As a preacher, it’s easy to focus on your content and not really consider if your listeners are ready to hear it.
You’ve been studying your material all week, and you’re totally energized by it. It’s all you’ve thought about for days. You are so excited to finally share these thoughts that are bursting out of you.
But your listeners aren’t there yet. They walked into church with everything on their minds except your sermon. They have nowhere near the same level of enthusiasm about your topic that you have.
That’s the way it works. You care. They probably don’t.
So what can you do?
The answer is simple: build tension.
You have to make your listeners care about what you're going to say next. You have to make the want and need to hear the rest of your message. Tension is how you do that, and in this episode we'll dive into how!
The best sermons are conversations.
This may seem counterintuitive given that sermons are monologues - you're the only one talking. But in conversational preaching, you give the listener a voice by raising their questions, concerns, doubts, or skepticism.
If done well, you can make each person feel as if you are having a conversation just with them. Like they’re the only person in the room. Like you’re sitting at a table with with them and discussing a problem, a concern, a big thing God wants them to do.
But the question is, "How"? How can you preach in a way that is conversational and gives your listeners a voice? I'll explain my three-step process in this episode.
For the last several decades, attractional churches have reigned supreme. They've gone by different monikers. Sometimes known as seeker sensitive, modern, etc.
The idea in many of these churches, and in evangelicalism at large, has been to make sure churches are as user-friendly and approachable to outsiders as possible.
Nothing weird. Nothing awkward. That was the goal. And for good reason. The thought was, "Let's not make the gospel weird and scare away spiritual seekers."
Like most well-intentioned movements, there was an unintended consequence. Church became stale, predictable, and altogether forgettable. Many of these churches are experiences declining attendance patterns.
But, there is a church movement that is growing and has been for years now - not just in the US, but around the globe - charismatic churches.
In this episode, we're going to look into an article by Carey Nieuwhof in which he explains this phenomenon and some lessons we can learn from it.
Whether you are...
I've served on staff at multi-site churches as well as single-site churches. There are unique challenges and approaches to leading a church with more than one campus.
When it comes to multi-site ministry, there are basically two approaches:
1) Video preaching at the campuses with one live communicator at a "main" campus; or
2) In-person preaching at each campus.
But now there seems to be a third option: Holographic teaching. What? Yes, you read that right. At least one pastor is trying it and we'll look into it in this episode.
Is it a good idea? Is it over the top and excessive? We'll dive into those questions in the episode.
A new report by Christianity Today's Kate Shellnutt details the results of an investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention's handling of abuse survivors within its churches.
From the report: "Investigation: SBC Executive Committee staff saw advocates’ cries for help as a distraction from evangelism and a legal liability, stonewalling their reports and resisting calls for reform."
It's a heartbreaking report that shows abuses and cover-ups going back decades within the SBC and its Executive Committee.
In this video, we'll dive into the report and draw out some lessons we can learn as church leaders and pastors.
This week as I was preparing my message for this Sunday, something hit me.
It would be so easy to preach this text completely detached from it personally.
Hear me out, in any sermon, it would be so easy to stand up, teach through a text, boldly proclaim its claims and call people to obey it - all the while remaining completely unmoved by it myself!
Unfortunately, this is all too common. I want to propose a better way - especially for those times when you study a passage and realize you're not living up to it yourself - but Sunday's still coming!
We'll dive into all of it in this episode of the podcast!
How you begin your sermon is vital. It can mean the difference between your listeners checking out or deciding to pay close attention. The things you say at the beginning of a sermon are what your listeners subconsciously use to build a framework for your whole message. If your thoughts are murky and unclear, you’re laying an unstable foundation.
But the way you end a sermon is just as important. If the closing of your message is disorganized and unclear, then your listeners will walk away feeling the same way about your message – that it was disorganized and unclear.
When I first began preaching I would prepare relentlessly for the first five minutes of my sermon. I wanted my opening thoughts to be perfect. I would prepare the opening remarks and the body of the sermon with careful detail. But when it came to the end of my message I would just let the sermon kind of close itself. I didn’t have a plan for ending my sermons most of the time.
The result was a lot of...
A recent survey finds over half of all pastors say they're overworked and struggle with time-management.
This is a topic I'm passionate about because I think churches can do so much better when the pastor is in a healthy place.
In this episode, we'll dive into this issue and I'll give you some things that I have found to be helpful with overwork, overwhelm and time-management.
One of the most difficult tasks we have as preachers is making our messages stick with people. We all want our listeners to walk out the door and take action on what they've heard from God's word.
But this is not an easy task.
People are distracted and there are many things competing for their attention when we preach.
One way that we can help this problem is by making our points stick in people's hearts and minds. In this episode we're going to talk about how to do just that!
When it comes to preaching, information transfer is not enough. We must aim for transformation in our listeners.
But how to do we preach messages that result in the transformative life-change we're seeking? Some say you gotta be super deep. Others say keep it really simple. So which is better? Which approach leads to life-change?
In this episode, we'll dive into this question and explore the best way to preach messages that are geared toward life-change in our listeners.