Are we misunderstanding the Holy Spirit's role in sermon prep?

sermon prep Nov 04, 2022

Sermon preparation can be vexing.

It's important to put in the necessary hard work and deliver a sermon that is worthy of a listen.

But when I write about the importance of working hard at sermon preparation, well-meaning people sometimes respond with this argument:

"Just let the Holy Spirit guide you! No need for all this work."

It is their desire to protect the purity of the process and not tarnish it with technique. They see preaching as this otherworldly exercise that the Holy Spirit superintends.

In their view, the work of the Holy Spirit is thwarted when the preacher makes an effort to improve his preaching.

In this episode, we'll look at why this is a misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit's role in sermon prep.

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Two VITAL Questions to Ask BEFORE Preaching any Sermon

sermon prep Oct 20, 2022

Often when I am preparing a message, I'm asking myself, "What is the point I'm going to make in this message?"

Granted, that's a valid question. But there is a more important question to ask that goes a level higher than that: What's my objective for this message?

To know if you were successful at something you’ve tried, you have to know what you were seeking to accomplish. This is true in every area of life but especially in preaching.

This is why I nail down the objective of my message early on in the process of writing it. The objective drives the process from there.

In this episode, I will show you how to arrive at the objective for a message and lay out one more vital question you must ask before writing any sermon.

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How to Preach on Controversial Topics (9 helpful tips)

sermon prep Oct 06, 2022

As a preacher you should never shy away from tough topics. If the Bible addresses an issue, you should too.

You want to help your listeners have a holistic view of how biblical truth intersects with every aspect of their lives. But the more controversial the topic the more important it is to handle it with care.

I have preached on topics ranging from what the Bible teaches about alcohol consumption, to sex and sexual issues, to marriage, and financial giving.

Along the way, I have learned a few things about how to approach these types of sermons, and I would like to share with you. In this episode, we'll dive into nine tips for preaching on controversial topics.

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Two DANGEROUS Motivations for Preaching

sermon prep Sep 29, 2022

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...

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How to Get More Helpful Feedback on Your Sermons

sermon prep Sep 22, 2022

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...

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Five PRACTICAL Things Preachers Can Learn from Paul

church leadership Sep 15, 2022

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.

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Matt Chandler Steps Down - Here's what no one's talking about

pastoral care podcast Sep 01, 2022

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.

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You Need a Sermon Prep Schedule - Here's why...

sermon prep Aug 26, 2022

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!

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Alliterations Are Almost Always Absolutely Atrocious

sermon prep Aug 18, 2022

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.

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Are You Killing Your Church's Generosity? (5 ways you might be)

church leadership Aug 04, 2022

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.

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