I preached at our church called What’s Down with Hell?
What Gospel are you preaching? Are you preaching the true, biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ?