As preachers we must guard against a prideful spirit. It is a trap that can destroy our effectiveness and our ministries. But we need confidence in order to boldly proclaim God’s word. A tension exists between pride and confidence.
Most of us would say that being confident in our abilities is generally good, but being prideful in ourselves can be detrimental. We know that the Scriptures contain harsh warnings against pride. You can be a confident person without being prideful, but it often seems like a fine line.
A closely related character trait to pride and confidence is fear. Fear can be a huge inhibitor. Most of us bounce back and forth between pride and fear. Sometimes we’re prideful of our accomplishments looking for others to notice how awesome we are and validate us. Other times we are insecure in our abilities and fearful of what other people might think.
Thus there is an ongoing struggle for what motivates our preaching. We must be motivated by the right...
There are few things more vulnerable than preaching. If you do it right, it is a moment when you bare your soul for the world to see. So it makes sense that you wonder what people think of your preaching.
You want to know if your sermon worked. Sometimes you just want someone to tell you that you did great so you don’t feel as awful about your mediocre sermon (we’ve all been there).
Most of us walk away from a sermon we’ve preached with this resounding thought: Validate me, tell me how great my sermon was because I need to feel worthy as a person!
Categorically positive feedback is acceptable from your mom or your spouse. Everyone needs someone cheering them on.
But you have to pursue more meaningful feedback from others if you want to get better. You should seek feedback that actually makes a difference. You want the kind that tells you if your sermons are doing what they’re supposed to do – making an impact.
But most people don’t give this kind...
In our effort to become better preachers we often learn from the best preachers in our generation. We watch our heroes and take notes gleaning all we can from them.
This, by the way, is a good thing. While you should never seek to copy someone else or become them, you can always learn a great deal from studying best-practices.
But we have a lot to learn not only from our contemporaries, but also from those who have gone before. One leader and preacher who we can learn a great deal from is Paul.
Paul, the Apostle, was not only a top notch theologian who wrote a huge part of the New Testament. He was also a missionary, pastor, church-planter and movement leader. We can gain a lot from watching his life and ministry. In this episode, we'll discover five practical things preachers can learn from Paul.
Prominent mega church pastor, Matt Chandler, steps down for an indefinite leave of absence from his preaching role at The Village Church in Flower Mound, TX. This is due to "unguarded and unwise" interactions between him and another woman on Instagram.
This comes in the wake of many scandals involving high profile pastors stepping down from their roles - some permanently losing their ministries.
But this situation has some nuances that few seem to acknowledge. For far too long, we've seen a lack of accountability in the church. Is this situation different? Did the elders at The Village Church actually do their job?
In this episode, we'll explore the statements from Chandler and Patterson, and draw out some lessons we can take away from this situation as pastors and church leaders.
The days leading up to a sermon can be very stressful for a preacher.
Your sermon content is on your mind constantly. The responsibility of preparing a sermon can be daunting because when Sunday comes you have to deliver.
This is why you need a plan, a guide, a schedule to keep you on track. In this episode, we'll explore the reasons you could benefit from a schedule and how to create one!
Some preachers alliterate their outlines making all their points begin with the same letter.
Sometimes just the main points are alliterated, other times the sub-points are alliterated, still other times the sub-sub-points are alliterated.
At one point it was taught as a great way to organize your message and really get your listeners to remember. To make it stick, alliterate! was the mantra.
But we don’t see as much alliteration anymore - at least not to the extent it was happening in the 90s and 00s. But does it make a difference? Alliterate or not, does it matter?
We'll explore the wonderful wacky weird world of alliterated outlines in this video.
Churches rely on the generosity of their members to fund the church's ministries.
It stands to reason that pastors would want to avoid doing things that end up reducing their members' giving.
But many pastors and church leaders are unknowingly hindering their church's giving. This is according to an article on Carey Nieuwhof's site which we're diving into in this episode.
Fortunately, every one of the five generosity killers is reversible and can be fixed. But you have to know what they are first. Let's dive into it in this episode.
The environment in which we preach is not always friendly towards pastors.
The trust that a person in ministry might have had three or four decades ago has been eroded.
Rather than implicit trust, we are more likely to be met with distrust, doubt and skepticism when people find out we're in ministry.
But we still are called to preach the gospel with confidence. How do we do this?
In this episode, we'll be diving into an article by Ed Stetzer in which he lays out some ways to communicate with confidence in this climate.
For your sermons to be most effective you should have moments of great intensity balanced with moments of relief.
I once preached a sermon on how to change. The sermon was intense because it dealt with the fallen human condition. I talked about addiction, abuse, pain, hang-ups, hurts and everything in between. The general feel of the sermon was intense. It was heavy. When I finished preaching the first of two services that day I could not shake the feeling that the sermon needed some relief. It was too heavy. It was overwhelming in a way that wasn’t productive.
You might be thinking, Wait! Heaviness is good. Intensity is good. People need their toes stepped on! That’s just the Holy Spirit working on them! I don’t deny that some intensity is needed. I don’t deny that God can use the heaviness to move people. And I understand the power of his Word to cut through hard hearts and break down barriers.
But we are communicating with human beings who need to process...
"Shorter sermons are almost always better."
That was the title of one of the first articles I published at Preaching Donkey back in 2014.
I felt strongly that a shorter sermon is a more effective sermon simply because there is less room for fluff and filler.
Over the years I've adjusted my view, and I want to share my thoughts on this issue. Is a shorter sermon better? Is a long sermon preferable? What are some things to consider?
We'll dive into all that in this episode.