In a series of posts entitled “So You Think You Can Preach? 6 Steps to Get Started Preaching” I walked through at all the ways to pursue preaching opportunities for those who are just beginning as a preacher. I suggested starting where you are… in your Bible study or small group… and continuing to look for opportunities to preach outside of that. Today I want to take you to the next level and reveal how to write a sermon.
So, let’s say you’ve led some Bible studies and small groups and you’re feeling relatively confident about teaching in small group contexts. But recently your pastor has tapped you on the shoulder and said, “Would you preach on Sunday night in two weeks?” Or you got a call from a church that is without a pastor and have been asked to fill in next Sunday.
This is so exciting! This is what you’ve been waiting for! But you have some aching questions: What do I do?...
One of the most fulfilling things I get to do as a pastor is preach. It is not easy, but it doesn’t need to be easy. I still love it. I’m sure you love it too. To celebrate the joys of preaching, this Thanksgiving Day I want to share four things I’m thankful for as a preacher:
1. I’m thankful for getting to do what I love.
Preaching gives me an opportunity to do something I really enjoy. I love to inspire, challenge, motivate and encourage others. I love to be creative and think outside the box. I love to develop and present content that helps people. Preaching encompasses all of these wonderful things. It is an art that I love to work on and improve. I’m thankful for preaching because I love to do it. It’s exhilarating. If you preach you understand exactly what I’m talking about.
2. I’m thankful when I see how God used me to work in someone’s life.
I’ve written about how to get more helpful feedback on your...
Every year when the holidays roll around there are lots of people who genuinely want to give back to their pastors with some sort of gift. This, by the way, is NOT something we expect as pastors nor would we ever feel entitled to it.
But, gifts do come our way sometimes. People in our churches want a way to say ‘thank you’ for caring for their families, ministering to them, being there for them when they need us and leading them spiritually.
As someone who loves pastors and appreciates the sacrifices they make for their churches, I want to give you a list of gift ideas that your pastor will actually like.
Here’s the thing: most pastor gifts are so not good. Like so not good, and no pastor wants them. I know hundreds of pastors, and I can guarantee you, none of them are sitting around saying, “I sure wish someone would give me a calendar-paperweight-magnet with a deer and an an inspirational verse on it!”
So, if you really...
The opening words of your sermon can fall flat if you don’t have a good plan. It’s good to be intentional about the way you introduce a message. I will walk you through exactly how to start your sermon for maximum impact and engagement. We’ll focus on how to capture and maintain the interest of your listeners in the first 5-6 minutes of your message. Let’s jump in to the most important part – the first 1.5 minutes.
The first 90 seconds of your sermon are some of the most powerful seconds you have. This is when your listeners’ attention is most optimal and when they are giving you their undivided attention.
Don’t waste these moments. Your listeners decide within these first 90 seconds whether they will keep listening to you or not. This is particularly true if they don’t know you. But even if they do know you and like you as a preacher, every Sunday is a new opportunity to engage them or lose them. And both...
In the days before Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other streaming services ruled the media viewing world, I was really into box dvd sets. They were all the rage, and I was all in.
Lost was the first TV show I watched on dvd with each episode in immediate succession. I was in college at the time and had a load of classes for which I should have been studying. But instead I would watch an episode and go immediately to the next and the next and the next. I would tell myself, “This is the last episode tonight.” But inevitably I would push it to one or two more. Why?
The producers of Lost (and every good TV show before or since) were masterful at building tension. They knew the secret to keeping people on the edge of their seat and coming back for more.
Television and movie producers understand something a lot of preachers do not: You have to make people care about your content before they’ll give their attention to more of it.
I dove into blogging four years ago, and I absolutely love it. Blogging is how I share my passion with the world. It has helped me reach an audience that I would have NEVER been able to reach. And it enables me to share a message with thousands of people … and more every day.
Many people have asked me along the way how they can get started blogging. Perhaps you would like to start blogging as well but you’re not sure how to get started. The good news is it’s easy to start a blog and you can get it up and rolling quickly – in 20 minutes or less.
In this article I will walk you through a simple, step-by-step process to start your blog. I will guide you through determining a topic, picking a domain name, choosing a platform to host your blog, and writing your first posts. But first…
Before we dive into how to get started blogging, I want to point out a few reasons why starting a blog can be such a rewarding journey.
It was Henry Ford who said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” He was conveying a powerful truth: the way we think about ourselves effects the outcomes we see in life. This is never more true than how we think about our preaching.
I want to share with you the four common destructive preaching mindsets that I have seen wreck people’s preaching. What is a preaching mindset? Simply put, it is the story we tell ourselves about our preaching. And that story drives more than we think.
As I share these four mindsets, I am speaking largely to my own experience with a few of these because I’ve been guilty of telling these stories to myself as well. As you read, you may see yourself in some of these, too. Here are the mindsets that every preacher must learn to overcome.
This mindset is particularly destructive because the...
What is conversational preaching? What does it look like to preach in a conversational tone? There are many different styles and methods to use when we preach – proclamational, authoritative, narrative – to name a few. And we may employ any number of these styles throughout a preaching career and even in a single sermon. But the tone that, I believe, should pepper our messages is a conversational tone. This article will explain the importance of conversational preaching and how we can utilize it. But first it’s important to define it.
Preaching conversationally is not about having a light-hearted, folksy cadence to your speech. Rather, it’s more about how you place yourself in the seat of your listeners and make them feel heard. To preach conversationally, anticipate what your listeners are thinking and seek to give them a voice when you preach. If preachers seek to speak in a conversational tone, they will empathize with their listeners and...
I want to give you my list of the best 5 books on apologetics. I became passionate about the subject of apologetics in when I was in high school. I attended a leadership camp my junior year, and the camp speaker was an apologist. At first I remember thinking, “What’s he so sorry about?” But “apologetics” isn’t about being sorry. Rather, it’s about being prepared and equipped to defend what you believe and why you believe it.
This particular apologist who spoke at the camp that week opened my eyes to a world I had previously known nothing about. I had grown up in church and believed Christianity was true, but I did not have good reasons for my beliefs. I had a lot of faith, but not a lot of substantial reasons to back up the claims of that faith.
That week I was exposed to the ideas and arguments for the existence of God, veracity of Scripture, reality of the resurrection and more. It was life-changing because I started to realize that...
What’s the difference between preaching and teaching? This is a question a lot of church leaders ask. Or perhaps it could be posed this way, “Is this particular form of speaking considered preaching or teaching?” There is a difference, but it can be hard to articulate exactly what that difference is and why it matters. The words we use to describe our communication are important.
It’s important to have clarity so that you know, as a presenter, what your aim should be in a given context – whether preaching, teaching or otherwise. As for the delineation between preaching and teaching, this article will show you what the difference is and why it is important to distinguish between the two forms of communicating content. Simply put: The difference between preaching and teaching is that preaching is primarily geared toward life-change while teaching is primarily aimed at transferring knowledge.
Are you interested in discovering how to study...