Matt Chandler is one of the best communicators of the Gospel and if I could ever sit down with someone and talk preaching, he would be at the top of my list.Continue Reading...
Archives For Preaching
God. Religion. Consumerism. Confession. Sin. Truth. Marriage. Money. If these were the words of a preacher, it would be no surprise. Ben Haggerty, commonly known as Macklemore, has made fame rapping, or should I say preaching, about topics which often are undiscussed in the genre of hip-hop. He writes words like, “The greatest trick that the devil ever pulled was convincing women that they looked better in makeup” and, “When I was at church they taught me something else, if you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed.”
Macklemore is a preacher. He may not have the same agenda, the same source of truth, or even the same beliefs. But he is a preacher. He has set out to proclaim a message; he has set out to inspire people and start a movement. He wants to change culture. And I think preachers could learn a few things from the way he approaches his art.
Erik Wahl recently was a keynote presenter at Western Michigan’s Food Marketing Conference. I had absolutely no interest in the food marketing conference itself, but having become a recent fan of Erik’s artwork and speaking, I found a way to attend his keynote and finally get a chance to see him perform live. The primary reason that I have been so interested with Erik Wahl is that he is an excellent communicator. And as a preacher who loves the art of preaching, there is a value in seeing an artist showcase his craft and try to learn a few tricks.
If you haven’t seen any of Erik’s work, you can find a video later in the post of one of his pieces.
When we listen to a preacher that has put together a sermon we often fail to see all the work that has gone into putting the sermon together. We tend to view preaching as creation, not as what it would be better seen as – curation. We fail to see the hours of preparation reading commentaries, exegeting scripture, finding and eliminating potential illustrations, and gathering interesting insights from other writers, artists, or speakers. While some of the best preachers are often seen as creative, they are better seen as curators. The primary role of the preacher is not in developing unique life principals that people can apply to their lives. It is not coming up with a new way to understand and interpret the Bible. The primary role of the preacher is to take things from all different places – their lives, the scriptures, and other people’s works – and take these bits and pieces from all those places and curate them into the sermon.
[This post is a part of teaching notes from the middle sermon series Changes]
This week we began the first week of a four week series entitled “Changes.” Change is a part of life. It cannot be avoided. From the moment you enter the world as a tiny baby and until you take your last breath, things will be constantly changing. While change is common, it is often difficult. Apart from being a newborn, there is no other time in life where more changes are happening than when someone is in their middle school years. Because of this having something that is constant and unchanging will make survival significantly easier in the difficult years of middle school.
This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity of preaching during our confirmation service. The following are my notes from the sermon:
You can’t have just one.
Have you ever experienced something so delicious that you had to eat more? Maybe you’ve opened a bag of Doritos and minutes later discovered that you’ve eaten almost the whole bag. Or maybe you’ve experienced the feeling of walking into a kitchen with fresh baked brownies; the aroma fills the room and you can’t help but eat several. One of the best snacks that I’ve ever experienced is my mom’s chocolate chip cookies. My mom makes the best chocolate cookies in the world. There is nothing better than a tall glass of milk and a chocolate chip cookie that has been warmed up in the microwave.
[These message notes are from the Truth or Dare series]
The message is from the conclusion of our 3-week series entitled Truth or Dare. This series focused on the importance of both knowing the truth of the gospel and daring to live it out in our daily lives. While the game truth or dare allows us to choose one or the other, our faith requires us to choose both.
The Truth Only…
When I think of what it would like like to live a life, that solely focused on the truth of the gospel, but never dared to live it out, I can’t wrap my mind around how that can be justified.
Not only do I love preaching and listening to preachers, but I also love to read books about preaching. There are tons of incredible preachers, leaders, and writers who have a lot of valuable insight about the craft of preaching and a lot of books have really helped me as I’ve spent time learning how to be a better communicator of God’s word. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite books on preaching. The books are a variety of styles ranging from the practical to theological in nature, but they all have had value for me as I’ve read and studied them.
My Favorite Books on Preaching
Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley
Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, and Deliver Effective Messages by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins
In the book Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida he listed out a great list of ten points of a great preacher. His list of preaching points are referenced from Martin Luther’s table talks. The list has some obvious points like, “Be able to speak well.” But it also lists some other great reminders that we might forget like, “Be ready to benture body and blood, wealth and honor, for the word of God.”
10 Points of a Good Preacher
1. Teach so that people can follow you.
2. Have a good sense of humor.
3. Be able to speak well.
4. Have a good voice.
5. Have a good memory.
6. Know when to stop.
7. Be sure of one’s doctrine.
8. Be ready to venture body and blood, wealth and honor, for the word of God.
9. Suffer oneself to be mocked and jeered by all.
10. Be ready to accept patiently that fact that nothing is seen more quickly in preachers than their faults.
[These message notes are from the Truth or Dare series]
This week we continued our 3-week series entitled Truth or Dare. The idea of the series is that as Christians we need to both know and grow in the truth of the Gospel and also dare to live it out in our day-to-day lives. While the game truth or dare allows us to choose one or the other, our faith requires that we do both.
Risks, American Idols, and a Bunch of Lions
When I was a young kid, I was pretty much afraid of anything. I was afraid of swimming, even with a life-jacket on. I was afraid of eating taco bell; I actually cried when I was forced to try taco bell for the first time. When I was a kid, everything seemed to be too big a risk. In life, there will always be certain things that have some element of risk to them. And this is especially true when it comes to our faith. There are risks that comes with living out your faith. The risks may be losing respect, friends, popularity, or something else. Taking the truth of the gospel seriously, to the point that we are willing to live it out everywhere, can sometimes be risky.