The BEST Way to Build Tension (In your sermon)

sermon prep Aug 03, 2023

When we preach, we need one thing from our listeners in order to get our message across to them: their attention.

If they are not listening, the message is not making an impact.

This is why building tension in the beginning of your message is so important. It signals to the listener that the message is worth listening to.

There are many ways to approach tension building, but in this episode I'm going to show you the best way.

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How to Preach One-Point Sermons (And why you'd want to)

sermon prep Jun 22, 2023

Recently I received a question from a subscriber who asked me about how to move from preaching messages with multiple points to preaching one-point messages.

I love this question because it begs another question: Why would you want to preach a one-point message?

In this episode, we'll explore how to prepare and preach a one-point message as well as why it can be a great way to go!

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10 Reasons Church Attendance Is Declining (even for committed Christians)

church leadership Jun 15, 2023

Church attendance is in decline overall. But this is not just among those who have left the faith entirely.

Even those who are committed Christians are attending church less and less.

In an article on his website, Carey Nieuwhof explores why. In this episode, we'll dive into the ten reasons he gives for why church attendance is declining and what we can do about it in our churches.

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Five DISTRACTING Habits of Preachers (Part 2)

If you've ever watched a video of yourself preaching, you've probably noticed some things you're doing that are distracting to your listeners.

All of us could use some coaching in this area. When I look back through videos of my sermons I notice more distracting tendencies than I care to admit!

But there is hope and we can all overcome these by knowing what they are and working to eliminate them.

In part two of this series, I want to offer five common distractions I’ve observed in preachers over the years. For each one I'll give simple solutions to correct them so that your messages are as distraction-free as possible!

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Five Distracting Habits of Preachers (And how to fix them)

Every preacher has physical tendencies that unintentionally distract the audience. Sometimes these are known by the preacher and other times they are ticks and habits that must be pointed out to be changed.

All of us could use some coaching in this area. When I look back through videos of my sermons I notice more distracting tendencies than I care to admit!

But there is hope and we can all overcome these by knowing what they are and working to eliminate them.

In this episode, I want to offer five common distractions I’ve observed in preachers over the years. For each one I'll give simple solutions to correct them so that your messages are as distraction-free as possible!

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The Five BEST Books on Church Growth

church leadership May 25, 2023

Living things grow. If something isn’t growing, it’s dying. This is why a church that is not growing is a cause for concern. A church should be alive and one way to know if a church is alive is to look at the numbers.

Numbers aren’t everything, but numbers represent people and each person has a story and every story matters to God (I didn’t come up with that, but I love it).

Every church leader should be intentional about positioning their church for growth.

This is why I’ve pulled together my list of the best five books on church growth.

Each one of these books will give you strategies and actionable best-practices to help grow your church.

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Preach WITHOUT Notes (Here's how - Part 2)

sermon prep May 18, 2023

A few years into my preaching ministry, I began to be intrigued with this idea: What if I could train myself to not need notes when I preach?

What if I could prepare in such a way that I could deliver a message and never look down, but maintain eye contact and physical engagement with my listeners from start to finish?

What if you could, too?

In part two of this series, we'll dive into more of how to train ourselves to not look at our notes when we preach.

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How to Preach WITHOUT Notes (Part 1 of 2)

sermon prep May 11, 2023

We’ve all seen this happen. The preacher walks up to the stage with a Bible, some pieces of paper, and a binder. He spends the first few seconds placing everything on the podium. While he’s doing this the audience is mostly looking at the top of his head as he looks down.

As he begins speaking he reads from one piece of paper, looks up, finds another one in his binder, reads it, looks up again, and then looks down for his next idea. Aside from the sloppiness and the seemingly un-prepared vibe this gives off – it also risks not engaging the audience.

Let’s contrast that scenario with the preacher who gets up on stage and speaks with clarity and command of the room, engages everyone with eye contact and energy, and you never see him look down, fumble through pages, or read from anything but the Bible.

From a communications perspective, the preacher in our first scenario is far less likely to connect with his listeners. He is missing a vital aspect of capturing...

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The Best Five Books on Preaching

sermon prep May 04, 2023

It amazes me the insights and wisdom available to us in great preaching books. My preaching ministry has benefited vastly from some of the books I've read on the topic. I’ve pulled together the books that have impacted my preaching the most.

Each one of these books will help you improve your preaching in distinct ways. I love all of them for different reasons, and my copies are all marked up. In this episode, I'm sharing my list of the best 5 books on preaching.

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This VITAL Step is Missing from Your Sermon Prep

sermon prep May 01, 2023

Every time we preach we have an opportunity to fulfill our God-given calling to impact lives with the truth of God’s Word and the hope of the gospel. But the effectiveness of our preaching is impacted by a host of variables we cannot control, including distractions in the room.

But there is something we can control, and that is how well we prepare.

I find one of the most often neglected aspects of effective sermon preparation is rehearsing the sermon.

By rehearsing I mean preaching the entire message by yourself (or to a handful of people) before you actually preach the sermon to your church.

The reluctance to rehearse is varied. Some preachers might think it’s awkward to preach to themselves. They’re totally right, by the way. It is awkward, but that does not mean you shouldn’t do it. Other preachers might avoid it because they don’t think it’s necessary. Still others may have just never thought of it.

In this episode, I will show you why I...

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