Archives For Preaching

Adrian Rogers outlined sermons using four phrases:

  • Hey You! (Get the audience’s attention)
  • Look! (Examine the Scriptures)
  • See! (Explain the passage)
  • Do! (Make application)

Andy Stanley is famous for one-point preaching, but really breaks his messages into five movements:

  • Me (How do I struggle with this?)
  • We (How do we all struggle with this?)
  • God (What does the Bible say about this?)
  • You (What should you do about this?)
  • We (How can we all live this out together?)

And I’m not sure who came up with it, but another well-known system is:

  • Hook (Get attention)
  • Book (Examine the Word)
  • Look (Expound the passage)
  • Took (Make an appeal)

The Puritans jumped right into point one of 27ish as they preached for several hours and there are plenty of other outlining methods as well. I’ve changed my system several times over the years, which I think is important to keep us out of a rut. Lately, I’ve been outlining my messages around three movements..

WHERE WE ARE

In the first part of the message, I speak about the problem or issue that the message addresses, hopefully in a way that motivates my hearers to identify with the problem personally as in, “Oh yeah, I struggle with that too!”

WHAT GOD SAYS

In the…

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Preparing a Sermon is Like Building a HouseI was in construction for 8 years of my life, mostly as a roofer. Having done tons of new construction houses over the years I learned a lot about what it takes to build a house from the ground up. There’s something about being on a roof for twelve hours a day at a new construction site that gives you a birds eye view of the entire building process.

All during the time I was a roofer I was also developing sermons. As a volunteer middle school youth leader and once-in-awhile pulpit fill at a small Baptist church I learned to exegete a text at the same time I was learning to swing a hammer.

There’s a lot of parallels to building a house from the ground up to building a sermon from the text up. Here are at least seven.

1. Pick the best place to build.

Location is everything in real estate and construction. If you build a house in the wrong place it won’t sell. If you build it on the wrong type of ground it won’t last.

When it comes to Scripture you have a…

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Up All Night to Get LuckyEverywhere I go I hear that song playing. It’s on TV, radio, at ballgames, in convenient stores – all over. It’s got stuck in my head. I started thinking on the title and reflecting on past experiences and conversations.

I started thinking about how many pastors stay up late Saturday night working on their Sunday morning message hoping to get “lucky.” Hoping that they will deliver and come through with excellence. Friends, it doesn’t work like that.

I used to serve on a church staff with a senior pastor that would come in and change his message every single Sunday morning. He’s switch points, slides for the presentation software, music. He killed our creative flow. We had an entire worship and creative staff dedicated to creating amazing worship experiences and they were constantly handicapped by last minute changes.

Hear my heart. I worked with another pastor who planned a year out. He was awesome. But on the rare occasion that he would come to the team and say God had laid something new and fresh on his heart, we would move heaven and earth to accommodate and support him….

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Rick and Kay SpeakThe outpouring of love for Rick and the Warren family from all of you pastors and leaders has been incredible. It means more to Pastor Rick personally than you will ever know. Every day we receive new notes of encouragement, and your love is felt.

This past Sunday the 28th, Rick and Kay spoke of the past 16 weeks and their experience through Matthews passing in a sermon called How We’re Getting Through, and we hope there are lessons in this sermon that can be shared in your own church. Please download the transcript, mp3, and sermon outline for free here. (click on ‘parts’ tab)

You can also watch a video of this sermon here.

Download via Saddleback Resources

Pastor Rick is officially back and will be preaching the new 6-part series How To Get Through What You’re Going Through that will use Biblical characters as examples on how to get through life’s difficult times.

1. Part 1 – Shock: When Your World Collapses (Aug 4th)
2. Part 2 – Sorrow: When Your Heart Is Breaking (Aug 11th)
3. Part 3 – Struggle: When You Don’t Understand (Aug 18th)
4. Part 4 – Surrender: How To Experience…

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How to Preach With AuthenticityThe kind of preaching that changes lives is from the heart to the heart, not from the head to the head. Lives are changed as we speak from our deepest pain and suffering.

Socrates was the first to explain communication in 3 dimensions. He talked about ethos as the speaker’s character, pathos as the speaker’s compassion, and logos as the speaker’s content. We tend to think most about the content of a sermon, but the people to whom we are speaking perceive all three, and ethos is really the most vital of all three dimensions.

Ethos involves your credentials or credibility as a speaker. Socrates was wise enough to conclude that who you are is far more important than what you say when you are speaking. In fact, your character determines what you say and do.

Almost any communications book will tell you that if you want an audience to listen to you, you must be attractive to them – not so much physically (thank God) but attractive in our character. And the most attractive quality of a speaker is authenticity.

In other words, if you want to preach effectively, be you. You’re the only you God ever made. After He finished designing…

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The New Testament Book of Acts includes a story from the life of Philip that can give us guidance today as we seek to reach unbelievers with the gospel.

Philip had been ministering in Samaria when an angel appeared to him with a different assignment. He should leave Samaria, and travel south to a road connecting Jerusalem with Gaza. Luke comments that it was called “the desert road” (Acts 8:26). On this road, he came upon a political official returning home to Ethiopia.

Philip’s attention was taken as the man was sitting in his chariot reading audibly from Isaiah’s writings. The narrative tells us the official—a eunuch in Queen Candace’s court—had been to Jerusalem to worship. Doubtless, he had heard from the passage but did not have understanding of it.

The man’s lack of understanding was the bridge Philip walked over to start a gospel conversation. You can check out the entire story in Acts 8:26-40.

