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.
We are now solidly two years into the pandemic. With most restrictions lifted and churches back in full pre-pandemic operation, one thing is still lagging behind - attendance.
A recent study shows that attendance patterns have plateaued over the last six months with very little increase even as churches are back in full swing.
What does this mean for church leaders? What can we do about it? We dive into all of that in this episode.
Developing your skills as a preacher is a lifelong endeavor. You never "arrive" and that's part of what makes preaching such a challenging, but incredibly rewarding task.
This is why I love talking about how to find your voice as a preacher. Your voice is the only one God gave you. My voice is the only one God gave me. However, as preachers, it's tempting to try to fit someone else's voice into our own. This results in us being a less effective version of (insert your favorite preacher here).
In this episode, Mike Ash discusses how to find your voice as a pastor and how to best serve your listeners with what God has equipped YOU with. We dive into a plethora of other topics as well including sermon prep, preaching teams, research and study and the various trends and waves in evangelical Christianity over the last few decades.
There is a lot packed into this one, and I know you're going to enjoy it.
When it comes to fulfilling your church's vision and impacting your community, you won't get far without funds.
This is why giving is so important to churches. But the method in which we receive donations has changed over the last few years - especially in these last two years of the pandemic.
In most churches, we've seen a shift from a long-standing tradition of in-person, pass the plate style giving to some form of digital giving online.
There are many benefits to this shift and some cautions. We'll get into all of it in this episode.
It would be fair to guess that someone in your church or someone you know has been going through a deconstruction process.
What is deconstruction and why does it seem like everyone is talking about right now?
And what's the difference between deconversion and deconstruction? And how does this affect our ministries day to day as we're leading our churches?
In this episode, we will dive into all of these questions and aim to get a better understanding of what's going on in our culture right now.
When it comes to sermon length, how long is too long? How short is too short? Do people care how long the sermon is? Someone should look into this! Well, they did. By "they" I'm talking about a recent survey conducted by Grey Matter.
They discovered what congregants think about a variety of factors affecting preachers from the length of sermons, to asking for tithes and offerings, to dealing with social issues.
There is much in this study for us to discover as preachers. We dive into all of it in this episode of the podcast!