As we saw a few weeks back, people today still go to the Bible when they have problems. Among those surveyed, 42% had turned to the Bible within the past year to help them deal with pressure. One-quarter of…

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TeenagerPreaching to teenagers can be extremely challenging but extremely rewarding.

After spending years working as a Youth Pastor, I have learned a few things about preaching to teenagers.

Photo Credit: Robby McKee cc

These lessons were hard-learned through trial and error. Mostly error.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything you need to know. But hopefully these tips will help some of you not have to learn the hard way like I did.

1. Be Authentic

Be yourself. Don’t try to be cool. Don’t try to act just like a teenager or use all the same slang they use. Students have a built-in poser detector. They can spot a fake a mile away.

We have all met the 40-year-old youth pastor who is trying way too hard to be “hip.” Don’t be that guy.

We have also met the 20-year-old youth pastor who tries way too hard to be a hipster. Again, don’t be that guy.

Teenagers want to know: Do you really care about them? Do you really have an authentic relationship with Jesus? Do you really practice what you preach?

Authenticity is the one of the most important things you can have as a speaker. It doesn’t matter how…

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1. Thou shall turn off notifications.

The only thing worse than a cell phone ringing in the middle of a prayer is the preacher’s iPad ringing in the middle of a prayer.

Make sure to turn on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ switch in ‘Settings’. I also turn on ‘Airplane Mode’ just to make sure I don’t have anything popping up from Wi-Fi.

At one location I preached there was a very weak Wi-Fi signal that I didn’t have the password to. A Wi-Fi connection message kept popping up while I was preaching.

You don’t want any distractions from the message God has given you.

2. Thou shall turn off auto-lock.

I have forgotten to do this a few times. Five minutes into the message my iPad blacked out. It totally threw me off.

I had to pause what I was saying, open the iPad, and swipe to unlock before resuming the message. This is even worse if your iPad is password protected.

Always make sure to open up ‘Setting’, tap ‘General’ and set ‘Auto-Lock’ to ‘Never’.

3. Thou shall lower the brightness.

If the stage is dark and the brightness is too high your iPad will…

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Francis Chan at SaddlebackThe recent Saddleback sermon series Follow Me has featured some of the best teaching pastors in the US. So far we have heard from Greg Laurie, Francis Chan, Wilfredo De Jesus, Russell Moore, Jud Wilhite, Perry Noble, Judah Smith, and Doug Fields. Our aim is to serve our community of pastors and church leaders. Choose any one part of the Follow Me sermon series as a free download by using the coupon code FOLLOW13 at checkout. Click here. (excludes DVDs).

Download Your Free Sermon

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BullseyeThe Bible is clear that Christians must be “doers of the Word and not hearers only,” (James 1:22) so it’s clear that our responsibility as Pastors and preachers of the Word is to challenge people to do something in response to what we’ve said. In other words, the goal of preaching is life change.

How can you add more application into our message to make God’s Word more doable? Always aim for a specific response.

The greatest weakness of most preaching is that the sermon has a fuzzy focus. So many sermons are vague & abstract because the pastor isn’t really clear about why he is teaching this particular message, nor does he give the audience a specific direction to go in response.

It’s easy to be abstract, but it takes effort to be specific, but nothing becomes dynamic until it becomes specific! A well-prepared sermon should be more like a bullet than buckshot. Know your purpose and aim right for it!

The most important question you can be asking as you are in the process of studying and preparing your sermon is what specific response am I going to ask for?

Since you are preaching for action, for a verdict, and for…

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TractorI just had a fascinating conversation with my brother-in-law, Andy, about discipleship.

Andy farms and knows all about tractors (especially a certain green brand).

We were talking about how people respond better to teaching when someone has taken the time to work with them personally in their spiritual life. In the middle of the conversation, Andy said, “its just like preparing the soil.”

(Disclaimer –I know nothing about farming. So if I get this wrong, please remember, it’s the thought that counts!)

Andy explained that, in farming, there are several methods of soil preparation: No-till preparation, Minimal-till preparation, and Sub-soil-till preparation.

No-till preparation is just what it sounds like. You plant without tilling. It saves time and money (at least at first) because you don’t have to run your equipment (and fuel) over the land before planting.

Minimal-till preparation could be anything from “scratching the surface” of the ground to going 6-8 inches deep. This loosens the soil up and makes it easier to plant.

Sub-soil-till preparation goes even deeper. Andy shared that many times, ground that is only tilled 6-8 inches can still be hard underneath. This keep roots from being able to penetrate deep and blocks nutrients from being…

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FireworksSummertime presents challenges for every church. People are very busy and mobile in the summer time and, sadly, some families will disengage from their local church from Memorial Day Sunday until the beginning of school or even waiting until after Labor Day. All of these matters combine to become one enormous challenge for the leaders of a church.

As a pastor of a local church, this becomes a personal, spiritual challenge for me. People need refreshment. People need a vacation, as do I. Yet, the ministry of the church marches forward.

I believe there are three big questions in the mind of most pastors this summer. While I cannot guarantee you any solutions, I can, humbly, offer a few suggestions.

Question 1: How Can We Keep People Connected?

While you cannot control your church’s summer attendance, you may be able to influence it. Work with your team to discover ways to keep people connected. Consider the below suggestions:

*First, acknowledge that many of your people will take a couple of weeks away this summer. Impress upon them that when they are in town this summer they need to engage on the Lord’s Day with the church.

*Remind your people that…

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